Review: Combat Storm 2nd Edition Boxed Set

The Combat Storm Boxed Set includes Army Men in these poses. Each pose represents a different type of soldier with unique abilities. Image taken from combatstorm.com.

Combat Storm is a rule set produced by Strategy Wave Studios. It is designed for two to four players, ages 12 and older. Combat Storm is a turn-based tactical wargame, intended for use with plastic Army Men as miniatures. The implied scale is 1:35 or 54mm, i.e., one inch of tabletop represents three feet in the game.

The rules are available at combatstorm.com. The rulebook retails for $22.99 U.S., but for an additional $7 U.S. you can purchase a boxed set including the rulebook, about 60 Army Men of various poses and colors, and four vehicles: a main battle tank, a light tank, a self-propelled artillery vehicle, and an air defense/ground support vehicle. Purchase of the rulebook, whether in the boxed set or by itself, grants access to the online Combat Storm Player Portal, through which you can subscribe to newsletters, download exclusive content like print and play tokens for identifying squads and troop states or papercraft terrain, and access utilities such as an army builder tool. You can also purchase additional Army Men, armored vehicles, dice, and additional paid papercraft downloads on the Combat Storm site.

This review describes the boxed set, including a review of the rules. Continue reading “Review: Combat Storm 2nd Edition Boxed Set”

The playset we just reviewed appeared in a stop-motion short film

Last week, we posted a video unboxing and review of Lenard’s The Corps! Elite 120-piece playset. We were pleasantly surprised to see soldiers from that set appearing in this short stop-motion animation piece, Army Men: Red vs Tan Firefight. The director did a really good job with editing and special effects.

Combat Storm video tutorial: making papercraft buildings

One of the free downloads is for the compact car depicted here. Image taken from http://www.combatstorm.com.

One of our favorite rule sets for wargaming with 54mm army men is Combat Storm Second Edition. While the rule set is rather costly by comparison to what we normally play at Army Men Wargaming, Combat Storm is better supported than most such games, especially in the area of free, downloadable, print-and-play terrain.

While you can download all available files with the purchase of the game, there are more than a half-dozen free downloads of papercarft terrain scaled to 54mm on this page.

In addition, you can view video tutorials on how to assemble Combat Storm papercraft terrain by clicking here.

Review and free download: Guns ‘n Grenades, v. 1.5

A new edition of Guns n’ Grenades was recently released by Journey Begins Games, and authors Josh Willaims and Caleb Payne revised the rules into a simpler, streamlined game with a great deal of flexibility. The game is a tactical level, turn-based, miniature wargame designed for 54 mm scale. The best part is that the new edition is available as a free download!

The combat mechanics are simple. The attacker rolls a six-sided die and adds an attack bonus, while the defender rolls a six-sided die and adds a defense bonus; if the attacker’s modified score is higher than the defender’s, a hit is scored on the defender.

Continue reading “Review and free download: Guns ‘n Grenades, v. 1.5”

Another thrift store find: Mowag Piranha

LAV_25
The model as purchased, with some 1:35 terrain for scale. Also included for scale are the Army Man Who Points and a radio/telephone operator, as neither of those poses serve any real purpose in an Army Men force.

The lad and I have been skunked for wargaming supplies during the last several trips to the thrift store, but we recently came up with a great find: this armored vehicle that closely resembles a Mowag Piranha – best known by American forces as the U.S. Marine Corps LAV-25 – which went for the bargain basement price of $3 U.S.

There are a handful of minimal problems with the item: the back doors are missing and will need to be refabricated, and the turret machine gun appears to have been chewed upon by a canine, a human child, or perhaps both. This 6×6 version wasn’t manufactured for U.S. forces in any quantity; the Marines primarily used 8×8 units. The vehicle is also slightly under scale for 1:35 or 54mm gaming; it would need to be about an inch longer to be a properly scaled 6×6 vehicle.

The good news is that these problems are truly minimal. The size is within the normal scale variations we use at Army Men Wargaming. The 6×6 versus 8×8 question is irrelevant for our purposes, as the model only needs to be recognized as an armored reconnaissance / infantry support vehicle. The damaged machine gun can be easiy replaced, and the doors can be made from plasticard.

Hopefully, the schedule will clear enough during the cooler months to allow for some terrain and vehicle painting…

Little Wars Revisited: 54mm Discussion Board

While searching the Internet for like-minded souls, I happened across this page:

Little Wars Revisited

It’s a discussion forum for all things 54mm wargaming, with periods ranging from the Ancients through futuristic Combat. I haven’t finished reading through everything on the site yet, but there appears to be a few house variants of Little Wars by H.G. Wells, as well as discussion of The Portable Wargame by the distinguished Bob Cordery. There is also an exhaustive list of 54mm wargaming resources worth bookmarking, even if you never plan to post a single thought to the boards.

The discussion board is still gaining traction, so please consider stopping by to register and get in on the conversation.

Review and Casting Tutorial: Meng 1:35 Concrete and Plastic Barrier Set

It’s been quite some time since we’ve posted a video. This time, it is a quick review of the Concrete and Plastic Barrier Set by Meng. A pleasant surprise was that the set actually included a mold for creating these road barriers from gypsum or casting plaster! The review of the set is followed by a quick tutorial on casting barriers from plaster. If you obtain the set or have any ideas that should be added to the tutorial, please let us know in the comments.

Killer find – a true 1:35 Abrams Tank for less than $2

The toy tank, among 1:35 scale terrain.
The toy tank, among 1:35 scale terrain.

My son and I make frequent visits to Savers, something of a thrift store that helps the environment by re-purposing second hand items and donating some of its proceeds to various charitable endeavors. It’s a fine place to obtain used video games, board games, books on military history, and, of course, army men and suitably scaled vehicles for them.

While we have been disappointed with what was available during our past few visits, we really struck gold today -a toy tank, modeled to closely resemble an M1A1 Abrams, pictured at right.

Without the price tag to differentiate, it would be tough to discern between the toy and the model.
Without the price tag to differentiate, it would be tough to discern between the toy and the model.

Actually, the words closely resemble are an understatement, as you can see by checking the next image; the toy tank is on the left, while a 1:35 military model of an M1A1 is on the right. You’ll notice that the length, width and height are nearly identical. When I checked the scale with a scale calculator, I found the difference between the toy and the scale model is virtually none.

The best part was the price. The item was tagged at $1.99 U.S., but that number dropped to $1.40 after my military discount was applied. We’ll have some great gaming with this piece, after it gets cleaned up and painted…