Monday, June 24, 2013

Flames of War French Army Project - Update

 Last summer I wrote a series of posts about my plans for doing an early war French army for Flames of War.  In that series I took a very methodical approach to selecting the period, nationality and the army for the project.  I ended the series with a detailed army list with the pack numbers and prices.  I had a solid plan but I knew it was going to be tough for me to stick to it.  See the links below if you would like to read these posts.

http://dspaintingblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/thinking-about-new-flames-of-war-army.html
http://dspaintingblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/thinking-about-new-flames-of-war-army_21.html
http://dspaintingblog.blogspot.com/2012/08/thinking-about-new-flames-of-war-army_29.html

 With all the details worked out I set off on the path of building this army.  I knew that the need for large numbers of trucks was going to pose a major issue but I was sure I could get it done.


For the next few weeks I collected items that I needed and slowly began the assembly of the new army.  Then came the first of the year and my new interest in US mid-war tanks forces.  Without any plan I just started collecting and painting Sherman tanks and M10 tank destroyers.  Before I knew what happened the French army idea was put on the shelf.


It is not as if I no longer had an interest in an early war French army, I just had so much going on with the new American project and our Tunisian campaign to really put any time in.  Recently, however, I have been able to make a couple of major acquisitions for the French collection.  In addition, I have come to the realization that my original plan was overly ambitious and doomed to failure.  My idea was to actually plan an army first and the collect the models and, as I pointed out in my article series, this is very different from how I normally do things.

My normal approach to building armies is much more free form and driven as much by the deal I can get right now as it is by what I actually need.  This self-imposed restriction made it hard for me to justify picking up something that might be a good deal but did not fit with my plan.  I must admit that this made me crazy and helped drive me away from the project.  In fact, this is why (as much as anything) I started working on the US stuff.  I could just go where inpiration took me which is way more comfortable for me.


So, long story short, I now have a French Tank squadron army box and the French infantry company box and will be starting the project from scratch.  I still have plans to do the Escadron de Fusiliers Portes but it will be an evolutionary effort rather than the main focus.  With these two boxes, as well as the items I had already collected, I can almost do the original army anyway (but I still need a butt-load of trucks).  So the new plan is to start with the Escadron de Combat and then add in additional elements that can be used in both forces.  I have also redone my list for the Fusiliers to leverage the tank items that I now have in the collection.

The good news is that this project is back on track and I am now inspired to work on it.  In fact, I have already assembled all the tanks and will be putting together a unit of artillery next.  Then the paint begins.  I would love to have something playable and on the table by the time my original idea is a year old.

5 comments:

Scott said...

Some projects you just have to keep plodding away at...

As yet I am have not been too excited by Early War stuff... I think its because it means buying a whole load of new stuff for this relatively limited theatre, whereas for my Germans forces, an awful lot of stuff I buy is good for both Midwar (Italy and Eastern Front) through to Latewar both fronts... more bang for your buck and all that!

For EW I think I'd need to be really fired up to start it and with mates who want to play it too... at the moment that doesnt look likely...

Best of luck with your ongoing Frenchie project!

Robert Brightwell said...

I am actually a big fan of the early war period. I know it is the least popular among gamers. I think the lack of popularity has many contributing factors. There is very little popular history that covers the early campaigns. There is not the glamor in early war tanks as there are in the later tanks. There are no Americans which seems to make a difference to US gamers. EW Germans seem unbeatable and the allies seem terrible, and this may have been true in 'reality' it is not true in the game.

I actually find the period rich in tactical inspiration. I really like the challenge posed by some for the early war special rules that you don't get with other periods. EW is basically a different game.

I am really looking forward to getting this stuff on the table.

Tom O said...

I'm glad to see you working on this force again Robert. I like early war too and am looking forward to the book on the German invasion of Russia. In the meantime I need to figure out a German force that can match up against my Polish 10th Mech and your French.

Scott said...

I may have to have a glance through the EW books - see if I get inspired...

Da Green Skins said...

I like my early French list. They are fun to play. I should start working on my Germans one of these days.