Monday, 3 January 2011

The American Reich

I admit to watching the Godfather trilogy on TV over the last couple of nights. As I watched Godfather II it raised questions in my mind about fascism mongst Italian Americans around the time I'm contemplating playing on the tabletop. Not suprisingly I did a little digging and turned over a rich seam of potential! Not just amongst the Italian American communities but organised and bankrolled fascism across the breadth of American society.

And then of course there's a potential springboard for Irish fascist involvement with O'Duffy and his Blueshirts coming to the more furtile recruiting ground amongst Irish Americans rather than heading off to fight with his "Irish Brigade" in Spain.

And from there....well! The entire Spanish Civil War with it's struggle between the two greatest ideologies of the twentieth century transported lock, stock, and gun barrel to Kansas.....Philadelphia, Ohio, New Jersey.


Sunday, 2 January 2011

2011: The Landscape Ahead

I'm not making any concrete plans for gaming in the coming year, but I think it's worth saying that smallscale, often and fun will be the callsign of the day.

There are a few things rattling in the back of the old noodle that I'd like to do, that would fit with the modus operandi above.

1) From the Halls of Montezuma.....
Otherwise known as "Down Mosquito Way".

WHAT: It's 1930ish and a revolution is underway in the Central Banana Republic of Costaguano. US Marines have been sent to secure the "liberty" of this strategic strip of land linking the Pacific and Gulf of Maracas.

WHY: Inpired by the US Marine Corps Small Wars Manual. Also an excuse to field 15mm Eureka 1941 US Marines in Tommy hats. These will also do double duty in  project No.2.

HOW: Platoon sized force of Eureka US Marines and a Navy landing party vs Eureka Filipinos and Khurasan's new Paraguayans - all in soft hats. May use Eureka WW1 Bulgarians as Costaguanan National Guard. Thinking of Sword & The Flame rules.

WHAT-IF: 20 or 28mm? No. The US figures above fall-out of the project below, so give twice the bang for the squids invested.

2) " Fear Itself"

"the only thing we have to fear is fear itself,"..... "I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis -- broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe." FDR

WHAT: Once again it's the 1930's and America is at war with itself in a twist on a VBCW.

WHY: Been interested in this scenario for some time. Influenced by Steinbeck, Hemingway, The Waltons (don't laugh),  and the memoirs of the Lincoln Brigaders in the Spanish Civil War. Am able to use a lot of disparate items I already own and an excuse to purchase a few other odd items without needing to buy and collect whole armies. Plenty of cut out and assemble American model railroad and ACW/Western period buildings on the market. So scenery not a problem. I'm also sure it will be fun as I can be a bit fast and loose with the historicity, protagonists etc.

HOW: 15mm. Rules will probably be a combination of Too Fat Lardies products to suit my needs. Figures to be Eureka's 1941 era US Marines, Cavalry and Navy, my Spanish Civil War figures, Minifigs WW1 Doughboys, some ACW Confederates, plus others. There will be early Stuarts/Vickers tanks masquerading as Combat Cars, plus FT17's, and other ex-WW1 and Interbellum meccano tanks/tankettes. Again, I have a good start in my current WW1, SCW and inter-war collection.

WHAT-IF:  20mm-28mm? No. Whilst I'd love to get some 28mm SCW figures it would mean starting collecting over again in a larger scale, which works against one of the reasons why I want to do this, which is to utilise figures, vehicles and accessories I already own.

3) Bay of Goats

WHAT: 1961 invasion of Costaguano by CIA backed exiles against a Popular Front government.

WHY: The shadowy world of the Bay of Pig is something that has always interested me. Costaguano provides an excellent setting to do this on a small scale. Have the Costaguano terrain and any number of WW2/Modern rules. All I need are the figures.

HOW: 20mm Elheim (Sgt Majors Figs; US 6th Marines) perfect for members of a faux Brigade 2506.

I'd actually use the same figures for both sides! US Marine Cammies for the Exiles and plain light olive for the Popular Front - maybe some Liberation Miniatures Cuban types thrown in.

WHAT-IF? 15mm? Could do, but I specifically like these miniatures and have 1/76th M24 Chaffees, T34-85s and a Stuart that would be useful without buying any new model tanks. other uses? There is also the possibility of using these miniatures in an early 1960's American VBCW or other CIA backed escapades from the 50's to early Vietnam (Go Tell the Spartans).

4) Operation Tropic Thunder

WHAT: Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter meets Grenada/Panama in 20mm

WHY: Love GRAW and want to capture it on tabletop with some of the excellent 20mm figures on the market.

HOW: 20mm. Ambush Alley/Force on Force/Mercs - the Ghosts from Elheim and Liberation (snipers in ghillie suits), vs Caribbean/Cuban types from Elheim (Middle East regulars), Liberation and Combat Miniatures (Stonewall Figures).

WHAT-IF: 15mm? No Modern 15mm figures live up to the quality of sculpting and animation exhibited in 20mm.

 5) Beowulf

WHAT: Dark Age Norse/Anglo-Saxon fantasy historical

WHY: TBC (its too late to think being 4.30am)



Reviewing the above, I think that the Bay of Goats is the least likely to come off as it's out on a thin limb of interest. Although..... it does offer a 1960's Ghost Recon option. Operation Tropic Thunder is the easiest and cheapest to get under way, but "...Is Fear Itself" an American VBCW will be the most absorbing and fun.