Thursday, 23 February 2012

Star War Forces Assembled!

So if you've been following this blog you'll know the latest 'rush of blood to the head' is to put together a force of Star Wars CMG figures to put into action to test out the FUBAR rules. The orders from two eBay shops have arrived so I took these shots for Steve to have a look at to get some feel of what the game would look like. First up the best equipped force, Imperial Stormtroopers led here by Darth Vader:

These are the other Imperial troops I figures (there's another Imperial Navy officer and a Scout somewhere) which might make up a little unit, say for a shipborne action.

Next up are the Rebel Troopers led by a Princess Leia figure. Numbers-wise not at all bad, similar to the Imperial Stormtroopers. There is the little question of lack of heavy weapons, especially if we equip the Stormtroopers with an AT-ST, how will the Rebel Troopers be able to bring it down....But there is another fly in the ointment. Have a close look at the figures strolling with their weapons across their chests...

...A quick close-up...

...and another, which shows the problem more clearly. The figures from the 'Imperial Entanglements' range are huge! I know these are more 'toys' than models, but what was in Wizards heads when they let this one slip passed them. They just do not scale. Now I know this is often much less of a problem on the tabletop than when placed side by side, but this is going to bug me!

Next up my little force of Rebel Commandos. Again to be honest there is a scaling issue with the much nicer (but older and very expensive) figures from the Rebel Storm range and those from later ranges, but this is no way nearly as noticeable, as the earlier figures are in a half face down couching forward pose, so true scale height is not obvious.

Thius is my Hoth troopers with officer and Luke Skywalker with blaster. Enough for a small hold-out garrison may be but only just one unit, certainly not an 'army'...

These are my Wookies (might have one more). Nice little force, scaling not an issue...they are all 'huge' in comparison to human figures, and so what if some look 7 foot and others 8 foot tall!

These are my little Jawa unit. A bit of a scaling fact more a colour match issue...but in fact with these little fellas crouching and all, nothing more to worry about...

This is a little collection of 'fringers' with the new addition the Twi'lek assassin in front. I've got four or five more not pictured here. OK as a unit. In fact, as I've got at least 4 Mon Calamari mercs, these could be deployed as a unit with the Rebel Alliance..Next up, my bargain basement (£1.99) Han Solo and four human characters. One with a rifle didn't turn up and I still need to chase it. Pleased with these as they are very versatile and can use them in other games (eg. Traveller, Serenity based) too.

I'm very pleased with this figure (I bought 3), a 'Whipid Tracker', very much my idea of a 'characterful' but 'generic' primitive alien 'aborigine' to fit into any role-playing as well SW setting... could these guys, which could help 'dress' a scenario as senators, diplomats, officials, nobles, merchants or whatever...

Finally, within the collection I've got five of the main characters from the first Trilogy. Nice to add, R2D2, Obi Wan, Luke with Light Sabre and Yoda, but basically enough to crew the Millenium Falcon and chase around on missions....

So Steve any thoughts for getting these guys into action?

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Sources for Star Wars figures

I placed my order yesterday with two eBay shops on eBay UK, 'Yugblad's Mountain Emporium' and 'Robinson Gaming Supplies'. Both have a good selection of Star Wars figures. There are a couple of other eBay shops specialising in SW figures, notably 'Green Angel Games' and 'Miniature Games', although Green Angel is generally more expensive for common figures, although to be fair they do have more figs from the older sets. Elsewhere on the web, UK based 'The 13th Floor', which used to be one of the biggest over here, no longer seems to have any in stock.

An article on Wikipedia I found yesterday confirmed that Wizards of the Coast decided not to renew its SW licence in 2010, so there definitely won't be any new sets or re-issues, so the time-span to pick up any more figures is likely to be limited.

Doing some more 'google' searches last night, I found this shop, based in the US:

The CCG Armoury

It can be found at

The 'blurb' says it ships internationally, and prices are much more reasonable than the UK, eg. 50 cents (ie. around 30p) for a recent common figure like a Hoth trooper rather than £1 a fig from the UK shops. So, say a 24 figure, force which would be £24 plus in the UK would work out at just £8, which would make the higher postage worth it.

There also appear to be LOTS of tempting goods in stock, which I couldn't find in the UK stores, including large models from the 'Universe' sets such as Tuskan raider on Bantha for around 8 dollars. Not good for the wallet to see all this stuff available, and probably not for that long!

Anyway, as I'm restraining myself for now, I thought I'd make this blog entry so I don't lose the URL.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Order for Star Wars Reinforcements

Following on from the last blog entry brainstorming on using Star Wars figures with Steve for a game of FUBAR, I came to the conclusion, that the reason part of the reason I have not got my SW collection out of the cupboard to game, is that it is only barely large enough to game a small man-to-man skirmish game, such as the CMG, and not big enough to even game with a small unit action ruleset such as FUBAR.

So whether we end up loving or hating the FUBAR rules, there is a pretty low chance of this collection seeing action, unless I expand it a bit. Yesterday was my birthday, so there was an inflow of cash to the wargaming coffers (along with funds from Christmas, as yet untouched). I have been pondering for a while what to buy next, with lots of ideas but no strong feelings, so I guess the 'force was with me' on this one, and I was straight on to eBay!

My initial idea was to spend 20 quid or so to just get enough for one FUBAR game, but looking around on the internet for figures, I discovered that Wizards of the Coast, who have mucked about with this excellent figure range from day one-using the whole annoying collectible miniatures concept selling boxes 'lucky dip' of figures, indulging in this ridiculous artificial creation of 'rare' figures, discontinuing a release barely a few months after issuing it etc. etc. - have now given up ENTIRELY on this whole line. It has been frustrating enough trying to put together the collection that I have, so I really didn't want to find I postponed purchasing some figures I'd end up wanting pretty soon, only to find them unobtainable. Already some figures that I wanted and could have bought a year or so ago for a pound each, now are costing double that, so I decided to go for it and make sure I at least got all the 'essentials' on board and enough to make sure I had enough variety to get at least a three or four games out of the collection. I could console myself that they were at least painted figures, and the initial enthusiasm could translate into figures that could go onto the table straight away, rather than going into the 'paint queue' and not appearing on the table for a year (or two?!?) later.

So for Steve's benefit my new order to expand the SW Collection is as follows:

8 Imperial Stormtroopers - From Imperial Entanglements set (£1.50 each not the £2.50 plus each commanded by earlier figs).
2 Imperial Stormtroopers with Heavy Weapons (From IE and Alliance and Empire ranges)
3 Imperial Engineers (Dark Times range at 99p each)
1 Imperial Fighter Pilot (Legacy of the Force range at 99p)

This brings my own force of Stormtroopers up to 20 figs plus two Heavy Weapons. Hopefully Steve will have a few in his collection so we'll now have a respectable force. I got the Engineers because writing the scenario brainstorm section of the earlier blog entry I realised that actions on-board ship and inside Imperial 'complexes', will be fairly easy to stage, scenery-wise. The Imperial Fighter Pilot made me think that having a downed Imperial Fighter with top secret plans etc. or maybe Lord Vader on board would make a good scenario, and the figure would make a good objective marker. Just need a Tie-Fighter model kit to 'smash up' to go with him!

8 Rebel Troopers (from IE range, because they are only 99p each)
5 Rebel Troopers (from AE range, tad more expensive at £1.25 per fig)
7 Rebel Commandos (from Rebel Storm range, costing £2.50 ea. - ouch!!!)
1 Veteran Commando (IE range at £1.99)
4 Rebel Commandos (AE range at 99p)

This means I have a force of Rebel Troopers to match the Imperial Stormtrooper one, ie. 20 figs with my existing 7. Also have a 12 man Rebel Commando force, bit small, but they will be veteran/elites, and probably deployed with something else. The Rebel Storm figures unfortunately just look the part, while the IE and AE ones are pretty dull and lack capes, so on the basis that I might not get the chance to get 7 in one go again, I bit the bullet and paid up £2.50 each for them.

1 Wookie Trooper (from Knights of the Old Republic range)
2 Wookie Scoundrels (Clone Wars range at 99p each)
2 Wookie Freedom Fighters (AE range at 99p each)

Also found some Wookie's to be able to put a unit on the table. With my existing 4 figures that gives me 9 figures. Not a full force, but just about enough for a 'neutral' force or to add to other Rebel Alliance forces.

1 Jawa Scout (Knights of Old Republic range at £1.99)
4 Jawa Scavenger (IE range at 99p each)

I umm'ed and ahh'ed about what to do about Tuskan raiders and Jawa. Originally added a force of Tuskan raiders, but not going to be that good for FUBAR, as the figures are all fighting hand-to-hand, and realistically I'd need a decent sized force to put on the table to make a credible 'raiding force' that would survive more than a couple of rounds of gunfire. The Jawas on the other hand could be a nice little force which adds a bit of variety to any scenario. Originally had more in the order, but scaled it back. I'll have a force now of 8 figures, a just a unit or two, but could be a 'third force' on the table, and the sort of force that could easily be guarding something valuable to both sides that they've scavenged, or leap out and ambush one side or the other, or be the target of an ambush themselves.

1 General Han Solo (Masters of the Force range at £1.99)
2 Human Scoungers (Legacy of the Force range at 99p)
2 Corellian Security Officers (Legacy of the Force range at 99p)
1 Antaran Ranger (Jedi Academy Range at 99p)

Added these because I thought they might be generally useful for my overall Sci-Fi figure collection. Getting a Han Solo figure for just £1.99 is a bit of a result. So far I just have Luke Skywalker with blaster and Princess Leia as personalities for my Rebel Alliance forces, which is pretty limited. It also gives me 4 of the 6 passengers and crew on the Millenium Falcon in the original 'Star Wars' movie - still need Obi Wan -but not going to pay £13 for one!-and R2D2- and Solo is good for various 'prequel' adventures re-enacting his smuggling days. The other four figures are basically 'civilian' looking characters, two with blaster pistols one with a blaster rifle, that could stand in for 'moisture farmers', merchant space crew, colonists, smugglers or whatever, in a Star Wars or other - eg. Traveller, Firefly- setting.

1 Imperial Dignitary (IE range at 99p)
1 Imperial Inquisition (Dark Times range at 99p)
3 Whipid Trackers (IE range 99p each)
1 Twi'lek Black Sun Vigo (IE range at 99p)

Finally for good measure, I added these figures to the order. Sci-Fi 'civilian' figures not waiving guns are very few and far between in any 28mm figure range, and the first two are just that. For Star Wars games, they would make good ambassadors or officials to protect for some scenario, or 'just dressing' for any town standing around talking. The Whipid Trackers just seized my attention as figures. Very nice little primitive/low tech aliens that any galatic explorers might run into on some backwater planet that they might employ as guides or exchange a few beads and trinkets with. Twi'lek was just a good figure to round out a Fringer force.

There are a few other things I would have liked to included in the order to 'round out' the collection, apart from the afore-mentioned Tuskan Raiders. I had originally put some Hoth Rebel Fighters in the order to give me two rebel forces, but for a Hoth scenario I also need Snow Troopers to fight them, which are otherwise fairly limited in their use, and I only have two figures at this point, so dropped them. I'd also have liked some more 'Fringers', so I at least had one, and preferably two decent forces (for Bounty Hunters versus Smugglers etc,), also at least a unit of mercenaries, to beef up either side and add some variety to different games, and I had thought to spend 16 quid or so getting another army altogether from .

But this will do for now and has blown enough of the Birthday and Christmas funds, certainly more than planned.

When they arrive, I should have two solid forces (Imperial Stormtroopers & Rebel Troopers) plus the Commandos, which if elite can be deployed as a smaller force. I now have my little Wookie and Jawa forces, to 'mix it up' in terms of scenarios (Commandos aided by Wookies trying to break into a rebel base? Both Imperial Stormtroopers and Rebel Commandos tasked with recovering some item recovered by Jawa scavengers?). I also have a few figures which might in themselves be a whole inspiration for a scenario - the downed Imperial Fighter pilot; the little human merchant crew being attacked by Fringers when bringing supplies to the Empire/Rebel Alliance; the Imperial dignitary being escorted by Stormtroopers who Commandos/Bounty hunters want to snatch, or the Whipid Trackers who could lead a Commando force through a hidden trail passed Imperial Stormtroopers...or be bribed to lead them into an ambush....

....all in all hopefully could be very worthwhile for future gaming...

Thursday, 9 February 2012

FUBAR with Star Wars CMG Figures?

Steve and I have been knocking together some ideas on doing some Sci-Fi, proper stuff not that Warhammer 40K sci-fantasy nonsense which for some inexplicable reason seems the most popular of any wargame in our club.

I recently got inspired by following up some of the new blog links on a long-time favourite blog I follow 'Dropship Horizon', the bible for 15mm sci-fi gamers.

I found the FUBAR rules - nice to see a new set of rules that is:

1) Free, rather than £25-40 quid that seems the norm these days
2) Is an extremely concise one-page, rather than recent trend for 200 plus pages

This inspired me to read some more blogs with battle reports to get some more idea on how the game played. Clearly a pretty simple game, but frankly as I get older, I seem to yearn more for something quick and fun I can basically remember easily even after a couple of pints rather, than something that requires any brain excerse, which I'm rarely in the mood for on a Wednesday club night.

My first thought was to follow the other blogs and go the 15mm route, and add some figures I've had my eye on for ages to my 15mm collection. The problem is most of my 15mm collection is element not individually based, which is what is needed for FUBAR. Not insuperable but annoying.

I have a fair few 28mm Sci-Figs individually based, but I seem to lack inspiration for using these, possibly because although the figures are individually very nice, I really don't feel I have any forces which really go together as opponents.

Texting back and force, Steve checked out the FUBAR site, and threw out a suggestion: What about Star Wars? There's an add-on sheet for it and I've got 40 odd Star Wars figs...
...and I've got all those Star Wars Collectible Miniatures Game figures, I thought to myself, figures I from to time keep telling myself, "Don't forget you've got these!. They must be good for a game some time."

So I dived off into the attic and dug out the figures. I was unfortunately somewhat disappointed with what I found. I had it in my head I had a pretty full set, but it didn't seem to add up to much of a FUBAR force. I realised that the force was a pretty decent one for staging a CMG game or two, but this is much more of a man-to-man skirmish that FUBAR which is a small unit action.

In FUBAR you group your troops into small units of 4-8 figures, and you probably want to have 4-5 units. So FUBAR only needs 20-40 odd figures per side, but I didn't seem to have enough for this.

I had a count up, and found I had 77 figures. Enough in principle you would of thought but the biggest single force I had (Imperial Stormtroopers) was only 12 figures. This is itself pretty small, but this wasn't the worst of it.....just 8 Hoth troopers, only 7 Rebel Troopers....maybe a dozen 'Fringers' ie. random aliens. but a measly four Wookies, three Tuskan Raiders, three Jawa, three Bespin guards, a single Rebel Commando. Lots of figures but not really any to make make much in the way of 'units', much less even a small FUBAR skirmish force of four or five units.

For Steve's benefit this is the collection:


Darth Vader

12 Storm Troopers (Various poses)
2 Imperial Scouts (without Jetbike)
1 Imperial Scout on Jetbike
2 Snow Troopers
1 Emperor's Guard
2 Probe Droids

2 Imperial Fleet Officers

Rebel Alliance

Luke Skywalker (with Blaster)
Princess Leia (with Blaster)

7 Rebel Troopers (two poses)
7 Hoth Troopers
2 Rebel Commandos
2 Rebel Pilots
1 Rebel Commando
2 Scout Robots

Fringers - Smugglers, Bounty Hunters etc.

4 Mon Calamari Mercenaries
3 Gamorrean Guards
2 Bothan Spies
1 Ithorian Scout
1 Quarren Assassin
1 Duros Mercenary
1 Twi'lik Scoundrel
1 Lom
1 Bossk

15 Figures in total


4 Wookies (including one Chewbacca with crossbow)
3 Tuskan Raiders
3 Jawa
2 Ewoks
1 Wampa

3 Bespin Guards

It is pretty clear even with Steve's 40 figures or so we are going to be pretty pushed to get two good forces together, so a few more purchases would be necessary. But deciding what to buy depends on deciding a scenario to work towards for our first and subsequent games.

To kick off the brainstorming to come up with some scenarios, I guess the best inspiration is to start with the films themselves:

1. Imperial Stormtroopers attack a Rebel Liner to capture Princess Leia, who attempts to escape with her droids.

If you wanted to 'game the film', the scenario could be Princess Leia needs to get to R2D2, encode her holographic message "...Obi Wan Kenobi, you're our only hope etc.", then she and the droids have to get to the escape pods. All the time the Rebel Alliance Troopers would be trying to keep the Stormtroopers from taking over the ship. Ship corridors would be set up to allow alternative routes to the escape pods, which the Stormtroopers would try to interdict/close down. Presumably, Stormtroopers re-inforcements could keep arriving throughout the game, which might 'save' on the figures we'd need as 'dead 'uns' could keep coming back. The FUBAR reaction rules would fit in well, as Princess Leia, the Droids would have to roll successful reaction rolls to move around, any hits on them would be taken as 'suppressions', hampering their ability to move, and giving the Imperial Stormtroopers a chance to capture them. C3PO would be well represented as a 'green' unit, who keeps dithering and so risks being left behind. Simple two player game. Game would end with Darth Vader coming on and being given a report!

Troops needed: I personally lack an R2D2 model. The are about 6 quid on eBay. Main problem is small size of current Rebel Alliance Trooper force (how long would 7 figures hold out?). Rebel Troopers sell for about £ 1 to £2 on eBay.

Scenery: Not too demanding. Could be as simple as some thick white/grey paper cut into corridors and rooms and placed on a black cloth to represent a ship deckplan. SW CMG comes with some floor tiles that could easily be photocopied and stuck on card or whatever.

Derviative scenarios based on this: Easy to think of lots, either based on the Imperial Stormtroopers vs Rebel Troopers or fight on a starship scenario. The Rebellion is/has been fought out on numerous planets in numerous settings across the galaxy. So we could swap the scenario to a 'City Assault' (city in pristine or late 1942 Stalingrad condition!), 'Attack on/Defending a Colony', ie. few buildings and surrounding area, or Desert Warfare, Mountain Warfare, Forest War, Jungle War or whatever. Similarly, in terms of fight on a starship, we could just reverse the scenario (Rebels assaulting an Imperial Ship), or swap around sides, Imperials/Rebels attacking Fringer/Smugglers/Pirates or whatever.

2. Jawas and Tuskan Raiders on Tatooine

There are no 'battles' as such on Tatooine in the first film, but with the Imperial Stormtroopers on the trail of the Droids, their capture by Jawa's, Luke running into Tuskan Raiders and then returning to find his moisture farm pillaged, a lot of 'action' is hinted at.

Derivative scenarios based on this: Tuskan Raiders obviously 'raid', presumably moisture farmers or ambush Jawa landcrawlers. They could attack Imperial Stormtroopers or Imperial Stormtroopers could attack their camp. Jawa's ambushed the droids, so could ambush some one else, or they might end up picking up some other valuable 'scrap' and find someone attacking them to recover it. Then there are Jaba the Hutt's motley gang in 'Return of the Jedi', and the Tuskan Raiders turn up again in 'Attack of the Clones'...

Troops: The main catch with all of these ideas for Tuskan Raiders is it is all based around just three figures in the SW ranges, of which I currently possess a grand total of THREE figures!!! The Tuskan Raiders are armed with a mace, so not exactly the sort of warfare we get with FUBAR. There was I think a mounted Tuskan Raider in one of the Universe sets, but found none on eBay and could command a fair price. Jawa Landcrawler probably not the most difficult modelling project, box on wheels, but ........Probably getting well ahead of ourselves here not most promising area to game....

Scenery: Fairly simple. Anything deserty would do. Preferably plenty of desert hills for steep sided canyon walls.

3. Escape from Mos Eisley

Luke, Obi Wan and the droids come to Mos Eisley find Han Solo and Chewbacca and hire them to get them off world. Stormtroopers catch them, fire-fight ensues, Millienium Falcon takes off, with Imperial Fighters in hot pursuit.....

All stirring stuff, but this is man-to-man skirmish action, not the stuff of FUBAR...

Derivative scenarios based on this: Despite there not being any big 'battles' here, the setting of Mos Eisley and the smugglers, bounty-hunters and 'all-the-scum-of-the-galaxy' (or Fringers as the CMG material calls them), is an important part of the Star Wars setting. Imperial Storm Trooper raids on Smuggler gangs, Bounty Hunters looking for a party to kill/capture for an Imperial Reward, Smugglers vs Smugglers, Bounty Hunters vs Bounty Hunters, all good stuff, and useful for three player or more games! 'Scum of the Galaxy' can of course turn up on any world (Jungle World, Rock World, whatever...). Moss Eisley type colony could be a good setting for other types of fight eg. Imperial vs Rebel. Whole scenario of rushing to get aboard a starship and take off can be reused in lots of settings, and with all sorts of opponents.

Troops: Lots of Fringers and someone to fight (which could include other Fringers)

Scenery: Mos Eisley (or any setting like it) is fairly easy to do. Flat mud-brick desert houses basically.

4. Rescue of Princess Leia

Plenty of Blasters firing off here, but again man-to-man skirmish (ie. Han, Luke, Leia and Obi Wan only on the Rebel side) not really FUBAR scale.

Derivative scenarios based on this: Pretty ease to up the scale of the action, to make this more of a commando style action on an Imperial Battlecrusier. Pretty similar to Scenario 1 above, but in reverse.

Scenery: As Scenario 1. Just this time an Imperial Cruiser.

5. Battle of Hoth

'The Empire Strikes Back' kicks off with the Battle of Hoth. Unlike a lot of what we have discussed this IS very much FUBAR scale action, not man-to-man skirmish.

Troops needed: Very FUBAR it is, but to 'game the film' a fair amount of kit required - AT-ATs, Snow speeders, a full force of Hoth troopers and of Stormtroopers, and if you want to do it true to the film, they sure be Snowtroopers. Sounds a bit expensive and ambitious for a first project.

Scenery: Have seen some guys using a white cloth and snow-covered mountains rocks for a WH 40K game at the club. Not sure if it is club terrain.

Derivative scenarios: The Hoth troopers are clearly the Rebel Alliance's troops with cold weather equipment so they can be reused in other colder conditions (Mountains, Forest etc.). Whole 'full scale assault on a base' very reusable in lots of other settings.

6. Cloud City on Bespin

Not really much of an action scene here - Han and the boys just surrendered, but they could have fought it out. Mainly included it as I have three Bespin Guards.

Troops required: Some Bespin guards (more than 3 certainly!), Landro figure.

Derivative scenarios based on this: Bespin could be a good setting. No going over the edge of the board/scenary here. It is a long way down!

7. Fight on Jabba the Hutt's Barge

Moving on to 'The Return of the Jedi', the 'action' part of the movie starts with the big fight between Luke and the gang on Jabba the Hutt's Barge. All good fun, but again man-to-man skirmish.

Derivative scenarios based on this: Could easily scale this up. Jabba's motley crew are a great twist on the Fringer theme.

Troops needed: Guess a Jabba model would help, but could just be his underlyings, ie. selection of suitable Fringers, especially Gamorean guards, Twi'leks, Bounty Hunters etc.

Scenery: Jabba's Barge would make a great modelling project...unfortunately not much of a modeller!

8. Battle of Endor

Like the Battle of Hoth, this is another 'biggie' in terms of the sort of battle you could game with FUBAR. There are two parts to the Battle which are:

-Ewoks - Yes, proving how a bunch of cute 'teddy bears' with stone age technology can take on the most technologically advanced force in the universe that has crushed rebel forces across the known galaxy...and win! Really believeable that one!
-Rebel Commandos- More conventional stuff. Typical 'FUBAR' sort of set up.

Troops needed: To game the film lots of Ewoks - I have a grand total of TWO, and Steve ONE (which he says he'll be converting to a casualty figure because he hates Ewoks!), Steve has a AT-ST (wow! Can't wait to play with that toy!). I have ONE Rebel Commando...or and two Imperial Scouts and a Speeder. Figure-wise might as well be starting from scratch. Given Steve's loathing of Ewoks can't see us doing this one!

Scenary: ...just pass those trees in the scenary box....

Derivative scenarios: I'm sure we could think of lots of things to do with Ewoks-but I'm sure Steve would rather we didn't. The Endor setting, forest moon and all that, very re-usable. Commandos and secret base, very transferable to all sorts of settings, and reversible (Imperials/Bounty Hunters penetrating Rebel base).

9. Duels on the Death Star

More man to man skirmish in the film, but there have Emperor Model and (solitary) Royal Guard. Could have some sort of assassination style scenario. More a scene for Jedi duelling than FUBAR small units blasting away at each other, but could be an excuse for another Imperial Stormtrooper vs. Rebel Commando action, with Imperial throne room as a setting.

10. Prequel Scenarios

Personally, I have never come away more disappointed from seeing a film in my life than watching the 'Phantom Menace'. Maybe my expectations were too high, maybe the 'magic' just isn't there for a film like this when you watch it for the first time after your 30th rather than 15th birthday, or maybe Lucas did a better job with more limited budget the first time, and played it too safe with a 'formulaic' plot, and got more enthusiastic acting for these 'ham' roles out of his original American cast, than the Brits he cast for the Jedi and very young actors for the main parts. I could bearly watch 'Attack of the Clones', in fact I'm not sure I've seen it all the way through, and struggled to stay the course with 'Revenge of the Sith'....while I'm not alone in my reaction....maybe I would have felt differently if I'd been 15 when I saw it. If I was I might be thinking about:

Jedi Knights vs Trade Federation Battle Droids
Naboo vs Trade Federation Battle Droids
Gungans vs Trade Federation Battle Droids
Clone Armies, Jedis, etc....

But I'm not and I don't have the figures. Trade Fed Battle Droids would make a cool army I guess, but lets move on ...


Well my conclusion from all of this, is probably the best option is to think around Scenario 1 or some derivative of it as a starting point, based on figs already in the collection, as easiest to stage and with most 're-usablity'. After that Scenario 3, ie. something to do with Fringers, comes in second.

Probably worth getting at least TWO forces together, even if FUBAR are not the rules we end up with, simply because this set could just languish in the back of the cupboard waiting for an opponent who wants to play the CMG who might never turn up. Prime candidates for some more purchases are the Imperial Stormtroopers and Rebel Troopers. After that maybe better to have a few 'units' to be added to one or other force for variety, rather than a whole new army. At least for now.

It is worth bearing in mind that with hundreds of figures in the CMG range, a lot are not actually 'troops', and it is 'troops' that you are going to need for a FUBAR, rather than CMG man-to-man skirmish game. Troops most suitable for a FUBAR-style game, which could be built up into a proper force are as follows:

Orginal Trilogy

Imperial Stormtroopers
Snow Troopers
Royal Guards

Rebel Alliance
Rebel Troopers
Hoth Troopers
Rebel Commandos

'Native' Troops
Tuskan Raiders
Smugglers and Fringers
Hutt Mercenaries

Pequel Trilogy

Trade Federation Battle Droids
Clone Troopers
Jedi Knights
Sith Lords

Finally worth remembering there are quite a few figures in the SW CMG range, that are based on extra that are barely seen in the films (if so I missed them!), but would make good 'trooper' figures and could be the basis of a whole force. Because they are 'common' figures and not of very popular, they are cheap and easy to get hold, eg. of 20 for 20 quid or whatever. The danger in putting all the effort and expense into building up your force is you quickly become bored with Stormtroopers vs Rebel Troopers all the time. With two armies you can only have one combination, but with three you get three, with four armies there are six and so on, so twenty odd quid can prolong the interest quite a bit. Possible figures which are promising are:

Niemodian Trooper (two poses), Devaronian Soldiers or Chagrian Mercenaries

Well here endth the brain-storming. Need to get some feedback from Steve, and put think about ordering some more figures...

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

WAB Battle - Anglo-Saxons vs Vikings

Overview of the battlefield showing my forces advancing on the left
I have to confess that within my group within our club's annual 'Winter King' Tournament, that the one army I was rather fearful of meeting in combat was the Vikings. The previous year I'd seen Phil's Anglo-Saxon army make a very successful outflanking maneuver against a Viking army, only for one of its units on the other flank to fail its 'Fear of the Vikings' test, at which point two other units including the Cyning's (King's) bodyguard also failed their panic tests and legged it! Only one of my units (the huscarles) had a high enough 'core' morale to be immune to this test, the rest were all susceptible to running like rabbits at the sight of charging elite Viking troops.

My battle plan was to set most of my army in an echelon formation with a refused right flank, and my huscarles leading the assault on the left, supported by a small 24 figure unit of thegns/coerls in march formation ready to make a rapid march up the left flank and outflank the Vikings on that side. On my right centre I also had a hill, and my plan was to leave one of my units there which they could defend in shieldwall, defence being a forte of the Anglo-Saxon army. Across the table, my opponent Ginge fielded an army borrowed and designed by Reece, our reigning club champion, infamous for his devilish mastery of the subtleties of the WAB army lists. There were several units I didn't recognise, including a small little unit which turned out to be Jomsvikings facing my left flank and a unit which I thought were skirmishers on my right flank, which turned out to be super-hard Gestir warriors in light infantry formation.

Ginge advanced most of his line against me, except for the Jomsvikings on my far left, which he held back not wanted to get caught by my outflanking manuever, screened by archers. I advanced only on my left. On my right flank the Gestir light infantry swept through some woods and straight at my refused Abbod's unit on my far left, my slingers taking out a couple of figures as they came on. Otherwise (as usual it would seem) I lost the tussle between skirmishers, with my screening force of slingers being send packing by his archers. It was fairly clear that I couldn't get past these archers on my left unless I charged them, which I used the flanking unit to turn and do. This scattered them, but I had to 'back up' this unit because it was in the way of my huscarles getting to grips with his Jomsvikings.

Meanwhile on my right, the Gestir were in range of my refused Abbod's unit and charged. As it happened, however, the Gestir were strung out and only half the unit were close enough to make contact. This proved highly advantageous, as I was defending with two ranks. Ginge fortunately rolled poorly, too, which was lucky as his Gestir could have been lethal. Instead I slaughtered most of those making contact, sent them running and ran them down!

A Bondi unit was following on aiming straight at my Abbod's unit so I threw caution to the wind and advanced to provoke a charge too . Here's a shot of them making contact:
Flushed with success against the Gestir, my Abbod's unit takes on the Bondi
 On my left my huscarles were still some way from the Jomsvikings, but a unit of hirdmen charged into a unit of thegns and coerls to the right of my Cyning's huscarles. Fortunately they survived both the 'Fear of the Vikings' test and the first round of combat.All three pictures on this page were taken at this stage of the battle.
My thegn and coerl unit on the right of my Cyning's Huscarles stands firm n the face of charging Viking Hirdmen
The next round, Ginge threw his Jomsvikings into the fray against my huscarles. His Jarl (king) and hirdmen were still steadily advancing towards my unit who refused to move from their hill.

The long and the short of it is that all three of the key combats went my way, with the thegn/coerl units being able to fight in two ranks in the second round of combat (when the Vikings with throwing weapons were down to one) proving key. The Abbod's unit broke the Bondi, I think in the first round of combat, while the small unit of Jomsvikings was virtually slaughtered by my double-handed axe wielding huscarles, Cyning and army standard after a couple of rounds of combat. My solid 32 fig unit of thegns and coerls on the right of the Cyning proved their worth in second and third rounds of combat against the hirdsmen, not able to stand taking two hits for every one they struck, and broke too.

Only the Jarl's hirdsmen were left standing. Even my slingers rallied and his skirmishers kept running, so having taken out five Viking units, without losing a single one of mine, there was no question of the result!

Reece turned up at the end to berate Ginge on some of his tactical errors with 'his' army, especially the over-hasty attack with his Gestir. As Tony, the only player in my group who had beaten me, lost two of his other battles, this left me top of my tournament group and clear to the next round. Unfortunately ructions at the club meant us wargamers decamping to a new venue and the tournament was cancelled. Eager as I was for more 'blood' I could at least count my first WAB tournament a success, and hope to repeat the performance next time, for which I'll probably have to master the 'War and Conquest' rules which are fast over-taking WAB in popularity at the club for popularity.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

WAB Battles - Second outing Anglo-Saxons vs Anglo-Saxons

View from my side of the table. Ross's skirmishers fleeing charge by unit on my left and Cyning leading his huscarles into combat in the centre. Abbod's unit tormented by archers on the right flank
This was only my second ever game of Warhammer Ancient Battles, and after the kicking my Anglo-Saxons took from the Late Romans in my first game (for which mercifully no pictures survive!) I was beginning to wonder if I could expect a 'long apprenticeship' of humiliating defeats before I got the hang of it.

My second outing in our 'Winter King' tournament was against Ross, who also fielded an Anglo-Saxon army. Anglo-Saxon armies with their long thrusting spears and shieldwall tactics are better at defending than attacking, so I chose to put my 'Cyning' (King) and army standard bearer with my huscarles armed with double-handed axes to give me a 'rock hard' unit that could attack. Otherwise I took 4 units of mixed thegns/coerls, two 32 figure units, two 24 fig and some slingers. Ross equipped his Cyning's unit with huscarles, thegns and coerls (not entirely legally but a genuine mistake in reading the army lists), took a unit of pure thegns and two of thegns/coerls, plus slingers and archers. Phil set up terrain, which initially did not seem to favour me, as dense terrain on one flank meant I couldn't exploit having one more unit and took a while to clear a hedge in my front. I lost my skirmishers early on, charged by his slingers. I charged them back with a 24 fig thegn/coerl unit on my left flank, sending them firing and fleeing. In the centre I advanced my Cyning and Huscarles in echelon formation and charged a unit  of thegns/coerls. On the right I advanced my thegn/coerl unit led by my Abbod, but Ross held his unit back and harassed me with archers. The top picture shows the battle at this stage from my side of the table, and the pic below shows the view from Ross's side of the table.
View from Ross's side of the table. Unit on the left are facing down my Abbod. Unit on far right is his thegn unit who were shortly to demolish my 24 fig thegn/coerls when they exposed a flank by charging the slingers again
 Ross's thegn unit is on the right of the shot above, his Cyning's unit is in the centre as yet unengaged.
Close up of same scene. Huscarle's getting stuck in and a bit of a traffic jam on my left with two units 'stacked' one behind the other
 My huscarles started to efficiently demolish the thegn/coerl unit to their front, but at this point I made two 'unforced errors'. The first was to decide to charge the slingers again. The idea was to move my 24 fig thegn/ceorl unit clear of the unit behind to let them advance and engage Ross's thegns, while leaving the first unit positioned to swing around to make a rear attack on his centre. This proved dumb, as a failed charge was inevitable, and I simply left an exposed flank for his thegn unit to charge. The second error was to allow a gap to open in my echeleon formation such that Ross had enough space swing his Cyning unit into the flank of my Huscarles. He risked exposing the flank of his Cyning's unit, but it could be battle winning move.
Close up of my Abbod's unit getting harrassed by skirmishing archers as Ross's formed unit holds back
 On my right flank, the pinpick of archers was getting annoying so I decided to charge in even though this meant in the first round I would fight one rank vs two, albeit if my Abbod gave the unit a re-roll on misses.
Ross's thegn unit on the left having smashed my 24 fig thegn/ceorls, would have made a follow-on charge into the flank of my huscarles (as positioned here) if the huscarles had not won their combat and moved clear in their pursuit. Ross's Cyning's unit on the right which appears in a similar position to the previous shot has, in fact, been very busy, having flank charged my huscarles, taken a flank charge from my unit, and managed to outrun them and rally!
In the event Ross's gamble didn't come off. He rolled absymally with his Cyning unit vs my huscarles, and my other unit was able to flank charge him, a combat he lost but survived the pursuit and rallied. My 24 fig thegn/coerl unit on the left were completely destroyed by a flank charge from Ross's thegn unit, who threatened to run into the flank of my huscarles. Fortunately my huscarles broke the thegn/coerl unit to their front and ran them down in the pursuit. This meant they advanced clear of the thegns path, so they couldn't charge on into their flank (as per photo above), but instead ran on into my 32 fig thegn/ceorl unit behind the 24 fig unit that they had destroyed (as per photo below). The combat on the right continued for several turns (unit near baseline are destroyed 24 fig unit from my left flank and not in the battle).
On the far left, because they would have failed to contact my huscarles in fact Ross's thegn's follow on charge took them into my 32 fig thegn/coerl unit. This proved a great result for me! On the right my Abbod's unit has charged in (unit bottom right has been destroyed and taken out of play)
 I had planned for my huscarles to win this battle for me in the centre, but in the event it was decided on the flanks. Ross's over-run charge by his thegns on my left proved disasterous. He (attacking with just one rank) rolled poorly, while hitting back with the (two) front ranks of thegns I inflicted several hits, broke the unit and ran them down in the pursuit.

On the right my Abbod's unit was also victorious, breaking their opponents. Although they didn't run them down in the pursuit, only Ross's Cyning unit was standing. He'd put four formed units on the table, seen two destroyed, one was running and his Cyning was surrounded on all sides. I'd fielded five formed units, seen one destroyed but had four in fighting conditon. Ross could have broken my centre with his risky flank attack on my huscarles, but the gamble hadn't come off, and I was very pleased to have won my first ever WAB victory!!!

Friday, 3 February 2012

WW1 'Mid to Late war' British

These really nice figures are actually sold by Hat Industrie as World War I Canadians, but as far as I can tell any difference between the British and Canadian uniforms were absolutely minimal, and as there are only one other set of WW1 British with the helmets issued from 1916 onwards, they perhaps the best available.

I really like them, and much as having painted up a whole force of WW1 French, I have another army already to face off against my mid-late war Germans, it just didn't seem right not to be able to put on the Somme, Ypres and all the other charateristic battles of WW1 with British Tommies.

These figures don't get a great write up on Plastic Soldier Review, but I really, really like these figures. I think the poses are great and they are a nice 'large' figure in this scale, which go well with the Revell Germans.

The paint job isn't completely finished. I will probably give flesh, straps and packs a brown wash, and I'm umming and ahhing about whether to give all the uniforms a highlight before varnishing and terraining the bases, but I think they look pretty good as they are.

I have just short of 120 rifleman anf officers painted up. I just have the heavy weapons (machine guns, Lewis guns and mortars) and some command bases to make up. That should be plenty for a game with either Contemptible Little Armies or GW's 'Great War.... as soon as they are done, it'll be 'Over the Top'...

Catching up on 2011: Russian/French Resistence Partisans

While I'm catching up on things that I got done in 2011 but didn't get chance to photo, I've added these snaps of some Caesar figures that I completed. They come from two figure sets variously referred to as 'WW2 Resistence Fighters' and 'WW2 Partisans'. The two sets have a slightly different feel to them, but can easily be mixed to provide a bigger force. When I made up a deck of 'battalion cards' for Rapid Fire (basically a card deck with details of a battalion to be drawn at random to put together a scenario 'on the fly'), I had included a battalion of Partisans or Workers Militia for my Russian forces, without at the time having the figures, so this was a little gap to fill in. These guys are mainly drawn from the Partisan set and probably more closely resemble Russian (or Eastern European) partisans.

While these are mainly from the Resistence set, and probably look more like French Resistence Fighters. Some have armbands, which were worn instead of uniforms once the allies invaded, and they could claim at least the protection of the Geneva Convention.

This guy looks more like a Gestapo agent to me. He's from the Resistence set.

My word! Is that my regular wargaming partner 'Steve the Hat'?

Another of the less conventional poses. A prisoner destined for the Gestapo cells a summary firing squad perhaps.

This is what I have painted up so far which is plenty for a Rapid Fire battalion. I've got the same number again left to finish painting, but not in any great hurry to finish them. A couple of interesting figures that come in the Resistence set are some nuns (not pictured here). Can see that they might be handy to 'dress' a scene or for skirmish scenario (like Black Powder), and as they will fit with any period from the Dark Ages through to modern day.

As I could see that I might be using these in skirmish scenarios two, I based them on 1p coins. Not sure that was the right decision, as once again the smaller bases just don't look as good on the table top. Still it is an easy matter to put them on my larger WW2 card bases and add a bit more basing sand and scatter grass if I change my mind.

I did start dreaming up a scenario just for Partisans once - had Yugoslava in mind - German's have a numbers of train carrying various things -supplies, ammo, troops- and a number of convoys of troops and supplies to get across a board set out with mountains and mountain villages, and some patrols and maybe an armoured car or Panzer II to try and root out Partisans and there weapons caches. Partisans, possibly assisted by some British commandos, start with hidden movement-lots of blinds shepherds etc. and caches of weapons- and need to sneak around moving weapons and explosive caches from place to place and ambush convoys or sabotage or blow up trains without getting caught.

I've also seen some people have recommended using these for doing a 'Very British Civil War' in 20mm, and as it happens I've also painted up some WW1 British Infantry who might serve...

Anglo-Saxon Army for Warhammer Ancient Battles

This army started as stock for my now defunct on-line model shop. They are excellent Renegade Miniatures figures, and I'd simply bought two packs of each set in the range to have as stock, rather than planning what I needed for an army. I just happened not to have put them into storage when I wound up the shop, as they were not a big range.

I had planned to field a Romano-British army for the annual 'Winter King' Warhammer Ancient Battles tournament that my new club has every year, but although I had three units painted and some more to paint, I realised that I was quite a bit short of a full army and would need to lay out around £150 for more figures. This was not at a time a tempting prospect and my first thought was to 'cheat' by painting up some of these figs as Romano-British. In the process, I counted up all the figures I had, compared it to the 'Shieldwall' supplement and realised I had virtually the perfect number for a full Middle to Late Anglo-Saxon Army!

So a week or so into December, I thought I'd throw caution to the wind and see if I could paint this army up. The problem was I had to get them done by mid-January!

It certainly was a real push and at several points I thought I wouldn't make it. Fortunately most people were slow in starting their first battles for the competition, so I kept my head down and kept painting...and by the end of January...I was close enough to take a chance and book a game for the next week...though I was sweating right up to the a couple of hours before the game on varnish and basing glue drying...only to find my opponent turned up, but the army he was hoping to borrow didn't!

Still everything done, I set a date for a battle for the next week. All told I have a unit of 24 Huscarles armed with two-handed battle axe - using this makes it a later Anglo-Danish army- and enough painted for 4/5 units of thegnsand coerls (depending on whether I make them 24 or 32 figure units), plus 34 'gebur' skirmishers. The unit above is the one I use for the Cyning's own unit.

Here's a close up of the figure I'm using for now as my Cyning (King), but he may get displaced by a 'Gripping Beast' King Alfred figure once I'm happy with the paint job.

I've also got another 30 or so more thegns and coerls left to even start painting, and 30 odd more unarmoured earlier period 'West Wind' Saxons, which can easily be used as coerls. Once I've don't these I can field the army as a Middle-period (ie. 8-9th century) Anglo-Saxon army- and to be honest could be used for earlier too- up to 2200 points.

I didn't get time to buy the excellent 'Little Big Man Studio' flags before putting them in the field (I have since), but fitted them out with a few 'print offs' of them - complete with 'spoiler' green lines, just to get the size of their flagpoles right. This is one unit equipped with their large cross flag.

The army list lets you field an 'Abbod', well worth having as a unit so equipped gets to re-roll all its misses in the first round of combat. I couldn't find a figure I like for this, looking and failing to find something 'Dark Age' but 'Clerical' in my Fantasy figure collection. But I did have a 'Gripping Beast' unarmoured priest, which with a cardboard cross on stick became my standard bearer.

These are my Huscarles, which by rights should be the bodyguard for my Cyning in a later period army, but one of the big weaknesses of an Anglo-Saxon army is that the thegns have pretty poor morale (just 6) so need as many characters as you can afford to lead them. The Huscarles have a morale of 9, so as 'Winter King' tournament rules limit armies to 1850 points if you use more than 4 characters, it is a bit of a waste of your Cyning to have him lead the Huscarles when you need every character you can get.

Above is another mixed unit and below a separate shot of some Coerls who aren't very visible in the other shots as they found up behind the thegns in these mixed units.

I was hoping for an easy first outing against Tony's Picts. Tony is a very experienced WAB player (and I'm not, in fact although I'd had the rules for ages and read them many times, at my former club no one was into WAB so this was my FIRST game), but Anglo-Saxon thegn-led units should go through Picts like a knife through butter.

Unfortunately, Tony has decided not to use his exquisitely painted Pictish army and painted up a Late Roman Army instead. Anglo-Saxons are mainly armed with thrusting spear, not good in the first round of combat if they charge, but great if they can survive the first round of combat. Tony had armed all his Late Roman's with heavy throwing spear, which maximises his deadliness in the first round of combat-especially deadly when given to his 'warband' allies which will break any enemy they charge if they win in the first round....

...the result? Three of my five heavy units broken in the first turn of combat, at which point my general's unit rolls at 11 for a panic test (they had won their combat and only needed at roll 9 or less!). So all my army except the Huscarles-who didn't even get into combat-were running and game over!

And it was not much consolation to follow Tony's suggestion and -just for fun!?!-test to see if they would rally next turn -and find three of the units would have!

Still, I don't think I really did anything much right in the game, so there you are! Let's hope for better luck next time!

Catching up on things done in 2011: Larger WW2 element bases for Crossfire

Crossfire was a really popular game at my last club, and I really enjoyed it. The thing was at least three or four members had armies, most of them several , and all in 15mm scale. Cross fire is basically a company level infantry game. I had lots of 20mm WW2 figures and lots of vehicles painted up, but I'd not based them up for any particular rules, but wanted to find a use for them.

But all things considered it didn't, at the time, really make a lot of sense to use my figures to make up a Crossfire force. I couldn't match up my forces with anyone elses as they were a different scale, and although it was of course possible to do some matched pairs of armies, all I would be doing would be duplicating in another scale the armies the other guys had. The only armies that might make sense was Japanese and Allied for the Far East, because as far as I could work out no-one else had these in 15mm. But the armies I had painted were German, US and Russian, which other people had in 15mm in abundance.

As a result. when I turned my attention to my 20mm WW2 collection, I concentrated my attention on getting a couple of armies together for the Rapid Fire ruleset, instead. In my' new' club, however, the favourite WW2 rules by far are Rapid Fire, mainly played in 20mm, sometimes 28mm. Which is great, as my armies fit right in. But no-one has heard of Crossfire, so it would actually be 'value-added' to bring some armies for Crossfire along one night to introduce it. Crossfire and Rapid Fire are different enough in scale of action and game concept. Crossfire as I mentioned is aimed at company level infantry games, Rapid Fire 'Brigade-Level' mixed arms games. Crossfire is all about sneaking through different types of terrain, looking hard to check if you can physically spot a line of fire, trying to co-ordinate fire and movement and keep your men motivated and moving forward. Rapid Fire is that much more higher level. It is about judging how much attrition a battalion can take to hold or take a position, co-ordinating armour, infantry and artillery, bringing up reinforcement and taking and holding key objectives. I don't see the two rulesets as 'rivals', they are just different takes on different aspects of gaming WW2.
And it doesn't matter what scale my Crossfire armies are in as no-one else in my new club has any armies that it makes sense to fit in with. So I could do some Crossfire Armies in 20mm. Crossfire doesn't need as many figures as you can end up using in a Rapid Fire game. A Rapid Fire battalion is around 45 figures, and you normally have several per side. For each Rapid Fire army I plan on painting up a few hundred figures. For a typical force in Crossfire, on the other hand, you would typically have around nine 'element bases' of rifles, plus some individually based platoon commanders, a company commander element, a couple of HMGs with crews and a mortar. If you base three per element that's just 27 figures for the rifle elements and maybe 40 in total including weapons crews. All the weapons and command bases are basically as per Rapid Fire, so its only the rifle elements which need to be considered.

For my first pair of WW2 armies, I gave only limited thought to having any compatibility with the Crossfire ruleset. Initially I based all the figures individually, which is obviously not much use for Crossfire, which uses elements. After my first game I revised that, and realised bigger bases enhanced the appearance and didn't change the flexiblity much if I used a mixture of figures based individually and in pairs. As far as I thought about Crossfire compatiblity at all, I thought maybe I might use a two figure base as a rifle element, or else use a two figure base plus a single figure. In Crossfire elements change their status - elements can be pinned or surpressed, for example. I thought maybe I could use a two element base plus a single figure for each Crossfire element, exchanging, the single figure (eg. to a kneeling or prone figure if pinned or a crawling or casualty figure if surpressed).

While this sounded reasonable on paper, two figure elements looked a bit puny compared to single figure platoon commanders and the idea of adding a 'status' figure didn't really look right. It was hard to tell elements apart when placed together or to identify platoon commanders, and the single figure marking 'status' didn't really make the whole element appear 'pinned' or 'surpressed'.

So my first real experimentation in making up elements for use in both Rapid Fire and Crossfire was for my Japanese and Far Eastern armies. Starting these armies off I tried some fairly large card bases (7cm by 4cm, with the corners shaved to 'round them' off, much larger than 4cm square element based used for 15mm) and tried them with three figures on them. I made up nine of these for each army - enough for a rifle companies with three rifle platoons, each of three rifle 'elements', and found I still had plenty of figures left over for lots of singles and pairs, for Rapid Fire, or Crossfire officers and NCOs, and in fact enough figures to do a few more three figure elements as well.

As I was getting ready to move house I was keen to tidy up as many loose ends, and in particular complete as much basing as possible, so as to box up as much as I could and not to have cut bases and bags of figures drifting around. I had not based any of my US forces in my new style and still had some Russian and German figures based just on small coins.

So as I was doing a lot of basing at the same time, I thought I'd knock up some more 3 figure elements for those armies, too. Some of the Russian figures were the Revell ones with snipers standing on ruined walls, so on a whim I went a bit further with the basing, cut up some cork tile scraps to make myself some more bricks to strew on the bases as rubble and a few more ruined wall corners.

I was really pleased with the look of these bases, and might go further and add some burn matchsticks and concrete rubble to really make some diorama type bases. I feel sufficiently inspired to be thinking now taking this one step further. I've already got some Revell Siberian Riflemen troops on skis and in winter snowsuits, which I was going to put on 'snow-bases' anyway, and could look great as heavily terrained element bases. There are some new Caesar Germans in greatcoats that I could use to match them. I thought about doing some of these for Rapid Fire, but baulked at the idea of painting up several battalions with, say, snow-covered bases, but with just 27 odd figures needed for a Crossfire company, having say a 'Stalingrad' set of Russians and Germans, a 'winter snow' set of Russians and Germans, and even Americans for the Ardennes is all very do-able.

In fact, given the cheapness of 20mm plastics, I'm even toying with the idea, of doing completely separate bases for pinned and suppressed figures. Pinned is fairly easy, most sets have plenty of figures kneeling and lying down, so it is easy to make up an element like this to use when the element has been pinned:

For suppressed units, figures crawling and casualty figures suggest themselves, but the problem is there are not always enough figures in a set to get sufficent 'suppressed' elements made up.

I'm thinking of experimenting with some simple 'green stuff' moulds especially for things such as ACW Fire and Fury destroyed battery markers, which could be the answer to getting some more casualty figures or even whole suppressed element bases...something to give a spin to see if it works before getting ahead of myself...