So today I took a 2 hour drive down to a very sunny Nottingham to attend the Battlefront open day. Mainly as I was keen to hear what was coming in the hobby, and mainly because the entry fee of £10 got a cool resin ruined church and some tokens - a late war tank model was also supposed to be included, but I was missing one so need to contact customer services:
So as these things go, it was a pretty interesting day. I sat in on the Flames of War presentation, spoke at length with the chap who makes most of the BF vehicle models and had a chat with some other gamers. I also got some pictures of upcoming/work in progress models:
Talking to Tim Adcock (the model designer) was really interesting. We spoke about the process that he goes through with designing the model, the casting process, etc. What was really good to hear was his enthusiasm for the models, and expanding the range available. They are wargamers themselves and their desire for the models drives them as well.
He told me that Battlefront have found new plastic mould making companies to work with, which has massively increased the number of plastic kits they can now make. A result of this is the upcoming German and British D-Day books now have almost entirely plastic ranges - far more plastic models than they had initially planned. This is also resulting in them looking to move more of the Team Yankee range to plastic as well (Artillery, AA, etc) - with plastic M109's on the way as an example.
He described this extra capacity (although there are only 3 of them sculpting models) as them previously having 3 categories, with A being must do, B being 'nice to do' and C being 'one day'. This increase in capacity has apparently meant that everything has been bumped up, with a lot more stuff being possible and moving to the 'A' or 'B' categories.
We also spoke about the infantry models going back to hard plastic, which should start with the British D-Day models. The Germans will still have the 'soft' plastic, but it looks like the Brit para's will be hard plastic models.
All in all, a very valuable chat and a real eye opener for me as to the limits. It's easy to forget that Battlefront is such a small company.
I didn't take any pictures during the presentation, but from the film that was taken:
- German book out in September
- soft plastic Falshimjagers (52 sculpts in the range - see some pics above)
- Plastic Panther A with Zimmerit (5 Panthers, 55pts, Careful, confident vets)
- Recon company (plastic 250 kits - including support weapon and armoured car options)
- Plastic Pak 43 on cruciform mount
- Lots of plastic kits, Battlefront pushing more towards plastics with main range, including armoured cars, AA, artillery, etc.
- British book in February
- All plastic models for main release (though not de-frocked priests/kangeroos)
- Hard plastic British Paras (39 new sculpts, including support weapons and gun crews)
- Plastic 17 Pounder and 40mm Bofors, also Daimler and Dingo in plastic (one sprue that does both)
- Crusader AA tank in plastic
- April for Waffen SS
- SS forces are fearless trained, and aggressive. Are hit on 3's
- HQ's are veteran, if troops are within 6" of commander, use the commanders tactics
- Pathers for SS, 44pts
- Aggressive on table
- New infantry figures in hard plastic, not many vehicle kits.
That completes D-Day. Bargration starts May 2020.
- Hobby league coming supporting different styles of play (narrative, point heavy, scenario)
- Hobby league provides 10 token sets, card packs, objectives
- Started in June with release of army deals and Hit the Beach
- July, 50 point tourney for clubs
- August, card based escalation campaign called Bloody Omaha
- September, card pack for hit the beach terrain and 100 point tourney for clubs
- October, Beasts of War online global campaign
Bloody Omaha is a narrative driven 'ace' campaign.
- Story mode, with narrative campaign of 4 games
- extended mode with side missions (7 games)
- aces cards which give game benefits (small games, getting bigger with each mission)
- Tourney option.
Card terrain packs
- 'mission terrain packs', card terrain
- 5 sheets of cardboard, rules booklet
- 'everything you need to play a d-day game in an A4 envelope
- paper beach mats, 2d card bunkers and landing craft
- British book will have a bocage set available
Tournaments (bah humbug)
- Events website
- free access to everything on forces for 30 days for tourney organisers to help them
- more releases planned
- November 2019, 'Death from above', mid war German Falschimjager and Italian Paras - booklets come with command cards, units cards, etc.
- December 2019, 'All Americans' booklet, with unit cards and command cards included. Mid war US Paras and Rangers
- 2020 - Brit paras, Finns, Hungarians
- 2021 - Romanians, Japanese, US Marines, Pacific Commonwealth
- 'massive change', Team Yankee (WW3) becomes WW3 (Team Yankee) with v2
- Rules changing to match v4
- All about war continuing and escalating
- Game has been much more popular than expected
- New rulebook in December
- British book at same time, including:
-- Challenger I (with 2 versions, 'early' and 'late' Challenger with added armour (gulf war era))
-- Warrior (2 versions, 'early' and 'gulf' version)
-- Plastic Fox (as seen above)
-- Aiming to do armoured cars, anit aircraft, etc, all in plastic
-- Plastic M109 with more than 2 barrel options
- After Brits, Americans (M1A1's (with uparmoured version?), Bradley, Apache)
- Soviets next (BMP3, T-80)
- Warsaw pact
- Expanding Team Yankee to cover 'early', 'mid' and 'late'.
- 'Checkpoint Charlie' releases to cover Team Yankee in same period as Nam and Fate of a Nation
-- Number of pdf's which if they are popular will be expanded to a book
Q: Narrative for TY
A: TY evolved, really to fit the models/forces they wanted to do
Q: Market Garden, what will happen
A: Do want to cover this more, just needs time to fit it in
Q: British book, Hobarts Funnies? (I think this was my question I submitted in advance)
A: Yes, still available, Command Card option
Q: What about Early War?
A: Have a plan, want to re-do it, will re-do similar to Nam, 1st book for Blitzkrieg, followed up by eastern front, desert, pacific. Ongoing, on back burner currently.
Q: Maus at end of war?
Q: TY, any other aircraft?
A: Looking at doing joint venture with plastic aircraft manufacturers, resin are expensive. Would like to be providing plastic aircraft, if they could find someone who makes appropriate models.
Q: German mountain troops for mid?
A: There is a command card, but that's all that is currently planned
Q: Points change from mid to late, opportunity for competitive play to use a 'season points' system, reviewed regularly for competitive play.
A: Yes. Some sort of generals compendium is in order, concerns over confusing new players further. Something they will be looking at doing.
Q: Command cards for TY?
A: No current plans for command cards in TY. Mainly due to TY being fictional, less variety of units to really cover. Possibly some use for them, but not so much required due to lack of depth of background.
Q: TY, Heliborne forces, expanding to other nations?
A: West Germans, Hueys, yes. Mi- 8 for Soviets - if it can be fitted in schedule, then yes.
Q: Lessons from the Front updates?
A: This has slipped due to other deadlines, acknowledges that this is an issue and was previously raised. Aware it is something that needs to be worked on.
Q: Bloody Omaha - any ideas for other campaigns using this system (eg, Dragoon, Cobra, etc) - my question!
A: New concept, interesting, changing the way the game is played. If popular, more scope to do other campaigns, Dragoon spoken about highly in studio. Bloody Omaha should be priced to sell.
Q: Resin kits, still plans for them to be available (even if direct only)? - my question again
A: Yes. Pulled stuff from site so as not to confuse new players, but resin kits will be available on direct only. If they have the moulds, they will sell the models.
Q: Jagdpathers or Jagdpanzer IV's in Normandy book?
A: No Jagdpathers - these will be in the Eastern Front Late war book. Jagdpanzer IV's will be in Normandy book, but are still resin at this time. Plastic Jagdpanzer IV L/70 later.
Q: M-18's for the Americans?
A: Hellcats will be in Bulge book - Plastic
Q: Wildcard slots? What are they?
A: Lots of plans for these, lots of ideas, list of products they want to do for this. Things keep moving down the schedule, 90th Light sold well. Would like to do more of that sort of thing. No work been done on this. Ideas like SAS, LRDG, Boarhounds, Captured Stuarts, Brandenburgers, etc.
Q: Team Yankee, Aces Campaign?
A: Depends on how the Bloody Omaha set is received. Lots of stuff that could be done.
Q: Any idea to do a tactical dogfight game?
A: One was designed by Phil, but no models. If plastic models could be sourced, possibly.
Q: Any future Firestorms planned?
A: Yes - one which is planned for Normandy to go with the On Tabletop digital campaign. Nothing planned for TY at present.
Q: Firepower of A10 gun in TY, could this be improved - feels a bit weak.
A: Might be revised in the new American book, Pete agreed it didn't feel right.
Q: After late way, 15mm Star Wars?
A: No, but they might look at Dune. They have a license currently for this.
Q: Nam - missing models for units in book, will this be visited?
A: These models should be done - needs to be investigated, possibly a website issue. Models were sculpted. Chat about items missing from website, seems things might be in the wrong place or not visible. 1600 product SKU's, mistakes happen.
Q: Can guides be produced showing what all the bits on each sprue is. Would be helpful to have images of labelled sprues, so people understand what the bits are.
A: Good suggestion, something they will look at. Can't accept new players have knowledge they don't have.
Q: Plastic Kangeroos/de-frocked priests? (me again)
Some other questions, but no footage of those.
I also spoke a length to a couple of gentlemen at one of the tables. Kevin Russel had a fantastic D-Day British board. His 1/72 scale LCT's put mine to shame!
I've shown these pics to Dave... Though the ships from Accurate Armour cost a fair whack (https://accurate-armour.com/aa-products/naval-products).
Discussions on the day revealed the existence of places that sell 15mm Oerlikon guns, saved here for my future reference! I also received a lead on somewhere that may sell mdf LCI(S), which is currently under investigation!