Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Of Stuarts, Gladiators, Vikings and Dystopia

Since my last post about my progress on my US Flames of War force I managed to get 2 more Stuarts (for an HQ) 3 x Priests, 2 x US Infantry Teams, 1 x Observer Sherman,  a US Air Observation Plane (minus any decals) and basing on 3 of the Special Order flying stands completed. I will get some pics of them posted up here soon. I thought I was going slowly but, not bad progress I guess and I haven’t been going terribly hard out at it either.
I managed to get my first trial run Late War game with what I have painted so far as well. The list was...
 HQ 2 x Stuarts,  Combat 1 and 2 5 x Stuarts, Assault Gun Shermans x 3 (105), 6 Priest artillery battery and, an AOP
I faced a 6 Platoon German Panzer IV Force. 2 x HQ Tanks, 1 Platoon of 4, 1 platoon of 3, 3 x Luchs recce tanks, 2 x FlakPanzers, 5 Rocket Launcher Nebelwerfer battery and 2 x StuGs.
It was a fun and short game and my opponent was playing his first game of FOW which meant lots and lots of explaining rules. I lost but I was experimenting and forgot some things like re-roll misses for 6 Guns in my Arty platoon. My own stand out was the 105 Shermans. The extra front armour and the ability to Arty barrage meant that by games end they managed to frontally knock out a StuG Tank and arty strike nailed a Flak Panzer and a Gun Team.  This is a platoon that will feature in my future US lists as often as possible.  Stuarts 16” move to get Panzer side armour is awesome. The AOP is an awesome ‘I can place an Observer just where I need it at the start of any step’ toy. After having been on the other side of the table faced with one of these it was great to try it out. I did notice though as it observes as though it is on the ground I will have to avoid driving my own tanks in between the AOP and the target.
I noticed that a fellow wargame blogger said he got some books from Warhammer Historical at a good price so I went and had a sticky beak and decided to get the ‘Gladiator’ rule book. I have been thinking for some time to get something other than Flames of War for gaming fun. But I don’t want anything that involves massive collections of yet more stuff I need to find some creative way to stash in my ManCave. I also recall seeing some fun looking Gladiator 28mm figures in an advert in Wargames Illustrated a while back. So cool... just a few figures, a rulebook and some dice...surely a recipe for some tabletop fun. I settled on some figures from here.
It will be a different challenge than painting 15mm WW2 figures. My aim is to have enough Gladiators for 2 Lanistas so if anyone wants to play they can just rock up for a game. I should have a roughly mirror image when it comes to the type of gladiators and paint them in a way that one team has Black details and the other another colour to tell them apart. I eagerly await the post man for all of this to arrive.
Anyway I also read Wargames Illustrated with a feature on ‘SAGA’ a Viking age Skirmish game. Now this looks like a cool game and out there in the Blogisphere fellow gamers have taken an interest. The idea of collecting and painting just a warband is appealing as is also the fact that the games may be easy to learn and play. The Gripping Beast and Wargames factory plastics look great and plastic is probably my first choice when it comes to 28mm gaming. Easier to convert and store over metal figures.
For my last Birthday my family got me 2 books in the Saxon Series by Bernard Cornwell. Turned out they got me like the 2nd and 5th book in the series so they just sat there being new novels for ages. Last week I decided to get the 1st book in the series and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The writing style took a bit of getting used to as the tale is told through the eyes of an individual growing up during the Danish invasion of Britain. So it’s like a diary but also like Azincourt it reads like a point of view of a witness to history. Great read and it really gets the gamer in me keen for a game like ‘Saga’.
Now for something totally unhistorical ..... Dystopian Wars. Some gamers down the club have started trying out this game and looking around at fellow bloggers the tiny Steam Punk ships, planes, tanks, and even robots can be painted up to look very cool. Many bloggers have described this game as having a nice and simple game mechanic. The scale is that a Human figure is more or less invisible so no pesky faces or skin to get just right. Might be worth getting a minimal amount of toys for this game as well and if I don’t dig it then on sell the painted toys.
I guess in some ways I am kicking these future possibilities around is that I have amassed a big Flames of War collection now and while the game still is fun and is likely to remain my core gaming interest it may be fun to dabble here and there with games that are relatively light weight.
This is one big post for me so well done to you if you got this far and next time I promise some pictures.
Cheers from The Kiwi

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