Today I started my 20mm Battle! project.
Inspired by Charles Grant's wonderful little book on WW2-era wargaming, I have long desired to create a couple of fictional armies for that era.
Now the history and politics of the actual conflict itself are of little interest to me, and I have always had a hearty dislike of the "wall-to-wall Tiger tank" German armies one so often sees out there, and the all-too-common sets of WW2 rules that cater for them.
However, I do have an interest in the tactical problems posed by mechanised warfare, and a soft spot for many of the vehicles in use at the time. Some of them look really cute.
In order to cater for my interests, and do away with the bias so often inherent in "historical" games of WW2, I have basically come up with two fictious sides; Green and Brown. Both sides will field a happy mixture of whatever tanks, vehicles and weapons I feel like issuing them with.
The figures to be used have been selected purely on the grounds that the sets contain the requisite poses for the units I wish to create, and are available locally and cheaply.
In this case the troops will be Italeri's WW2 German Infantry (re-issue of the old ESCI set) and German Elite Infantry (the new-ish release), and their US Infantry (another re-issue of the old ESCI set). A couple of boxes of each will allow me to complete a battalion of Infantry and their support, using Charles Grant's OOB guidelines. The "German" figures will have brown uniforms, and the "US" figures green.
Support weapons such as Anti-Tank guns will also be provided by Italeri and Airfix. Armoured cars will be by Pegasus (the BA-6), Airfix and Revell (the old Matchbox Puma). Transport will be the new quick-build M3 halftracks, and perhaps later the 251 when it finally becomes available from HaT, plus Opel and GM trucks trucks from Pegasus.
Tanks will be whatever I fancy, really. Neither side will have unbeatable tanks, and Tigers, Panthers, Shermans, Mk IIIs, BT-7s, T34s and Stalins will be available to both sides. I'm using the various quick-build and E-Z build series out there from the likes of HaT, Italeri and Pegasus, and will include the latter's tidy little "what-if" models, too. I even intend to have a brace or so of the old FT-17's from HaT.
In fact today I slung together a couple of the Pegasus late-WW2 "what-if" tanks. They took me about 15 minutes per tank. The main parts such as the hull and turret went together so well they did not even need glue, and the finished kits are pretty little things, that have already set my imagination awhirl with the prospect of designing paint schemes for them.
I have no intention of creating a game that allows wall-to-wall tanks. They will be issued as support, and almost certainly be limited to three or four on a side, in any one battle.