Monday, March 21, 2011

Imaginineties: Modern Wargaming

British Challenger 1 Main Battle Tank
I don't know what's come over me but I have a serious focus issue at the moment. It comes from a serious funding shortfall which has stalled my Project Lewes and prevented my launch into Project Quebec. This combines with a desire to work on something different for a bit. Imaginineties? What's he on about now? Can you guess?

Scorpion Recce Vehicle
A few of my fellow Goulburn Wargames club mates and I had dabbled with the idea of modern wargames. When it comes to later 20th century and beyond gaming, it's all about the kit (equipment). I recently watched James May's On the Moon TV documentary and one of the opening features was his ride in an airstrip pursuit vehicle as a jet spy plane landed to the strains of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir. Inspirational stuff. I have felt compelled to build a model jet aircraft ever since which in turn caused me to ponder on modern wargames.

FV106 Sampson Recovery APC

When I say a few of us toyed with the idea, we of course went ahead and bought stuff. I don't know if anyone can relate to this but I am a lot more efficient at purchasing than I am at building and painting - it's like an automatic reaction at times. I opted for modern British: others went for Australian, European and Russian forces. We are looking to an amendment or extension if you like to the Rapid Fire wargames rules for World War II with which we have a long standing familiarity and preference. We had also decided to stick with the 20mm scale because of our existing terrain and available models and figures.

FV102 Striker APC

The reason I have called this posting Imaginineties is because my battle group is based on the British Army organisation and equipment of the 1990s. Our group is likely to stick with this decade to commence with. Just interchange some models or figures and much of the kit will transfer a decade either way - Imagineighties (1980s) and Imaginoughties (first decade of the 21st century). We also all agreed that this would be wargaming only using imaginary scenarios and fictitious conflicts. This way we were not constrained to fight any modern conflict which, as it approached the present, some of us felt (myself included) to be in poor taste. I don't propose to criticise those that wargame current events but this is how we felt - so there it is. Playing on the 18th century Imagination gaming concept where people make up countries from the 1700's, Imaginineties represents actual armies but in imaginary conflicts - such as the British invasion of Australia. What could the pretext be? How about a dispute over territorial waters and sovereign claims to the Antarctic by the new Australian republicans under President Keating (former 1990's Australian Prime Minister)? Or the early demise of Queen Elizabeth II and a Commonwealth split, the rebellious Australians under Prime Minister Howard reject the succession of Charles III for a bid by his son who flees to the Antipodes to rally support, crowned William V by the Archbishop of Sydney ... but I digress.

FV104 Samaritan
Armoured Ambulance

Imaginineties also recognises that any attempt at 'modern' wargames must date itself unless you are to keep up with constant evolution in arms and equipment. Since I bought my miniatures and models, for example, the Challenger 1 has already been replaced by the Challenger 2 ... where will it end?  There's also some need to fix match ups within some time and period constraints - it being ridiculous fighting an 80's US army with a 21st century European force. If anyone has an idea for naming the 70s or 60's, please let me know becasue Imaginseventies doesn't seem to work as well as the other titles.

LLAD Rapier missile system

Whilst I still have several purchases to make, I have one of my two Main Battle Tank (MBT) troops of 4 Challenger 1 models (unbuilt Revell kits) and one of my two armoured infantry platoons of 4 Warrior APCs (also Revell): built but to undergo a refit before photographing. I have two Airfix Scorpion models for my Scimitar Recce Section and a few Airfix/JB Models Land Rovers and Bedford trucks. Getting back to my jet model fixation, I have an as yet unbuilt model of a BAe Harrier GR7 (Airfix) which I am itching to get at. I have most of my infantry from Liberation Miniatures (1990's British) and have even painted most of them. At this time, Kingfisher Miniatures in the UK look to be able to supply with all the rest.

My Battlegroup Orbat is as follows:

Headquarters Group
2 x Warrior APC @ 3 crew + 7 infantry each (including OIC + 2IC)
1 Tonne lorry

A Tank Troop
4 x Challenger 1 Main Battle Tanks (MBT)

B Tank Troop (optional addition)
4 x Challenger 1 Main Battle Tanks (MBT)


A Infantry Platoon
4 x Warrior APCs @ 3 crew + 7 infantry each

B Infantry Platoon (optional addition)
4 x Warrior APCs @ 3 crew + 7 infantry each


Engineer Section
1 x FV103 Spartan APC @ 9 engineers and crew (demo/clearance capable)

LRATGW Detachment (Long Range Anti-Tank Guided Weapon)2 x FV102 Strikers (Swingfire armed)

LLAD Detachment (Low Level Air Defence)2 x Rapier missile systems - Land Rover 109 towed
1 x Blindfire radar support system - Land Rover 101 Towed

Close Recce Section
2 x FV103 Scimitars (3 crew each)
 
HQ Section Supply/Recovery/Medical
1 x FV106 Sampson Armoured Recovery APC
1 x FV104 Samaritan Armoured Ambulance APC (2+6 medical)
1 x lorry
 
My guide, or pocket guide to be precise for my army organisation has been The British Army: A Pocket Guide 2002-2003 by Charles Heyman. Whilst more recent than my exact period, I have relied or assumed on consistency of organisation over ten years and researched backwards for differences in equipment. I must observe; however, that there are some remarkable examples of equipment longevity with the British Army, such as the Rapier and the Scimitars. I also would point out that the Internet is particularly informative, especially Wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. photos of your painted figs and vehicles would be a good start! I should finish my yanks off in the coming weeks. I aim to settle the whole Novia Scotia debate in add a 51st state!

    cheers
    matt

    ReplyDelete