So here we are in early November, which means that it is getting cold in Wisconsin and little toy soldiers start calling my name even louder. Oh yeah, with Christmas around the corner I need to get some ideas in front of my wonderful wife. So with all that, let's jump into the update!
First, AIW has hit the stores and I am very excited. I have been drooling over getting the models to paint up and put on the table. Prudence would dictate that I choose an army and just collect. But never having met Prudence and I hear she can be a real b@tch, I decided to just buy all sorts of stuff! For the Israeli forces, I have picked up some Magach (Pattons), AMX, M51 Ishermans, M50 Shermans and Sho't are on order. I then plan on painting a few Pattons as Jordanian tanks. And I have picked up more T-34s and some SU-100 for the UAR! I really want to try painting them and see how they turn out.
As a game supplement, the AIW stuff is pretty good for a first crack. Yes, I would have loved to have seen Israeli Paras in a list. But you can't have everything and this is just the beginning (I hope)! The forces are varied and here is a quick synopsis:
Israelis have all the cool special rules (Mission Tactics, Stormtrooper, SiF, Mounted Assault, etc.) and the cool tanks. Have you seen the Centurions - err, Sho't!!?? But they cost a lot of points. So if you want the super cool tanks, you will have only a few on the table to face a horde of UAR. So from a gaming perspective, the Isherman / Sherman / AMX will end up being a better choice.
UAR is simply a horde. Just pick the type of horde. The non-cheese way of doing this is to max out the SU-100 and get something decent in the way of tanks. The cheese way of doing this is to run two companies of T-34s with SU-100s maxed out. AT 16 and SiF is a really good combination. Oh, bring your paint and your wallet. To run two companies of T-34s, you will need 62 T-34s and 12 SU-100. Yeah, that is reasonable.
Jordanians are the nice, sweet spot. Sure they are Trained and sure, you still have Hen & Chicks. But you get great weapon systems (Centurions and Pattons) plus good to great mech forces. The price cut for Trained makes the cool toys reasonable in price.
So here is the summary:
If you want cool toys with the cool rules, go Israeli.
If you want a zillion tanks on the board and have the personal wealth to do it, go UAR.
If you want a good list with the cool toys, go Jordanian.
Due to AIW, I am in the process of gutting my painting table. My first goal is to finish up my Strelk "platoon." I am getting much closer to this being completed. I still have 12 US arty guns plus their crew on the table to finish up. Bolt Action has been set aside for the time being. And I have a new German list to get painted up. Then add on that Joe and I conducted our personal swap faire and my list to paint has never been longer. But I am moving all that WIP into a box to make room for AIW.
Also, I should point out that when the weather turns in Madison, I can get a whole lot more painting done. So I do expect a big push starting up around Thanksgiving and moving into the holidays.
Historically, I also get some painting done at the end of October due to the schools being out for the 4th Thursday and Friday. But this year, business took me to the UK for a week and that was a no-go. I was able to extend the stay for a few extra days and see Bill. Funny, here are two guys who play a lot of FoW and what do we do? We play Command and Colors Napoleonics!! We played several games last January and had a blast. This time I think we got in 6 or 8 games. A great break and a lot of fun. If you are not familiar with the game, I would strongly recommend you check it out. It is simple to learn but difficult to master - a great combination for any game! Truth be told, Napoleonics is not really on my radar. I have never played a miniature game set in Napoleonic era and I am not sure I ever will. But this game is so good, that I have become hooked. Maybe I will post a review... hmmmmm...
So that is what is up for right now. I just ran my first game with updated Red Bear numbers. I will say that the Soviets are not dead on arrival anymore! I expect to see more Soviet Green tanks running on the tables in the future. I am also excited to see what shows up in Desperate Measures - the upcoming LW East Front book.
Now, back to finishing Strelk so I can get my AIW started!