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"Testing the waters. What ranges mix for 28mm NWF? " Topic

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JSears06 Apr 2018 2:17 p.m. PST

I like the look of the plastic Perry Sudan Brits. What other ranges mix well with them? Was impressed by the Afghan tribesman by Empress that I've seen online, and was intrigued by the wide selection of Foundry figures for various Afghan and Indian conflicts. Could use some pointers on manufacturers and even types of figures I should be looking for (sepoys? are there differences between Afghans and Pathans? Can I use "Matchlock Men" from Foundry's range for late 19th century tribals?).

willthepiper06 Apr 2018 9:42 p.m. PST

I happily mix Pathans from Old Glory, Castaway Arts, Artizan and Wargames Foundry.

Afghans are people from Afghanistan, Pathans is an archaic term for the Pashtun people who make up about 40% of the population of Afghanistan. There are also lots of Pashtuns in Pakistan, in what in the 19th Century was still the British Raj. For all intents and purposes, the two terms are almost interchangeable.

Generally, you can start with Pathans armed with jezzails (muskets) as well as with rifles, then expand to include warriors armed with swords. I'd recommend to start small, with a few warbands of Pathans to take on a platoon or so of British (or Indian) troops in mountainous terrain. Don't worry about cavalry or artillery just yet – both tend to be more trouble than they're worth in the mountains. Rulesets such as 'The Sword and the Flame' or 'The Men Who Would Be Kings' are great for fun, Hollywood-inspired games.

Rdfraf Supporting Member of TMP07 Apr 2018 6:46 a.m. PST

I find that the Foundry Tribal figures from their India range not only mix well with the Perry figures but are some of the best sculpts that the Perrys ever did for Foundry.

I used a lot of them for my Indian Mutiny campaign. I do have some Afghans and done other Indians from Foundry left that I never got around to painting that I could sell. PM me if interested.

Mad Guru Supporting Member of TMP08 Apr 2018 3:40 p.m. PST

I freely mix "Pathan" figures from Wargames Foundry, Perry Miniatures, and Old Glory.

The Foundry and Perry figures were all sculpted by the Perrys, so they go together seamlessly. The Old Glory figures are arguably the nicest they make, and also lend in well with both other companies.

IMHO Artizan "Afghan Irregulars" are a bit bigger and also a bit more cartoonish in sculpting style, but still nice, and can be used alongside the above 3 companies' Pathan figures. Castaway Arts are nice as well but also have their own particular style, which I find more challenging to mix with other companies, but I can use them in their own units.

The Wargames Foundry "Matchlock Men" were originally created for their Indian Mutiny and Sikh Wars ranges, so fit better into early or mid-19th Century campaigns, but can also be used as tribal figures armed with old weapons for later 19th Century games.

A longstanding rule-of-thumb for NWF and Anglo-Afghan wargamers is to arm half their Pathan/Pashtun tribal forces with firearms and half with just sword-&-shield, as various British and Russian intelligence reports from the time declare that half of the tribesmen available to fight in Afghanistan and around its borders were possessed firearms. Of course this is a grand-strategic macro view, and as the 19th Century proceeded and new weapons were acquired by the tribesmen (including modern breechloaders) the older weapons were often sold or passed along to other tribesmen, so the closer you get to 1900 the stronger the argument for increasing the percentage of tribesmen armed with rifles. On the other hand, the 50/50 mix of missile and melee armed troops can help with the balance of forces and if you enjoy more melee action in your games, having a significant number of one side's troops armed only with melee weapons is a good thing.

"Sepoys" as in mutineers from the Mutiny of 1857-1859 are really a different thing from Pathan/Pashutn/Afghan tribesmen. There was some overlap in terms of fighters coming South to join the fight against the British, for a mix of mercenary and religious reasons, but the ruler of Afghanistan at the time, Amir Dost Muhammad (who had been deposed by a British army 2 decades earlier) refused to break his treaty with the British and support the mutineers, so the frontier was relatively peaceful and many British and loyal Indian troops posted there were sent South to help suppress the Mutiny.

I agree the Empress Miniatures "Jazz Age Imperialism" figures look fantastic. They are perfect for the 1919 Third Afghan War and/or 1919-1920 Waziristan Campaign, or any frontier scuffle from the early 20th Century, where the British can also deploy an early model Tank or biplane.

One other thing to mention is GHAZIS – Muslim holy warriors/religious fanatics, who played an important role in several major battles of the Second Afghan War, and also a number of smaller frontier campaigns. Many NWF and Anglo-Afghan War gamers, myself included, use Ghazis as an added troop type. They are generally treated as higher-morale melee troops, more dependable for closing with the enemy than standard tribesmen. Though it may be a historical over-simplification, most gamers, myself included, field them as purely melee troops, with no firearms at all.

Another category of troop type is Afghan army forces -- infantry, cavalry and artillery. They are basically second or third class British/Indian style regulars, and can add yet another dimension to frontier games, along with some less familiar and interesting uniforms.

One more useful source of potential tribesmen and Ghazis is the Wargames Foundry Darkest Africa Baluchis in "Indian" style dress (not those in "Arab" dress, who have bare heads and not really appropriate for Afghanistan). They're a bit larger than the other ranges but IMHO still fit well with all of them, especially if the Baluchis are used in their own distinct units, and they have a good number of poses, which makes that easy to do. Here's a LINK:


Last but not least, here's a LINK to a post on my blog with an AAR that includes pics of various different "Pathan" & Afghan troop types from a few manufacturers:


Such as…

Wargames Foundry Baluchis serving as Ghazi fanatics:


Wargames Foundry "Matchlock Men":


Foundry NWF Tribesmen:



Old Glory NWF Tribesmen:


…and lots of Foundry Afghan regulars:




Here's an old pic I just found showing Foundry & Old Glory NWF Tribesmen side-by-side:


And again with Foundry Indian and Perry Miniatures Arab civilians:


JSears10 Apr 2018 8:12 a.m. PST

FANTASTIC! Thanks for all of the support and suggestions guys, this is incredibly helpful! Mad Guru, your beautiful games are the reason I've been bitten by the Colonial bug. Really appreciate the comparison shots too.

Au pas de Charge Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2018 9:14 a.m. PST

Regarding Pathans/Afghans

Are Artizan, Perrys and Studio Miniatures all around the same basic figure bulk as far as mixing in units concerned?

Foundry and Old Glory are on the smaller side?

Basha Felika05 Oct 2018 11:24 a.m. PST

I happily mix all 5 ranges – the Artizan and OG are a bit bulkier than the others. The Foundry ‘Hill Tribes' and Baluchi types from their Darkest Africa Range are generally larger than some of their earlier Mutiny figures and fit well with the other manufacturers mentioned.

Also worth looking at Newline and Ironclad Miniatures for even greater variety.

Lion in the Stars05 Oct 2018 10:58 p.m. PST

I know it's not technically correct, but I use 'Pathan' to mean 'hill tribes' whether in Afghanistan proper or on the Northwest Frontier.

'Afghan' means 'someone from Afghanistan.' 'Afghan Regular' is 'an active-duty soldier from Afghanistan.'

ge2002bill07 Oct 2018 10:01 a.m. PST

Units with miniatures from every manufacture I can find from 25mm to 30mm are in my Pathan forces. Mostly 28mm. This greater variety mimics real life given differences in all of us.
Ditto for my Hadendoah tribesmen in The Sudan.
Bill P.
Chronicler for General Pettygree

Au pas de Charge Supporting Member of TMP28 Oct 2018 9:15 a.m. PST

Call them whatever you like Lion in the Stars. As long as they rise up to expunge the infidels and look stylish doing it. :)

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