I haven't played Flames of War (FoW) much and was chosen more so for a) my interest and b) my previous gaming experience. This may sound all too hasty of the Captain (ETC Veteran MacNiocaill from last year's 40k Team) but makes so much more sense when you look at the numbers of people currently playing FoW in Ireland. I'm confident I can adapt to a new game system in the time given especially given the similarities between this and Warhammer 40,000.
The more I read about it the more it seems like a cracking game; fast-paced, balanced, large variety of competitive missions to play and it's got a price to beat the snot out of GW's pricing as illustrated by this year's illustrious Vice-Captain.
I haven't quite decided on what exact list to use yet, all I know for sure is that it will be mechanised (rhino spam) and German (I did Nazi that comin'). On that basis I picked up Grey Wolf which is like a book full of codexes for the Germans serving near Russia during Operation Barbarossa.
For history buffs it's full of geeky richness guaranteed to give you a raging nerd-on and if you're getting into the game at all it's a must have since it has all the most up to date legal German (and friends) lists.
The first list which caught my attention after reading through the book was a list based on the 5th SS Panzer Division, named 'Wiking'. These guys were mega elite veterans who bought hook, line and sinker into the Nazi ethos and were all volunteers trained to a high standard and indoctrinated to believe that what they were doing was the bees' knees.
The 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking was one of the elite Panzer divisions of the thirty eight Waffen SS divisions. It was recruited from foreign volunteers, from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, the Netherlands and Belgium under the command of German officers. During the course of World War II, the division progressed from a motorised infantry division to a Panzer division and served on the Eastern Front during World War II. It surrendered in May 1945 to the advancing American forces in Austria.
So you can see they didn't stop until the last days (and I'm sure Herr Newbreed would point out they were more than happy to surrender to the Americans rather than the Russians). The difference in playstyle from these guys and traditional SS is however that these guys weren't quite up to the standard of other elite units. Probably wouldn't say that to their faces though....
....eyes....so cold...so distant....
They're listed as Fearless Trained, differing from their Totenkopf (Super-Nazis) brethren who are Fearless Veterans (in game terms this basically means they're both hardcore morale-wise (not moral wise though...) but the Wiking soldiers are a little easier to shoot at.
Obviously this disadvantage comes with a friendly points decrease (about 30% across the board) which I think is quite a bargain considering you still get access to all the nice equipment and list special rules.
As a start here's what I've acquired (I say acquired instead of built because Paul Quigley previously owned all this stuff before giving it to me so I had very little work to do! Legend):
I'll delve a little more into the special rules next time and the shape I want the army to take but for now I'll leave it at that and once again thank Paul Quigley (so handsome) for his help in getting me started with the models, he'll always be my schoiße-Kombo.....