My Secret Plastic Love

So we’re wandering the flea market on Thursday (as you do) and I spy these:

Nonchalantly, I ask how much, and the friendly stall-holder says “couple o’ quid”. I wordlessly hand over two pounds, and run, my new proud possession clutched in a plastic bag.

I’m now the owner of no less than 120 WWII (I think!) 15mm figures, and they’re bloody brill! Now, I love me some wargaming; if you’ve never tried it, think “chess without the grid, and you build your own unique chess-set to play with”. If you’re a role-player, it’s combat role-playing, but with lots of figures on either side, and an emphasis on tactics over individual ability. I first became a fan of wargaming when I managed to snarf a copy of Hordes of the Things, a superb wargames rules-set detailing how to run fantasy-battles, complete with Army Lists from classic Fantasy Literature. If you want to find out who’d win between the Knights of King Arthur and the Goblin Hordes, this is the game for you!

Hordes of the Things itself is based on De Bellis Antiquitatis, a historical wargame that covers the period from (get this!) 3000BC to 1485AD. Those rules come with Army Lists for 576 armies (depending on how you count) covering the whole period. DBA is probably one of the most popular and most played wargame rules system around outside the behemoth that is Warhammer. A part of the reason for DBA’s popularity is that a single game can be pretty quick – one to two hours – meaning it’s comparable to a longish game of chess. Or three D&D Encounters :) DBA is deeply engrossing and very, very fun to boot. As you don’t need many minis to make an army and can pick your own mini scale (I recommend Irregular Miniatures6mm line – I love their 6mm fantasy figures!), the cost is very low too.

I’ve played DBA Online quite a bit as well – this is a terrific digital interpretation that lets you play unlimited wargames on your own computer (via hotseat), or wargame online against other foes. The graphics are gloriously retro, and that just serves to emphasise the old-school playstyle. This ain’t no high-resolution MMORPG, folks!


If doesn’t take me long to track down a conversion of DBA for WWII (link to 18-page PDF) complete with Army Lists, and I’m a happy bunny.

Now though, I’ve a problem.

What are my new figures models of?

I’m pretty dumb when it comes to army uniforms, so if anyone can help me out and tell me what nationality and era these guys are, I’ll be very grateful!

Here’s a few pics:

But it doesn’t stop there. The wargame bug bit once more today, and I picked up a pack of Persian 25mm models – 42 in the pack, all ripe for preping and painting. Now, I’m reading up on Sassanid Persian history and checking colour schemes. Here’s a snippet:

The Roman Emperor Valerian tried to negotiate a peace with the Persian king, Shapur, but was captured by treachery and taken into captivity. Shapur used Valerian as a human stepping-stool to assist the Persian king in mounting his horse, thus subjecting a Roman emperor to the ultimate humiliation by a foreign leader. Valerian’s body was later skinned to produce a lasting trophy of Roman submission!

More on these fellas, another time :)

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