Okay, so I am officially completely sidetracked from my planned objective for this month of completing my Contemptible Little Armies/Back of Beyond Warlord Chinese Force. I thought painting up those couple stands would get the desire to something Falklands related out of my system… I think it’s only added fuel to the fire. I have a couple of Osprey books down off the shelf now, been flipping through them and other books I have kicking around on the subject. I’ve even been eyeing up Port Stanley , an old Wargamer magazine game I have.
I’ve been holding onto Port Stanley forever as I’ve always had this silly notion of using a board wargame as a campaign system/scenario generator for a tabletop miniatures campaign. You can play the boardgame but use tabletop miniatures games to determine the outcome of battles (or at least the important and/or interesting ones..) when counters bump into each other on the map. The boardgame combat resolution system can be used for unimportant/uninteresting battles and to keep the campaign moving along. Perhaps you could only play out the tabletop actions of particular units in the boardgame…? And use the boardgame for all other actions. Has anyone out there had any experience with this? Does it work?
I’ve always been keen to play a wargames campaign to give the individual battles some sort of context. To see how different decisions oare made when you realize you have to have some guys survive to fight the next action…
The problem with most is that the scale for a lot of board wargames is too grand; multiple divisions stack on single hexes. To play out the actions one would need a system where maneuver elements are brigades, perhaps, and stands are companies or battalions… to play out the tabletop games. That is a bit too big of a scale for a miniatures game, for me at least. A little too much would need to be abstracted.
So, as I alluded to in a previous post, this is what attracts me to the Falklands conflict. In the grand scheme of warfare it was very small and on what I would imagine to be a manageable scale for a wargames campaign. In Port Stanley counters are companies and battalions – perfect for translation to tabletop action!
(another boardgame I’ve been considering for use as a tabletop campaign system over the years is Operation Pegasus, the first wargame I ever bought! Again units are companies).
So I’ve been kind of looking at what I might need for a Falklands campaign. I figure the most I’d need for any one battle would be about a brigade for each side: three to four battalions of three rifle companies plus a support company. Rifle companies would be made up of three platoon-sized stands, a battalion would therefore need 9 rifle/infantry stands plus mortar, MG, pioneer(?), AT(?), and command stands.
The grand total for each side wold therefore be:
36x Infantry stands
4x mortar stands
4x MG stands
4x AT stands
4x command stands
4x pioneer stands
1x C-in-C/Brigade Commander stand
If using 20mm I figured three figures per stand, four if 15mm. For infantry alone I would need 108 figures for 3 per stand, 144 if 4 per stand, for each side! This is just the basic infantry requirement (the “meat” of tabletop games). There woud of course also be some odds and sods on both sides (some of which I may represent on the table, some maybe not); artillery, armour, aircraft, ships, landing craft, etc, etc.
So, taking an inventory of stuff I currently own.. including the most recently painted Falklands figures and a smattering of 80’s Brits from Platoon 20, Skytrex and …some other company… Heroes Miniatures? (which I have already started rebasing…) I’d have 12 infantry and one MG, and two command. I also have enough figures for a couple more command stands that would need to be painted as well as an old, unassembled Airfix Scorpion kit. Less than a third of what I’d need. Luckily between Combat miniatures, Platoon 20, FAA, and the like there’s probably enough stuff readily available…For the Argentines I have, well the three stands of Army infantry and two stands of marines… ball-parking the figure at ~$5CAD per stand including shipping, exchange, etc…. that’s going to be a couple hundred dollars, at least to put together enough stuff for the conflict. (I have no desire to sculpt 20mm figures of my own..)
The 15mm stuff however… going through the heaps of unpainted lead in my 15mm Falklands box I found:
4x BPP1 Paras (10 per pack) = 40 figures
5x BPP2 Paras (10) = 50 figures
5x BPP3 Paras (10) = 50 figures
5x RMP1 Royal Marines (10) = 50 figures
4x SAS1 SAS/SBS (10) = 40 figures
4x AIP1 Argentine Infantry (10) = 40 figures
4x AITP1 Argentine Infantry in trenches (14) = 56 figures
5x TP1 Trenches (4) = 20 trenches
5x Ac1 Argentine Commandos (10) = 50 figures
2x Towed Rapiers
2x Scorpion tanks
yeah… so 15mm it is then…
Trying a couple sample stands I actually found I’d need only 3 per stand as these figures are a bit on the chunky side… wearing arctic parkas and all…
Obviously the brits are covered. Though labeled “Para” and “Marine” I’m not entirely sure what the difference would be other than the colour of the beret…
So what I’d still need…
I’d like an artillery piece for each side, AT, mortars and MG platoons – for pioneers I’ll just used brits with bergens… regular infantry for the Argentines and just mark them as pioneers somehow… the question is do what else do I need? The Panhard armoured cars? LVTP7s? For that AT platoon – were the brits using the Milan by then or some type of recoilless rifle (wombat?)? Did they even bother deploying AT platoons? How about the Argentines? I’m mostly just assuming they use the same orbat as the British here…?
What’s actually available? Peter Pig? Smaller and slighter and not necessarily appropriate (and NOT CHEAP!)… but nice figures.. QRF? I picked up some QRF WW2 infantry a couple years back as samples… they were pretty damn chunky – so they might just fit right in!
Here’s some pics of the sample stands I’ve done so far…
(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)
The first three sample stands; Paras in maroon, Guards in khaki, Marines in green.
For comparison; combat miniatures 20mm figures on the left (of the picture), 15mm MJ figures on the right.
Raging ahead I finished of a couple more stands of Paras last night
Big mess o’toys… the MJ 15mm collection…