A few years ago a British company called Renegade started a line WWI miniatures (http://www.renegademiniatures.com/ww1.htm). While most Great War ranges went right for the gasmask and trench warfare phase of the war, Renegade actually started with 1914 armies. So they had French troops in their colorful 19th century style uniforms, Germans in Pickelhaube helmets, cavalry units, and so on. They are cool minis and I’ve eyed them for years now, but I never broke down and bought any because I didn’t think I’d have anything to do with them. WWI is not a popular period for miniatures games. There were rules I could have picked up but my odds of convincing anyone to try out a new period and a new set of rules were slim. It’s a shame because WWI has more to offer the wargamer than people think. Gamers shy away from it because they think WWI was only about trench warfare. This isn’t true, particularly when you get away from Western Europe. There were huge battles of movement in the East, for example, and some really interesting campaigns in Africa.
This week I picked up The Great War, a new set of WWI minis rules by BL Publishing. This game takes the Warhammer 40,000 rules and re-writes them to handle WWI. The core book concentrates on the Western Front but does so at the beginning and end of the war (1914 and 1918), when it was a war of movement. The result is a pleasing skirmish game that may finally draw some attention to this neglected area of miniatures wargaming. The fact that it’s based on 40K is a help, because it’ll be a lot easier to find people willing to try a variant of a game they already know how to play. As I was reading it, my thoughts immediately leaped to the Russian Civil War too. There are many possibilities here.
Speaking of 40K, I got the 5th edition rules as well but haven’t had much of a chance to look them over. I did notice my one tiny contribution to the 40K universe is represented. In one corner of the new galaxy map is a small notation: the Calixis Sector. The history was changed, the location was changed, but I did name it way back when. The book is beautiful; I’ll dig into the rules soon.
Also of interest on the miniatures front is a new line from Brigade Games called King Philip’s War (http://theminiaturespage.com/news/260727/). This is a little known conflict in my home region of New England that took place in 1675 and 1676. It’s angry Native Americans and big-hatted pilgrims fighting in the backwoods. Nice looking minis and again tempting. Folks who are playing the Witch Hunter or Solomon Kane RPGs should take note of the pilgrim models, as they make excellent witch hunters.