Sunday, 23 January 2011

New Project: 10mm Colonial French in Morocco

So, New Year, new project, right? Well, given the amount of half-formed and yet to be completed ones littering the pages of this Blog, probably not such a good idea..... oh well!
Putting this to one side then, I thought I'd introduce the strongest candidate for the title, and hope to make a calm and considered progress with it across the course of 2011 - to whit, the French Colonial Conquest of Morocco using 10mm figures from Pendraken.

Although they have yet to make a mark Blogwise, I've had wide experience with the 10mm of this excellent company, principally for Early Crusade armies, and have always fancied a go at some of their more modern figures, and in particular the small range of French Foreign Legionnaires - growing up with Beau Geste, and all those Hollywood movies about the Legion, this was always a unit I've longed to see grace the tabletop.

Rather than go for a strictly Arabs in bathrobes versus blue-coated soldiers type of thing, I thought I'd complicate matters and get far too ambitious, and try to anchor the project in a real historical setting.
Thanks to the fascinating Douglas Porch book, "The Conquest of Morroco", I'm looking to do units that would cover the turbulent period between say, 1905 and 1912, which featured all sort of actions and troop types, from Tirailleurs Algeriens and Senegalais to Chasseur's d'Afrique and beyond, with very much a skirmish framework in mind, hence the decision to go 'big' with 10mm.

In postings to come, I'll be looking at the figure choices for all of the different types, including, (thanks to the advice of Dave and the gang at Pendraken) a number of kidnap victims from the Franco-Prussian War, Sudan, North West Frontier and even WWI ranges.

I'll hope to introduce the whys and wherefores of each unit, and will be backing that up with some views from the SteelonSand postcard archive, with photos from the time.
Eventually, and with a following wind, I'll also chronicle the actual painting and basing of the little Legionnaires and their opponents, and draw on some readily available internet sources to support it all.

Rules wise, I'm looking at a couple of options, with TSATF at the top of the list, although I'm in no hurry to push ahead with gaming with these - in the spirit of a less butterfly-minded Blog, I want to try a slow build up and make this something that might serve as a backbone over an extended period..... that's the theory, anyway!


  1. While not really a FFL movie at all, I highly recommend (and suggest you see) the movie, "The Wind and the Lion".

    It is (loosely) based on a 1904 incident in Morocco. It stars Sean Connery, Candice Bergen, Brian Keith and John Huston. It is a lot of fun. Connery plays a Berber brigand who kidnaps Bergen and her children. The climax of the movie is a great battle involving multiple sides with varying objectives and it would make a wonderful group or convention game.

    -- Jeff

  2. Cheers Jeff, ah! Great minds think alike - I was already looking around for areas this project could expand into - there were some international forces put ashore at Fez during an insurrection during this period, so the Marines of various countries may just put in a appearance at a later date - I'll definitely track down that movie!

  3. I'm not sure what country you live in, but here is a link to the movie at for $8.49 (I'm sure that it is available via other sources, I got my copy from Amazon in Canada):

    The movie is well worth having just to enjoy it . . . but it does offer some good inspiration for the table top as well.

    -- Jeff