Thursday, 23 September 2010

Terrain and Reality

I can't remember where I saw or heard it, but I recently came across a discussion about the reality of 40k.

Obviously in one sense this is a pointless discussion, as 40k happens in the future and who would believe the present twnty years ago.

But what amazed me was the relative ignorance of the people arguing about military matters in the real world.

The basic point of contention was that 40k was unreal because in 'real' modern combat, troops do not get into hand to hand combat. Which immediately made me wonder why those equiping troops around the world give them a bayonet. And then I began to wonder why the participants in the Falklands and Faluja, and countless conflicts around the world, have been lying to us. And then I wondered why I was surprised that someone on the internet would expound their ignorance at such length and with such intensity.

I have much the same reaction when I hear people complaining that Imperial Guard lasguns are useless, and that Guard units just throw dice at stuff in the hope of hitting it. Since I was under the impression that volume of fire over quailty of fire was the basis of standard modern infantry tactics, and has been for the best part of 60 years. And explains why the cutting belts, in the timber merchants my mother used to work at, broke at least twice a day due to bullets and schrapnel in the timber they imported from Poland.


Tomorrow, myself and the boy are going monster hunting - well he's two, and that's what I told him - whereas I am going to get supplies for the terrain project that I have got suddenly very excited about.

I have moved away from the idea of a spaceport, and towards the idea of a Big Mek's workshop - obviously one in the forward trench area of the front - due to my building an assualt recon force - along the lines of the Soviet forces in the Kursk salient (regular readers will know what I am talking about).

I have also managed to potentially get hold a supply of plastic floor tiles, which is excellent news, as they make great basing materials and also are great for buildings. It remains to be seen if they work out cheaper than plasticard, because I have arranged with a local carpet fitter to get the split packs and off-cuts from a job they are doing next week.

So now I need to get so polystyrene ceiling tiles and so foam core, and I will have pretty much everything I need to get started - once I have been on my shopping trip tomorrow that is.

As for what I am going to build, I am not entirely sure at the moment. I know for sure that the main model will be a blasted workshop, but other than that I am not entirely decided. I like the idea of a minefield, some storage tanks, probably some kind of command post, as well as some trenches, and bunkers.


ps, I am loving the barbed wire from Secret Weapons Miniatures - if only I had more money:(


  1. Good luck with the terrain projects!

    Great story about the trees.

  2. If I remember anything from the pathetic experience that my army service was is that we did focus a lot on close combat fighting too (almost gouged my eye out trying to do some fancy swirling attack with my bayoneted rifle).

    Not sure about volume of fire though because I've been taught to reserve as much ammunition as possible and shoot at a very disciplined manner. But to be honest I have absolutely no idea how the things I learned could be implemented in 40K so I won't even try to compare.

  3. I wasn't suggesting wasting ammunition - something Guant is very keen on emphasising as well - but the point of having automatic weapons is to create suppressive fire that may or may not kill anything - killing is almost a secondary consideration - the theory is to demoralise the enemy and control areas of the battlefield.

    As for your bayonet experience it sounds like the police fire arms officer I know whose friend decided to play John Wayne and swivel the pistol on his figure - he ended up with six months off work when he shot himself in the foot - I shall leave my near miss with a cannon to another day.