2019 – A Year in Review

The Breakthrough Assault team look back on 2019, and ahead to 2020

Lee

This year has been bought to you by US Infantry…

So… much… khaki…

To be fair, painting the beach assault stuff did take up a couple of months so it definitely sticks in my mind for this year’s FoW activity, culminating as it did in our participation game at the Battlefront Open Day.  Whilst it was a slog, mainly because I made it harder for myself than I needed to by painting more infantry than I needed, it was great to see it all arrayed on the table that BF had built for the beach landing mission.

Between kids and work, its been a quieter time on my painting desk than previous years, but other than US infantry I did get some Russian assault guns painted (SU-85 and SU-100) in the run-up to a planned attendance to the 2019 GT (always next year)  and I’m currently working through a Team Yankee British Recce Squadron.

On the gaming table, its been mostly Soviets for me, both mid-war and late war putting my-34 through their paces against whatever Duncan, Eddie and the regulars at Dice Saloon have thrown my way.  I must say that Bagration coming up is definitely going to be on my radar.

We’ve also been continuing on with Fate of a Nation.  Like Duncan, I think this is easily the best of the current time periods in terms of balance and the games it produces.  Fate of a Nation has overshadowed Team Yankee on the Brighton gaming tables but, with the rules now aligning, I hope to see more WWIII: Team Yankee on the tables next year.

Looking forward, there’s a lot to be excited about!  In WWII, the new British book should allow my paras to leave the figure case for the first time in a while.  I may also finally get around to a late war version of 3RTR with its Shermans.  As mentioned, the Bagration books will also be keenly awaited, especially with news of plastic Hetzers and Panzer IV/70!

In Team Yankee, whilst I look forward to the new British book, I don’t immediately plan to do anything with it as I concentrate on the early 80’s version of 3RTR with it Chieftain Mk.9. 

In the longer term, there is a plan to do a Gulf War-era force, but its probably going to wait because the next two books have really caught my attention.  Bradleys! T-80U! Tunguska!  The new start may have to be purchased just to round out my T-64 force and start the T-80U one.

Kontakt 5 hotness

All in all, 2019 was a good year for gaming, less so for painting.  I’m hoping 2020 will see me get more time on the painting table and that will align with some very exciting releases!

Martin

2019 what a year it has been with so much happening I have journeyed across time and space; on the Flames of War front from Mid war to Late War and from Stalingrad and the Steppes of central mother Russia to Britany on the western edge of Europe and I have finished the year still in France but now its the 1970’s with the release of TY v2.

This year has seen me create more new armies than ever with American and German Beach landing forces for the D-Day mega game and two complete mid-war Soviet tank armies during the Hobby League. Not to mention making some limited progress on my Soviet Naval infantry force and updating my late war soviet armour with some extra detail work. Finally, the year has finished with me taking my first foray into Team Yankee World War III with a French force for the version 2 release.

My Churchill Guards Heavy Tank Company

On the gaming front, I managed to play and win a couple of small tournaments early in the year but work curbed my time availability and I’ve been limited in my gaming opportunities since then. So that is something to try and improve on for 2020. I now at least managing a couple of games a month at Guildford Games Club so all my nice newly finished models are getting some love. Even my beloved 3rd Armoured Americans have seen a tabletop recently for the first time in almost 5 years!

The Hobby League was a major thing for me this year and was certainly a highly enjoyable 3 months of building, painting and gaming which has really reinvigorated the local player base for Flames of War and brought new players along to Guildford Games Club. Again work rather intervened towards the end and I missed out for the global campaign sadly.

Looking ahead to 2020, I’ll be spending an opening couple of months modelling my Nato French for TY followed by something for the British release for FoW, I’m intending on doing a Red Queen beach force including Hobarts funnies to add to my existing 7AD Motor and Tank companies. Finally comes the big thing for me in 2020, Bagration in mid-year. Being a keen player of Soviet forces in FoW these will be the big release for me it probably won’t be much modelling (famous last words) but getting my late war soviet heavy tanks back on the table post their refitting in September can’t happen soon enough.

So how many points will this be?

2019 has been a productive year overall with lots of stuff finished and 2020 will be a little more playing focussed and less painting and modelling at least in theory. Which just leaves me to say thanks for all your feedback on the articles I write and to wish you all a Happy New Year and I hope to meet a few more of you over the next 12 months.

Duncan

2019 certainly has been a rollercoaster of a year and it has most certainly been a busy one! 

The pile of shame has decreased and increased throughout the year and looking back at the projects I’ve managed to complete it’s actually been quite productive. So, what have I managed to tick off the *pending* list?

I think my favourite project to date

Definitely a highlight for me has been competing the Beute T-34 Company for Das Reich from the German MW book Ghost Panzer. I love captured kit but this was a modelling project the likes I’ve not taken on for a while. I think that this is still one of my favourite forces, just on a theme if nothing else! 

Sandy half-tracks

I also tried something new with my MW and LW US forces – weathering. Not something that I’ve paid much attention to previously but I’m very pleased with the results. Whilst my MW US is largely complete now I still have some more troops to add to the LW forces and hopefully, this is something I will get round to in 2020. 

U304 (f) return to the light of day

The low of the 21st Panzer missing out on the German D-Day book was replaced with the high of them having their own mini-list! I’ve not had a chance to roll out Rommel’s Funnies yet but that is something that will be happening as soon as possible in 2020.

But that is enough retrospective! 2019 is so last year (nearly) and what does 2020 bring for me in the Battlefront universe? I think the first thing is to try and create manageable projects rather than pinballing around between various things so I’m going to look at 3 main objectives.

Objective 1 – Operation Waffles

Oh good… more green… 

Well, the Team Yankee Dutch are progressing in spurts and with World War III – Team Yankee coming out I’m looking forward to getting some Dutch and Czechoslovakians on the table.

Objective 2 – Operation Sinai Grey

Fate of a Nation is still the hotness

As Lee mentioned above, Fate of a Nation is still hot in the South East and with the Black Friday Sale being a thing, my 1967 Israelis is now a thing! Getting this tabletop ready is going to be high on the priority list because the Magach-2 is frankly awesome.

Objective 3 – Operation Bagration

I’ve never owned a Flames of War Soviet army… I’ve never owned a snow-based army… I’ve never owned a Panzer IV/70 and Hetzer army… something will have to give on one of these this year but what – who knows! 

Finally, thank you to everyone that has read, listen, spoke to me, played a game with me or generally engaged in this fantastic hobby we call ours. Here is to 2020! 

Mark G

2019 saw me return from a extended trip to the desert, keen to get my forces on the table and play some games.  My MW Eastern front Germans and Russians had been finished and I was really enjoying my SU76 list.  I managed to get a weekend pass from home command and take it to ‘Buningrad’ taking first place which was unexpected to day the least.

A lot of bang

Attention then turned to the Late War which is by far my favourite period.  It was also at this time we started planning our massive beach landing game for the open day. We all chipped with the painting and managed to lay out a 16 x 6 Utah landing table for everyone to join in with.  That was definitely the highlight of my year.

Most of the BtA crew together for the open day.

With the release of the German and US book I started rebuilding my forces. I had sold of my old stuff which was now pretty dated, and to be honest I knew I could do a better paint job now, so I pretty much started from scratch.  I managed to get a Stug, Panzer, Tiger and Armoured Grenadier force put together which can also be used as a beach defence formation as well.

US wise I went for armoured rifles and a Sherman formation.  Combining with the my MW TDs I could also field a TD formation as well.

I made the long journey to Reading a few months ago for the Warfare event, managing to battle through for 3rd place.  I really enjoyed my Tiger force, it’s a fun but tough beast to field.

At the end of the year, I started to look at sprucing up my scenery with some new gaming mats, more to come on that in the New Year.  I think, like Duncan, Bagration is what I am most looking forward to next year, with my beloved IS2s, however I am also getting in early and prepping a British Breaching Group for DDay with their book coming out in Feb.  I think it’s going to be a great day for FOWs.

Alex

Wow, the second decade of the century has just about come to a close and its been an interesting last year for me.
At the beginning of the year, I was just another guy rolling dice, pushing war dollies around the table, and getting into never ending debates on the interwebs about unit viability and historical accuracy. However, on the whim of writing a few articles for the community that Mark G and Lee were gracious enough to run, I got offered a spot with this wonderful crew.
It truly was the highlight of my game year to start writing for Breakthrough Assault, and I hope to continue producing good content for the gaming community in 2020 and beyond.

On the gaming front, 2019 was a good year. I was split between Team Yankee and Flames, playing Team Yankee the first half before transitioning to Flames once the highly anticipated Late War release came out in June.  
I stuck to my Americans, though with the release of Oil War Iraqis made their way into my collection. I was proud especially for my Team Yankee M60s to take 3rd place at the Las Vegas Open (though I got my soul crushed in the West Coast Nationals for flames at the same tournament). Also of special note for me is living up to my belief of stewarding the hobby and taking the scene at my LGS here in Phoenix from essentially two players to 14 regulars in three months! As I stated before, if you build it they will come!

In the coming year, I think my goal is to continue to steward the hobby wherever and however I can and make it a welcoming place for wargamers of all stripes. I am also working with veterans to make events charitable and use the wargaming community as a way for combat vets of all nations to find a new home after their duty is over. If you’re a vet reading this, or simply wish to be a part look up Veteran Wargamers group on facebook and come join us.  Also, keep an eye out for my community rules for a Team Yankee expansion called COIN which was curated by many of the same vets on the group. Until then, remember….Sabot Kills Everything! See you all in 2020!

Richard

Not much gaming for me this year for a variety of reasons, but two big stand out events were firstly the Big Battle Gazala game in Kirkby in Ashfield at the end of November, which encouraged me to finally finish painting my 3rd RTR Grants (I’ve only been working on them for 10 years) , write up coming soon to a quality blog near you. Secondly and much more importantly I was asked to take part in this years ETC as a member of Team Denmark, becoming the first non Dane to play for the team. I can honestly say pulling on the Team Denmark shirt ranks as one of the proudest moments of my life. We had a blast and got into the top 10, at what was a really enjoyable ETC .

Next year sees me with no competitions to run, so gaming will again be at a premium I guess, I’m looking forward to travelling to play in the Polar Bear tournament in January in Reykjavik, and to another ETC in Luxembourg in the summer. I may even get back to doing some railway modelling at 1:1 scale 

Broadcasting resumes on the 5th January 2020.  See you then!

Category: A Fate of Four GamersBritishFate of a NationFlames of WarGermansIsraelLate WarMid WarRamblingSovietsTeam YankeeUSV4

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Article by: Lee

Wargaming since Rogue Trader in 1990; I made the move to Flames in 2006 and have been with it ever since! I play at the Brighton Warlords most weeks.