Back in 2011, I swore off World War II for the time being and declared that I was going to put my efforts towards slowly building up a collection of Warhammer 40K Orks. Well, that didn't really work out. Ironically, not only am I back into WWII, but that project has so far much more closely resembled the goals I'd laid out for myself with my Project Ork.
The spark of inspiration came with the decision to move up to 28mm for my WWII skirmish gaming. I realized that skirmish gaming is truly where my heart lives as far as that period is concerned, and as long as I'm dealing with that level of engagement, why not go with a big figure scale? I've been very happy with my decision thus far, particularly in light of it coinciding with Warlord Games making WWII its period of focus for 2012. Jury's still out on the Bolt Action rules, but that's another matter.
(It's looking more and more like 28mm is going to simply become my scale of choice across the board. I guess it comes of all those games of Warhammer I played back in high school. Although I also played tons of Space Marine back in the day - not sure why I'm not as much of a 6mm partisan.)
At any rate, much like my stated aims for Project Ork, I'm taking things very slowly and deliberately with the WWII project. I'm currently weighing options between NUTS! and Operation Squad. I quite like the former's solo-play capabilities, so that's what I'm going to be checking out first. Initial collecting efforts are focusing around Normandy (a well-trodden theater to be sure, but a first for me, strangely enough), Brits versus Germans. Or, more properly, Jocks versus Huns, as my British squad is going to hail from the 51st Highland Division. The Germans, of course, are going to be redoubtable 21st Panzer Division sorts, because who can resist putting some wacky AFVs on the table? I'm going to keep the Germans fairly late-war generic, though, as I want to be able to re-use them as opponents in other theaters I plan on branching into. Italy '44 and Berlin '45 call out to me like sirens from the shore, but I resolutely stuff my ears with wax and sail on for now...
So yes, the WWII project is what's currently occupying my painting attention, although I'm also painting vintage Grenadier and Ral Partha fantasy figures as a break from all the earth tones.
|State of the paint desk, February 2013|
Truth be told, what I'd really like to get into this year, assuming I can start gaming regularly again, are campaign games. Most of my collections are geared towards this mode, now that I think about it: the WWII skirmish scale, the DBA samurai, the gladiators, the zombies, the battleships - all come into their own and are at their best when played in a campaign rather than one-off games. I'd even like to set up a campaign for our Armies of Arcana games, if nothing else than to provide some context so it's not just the same two old armies bashing away at each other all the time. I had enough of that back in high school playing Warhammer, where it was always my Empire army against Alex's Orcs & Goblins.
(Although one-off AoA games should be a lot more fun now, too: another of my projects last year was adding a couple more units to each army. This way, we've got more potential points than our 3000-point budget allows, which means we can custom-build our armies before each game and not necessarily know what the other person is going to field. Adds a nice wrinkle to the whole thing, I think.)
Oh, there is one last pipe dream, both in terms of painting and playing: to get into "vintage" Citadel collecting by way of Rogue Trader. That game was before my time initially, but hot damn if it doesn't look like something I'd be interested in now. I love the aesthetics of old school Citadel sculpts and I really like the sort of loose, DIY RPG-miniatures-game-hybrid feel of Rogue Trader. So that's likely to be a project I start looking at more seriously as the year goes on, or so I hope. Posts like this certainly go a long way towards throwing fuel on the fire...