Thursday, February 20, 2014

Grenadier Guards (Flames of War 600 pt force)

So there I was, broken in bed, studying the ceiling and trying not to feel overly sorry for myself.  My wife, sweet, thoughtful creature that she is, bought me a small stack of WW II books to read because she knows I like that kind of stuff.  And here my troubles began.  Over the next couple of weeks I picked up a few more new tomes, notably some volumes in the so far excellent Stackpole series, and rediscovered a few old loves, such as Guy Sajer's The Forgotten Soldier.  I was quickly getting into a rut.  You know how it is.

Once I could get up and around, I got out my Bridge Too Far and Battle of Britain DVDs.  I watched them over and over as I nudged a few minis glumly around on my desk, entirely unable to paint.  And then there was the internet.  The verdamnt internet.  Always sitting there in predatory silence.  Patient, watchful.  Wanting me to get on it and buy things.    And at last, with little else to do, get on it and buy things I did.  Tiny tanks and tiny men.  Too many of them.  You know how it is.

Anyway here are some of them.

A long time ago, I discovered something on the FOW site that got a big, fat iron  fishhook in my attention; these little 600 point starter forces.  I became fascinated by them and of course I had to have some of my own.  So now I've got late war British armor and American mechanized infantry, and German Grenadiers to fight them.  I'm starting out at 600 points with each army, and then I'm going to build up each army in 300 point blocks, until I get bored.

So here we go:  My British Armour Company, 600 pts:  (I'm using the FOW Armies book that comes with the new edition rules, not the high-speed Atlantik Wall and Overlord books; I'll acquire those eventually, but don't have 'em now.)

HQ Platoon:
2x Sherman V:  125 points
The CO and XO.  The extra tread should probably be green, but I sort of like how it looks painted as bare steel.  These are the plastics from the boxed Open Fire set, but purchased separately from bits merchants online.  Somehow, I got frames that all had the same commander figure.  I tried to get 1 tank with a distinctly different commander by buying one of the resin-and-metal Sherman Vs, but the commander figure that came with it was too short and skinny to look realistic next to the others.  Certainly, his smaller size would have poorly represented his Boss-Man stature.

Combat Platoons:

1st Platoon: 
2x Sherman V & 1x Firefly VC:  210 points
 I originally wanted my lads to be denizens of 11th Armoured Division for no other reason than that the 11th's division patch looks, frankly, badass...
Am right, no? 

But the decal pack I ordered seemed to be an older version that did not include the raging bull patch.  It did, however, have the somewhat disturbing all-seeing Eye of Sauron device of the Guards Armoured Division, so I was ok with that. 

2nd Platoon:
 2x Sherman V & 1x Firefly VC:  210 points
I would have preferred that my Guardsmen had been of the Irish regiment, (had images in head of Michael Caine as Joe Vandeleur, wearing that pained expression of quiet and dignified desperation as he tries to cram his regiment up the accursed single lane highway to Nijmegen) but no, the decals I had only supplied the '51' of the Grenadier Guards, and I was anxious to get started.  Grenadier Guards it would be.

 Giant hole in the back of the Firefly's turret that I didn't notice until just now. Grr.  Will have to go back and fill that in.

The decals look pretty good once you slop them up with 'mud' and when they don't catch the light in the wrong way.

So the compulsory units of my British armoured company were assembled.  I had a bare minimum HQ platoon, and 2 bare minimum combat platoons, and already it added up to 545 points out of 600 points.  What can you buy with 55 points in Flames of War?  Not much.  The one thing could do was to outfit all my tanks with AA Machine guns at 5 pts each. Good for fending off wandering Stukas, and, perhaps just as important, I think they look cool.  So that's 585 points.  Next:  German Grenadiers.  Right after I finish my Oldhammer Gobbo stickas.

 "Oh...Bluddy Hell.  Men, we've come the wrong way.  Turn around, objective's back that way.  Christ, are we ever going to get out of this bocage country?"


  1. Nice - if you keep up all this tasty WW2 stuff you'll have me reaching for the Vallejo model colour and starting on the Blacktree Fallschirmjaeger and Russians I've been sitting on for ages.

    Thank God there's some Gobbo Sticka's on the way! ; )

    1. I have a mad plan to have some of my Bolt action Landsers fall through a convenient plot device in the space time continuum and end up fighting my Warhammer Orcs and Gobbos on the other side. What do you think?

    2. Hey guys, sorry to barge in here, but Brilliant! Yes, WWII guys vs. Orcs! That has me drooling! I just had a game last week with my dwarves fighting some Union ACW troops. Used WAB with the English Civil War variant and a few house rules. And it worked very well and got me all excited about mixing things up. Can't wait to see (or play...) a WWII/Orc game, Mouse.

    3. your barging in is very welcome, P.W. No idea how I'd shape the scenario yet, or what forces would be involved. Would like to hear your thoughts, though.

    4. Hey Mouse,

      Was just tripping on thoughts of a secret Barvarian underground training facility where some of the Reich's secret mad experiments are being fine-tuned and trained. It seems that after months of vigourous SS indoctrination, the Green Things of Project Das Ork have had enough! The creatures are rebelling and have overwhelmed the facility's trainers and guards and are about to rampage across Barvaria circa late May 1944! This could also be a possible backstory on why RT Orks have German-like uniforms/helmets and such. Anyway, just a thought that would be fun to play out one day.

  2. Yeah, Mouse, yeah! What it is about Shermans? A Sherman by itself always seems so bland and goofy, but put a whole bunch together and Yeah!! The blood starts to flow! I love all the possibilities of Shermans, especially the crazy upgunned ones the Israelis used. Nice ones here. And what are those fantastic buildings?

    1. Thanks! And yes, I like them, too. The plastic sprues from the open fire boxed set had lots of little xtras that you can personalize them with, and that made them lots more fun to build and paint. Plus I can use them to cover up mistakes I made when gluing them together.
      The buildings are Miniature Building Authority Italian Farmhouses. Not cheap, but they come pre-painted and you can lift off the top half to represent the building having been reduced to rubble by having been pounded by your '88s all day or whatever.