Wargaming Musings?

I'm a bit of a butterfly in terms of my attention and sticking to gaming projects long term isn't my strongest point. On the bright side, atleast I flit between the same things. Expect an ecclectic medley of Moderns, Dark Ages, Quar and Early Wild West, almost all in 28mm... (with some 1/48 moderns thrown in... )

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Figure choices for NATO Partisans

This is really more of an addendum to my previous post about partisans, but when it comes to ordering time I'm going to do some thinking about the sort of visual aesthetics I'm going to plum for. Pictures courtesy of the internet - most are of Balkans irregulars and militia....

Realistically, I'm going to be getting the figures from Liberation, as they have the largest range of non-islamic irregulars with long arms (although Platoon 20 & Combat both have a good selection with assorted weapons, for FoF assault/semi-auto rifles are the key). Between their Eastern European, Urban Terror & Multi-purpose ranges there  is a wide selection of figures, from non-uniformed figures in suits with AKs or Steyr Augs through  to the semi- to fully-uniformed figures with all sorts of ChiCom kit. However, what it really boils down to are a couple of sets of sculpts with head and slight weapon/equipment changes. The picture below shows a selection of figures - Iraqis, Serbs, Generic Forage Caps, Fur Hats. Not all the figures are conversions of the same basic dollys, but you can see how many are similar.

In terms of 'small arms' my options are somewhat limited - the AK is king in this respect, and every possible want is catered for, although M16 & SLR/FNFAL armed figures in civilian clothing are available. That makes life pretty easy - the bulk of the figures will be AK armed, with a few FNFAL armed chaps thrown in for flavour (I chose the FN  over the M16 due to the wider number of European users, and hence greater availability). Support weapons will probably also be Warsaw pact in origin, although there are civilians available with M60's, FMAGs, Barret .50 rifles, Milkor Grenade Launchers and Paramilitarys with MG3s. There are also a couple of figures in civy kit with Sterlings and Uzis.

Now it comes down to what head gear I want and what mix of civilian and military clothing.
The AK armed civilian packs (Urban terror) come as bare headed, in hats/caps and in M40 (soviet) helmets. The FN armed pack is just bare headed).
The potentially suitable semi- to fully-military packs (Multi-purpose & Eastern European rebel)  have choices of: Bare headed, M40 helmet, M1 helmet (US WW2), Serb (Yugoslav) helmet, Serb (chetnik) cap, Beret, Forage cap, Bandanna, Balaclava, Forage cap, wool-knit hat & fur hat mix.

I want to use the balaclava heads for the RAF (Red Army Faction, not Royal Air Force in this context!) 'terrorist commandos' for one of the other scenarios, so that rules those out.

I need to figure out how uniform and organised I want these partisans to be.  Are they a scratch formation, scavenging what they can where they can, and thus featuring lots of soviet personal equipment and uniforms,  (option A if you will)?

Or are they a partially equipped 'home guard' formation, with some assorted NATO weaponry and uniform elements, supplemented by some 'liberated' gear (option B)?

Their motives and methods will also effect their look - if they are hit and run raiders, making no attempt to hold territory and using their civilian lives as cover ('1') or if they are attempting to function as a more regular armed force, holding territory and acting more as a regular militia ('2').

A true 'stay behind team' is out of the scope really - and would be better represented by a group of special forces... Something like this guy:

A1 - Primarily Soviet weapons, with mainly civilian clothing. Probably no (or very few) identifying marks such as arm bands. No or limited overt military trappings, as they would prove harder to conceal in the event of a search. AK armed civilian packs: bare headed, in hats/caps; Military packs: Bare headed, Bandanna, wool-knit hat & fur hat mix.

A2 - Primarily Soviet weapons, increasing amounts of (soviet) camo uniforms. Identifying marks such as arm-bands would be popular, for ease of identification during fire fights and to aid in distinguishing friend from foe. They would probably collect items such as helmets and webbing, in an attempt to look more militaristic. AK armed civilian packs: bare headed, M40 helmets; Military packs: Bare headed, Bandanna, M40 helmet, (soviet style) forage cap, wool-knit hat & fur hat mix. Possibly mix in some slightly converted Soviet figures.
This is how I see the Polish Solidarity Partisans...

B1 - Mixed weapons, mix of uniforms. No identifying marks, but there would probably be some homogeneity in camo schemes and the like. There would be no need for helmets, but forage caps or berets might still be used to improve the forces morale and confidence.  AK, SLR & M16 armed civilian packs: bare heads; Military packs: Bare headed, Beret, Forage cap, wool-knit hat.
This is perhaps closer to how I see some of the Partisans and resisters in occupied NATO areas (e.g. West Germany)

B2 - Mixed weapons, mixed uniforms. Identifying marks such as unit badges and arm bands would be favoured, as would helmets and the like. In effect this force resembles an adhoc army or militia unit rather than a partisan organisation.  Military packs: Bare headed, Bandanna, M1 helmet, wool-knit hat, beret, forage cap, M40 helmet & fur hat mix. Possibly mix in some slightly converted Soviet figures, SAS, US special forces and maybe Vietnam Era Australian SAS.

So there is something of a dichotomy in what I'm trying to put together with these figures... I'm going to need to think on this a bit further. I think I'm going to still try to keep up my idea of a core of compatible figures in a mix of head gear (not sure quite what head-gear yet!) and different levels of uniformity.

For the Poles I'll add more soviet kit as well as more eastern European fur hats. Maybe some WW2 soviet partisans (lots of communist countries issued PPSh's to youth movements and militias; so I imagine that the Poles probably had a few as well).

For NATO resisters, add in some more western weapons, berets, camo forage caps, and generally try to keep the figures looking a bit more organised and western (loose the stray helmets, etc)

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