Being Special With Brian Part One
(Painting, Planning, and Reviewing US Special Operational Forces for Flames of War)Background
So a few weeks ago I got an email from Steve asking if I would like to paint up and review the new OSS Operational Group (US802) out of Burning Empires. Since I needed a break from painting a slew of Union Infantry for Fire and Fury regimental I jumped at the chance to paint up a small 700-800pt. raiding force. However with Steve things are never that simple. I received in the mail the OSS blister and instead of the FFI box or blister (which would be used to fill out the guerilla platoons, here in front of me was "The Devil's Brigade" Special Service Force (UBX19).
So now I can't ever do things the easy way so I decided to build both the OSS raiding group and a LW FSSF company and write it up as a guide for those of you thinking about either running a special forces company or an American infantry force. Ok enough with the chatter and let's get moving.
Review of the OSS blister and FSSF company set.
The OSS blister contains enough figures to make 16 2-man bases. In game terms that give you a HQ, 2iC, and two operational squads at 7 stands each. The figures are a mixture of US infantry and airborne infantry. The minis will be familiar to those who have painted FOW Americans in the past. Nothing new to see but they are the pre-Cobra American sculpted by Evan Allen. These are my personal favorite to paint up and if I wrote anymore about them, my man-crush on Even would really start to shine. The amount of flash was almost nonexistent for these figures. Most of the metal that needed to be removed was on the underside of the base.
The Devil's Brigade" Special Service Force company box contains the required figures to form the core of a FSSF company. It included HQ, 2iC, with 2 bazooka stands, and two full FSSF platoons. It also contains two of the coveted US flame thrower stands, and the options to have either 60mm or 81mm mortars. Like the OSS blister these figures contained no extra flash were designed by Even and are a joy to paint.
I have nothing bad to say about the quality of these figures in either set. They are up to the high quality you would and should expect from Battle Front. That being said there are some minor issues that I need to bring up. In Burning Empire the core of your OSS raiding list will be your Operational Group platoon. These platoons are a bit pricey @ 230 points for two squads since you are only working with 700-800 points for a raiding list. The reason for this high price is due to the fact that prior to deployment you can swap out your 2 man rifle stands for a host of cool weapons from .30 cals and bazookas, to SMGs and MGs. So the downside here is that this blister will contain a lot of stands that will never make it into the game. On the bright side for all of the current US players out there, this is your chance to finally make good on all those bits in your US infantry bit box.
Personally if you wanted to do an OSS raiding list I would pick up this blister, the FFI blister and a weapons platoon blister. That would cover most bases for your raiding company provided that you plan accordingly.
The only bad thing I can say about the FSSF box set is that there is one beret wearing dude who looks like he is about to fall over. Like I said it is a solid box set and there really is nothing bad to say here.
Stay Tuned for part 2 when Brian talks about planning his list!