Monday, 8 February 2016

Natal Mounted Rifles in Italy: Personal accounts by Douglas Baker

"Our troop of four tanks was creeping down a road along a very steep mountainside and we knew that somewhere ahead a German 88mm would be hiding waiting for us to reach a position, which the enemy would, in retreat, have noted down accurately in terms of its range. To make our survival more likely, I had volunteered to accompany the troop officer, Lieutenant Bunny Evans walking ahead of the tanks to draw fire." - Douglas Baker, WW2 People's War

The BBC "WW2 People's War" archive has a series of recollections by Natal Mounted Rifles volunteer Douglas Baker. Of particular interest are his descriptions of action at San Felice in July 1944:

Ambush at San Felice
Ambush at San Felice - Part 2

WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found at'
Douglas Baker (left) in 1943. © Douglas Baker. WW2 People's War is an online archive of wartime memories contributed by members of the public and gathered by the BBC. The archive can be found here.

I have added the link to the Springboks in Italy reference page.

Monday, 1 February 2016


Many of the rules I play need multiple markers to track the condition of units on the table, and things can get cluttered very quickly.

Stealing the idea from some commercial laser cut MDF examples, I made some dial-type counters using a very simple recipe: each one needs two plastic 25mm bases, a pair of 2.5mm magnets, and a self-adhesive label (printed with the requisite range of numbers appropriate to your rule system). Drill a 2.5mm hole in the centre of both bases, glue in the magnets, stick a label on one disc and drill a 4-6mm hole (depending on the type size used on your labels) in the other disc and decorate to taste...

I used the lipped 25mm base from Warlord Games for the top disc, and the older, flat Warlord base for the bottom disc. (I generally use GW-style plinth bases for all my figures, so the Warlord bases would otherwise go to waste).

So far, I have kept most of the disk decoration era-neutral, as I intended the same dials to be used for Hail Ceasar and Black Powder (casualties), Saga (fatigue) and Bolt Action (pins). I have experimented with one World War 2-themed example, and will probably do a few more when the mood takes me.

I did, however, make a World War 2-themed bound/turn marker using the same approach - this one used a Privateer Press-style 50mm round-edged base for the bottom disk, and a 40mm plastic base of unknown origin (probably Gripping Beast) for the top disk. The figure is from Company B (it is meant to populate a staff car), the map table from the Warlord Games "High Command" vignette set, and the crate is from Die Waffenkamer's stowage packs.

Bolt Action Chain of Command Operation Squad Turn Marker