Have transports - will battle/flee

For some time now playing wargames does not make it on the agenda. Except for the occasional game of X-wing, no other games were played and painting miniatures stalled as well. For various reasons I could not set myself to either go to tournaments or setting up a local game.
Though I really like X-wing, I miss the feeling of a 'big battle' and the painting and building of the army up front. Luckily I found the 'why we fight'-podcast which addresses Flames of War players and their struggle to stay motivated (amongst other stuff). So I decided to start a new project, one that was connected to playing but without the 'hard' connection to an army list or battle: I would paint all the FoW transport units that I had collected and not used or painted in games. Wonder if not using transports is (one of the many) reason(s) why my generalship is so faulty at this game?

All in all it turned out to be a very pleasant exercise. In boxes lying around a nice collection of vehicles was found: Sd Kfz 7 halftracks and trailers to move heavy 88 guns around, Kfz. 70, Kfz 15 field cars, a small collection of Kübel- and Schwimm-wagens and a ZIS-5 truck. The latter being a Zvezda model, were the rest were all Battlefront products. Somewhere in the middle I realized that crews would make a nice if not essential add on, so I started a search and rescue mission for those. Found a lot of battlefront miniatures and a few plastic soldier ones. The style and scaling of the two did not really match, so I used the PSC's for one field car (and then placed a roof on top so they're fully painted and out of sight...) Results shown below, comments and tips (also on how to use them in 'battle') more than welcome!

Perhaps the one I'm most happy with! After painting vehicles and crews I placed the crews starting with the drivers and distributed the rest over the vehicles. Only to find the next day that this one was missed in the last step and only got a driver. Looking around I found some Peter Pig minnies that I purchased at last Crisis. These two fitted in theme and in the car, however, they were standing. In the end this works out real nice (I think). They give an impression of being lost on the battlefield with all plans gone wrong or worse.. Same feeling I have most of the time when playing Flames of War :-)

The Zvezda truck was the first in line because it had been staring me in the eye for some months after I had constructed it. It can be used as 'beute-wagen' or in my Tsjecho-Russian lists. Though not as detailed as Battlefront ones, it still is a rather nice model.

The 88 guns come complete with halftracks and lorries for transport, however most of the time these guns spend their time stationary on the battlefield (and for good reason). I therefor painted the lorries as 'snowed in', being left behind close by the guns.
The tractors are in my 'normal' style, doing serious work behind the lines. The crew is painted in HEER/Luftwaffe style in line with the gun crews.

Two 'old' Kfz. 70 transports, still around in late war to carry my Waffen SS troopers.
Mud and snow were created by a mix of Tamiya and Woodland Scenic products.

Last but not least the light brigade: Three Kübelwagons and one Schimm'er. The size of the Panzerschreck bazooka's compared to the cars makes me wonder if they're really in proportion or wether this is caused by 'heroic scaling'.


Not another game...

I miss working with plastic…I really, really miss working with plastic. I don’t miss Games Workshop, not at all, but I miss what it used to represent to me. I don’t want to get into a Games Workshop discussion; the rules system, pricing or miniature aesthetics are no longer for me. I dislike that it is that way, but in the end it is what it is. In leaving GW behind I’ve gained and lost something. A world has opened up since stopping with Warhammer. There are a lot of really cool games and miniatures out there. Since the coming of AoS we (meaning me) have started up Frostgrave, X-wing and Infinity.

Frostgrave came and went in our group. It was great working on a warband and the ruleset was very good. But in the end it didn’t get the traction in our group like previously Mordheim and Warhammer got and we’ve moved on. A shame, but again it is what it is.

I love X-wing, this is one of the best games I’ve ever played. Not being a huge Star Wars fan is not a problem, the way this game plays has gotten me enthusiastic like nothing before it. I don’t think I’ve ever played wargames as regularly as nowadays. However, it does have a downside: it doesn’t require much hobbying. Everything is build and prepainted, though we have repainted some of the ships it is mostly a gaming-game (?). So that allows to have a game on the side and that game became Infinity. Infinity miniatures are all metal. They look great, but the fact that they are metal and pricy means that I’m less inclined to take up a saw and start cutting into them. And this is finally where we get to the point that I feel I’ve lost something.

What I miss is how in Warhammer you could immerse yourself in the background of an army and make it yours. I was a beastmen player and especially in the 6th edition when chaos was one big army you could basically do anything miniature-wise. I made all types of centigors, mountain beastmen, swamp beastmen etc.  

The different plastic kits allowed you to mix and match and the only limit was your imagination. Or sometimes skill; I’ve ruined a good amount of miniatures before my conversions succeeded. :D

Anyways this is what I’m starting to miss. Just sit down with a couple of sprues of plastic and stuff from your bitz box and figure out what you can do to make your warband or army visually interesting.

So what’s the answer you ask? Why start another game off course and an historical one at that!

Since the fall of Warhammer everyone in our group is looking around for what is out there. Sometimes we discuss the different rulesets, such as Dragon rampant or Saga! Now I’ve never considered Saga before, but because I’m a huge fan of the TV show “Vikings” I started looking into the ruleset. And to my surprise I found that I really liked the system. But what army to take?

I looked at Normans, Franks and Irish, but in the end I settled on Norse-Gael. I visited Dublin a couple of years ago and liked it a lot. The old centre of the city was build by vikings and the image of vikings in a city trying to keep the Irish out always stuck with me. Since these are in essence the Norse-Gael I decided one them.
With a box of Gripping Beast dark age warriors and a box of Viking hirdmen I have enough to make 88 warriors. So there is enough room to start kit bashing. With greenstuff I can add Gaelic elements to the minis. All in all I have high hopes for this game and my hobby spending hours.

Stay tuned for a SAGA blog on these pages.