A Broken Vow!

28mm WW2 Wargaming Chain of Command

As Mrs.GG quite rightly says, “There are a lot of great stories to be told, games to be played telling those stories, but we can not do them all. There just is not enough time, not enough resources, and not enough space.”


So we decided to limit ourselves in certain things when we got back into analog tabletop gaming. We looked at various genres and game systems. We considered Star Wars Legions and Fallout Wasteland Warfare but the per miniature cost seemed high and Mrs. GG is not a big fan of Post-Apoc.


We dabbled with Bolt Action, having gotten some on sale and I even painted up some minis. However Mrs. GG was not keen on gaming 20th Century warfare. So we recovered our costs, if not our time, by using eBay to let someone else try out Bolt Action.


American Frontier/Wild West gaming appealed to both of us and we almost went that way when we won a huge lot of Games Workshop Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game miniatures on eBay for a fraction of their normal retail price. We then started collecting all the rulebooks.


Since then we have diverged a bit with the Frostgrave, Ghost Archipelago and Rangers of Shadow Deep games… justifying it as still within the Medieval Fantasy genre.


We won various lots of Ancient and Medieval historical miniatures, all with an eye to repurpose the for our Fantasy Games. Kitbash conversions being something I really enjoy.


Mrs. GG indulged me with Battle Systems’ Core Space to scratch both my Post-Apoc and Sci-Fi itch after we briefly dabbled with Dropfleet Commander, having dropped that spaceship combat game as not best suited to our gaming style (and shelving my Full Thrust plans). Again EBay helped us recover our financial outlay on these tangents.

We almost got into Warlord Games‘ Black Seas but decided against it for the same reason.

I still have not gotten around to playing our Core Space game but I have painted some of the miniatures.

Two Battle Systems Core Space player crews and shuttle.

And of course the Core Space: First Born Kickstarter we backed is due to arrive this month.


Constantly things come to my attention which appeal to me. Normally Mrs. GG is good at keeping me on target. She focuses a lot on terrain but she is also not the most strict when she sees me going on about the latest game or miniature that has captured my imagination. She likes to see me enthusiastic.


Something that has had my eye for a long time are the WW1/2 French infantry from Wargames Atlantic. When they introduced their WW2 Italians my discipline started to crumble. Then Warlord Games introduced multipart plastic WW2 Italian infantry as well.
It got me thinking if my interest was in those specific armies or if it was just because they were new. And yet the WA WW1 Germans and WW2 Panzer Lehr did not excite me so maybe it was not just because they were new.

https://wargamesatlantic.com


And I was reading up about the Abyssinian War and folks wargaming it with Chain of Command. Which admittedly, I find fascinating… although I imagine this kind of colonialism wargaming is increasingly unpopular.


https://toofatlardies.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=3225

Chain of Command:The Abyssinian War army lists – Too Fat LardiesGents, Chain of Command:The Abyssinian War army lists go live! Starting with an Introduction and sort of explanation about what’s in Chain of Command: The Abyssinian War, we discuss the various aspects of the period that need to be accounted for in the Interwar setting when using the rules.toofatlardies.co.uk

Must. Resist. Another. Genre.


Suddenly we won a huge lot on eBay for a fraction of its retail cost.

It caused me to rethink Bolt Action but I still prefer Chain of Command from what I have read. It gave us some Project Z zombies & survivors and some WW2 sprues as well as various books. I decided to put some back on ebay but keep the rest. Atleast for now.


Then we won some WW2 Yanks as well as Chain of Command at less than half the retail price and my vow was definitely broken. I do like me some good old fashioned GI’s, having a particular fondness for the .45 1911 and .50 M2 HMG that I used to use myself back in the day. So yes, we are talking about proper toy soldiers now.

This auction lot was an incomplete starter army, no halftrack or light mortar, but the M4 Sherman was painted to a good standard. I only did a few small tweaks.

Warlord Games M4 Sherman

For example I removed the name decals (“The Bomb”) the previous owner had put on then retouched the paint and weathering. And I moved the .50 cal HMG so that it would not theoretically block opening the commander’s hatch. Finally, an ultra matt clear coat except for the lights which got a gloss clear coat.


Ideally I would have liked an M3 Lee, I have seen “Sahara” with Humohrey Bogart too many times as a kid, but the M4 Sherman is so iconic and this one has been very little work to get looking great. At some point a M5 Stuart and a M3 Half-Track would be nice.

We also received a US Ranger platoon in the same auction, already assembled.

US Rangers… in a box.

This had me pretty excited until I saw some of the webbing pouches were done incorrectly.

Warlord Games WW2 US Infantry

An easy thing to get wrong and hard to notice… unless you were a WW2 re-enactor as well as an active duty US Infantry NCO. Now I am struggling to try unseeing those webbing pouches. I suppose it does not matter so much for alternative dieselpunk history but these may go back on eBay.


I think I am going to have to sell off one of the other projects I started but will likely never finish. Perhaps my Early Imperial Romans? I wanted to try Infamy, Infamy at some point against Mrs. GG’s Celts but I do not think I can justify keeping Romans…as well as Greeks and Persians.

Maybe I should cut the Greeks and Persians too?

With Mrs. GG and I leaning more toward co-operative skirmish games rather than big battle war games perhaps I should get rid of these projects.


There are just too many things that I want to do and not enough resources.

So vow completely shattered, we now have a new genre coming….


But what will it be?


Given Mrs. GG is not keen on gaming 20th Century warfare it will likely be solo gaming. But what exactly?


I thought almost certainly to set it in a 20th Century version of 7th Sea in order to avoid some historical baggage. The Parallel Universe setting allows some distance from the more unpleasant aspects of our own history. I know some folks will scoff at such sensitivity but I think it is worth doing in order to enjoy the game more.


But then what?


I thought maybe Twilight 1950, using the original Twilight 2000 as a basis to reskin it as a WW2 era conflict, giving Ussura and the “United States of Atabea” limited low yield atomic bombs. Maybe throw in some Fallout aspects. Retro 50’s sci-fi. This idea came from some of the Dungeons and Lasers stretchgoal freebie scatter terrain.

Archon Studio “freebie” stretchgoals

These two in particular.

Fallout-style Studio Dungeons and Lasers stretchgoal scatter terrain

Speaking of Dungeons and Lasers…. this could be a good use for our D&L sci-fi terrain.

Archon Studio Dungeons and Lasers sci-fi door panel… I was going for steampunk with my paintwork but I think it could work for dieselpunk just as easily.


We have quite a bit of the D&L sci-fi terrain and more on the way thanks to our mate Tom.

Another idea I had thought about was using the Worldwar series by Harry Turtledove as a basis to have The Race (Lizardfolk) invade Terra game setting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldwar_series

This idea of mine being inspired by the Wargames Atlantic Lizardmen, which were most likely inspired by cover art from one of the Worldwar series of books.



That book cover may explain the AK series looking firearms.

Wargames Atlantic Lizardman, not painted by me. Photo credit Wargames Atlantic


Then I thought maybe some form of Alternative Abyssinian War or WW2 North Africa campaign. I can think of so many fun plastic multipart kitbashing ideas for these ideas. Using Wargames Atlantic WW1 Germans as Crescent Empire (Ottoman Turks)? Using various kits to make desert nomads? Wargames Atlantic French Resistance as generic armed citizens? I wish they made female models of that set.


So why Chain of Command over Bolt Action?


Well to be honest Bolt Action feels a lot like 40K to me. It seems designed for streamlined competitive tournament gameplay.

Whereas Chain of Command feels to me more… tactically crunchy. As if it focuses more on the simulation side of military conflict over artificially balanced gameplay. It reminds me more of gaming the actual tactical issues I dealt with as an Assistant Platoon Sergeant in a Mechanized Infantry unit.

https://toofatlardies.co.uk/product-category/chain-of-command/

The patrol phase game mechanic is a very cool mini-game and overall the game reminds me of Sharp Practice… but more complicated. As you would expect with more complicated weapon systems.

And Chain of Command seems more narrative focused… like Sharp Practice.

Also, the weapon ranges in Bolt Action are all out of scale in my opinion. That really bothers me.

Here is a brilliant blog about Chain of Command…

https://thetacticalpainter.blogspot.com/2018/07/chain-of-command-beginners-guide.html


I would still like to get some zombie gameplay into this somehow. Toofatlardies have some zombie rules for Chain of Command in one of their special edition magazines.

It seems like I will need to get that once I figure out where I am going with this project.

And I like many of the Warlord Games Konflikt’47 figures and vehicles.


https://eu.warlordgames.com/collections/konflikt-47

Looks like we may be backing Archon’s Rampart 3 Kickstarter in January after all.

Archon Studio’s Rampart 3 Kickstarter


Maybe Wargames Atlantic spiders for a bit of a Starship Troopers vibe, but the spiders have a bite which can cause folks to become zombies in order to keep their meals preserved and mobile?


Some sort of “Robot Invasion” using Necrons or a “Bug Invasion” using Tyranids but with Chain of Command rules?

I had thought using Mars Attacks Martians…

… but I lost on the large kickstarter auction lot I was bidding on.

Maybe more obscure Dieselpunk of some sort? But what?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieselpunk

Go really crazy with kitbashing and do a Gammaworld setting?

TSR Gammaworld


Maybe my own take on Fallout?

Illustration by Craig Mullins – Fallout 3


What suggestions or advice do you have?

20 comments

    • So true! And I know it seems a bit silly to put so much effort I to a project that I will likely not be able to really get to until next year but to avoid buying things new at full retail price I have to know what to keep my eyes out for.

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  1. I had to laugh while travelling through all the ideas and I see nothing unusual with you being all over the place !!! Actually this sounds familiar somehow. Interesting points with the financial ebay option for recycling projects, something I never did. Household was keen for CoreSpace ( they like non-serious-historical skirmish ) but the budget slot was signalled as a no no despite the fact that it is a big bang of gaming for investment. Looking forward to the next year !

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, my thoughts can run all over the place. Hopefully it is helpful to someone to read these footnotes to how my mind works.

      I am always trying to find a way to save a buck. Ebay can be challenging any times but if you are careful and learn from your mistakes it can end up working well for you.

      Battle Systems Core Space kickstarters are brilliant value for money. I highly recommend them…. Just as I recommend the Core Space gameplay.

      Next year is going to be jam packed full of gaming fun.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Impressions from reading this:

    Wow, that is a lot of genres covered
    BGIME in blinders take up a lot of space (but very good sources to have, wished they had been more available in the States.
    M3 Lee – DC Haunted Comics flashback
    pouches hanging off pouches vs belt?
    War of the Worlds had a great kickstarter that failed (all quiet on the martian front)
    Gamma World – hadn’t thought about that in a long time
    What do you use for ebay searches?
    take a deep breath and focus on what you can really want and do
    screw that, go for it
    Warlord Games has so many tempting sculpts

    Advice?

    What games/genre can you do with the terrain that you are heavily invested in? Can other genres be done on just a gaming mat with minimal terrain?
    Ebay is your friend and worse enemy. I tend to focus my searches on LOTR as I’m afraid if I start doing other 28mm games/figures I will be too tempted to deplete my gaming budget.
    All sprues are good for kitbashing

    In other news…

    I just used some bearded heads and replaced some of my hooded LOTR rangers, making them usable in other games – one suggestion given me was Rangers of Shadow Deep

    Watching the Witcher again before the new season.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I have to admit fond memories of Sgt. Rock is part of the appeal of painting and gaming with WW2 US miniatures. That said I was unfamiliar with DC Haunted so I had to go look it up. Interesting.

      https://dc.fandom.com/wiki/Haunted_M3_Stuart

      The last thing I want to do is offend by having a go at a, I am guessing, fond memory of yours but I can not help but comment on my surprise at seeing yet another example of American pop culture glamorizing the Confederacy. It is something that irks me, and I say that as a grunt who trained at Ft.Benning. It runs the risk of my blog leaning into politics but I sense a blog post coming on this very issue at some point.

      The pouch hanging off other pouches is a first aid bandage pouch, it is correct to hang like that. But those particular pouches are usually used for M1 Garand ammunition. Given the figure is armed with a pistol the figure is either an officer or some sort of specialist. A Ranger officer might carry spare rifle ammunition for his troops but rarely ever carried an M1 Garand themselves. An officer would rarely carry an entrenching tool like that but again maybe a Ranger would due to the nature of their assault missions. The canteen hanging there is in an awkward position not commonly seen but again, Ranger… so unorthodox is certainly possible.

      Different NCO‘s, Officers and local unit SOPs (standard operating procedures)… especially in combat… due allow some flexibility in how equipment was worn. When I was in Berlin my unit was quite strict on how webbing was worn. But other units were not as strict.

      For eBay I trawl entire sections from modeling to role playing games and toys. I skim pretty quickly so I probably miss some good deals. I occasionally search keywords but that rarely finds good deals as most folks do the same and you end up competing with them. With skimming entire categories I find things incorrectly listed or misspelled and so have little competition in bidding on those items. Focusing a lot on photos will often turn up things not specifically listed in the auction. I generally aim to pay 50% of retail price or less. It is also important to look at a seller’s other auction lots as you can sometimes find something they listed in another category but is still of interest to you. If they are asking a low price on one thing, they often ask a low price on other things.

      North Africa would probably be the most cost effective location to game given our current terrain. Europe could be done by cutting some corners and using only older architecture. However, once our Dwarven Forge Wildlands Kickstarter pledge arrives then Pacific theater becomes economically viable.

      That is great news on your Rangers. I do love kitbashed conversions.

      Mrs. GG and I are looking forward to the second season of the Witcher.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Don’t worry about any treading, what was the Blue vs the Grey of my childhood toys became the Union vs the Confederates became the current Union vs the insurrectiones (sp?).

    My daughter had the two boys she was nannying over awhile ago and I pulled out some old toys. The one boy built a fort and as he said, had the cowboys playing with the Native Americans.

    I sometimes misspell intentionally while searching also, it does occasionally come up with some good deals. Will have to skim more, good idea.

    I thought the entrenchment tool was in a very awkward spot, looked very uncomfortable.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I must admit, I like your Worldwar idea – I enjoyed reading the books. Way back in 2000 or so I started playing the Crimson Skies air combat game by FASA, using the official minis and my own creations/conversions. I got the idea in my head that gaming ground combat in the same setting would be a good thing to try, but didn’t get anywhere with it. Twenty years later I now have enough 20mm WW1 and WW2 troops and equipment that I think I can re-visit the idea and try some pulp era skirmish games. Will have to see how I get on!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well first off, I forbid you from getting rid of anything Roman. I must have forgotten you had any because if I knew you had them, I’d be trying all kinds of underhanded tactics to convince you to paint them and use them! 🙂

    Truthfully, WWII is not my genre at all so I’m not sure I can offer you a lot of advice on it. There are a lot of Weird War games out there like Dust, Actung Cthulhu, and I think Warlord makes another one (but I might be wrong) that you can draw inspiration from. My big concern in reading your ideas is how you’re going to have enough space for the all the terrain you need across all of these genres, let alone the time to finish them all. It seems like you have a lot of projects started, let alone all the Kickstarters you’re participating in.

    As a result, I would actually recommend that you consider sticking to 2-3 games and going as far as you can with them before you decide to take any new ones up. I have a wargame and a board game and I’m completely over my limits currently so I can’t imagine that you can do too many more than 3-4 (unless you hire some gnomish comrades to pick up the slack of course!). I’m going to throw another crazy piece of advice out there and say that I wonder if visiting sites like Lead Adventure and the other similar one, whose name I can’t remember, are causing you to be more of a hobby butterfly than you’ve intended. Personally, I don’t visit them often but I find whenever I do, I start thinking about getting into new games and I know I just can’t unless I’m willing to shelf Fallout for something else (which I’m not). I know this suggestion may cause you some painful consideration because I know you have enjoyed seeing all the cool projects on there in the past but I do wonder if you’re trying to do too much and need to focus down a bit more to actually accomplish the projects/goals you’re starting. I hope this isn’t too much tough love for you, mate and whatever you decide to do, I’ll be here rooting for you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tough love and honest talk is much appreciated by this Grumpy Gnome.

      I know it seems like I am stretched thin but remember a lot of the blog post is about paths not taken and looking for ways to keep any new paths as smooth as possible. So reducing additional terrain requirements for example. Trying to find ways for minis to do double duty.

      And it is about forward planning for the next few years. Lesson learned about getting good deals when you can because we could not afford the things we already have if we had bought them at new retail prices. It may be ages before I have time to play Core Space let alone a new project but time is something I hope to have more of in the future as my son starts to spend more time in school.

      The biggest hurdle for me is that I have to plan to build both sides of any game since I am not part of the usual gaming community. I have no interest in joining the local Games Workshop 40k club.

      Progress has been slower than I expected due to a number of real world distractions but I keep hoping things will settle down and I can get back into the groove of my “early retirement.”

      But as always mate, I love to hear your frank opinion as I respect you and your thoughts.

      Some Romans have been removed from our EBay listings… maybe we will get to Infamy, Infamy one day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think I owe an apology as I misinterpreted the focus of this post somehow! Maybe less tough love was needed and more close reading on my part!

        I guess you know where my concerns lie now though obviously they are biased towards my own perspective. I do worry about you stretching yourself too thin and keeping up with everything you’ve started but I don’t like a huge backlog so its easy for me to feel that way, if you know I mean.
        Additionally, I wouldn’t buy anything on eBay I don’t want to paint for my own uses because I don’t have time to paint and resell something even if the profits would be great to have. Having said that, I know some people (and I’m not suggesting you do by any stretch of the imagination) struggle with turning down a good deal. The truth is that eBay is full of them, especially if you’re skilled at finding them like you are. You certainly have to stay disciplined in the face of that. Especially when you’re like us and you have to create ALL of the terrain and minis needed for your games. Its a long, hard road that we walk down to be sure.

        I was mostly teasing you about the Romans. Truthfully, I think I’d ditch the Ancients for now since you have MESBG, Frostgrave, Tarnished Splendor, and Core Space. That is quite a lot even if you can keep the terrain overlapped to save time. Ancients will always be available so you can always come back and grab them later on when you’re ready for them.

        And finally, to prove that I’m no better than you. While I have Fallout and Hellboy currently, I’d still love a Roman game, a samurai game, and something fantasy like Rangers of Shadow Deep so I struggle with the same exact problems. I just have even less storage space so I have to be twice as disciplined! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • No need for an apology mate, not at all.

        It is true that I struggle to turn down a good deal. I do not buy to paint and resell though, my paintskills do not seem to get very high bids. I do like buying something that I feel I can resell for atleast the same amount if I do not end up using it.

        Mrs. GG and I are fortunate to have the space we have. Painting and gaming time seems the issue right now. However I keep hoping it will improve.

        I salute your superior discipline… very Roman of you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hope that you’re able to find a bit more hobby time in the near future, probably after the holidays is most realistic. If nothing else, I can very much relate to that feeling too. Too many projects, not enough time!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. A really great post with so much in their. Sorry for the delay but I was thinking about what to comment on. There are now so many games systems out there and we are really spoilt for choice especially with the amount of kick starter projects out there. I am hoping this Christmas break to go through the cave and put everything I don;’t want up for sale as I have stuff I now don’t like and will never use and worse still I don’t even like their “eye candy” any more.

    I agree with your comments about Bolt Action which I find far too sterile. Chain of Command is a great game but the “Lardies” are going down the same trap that other rules writers are making and that is trying to use the same mechanics across all periods. I think this is lazy and assumes that all periods are the same and can use the same mechanics which I am not convinced about.

    I have a large WW2 20mm Italian and Australian forces for early war in North Africa and am seriously thinking about the Abyssinian War myself. Th resource material on the Lardies site is excellent but am thinking that something more suited to Colonial Wars like “Men Who Would Be Kings” might be more suitable.

    Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks mate! I am glad to hear some folks enjoy my rambling, mind clearing posts. They are meant in part to be sort of diary entries to record decision my making. But I have suspected others have gone down similar paths and may enjoy reading mine.

      A decent clear out of no longer needed gaming goods can help both themselves and the buyer. I highly recommend it.

      Like

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