Monday, June 11, 2012

Revisting World War Two

I was cleaning up my painting table and came across a "World of Tanks" promo card that was part of the goody bag from Historicon 2011.  I'd forgotten about World of Tanks , but after giving it a try I've become totally addicted.  World of Tanks is a free-to-play online World War II tank shooter.  Games are quick, controls are easy, and there's some fun had in "leveling up" your tanks to outfit with upgraded engines, weapons, and radios.  It's not historically accurate in the least - all makes, models and countries tanks appear on each team - but it is a heck of a lot of fun. Playing it also finally got something that's bugged me about WW2 wargaming to click.

My first historical wargame was Crossfire, a company level WWII set of rules.  I painted up a few platoons of Americans and Germans, built gobs of terrain and tanks and had quite a few fun games.  After a while though Crossfire failed to scratch my WWII itch and I moved on to ancients which I've been happily plugging away at for years now. Crossfire works beautifully with a few platoons of infantry per side, backed up with heavy machine guns, mortars and the occasional tank.  Tanks are rightly neutered in Crossfire to keep the focus on the low level infantry actions it models so well, but that's precisely what was bugging me about the rules. The big draw of World War 2 to me is the staggering variety of forces that each nation threw at each other. Certainly the common grunt was integral, but not since the 40's have such a broad collection of armored cars, motorcycles, cavalry, tanks, tank destroyers, artillery, planes, and field guns been involved in such  evenly matched fighting.  I think modeling that mind boggling array is really a key to my interest in wargaming the period, but Crossfire, Flames of War, IABSM and other squad / platoon / company level rules don't seem to be set up to handle a lot of hardware on the table.

With my interest in WWII rekindled by World of Tanks, I'm poking around the internet looking for a scale and rules set that might allow me to field dozens of tanks per side, without the table looking like a bumper car ride of panzers jostling each other cheek to cheek.  Currently I'm leaning towards 10/12mm using Blitzkrieg Commander, but doing some small skirmishes with another rules set in 28mm occasionally.  I've found a lite version of the Blitzkrieg Commander rules and I'm hoping to try them out with my older 20mm figures in the next month or so.  Flames of War also has a series of demo videos to teach the rules, which I might give a whirl if I can glean enough info from them to run a short game.

1 comment:

  1. That's kind of the Grail of WWII gaming isn't it? A ruleset that let's you use a wide variety of stuff without it looking / feeling silly. I'm curious to see how BkC works out!