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Some Platoons for France 1940 and a kind of a review by the Little One of Airfix Battles

I have finally finished my France 1940 15mm Platoons I have been working on.  I intend to use these with the excellent Too Fat Lardies France 1940 supplement I bought some time ago (link here).  I have talked about the book before and it is a fantastic resource for any Platoon based WW2 Gaming.  Here they are, I used Skytrex (link here) and Peter Pig (link here) miniatures.

I bought the Little One a copy of the Airfix Battle game for us to try out over Christmas and we took it with us to the holidays in Sweden. He rather likes it and I thought why not ask him to write a short review/reflection of the game I have added it at the end of this blog post.

British 1940 Regulation Platoon (Skytrex and Peter Pig)

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Platoon Structure with support (note that I made prone Bren Gunner Teams as well as walking, with the same for Boyes Anti-tank team and the 2″ inch mortar team).
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I think these relatively old Skytrex Models are just fine.
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I did base them eventually – part of Machine Gun Team and a 2pdr AT Gun (these are Peter Pig)
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Peter Pig Anti-Tank Rifle Teams
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2″ mortar teams
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A British Squad (All Skytrex apart from the Bren Gunner from Peter Pig) on the left and the Platoon Sgt and the Lt on the right (both from Peter Pig)

German First Wave Platoon (Peter Pig)

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Some regulars and a Sniper
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Infantry Gun
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Platoon Structure with Supports
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Based up Squad on the Left and Platoon HQ on the left

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Mortar and Anti-tank Rifle Teams
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Nice weekend of basing

 

Airfix Battles – A review by the Little One

I find Airfix Battles a good game because everything you need sits in a small box – flat miniature soldiers, tanks and guns. The rules are simple to understand for a 10-year old wargamer. However I have played a lot of games before so maybe they are a little bit more difficult for you.  There a paper sheets that are used to play on and some terrain features you place on the mat. These are ruins, hedges and difficult ground.  It takes on some things that I like with WW2, such as Tigers, Bazookas and Pak-40 guns.  However, it is a little bit unrealistic as you can shoot in a curved trajectory (kind of) and mortars and artillery do not seem very powerful – I read in a book that artillery was the biggest cause of death in WW2. Also the ranges are a little bit strange, the MG-34, Browning and Sniper Rifle has the same range.  My Papa, that is what I call my dad, tells me there should be figures with the game, but we have plenty at home and the flats works well for travel.  It also shows how dangerous war is – so you have to manage your units carefully and protect your commanders as they are important to allow you do things like getting cards and playing orders.  You can also use the set to play other games on while you travel, we played What a Tanker using the Panzers vs the Shermans – that was fun!

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The Game comes with two thin sheets of paper you can use instead of a battle mat, they look ok.
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Here are some of the unit cards, showing a lot of useful information like the number of stars (this is how much the unit is worth), how may are in the unit, what the units skill is (the dice), how much it moves, what weapons it carries (with range and damage) and any special abilities.
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I like this game.  Our games have taken between 20 minutes to 2 hours.
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I think the rough terrain markers are funny – maybe they could have used something less boring like some stony ground of something.  My Papa hates markers like this – I am less bothered and just get on with things.  That is clearly one of his rolls by the way.

The other day we used miniatures to play the game, it made my Papa a little bit happier and we had a very good time.  He does not like this game as much as I do.  I really like it.  There is also a way you can play against yourself in Solo mode – I like it and it is harder than playing against Papa because I roll very well for both sides.

I really like games and I think I have learned a few things from this one that I will try to use in my own rule set I have been working on.

As Papa would have said, I hope that was of some interest.

– The Little One (you can read more about the game here)

Below are some more of the pictures we have taken of our games.

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Lead astray or a hike to the lead mountain – Part 1

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Recently I have been rummaging around my various past projects and  found a fair few forgotten ones – they all seemed like a good idea at the time. I felt myself obliged to consider whether I could reignite the fire/impulse that had trigger the start of these projects in the first place – if not I may as well get rid of them.  These projects range from a number of unopened packs to being considerably started and with a few bases even being completed!  I thought one way of going about this process was to paint a few models for each project and then see how I felt in taking them to the very end.

The World’s Smallest Wargame

The smallest unfinished project I found was a little vignette Peter Berry gave me at the Baccus open day a few years back. This is normally held the day before the Joy of Six and gives a chance to see how Peter and Igor produce the little soldiers.  The model depicts two 6mm scale war gamers playing a war-game. I decided to give it some acrylic love and base it up. I thought it would be fun to plant it on the table for the next outing and see if someone spots it. I wish they were all that easy!

Note: I added the BIC pen with a diameter of 9mm to the picture as I occasionally are being contacted by people who wonder how tall these guys are. In general when we refer to scale in Xmm it is the measure of the height from the base of the miniature to the eye level or the top of the head. Baccus in general are between 6 to 7mm and the two gentlemen here are 7mm (the bearded bloke) and 6.5mm (the accountant) respectively.

In the next section I will be showing 15mm soldiers and these are of course about 15mm from the base of the miniature to the eye level.  But remember that these scales are indicative and the actual size of a Xmm miniatures can vary significantly between different manufactures and sometimes even between their ranges.

I used a BIC pen as it is probably one of the most known items on the planet (I made that up!) and based on my extensive research has sold over 100 billion pens since the 1950s that is enough pens to stretch 40 times the distance from the earth to the moon if laid end to end.

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Western Front 1940

Another, and perhaps a better example, of these projects was to use the Skirmish campaign books and the Arc of Fire ruleset to do some early France 1940 WW2 platoon level scenarios. I had started painting a few of them but there was still some work to do.

I intend to put some effort into this and use the excellent Chain of Command rules from Too Fat Lardies. I printed out the Chain of Command army list  for the German 1940 platoon (you can download it here) and checked that I had the right amount of miniatures (these being 15mm and mainly from the excellent Peter Pig range) and realized I had most of what I needed and fairly quickly over the last few weeks got to a state of having them all block painted and based. This included some support options like anti-tank rifle, AT-guns, infantry gun, sniper team, heavy machine guns, flamethrower unit and a forward observer. What remains is some washing, highlighting and base detailing. They are individually based on 15mm washers (with a magnet in the hole) and prone LMGs, heavy machine guns, 50mm mortar and AT rifles on small flames of war bases.  I base the AT and Infantry guns on medium flames of war bases.   In addition I need to do some vehicles, but this should not be too difficult for early Germans!

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From the German 1940 Army List for Chain of Command – you can download the full list here.

 

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Painted batch to date.

 

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Sniper in the middle, PAK 36 AT Gun to the right and a rifle section to the left.

 

I have also made good progress on the BEF 1940 Platoon using some old Skytrex and Peter Pig Miniatures. We should be able to wrap this project up in a not too distant future.

Joe Dever

I was saddened to hear that Joe Dever had died a few days ago. He was one of my childhood heroes who allowed me to become one as well every now and then in the fantastic world of Magnamund. I met Joe a few years ago at a gaming convention where he was busy taking pictures of the proceedings. We had a short but very enjoyable chat. Hats off to you Sir!

The picture is of the Swedish translation of his first game book “Flight from the Dark”.

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/ Have a good week