Thursday, September 26, 2013

Tales of a Wargaming Butterfly

     Well, I've spent the past few days ignoring the eight thousand projects I already have going on (particularly, my Cuba Libre Imagi-Nation, my Platoon Forward campaign with modified KR-16, single games of Chain of Command, and working on 6mm Napoleonics) to resurrect something I bought and primed last year but hadn't done anything with since.
    I've been chatting with Joe Legan on TMP and his blog, and on a whim I picked up his "Squadron Forward" from TFL.  Well, I'd love to play an early war, Pacific campaign, so that's where my efforts have been the past few days and here are the fruits of my labor.  Everything here is from PicoArmor, with Dom's Decals.
 F4F Wildcats.
 SBD Dauntlesses.
 I put sand-colored dots in for the pilot and gunner.
 TBD Devastators.
 Closeup, again sand-colored dot for the gunner.
 A6M Zeroes of the Imperial Japanese Navy.  Nothing too historical here, just wanted some jazzy paint schemes.
 D3A Val Dive Bombers.
 B5N Kate Torpedo Bomber.
 A6M Zeroes of the Imperial Japanese Army.
 G4M Betty bombers.
So, I showed you my goodies.  I've got enough aircraft to do what I want to do, and I've got a bunch of Axis and Allies War at Sea 1:1800ish minis (couple carriers, couple BBs, a few CAs, CLs, and a bunch of destroyers).  What I don't have is a suitable playing surface; maybe a blue sheet with some hand-drawn squares/hexes?  Whatever it's going to be, it's gotta be cheap, I've spent well more than my wargaming allowance lately...
    In my dreams I'm playing an interconnected campaign for the Solomons in 1942/43, with Platoon Forward for USMC/IJA ground battles, Squadron Forward for air, and Flotilla Forward (which I don't yet own) for some PT Boat action.  Also, maybe see if I could bump that up in echelon for some bona fide night-time surface action in The Slot.  Each one of these would not just be interconnected, but impact each other.  I have no idea how I'd ever pull that off...
    So, more realistic, at least in the short run, is maybe a Squadron Forward campaign to follow a Carrier Air Group.  Maybe a fictional carrier; I like doing fictional units, not because I'm scared of history/'real life,' but fictional allows me to see more action than guys did in real life.  Stop the scoffing, what I mean is, in real life guys fight in one battle their whole life and its too much action, but for wargaming campaigns, you want non-stop action, you don't want the 6-month rest and refit that occurred in real life.  So using a fake carrier, I could have it in action in late December 1941 for a fake relief of Wake/Philippines battle, then making the raids on the Gilberts, Marianas, Marshalls, supporting the Doolittle raid, the Aleutians in early 1942, present at Coral Sea and Midway, then super engaged in the Solomons campaign.
     I'm not sure of the the totality of what I'm looking to do, but my intent is certainly to have a heavy amount of interaction with the entire Carrier Air Wing, which is why I did up fighters, dive bombers, and torpedo bombers.  I need some Japanese float planes (Emilys maybe) and float fighters (Rufes).  I'd like to have some a PBY or two as well, and maybe a Kingfisher.  I need PicoArmor to produce later US carrier aircraft, particularly the Avenger.
    So what do I name my aircraft carrier?  I was trying to think of some famous Marine battles that hadn't been used.  I'm not coming up with much...  Chapultapec is one I've never heard (as a US ship name); Tripoli was a 60's to 90's helicopter carrier.  I can't use anything from WWII as the point is to have the ship in service prior to December 7, 1941 so that I can get right into the fighting.  I was considering USS Corregidor, but then I read it was a CVE later in the war...  How would everyone feel about a USS Guantanomo (from the amphib landing during the Spanish-American War)?  Maybe a USS Daly or Butler?
    I dunno...  It doesn't have to be Marine related, I suppose.


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