Monday, 3 April 2017

On the Painting Table (April 2017)

In February I visited Brussels and played a couple of games of Flames of War (FoW) (see earlier blog post). I mentioned that 6-7 years ago I dipped my toe in to the FoW arena, but found it was not to my taste. Back then I was inspired to buy and paint a pair of armies for the mid-war Western desert i.e. DAK and 8th Army. Initially I intended to use the standard 15mm format from Battlefront, but when I calculated the cost I stopped and re-thought the proposal! I always had concerns about the relative scales used in FoW; everything seemed too crowded and close on the tabletop, so reducing the scale may improve the visual element of the game. Moving to 6mm would work, but I still wanted the tanks etc. to remain distinct and attractive to the eye, so 10mm seemed to be the ideal compromise. Also, I could mount the vehicles on standard FoW bases, which would mean that the track2track, parking lot formations beloved by regular FoW players would be less of a problem for me! Therefore I purchased and painted both 1,750 point armies using Pendraken figures, and very nice they were, but my interest in gaming FoW had ceased, so the figures were boxed and left under the table.

When I returned from Brussels, I was motivated to unearth these neglected armies (mainly out of curiosity), and I found some unpainted Italian infantry still in their packs. After completing my 10mm 19th century figures (see last blog post), I decided to paint these Italians next. I organised the basing according to FoW lists so they would be consistent with the other units in the army. I think these figures complete my forces for this period but you never know whether more figures have been squirreled away somewhere.

I am not intending to use the armies for FoW (4th edition has just been released), but instead I may purchase BattleGroup Tobruk (BGT) due later this month. I plan to report on how these armies perform using the BGT system, and whether the FoW basing scheme is easily transferable.

As a side-issue, my sister (Gill) and niece (Erin) visited and we got play some boardgames. Erin (age 15) has always been good at co-op’s (Forbidden Island/Desert etc.) so I decided to introduce her to Pandemic. She picked up the strategy immediately and we beat the game with plenty of time to spare, and suffering only 5 outbreaks! Gill’s initial hand (3 yellow cards) was fortuitous, which allowed her to ‘cure’ the yellow disease in only a couple of turns. The red disease soon followed and, although black did trouble us for a while, the result was never in doubt. This was the first time that I can say we ‘thrashed’ Pandemic (most games are very tight). While dinner was cooking, we played a few games of Quatro, a real brain-teaser. After dinner we concluded with a game of Dominion, which Erin won again. She very quickly picks up game strategy and seems to have a ‘feel’ for when to shift from action collection to higher money collection, and then the moment to start acquiring victory cards. It appears she is a ‘natural’ when comes to boardgaming.

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