Building an Insurgency
Part One: The Taliban in 15mm.
When I first read the Force on Force rules, I was very interested by how they handled asymmetric warfare, rules of engagement and the presence of civilians on the battlefield. To try it out really necessitated a NATO involved conflict for the presence of really strict rules of engagement. The choice therefore came down to Iraq or Afghanistan. I knew a lot more about Afghanistan that Iraq so I leaned towards that.
The obvious scale to do a skirmish game was 28mm. However, the prospect of collecting 70-odd 28mm figures just to play a game I kind of liked the look of was a bit unrealistic, so the idea was pushed to the back of my mind.
Eventually I formed the idea to do it in 15mm. Much easier to paint enough figures, and easier to make and store any terrain. The next thing was to find some suitable figures. Following a bit of Googling it became clear was that no-one did a big enough range, so several different manufacturers would have to be used. Photos of Old Glory moderns and QRF didn’t look too inspiring, and I can’t get past the long faces on Peter Pig, so I ended up with figures from Khurasan, Flytrap Factory and MJ Figures.
Khurasan‘s modern range are excellent figures. Unfortunately they only do 2 packs of Taliban. One is a pack of 12 figures where you get 4 RPGs, 2 PKs, 2 Leader types and 4 AKs, the other has a leader (who’s a dead ringer for Usama Bin Laden), hostage and 3 guys with AKs. So if you want a decent balance of weapons, you’ll end up with a lot of spare hostages and UBLs. The only criticism I would have is that the weapons are a bit oversized, though this does also mean that they’re very detailed.
Flytrap Factory are a New Zealand company, and again they only do the 2 packs. One is a 15 figure Taliban pack and the other is a similar sized civilian pack. The figures are very good, and are similar to the better Battlefront/Flames of War ranges. It may even be the same designer, being from NZ. The clothing is a bit ostentatious with lots of fringes and quilted bits, but nice to paint. The weapon mix is diverse, usual Aks, RPGs and PKs, also some bolt action rifles and a SAW. The civilian pack is very useful for some of the Force on Force scenarios.
MJ figures do a pack of Mujahideen. You get a pack of 10 figures for only £2.50. They are decent enough figures with some very useful types. There’s a sniper, a ZPU gunner, a leader type and a radio guy, along with the usual AKs and an RPG. The downside is that a lot of the figures are rather Tajik-looking, which is fine for the 80’s mujahideen that they are but not so great for Taliban.
I also got some Toyota pickups from Peter Pig. These are metal, and very nice. Great fun to paint. There’s an MJ figures gunner in the back of one, and sundry plastic bits from the spares box in the others:
Peter Pig Toyota Pickups
Here’s a size comparison of the 3 ranges. The Khurasan figures are a bit bigger than the other figures, so they’re probably best not mixed on the same base:
From Left: Khurasan, MJ Figures, Flytrap Factory
It would be great if Khurasan did a big enough range to be able to do the whole thing with their figures, and I’ll certainly be getting the Americans from them. As it is, I’ll probably end up getting some bits and pieces from QRF and Old Glory, for some heavy weapons etc.