Monday, April 6, 2009

It's been a while between drinks

Well it's been a while since I updated this blog, family life and work have been the main reason for lack of updates... well that and I'm lazy.

I've managed to base most of my Black Tree order, there's about a dozen or so figures that are damaged or miscast to the point of being unusable so I might try to make casualty markers out of them. I'm on holidays for the next week with the kids so I'm hoping to get myself geared up to finish a platoon or two and maybe even have an actual game in a fortnight.

Things haven't been entirely quiet on the hobby front though I've made some progress on the model kits and I'll try to get some photos up over during the week.

I just love how publishers are now releasing so many books in PDF format. Cheaper prices (printing costs aside) and being searchable make them my now preferred format.

First up I bought two of the Vehicle Compendium books for World at War. Around $18 each for 60ish pages of vehicles raginf from soft top trucks right up the German Maus. New rules allow for AFV only armies and you can also play using captured vehicles, which is great news for my German KV-2 kit.

I've hearing good things about a company called Too Fat Lardies and after reading a review of their WW2 scenario book called "All American" I just had to take a closer look at their stuff. All I can say is WOW. Most scenario books I've seen have been simply here's a map and a list of two forces, now have at it. These books give you a map (generally in both topographical and gaming table formats), a detailed list of forces (right down to the names of the leaders, big men as they're called in I Ain't Been Shot Mum) but what really impressed me is the detailed histroical account that comes with each scenario. The Anzio book for example is 21 scenarios and 201 pages long! If you play any non-points based WW2 games (IABSM, Nuts etc) then you need these books.

Well after being so impressed with the scenario books I just had to have a look at the rules. The card activation system seems to have most reviews split 50/50 for love hate but really this doesn't worry me (maybe after a few games I'll have a better opinion). What I do like is the use of blinds or tokens to represent units on the table. When a blind is spotted by an enemy unit then the token is removed from the table and replaced with the miniatures representing that unit. What makes things interesting is that there are generally more blinds on the table than there are units in the game. This represents the fog of war, conflicting intelligence reports and the ability of some troops to use stealth tactics. The rest of the rules look good from a cursory read though but I'll comment more after I've played a game or two

While in my purchasing frenzy I also grabbed Through the Mud and the Blood, a set rules for the Great War. I'm so keen to play these but the lack of any miniatures is a bit of a stumbling block. I'm thinking of using 10-20mm minis for this one. It should keep the price down but also allow me to field large forces. I mean how can you play trench warfare without being able to mow down row after row of charging infantry with machine gun fire?

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