Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Favorites (if anyone cares)

This seems to be all the rage this week on blogger (and last 2 weeks as well) and I used to enjoy doing these personality surveys back in the late 90s so here goes.  

I enjoy reading what people are talking about in regards to their hobbies and leisure and I'm sure that if you're on here reading my blog, then there's a chance you feel similar!  Here is some insight into my favorite periods, rules, miniatures, and games.

 Periods -
  There are so many periods to mention so where does one begin?  Look at the right side of my blog under Wargame Rules and Genres if you want a quick introduction.  Certainly modern mechanized warfare in the 20th century started off this passion for gaming so that encompasses anything from the early 1920's up to and through today.  I suppose that means WWII, and modern wars being 1946 and onwards to include ground, naval, and air. I branched out from that period due to my intense love and fascination with the American Civil War and American Revolution and have robust forces to game engagements in both of those wars.  The Horse and Musket era from early 1700s up to the Franco-Prussian War with the Seven Years War and the Napoleonic Wars being my most intensely read-about periods lately, after the ACW and AWI.  In college, my concentration was Colonial American History if that gives you any indication on the sheer amount of reading and writing I've done in regards to the AWI.
I also enjoy dabbling into fantasy and sci-fi with the Warmaster and EPIC: Space Marine in there somewhere although I am not a huge fan of their current line of games and minis, though Warmaster, Epic, Milton Bradley/GW's Heroquest and Battlemaster were excellent and elegant games.

 Rules -
     To understand my rules selections I think you have to understand that I first started my gaming career out as a Board Wargamer, playing Avalon Hill's NATO: The Next War in Europe which is an operational level game of war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact over Germany.  I fell in love with basic Squad Leader and PanzerBlitz and both boxes could have been found on my bookshelf at any time in my life from 1996 onwards up to and including today.  Rules for board wargames, strategic, operational, and tactical have definitely shaped my ideas of battle and warfare and what rules "ought" to include.  Namely the feel of the rules and the manners in which they portray problems faced by commanders.  With that in mind, here is a quick list.
Horse & Musket Rules I love Volley and Bayonet and am convinced there is not a more solid rules set out there to teach basic military fundamental principles.
Tactical AWI Engagements I very much like Guns of Liberty and feel it is the most accurate at reflecting both AWI casualties and tactical problems.
ACW I still love Brigade Fire & Fury.  I would say if you're a die-hard "simulation" guy however, you should purchase Johnny Reb III.  Fire & Fury makes me feel like an ACW General Officer.  JOhnny Reb III just depresses me with its overwhelming casualty rates and the difficulty of carrying a position...any position.
While I have not played a truly "napoleonic" rule set yet, I have played napoleonic battles with Volley and Bayonet and find that rule set satisfying so far.  I own Age of Eagles and am painting up forces for it.
For WWII there are a ton of rules I own and play - GHQ's WWII MicroArmor I still play.  I play Pete Jones' excellent Blitzkrieg Commander and ColdWar Commander, I play Arty Conliffe's Crossfire WWII and modern, and have just purchased Disposable Heroes along with their modern and vietnam supplement.

Figures -
    My WWII and modern microarmor is probably measured in tons and not by vehicle.  I think I have more tiger tanks than the entire third reich did!  All of my microarmor is GHQ.  I don't like how other manufacturers are not as compatible with GHQ and I love the detail of GHQ's stuff.
   Most of my ACW and AWI troops are Musket Miniatures or Old Glory 15mm you cannot beat their value in my opinion.  I am not looking to win any contests or pageants.  I simply want nice looking troops that can hit the field and deliver the volleys of sixes I need!!  For WWII, most of my 15mm are Old Glory, Flames of War (battlefront) with a few peter pig mixed in as well.  All of my moderns are plastic 1:72
  In the skirmish realm and fantasy realm, most of my troops are Caesar 1:72, Armourfast 1:72, Orion, Ykreol, IMEX, Italeri, ESCI, and Revell, although if you follow HO scale plastics, you already knew that since those are primary brands out there.  

My horse and musket 6mm troops are all baccus or adler.  (I own my bodyweight in adler ACW, AWI, and SYW. 

If anyone is interested in purchasing by the way, I am selling them for a very very insanely cheap price.

Influences -
    I would have to say over the years that I have been influenced at first by the excellent TV programs "Fields of Armor" "Firepower" WWII GI Diary and World of Valor on the Discovery channel when I was a kid.  When other friends were going out, I was staying in on Thursday and Friday nights to watch those programs.  I had friends who played battletech, Epic Space Marine, 40k, Warhammer, and of course Heroquest and Battlemasters which I loved.  All of that ensured my continued interest in modern wargaming.  It was a natural evolution that I eventually played historical miniatures.  
Literally the first day of my assignment as a brand new US Army 2nd Lieutentant of Field Artillery, I met my best friend and perhaps most talented painter, researcher, organizer, reenactor, and hobbyist I have ever known.  We both were assigned to the same brigade, battalion, and battery on the same day and spent alot of time waiting around.  Conversation turned to our hobbies and Dave F and I have been great friends ever since.  Dave's passion for history is inspiring and I have to say without a doubt he is the biggest influence on my hobby decisions ever since. (arguably since my wife has power of the purse....)   I dont know if I've ever met anyone with a greater knowledge of the experience of Soldiers, their kit their tools, or their tribulations and experiences than Dave.   

Books - 
   Wow - too many to mention.  Ketchum's books on the AWI are extremely important works and inspiring both for research and for historical miniature gaming.  If you have rules questions, you can almost always refer to one of his books for a definitive answer on AWI combat.  My favorite is Saratoga, however Decisive Day comes in a close second.  Hugh Bichenko's Gettysburg is the most definitive literary recreation of that battle and ANY person who has an interest in the battle should own it simply for its excellent maps, charts, figures, methodology in breaking down events and for his candor in describing the faults of both armies.  Ward's The War of the Revolution is also worth mentioning for AWI as well.  Excellent description of the Armies and decisions by both sides.  For WWII Norm McDonald's Company Commander is a first-rate description, and equally inspiring for the German side is Guy Sajer's "The Forgotten Soldier" which ranks among my favorite books ever.  Patton's War as I knew It is a decent book.  As far as modern books are concerned, Read Certain Victory, if you want a good solid and concise history of Desert Storm.  Steel My Soldiers Hearts for Vietnam  .My all-time favorites are Anton Myrer's Once an Eagle, Ralph Peters' Red Army, Harold Coyle's Team Yankee, and Larry Bond's very interesting books about modern wars in Europe and Africa.  Vortex and Cauldron I think.  Who can argue that Mark Bowden's "Black Hawk Down" is a good inspiration for hobbying, although with my own experiences in Iraq for over 3 years, I shy away from the movie now...

Movies -
    Waterloo (thanks Dave), Barry Lyndon (just the first hour lol - the rest is all blah blah blah)  The Bridge at Remagen, A Bridge Too Far, Patton, Glory, Courage Under Fire, Red Dawn, Lord of the Rings, Stalingrad, Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers Series, Flags of Our Fathers and I dont know why Im mentioning it but I love the ACW massive Combat scene over the bridge in the end of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Happy gaming everyone.  This list is by no means definitive but I'm waiting for the "roadside assistance" people to come and jump-start my car!!!!!  

1 comment:

  1. Interesting favourites. I think wargaming must be one of the most diverse hobbies out there as we all seem to have a slightly different slant on things.

    Thanks for following my blog, you will see that I have reciprocated!