Oh! What a Lovely War

There is an embarrassment of riches here at Faith and Steel, with not just one but three packages landing within a week! I picked up some partizans from one of the many sales at Black Tree Designs that I think will be perfect for delivering lots of theme in smaller Bolt Action games. I also took advantage of Warlord Games buy a rule book, get a box offer. More on that later.

The biggest parcel, coming at 3.5kg, was the arrival of the joint Richard Berg-Plastic Soldier Company Kickstarer, The Great War.

GW14I suspect that this game will be a worthy addition to the Command and Colours family. It improves on the high production values of the Memoir ’44 series by including a nice range of 15mm hard plastic miniatures from Plastic Soldier Company to accompany the nice looking, full-colour cards, map and tokens.

Inside the box- oo, shiney

Inside the box: oo! shiny

Straight from box

Straight from the box

The cuts are clean and the pieces come out easily

The cuts are clean and the pieces come out easily

The hex board is double-sided and the terrain will make for flexibility and easy expansion, just like Memoir ’44

GW05

The funky dice are used to resolve combat. This is very abstract but makes for fast, tense games.

GW07

There are 8 dice; this shows the proportion of the symbols

The highlight for me are the new miniatures from Plastic Soldier Company.

One of the three German spues

One of the three German sprues

The British have the same mix but different poses

The British have the same mix but different poses

For board gamers the naked plastic will serve quite adequately. However, I think taking the time to paint these will make quite a spectacle.  My friend Andy converted me to this point of view when I first saw his Memoir set with painted 20mm plastics. It makes for a visually stunning game. So this means washing before getting some paint on (it’s too windy to head out to the backyard to prime, so things will have to stop here for a wee while)

GW02

GW01

Here is my first niggle. I love it that the Brits have fixed their bayonets ready to get stuck in, but you need to be very careful removing them from the sprues or you will break bayonets and even barrels.  The Germans did not seem subject to this, so I don’t know if the different colour has different properties or it is the pose itself. Whatever the cause, clippers and patience are required.  Apart from that there is no real clean-up required, the models are pretty much ready to go.

Being Kickstarter there were some bonus material:

GW15Some bonus scenarios (always useful), sets of German and British artillery (that don’t appear directly in the base game but do look very nice) and a set of metal generals:

GW13

Perhaps indicative of future releases, even if not useful on the board.  I’m personally looking forward to the Turks:

GW12I haven’t played yet, but the rules look like they will capture the challenges of trench warfare pretty well. Machine-guns are going to be very dangerous and I cannot see how to cross no-mans land without enormous casualties.  So, the title of this post is ironical, just like the musical I pinched the title from. But it does look like it will be a lovely game.

D.

Biggles Sweeps the Desert

Tally Ho!

After fresh water and somewhere to cool down a few tinnies, air support will be high on any desert survival list. So enter No. 3 Squadron RAAF, flying Kittyhawks that will provide much needed air cover for my mid-war Australians.

AfricaWWII_04

Can you hear something Blue?

AfricaWWII_01

No 3 Squadron RAAF flys over 2/9 Div positions

AfricaWWII_02 AfricaWWII_03The P-40, Kittyhawk to Commonwealth nations and Warhawk to the Americans, was one of the mainstays of the RAAF in the second world war. Out gunned by German machines in the fighter role, they proved reliable and capable in a bomber-support role in North Africa and in the Pacific. They also held their own against the Italian air force, that unlike the Italian navy or much of the army, was very professional and dedicated even as they flew rather outdated machines.

No markings yet as the box came with a US decal set, so on the lookout for suitable RAF/RAAF markings in 144th scale or thereabouts.

The company itself is not much larger than the models shown, a few more tanks plus some 25 pdrs, so there is not much to do now.  That will be nice as these were my first Flames of War models but I decided to do some German Tigers just to get a force table ready. An heavy panzer company is like 12 models, including infantry, so was very quick to paint. I’ve hesitated finishing as while 15mm tanks are really fast to paint, I find the little mens a bit daunting. Not totally rational as they really don’t take much to do, so it is time to get on with them, I think.

Hoo Roo.

D.