16 August 2016

Battlefront's LW Starter Sets

- with Greg

Once again I've been lucky enough to sneak my way into the inner sanctum that is Battlefront HQ here in New Zealand. They typically know that I'm coming and hide all the really juicy stuff but I did spot these little beauties and asked if I could let the Behind Enemy Lines faithful get a sneak peek at what's going on.

Hitting stores very soon will be four new Late War starter boxes for Flames of War. Leveraging their ever-expanding plastics range, Battlefront have put together a box for each of the Big 4 for new players and old to get into a force from the closing stages of the war. Hell, they even give you an intel briefing and rules to make it really simple!

Let's have a look at them individually and see what you get!

Rommel's Wolves




The German starter has some serious kit inside and is the basis for some amazing Eastern Front action or potentially expanding your Western Front force. Included in the box, you're going to get:

- 7 Panthers
- 3 JagdPanthers
- Full Panzergrenadier Platoon
- A copy of Desperate Measures, and
- A mini-rulebook


The rear of the box also gives you suggestions for your next additions to expand on the basic forces you get in the box, which is a great addition.


Patton's Eagles


On to the Yanks and once again you are getting a whole heap of bang for your buck here if going down the American road is your cup o' Joe. Included in this bad boy, you're looking at:

- 5 M4A3 76mm Shermans
- 3 Pershings
- Full Armoured Rifle Platoon
- A copy of Bridge at Remagen, and
- A mini-rulebook


Once again, there are expansion suggestions on the back. I really like this box and I like the idea of having 3 Pershings on the table at once, but they could have possibly included 2 and maybe added another couple of Shermans. In saying that, there is some amazing value here.


Stalin's Bears



Welcome comrade. Welcome to masses of Soviet steel, ready to crush German defenders underfoot. While this set seems smaller than the other two, you are getting a hold of a HEAP of Soviet tanks in here and, lets face it, that cant be a bad thing! Tucked away in here, you'll be getting:

- 6 IS-2
- 4 T-34/85
- 3 ISU-122
- A copy of Berlin, and
- A mini-rulebook


Once again, expansions suggestions on the right side. This one I feel could maybe have done with less IS-2s and more T-34's but that's a personal opinion. Given you'll be using Berlin as your briefing initially, the higher number of IS-2's makes sense. A great Soviet option here.


Monty's Hounds



A last but not least, old chap. Here, you have the finest of British engineering and some likely lads to march on in to the heart of the Reich. What are you going to see when you open this up? Well:

- 7 Comets
- Full Motor Rifle Platoon
- A copy of Nachtjager, and
- A mini-rulebook


Again, on the surface this doesn't seem like a lot, but remember that you are getting Comets! They are some SERIOUS firepower in a really swift package and well worth the points you're paying. Add in some Cromwell's and you're well on your way.

Conclusion

For beginner players, these boxes offer you some great value and give you everything you need to get started in your Flames of War career. You and a mate could buy one each and easily start battling once you've built your new toys. They also give you a great starting point for expansion into a larger force with a couple of additional purchases.

For more established players, I still think they're great if you're potentially looking to add a new nation to your collection. You can easily flog the rules off or donate them to a new player if you wanted to as well, so no loss there.

The addition of the briefing books is what really makes a difference here. Previously, you'd buy an army deal or something like that and not actually know what your force would be shaped as. Now, you have a point of reference straight away.

With Battlefront continuing to expand their plastics range, I think we could see more of these in the not too distant future.


27 July 2016

New Zealanders, the Pacific War is here!!

-with Greg




Well, it is if you're in New Zealand like we are. That's right, those good buggers over at Mighty Ape have stocked up on your Flames of War - Pacific toys ready for you to order and get cracking on!

Check them out here and get your orders in!

Mighty Ape's Flames of War - Pacific Releases


If you haven't been sold on FoW Pacific yet, what are you waiting for? Dive on in and check out some of our articles and reports for inspiration! It really is a great period to game in and there is more coming from the dudes at Battlefront.












21 July 2016

Panzershreck XV - A Perspective

- with Greg



Another Panzershreck weekend has passed and I tell you what, they just keep getting better and better! Half of the fun of travelling for a wargaming tournament is the getting there and how you do it. Banter, trash talk and plotting is just part of what happens and the rest of it is just a laugh a minute.


For those of you unfamiliar with the New Zealand geography, we travelled over 500km (about 300 miles in old money) from Auckland to Palmerston North to take part in the event. 4 lads piled into a people mover can make for some interesting conversation. But, this is New Zealand, and the scenery on the drive is definitely worth it.





The drive itself is a blast. Stopping by small-town New Zealand and seeing all the happenings and goings on that we wouldn't normally see.





This year we stopped at the New Zealand Army museum in Waiouru on the way down rather than the way back for obligatory photos with tanks.















Once we arrived at our RVP in Shannon (Kia Ora Pearce Whanau for having us once again!), we unpacked and got down to the serious business of plotting and planning for the following day. In actuality, none of this happened and we watched Deadpool, drank bourbon and then watched terrible music videos. In what has become somewhat of a tradition, we try and find a "catch-phrase" with which to set the tone for the gaming. This year we would Drop It Like It's Hot.... SNOOOOOOOOOOOOP!


Day 1 of Panzerschreck dawned and we were in business. I'm not going to give you run downs of the games I played or anything like that, the photos of the event tell the stories better than I could. Glider assaults, Strelkovy blobs, Panzers and more all on display, all vying for the top results and the best tactics. Laughter and fun were definitely the order of the day. This year's event was 2000 point EW so there was definitely some grinding games across the course of the weekend and from what I understand, a number of hard-fought draws.









































Day 2 saw the army parade first thing in the morning and everyone had their force laid out for us to ahhhhhh over. I tried to capture as many of them as I could. As wargamers, we all know that getting a beautifully painted force on the table is a labour of love. Its worth showing them off.


























































































The last photo is Bede Bailey's entry which took out Best Painted. Frenchies!
And there can only be one winner on the day...





1st Place - The BB Guns







2nd Place - First to Warsaw







3rd Place - Conquest 04







Wooden Spoon - Bratwurst and Spaghetti


Wayne and Victor were good enough to donate their prizes to the next lowest scoring team, The Old Dogs. Best sports was, eventually, given to The Beer Snobs who had seemingly forgotten their team name. Well done to all the teams and a massive thank you to Battlefront for prize support and their continuing support of the event, both in terms of prizes and also making the trip and participating. Its not often that you can proudly say you've curb-stomped the writers and developers of one of the biggest wargames in the world!

This year was also the first Panzerschreck since the passing of our friend and comrade, Nick Garden. The lads from Wellington all made fitting tribute with this year's shirt being dedicated to him. Kia kaha lads.










And what does one do when they're completely shattered after a weekend of wargaming? Magic: the Gathering and couch-potato'ing, that's what!










You will note the pile of EW intelligence briefings on the couch....the plotting has already begun for next year's Panzerschreck which will once again be EW. Yay!


EPILOGUE

The drive back to Auckland was even more stunning this year. Despite having to detour for a serious accident on the Desert Road, the scenery was no less beautiful.























Fearless Veteran leader on his birthday.






We also managed to get some civic service in, reporting maniac drivers to the local constabulary.







If you've never had the experience of road tripping for a wargaming tournament or event, you absolutely have to do it. The experience and memories definitely over-shadow any fatigue you have for the next couple of days.


This, IMHO, is the best way to enjoy our hobby. Getting out in the community and having an absolute blast. So what are you waiting for? Get planning!