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...