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"Playing with plastic army men? Not much..." Topic


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24 Apr 2019 4:16 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Playing with toy soldiers? Not much..." to "Playing with plastic army men? Not much..."

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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian24 Apr 2019 9:58 a.m. PST

You were asked TMP link

Have you ever wargamed with 54mm (or larger) plastic army men figures? By, "wargamed", I mean using dice, and a Combat Results Table (CRT), not using tennis balls, clumps of dirt, etc.

28% said "never"
17% said "only played the informal, non-CRT games with them."
14% (tie) said "yes! still playing!" OR "when I was younger, not recently"

28mm Fanatik24 Apr 2019 10:04 a.m. PST

54mm? I don't have a table big enough for them.

Green Tiger25 Apr 2019 12:17 a.m. PST

I use 54mm for skirmish gaming and am currently painting Napoleonics for a BIG game (but on someone else's BIG table) much prefer to 28mm… Not sure if they are 'Plastic Army Men' though. I paint them – I have also painted figures from those 'orrible sets of cheap Airfix knock offs you can buy in supermarkets – they are about 40/42mmm…

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2019 11:14 a.m. PST

Great for backyard games

Sgt Slag29 Apr 2019 11:29 a.m. PST

I've played WW II in 6mm, 15mm, and non-historical 54mm Army Men games. To be honest, the 6mm was brigade level, the 15mm was skirmish, and the 54mm games are decidedly skirmish, man-for-man games. I absolutely prefer the ease of 54mm games which are based on whatever we decide for a scenario, without resorting to any historical account. I can say, without hesitation, that I prefer the 54mm Army Men games, even though they are far cruder, and more 'gamey'. I just enjoy them dramatically more.

True, they do require a large table, or floor. I'm too old to play on the floor, anymore. We played a water-landing-to-invade-the-city, game, on a 12-foot by 30-foot table. It was a tremendous amount of work to set up the table, but it was FUN… The attacking Green Force had multiple objectives to destroy: 8 water power-generating turbines along a river, a water tower in the city, large LP gas tanks to be destroyed, and a train tunnel in the face of a mountain, to destroy, as well as a re-supply train arriving sometime in the game.

It was messy, it was fun. There was plenty of tactical decisions to be made, by both the attackers, and the defenders. It ended as a very close game, but the Green Forces won the day, as agreed by all the participants who stuck it out until the end.

The Green Forces managed to destroy all 8 water turbines, the train engine (AP round through the Engine's heart, destroyed its generators), and they caused a rock slide above the tunnel, sealing it. They failed to destroy the Water Tower, and the LP Tanks, so the Tan Forces still had drinking water, gas to operate some of their factories, and they received reinforcements and additional supplies, on the train, even though the engine was destroyed. The Green Forces could not sustain the attack much longer, as casualties were reaching a horrific level.

We are planning a similarly sized game, wherein the battle will be in a large cityscape, with multi-story buildings everywhere, blocking LOS, which will really demonstrate the combat value of infantry, as fighting will be street-by-street, building by building. There will be a river running through an inner-city park (necessary to be able to include the DUKS!). The most challenging aspect, is assembling all of the buildings… They are being cut out of MDF which will have catwalks at the 2nd and possibly 3rd, floors, to allow multi-level tactics with Infantry; we have 1950's era street and building signs. There are a couple of gas stations, with surprises possibly lurking within their garage stalls. It will be a large setup, just like the last one: 12-feet by 30-feet.

In the last game, Tanks and Artillery were king (loads of open terrain, long range shooting opportunities abounded). In this game, Tanks and Artillery will be severely limited, due to short-range LOS. Not much long-range firing since there are so many cross streets, and Infantry will be highly mobile, and likely taking cover inside of stone buildings. Tanks could end up being sitting ducks for Infantry armed with AT weapons. It will be sooo much fun!

I don't know what it is about gaming in 54mm, but I truly enjoy it much more than even my 28mm fantasy games. I enjoy my fantasy games, very, very much. But the 54mm games rise above, even the fantasy games. If I played 54mm fantasy, I don't know which I would enjoy more. I suspect it is because these games are what I dreamed of playing, as a child, but back then, we were unable to put on such large, complex games; back then, we did not have CRT-based rules to play by, either. Cheers!

acough2001 Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2019 1:48 p.m. PST

I am using 54 mm figures for my AWI Charge! games. I've been playing some of the scenarios and maps in One Hour Wargames, but expanding the table to 4' x 6'. This can make for a satisfying game. It's also a good idea to use OHW's army generator, using 6 units per side.

JenBurdoo12 Jun 2019 9:04 p.m. PST

Experimenting with it, as I'm a children's librarian and it's really easy to draw kids in!

John Michael Priest20 Sep 2019 4:44 p.m. PST

I game in 54mm on battalion to division level. Love it. Takes a large area but it is a blast. Dice and terrain deductions.

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