For this week’s Friday Follow I’ve selected two of the larger companies in the historical wargaming market – Warlord games for miniatures and rules and Osprey Publishing for miniatures, rules, and history books. Both are great companies, and if you’ve never seen them or looked at their websites give them a go.
Warlord Games have a long and illustrious pedigree in the wargaming community. As well as ex-GW staff they have their own trained talented staff and have a large range of miniatures and rules. Initially they concentrated on historical models, and they have an extensive selection but in more recent years they have branched out into Sci-Fi (Beyond the Gates of Antares) and Fantasy (Warlords of Erehwon – ‘nowhere’ backwards). I have a preference for their historical models and have bought and collected a number of them over the years with English Civil War and Bolt Action (World War 2) being my personal favourites.
Whatever your own hobby choices or requirements, you will definitely find something you need here – and whilst looking at the sprues may remind you of GW in the 90s – the sculpting on most of the models is good quality and the sprues come out well. Added to that the value (30 British Army soldiers from WWII is ….) and you can get large forces quickly.
Their Bolt Action ruleset has lots of people playing it and numerous events throughout the year but the other eras struggle to have organised events – they tend to be groups of locals playing a game system they like. Because of this you’re likely to only play them if they are at your FLGS (Friendly Local Gaming Store), or you have a trailblazing mate in your group.
Recently they have reached into 12mm American Civil War and Napoleonic, which Peter and I have bought starter sets for. These look to be popular and Napoleonic is a good era to get into if you want to find opponents – there may not be tournaments organised, but a lot of people have an interest in it and play the battles. I particular like that it is effectively a world war, but far enough away that there are no living relatives of those who fought in it. Plus… Sharpe!
If you’ve never heard of Warlord check out their website and sign-up to their newsletter – they tend to have good offers and deals on regularly. They also tend to have attendance at a lot of wargaming shows in the UK where their stands bring an impressive range for you to check out. If you’re still not sure there’s a good second hand market on Ebay for them, so pick up a few models and try them out.
Osprey Publishing have been producing books which cover many eras of combat and warriors since forever! They have a number of popular book series covering almost any era you may have an interest in, each researched in great detail by experts (sometime amateur experts) in the field. This allows the reader to find information about anything they are thinking of playing, or if you’re looking for inspiration for your own Space Marine Chapter! I particular like their Men-At-Arms series which have a frankly crazy level of detail on subjects and battles – some of which I know nothing about. I use them as an introduction to the period and whilst the ones dealing with older forces tend to have less specific information they are great for general notes and providing a brief overview of a conflict or a particular army.
As well as their back catalogue they have also branched out into fantasy with their ‘Frostgrave’ ruleset which is a popular skirmish game where Wizards and their apprentices battle for control of the battlefield. Whilst I have not played it, it’s got some great models released for it via North Star Games (distributor) which are multi-pose and contain probably the best selection of female sculpts in wargaming – outside the Sisters of Battle.
Hope you like the above, and if it sparks any Hobby ideas be sure to let us know.