Friday, May 23, 2008

They're so cute!

Those were my daughter's exact words when I showed her my first painted Flames of War team, a US infantry command team. Not exactly what you want to hear after painting up the beginnings of an unstoppable and mighty force that will sweep the table clear of all those foolish enough to oppose you!

Yet, in all fairness, I guess that yeah, a little green army man only 15mm tall can certainly be described as "cute." But just wait 'til I paint some TANKS!

Anyway, here are some shots of my first completed unit, an HQ unit that has enough options to be fielded as an Armored Rifle Company HQ or an Infantry Company HQ, either for Mid or Late War. I am working with a limited budget, both in terms of time and money, so I am trying to make the most of it. I decided I would like to have an Armored Rifle Company - the ability to have highly mobile infantry and plenty of support options for any situation sold me. Yet, I may want to field a straight Infantry Company in certain situations, such as when we game D-Day. So I am making my purchases count - each unit will be able to do double duty and serve in either a mechanized or foot infantry company.

The entire HQ unit:

The Company Command and 2iC teams:

Jeep (a Command Decision model with a FoW figure):

Halftrack (Command Decision):

Bazooka Teams:

M37 Gun Team:

'Til next time!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pegasus Bridge

Pegasus Bridge My gaming group is planning on doing some D-Day scenarios with Flames of War, and one of the situations we are planning to game is the British Airborne glider landings at Pegasus Bridge. To that end, I read Stephen Ambrose's excellent book, Pegasus Bridge.

Like his other books, the most famous of which is probably Band of Brothers, Pegasus Bridge is full of personal anecdotes that Mr. Ambrose got directly from participants (on both sides) during numerous interviews. It is one thing to study a historical event, and read that so-and-so did such and that. But to hear the individual tell what he did, in his own words, and from his own point of view, really brings the events in the book to life.

I knew the basic story behind the British mission to take the bridge from prior books, but the details in this book really gave the story an added dimension. From reading about Maj. Howard's fixation with physical fitness, to the way in which Howard trained his soldiers for night operations, to the training regimen followed by the glider pilots to prepare for that epic night, the book is full of information that, if anything, make the events of June 6, 1944, much more real.

In summary, I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in World War II history, and certainly it is a must-read for anyone planning on recreating this mission in miniature.

Now, back to carving some more Horsas - since due to this book I know I need a total of five, since the sixth landed far off at the wrong bridge and did not play a part in this mission.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More Flames of War

On May 10 we played FoW again at our gaming group, and having read the rules I understood a lot more of what was going on. Another very enjoyable game, where I was given a mixed force of tanks and infantry (Soviet) to lead. John, Rob and Dave played the Germans, while Mike provided a host of Russians that Kyle and I helped him to command. Again, the objective was to take the bridge at the center of the table, and we played with 6000 points per side. Truly a massive affair!

Unfortunately, I had to leave early that night, and my forces really had not yet managed to engage the enemy. Still, I had another great time and each time I play I feel more comfortable with the mechanics.

Here are some images from the game. As usual, the whole lot of them can be seen at Photobucket.

Also, my Horsa glider was very well received by the guys. Too well, actually! Dave's first words were, "Very nice, now we need 37 by next Saturday!" I was able to talk them down to only needing three or four more, to do a Pegasus Bridge scenario. So now I am thinking of ways to streamline the carving process to make it go a little faster. In the meantime, here are a couple of images of the completed, though as yet unpainted, glider:

Hopefully, for next time, I will have some more gliders ready, maybe one painted, and the beginnings of my US Armored Rifle Company - a force to call my own, so I do not have to depend on Mike's generosity (for which I am very grateful!) to have troops to command.