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Saturday, 5 October 2019

Red Flags & Iron Crosses

Way back in 2006 – two years before I began blogging – I wrote a set of wargames rules entitled RED FLAGS & IRON CROSSES (or RF&IC for short).


I demonstrated them at SALUTE2006, and then used them as the basis for the rules that were eventually published by the ‘History of Wargaming’ Project as an addendum to the reprint of Donald Featherstone’s WARGAMING AIRBORNE OPERATIONS.


By that stage the rules had undergone some development, and were entitled RED FLAGS & IRON CROSSES: TARRED AND FEATHERED. (I had originally called them RED FLAGS & IRON CROSSES: TARRED AND FEATHERSTONED, but Donald asked that the title be changed, something that I was more than willing to do.) Some of the play-tests of these rules were featured in several of my first blog entries, and I've always had a hankering to use them again ... but have never quite got around to it.

The basic table top manoeuvre units were made up of small groups of infantry figures, a single gun and crew, or a single armoured fighting vehicle. Examples of these are shown below.

A German infantry unit.
A German infantry gun unit.
A German tank unit.
A Russian infantry unit.
A Russian SMG-armed infantry unit.
A Russian battalion gun unit.
A Russian tank unit.
Some time ago I began to renovate my existing collection of 20mm-scale figures and vehicles in preparation for my much thought about Operation Barbarossa project, and it was whilst I was recently ill I began to think about resurrecting RF&IC. My design expertise has developed since 2006, and looking at the rules afresh has made me realise that they could be improved and still give me the sort of enjoyable knock-about battles they were originally intended to be used for.

I know that I have my PORTABLE COLONIAL WARGAMING book to finish, but for some reason I seem to have hit a mental brick wall and can't raise much enthusiasm to get on with it. Rather than try to finish it and end up doing a rushed and bad book, I'd rather set it aside for a bit and do something else in the hope that my muse will return. Revising RF&IC might be a suitable short project for me to get my teeth into, and it may well generate ideas that help me to complete my book.

Here are some of the photographs I took of the session I ran at SALUTE2006. It is quite obvious why I moved over to using smaller playing cards soon afterwards; they took up far less space on the tabletop and were nowhere near as intrusive.





8 comments:

  1. HI Bob- an interesting Post- sounds as though your on the right track giving your Colonial Project a rest until such a time as enthusiasm returns - meanwhile 're-vamping' your WW2 20mm sounds just the ticket...20mm is a good size to work with as your photos show. Cheers. KEV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kev Robertson (Kev),

      It never makes sense to batter one's head against a brick wall in the hope that things will get better ... hence my decision to do something else for a while.

      I find renovating figures quite therapeutic, and as you comment, 20mm-scale figures are a nice size to work with.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  2. Interesting! RF-IC sounds like the sort of rule set that would suit my own inventory of figures and vehicles, based on Command Decision as it is. That is why, by the way, I use one stand per strength point for the infantry in the PW sets.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      The text of the original RF&IC rules and RF&IC: T&F can be found as downloads on my Free Downloadable Wargames Rules page in the sidebar.

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete
  3. Sounds like wisdom Bob - the creative juices sometimes need to ferment a while before they become a fine vintage.
    :)

    Meanwhile, 20mm is making a bit of a comeback, with it being the preferred scale for the Battlegroup series of rules, among others. So perhaps you are marching with the times!

    Meanwhile, I am trying to get some forward momentum on my PW 1/3000 Pre-dread project.
    Best, Alex

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    Replies
    1. ECW 40mm Project (Alex),

      Funnily enough, just looking at the various versions of RF&IC has given me a few ideas that I might use in future sets of rules, so its been a positive experience already!

      20mm-scale stuff never went away as far as I was concerned; it was merely confined to its storage boxes! Renovating mt figures has made me realise that even with a lens, I can no longer paint anything smaller than 20mm-scale figures. I recently tried to paint some 10mm-scale figures I was given, but they looked awful when I had finished them.

      Good luck with your pre-dreadnought project. I have some that I made years ago when I first tried to recreate Fred Janes Naval War Game, but I don't think that I could make new and paint ones now.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. "Free 20mm!!"
    Yes, I've decided 25mm Old Glory are the new 15s for me, and 15mm is the new 6/10mm for me, also. This has not stopped me from doing some micro-armor however - I just point the brush in the general direction and hope for the best!

    Btw, I'm uncertain how your mechanics work, but if you want to eliminate the smaller cards you might consider Poker Dice. They come in two varieties, I believe, one mostly face cards the other more numbers, both d6. Makes for a smaller deck but smaller on the table. Always wanted to use them in a game, haven't done it yet! Best, a.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ECW 40mm Project,

      I have a large collection of 20mm-scale WW2 (and earlier) stuff that I am gradually renovating, and have been promised some 'reinforcements' from the son of an old friend. By the time I'm finished - whenever that will be - I will be able to refight Operation Barbarossa ... or a least a version of it.

      I've replaced the standard-sized playing cards with much smaller patience cards, but I'd not thought about using poker dice. It's certain something worth looking at ... so thanks for the idea!

      All the best,

      Bob

      Delete

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