Saturday, March 7, 2009

Almost one year to the day...

...that I posted on this blog! Like a lot of wargamers I float from one project to another with a moth-like lack of discipline, but I usually come back to WW2 and the Great Patriotic War sooner or later.

The big news it that I've got my first batch of
15mm Flames of War miniatures.

Foolish, seeing that I have a lot invested in 20mm? Possibly, but there are some factors at work here which are making me consider an alternate scale.

a) First of all, storage and table space. 15mm models take up a
lot less room than their 20mm brethren. This has really become an issue for me, as my table space is really limited, at most 6' by 4'.

b) Secondly, potential convenience. Some people out there seem to loath the Battlefront/ FoW business model, but the truth is it can be a real hassle trying to gather a collection of miniatures together from a number of disparate manufacturers.

Not all are of consistent quality or offer anything like the completeness of the range that Battlefront offers. Battlefront do just about everything a gamer needs, are readily available from any number of sources, and the chances even in Japan of finding opponents who have their own armies ready and based for FoW is much more likely than in other scales.

c) Thirdly, cost performance. I have a lot of 20mm infantry and the major tanks but not enough artillery and other support vehicles. The major vehicles are pretty well generally available in plastic at reasonable prices for their size, but the more obscure stuff is only available in resin or metal. And the price can be hefty, especially if like me someone wants to get in some artillery batteries and tractors.

The postage on the heavier metal models can also add up, especially when sent to Japan from the UK. Add to that the time it takes to put some of these models together (and in some cases to remedy sometimes major casting defects. poor fit of parts, or assembling seemingly endless road wheel or track units), and the simplicity of models in the smaller 15mm scale can start looking
really attractive.

d) Last but by no means least, a very important consideration at the present time is the
extremely favourable exchange rate for me
vis-a-vis the NZ dollar and the Japanese yen, which with all the above helps to make a very strong case for taking the Battlefront route.

So I'll give these a shot. I now have a company of Russki infantry with a
Katyusha battery to put together. I can use these just as easily with either the FoW rules or with the Blitzkrieg Commander set. The caveat is whether I will enjoy working on the smaller scales. If I like working on these models, and they turn out well, I may well find myself taking the 15mm route. If not, well, I've a lot of 20mm stuff I can return to and I'd probably have no problem finding a new owner for these in Washington state, I'm sure!

I've also gone and ordered myself one of these, as I love the smell of 76.2mm gunpowder in the morning. Overkill given the number of infantry I have, but again I can always flog the painted minis off on eBay at a profit if I want to.

For the Motherland!

For Dave...