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Subject: Hind Commander has landed in Vienna! rss

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Robert J. FRITZ
Austria
Perchtoldsdorf
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The Game Festival 2011 in Vienna was not only a good opportunity to introduce the wide area of historical wargaming for the very first time at this yearly event, but also to present a brand new tabletop wargame called “Hind Commander” by Assault Publishing (AP) from Poland. The designer Marcin Gerkowicz has enriched the gaming community with an innovative and very exciting gaming system.

Hind Commander is a wargame dealing with modern helicopter warfare including almost all types of choppers from the 60s up to now. The game consists of a Rulebook, different markers (like for locking on targets), stratagem and mission cards. AP also offers a few sets of battle packs of miniatures in scale of 1/600 which are a quite well mixture of models from the wide product range of Oddzial Osmy, but you can play it also with other small scales. The scale 1/600 allows playing large battles with big formations on relative small tables and I am always fascinated how detailed this small masterpieces are. Terrain packs are also offered. The rules also include the use of aircraft and ground units. To make a long story short: I love modern military helicopters and Hind Commander is just filling the gap to fly them into action. ‘What I like very much is that in comparison with games like “Apache Leader” the game Hind Commander covers - as the title implies – a lot of Russian military hi-tech equipment. In the rulebook you find types of Russian helicopters I never heard of. I think that makes it even more interesting.

Since I have gotten Hind Commander two weeks ago and I needed some time to prepare my presentation at the game festival I have not been able to get deeper into the game mechanics. I showed the game at my gaming club and offered to play my personal “airport scenario” there (see pictures). Other gamers were also very fascinated and enjoyed playing helicopter warfare.



Although I have a long interest in building military model kits I have to admit that due to other obligations and interests there is not much time for constructing and painting. To tell the truth I have absolutely no talent in painting my stuff. I always hope to find volunteers to paint the thousands of miniatures from my collection. But I want to have all battle packs from AP in my collection and I am looking forward to the day when large strike groups are clashing on my table. I think with larger formations you are able to enjoy the full potential of Hind Commander by using all the long range weapon systems – but you have to be aware of the status of your limited ammunition loads on board when planning your operations.

For the “Airport Scenario” I have used an airport playset by New Ray which has a scale of about 1/300, a couple of choco egg planes from Furuta (although the scales are different and about 1/200, I guess) and armored vehicles from GHQ. A few years ago I have found these series of high detailed mini planes with their cool looking paints on ebay and got them for a quite fair price. In the meantime I am quite shocked about the price increase when I checked the current offers. For fans who do not like to spend time for preparing miniatures I still have to recommend this range as alternative option, but the costs are certainly limiting the size of the armies. Anyway – the Furuta Hinds are just cool!



May I use this opportunity to talk a bit about my presentation: The topic was “How to understand conflicts by Gaming” (free translated from the German: “Konflikte spielend begreifen”) and dealt with the historical background of conflict simulations and the different types of and options for using wargames. Since I was trying to approach people with different interests (like gaming for entertainment or active learning about historical events) and various possibilities concerning available resources (in terms of time and budget) I also wanted to show simple and low budget games to demonstrate that there are multiple ways to join the consim family.

I was briefly discussing the following games in order to give a compact overview about the variety of game mechanisms and systems on the market:

I have started with simple game types as postcard or print-and-play games like “Just a Peiper dream?”, “Airborne in a Pocket” or “Battle for Fallujah” which are available for free. The range of card games like “History of War” by alphabit demonstrated another simple and quite cheap way to join historical wargaming.

I described the activities of Professor Sabin from the King´s College in London and that you find on its webpage lots of print and play wargames for free (like the above mentioned “Battle for Fallujah”) which have been designed by students in Prof Sabin´s special courses. It was a must to show Prof. Sabin´s latest commercial release: “Lost Battles” – a wonderful design about ancient battles with an outstanding historical book in the box.



A time jump brought us back to the conflicts of today. “Labyrinth – The War on Terror 2001 - ?” by GMT Games and Charles S. Roberts Award Winner for the best modern conflict simulation 2010 is a good example how to simulate strategic challenges of an asymetric conflict in a very abstract way. Next was the famous "Hornet Leader - Carrier Air Operations" from Dan Verssen Games which is an excellent solitaire or cooperative game about air operations. Since of its currently very popular nature the game “Persian Incursion” by Clash of Arms about a possible pre-emptive strike from Israel against a nuclear Iran got a lot of attention.



For the tabletop fans I had “Axis and Allies Miniatures” including the “War at Sea” set on the table. Concerning War at Sea I pointed out that there is a modern naval warfare project under the title “Cold Steel” initiated by a bunch of fans ongoing which could become a very attractive alternative in comparison to the quite complex game system “Harpoon” which I would describe as a so-called milestone game.



Unfortunately “Battlefield Evolution” from Mongoose Publishing has disappeared from the market, although I like its game mechanics and the published, but limited range of “combat-ready” units. I wanted to use the models for displaying the gaming possibilities in combination with other rule sets like the new “Force on Force” series from Osprey.



Finally we returned to the smaller scales by discussing the “Wings of War Miniatures” series for both world wars which hopefully will stay alive under the new title “Wings of Glory” by Ares Games with lots of new releases. I like it very much as a warm-up game and starter for absolute beginners. For the modern warfare sector the micro armor range in the scale of 1/285 I like to stress that GHQ is just the leader in terms of numbers of different models and quality.
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Marco Arnaudo
United States
Bloomington
Indiana
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nice write up, but I wish you had elaborated a bit on the mechanics of Hind Commander...
 
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Ian Wakeham
United Kingdom
Chester
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marnaudo wrote:
nice write up, but I wish you had elaborated a bit on the mechanics of Hind Commander...


You can find a detailed review at: http://minimusingofabear.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/hind-comma...
 
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Ignacy Kurowski
Poland
Warsaw
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Two small comments on the HC review on Miniature Musings:

1.
Quote:
however what is nice if you roll doubles/triples/etc. it only counts as one hit so the Helicopters can be relatively resistant to weapons for a while although at a reduced ability.

There's no such rule, docbungle must have got confused on this.

2. The table which tells you how to compose your strike group might look confusing as it's pretty big, but it ain't that complicated - you just look up the type and tech level of the unit in its stats, than check in the table how many you can field.
 
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