Army Boxes 1: Lori's Lads V2.0: Peter Pig Boxed Set | Print |  E-mail
Written by Don MacVittie   
Sunday, 01 April 2007
In the first of a series of articles looking at prebuilt armies by various vendors, Don builds a Peter Pig boxed set, and The WebMistress takes it for a spin or three. In the weeks and months to come, look for articles on Battlefront/Flames of War boxes, Resistant Rooster armies and more.



The Peter Pig box in which the army is delivered.


After building Lori's Lads, she wanted another company of them for gaming. Lori's Lads were average-quality PBI, and she wanted a veteran-quality army. After looking around, we settled on the U.S. Infantry 1944 at Bastogne "NUTS" box set from Peter Pig.

It is expensive to get Peter Pig boxed sets in the United States, no question�it cost us $90 to purchase and ship the set, and today it would cost more due to PP price increases. So what did we get for our bundle of cash?


The entire Box set in wrappers

The set comes with the following (full PBI-style listing available on the Peter Pig Web site):

- 36 Garand Riflemen
- 2 Bazooka Teams
- 2 Light Mortar Teams
- 6 BAR Teams
- 3 Commanders
- 3 Radio Operators (not needed for set)
- 3 57mm AT Guns with crews

Aside from troops and guns, the box comes with two flame (destroyed AFV) markers; one immobilized marker; one permanently immobilized marker; two pinned markers; and the Peter Pig Choice Die, which is cool enough if you're a PBI player, useless otherwise.

There were a few extra figures in the box because PP sells (and packs) by the blister � well, actually by the baggie, but you get the idea.

Figure Accuracy

Right upfront, we're happy to report that the anti-tank guns that come with this set are some mighty sweet artillery. They don't look like much preassembly, but once they're primed and painted, with some detailing and drybrushing to bring out the astounding work of the sculptor � well, we've got some pictures.




The included AT guns are very nice.

The unit is about right for Bastogne, with the one caveat that not a single one of these figures wears a greatcoat (we have a review of greatcoated infantry that keeps slipping on the schedule, and we've got Peter Pig figures for it, so the company makes some). We aren't all that worked up about it, in fact, you never hear the WebMistress complaining about lack of greatcoats, only crowing about how this company is unstoppable. But it might be more of an issue for you.


The complete box post-assembly and painting

We would have liked a jeep or two in there, or tows for the guns, but the army fights well defensively as-is, and we're adding tows to make it more mobile in offense.

Completeness

This is an adequate army for PBI, with a win/loss record of 3/0 thus far. There is not enough here for most other games, though. For example, we tried to map this boxed set to FoW, and would have had to buy quite a bit more to round out any FoW U.S. army. The same is true for IABSM, though this army would work for some of the battles in Skirmish Campaigns, and skirmish-specific rules might allow you to field this basic army.


The boys get a first coat

Assembler Stupidity

Okay, so some days we make mistakes. We all do. One day we went to wash the figures and realized that one of the mortars was missing. Just the mortar itself, nothing else. We never did find it�best guess is that when we cleaned up one night we wrapped it up in the slop paper and threw it in the garbage. That required emergency action, because the WebMistress really doesn't like to wait for her armies, and we're sticklers about everything matching. So the mortars pictured as mounted in this article are not Peter Pig. They are, in fact, Command Decision, because it was take Command Decision from the bits box, or steal some marine's mortars from another army. Again, this was no fault of Martin & Company�the set we received was perfect, this was our own stupidity.


One of the offending mortars

Mounting

We mounted these bad boys up on snow, but not without some effort. First, we played with several of the tools we know of to build snow, but none felt "right." So we improvised, using unpainted plaster for the basing, then throwing some logs and grass onto it. For our purposes it looks fine, and by using the plaster without a cover we were able to leave wheel marks from the AT guns in the snow. Nice touch. The negative is that by not painting, we do not have any of the mud that comes along with battlefield snow. We've pondered using an ink in the low spots to resolve this issue, but the WebMistress is against any modification to her "winning" army. We all have our little superstitions.

We also cut our own plastic card for them because we like to have room for labels at the back of stands and the otherwise nice included bases were square.


A bazooka team in the snow

Conclusion

If you're a Peter Pig fan, and a PBI player, and live in the UK or can afford the extra cost of getting it direct, buy the box set. If you're a Peter Pig fan and a PBI player who doesn't live in the UK, there is a pack list at the bottom of the box set. Take that list to Brookhurst Hobbies and order the packs. Unfortunately, Brookhurst is not authorized to sell the boxed set, or you wouldn't need to do the legwork. You won't get the cool choice die, and you will have to order your own markers for pinned infantry and immobilized and destroyed vehicles, but you'll save a bundle. If you play another game system, consider a less-expensive option. Peter Pig is nice, and if you can get these AT guns we would recommend it, but the figures are par for the current market, perhaps a little toward the higher-quality end. Meaning, other vendors at lower prices might be your best bet.

Don't get me wrong: The WebMistress is thrilled to have this army, and likes the way it looks, but we could have done the same for about half the cost. Judge based on what is most important to you, and compare it to the ultra-cheap Lori's Lads V1, which cost us $65 for the entire army and left us with extra figures.

Samples


One of the bazooka teams


Casualties � you never seem to have enough of these


Company Commander with guard


A rifle team hiding in the bushes


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