Saturday, 1 February 2014

Don't Panic! Dad's Army are arriving to bolster the Home Guard

Warlord Games are taking us to Walmington-on-Sea to meet with the cast of Dad's Army. Kind of.

They recently obtained the license to recreate the likes of Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson and 'Stupid Boy' Private Pike.  They are currently up for Pre-Order and will take up their positions in February. But are they any good?

Whilst growing up the BBC were kind enough to keep re-running the fantastic Dad's Army every so often and we really enjoyed visiting Walmington-on-Sea to see the exploits and bumblings of a particular section of the Home Guard as they prepare to be the final defence against a German invasion.

The Warlord blurb pretty much says it all.
"During the dark days of 1940, Britain was under dire threat of Nazi invasion. A massive citizen army, the Local Defence Volunteers, was raised to defend their families and homes. Although armed with old or ad hoc weapons and equipment the Home Guard, as it became known, was a vital part of the defence of British shores. Based on these proud defenders of the realm, the classic TV series, Dad’s Army produced some of television's most enduring catchphrases and characters as it followed the adventures of Walmington-on-Sea's Home Guard platoon. The boxed set contains 18 superbly detailed miniatures sculpted by Paul Hicks - representations of the cast of the classic TV series, Dad's Army in civilian and Home Guard attire! Included are Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson, Lance-Corporal Jones, Privates Pike, Walker, Frazer and Godfrey, plus Warden Hodges, the Verger and Reverend Farthing. Also included are plastic bases and a leaflet chronicling Dad’s Army and how you can field them in games of Bolt Action on the tabletop..."

Full marks to the folks at Warlord Games in getting the license.  But what are they going to do with it?

Well, up for pre-order will be the boxed set with 18 miniatures. Eight of them are the Home Guard and the ARP in their civvies, while they are reproduced again in their official garb.  then on top of that there are the two clergy (Reverend Timothy Farthing and Verger Maurice Yeatman).  All for a slam dunk of 40 of your pound sterling.

Now. £40 for 18 miniatures might be baulked at but with the normal rose tinted glasses remembrance of an excellent comedy show this will more than likely be snapped up.  Especially the collector who wants the collection of Dad's Army with the jolly protagonists in both military and civvy attire.  Rules for playing them in Bolt Action will be included in the box.

For the wargamer? I'm thinking about it is all i'll say. Personally Dad's Army is a feel good gentle parody of a dark period of the 20th Century.  Indeed the Home Guard have always been the butt of jokes, but with a little digging you can see they had a harder side as they trained for a scenario which would have meant many would have sacrificed their lives.  But then have a watch of a brilliant Horrible Histories look at the Home Guard.

As a wargamer looking to use Home Guard in a British contingent for the likes of Bolt Action it might be worth looking at Wargames Foundry's deal for £84.  The full deal includes fair likenesses of your favourite Home Guard heroes as well as Home Guard on bikes, heavy weapons, a supporting cast and downed German Luftwaffe pilots.  It even has a Nazi in a Nun's Habit!!

Is the Warlord Games' set worth it? Does it really matter? It will always depend on the person buying it.  The Warlord Games figures do have a closer resemblance to the characters, especially Jonesy and Wilson.  Though it feels like half the figures (those in their civvies) will be left to the side or as objectives in games of Bolt Action.  They might fit into A Very British Civil War from Solway Crafts.  Wargames Foundry are close enough to recognise and enjoy.  

I'm not saying I won't buy the Warlord figures.  But i may just do it out of sentimentality.  Wee Andy already has the Wargames Foundry deal (which has been on their site for some time indeed - he bought the figures over a decade ago).  I fear I will be unable to resist. Stupid Boy.

I am interested in seeing the rules and how they will fit into the more straight forward Bolt Action WW2 game. A collector won't care and a wargamer probably won't care either, but I have an attachment to the wonderful buffoonery of Captain Mainwaring and his crew and am just wondering if the rules will just be a straight drop in of slightly amended rules for Bolt Action or allow for a silly but fun game of playing Dad's Army.  We shall see.  hopefully, more than anything else, it will bring Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson, Corporal Jones, Private Pike, and the like to a new generation who never had the chance to see them on television.

Now, this reminds me of the time I was in the Sudan .........

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