Monday, 6 September 2010

This is not a project - 1st order arrives

I have always had an interest in World War II. In the past I have collected stuff for the Russian front (in 6mm) and North West Europe 1944 (in 10mm). But that was many moons ago, and for at least 20 years I have not had any WWII stuff at all. The main reason I gave up on the period, was the perennial one, rules - or rather lack of a set I was happy with. This changed a couple of years ago when Mark D. (fellow Ilkley Lad) began putting on East Africa games and later Western Desert games using Classic Piquet, Field of Battle WWII or Blitzkrieg Commander.
The bug had bit deep and I began buying books on the subject. After some general reading I decided to 'do WWII' slightly differently to my previous efforts. I decided to concentrate on two months of the Western Desert Campaign - Operation Crusader November 1941 - January 1942. From this point on my book buying became much less general and eventually I found three books which furnished me with as much information as I will need (well nearly).
The first two books are military histories of the operation. The best is 'The Sidi Rezeg Battles 1941' by Agar-Hamilton and Turner. This is one of the best military histories I have ever come across for any period - but like the battle the narrative is very complex. This is where 'Crusader' by Richard Humble came into its own. This is a much less comprehensive history, and consequently the narrative is much easier to follow. After reading 'Crusader', 'The Sidi Rezeg Battles 1941' became a joy to read because I knew the twists of the tale and could immerse myself in its bounteous detail.
The last of the three books is 'Benghazi Handicap' by Frank Chadwick. This is an army list and scenario book for Command Decision. It covers the Western Desert Campaign up to the end of Crusader. The army lists are fantastic and, though I will not be using the rules, I can't recommend this book highly enough. It has taken most of the hard slog 'hardware' research out of the equation.

A year ago I met someone who gave the offer of a discount should I wish to pursue a collection in 15mm, providing the order was 'significant'. When deciding what to do with the money from my ECW sale, I remembered this conversation, phoned him and firmed up the offer. Today, the first part of the order arrived (some stuff was out of stock and will follow). It comprises 15th Panzer division, less some of its heavy artillery, about 2 thirds of 7th Armoured Division, a couple of 'I' tank regiments, and a brigade of infantry. The rest of 7th Armoured, some more German stuff and all the Italian stuff will form a later order.
But this is not a project. It is, like my naval stuff, a filler period. Something to do slowly, and only when the mood takes me.


Ubique said...

Blimey, if that's just a filler then I'd hate to see what a project looks like. Good luck with it anyway.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Excellent - there is something about the desert war that has been ticking my WWII interests for almost 35 years now - I love it as a period - full of colour, interesting tanks, varied units... what's not to like.

I'd have chosen smaller than 15mm - my own project is 12mm/N scale Minifigs - but with your painting skills I look forward to seeing the project progress...

Victor said...

Good luck with your non-new project. :-) I love this part of WWII. I have not, as of yet, dug into the period to game it or get the figures for it. I look forward to the coming posts on this one.

lekw said...

Looks very intereting have to say that is a lot of figures!!!

BigRedBat said...

You might like to try using these with the Memoir '44 rules.

I'm playing a game this week using Memoir '44 adapted to the Western Desert in 1941. I've hade a few minor rules changes, and intoduced some new troop types eg AT guns and armoured cars. My stuff is 1/300 but represents the same formations you plan to build.

Cheers, Simon


Simon, what is it with us. We seem to have such similar interests that i'm beggining to wonder if you are me when I'm asleep.


AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Holy crapola Batman! For a 'non project' that sure looks like a project to me!

Consul said...

Are you doing it on a 1 to 1 scale? Looks like it!

robertsjf said...

I'm curious about the reading material. You wouldn't happen to have the ISBNs for any of the volumes, would you?


Hi Robertsjf,

The Sidi Rezeg Battles 1941, by Agar-Hamilton & Turner, has no ISBN printed in it. It was published in 1957 by - The Rustica Press, PTY., LTD., Wynberg, Cape, SA. It is usually available, second hand, through Abe books for £40+ish. It is worth more than that for the information and superb situation maps in its 505 small print pages.

Crusader The Eigth Army's Forgotten Victory November 1941 - January 1942 by, Richard Humble - ISBN 0-85052-284-6

Benghazi Handicap, by Frank Chadwick - ISBN 097879091-X