Q: What’s better than getting a new box of miniatures in the post?

A: Getting a really big new box of miniatures in the post!

Sometimes a hobby project grows from humble beginnings – a squad of infantry here, an anti-tank gun there – to a full-fledged collection. This is the accepted ‘sensible’ way to go about building up a force. Other times, however, the whole kit and caboodle arrives in one glorious (and enormous!) parcel, with mounds of sprues and vehicles aplenty, heralding a long and pleasurable disappearance into the hobby cave, only to emerge with a brand new force (or two!). For those seeking such a mighty hobby challenge, our battle-sets really are the best way to go about it – let’s take a look at the iconic Battle for Berlin set!

The last-ditch defenders of Berlin advance past a Pantherturm.
This resin & metal vignette is exclusive to the Battle for Berlin battle-set or Collector’s Edition.

In the ‘basic’ version of the set (more on the frankly bonkers Collector’s Edition later!), 48 Soviet infantry and a pair of fearsome IS-2 heavy tanks stack up against a motley crew of Waffen-SS, Grenadiers, Volkssturm reservists, and desperate Hitler Youth, backed up by the legendary Tiger II and unique Panzerschreck-toting Borgward Wanze. Right off the bat, that’s a rock-solid core for two fantastic late-war armies, and with very different uniform styles there’s plenty of variation for your painting desk. So far, so good – you’ve got loads of models, which is always nice, but you could buy all of those individually to achieve the same result. What makes the battle-sets special are the unique extras! This is where the sets really come into their own, as many of these extras are unavailable anywhere else, and make fantastic centrepieces for themed tables and dioramas. The resin barricades, craters, and wrecked Sd.Kfz 250 half-track are ideal for basing your artillery pieces and weapons teams, while the plastic Berlin houses are great additions to any urban table – or the start of a new one. For my money, however, the piece de resistance is the fantastic diorama showing the raising of the red banner over the Reichstag.

Collector’s Edition

Berliner with Panzerfaust miniature exclusive to the Collector’s Edition.

As cool as the ‘basic’ battle-set is, the Collector’s Edition really is the be-all and end-all. Doubling up on the quantities of infantry gives you all the bods you’ll ever need for both Soviet and German late-war forces, alongside an awesome resin dug-in Panther and exclusive Berliner popping out of a manhole with a panzerfaust! There’s also a wider selection of tank traps and barricades, along with telegraph poles, lampposts, another two houses, and a whopping two metres of barbed wire! I’m not kidding when I say you can populate an entire gaming table with the contents of this set, which brings us nicely to the real joy of these mega-boxes. While they’re certainly great for getting a whole bunch of infantry and vehicles in one go, they’re really the perfect opportunity for a properly big modelling and painting project, be it a bespoke gaming board for your hobby den, or an awesome diorama based on a particular moment in history. Because there’s just so much stuff on hand, you’ll never be short on bits and gubbins, and you can really let your imagination run wild. When it’s done, you can be certain that you’ll be the envy of your friends – and here’s a dirty trick: got a mate who keeps winning all your games? Club up and get them a battle-set – that’ll guarantee you won’t have to play them for a few months, as they’ll be too busy building and painting!

Arm yourself with The Road to Berlin Bolt Action campaign book and follow the continuing Soviet advance from Operation Bagration, June, 1944 all the way through the unforgiving Eastern Front to the final, desperate clashes in the crumbling German capital, on which the Battle for Berlin battle-sets centre.

Order from the Warlord Games webstore and you’ll also receive the special edition miniature, Mariya Limanskaya – a regulator who famously directed Red Army traffic at the Brandenberg Gate following the Battle of Berlin. Photographs of her performing this duty since became a well-known symbol of Allied victory.

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