Too Much Choice

I got a copy of Cold War Commander last week. This is the post-1946 version of Blitzkrieg Commander, a minis game I’ve been enjoying lately. The basic rules are the same, but there’s a lot of new material to cover things like helicopters, ground to air missiles, and the like. Rick and I are talking about giving it a try, which means settling on a conflict and collecting armies. The trouble is there too much to choose from. CWC covers everything after WWII and in fact goes far beyond the end of the Cold War proper. I don’t have much interest in wargaming conflicts later than 1980, as they just feel too recent and it’s hard for me to divorce my politics enough to game them. For many years I shied away from Vietnam War games for the same reason, but now I feel like enough time has passed I could enjoy them. Even limiting ourselves to pre-1980 though that’s still 34 years of history, compared to the 9 covered in Blitzkrieg Commander.

It looks like I’ll end up doing commies of some variety, as Rick is keen on things like Hueys and the Vietnam’s brown water navy. I’ve been investigating what minis are available in the various scales and in this too there is too much to choose from. The game can be played with anything from 2mm to 28mm figures, so it’s a matter of finding what lines cover what periods the best. Our three main options are shaping up to be the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or the theoretical clash of NATO and Warsaw Pact ground forces in Europe in the 60s or 70s. Here’s what I’ve looked at so far.

Microarmor: This is 1/285 scale, which is very small indeed. GHQ makes nice tanks and vehicles and they cover all the periods. The downside is that this scale isn’t great for infantry because they are so tiny. It’s hard to tell from three feet away if the figs are supposed to be carrying RPGs, for example.

N Scale: These are 10-12mm figs. On the upside, they are pretty affordable and model railroad scenery is the same scale and thus provides ready terrain for the tabletop. I have not been able to find much in this scale for the Korean War though.

15mm: This is the scale we’ve been playing Blitzkrieg Commander. This can be advantageous if we go with the Korean War, as a lot of the equipment for the two conflicts is the same so we could get some double duty out of the figs. There’s also a new company from New Zealand called Flashpoint doing a nice range of Vietnam War minis if we go that route.

20mm: This is a scale I’ve never collected before but it has one big advantage in that 20mm figs match well with 1/72 scale plastic model kits. That means that hundreds of kits from model companies become useable and it’s likely that just about any vehicle we could want exists in someone’s catalog. I’ve also discovered a nice range of Korean War Chinese from the Platoon20 line.

I will continue to dig and ponder, though realistically this is going to have to wait until March at the earliest anyway. We’re heading off to NY ComicCon this week and many projects are demanding my attention. Perhaps by April or May though hordes of Chinese will be ready to assault the Chosin Reservoir.

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