Friday, July 6, 2007

US Paratroopers Army Update -9: Hittin’ the Books

Retrocative Data: 17 January 2007

At this point I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do with the army, and I knew it was going to take a lot of research. I was already familiar with the 101st and Easy Company, but at nothing approaching the level of detail and accuracy I wanted to achieve. Reading all the books and articles I’d assembled for the project took a while, but as I did a much clearer picture of what I would need to do in order to mesh my artistic desires, game requirements, and history together. I needed a roster. And I couldn’t find one.

If you haven’t researched World War II very much or are unfamiliar with Army organization, let me just tell you that trying to get a platoon-level specific, historically accurate roster for any given unit on any given day is… difficult. I wanted my army to reflect Easy Company on “the first day of snow” in December, 1944. For one, I’d have to nail down the exact date that it started snowing (the 17th? 18th?) but beyond that I couldn’t find a roster anywhere. I did find a post on with D-Day stick lists – on D-Day, the paratroopers jumping from each plane were called “sticks,” and consisted of a single platoon. Starting with these stick lists I added and removed names for every casualty, replacement, transfer, and promotion I could find until mid December.

At that point, I figured I was close enough.

If anyone ever wants to actually see this roster, post a comment on this blog. Just one requesting comment (admin does not count) and I’ll bother to post the Easy Company roster I came up with for everyone. Actually, maybe I should take it back to Wild Bill’s sight and have them pick it apart…

Once I had the roster completed, I could move on to Obsessive/Compulsive Document #2. I figured the only way I could keep all the teams in order, with the right names, right game bits, and look like the parts of the Band of Brothers miniseries I wanted them to was with another list. I made a spreadsheet for every model in the army, organized by platoon. The data included the in-game Team Type, its model’s serial number, the castings I might use and what would be required for the game, the names of the men I was representing, sometimes a quote, and a screen shot from the move. I would try to match these screen shots as closely as possible when I (someday…) got to modeling the army. Yes, this is actually as retarded and excessive as it sounds.

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Meanwhile, as Christmas rolled through, I dealt with the various shipping difficulties associated with all the miniatures. Everything from Battle Front was late (as each release has been to the time of this posting), either because Battle Front delayed it, the local game store dropped the ball, or US Customs seized it. Things started to trickle in though, and D-1 was finally released. This book is the Late War army guide for the Paratroopers in Flames of War, and before it came out I was sort of guessing as to what would and wouldn’t be legal in the new army lists. Its pretty good as far as army books go. The first new models to arrive were the Resistant Roosters US Infantry in Great Coats. Between them and the used figures I’d been picking up, I was starting to need to find some place to billet all these guys…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are you serious??? You're trying to "play Bastogne" and your toys were late arriving. Ohhh, your Christmas wasn't quite what you wanted it to be. How sad.

Guess what? Having your Christmas F'd up beyond all recognition is how Bastogne is "played". How did you miss the irony?

Yours truly,

Someone who has had his a$$ in the blast