Wednesday, 13 January 2010

A Rumour of War(game)...........

I have gone and done it. I have purchased three boxes each of the Revell US and NVA infantry in the Modelzone sale. I now have 300 plastic 20mm figures to paint on top of everything else in the schedule. I must be bonkers! In the short term though a crafty plan came to me – I would use Memoir 44 with the Pacific expansion as the basis for a game. Certainly all the terrain tiles in the expansion would suit South East Asia very well – paddy fields, jungle, mountain strongholds etc – so no problems in that regard. I could use the figures straight from the box as well i.e. unpainted (shock, heresy etc!!) although as I opened the boxes I discovered that both sides are cast in the same tan coloured plastic. As a short term solution to a longer term project I have no problem with this. The paint job will have to come later and an ‘old school’ block style with Army Painter over the top will do the job just nicely. The figures can be seen on the website which is a goldmine of a site for the 20mm plastic figure gamer.
For Memoir 44 I will need to think about troop types a little – my first thought would be to use VC in the same way as French Resistance to represent their ability to know the local terrain well whilst the NVA regulars could be treated the same as Russians with the Commissar rule, perhaps with a dash of Japanese thrown in. The US will be ‘normal’ types with certain troops rated as elite as the need dictates. I would also need to consider choppers and off table fire support together with air strikes as well. There is nothing there that will present insurmountable difficulties though (probably famous last words but never mind!).
For a ‘real’ wargame I have a great set of DBA based rules which look like fun and as mentioned previously, the Airfix Jungle Outpost would be ideal so a couple of those won’t break the bank and vehicles can be added if required but are not essential with the same for choppers and such like. Even the Morschauser gridded rules could be used for this if need be without much in the way of modification. Obviously the library will need a few additions but probably not that many – that will be from choice rather than any other reason. I would go for a good overall history of the war, perhaps a campaign guide or two – Ia Drang and Khe Sahn most probably with Long Tan as well if I can find anything on it, together with inevitable Osprey or two for uniforms etc. There are some good books on the war in paperback which could be picked up cheaply and certainly when the boot sale season kicks off I will keep a weather eye open for them. By long term tradition items acquired at boot sales do not count as real purchases from the household budget which is good news for the economy conscious wargamer!
I realise that this has shot my carefully considered list of projects for the year down in flames but sadly, “I can resist anything but temptation” (good old Oscar Wilde!) and this was too good an opportunity to miss. I want to keep this project fairly tight in terms of outlay and effort and with the exception of the Jungle Outpost kit mentioned I will not be acquiring anything 20mm terrain wise. As I mentioned during my previous post – a large bag of lichen will serve as SE Asia jungle with little difficulty.
In the short term then I propose to tackle a variant of Memoir 44 to cover the Vietnam conflict to see how it goes whilst planning the next phase (and whilst continuing to clean up the Balkan Wars stuff as a priority!) of how and where I want to go with this.


Steve said...

Ia Drang is practically a 'go' with what you've got (choppers can be off table). December's WI is worth getting hold of as it has a lot of stuff on Ia Drang, the 7th Cavalry and the NVA in it,

David Crook said...

Thanks Steve - I am still waiting on my copy of WI as I get it through the club and due to health, weather and the Xmas and New Year jollies it is still outstanding! I have a great DBA based set - Hordes in the 'Nam off and in the short term am going to conjure up a Memoir 44 variant making use of the Pacific expansion. Its a shame that the figures for both sides are cast in the same colour!

The only thing missing from the figures really are mortars but they can be easily sourced.

Thanks for the M113 ACAV ebay tip as well...much appreciated.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...