Tuesday, 22 June 2010

So why Flames of War?

So why Flames of War? This is a question aimed at myself. I've long had an interest in WW2 gaming, having first used Airfix, Matchbox and Esci model kits and figures to refight the battles of the conflict and then moved onto 1/300th. 1/300th scale, was a) cheaper and b) allowed you to build bigger forces, plus no fiddly plastic kits to build!

I gradually moved away from WW2 figure gaming to play the hex based board games. Avalon Hill, SPI and a few others no doubt. Squad Leader was a particular favourite, Panzer Leader/Panzer Blitz also having a few outings. Of course these board games ranged from the platoon/company level right upto divisional/army level. It was possible to play both the tactical and strategic level of the war.
Then a few years ago I decided to return to WW2 and purchased some 28mm figures, and have used them in some games. But having joined the Evesham Wargames Club, I noticed some of the members played Flames of War week in week out (actually we meet fortnightly, but you get the idea). This intrigued me and made me think that there must be something good about it for people to play the game time and time again.
So I decided to investigate. I was certainly aware of Flames of War, but since it was in 15mm I had never really been interested. 15mm was one of those scales I never really 'got into'. I bought 15mm models etc, most people I have known over the years who are wargamer's have 15mm armies, but I had always found the figures uninspiring to paint and there were always lots of figures too or so it seemed.
A visit to the Battlefront website was about to change all that. My first impression had been that Battlefront were to historical gaming like GW is seen by many in the wargaming community as a whole ie in it for the money (NB. I like GW, they almost make wargaming seem cool). My view changed, on the Flames of War site I found modeling/painting articles, gaming articles and most impressive of all historical articles detailing campaigns/battles and unit histories. The fact that time had been taken to research the period, convinced me that this was a company worth supporting. Plus I liked the models.
So a short while latter I had a copy of the rules and the boxed US Airborne Rifle Company set in my hands. Now having actually played a couple of games, I can say that I like the game as well. I'm aware that the rules have a large competition circuit, and are perhaps viewed by some as being a set of tournament rules but that's not what I intend to do or to use them for. More on that later.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Projects an update & a reply

In response to Paul's comments, firstly I not sure why I didn't realise that he had a Dark Age army since the banner to his blog movealongnownothingtoseehere is a photo of some nice Norman Knights.
Now on my last post re Projects, I didn't mention what other subjects/periods I would like to do since I am hopefully not going to be buying anything new this year. By new I mean of course a completely new period/army.
But projects I would like to start eventually are;
1) ACW in 6mm-yes I had intended to start this in this year but it will have to join the waiting list for a while.
2) Napoleonic in 6mm-a definite maybe.
3) Pulp gaming-this has been attracting my interest for a while. The idea of turn of century/early 20th Century games of daring do! I like Copplestone's Back of Beyond range, and the Russian Civil War figures are a particular favourite. Or that Tarzan/King Solomons Mines/King Kong/Lost World/Indiana Jones type thing, you know what I mean!?
4) WW2 air war-Battle of Britain, 8th Air force over Germany, Pacific air combat. I would like to do this in 1/300th and raiden miniatures have a nice range of aircraft.
Yet for now its going to be Flames of War and Project number 7, which will be my focus for a while.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Fire Support

81mm Mortar Platoon, to provide much needed fire support to my US Para rifle company. They had their first outing in the last game I played but were not that successful in my opinion. Nevertheless here they are. I haven't posted a picture earlier since I hadn't finished off the bazooka teams, when the Platoon got its first outing.

I decided after the last game heavier fire support was needed so I have started, a battery of 75mm Parachute pack howitzers. First section is prepped ready for painting.

Thursday, 10 June 2010


For a while now I've been mulling over the number of wargaming 'projects' I have on the go and how to lower the proverbial 'lead mountain' the bane of all those committed to this hobby of ours.
The recent house move did bring sharply into focus just how much 'stuff' I have despite having had a clear out some twelve months before. So what to do with it all, put it back into storage, sell it or dare I say it, paint it! (crazy fool). Well there's just too much to paint in one go but what if I was to actually be disciplined and only concentrated on one or two projects. Sound to far fetched, impossible?
At the moment this is the list of current projects;
1) WW2 in 15mm aka Flames of War.
2) WW2 in 28mm.
3) War of the Ring-GW mass combat for Lord of the Rings.
4) Ambush Alley in 28mm-'Black Hawk Down.'
5) Zulu War in 28mm.
6) French and Indian War in 28mm.
6) Dark Age armies in 28mm for Warhammer Ancient Battle-Viking, Saxon et al.
7) The secret project.
I have bits done for nearly all of them, in varying amounts. But I should, I have concluded narrow the field. Since the whole point is having 'bits done' is not really good enough.
At present the Flames of War project is probably my favourite, and the one I really want to complete. So which of the above should I concentrate on? Obviously its got to be a project which I'm interested in, and will sustain my interest, but also one which I can use against opponents. There are certainly enough members of the club, who have appropriate forces for the majority, of the above except maybe WAB, so what to do?

Monday, 7 June 2010

Somewhere in France....the next day!

So last night got to play my second game of Flames of War. It didn't go as well as the last game. The forces were pretty similar to the previous game but I added an 81mm mortar platoon and reduced the strength of one of my infantry platoons from 3 to 2 squads. The scenario rolled was Withdrawal, with me attacking.

Kampfgruppe von Churchill was entrenched on either side of a river. The Germans flanks protected by armour, Tigers on their left, Jagdpanthers on the right. I strung my infantry out across the board, with the mortars being able to set up on a hill (gave myself a big thumbs up for that! How wrong I was to be proved.) Running centrally across the board, from wide table edge to wide table edge, was a road with a village on the German side clumped around a ford. Entrenched infantry clustered around that.

So the scene was set and in a rather mad moment I charged my platoon of Sherman's, down this road (taking aleaf out of Monty's book!), and straight onto the entrenched infantry, the assault failed, and by turn 3 I was short one armoured platoon. The paras then were left to slug it out alone. The mortar platoon was exceptionally ineffective knocking out one AA halftrack, and having no effect against the enemy infantry. The air support was only marginally better, bagging one Jagdpanther, though probably giving the Germans more frights along the way. All I could do was watch as the enemy withdrew their platoons one by one. Not the most glorious of moments for the 101st.

Quite a sound defeat, but still an enjoyable game. Now I must decide what to add next to the growing 101st arsenal, 75mm pack howitzers, 57mm AT guns or the M10 option, what shall it be?