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Thursday, 1 March 2018

Zvezda's Art of Tactic games: A way forward for my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project?

Over the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of thinking about how best to approach starting work on my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project. One possibility that I have been considering is to take a simple quick-start short-cut … and buy a copy of Zveda’s ‘Art of Tactic’ OPERATION BARBAROSSA game.


The game components are compatible with my PORTABLE WARGAME rules. I know this because I previously owned a copy, but in what now strikes me as a fit of madness, I passed it on to another wargamer, along with a stack of unmade models that I had bought to go with it.

In terms of figures and vehicles, the basic game contains:
  • 1 x Pzkpfw II tank
  • 1 x Pzkpfw III tank
  • 1 x Opel Blitz truck
  • 3 x Bases of German infantry
  • 1 x Base of German assault engineers
  • 1 x German machine gun crew
  • 1 x Ju87 Stuka dive-bomber
  • 1 x 81mm mortar and crew
  • 1 x German HQ
  • 1 x T-34/76 tank
  • 1 x Zis-5 truck
  • 3 x Bases of Russian infantry
  • 1 x Russian machine gun and crew
  • 1 x Russian 82mm mortar and crew
  • 1 x 45mm anti-tank gun and crew
  • 1 x 37mm anti-aircraft gun and crew
  • 1 x Russian HQ
The terrain items in the box include:
  • 6 x double-sided six by four hexed terrain boards (they are actually five hexes plus two half hexes by four hexes)
  • 30 x double-sided single terrain hexes
  • 6 x hill hexes
  • 1 x Pillbox
  • 2 x Dragon’s teeth anti-tank obstacles
  • 4 x Sets of barbed wire
  • 1 x Pontoon bridge
In addition, I already have soome models I had bought some years ago during a visit to the Artillery Museum in St Petersburg. These include:
  • 1 x T-26 tank
  • 2 x T-34/76 (mod.43) tanks
  • 2 x 45mm anti-tank guns and crew
  • 2 x 76mm infantry guns and crew
  • 2 x 122mm M-30 howitzers and crew
  • 2 x 85mm anti-aircraft guns and crew
Since the first game came out, Zvezda have added several additional sets to the range including the ‘Art of Tactic’ TANK COMBAT game.


This set comprises:
  • 1 x Pzkpfw II tanks
  • 1 x Pzkpfw 38(t) tanks
  • 1 x Pzkpfw IV tanks
  • 1 x BT-5 tanks
  • 1 x T-26 tanks
  • 1 x T-34/76 (mod.40) tanks
  • 1 x double-sided four by three hexed terrain boards (they are actually four hexes by two hexes plus two half hexes)
The other two widely available games are Zveda’s ‘Art of Tactic’ BATTLE FOR MOSCOW ...


and BATTLE OF STALINGRAD ...


... games.

The former contains:
  • 1 x Pzkpfw III ausf.G tank
  • 1 x Pzkpfw IV ausf.D tank
  • 1 x StuG ausf.B assault gun
  • 3 x Bases of German infantry in winter uniform
  • 1 x German machine gun crew in winter uniform
  • 1 x 81mm mortar and crew in winter uniform
  • 1 x German motorcycle and sidecar
  • 1 x German HQ in winter uniform
  • 1 x T-35 tank
  • 1 x Base of Russian infantry in winter uniform
  • 2 x Bases of Russian militia infantry
  • 1 x Base of Russian ski infantry
  • 1 x Russian machine gun and crew in winter uniform
  • 1 x Russian 82mm mortar and crew in winter uniform
  • 1 x 85mm anti-aircraft gun and crew
  • 1 x Russian HQ in winter uniform
  • 6 x double-sided six by four hexed snowy terrain boards (they are actually five hexes plus two half hexes by four hexes)
  • 30 x double-sided single terrain snowy hexes
  • 6 x hill hexes
  • 1 x Pillbox
  • 2 x Dragon’s teeth anti-tank obstacles
  • 4 x Sets of barbed wire
  • 1 x Pontoon bridge
  • 8 x Smoke markers
  • 2 x Fire markers
The latter contains:
  • 1 x Pzkpfw IV tank
  • 1 x Base of German infantry in winter uniform
  • 1 x 75mm anti-tank gun and crew
  • 1 x 81mm mortar and crew in winter uniform
  • 1 x German HQ in winter uniform
  • 1 x T-34/76 tank
  • 1 x Base of Russian infantry in winter uniform
  • 1 x Russian anti-tank team
  • 1 x 76mm Zis-3 anti-tank gun and crew
  • 1 x Russian HQ in winter uniform
  • 3 x double-sided six by four hexed terrain boards, two of which are snowy (they are actually five hexes plus two half hexes by four hexes)
  • 1 x Pillbox
  • 2 x Dragon’s teeth anti-tank obstacles
  • 4 x Sets of barbed wire
  • 1 x Pontoon bridge
  • 6 x Smoke markers
  • 2 x Fire markers
By buying most or all of the above I could quickly 'kick-start' my Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War project into life ... and it is certainly an option I need to think about some more.

28 comments:

  1. Bob,
    Very impressed by these WW2 Boxed Sets- I am not familiar with the scale used - are they 1/72nd or 15mm? You will certainly be active painting and assembling. I assume the sets are reasonably priced...some years ago I collected WW2 kits and boxed figures in 1/72nd for both British and German forces...after $500 spent I did not have a lot to show for it- became discouraged and sold all for $250. Good fortune Bob. Cheers. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kev Robertson,

      The vehicles are 1:100th-scale and the figures and artillery are 1:72nd-scale. The bigger boxes are approximately £50 to £70 each, and the TANK COMBAT game is £20. Individual kits are available for around £4 each, although the ones I bought in Russia were just about £2 each. Not cheap, but not expensive when one looks at how much individual kits are.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. Sounds like a great plan Bob, I look forward to hearing what you decide.
    Alan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tradgardmastare (Alan),

      It's a plan ... which is more than I've had up until now for this potential project.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. Bob,

    Do not get sucked into the Eastern Front. We're still playing Chris Kemp's Eastern Front campaign with NQM. It's 1943 and we've only been playing 30 years.

    Trebian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trebian,

      I've been toying with this potential project for a very long time, and once started, I hope to make slightly faster progress than Chris.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. We thought that 32 years ago too, Bob :-)

      Regards, Chris

      Delete
    3. Chris Kemp,

      This project is part of my dastardly plan to live forever! Trying to re-fight the entire conflict should take a lifetime or more ...

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  4. Bob,

    Have you considered Tide of Iron, formerly from Fantasy Flight Games and now located here: http://1agames.com/tide-of-iron/

    IMO, they provide a wide and deeper selection of models.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Justin Penwith,

      I must admit to not having considered TIDE OF IRON as a possible solution ... but I will now.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  5. Are you absolutely sure that adding yet more figures and models in another scale isn't a subconscious way to avoid getting into gear with what you have?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ross Mac,

      I regret to say that you may well be right ...

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  6. Bob, resist the temptation! Focus on those Napoleonic armies who need PW rules to fight by!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arthur Harman,

      I know that you are right ... but like Oscar Wilde, I resist everything except temptation!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  7. Fascinating. Before I discovered NQM, Megablitz, Hexblitz and OHW, I was looking rather hard at the 'Art of Tactic' gig. Given my sizeable inventory of OO scale vehicles and weapons, the addition of 1:100 scale doesn't appeal.

    I have been struggling with the 'Uber-Mega-NQM-Blitz' game that was prototyped with the Operation Uranus game last year, and coming round to the view that we were then closer to resolving the issues then than I appreciated at the time.

    Paul (Jacko) and I have been working up our inventories for an Operation Crusader projest, which I rather think will be closer to the Sidi Rezegh scale of game. I'm still working on SPs for groups of stands, rather than individual. This seems likely to involve a greater use of the hex edges and points (or square sides only on a square grid) to locate these groups (formations).

    Have to admit a falling off in motivation in recent weeks, hemce no activity on the blog...

    Cheers,
    Ion

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Archduke Piccolo (Ion),

      I already have quite large collections of 1:100th to 1:72nd-scale vehicles and 20mm-scale figures, and the ART OF TACTIC stuff would expand them. I suppose that is a good reason not to acquire the games ... even though some of the artillery would be very useful.

      I am hoping to devote some time in the near future to revisiting and revising my Hexblitz rules, but I am finding it difficult to motivate myself to do anything at the moment. (Having only just got over a debilitating virus that I came down with before Christmas, I've now had a heavy cold for over a week.)

      I look forward to seeing any developments that you come up with. It might just give me the motivation that I need.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  8. I will elaborate:
    Yes, if only for the terrain

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geordie and Exiled FoG,

      The terrain tiles will certainly be useful ... even though I already own several other hexed terrain systems!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  9. Further elaboration:

    Be a scale heretic
    15mm Armour
    20mm Infantry and Guns
    1/144 Aircraft
    1/200 Aircraft

    Bundle it into together
    Nobody cares if you don't care

    We are passed the ACW scale fascism
    Those days are behind you

    Personally I would hace a 28mm Zhukov metal Black Hat miniature to top the game off ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geordie an Exile FoG,

      I have ordered the OPERATION BARBAROSSA game to see if I like the idea of mixing scales in practice, and may well give one or two of the other games a tryout ... and the kit and terrain will certainly get used whatever the outcome.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  10. Look forwards to your experimentation and talking about it over a beer in the not too distant future at CoW 2018.
    We should be out of the snow zone by then ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geordie an Exiled FoG,

      Reading your comment made me realise that COW2018 is a lot closer than I had thought ... and I'm already looking forward to having a chat.

      As to the snow ... well with climate change, who knows what the weather will be like in July.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  11. Bob

    Have read theses rules and they sound great. I have been meaning to test them for a while but the guy I usually play has had a spate of ill health. I am also painting up the tanks from the Tank Combat set.

    Hope to actually meet soon, either at a convention or on the square. Its great to finally realise how we have corresponded before. Love it when the penny drops lol.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee Newton (Lee),

      The rules work well, although they are not quite as simple as the ones I usually use. The Tank Combat game is an excellent intoduction to the rules as well as being a great source of models.

      I hope to go to SALUTE this year. If you are going, let me know and we'll try to meet up and have a chat. As to meeting on the square ... I'd love the opportunity to do so at some point. I live in South East London and belong to Lodges in Hertfordshire and London.

      Sincerely and fraternally,

      Bob

      Delete
    2. Yes, going to SALUTE - my first ever Wargaming event?!

      Delete
    3. Lee Newton,

      I hope to see you there.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete