Wednesday, May 26, 2010

little green army men

nope.  not these guys...

these guys:

a lot of folks that know miniature wargames immediately think of historical wargaming like flames of war or warhammer ancient battles, or even sci-fi and fantasy wargaming like warmachine, warhammer, and warhammer 40,000.

some think of games like heroclix, star wars miniatures, or monsterpocalypse.  

some may even consider the use of miniatures during d&d and role playing games as a form of miniature wargaming.

and personally, as long as you're playing a game and having fun, i'm all for it.

but today, i'm going to chat about one of my favorite historical miniature wargames:  memoir '44.

for those not familiar with the it, memoir '44 is produced by days of wonder and they describe it as a... 

  "unique historical game where players command a horde of little plastic Army men facing-off in dozens of ww2 battles on an oversize hex game board.

each battle scenario mimics the historical terrain, troop placements and objectives of each army. deploying forces through a variety of command cards, the smart commander uses the unique skills of his units - infantry, paratroopers, tanks, artillery, commandos and resistance fighters - to its greatest strength."

one of the major reasons i really enjoy playing memoir '44 is that i can buy the basic box game and be playing within 15 minutes of getting it home.  i don't have to have dozens of different troops and rules to play (though there are some pretty sweet expansions like eastern front and the winter/desert board for when you absolutely have to bloody the german warmachine by making them pay for every inch of stalingrad). 

another reason i really enjoy the memoir '44 system is that it's flexible enough to allow both tactical and strategic battles.

starting with a small tactical scenario for the taking of pegasus bridge at midnight on 06 june, 1944, the basic rule set includes 16 scenarios recreating ww2 battles from june 1944 to december 1944, including the liberation of sainte mere-eglise, both sword and omaha beach landings, the liberation of paris, arnhem bridge (the "bridge too far"), and even an "overlord" version of omaha beach that is suitably enormous, requiring two memoir '44 sets (good reason for both you and a friend to have a copy).  the various expansions include additional terrain and scenarios to play.

all of the scenarios appear to be well-researched and feel accurate to the historic deployment of forces. 

since the game system itself is a combination of command cards (to move and affect both your and your opponent's troops), and dice (to resolve combat), it rewards both good command and control of your forces and a bit of daring.

finally, memoir '44 makes me feel like a kid again.  i'm playing with little green army men.  the only thing missing is firecrackers and the "pew! pew! pew!" sound effects.

okay, i'll admit to making the "pew! pew! pew!" sounds when playing. who doesn't?

so if you like ww2, and you want a quick game that you and a couple of friends can pick up, play several scenarios in an evening, and put away, then consider picking up a copy of memoir '44.  

you can purchase memoir '44 at most local games shops (or they should be able to order it for you), or online at days of wonder's online store 

american and german plastic army men by louis marx and company. photo by j. corey butler, 2007
memoir '44 board and figures by days of wonder.  photo by cliff etters, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

furioso dreadnought

one of the really scary things in the new (2010) blood angel codex is the furioso dreadnought.  so i've decided to add two of them to the force.  here are some early assembly snapshots of the first of them...


as you can see, i've added a lot of extra bitz and gubbins to the new venerable dreadnought chassis.  i've always felt that a marine's armor should be a shrine to himself and his chapter.  i can see a dreadnought being a shrine to the chapter and the imperium. 

the piece i like best is the set of blood talons that i picked up from paulson games.  well cast, easy to clean, and nicely detailed, they are a breeze to fit onto the model. 

i'll add more content as i continue to progress on this dreadnought and the other.

space hulk expansion

not really an expansion to the games workshop boxed game, but fantasy flight games has just released a teaser page for it's newest release in the silverline series of games: death angel.

a card-based, co-operative game for 1-6 players, it allows you to take command of a team of superhuman space marines fighting the terrifying genestealers aboard one of the most dangerous environments in the warhammer 40,000 universe: a space hulk.

scheduled for release this summer, death angel will retail for $24.95.

now you can purge the xenos during your lunch hour.

image source: fantasy flight games

a brand new day?

really? that's all i could come up with?

what makes this a brand new day? is it new and improved? probably not.

is something great going to happen? i'm sure for someone the answer to that question is "yes!".

unfortunately, i'm just as sure that for someone else today is going to suck like an electrolux.

so here's the extent of my promise. i'm going to try to entertain, inform, and for the other toy soldier fans out there: inspire.

though you're probably better served jumping over to dave taylor's blog or little green monsters if you're truly seeking inspiration.

nope. i'm going to try to share the stuff that i've learned from over 2 decades of mucking about with plastic and funny smelling glue.

some of the techniques may be old hat to you.

some of them might be something you can use for your models.

some of them might make you wonder if i've been sitting too close to that aforementioned "funny smelling glue".

along the way i'm going to introduce you to some friends and their little mens, and we're going to try to have some fun as well.

this is the little mens' manifesto.