Posts Tagged 'WWII'

A Long Overdue Update & Plans for 2013

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

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An Update: Legacy of Glory, 20mm WWII and Empire

Life has been busy which means the blog has been quiet.  Work has been very busy and while the pace has slackened a little bit, it’s still giving me plenty to do on nights and weekends which conflicts with both family time and gaming time.

Other than buying a slew of wargame rules recently the only other purchases I’ve made have been about 20 feet of olive canvas for the start of a terrain mat and recently I’ve bought some 20mm WWII figures for France 1940.    I’ve been painting in spurts and recently started working in earnest on the AB Russians again.   I’ve gone back to a cleaner version of my original style since the blocking-in look, while nice was very time consuming.    Between the Napoleonics and 20mm stuff I’ll be plenty busy over the next few months as time allows.

Gaming-wise it’s been a slow time.   Haven’t done any since the fall.  I have my Legacy of Glory gaming group coming over Saturday to spend an afternoon pushing troops around to get more familiar with the rules.  This will be our third meeting and things are slowly coming together.  We would’ve been further along had my schedule not been so messed up over the winter; our plan is to meet at least once every two months if not monthly.  We’ll see how that goes.   I hope to get a copy of the beta rules for LoG: Thunder of Destiny sometime this spring.  The rules authors are starting to distribute early releases of the rules in snippets and so far things look good.  I’m hopeful that playtesting will reap benefits for both game play and rules layout.  The first edition of the rules suffered from formatting issues that kept a good set of rules from gaining wider acceptance.

In other news, Scott Bowden is re-releasing Empire in several versions (the original Empire, Empire II and EMPIRE (aka Empire V)) in electronic form via The War Event.  If anyone’s interested in getting a set, it’s a way to keep interest alive in the rules.  I haven’t played Empire in almost two decades but I had fun with the rules when we played and would not turn down a chance to play them again with the right group of people.  Another game with a complex learning curve like Legacy of Glory.

Something New: Force on Force

I ordered a copy of  “Force on Force” from Ambush Alley Games yesterday.   I had previously downloaded the free version of Ambush Alley and liked the ideas, so I thought I’d spring for a copy of FOF with an eye to some World War II and maybe some modern/near-future gaming.   It’s a busy week (when isn’t it?) so I haven’t had a chance to peruse the PDF versions I received, but based on the feedback I’ve seen on the web and the AA rules that they’re based on, I’m looking forward to them.

I’m going to slowly accumulate some 20mm WWII figures for running some small games.   It will be a nice diversion from Napoleonics and it may be something I can interest my son in playing a few years from now (he’s 7).    I figure when I get bored with painting too many white straps and shako cords I can switch and do some figures in camouflage to mix things up a bit.  With winter coming on we’re getting back to what I consider to be prime time painting season.  With much less outdoor work to be done, I’ll have a few more hours a month for painting.  Mixing in a few platoons of 20mm WWII figs shouldn’t be hard.

I may also pick up PDF copies of Rapid Fire 2nd Edition and some of their supplements as well for a quick & dirty larger games.

Closed circuit to Chris S.:  Answer your damn email!  😉

Battlefront’s Empire Grows

As you may have seen on TMP today, the boys at Battlefront have been busy snapping up companies.  Just today they announced buying both Gale Force 9 and, somewhat more surprisingly, Wargames Illustrated.   As pointed out on the TMP fora, the acquisition of GF9 makes sense with the popularity of the specialty dice, templates, counters etc.   That looks to me to be a tactical move to bring some expertise in-house and possibly increase their distribution channels/footprint in the USA.   Hopefully it will mean improved customer service for the US, since I gather that in general it’s been fair to horseshit in the past.

Battlefront’s purchase of Wargames Illustrated is a more interesting move IMO.   A longtime stalwart of the historical miniatures scene, WI has global reach, a dominant brand name in the (albeit small) wargames press, and decades of expertise.  I haven’t bought the magazine much in the past decade mostly due to lack of interest and continually rising prices.  A single copy at the Source now runs $9.00, which is too much for me to drop on an issue that may not personally interest me much.  It will be interesting to see how the new ownership changes the content.  The grognards on TMP are already bitching about dumbing down the content and WI morphing into Battlefront’s version of White Dwarf… i.e. a glossy catalog of new figures and rules for FOW with some other filler.   We’ll see if that happens or not.

Continue reading ‘Battlefront’s Empire Grows’


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