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"Born Again WWII gamer" Topic

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Action Log

09 Jan 2021 7:00 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Born Again WW II gamer" to "Born Again WWII gamer"

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von Schwartz ver 209 Jan 2021 5:41 p.m. PST

Been out of WW II gaming for many years, I did it with micro-armor back in the 70s. My eyes aren't what they used to be, along with other body parts, but I was inspired by an AAR I read recently describing actions around Dunkirk early war. What is a good simple set of rules, what scale, is the most used/popular (15mm or 20mm), and where is a good source of some quality figures in the appropriate scale(s)? I really prefer early war, 1940s France, North Africa, maybe even early Operation Barbarossa. Any good suggestions?

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2021 7:27 p.m. PST

Plastic Soldier Review as the name implies, reviews plastic soldiers in 1/72nd scale. There are many more early war choices now, French, Polish, German to select from. Lots of early war vehicles too.

They often mesh with 20mm metal which gives even more choices.

Check out Early War Miniatures.


Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

cj177609 Jan 2021 8:18 p.m. PST

Check out for some good ww2 rules.I

Nordic weasel games has some easy but fun rules for ww2.

parrskool10 Jan 2021 12:30 a.m. PST

"Rapidfire reloaded" for easy rules…………..!

mildbill Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2021 6:43 a.m. PST

I would suggest 10mm scale. I have a vast amount of 15mm that is too heavy and bulky to transport. If I was starting over 10mm is what I would use. If transporting is not an issue, then 15mm or 20mm would be fine. 28mm seems to be the most popular scale for all wargaming these days, mostly skirmish. So you should be able to pick up 15mm painted for a song if you are interested in doing large actions. I like KISS Rommel and its variants for WWII.

Mister Tibbles10 Jan 2021 8:09 a.m. PST

The usual question is will you be providing both sides? I see you're in Marion county. Are you in the Villages?

The very popular scale at conventions is 28mm, with multi-part plastics from Warlord Games. Rules would be Bolt Action by Warlord. These are not too complicated.

On the other hand, 15mm is also popular. This would be for the Flames of War rules, which makes their own minis. There are plenty of alternatives to theirs in plastic. Rules are complex.

I have to get to church, so I will post more later.

Mark5210 Jan 2021 3:47 p.m. PST

BattleGroup. Distributed by Plastic Soldier Company.

Prefer 20mm myself. Loads of figures and 1/72 vehicles.

von Schwartz ver 210 Jan 2021 5:52 p.m. PST

The usual question is will you be providing both sides? I see you're in Marion county. Are you in the Villages?

Close, Ocala, DOM and family live in Summerfield. After 11 years I'm getting to know the area much better. Are you a denizen of the deep south as well?

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2021 6:45 p.m. PST

When I got back in a few years ago I went with 20mm. Lots of choices for figures, guns, vehicles, and buildings.

I prefer metal over plastic.

I just do pre-1943 so your interests match up with what I've researched and purchased.

Simons Soldiers, FAA Miniatures, Early War Miniatures, and Kelly's Heroes all offer a good selection for that period.

Lancashire Games, Stonewall Miniatures, Shellhole Scenics, Lancer Miniatures, and Battlezone Miniatures also have some offerings for the period you are looking at.

I've mixed all of the above together except for Lancer and they look good.

IMHO, other manufacturers like SHQ Miniatures, Elheim/TQD Castings, Britannica Miniatures, and AB Figures either have a unique style/size making and won't mix with the above or didn't offer enough to use them.

FYI on FAA. If you decide you want something from them be aware they have a sporadic casting schedule. They have recently gone to announcing a two week period of accepting orders and then shipping all those orders shortly after. They just announced they will be accepting orders again the last two weeks of January.

Good Luck with whatever route you go.

Maha Bandula10 Jan 2021 9:28 p.m. PST

1/72 or 20mm (some folks differentiate between the two) is the way to go for Early War, particularly if you want to do it on the cheap as you can rely on plastics and the increasing multitude of quick build kits from the likes of S-Models and Frontline Wargaming.

For an idea of what a cheapskate can get away with in this scale, this blog is very inspiring:


Once you've got the mains sorted out, you can source esoteric guns and vehicles from metal makers such as Early War Miniatures, SHQ, and Shellhole Scenics.

And once you've got the main powers sorted out, you can easily get minor combatants like the Dutch and Danes, which isn't always the case with 15mm.

A lot of very good introductory articles are available on the Flames of War site. Their 15mm focus I would argue works better for desert games, as you'd benefit from the extra table space.

If you're willing to spend a little money then the Rapid Fire! supplements that can be downloaded from Wargames Vault offer good starting points for people wanting to build forces and play scenarios for the Western Desert and Barbarossa (they also contain excellent eye candy, which is an added bonus), even if you don't like the rules: link

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2021 5:56 a.m. PST

I'd say for public gaming 15mm is more popular than 20mm. Are you going to collect both sides, or are you trying to find a group to fit in with?

I'm a fan of the 1940 Campaign as well.

von Schwartz ver 211 Jan 2021 4:08 p.m. PST

79thPA, as yet no luck finding a group, probably have to do both sides. There is supposed to be group locally here but they do their business via FaceBook and I refuse to use that restrictive rag.

Major Mike12 Jan 2021 7:55 a.m. PST

If you go 15mm, I'd recommend Gaming Models,

They are a nice, light weight miniature and he has a wide selection to choose from. He will also pre paint the model with a base coat.

von Schwartz ver 214 Jan 2021 5:17 p.m. PST

Those are some nice models Major, my only complaint there is that they take a lot of the fun out it by selling them assembled and painted. I know I'm gonna get some blow back from this but, for me anyway, assembling and painting is 1/2 the fun!!
I may get some anyway, special request to leave them unpainted and unassembled.

von Schwartz ver 217 Jan 2021 7:46 p.m. PST

OK, another question, just went down to a local shop that's been here awhile but I just discovered it. They use Bolt Action rules, I know nothing about them, anyone use them? Secondly I was looking at some Bolt Action figures, not sure if they were 15s or 20s, anyone know? They were BLOODY expensive, $21 USD+ for a British 2pdr and crew, just ONE, looked like a really nice model though.

TacticalPainter0120 Jan 2021 3:31 p.m. PST

The Warlord Bolt Action range is 28mm. Those rules and that scale are probably the most popular for platoon level WWII gaming, so you are most likely to find opponents.

Personally I find Bolt Action overly simplistic and a very ‘Hollywood' version of WWII. The rules have their origins in Warhammer 40k and are often the first historical rules players migrate to when coming from fantasy gaming. That said those that play them obviously enjoy them.

I find 28mm makes for a very crowded 6'x4' table and prefer smaller scales. The next most popular scale for the period is 15mm. This has been driven by the popularity of the Flames of War rule set. Again, like Bolt Action, you are likely to find opponents for this at local clubs and tournaments.

Perhaps perversely my preference for the period is 20mm (1/72 scale) which is a happy medium between 28 and 15mm. It is well served with figures and vehicles in plastic, metal and resin. However, while it is not as popular as those scales it has a large following. Having said that companies like the Plastic Soldier Company produce a rule set called Battlegroup to accompany a growing and comprehensive range of figures and vehicles in that scale.

My preference for platoon level rules is Chain of Command, which has a considerable following and a very active community, both online and at clubs and shows. It offers a more historically plausible game than Bolt Action with a greater emphasis on command and control.

If you're interested in exploring 20mm and/or Chain of Command you can see more and follow several of the excellent smaller campaigns that are available on my blog.

Chain of Command campaign After Action Reports

Getting Started with Chain of Command

Details about some of the 20mm figures are available here:

US Army in 20mm

Japanese Army in 20mm

There's lots more if you explore the blog and hopefully you find it useful.

von Schwartz ver 220 Jan 2021 6:40 p.m. PST

Thank you very much TacticalPainter, very helpful. I will look into those links when I have more free time, perhaps this weekend. I am kinda leaning toward 15s or 20s as my eyes aren't what they used to be so micro-armor is kinda out of the question, and like you, 28s seem a little large to me.
I was really intrigued by an old AAR of Dunkirk posted here and wanted to explore using four or five platoons each side doing small scale engagements. Mixed tanks, motorized infantry, and artillery.

TacticalPainter0120 Jan 2021 8:37 p.m. PST

If you are looking to play early war at company level or similar then you might want to consider 15mm and use the company sized sister rules to Chain of Command called ‘I ain't been Shot Mum'. Don't be put off by the name, the rules writers, Too Fat Lardies, as their name suggests, have a sense of humor but don't let that fool you, they are very serious at writing historical rules and their catchphrase "playing the period, not the rules" is indicative of their attitude.

To cut a long story short the rules are supported by a number of supplements, several of which focus on France and the Low Countries in 1940. You can see more of those at their website

I Ain't Been Shot Mum WWII company level rules

von Schwartz ver 201 Feb 2021 4:24 p.m. PST

They look like fun rules, but are they available here in the colonies? Along those same lines, what are the current currency conversion rates?

TacticalPainter0103 Feb 2021 12:21 a.m. PST

I'm not US based, but it appears Brigade Games sells them:

Grumble8710606 Feb 2021 6:24 p.m. PST

Maha Bandula, thank you for the link to the cheapo blog. Just up my alley!

von Schwartz ver 214 Feb 2021 11:48 a.m. PST

Mine too, seeing as my middle name is "Cheapo"

Empgamer16 Mar 2021 11:26 p.m. PST

The TFL games can be bought as PDFs so available everywhere really.

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