Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Chaco War - Odds & Sods But No Tacos

It has been quite the busy summer - I got married, I am leading a hiking group that meets on a fairly regular basis, I am a board of trustees member for a statewide hiking non-profit, and am now the activities committee chair for my local Civil War round table.  Add to that trips, honeymoon, planning other trips and hikes, meeting with folks after work, etc., and it has curtailed into gaming a bit.  So this post is a "catch-up" of sorts, a place to gather some Chaco War info together for my own reference, and for your enjoyment if the Chaco tickles your fancy.

I am pretty much settling on using Force on Force for the rules.  I like the rules, and instead of buying tons of figures to do battalion to division-sized games, I already have plenty of figures to use from Khurasan and Irregular to give several players players a squad or two to run in small scenarios.

Books


I've added two Chaco War titles to the library, those being Adrian English's The Chaco War - Bolivia v. Paraguay, and Aircraft of the Chaco War by Dan Hagedorn and Antonio Sapienza.  The latter book is a tour de force on the aircraft used by both sides of this conflict, but before you rush out to buy it, bear in mind it is a Schiffer publication, which means a hefty retail sticker price, and that there is very little air to air combat during the war, the aircraft being most used on recon flights along with bombing and support missions.  Try to find a reduced price copy if you must have this title as it does contain a wealth of information and is quite interesting from an interwar aircraft viewpoint.  The Adrian English book I have is the revamped edition published by Partizan, so it too has a large price tag, but is essential for gamers to not only obtain a good overview of the war, but to also learn about the forces and weapons for both antagonists.  However, for a revamped title, I am a bit put off by the numerous grammatical and formatting mistakes, it simply should be better and had someone read the book before printing it, they would have seen some glaring issues that needed to be corrected before going to print.  Beyond that, it is still a must have, just be prepared for some annoying reading along the way.

Vehicles


Based on several posts on The Miniatures Page, I decided to use the Zvezda Soviet ZIS-5, which in reality is a Russian copy of a Ford, and as the trucks were very cheap I bought four.  I have assembled one (they are snap-together kits) and here are some pictures showing the sprues and finished model.  They were not tough to put together, but a bit tricky at times (small pegs going into small holes being held by farmboy fingers).  I need to assemble the other three and get some paint on them.

Probably the most difficult part to get into place, the engine hood.  I finally got it where it needed to be.

Pictured with a Eureka sci-fi German stormtrooper

Lots of little parts to put together


Picture from Minairons website
Depending on what one reads, there appears to have been three Vickers tanks in the entire Bolivian army, so they would be very rare on the tabletop, especially within a Force on Force setting, but the tanks are so cool that I started researching which ones to buy.  I decided on two tanks (one armed with a tank gun and the other armed with two machinegun turrets).  I will need to create a reinforcement table for each side and the tanks would only appear on some like double ones or double sixes.  They should be rather easy for the Paraguayan player to suppress with machinegun fire, so the tanks should not cause much panic.  There are a decent number of options available in 15mm for the Vickers, and I settled on using the T-26A and T-26B kits from Minairons Miniatures.  The T-26 was a Russian copy of the Vickers, and for gaming purposes is pretty darn close to the Vickers.  Also, I was able to buy two of these plastic kits directly from Minairons for a really decent price, even with the shipping cost from Spain, making the option of having tanks appear on the game table very affordable.  I received the sprues this week, and put one together tonight.  These are not snap together kits, but darn close as the parts fit nicely before adding glue.  Here is the gun-armed version.

As packaged

This sprue can make either the A or B version

Gun-armed version


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