Sunday, 27 May 2012

The Modern Wargamer

The Modern Wargamer

Amongst my gaming peers I used to be known as "The Modern Wargamer" not because I used particularly new sets of rules, but rather because my main interest was in post 1945 warfare, which at that time in the eighties meant primarily the relatively recent Vietnam War and speculative World War 3. Since those days my interests have broadened somewhat I now have figures for just about every period in history from Chinese Warring States armies through to various flavours of science fiction. However, whilst I am no longer all that interested in Vietnam, having played far too much of it, as a child of the Cold War, WW3 is still one of my favourite settings for a game.

So back in the eighties I was reading about WW3 in Red Storm Rising, watching it in Red Dawn, roleplaying it using Twilight: 2000 and wargaming it using Harpoon and TTG's Challenger rules for 1/3000th scale naval and 1/300th scale land warfare respectively. Looking back at all three of those they now look hideously complicated, but somehow I manage to cope with them and I became infamous for being able to run Challenger without needing to look at the quick reference sheet! Challenger eventually gave way to Command Decision and Modern Spearhead and WW3 to the Arab-Israeli Wars, the latter change being in the main down to scenery or rather my lack of any for West Germany! After that modern gaming took a bit of backseat and I even sold off a couple of my 1/300th modern armies, something that I do now regret doing.

More recently my interest in moderns has resurfaced thanks in part to the release of the Cold War Commander (CWC) rules and the 1/600th moderns from Oddzial Osmy. Having said that though neither those rules nor the figures are where my modern gaming is heading. Toy wise I just have far too much still invested in 1/300th to contemplate a switch to 1/600th, even though the Oddzial Osmy miniatures are very good indeed, much better in fact than some of my now 20 plus year old 1/300th miniatures. As for the rules, whilst CWC produce a perfectly playable game, they were not quite what I was looking for, plus my regular opponent is no great fan of the Warmaster style command mechanism.

Having failed to find a set of modern rules that really inspired me I did the obvious thing and started to trawl the internet to see what else was available and was pleasantly surprised to find not one, but two free sets that both sound very much like the sort of thing I was looking for. The two sets are Brigade Commander by Andy Watkins and NATO Brigade Commander by Tim Gow and I am already starting to reorganise my 1/300th scale modern toys in line with these rules. By reorganise of course what I actually mean is dunk the miniatures in a bath of kitchen cleaner to strip off the several coats of paint that they have had over the years!

Anyway once the toys have been repainted and rebased I am looking forward to returning to the eighties and giving both rules a play test...


Saturday, 3 March 2012

New Year, New Projects

First proper post so I thought I ought to start with a brief overview, in no particular order, of what's new on the wargaming front.

28mm Italian Wars
I picked up Foundry's Condottiere Dogs of War rules for half price during one of their many, many, many sales last year and whilst the rules, written by Frank Chadwick no less, are not particularly ground breaking and the lastest Foundry figures are, in my opinion, nowhere near as good as their, rapidly disappearing, older ranges, it was still enough to inspire me to get into this period. However, though I already had a few of the aforementioned older Foundry figures, I will mostly be using the Perry plastics and have already started work on the infantry, though I am waiting for the release of their plastic Mounted Men at Arms to give me some cavalry.

15mm Rhodesia
The fortuitous combination of me winning up a copy of the Man Among Men supplement for Seek Out, Close With and Destroy by Iron Ivan Games on eBay and Old Glory releasing an Alouette III helicopter has resurrected this project, which is essentially an offshoot of my AK47 Republic collection from Peter Pig. However, for the rules I will probably actually use Force on Force from Ambush Alley Games, for which a supplement specifically covering "Bush Wars" is due out in May. I am also going to fund the Alouette purchases by selling off my 15mm Vietnam collection as I have played far too much of that particular period over the years and I also think low intensity counterinsurgency, such as Rhodesia, makes a far more interesting game.

15mm Barbarossa
Inspired by my regular opponent Whisperin' Al's excellent looking 15mm 1940 France game, I felt compelled to do something similar and, wanting to do something that was also Early War, picked on the German invasion of Russia in 1941 or Operation Barbarossa. Like the aforementioned Italian Wars project I am trying to do this one on the cheap, especially as I have had to invest quite a bit in new 15mm terrain, so to date the toys are again also mostly plastics from The Plastic Soldier Company and, appropriately for the Soviet vehicles, Zvezda. Rules will be I Ain't Been Shot Mum from Too Fat Lardies and specifically their Vyazma or Bust campaign. You can see the progress I am making in this photo album.

6mm Science Fiction
For a long while I have been carefully avoiding getting into 15mm SF gaming, a scale that seems very much in vogue at the moment, as I already have large collections of both 25mm and 28mm SF figures. However, a game of Tomorrow's War, again with Whisperin' Al, in which we concluded that smaller figures would allow for for manoeuvre got me seriously considering 15mm. Having given that some thought I am now wondering if the better option would be to drop the scale down to 6mm and use different rules such as Dirtside II from GZG or Iron Cow 2103AD from Wessex Games. There are a number of great ranges of 6mm SF models available from the likes of Brigade Models, Dark Realm Miniatures and of course the aforementioned GZG. Am also looking at Old Crow for terrain.

28mm Post Apocalypse
My introduction to the world of the Xenozoic was through the supplement produced for GDW's Twilight: 2000 RPG and for a long time I had been hankering after running a miniatures game based on it. I already had dinosaurs purchased for Pulp games and die-cast Cadillacs were easily sourced on eBay, but what I was lacking was suitable rules. That was solved last month when Two Hour Wargames released their Motor City BC supplement, which, when combined with their Adventures in the Lost Lands supplement, provides pretty much everything you need for "Thrilling Adventures in a World Gone Mad!" Still not quite sure what human figures to use though...

That's about it for now, though I am off to Overlord in Abingdon tomorrow, so who knows what new shiny thing will catch my eye!