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[boltaction.net] LRDG 12 
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Sorry this is late

http://www.boltaction.net/2014/03/lrdg-episode-12.html

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Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:01 am
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Hello Guys, Lochlan you'd asked me to come on the page and talk about why my tourney is 1250pts what my thinking is behind it so here I am.

First off I wanted to thank you for flogging the event on the show having it heard on the show may not increase attendance at this event but we will have monthly tourney's and I think it will build excitement for us going forward so thank you so much!

Okay lets get in to it WHY 1250PTS?????

I have been playing Bolt Action since day one and have not stopped loving it the game is so good but you know that already.

We started out just like you guys playing at 1000pts and played that way for a long time. I heard a lot of the German players bitching about transports and how expensive their tanks were and this was at a very early stage in the communities evolution guys had spent a ton of coin on big Panthers and Tigers and a shit load of Hanomags and didn't have the points to field them with out make a joke list.

I saw people getting frustrated so I pushed people to up points levels we went up to 1500pts and played games like that for a long time. I didn't want the momentum of a fledgling game to die and me to have no one to play so it came from selfish reasons i guess.

Games were taking to long at the 1500 point level so dialed it back to 1250pts and what we found was this is a great sweet spot for all armies!

I would encourage you to make lists and play 1250pt games. I think you'll find it is a sweet sweet nectar that must be tasted at all times when playing Bolt Action!

On the game side of things I think playing at this point level really helps make the spank units not spank as hard because you can recover from a unit getting deleted. So heavy howitzers and Flame tanks are not as big of an issue because you have more stuff to deal with them and you can take a few more casualties and still win the game.

What we have found is guys are not putting those extra points in to more toys but what they are taking and whats winning games is infantry. Having more squads wins you games!

I am begging yo guys to try playing at 1250pts please give it a go!!!


Last edited by MarkDawg on Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:12 am
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While i've no doubt 1250pts is a great level to play the game, and it gives you many more tools in the box, it doesn't do anything to diminish the imbalance that VFT and big HE cause.

These units only accentuate the (and I shiver to use this word) Meta. You're forced to tailor your list just in case you face Mr Three VFT, but leave the door wide open to get stomped by Mr Infantry Horde. You build a balanced list, and risk becoming the jack of all trades and everyone's bitch.

It irks me to play a game with 'right' and 'wrong' choices, or one where scissors beat paper, but rock beats scissors. Unfortunately with things as they stand, there are those choices and those lists.


Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:54 am
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Well buddy we have been playing at 1250 for a long time and that is not what we have found. From the sounds of it you have never tried it so until you do... I can't help ya.

Look VFT can't be every where at once. Big HE is nothing to bitch about and for the life of me I can't figure out why so many people complain about it. If you get hit with a 105 shell your squad should die! That is what would happen IRL. You know what balances out infantry hoards Rockets!

You guys need to remember in many of the missions you can't field all your units at once people do fail order tests to come on the board one pin can stop a vehicle flame thrower we are both playing the same game right???

All I ask is you try it. I think it is a better point level to play at and I also think gimmick lists don't work in the end infantry wins you games.

Even if you don't want to actually play a game at 1250 please make a few lists see how it feels.


Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:55 am
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I've done 1250 and beyond, over the same period of time you have Mark. Lets not play that little game.

Once again, we aren't going to agree. Rather than clog up the forum with the same argument, i'll leave you to it. Perhaps start a podcast to get the word out, "In the Dawghouse"?


Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:34 am
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As I've said before in Bolt Action a 'hit' is not actually a hit it's a round or rounds landing in the general vicinity (otherwise almost any hit would kill). The Pinning effect of multi-dice HE is just fine. I'd actually argue it could perhaps be made a little more reliable. The wiping of squads is not unreasonable on occasion but shouldn't be a given unless MMGs should be mowing down entire squads in the open too (which I don't think they should either).

Howbeit, what I've discovered is that there's more to changing points than meets the eye. For instance I've played a fair few games at 600 and 750 points. Naturally at both levels, the overpowered units are squeezed somewhat but the difference is far more marked at 600 points than at 750 (where you can squeeze in a good bit of unlikely support) because of the basic cost of the 'core' which at pretty much 150 points means that although you've increased only 25% in points from 600 to 750, the 'room for exploitation' has increased by 33%, and in fact for most armies by more than that because few people will be content to run a minimal core. In practice the increase in 'room for exploitation' probably increases by 40-60% depending on the nation played (Soviets for instance have a wealth of good and cheap options that can easily exploit a low point cap). You also have a slight issue at low points in that for some nations certain special rules become much better (Soviets, Finns) others become better but also more chancy in resolution (US air, GB artillery). But that exists at both levels and as I say, 600 points actually gives better games in my experience than 750.

Now working upwards I have played fewer singles games above 1000 points than below it. Quite a lot fewer. However I've played about 8 or 9 at 1500 and 3 at 1250.

At 1500 the main issue for me wasn't so much time (though the games do obviously take longer but we weren't worried about venues shutting or anything and I am somewhat of a stickler for actually turning up on time and getting on with things rather than shambling in half an hour late and proceeding to chat for ages) as that it felt too big for a single force and yet (and this ties actually with the 750 point thing above) too small for two forces per player. Overall I think 1500 points is possibly a decent level for armoured games but it actually stinks for infantry games. This is partly because it becomes a definite 'two platoon' game but actually you can exploit to take three platoons and tool up on the overpowered supports through that (because you can have one or two platoons to give your force solidity and add 'token' platoon to pack in those supports.

Now at 1250 it has seemed to me that the 'third token platoon' becomes less viable. However it does provide more room to buy in the better overpowered options (a Soviet player wishing to take two OT-34s must make some sacrifices at 1000 points, these are mitigated a lot at 1250).

So I agree with Mark that 1250 is (or seems) a good level to play at, as are 1000 and 600. But I don't think any of those points levels help at all with the basic balance issues which are not simple points issues.

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Themed Selectors:

Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:56 am
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As regards the rest of the podcast:

while Tough Fighters is very useful and should maybe be +2 points per man, Inexperienced troops are well overpriced at 7 points per man, so really one cancels the other. In fact I don't think TF cancels the penalties that Inexperienced are lumbered with. Sure they won't be shooting much (but when they do that -1 is pretty massive for a rifle armed squad) but the crap morale and 3+ to kill is a big deal for a squad that wants to assault.

Now Inexperienced cavalry would be another matter . . .


Sikhs as Gurkhas is a great idea.

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Themed Selectors:

Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Last edited by UberGruber on Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:55 am
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Victoria Bitter = VB = Vomit Bomb (or so it was called back in my Uni days)

Very Best indeed....

however I seem to have become a westcoast (US) craftbrew beer brat.. I really like my westcoast IPA's and ale's, it is all rather nice.


Good Ep. I love that you talk about events not so close to home. Looking forward to seeing some of you guys in the next couple of weeks.


-- should say i am back in Melbourne on Thursday (local time) I have no idea how I am going to handle that first, or second VB come Thursday night... I am thinking downing them quick so I don't taste it.

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Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:00 am
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Hey Brad & gang,

There are actually rules for infered equipment in the Night fighting rules that came out last year in a PDF. Also your podcast is dangerous. I was listening to it at breakfast this morning & I almost choked on it when Lochland said that thing about the first GI & the first Belgium nurse. :) It was a raunchy podcast with sexual innuendo in mixed in with shop talk in every topic covered & people loseing there pants....nothings changed I see. :lol:


Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:46 am
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Thanks for the episode guys! A bit drunk at places but had some good stuff as well. I enjoyed the neckbeardy discussion about the East African campaign. Lachlan, it's called ERItrea, not Etrea. ;)

As to the gasmask Germans, you know Warlord sells gasmask heads don't you?
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Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:36 pm
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UberGruber wrote:
So I agree with Mark that 1250 is (or seems) a good level to play at, as are 1000 and 600. But I don't think any of those points levels help at all with the basic balance issues which are not simple points issues.



UG It can help having a few more squads is a big help when one of them gets deleted or having that second medium tank to stop VFT and toss out pins on advancing squads.

I guess the disconnect is you UG and Angle think Bolt Action is a horribly broken game and I do not think that at all. Would I like to see some changes in the rules on points levels for units certain things get changed absolutely!

To me 1250 gives you the room to buy enough stuff to deal with things when something goes wrong. I think this increases tactical game play IMHO.

I saw a thread where a German player posted 2 lists and ask the forum to help him Decide what was the best one to take to an event. He only had 4 infantry squads! I told him he need more infantry and most people disagreed with me. I think this is why you guys hate HE so much. If that guy makes a run move in turn 1 and gets hit with a 2D6 HE now he is going to really struggle.

I would also like you guys to ponder this. The Rule of Cool! I think 1250 also allows people to take something that might not be the most point efficient but its a unit that they love and it's not soul crushing to their list. At 1250 you can run a few units that at a 1000 pts you would never take because it would be such a huge burden or your list. This was one of the main reasons we upped points and people like it.


Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:38 pm
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Aspects of Bolt Action just don't add up mathematically. This isn't just to do with points being a mix of additive and proportional, neither is it just to do with points having been allocated rather dubiously in some areas, it's not just to do with certain things being simply too good almost regardless of points, it's also to do with the impact of inserting multiple cumulative dice into an essentially single dice system (this is common to all dice games that are essentially single dice when multiples come in towards an extreme -- many RPGs suffer from this effect). It doesn't, as I've said before, mean the whole game is broken. If I can give a car analogy, the engine is essentially fine but the suspension's shot and the bodywork could do with some work. At this point I'd like to state that I've played a fair number of games now over the past months and I don't think I need to be all cosy and warm and say how much I like Bolt Action -- clearly I do, I'm just not prepared to ignore the warts and deeper lying cankers when I talk about it.

I agree that 1250 is a sound level to play at, unlike 1500 which I think is not. I also agree it lets you bring something like a Tiger or a Panther and have enough points over to make a reasonable force otherwise. However it doesn't help you if you take that Tiger and your opponent optimises. Regardless of points a sub-optimal choice remains sub-optimal.

You say four squads isn't enough. I say (and I said in the thread to which you refer) it's not squads per se, it's the number of infantry units and models your force contains. You can run an effective force under the current rules with four squads, the game doesn't become more balanced if you run five.

I remember an article on the site that said around 75 points was the optimal 'spend' on an infantry squad, which I thought quite insightful. I'd have put the range at 70-100 myself with the odd exception. It throws into sharp relief the good from the bad when you start trying to work squads into that range and you see just how many options don't really work well within that (and which nations can exploit such a range the best).

Angel had a good point when he said the current balance is very much rock-paper-scissors. There is no 'balanced' force in Bolt Action -- you can't build an all comers/all mission force at 1000 points or at 1250 unless you start monkeying with the missions (and note when you begin to have, say, multi-mid table objectives, some squads that are already good become much better, as the LRDG mentioned in their podcast, and armies that lack such options lose out). Part of the charm of BA is the sheer variety of forces. But if the in-game balance was better between units you'd see more of that.

You say I hate HE. I don't. I merely say that medium and heavy howitzers are too 'killy' compared to other weapons. HE could well do with a tweak with regard to indirect fire in my view but in essence it's fine. What's not fine, and for mathematical reasons, is the jump from d6 to 2d6 and from 2d6 to 3d6.

Yes you can mitigate powerful HE units by running larger numbers of smaller squads. In fact though that's another failing of BA that the US list highlights well.

This:

2 x 6 Regulars: BAR, 5 x rifles

is much better than this:

12 Regulars: 2 x BAR, 10 x rifles

Even in Max Att and Envelopment which do penalise the former somewhat (and yet they're the ones that everyone wants to change . . . by adding objectives to Max Att or whatever . . .). Not that custom missions are a bad thing, just that they don't necessarily help 'fix' anything.

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Themed Selectors:

Fallen in die Hölle - German Airborne on Crete
Tatou! Tatou! - Maori Bn in Greece and Crete, Ka Mate! Ka Mate! -Maori Bn in North Africa
Ritterlich im Krieg - 1942 Afrika Korps


Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:15 pm
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WOW...need to have a disclaimer. No more listening at work or at home with the speakers on (Children). Household Six gave me a strange look and asked what I was listening to. :lol:

I usually listen while painitng, I guess I will have to swithc to headphones or listen during the commute. Very entertaining with some game discussion mixed in.

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Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:53 pm
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Hey Guys,
thought I would add something to your North Africa Aussie discussion.

Being an Aussie and my grandfather being in that theater (2nd Siege of Tobruk with the 9th Div, 2/13th Field Regiment (Artillery)).
When the Aussies went to North Africa (Palestine) in 1940 they did have Bren guns and Boyes ATR, they were pretty well kitted out, and yes the Driza-bone was part of the uniform (the Australian War Memorial has pics of Aussies with bren guns in Palestine)

in Brief, cause I could talk about this all day.
The equipment that the Aussie 6th Div captured was captured at Bardia, The reason for the Driza-bones (oil skin great coats to the rest of you) was cause it was really cold at night, They started at the assembly area at around 2am(ish) so had all warm gear on, woolen sweeters (jumpers to us Aussies) and great coats. The attack really started at 5:30am still dark. The Aussies were meant to be supported by the English 7RTR (Royal Tank Regiment) full of Matilda Tanks but most broke down on the way to the battle, however some did make it.
People often see this iconic image from that Attack
Image
The 6th Div Cav the aussie armored unit, was on flank patrol, as it had mainly Uni Carriers and a few Vickers.
There were times where the Aussie Arty could fire at Italian HMG nests over direct sights, the starting lines were elevated and only two or so miles from Bardia it's self, when it was all said and done, the Aussies captured a massive amount of men and materiel. There were somewhere around 40,000 men captured, for loss of around 500. They captured some 400 guns (Including tanks), over 100 L3's and a couple of Dozen Medium tanks, the majority being M11/39's and only a few M13/40's. Compared to what the 6th Div Cav already had these captured tanks were a huge improvement. They basically ran them till they ran out of Fuel/Ammo or they broke down. Because there were not many tanks captured, only part of A Squadron was equipped with those tanks the rest still had Uni Carriers.

Other things you can do, cause the 6th Div Cav were very good a using captured stuff. After Tobruk they were moved Syria to fight with the Aussie 21st brigade. Where they captured some Renault R35's both A and B squadron had 3 of each, and C squadron formed a horse troop, which was nicknamed the Kelly Gang.....

The Aussies in the desert do provide some fantastic ideas for using different equipment and I really want to see how it all comes out.

if anybody wants more info on the Aussies, the Australian War Memorial has a fantastic online resource of all the Australian war accounts. http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/

Enjoy.. See the LRDG in Melbourne Town soonish maybe (if we can organise it)

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Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:14 pm
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2 things guys, awesome cast as always boys and genetaila lachlan.
Good to have you back dude.
1. Big respect for the soberish mention,
2. That's my song Mr Morin. Twirking like a nick cage/night riding!

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Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:04 pm
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Signs you've drunk too much during a recording. When you say stuff like: "It's a double edged coin." "THey couldn't rub two shits together". & people end up losing their pants. :lol:


Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:35 pm
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Great episode, although for some reason I seem to be very grateful that it's a podcast rather than a video-cost. Hmmmm, I wonder why.... Perhaps some images are best left to the imagination.

I am intrigued by the 1,250 points target for a tournament and hopefully we can try one here in the states

Are there any 'cons in August? My wife and son are conspiring to convince me to take the family on a trip to NZ/Australia in August - maybe I can squeeze a few rounds of BA in.

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Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:44 pm
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thefloppy1 wrote:
thought I would add something to your North Africa Aussie discussion.


Wow, Floppy - thanks for the info! I love it! I am going to rock some Boys AT rifles now. Also, I really wanted to take the M11/39 - I love the weirder looking tanks like this and the Grant/Lee - but unfortunately the British book doesn't really have a comparable tank that I could use (cf the M13/40 being able to easily swap rules with the Stuart/Honey). I might pick up one of the Company B M11/39s for some themed battles later.

Here's the first few Aussies that are basically finished. I'm trying to paint the army in time for Conquest, but if time allows I will paint eyes:

Image

Thanks everyone for the feedback on the show too!

Tobu.


Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:53 pm
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Tobu,
we can have a chat when I hit melbourne town if you guys can get down to the knights Session one day.. (looks like we might be gaming on the 10th will send a couple of PM's when I get in town)

I think Warlord would love some written rules for the use of captured equipment, it wasn't just limited to the Allies, the DaK and Italians used heaps of Allied equipment. There is even Pics floating about of Matilda's in German colours, with german crosses, and Rommel made great use of captured Honey's.

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Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:40 am
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Guys,

Thanks alot for plugging Leviathan, really appreciate it. Here is a bit more detail on it.

It's 1000 pts, a maximum of 2 reinforced platoons & a maximum of 15 units/order dice per force. Each list must have the following restrictions:

- Army lists may be Generic or a Theatre selector from any of the ‘Armies of’ books. The additional units pdfs can also be used in list construction. All theatre selectors may be used with the
exception of the Seelow Heights theatre selector found in the ‘Armies of the Soviet Union’ book. Armoured Platoons may not be used.
- No player may field Vehicle flamethrowers.
- No player may field more than one unit of cavalry.
- No player may field more than a maximum of 1 manpacked flamethrowers.
- No player may field more than a maximum of 1 medium or heavy howitzer. (Yes even the French. This refers to medium or heavy howitzers & crew, not these weapons mounted on vehicles.)
- No more than 2 Air or Artillery Observers. US armies cannot have two air observers.
- A maximum of 2 Heavy mortars.
- Maximum of 2 Ghurka sections.
- You may bring two armies, one must be Allied, the other Axis.

We are using scenarios from the book except for top secret but two have been modified to make them more balanced. These are:

Envelopment: The Outflanking rules have the following modifications:
1) On turn 3 outflankers enter along a side edge (still have to write this down at the beginning of the game) but no more than 18” from the players own edge. Turn 4 the players units enter a
further 9” forward, so 27” from the players own edge. Turn 5, a further 9”, 36” from the players edge. Turn 6, a further 9”, 45” from the players edge. Turn 7 anywhere along the short edges
on the board where ever the player nominated at the start of the game.
2) An attackers units may not leave the board on the same turn it came in from outflanking.
3) Players must begin rolling for outflankers & reserves from turn 4.

Point Defence: : Players must begin rolling for outflankers & reserves from turn 4.

We trialed these restrictions & modifications in a one day tournament & the general consensus from the 10 people that took part was that they worked well.


Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:46 am
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superb gentlemen, even if I spat my tea all over my painting table!

keep it coming!


Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:03 am
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Hey Miles, that 1250 point tournament is indeed in the US (Washington state to be exact). The exact details are in the event thread. Not sure about anything in August yet, but if not and your down in Victoria, I'd be happy to host a game or two, as I'm sure the LRDG guys will be too.

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Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:06 am
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Everyone please help me convince Tobu to stop painting his own armies so I can commission him for one. Those Perry's look incredible.


Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:27 am
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Define 'convince'.

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Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:15 am
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thefloppy1 wrote:
Tobu,
we can have a chat when I hit melbourne town if you guys can get down to the knights Session one day.. (looks like we might be gaming on the 10th will send a couple of PM's when I get in town)

I think Warlord would love some written rules for the use of captured equipment, it wasn't just limited to the Allies, the DaK and Italians used heaps of Allied equipment. There is even Pics floating about of Matilda's in German colours, with german crosses, and Rommel made great use of captured Honey's.


Sounds good mate! Unfortunately I'm out of town on the 10th, but shoot through a PM whenever you're in Melbourne for a game. Also, hope the Knights are coming to Conquest!

I agree on the captured equipment rules. They've sort of got them in the Italy and the Axis book - Finland with lots of Russian tanks; and also in the Allies book with Partisans, but a PDF or something similar which is universal would be most excellent.

WWPDJudson wrote:
Everyone please help me convince Tobu to stop painting his own armies so I can commission him for one. Those Perry's look incredible.


Thanks man, and don't think I've forgotten about those ideas we were floating ;)


Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:49 am
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