Back to my (first) 28mm WW2 project.
I always liked WW2, and last year, after my conversion to 28mm (Lion Rampant, Ronin) I decided to jump into this period, too, in order to be able to play a different game. The only club mate interested in the period had German and a friend of him American. He was complaining that he couldn't get many games and so I decided to start an army.
They chose Bolt Action as ruleset, because it's easy to learn, quite fast (about 2-3 hours) and fun fo play, even if it's not the most historically accurate ruleset. But, hey, it's a game, after all!
Since Germans (I must admit, my first choice) had already been taken, I decided to go Brit. But, as some of you may know I dislike easy/common/mainstream armies and so I chose Commandos.
Here some reasons:
- to be able to play several scenario: Commandos fought from 1941 to 1945 in almost any theather
- cheap plastic aivalable (see below)
- peculiar unit (I love veteran and strange troops)
- veteran units: more pointsworthy the unit less models needed, and it's not a secundary consideration when valuating to get into a totally new period
Last Christmas Warlord games had it's usual sprues' offer (50% IIRC), and I bought a consistent quantity of Commandos sprues (maybe 5), plus a plastic Commandos box, which gave me the weapon and more infantrymen. Later I found an action for MMG, Officers, medics and a beautiful AEC mk III. At Model Expo in Verona I eventually purchased straightly from Italeri stand a Churchill plastic set. So I was ready to start (for more details about my models, check this post on my blog)
Now (note that I looked accurately after purchasing the models) I started to looked the exact operations the Commandos were involved in.The issue was made easier by this excellent wikipedia page.
My attention was drawn by:
- Norwegian islands 1941, I should use SAS models but I guess any Commando unit could go
- Sicily 1943, interesting to play against Italian not in the desert
- Normandy 1944. Too mainstream, but a good "generic" start
- Italy 1945 (last offensive in April) just a few weeks before the end of war in Italy (25th April) Commandos + partisans in the Comacchio lagoon against a generic Wehrmacht force
Norwegian islands (1940)
Early war period, very small actions (realistically playable in 1:1 ratio), and with a strong scenario objective (usually a fish oil and glycerol factory or a coastal battery or ships). The main drawbacks are: limited troops choice (no tanks, no artillery) and Commandos always as attackers (except local counterattacks).
A good choice of enemy, in particular some Italian troops in a small, but interesting choice of scenarios (both Commandos attacks and Italian and Germans counter attacks, noticeably Malati bridge). One day I'll be glad to have a WW2 Italian army!
The standard. Good selection of troops for both sides, an interesting addition is the Churchill AVRE supporting the operations (and I own a Churchill). From DDay to Rhine an interesting idea for a campaign as well.
Northern Italy 1945
In the late war, in the Comacchio lagoon, relatively near to where I live (in comparison with Norway, at least). Commandos spearheaded an advance against the latest German defensive lines. Supported by the North Irish Horse Churchills (yeah!) the crumbled the poor Germans. An interesting addition (already on my wish list) the LTV Buffalo!
Recently I discovered an other group of players (5-6) playing Bolt Action in my city and so I decided to prioritize the painting of my models. I've just finished Ottoman Turkish (ok they need bases) my second army for Lion Rampant (so far my most played ruleset), so it's time to move to this new project. I hope in a few week I could be able to show you my first 500 points Commandos army.