Category Archives: review

New Acquisitions…

Although I’m trying to keep expenditure down at the moment I’ve picked up a few odds and ends off eBay and via Boardgamegeek. Best thing for my Cold War Commander Soviets was:

I’d posted on TMP asking for info on this book but not got a response but then saw a good copy on eBay and decided to take the plunge! It’s an excellent book covering pretty well any vehicle I could think of which a black and white photo of them as well as useful text. There are some excellent shots of command vehicles ‘in action’ with all aerials etc. raised which have given me ideas for my HQ stands. There are also some excellent shots of engineering and bridging vehicles in action and some good schematics of BMPs. All in all an excellent purchase.

I’ve had an eye on James Rouch’s The Zone series for a while since it got recommended following my posts re CWC reading on TMP. I’d held off as some of the volumes are still a bit pricey while others can be got for c.£1 on Amazon. Although this latter seems a good deal it falls foul of the Amazon dealer £2.75 flat postage PER ITEM! And dealers won’t (can’t?) combine postage. So I could get four volumes for £4 but it would cost £11 shipping! Bloody extortionate! Anyway, courtesy of eBay I managed to get the first five volumes for £9.15 including shipping. Quite happy about that. Not sure I’ll be able to get the other five volumes as they seem a little pricier. They are available as PDFs but I don’t facny reading on screen.

I’m still looking for a copy of Robert Forrest-Webb’s Chieftains though. Missed one on eBay and still hold out hope of finding one in a charity shop…

Finally a few boardgame acquisitions. Although I’m not playing ASL at the moment I’ve had High Ground 2 from Bounding Fire Productions on pre-order for a while:

This reproduces the two excellent maps from High Ground 1 (shown left below) and adds two more and an overlay plus additional scenarios, but this time all in the new Starter Kit style maps.

The first pack was excellent with some great scenarios and one day I’ll get chance to play them again!

MMP have also announced that the great Map Bundle (all ASL maps in new style) is imminent. I’ve very tempted by this but it is a tad pricey and I intend to buy each of the new re-done modules as they come out anyway, so will get most of the new maps then. So, at the moment, something I can’t justify…

Other boardgames en route are the Strategy and Tactics mags containing BAOR, Donau Front, Fifth Corps and Berlin’85. The latter is standalone but the former, when combined with Hof Gap, form the Central Front series and apparently link together. Intention is that they provide a ‘campaign’ structure playing Cold War Commander.

That’s all for now. I’ll update with links in a bit but for now I have a two year old with a nappy that needs changing!

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Review – Field of Glory Markers – Pt 2

Following my review of AJ’s Field of Glory markers, Justin over at Veni, Vidi, Vici sent me a set of their own FoG markers for review which duly arrived today and as I had finished work early I managed to get a few snaps off so I could get on with the review…

These are not currently available on their website as they are waiting for work on their laser before cutting more, but some are available via eBay and should be listed here. The sample set are a blue-green and come in a single zip bag. There are currently other colours available on eBay e,g, orange and they are £4.95 plus £1.50 shipping.

So what do you get?

  • 3 (three) ambush markers
  • 6 (six) disrupted
  • 6 (six) fragmented
  • 6 (six) broken

The big, so to speak, difference between these and the previous batch is that these are much smaller.

And are less ‘intrusive’ when next to the units.

Again, I can’t fault the quality. Neatly cut and the white lettering is more subdued. My only concern is the size. I found them a little fiddly to manipulate but that may just be my chubby fingers! The one colour for all makes it easy to have a different set for each player and the ambush markers are a bonus.

A few people on TMP (well one!) commented that they prefer more subtle markers that are less intrusive on the table. For those, these would be better as they are small, neat and with a suitable choice of colour wouldn’t stand out too much. I have to admit I prefer the larger ones, but that is a personal choice as I also like the colour coding in the larger set. I hope to get a game in again soon and will try both sets in anger!

Thanks to Justin for the chance to review.

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REVIEW – Field of Glory Markers

Over on the Field of Glory Forums Allan (AJ) Wright has been developing his ideas for FoG markers using a laser engraver and coloured acrylic. They are available for sale here and the development can be seen on his blog and the FoG forums thread here. Allan was kind enough to send me a set for evaluation and they arrived last week. It’s taken me until now to get the time, space and camera sorted so I could write a review!

They come neatly packaged in individual bags within one large sealed bag.

And you get:

  • eight (8) green DISRUPTED markers
  • six (6) yellow FRAGMENTED markers
  • six (6) red BROKEN markers
  • six (6) green DISORDERED markers
  • four (4) yellow SEVERE DISORDER markers

All markers are made from 1/8″ thick acrylic with engraved and colour-filled lettering. The cutting is neat and crisp, as is the lettering and they have a nice feel to them. When laid on the table they look very professional. And the colour coding for severity is helpful as well.

I will have to bow to more experienced FoG players than myself as to whether the numbers and proportions are correct but I assume it would depend on size of game – personally I’d probably need more of the red ones!

At $17.99 plus $5.25 shipping I think they’re good value and I intend to order another set for me and also one for my opponent.

For my AWI games I’ve gone for more scenic markers but these are spot on for FoG and I highly recommend them.


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A Little Progress: Part 1 – The Paint Rack

Well, after the failed attempt at any gaming activity last weekend while my wife was away I decide to take last Thursday off work. I was feeling rough anyway but not really bad enough to justify a sickie! So with a day of ‘freedom’ I decided a little progress was required. After watching episode seven of Pacific (good series but not grabbing me the same way Band of Brothers did) I adjourned to my attic and began task one: assembling a paint rack.

I’d seen a picture of one belonging to Micheal at Angel Barracks and after enquiring he said he had a spare which he offered at bargain price! What he didn’t tell me was that it came flat-pack and that the construction would stretch the patience of a hardened IKEA man like myself!

The model was from Australian firm Model Scenery and was their 34 pot holding standard model which forms part of a modular system including corner rack, part racks etc. The product comes as several sheets of cut 3mm mdf templates where you have to snip out the components prior to contruction.

This relatively straighforward but sometimes it can be a little confusing as to what to snip and what not! Not something I would attempt either drunk or very tired!

The instructions are minimal but pretty clear and the first stage is to put together the actual holders, applying a little PVA to secure the joins:

And then construct the outer frame:

The difficult bit is deciding how much PVA to put on and where. I was probably by turns over-zealous and stingy! Once you have the main frame together it’s a pretty straighforward process of slotting in each layer from the bottom up until the rack is complete.

At each of the stages you need to apply a little pressure to hold the layer in place. I probably rushed things a little and if you are not careful where you press then lower levels can come apart again.

Overall, it took maybe two hours but I wasn’t rushing! The end result is:

It takes most paint pot sizes but the Vallejo drop down into a smaller hole. This, to me leaves them too low. There is a section of MDF which is clipped out from thse holes which could be left in and in retrospect I would do this. I’ve ended up putting three strips of card on each shelf to stop the Vallejo falling through! The only paints it doesn’t take are the few old large pots of Humbrol I have but it holds enough of my current choices to make them accessible and visible.

My only concern is that there is a lot of leftover MDF which I’m sure I could find a use for!

VERDICT: I’m glad I got it. I’ve since seen other options which may work better for me but to be honest, for the price, this does nicely. I’m tempted to get another but Michael hints that the corner units are harder work – but then he got his wife to make his! – so I may just get a matching one. Anyway, there aren’t enough brush holders in just one!

Disclaimer: sorry for the crappy pictures. My camera was playing up. I’d obviously changed a setting somewhere that affected the brightness and it was only after a camera reset that it got back to normal!

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And another magazine!

Well, this morning the latest Wargames Illustrated landed on my doormat and it has reinforced my view that I’m not overly impressed with the new format. This is an issue where there is little if anything to interest me. I’m not big on vikings, ECW or Flames of War and making a machine gun wagon for a train is rather low on my to-do list. And the African article just brought back nightmares of the old Wargames Illustrated Darkest Africa stuff that seemed to appear again and again.

Often, in any mag the reviews can compensate a little as I can see stuff I MIGHT be interested in. But no, this month they’ve had soooo much content that the reviews have been shifted to the website. I can’t read the website on the loo, in the bath or on the bus which is when I usually want to read my wargames mags. The only glimmer of hope is that Sam Mustafa may have some input into an upcoming issue.

And the Moments in History figure range they are pushing still strikes me as some of the most uninspired sculpting I’ve seen in a long time and wouldn’t tempt me to subscribe!

As you can tell, I’m not that keen on this issue…. 🙂

Andy

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