Saturday, 29 April 2017

The Portable Travel War Battle Game....Part 2


Only two copies of the above....for the moment that is....


Well I have gone and done it. I am now the proud owner of not one but two copies of the Perry's Travel Battle boxed war game - and I am very glad I am!

I am not going to write a detailed review of the box and all that is in it - mainly because there are already several very good ones in the blogosphere - but I am going to explain why this set is for me, an outstanding investment. With this in mind I shall outline what I am thinking of in terms of using this wonderful idea.

There have been a number of comments concerning the figures contained therein - especially in respect of the scale chosen - 8mm. I rather like these figures and the fact that they are slightly wooden  in pose and stylised in terms of uniforms and so will suit my modest painting ability very nicely indeed. These are ideal for the 'imagi-nation' gamer but could also serve as historical types if you are not too picky with the details. When painted in traditional national colours they would look close enough to the real thing in a 'Hollywood' kind of way so as to please the historical gamer....well sort of. I do not see the fact that no other manufacturer produces models in this scale as being a problem as I am sure that the Perry twins have a long term plan in mind and have not just produced this item as a one off. For me there are only a few holes in the figure mix that would need addressing and in a way I hope that the Perry twins keep the range restricted as bringing out too many troop types would detract from the concept of the game in my opinion. With the core set I would like to see some Czapka wearing lancers, some bearskin wearing infantry, some skirmishing figures and a static command set for the overall army command.

There has been many comments made about using other scales of figures - 10/12mm or going down to 6mm. For me - and I tested this last night - the 3mm models produced by Tumbling Dice look perfect on the terrain and fit the buildings very nicely indeed. This is a scale I have amassed a modest collection in and it would look superb on the terrain boards - particularly for anything 20th century.

The terrain boards are very nice indeed and I know that there have been all kinds of comments about the terrain being fixed and the only way to have a different type of playing area is to rotate the whole board. I agree with this up to a point in that it would have been nice to have the woods and buildings free standing but with the variety of boards set ups you can conjure up - especially if you use more than the two boards contained therein - with them fixed in place it is not a showstopper by any means.  I would like to see some plain terrain boards with no buildings or woods and perhaps a board with some form of waterway but that would be enough methinks. Having some freestanding terrain items would be useful and I feel sure this is in the mix somewhere along the line.

As far as the rules are concerned after the first reading they actually seem quite reasonable and certainly are in keeping with what the game is all about. These days I tend to read rules whilst thinking about what needs to be done to 'improve' them and I reckon that this set will stand a certain amount of tinkering. In any event my first thought was to make use of Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame system as an alternative.

Overall Impressions

You will no doubt have gathered that I am rather taken with this set and that I fully intend to use it not only as is but also with some ideas of my own making - specifically for the 20th century. I think it represents pretty good value for money (yes I know there have been comments along the lines of being able to get much more in metal figures - 6mm or 10/12mm) as a complete package and I hope that the Perry twins have some further ideas to add to the range or at the very least to make the individual components  available separately.

I am very excited about the potential of this product and am looking forward to getting some painting underway - and I never thought I would hear myself saying that!




10 comments:

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

David,

I'm still waiting for my second game to arrive. Once it has I hope to start playing around with different configurations for the boards.

I think that your comments about troop types is well made, although I would prefer to see some ACW figures added to what is available.

I look forward to seeing your first battle report.

All the best,

Bob

David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

I should have added that an ACW set would be very nice to see as well as what I would like for the Napoleonic set. One could also make a case for a generic 18th century set as well.

I can certainly see myself adding another couple of sets in due course and the prospect of using 6 boards on a 3 x 2 basis is very tempting indeed!

All the best

DC

barry carter said...

How many more of us I wonder have ordered in multiples? Good to know one is not alone!

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

Barry Carter,

You are not alone (that sounds like the punchline from a terrible advert, but you know what I mean!).

All the best,

Bob

jhnptrqn said...

I broke down and bought a copy. I had read or heard somewhere that the 50.00 price was an introductory price and it was going to be bumped up to 60 or 65. When I saw Caliver Books were selling it at 45.00 that was the final straw. Like Bob, I do hope they come out with an ACW set, although at present I have 5 different scale ACW figures and really don't need a sixth. I also like your idea of an 18th century set. At least I have time to think of some other ideas of how to use this game while I wait for it to cross the pond.

Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

David,

I am playing around with MS Paint in the hope that I can draw copies of the two TRAVEL BATTLE boards do that I can put maps together for battle reports. With luck the images will be completed later today, and when they are I will publish them on my blog to show potential purchasers how the boards can be used. (I also think that people that already own the game will find them useful.)

All the best,

Bob

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

I'm really, really, not getting the reasoning behind why everyone is getting so excited about this... :o) Cheap plastic board, cheap plastic soldiers, a four page rule book and a nice box... sum total of manufacturing costs about a fiver from downtown Shengzou.... and then every review I've read has said something like, I'm going to use different rules, and I need to buy more than one in order to get the randomness of terrain, and I'm going to use someone else's figures.. and I'm thinking why are they spending fify quid on this when they can do it themselves for fraction?????

David Bradley said...

There is an interesting background article about the game, and its origins, in the latest (No 355 May)issue of Wargames Illustrated.

David Crook said...

Hi Barry and Bob,

I usually find with most miniatures games these days that one box is never enough!

All the best,

DC

Arthur Harman said...

Steve-the-Wargamer, you took the words out of my mouth!
I'm spending my money on Pendraken 10mm figures for my Portable Wargame armies, and having them painted by a professional who'll do a far better job than I ever could, and more quickly too.