Happy New Year everyone!
It’s been a long time since I updated this blog. As usual, there are a couple of reasons for this:
- Life has been busy. My work got very busy in the second half of 2012 and I spent a lot of time working out of town. Naturally this had a negative effect on my hobby time. I also had some family health issues to deal with as well.
- What hobby time I have had has mostly been spent working on non-historical projects. I picked up a copy of Warhammer 40K last summer and found a new (to me) local game store that had a healthy GW gaming crowd that had a vibe I liked. As a result, I’ve spent most of my hobby time painting up a Tau army for Warhammer 40K. I’ve started a separate blog covering my GW-related activities. If you’re interested, you can check it out here.
- When I’ve had hobby time, I’ve been spending it on painting versus writing. I joined Twitter last year and spend more time writing short updates there. I find the short-form micro-blogging that Twitter allows for is something I can keep up with much easier. If you’re curious, my Twitter handle is @GreatRedoubt. I talk about both GW & historical gaming there. I haven’t found too man historical miniatures gamers on Twitter so my content & timeline skews towards the GW crowd.
I’ve enjoyed the break from painting Napoleonics figures. While I would still love to build armies and play games with large blocks of 28mm Napoleonics, it’s not a short-term project for me, especially without at least one other committed partner. In the meantime, I’m looking at starting at least one short-term, smaller project to break up the painting production line.
The main project I’m starting is 28mm WWII. I recently bought some figures during some end-of-year closeout sales and am looking at a doing some low-level skirmishing. I know, 28mm probably isn’t the preferred scale for this period, but I like the character and dynamism that figures from companies like Artizan, Crusader & Warlord (among others) bring, and I’m already committed to doing some 28mm terrain to play on, so the thought of having to duplicate a lot of it in 10/15/20mm scale is not appealing to me.
I’m starting with 1939 in Poland. I have a few squads of Polish infantry and early German infantry on order, and eventually I’ll add some smaller tanks and supporting vehicles. While the Polish campaign was over relatively quickly, the Poles put up as much of a fight as they could, and the combat at the tactical level was not as lopsided as some gamers may think. The Germans had yet to perfect their tactics, so at a tactical level the two armies were probably closer in skill level than, say, the Germans and Russians were in 1941. Both armies used the Mauser rifle as their main squad weapon, with the Germans having a distinct advantage in squad MG (the MG34, with it’s high rate of fire) versus the Polish BAR.
I’m looking at games with maybe around a platoon per side. This keeps things small which means I can get game-able forces painted up faster as well as provide both sides without breaking the bank. I think a number of the Warhammer 40K players may be interested in trying something like this, along with some of the historical miniature players in two.
The nice thing about skirmish gaming is that basing & organizations are the same across rules sets, so I will be able to try out and potentially play a number of different rules sets.
Current candidates include:
- Bolt Action – This is the new ‘it-rules’ for WWII put out by Warlord Games & Osprey publishing. I have yet to pick up a set but plan to do so soon. I suspect this rules set may be one of the easier crossover games for GW players to pick up.
- Disposable Heroes – I’ve played this before and it can put out a fun, if sometimes bloody, game.
- Rate of Fire – These rules from Crusader Publishing look relatively simple while still being fairly ‘historical’.
- Force on Force – These rules from Ambush Alley Games would probably put out the most ‘realistic’ game, but it’s a bit complex for novices. I’d love to try it but it might be a harder sell among the local crowd. I have the pre-Osprey edition of FoF that still had the WWII rules included. A new, updated WWII version of FoF will come out eventually, but not until Bolt Action (another Osprey product) will have had a good head start from what I’ve read.
Over time if I keep on enjoying myself, the project will move into later periods of the war. I just don’t want to have games that are wall-to-wall panzers, so early war seems like a smarter place to start.
Beyond WWII I’d be interested in other 28mm projects, whether it’s ancients (WAB or similar), Dark Ages (Saga) or horse & musket. We’ll have to see how things progress as the year goes on, and who I find to game with.
Well, that’s enough blathering for now. I hope that 2013 is a good year for you and your gaming projects, and I hope to keep this blog more up-to-date as well.