Friday, March 26, 2010

Flames of War Challenge

During our aprez-game meal after last week's game night, my friend Charlie mentioned that the local gaming store was going to be starting a Flames of War (FoW) escalation league/tournament. There are a bunch of people interested in starting to play FoW, and an escalation league allows them to start gaming and build their forces as time goes on. The first games will be played with 600 point forces, followed by 1000,1250,1500 and finally 2000 point forces. I've played a couple of games of FoW at conventions and purchased the rules but never went much further. I've also been collecting 15mm Finnish figures from Legions East as well as from Battlefront, FoW's official figures. After completing my Gaul cavalry on Monday I decided that I'd enter the escalation league as a way to motivate me to start working on the Finns.

So I pulled out my Figures and contacted Charlie. Then I got the bad news: the first games start on Friday, April 2nd! That's 10 days to paint and base up a 600 point Finnish FoW force. Discouraged I waffled on the idea, then I thought, 10 days? Scott MacPhee wouldn't back down from a challenge like that! So there it was, my 2nd painting challenge of the year: 600 points in 10 days. Oh did I mention that this weekend is my wife's birthday, and next Tuesday I'm off to the accountant to do my taxes? Let's call it 7 days, that's a proper MacPheee-style deadline!

 Since I had a mix of Battlefront figures and Legions East figures, I decided to tackle a couple of platoons of the former first, in order to get familiar with the basing system. Starting with the official figures first also allowed me to get painting right away knowing all the figures I was painting would fit into proper units. During my lunch hours the next couple of days I caught up on my FoW research and planned out the unit composition to use with my Legions East figures. The packs I had were the Finnish Jalkaväki Mortar Platoon and the Finnish Jalkaväki Machine-Gun Platoon; two valuable support platoons for my Finnish infantry company. Although I haven't decided exactly how many sections from each pack will be used in my initial starting 600 point force, I know I'll eventually be using the full platoons of each, so I painted and based all of the figures. Total points for these two complete platoons is either 250 points for regulars or 285 points for elites. My 600 point force will definitely be regulars, elites being way too expensive to start with. With that in mind I'll most likely use one section of MGs and the full three sections of mortars for a total of 185 points. That's almost 30% of the points for the challenge, but I've used three of my seven 'working' days on the project. As Astro the dog would say, "Ruh-roh!".

This is the (8.1 cm) mortar platoon. It can have two or three sections (each of the stands with a mortar on it represents a section) as well as a submachinegun-armed command stand (3 figure stand) and a forward observer stand (2 figures). Strangely the battlefront pack didn't include any command figures actually carrying SMGs, only rifles, but from what I've come to understand this isn't normally considered essential. While my normal basing consists of just white glue and static grass, the FoW stands, with their more open layout, require a more involved basing system, which takes more time. I'm not completely happy with the basing for these, but since they're my first stands using this system, I figure I can always come back and make changes in the future should I come up with any better ideas.

Here is the machine-gun platoon. It can have one or two sections. Each section consisting of two MG stands. The command SMG team in this pack did indeed include an officer carrying a SMG. Since MGs are direct fire, there is no forward observer stand. The machine-gun models provided in the Battlefront pack are accurate for Finnish as the Finns preferred to remove the front shield from the Maxim MGs after they captured the guns from the Russians, or when they procured the guns themselves.  The photos below are close-ups of both platoons. Sorry for the bad lighting, hopefully I can get some proper outdoor photos when I finish the next unit.


Scott MacPhee said...

Ah, a proper challenge! Looks great so far!

Kevin Barrett said...

Way to go Allan! Keep chugging!


jmezz382 said...

Looking good ..... 600 pts adds up quick ..... don't worry !