Monday, 17 May 2010

Boxing Clever with Nautical Musings

The continued expansion of my Axis and Allies: War at Sea WW2 fleets has given me a small problem in respect of storage. Currently the RN lives in a large cardboard cutlery box and the Germans and Italians each use a box file. All the aircraft bases live in a plastic box acquired from a local branch of Hobbycraft. I want to reorganise this to be more efficient and thereby take up less space. I am still undecided about the best way of doing this – either to convert the existing boxes to accommodate extra models or to acquire some of the box files that are half the standard depth of the usual versions. I am planning to have metal paper on the underside of the bases and magnetic strip in the boxes so the models will be easier to sort and store. There will not be an enormous amount of additional kit acquired from the next release of models but obviously I need to consider the storage implications of the extra models. I am thinking that I would need around 8 to 10 of the reduced depth box files and if used they will then live quite compactly in one of my cupboards. I am leaning more towards this option or buying some of the purpose built cardboard boxes usually used for mementos and such like. They simply need to be uniform in size.

The Axis and Allies: War at Sea WW2 fleets are now looking suitably impressive in terms of model coverage as many of the obvious gaps are gradually being filled with the release of each new expansion. Allowing for what will feature in Condition Zebra (the next expansion set scheduled for release next month) the Royal Navy is now in pretty good shape. Going forward though for the RN I would like to see an AA cruiser and some earlier destroyer types, MTBs and MGBs and perhaps a Fairy Fulmar would be nice. The Germans could use an R boat and perhaps and the Italians could do with another Light Cruiser. I cannot speak for the Pacific fleets although I know that the Japanese Battleship Hyuga would be most welcome, as would the Aircraft Carrier Kaga.

What would be really useful though would be a selection of merchantmen. At the time of writing there is a Japanese freighter – the Kinai Maru – and a couple of US types including a liberty ship. The Germans have the Altmark which could be pressed into service as a tanker or some such. What I would like to see though would be a range of generic merchantmen, coasters, tankers etc in varying sizes so a really mixed bag of a convoy could be assembled. Being generic they could then of course be used by anybody. For the various convoy based ideas I have I would need to draft in models from other gamers at the club as my own collection is embarrassingly light in this regard.

I am pleased to have taken the decision to relinquish any involvement in the Pacific theatre as my European adventures in this regard have more than enough material for me to explore in terms of scenario ideas. The whole 1943 to 1945 Eastern Mediterranean is a good case in point as there is enormous potential for games both historically and hypothetically based and are a refreshing change from the more usual Battleship slug fest. Developing these ideas will be an enjoyable cerebral exercise and no mistake!

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