Saturday, 27 October 2018
I've chosen, against my better judgement, to begin a new project for the winter, now that the clocks are going back and the weather is getting decidedly chilly. This means that despite my recent musings on all things naval, my 1/2400th scale ironclad project has been temporarily shelved until the temperature is back to normal, sometime in the Spring. I can't do three projects at a go, so while the 1/600th scale Football War will carry on going, I will now be switching from the ironclads to a terrain based skirmish project in 15mm. The little ironclad ships will be back, I promise, as it's something I've really enjoyed and want to return to in 2019.
I've called the new project Sandbox Skirmish, although I pinched the name from Ivan Sorenson of Nordic Weasel fame, after a supplement that he wrote for the Five Core Skirmish system. The focus of this project is to put together a set of arid, semi-desert themed terrain in 15mm for post colonial squad and platoon level skirmishes. The theme is more 1960's post-colonial than modern, as I'm not a fan of wargaming recent conflicts like Afghanistan or Iraq, so it's more retreat from Empire in tone, the Empires in question being primarily French and British. If you think more Aden that Afghanistan, you can get a handle on what I'm trying to do.
The figure count for this project is going to be very low, the initial idea being to paint up a small number of different eight to ten man sections rather than a whole platoon of infantry. I'm using the Peter Pig 15mm range, so will start with a section of British and French figures. I may also chuck in a squad of US Marines, either using the Vietnam figures or the ones in the Fritz helmets, and possibly some Israelis to stand in as peacekeepers. The bad guys will be from the AK47 Hardened Militia range, which I have leftover, alongside some generic Militia insurgent types to represent freedom fighters or rebels, depending on your point of view.
There will eventually be a handful of vehicles too but, as this is primarily a squad level infantry patrol project, the meanest thing to roll onto the table will be an armoured car or APC. The initial job, however, is to make a whole load of terrain including buildings, rocky outcrops, roads, palm tree groves and fields. This is what has fired me up to start the project and is a result of the experimental skirmish terrain board that I made earlier today. I plan to get hold of a larger version of this type of frameless board to expand the scenario area but this is a good place to start, as the rest of the terrain features can also be made out of cork floor tile and painted to match.
The rules that I'll be using are, as yet, undecided but Five Core Skirmish, Force on Force and Danger Close are all in the mix. I'm hoping to try out different rules until I find one that ticks all the boxes. I may in the long run, scale up to platoon level games in which case Fireteam Modern or No End in Sight would also be suitable. I like No End in Sight and would make that my first choice if I was starting out at platoon level but in the meantime the focus will be on squads level patrols, hearts and minds and the inevitable ambushes. There will also be a strong 'Imaginations' element to this, so that I can just do what I like rather than have to follow the textbook.
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