About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A is for "A New Battle Game"

Somewhere toward the back (page 127) of his little 'Introduction to Battle Gaming' Terry Wise had a very small picture of a 'board game' which would turn out to be very large! With the caption "A new Battle Game introduced by Tri-ang", it had me captivated, and oh how I wanted one, well, one day I got one, had to wait until I was in my mid-thirties mind! This is it...

It's VERY, very big, about two foot by two foot by a foot - 8 cubic feet of my universe taken up with plastic and card crap, but my - what quality crap!! Check out that 60's artwork, the guy bottom right is my all time favorite...."Maaahhh Maaaaaaaaaa'haammiieeee!!!". I think he's being shot in the back, a lesson for anyone thinking of running away; Real men die with frontal perforations!!

In fact, it's so big, this one's been given it's own Pickford's label at some point!

Bottom center, with the lid off, there's a shed-load of stuff. This game? Play-set? Interactive tour-de-force, had so much going on, the mines (bottom left), barbed wire and trees, machine-guns, all sorts!

It actually looks far more complicated than it really is, and once you've got it all set up it's just a turn-for-turn game with lots of counters, and all the 'chance' cards replaced with 'action' pieces.

The figures have 'value', which is displayed by pose (they are the Almark figures with long spigots on the base, probably manufactured in the Minimodels plant in Havent, Portsmouth for Tri-ang) and the helmet colour; White is the Officer, with 2 brown Sappers, 3 red NCO's and the Grunts have green helmets.

One player set up, the machine gun turns using a football rattle type mechanism to make a shooting sound and the long tongues of the trees limit traverse. The two trenches above ground have mini-mines. With printed-card, styrene, ethylene, rubber, metal and paint, this is really the high point of domestic toy production in that immediate post-war era.

Unless you're some professional, returning to childhood with a bank full of money - in which case some bloke on eBay has got one you can have for 85 quid-something, my advice is don't pay a fortune for one, they can go for as little as £12, and I've never paid more than £25, so much is subject to loss or damage, you'll need to get a couple - at least - to make one decent one, and they DO take up a lot of space.

Tatty ones are always on eBay, there's usually one under a table at the Plastic Warrior or Birmingham shows and your local car-boot sale will chuck-up one or two a year, if you get there early.

Best play-set/game/toy ever and more nostalgia curtsy of Mr. Wise who's sadly not here, thanks again Terry...I GOT ONE!


Anonymous said...

I use to want this but couldn't afford it... The plastic figures are the figures produced by Allmark but it is Allmark using the Triang figures not the other way around.

When these figures eventually appeared in model shops (circa 1970 - 1971), the British were in plastic because they had been lifted from the game but the German figures released were new sculpts in metal. Paul Keough

Maverick Collecting said...

To be accurate, they are all Minimodels, including the Cowboys & Indians found in three board games by two other companies, and sold by Culpitts as cake decorations, a robber and policeman, the Tommy Spot figures, Minic Motorway figures...sit on your hands and all will appear here in the end...! Thanks for the comment though!

Staz Johnson said...

I had this game as an 8yr old, & I haven't seen it or a picture of one for the best part of 35+years.. thanks for the memories!

Maverick Collecting said...

Pleasures all mine, thanks for stopping by!