Sunday, May 10, 2015

French Renault R-35

Not dead yet.

I’ve been in Vancouver.

While I was in Vancouver I made a trip out to Richmond to visit Imperial Hobbies and picked up a few things there – including this French Reneault R-35. I also picked up a box of Gurkhas ( to add to my Chindit force, a German Puma armoured car, a Battle Honors Russian T-70 and a pack of Coppelstone Back of Beyond Russian Partisans (the last two being items I found in the bargain bin). The week before I went I’d been checking their online catalogue and they’d had an Italian M13/40 tank listed and a boxed set of Bersagliaeri… unfortunately when I arrived the tank had been sold and so I talked myself out of picking up the Bersagliari. There were a few other things I’d gone there looking for that they were out of stock on… and a few other things I saw there that I now wish I’d picked up… but… whatever… I got what I got and I have no shortage of things to paint (and potentially play with)!

I also bought some socks while I was there and a fancy new pair of shoes. But not at Imperial Hobbies.

Also some books…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

French Renault R-35 from Warlord Games.

I didn’t just pick up the R-35 because it happened to be available. I’d been planning on getting an R-35 anyway as the majority of the Bataillion de Chars de Combat (armoured battalions that provided support to Infantry Divisions) seem to have been equipped with them.  

This adds a whopping 96-144 points (most likely 120 for a “Regular” tank crew) to my Early War French for Bolt Action, which, even if I took the forward Artillery observer and everything, leaves me about 120 points shy of the “suggested” 1000 points for a force…

Not that I care all that much about having the suggested 100 points – I just wonder what it is the makers of the game imagine should be in a 1000 point Early War French Force? What would other playes with French forces add to be able to take it to a 1000 point tournament…? I suppose there is the pack with the Anti-Tank Rifle and Sniper Teams that could be added… I could also add another 75 or an antitank gun team…? It already seems like this solitary platoon has a ridiculous amount of support weapons!? I suppose the “historical” thing to do would be to field a company of understrength, inexperienced Infantry without so much support…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

The basement is a mess. I’ve got stuff all over the game table and stuff for painting spread over two other tables in the basement… I have no idea what I might finish up next… I really need to clean up down there and come up with some sort of PLAN and maybe actually PLAY some games with all these minis I’ve been painting!? 


  1. Dear Tim,
    The Early War french are interesting with which to work. Consider that the tanks because of the two man turret rule require passing a morale test before shooting. There really ought to be a combat efficiency factor instead of morale but that's another story. You might want to consider the Panhard Armored car which is quite good and does have the recon move provision. Or you might simply want to add a better tank like the Char Bis or Somua.

    All that aside you do now have the possibility of adding a squad or two of Senegalese infantry or even Foreign Legion troops available from Gorgon in Winter Dress or the Perry brothers in desert dress. Which leads to my next point: these figures can be used for Norway, 1940 and France 1940. They also are usable in Morocco and Algeria against the Allies and/or the Germans. They also can be fielded as part of the Free French Corps in Italy. They do have lots of uses including garrisoning the French Islands in the St Lawrence.

    As for the points, this is an artifice used by rules writrs to make for even, playable games. They don't always reflect reality. My French are built along historic lines and their armor support is what I can afford - not what someone tells me I need. BTW, the R-35 makes an excellent vehicle for the early war Rumanians...just saying.

    Nice paint job, too!


    1. Thanks Jerry! I'm totally okay with what I've got - lots of options to start with. I'd like to actually play the game before I seriously consider picking up anything else.

      I just like to think about game design and wonder at what the designers were thinking at times. It seems to me it was worked out so that within 1000 points an average army could field 3 full strength infantry sections plus pretty much all of the options from the basic platoon selector - one medic, and one forward observer, and one MG, and one mortar, and one sniper team, and one flamethrower, and one anti-tank team, and one gun (a field artillery piece or an AT gun or an AA gun), and one armoured car, one tank... (which seems an absurd amount of support of ONE infantry platoon - some of which makes no sense operating in the same area). It seems it's been designed to sell a maximum number of different types of models - without making things unduly unbalanced so it can be used for tournament play.. and... fair enough, I guess.. With an elite force - like Commandos or Paras or SS - you might get a few less things. But what is a force with less-than-average troops or equipment to do...? Field multiple platoons, I guess.

      For the most part, once I get playing a game, I pretty much ignore point values and design scenarios that will be interesting to play.

      (I do like those Foreign Legionnaires from Gorgon though...)

    2. Seems like a better default level would be something like: 1 platoon plus some support elements. This seems like it would make for a more interesting meta-game; having to pick and choose among support elements rather than just being able to buy them all.

      Of course for Tournaments I've always thought that an interesting meta-game would be allowing large armies, but only fielding part of it in each match. For example 1500 points total, but only 1000 points per match. You then choose your 1000 point match army after you find out what army (German, American, etc) you are facing in the next game.

    3. Exactly! I think that would be way more interesting. but I guess they're trying to a) sell more stuff and b) appeal to a broader audience than just me - and I can't fault them for either...

      I like the idea of being allowed to bring certain more than you'll be allowed to - though it would depend on the point value (and the game) as I could see it being a vehicle for uber-min-maxing - where those that are good at that sort of thing could conceivably build something that will be able to beat down all opponents.

      I did something similar for the Ronin tournament/campaign I ran a year and a bit ago - players started with (I think) 700 points worth of stuff - but could only field 300 in a game. Mind you losses were tracked as well - i.e. if you lost it in a game it was gone (for good if dead, for a few games if injured). Experience was also tracked - so guys that survived got better through the game.

      I like some of the ideas Bolt Action has presented in Tank War - crews gaining experience if they survive games. I'd like to see stuff like that expanded to include infantry squads and gun teams.

  2. Beautiful R-35 and infantry...

  3. I'm unfamiliar with this 'planning' and painting concept...I've heard of it, but beyond Great looking French...

    1. The trick with hobby planning is to have just enough to make some semblance of efficiency and to keep from making the lead pile to big with "what-the fü¢k-was-I-thiking items" that have no use and will never be painted... and not so much planning as the hobby seems like... well.. work...