Monday, 29 February 2016

High seas encounter

Thursday night and another go at General quarters, a fictitious meeting between Russian and American battle groups

A good start by the Americans,  having 2 battleships and a battle cruiser helped.
2 American cruisers had their turrets destroyed and had to retire
Russians lost a light cruiser with damage across the fleet .
Good battle, though we need some proper splash markers.
cheers Russ

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Points Systeme General Quarters

I knocked this points system up for GQ. I think that 200 -25 points per side sounds bout right.

Might be totally wrong but you have to start somewhere. Happy to tweak before Thursday.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

The Reich Strikes Back!

I didn't have to paint anything new for last weeks one day campaign, which was a very unusual bonus.  However, just so no one thinks I've been idle, below is some of the terrain and units that I have been preparing since Christmas.  The beaches have been upgraded for future beach landing games and the German maritime units are for the upcoming Nostalgia campaign.  I am hoping, if I get the terrain done in time, to put on a German amphibious attack for the Good Friday Game (please check if you are available).

Sorry about the poor photos - I really should use the more up to date i-pad.

An E-baoat leads the convoy with an Arado 196 float plane in support.  The Arado, obviously, doesn't require an airfield and will enable the Germans to employ airpower from any of the islands in the campaign.  I haven't decided whether to terrain the Arado's base as sea or land!

A German F-Lighter ferry with armed trawler on escort.  The F-Lighter is carrying a Karl Morser in order to reinforce one of the islands with counter battery fire against the Royal Navy.  The F-lighter has an integral battery of 6 pounders and is able to give support fire during amphibious attacks.  The Italians also used them and intended to employ them against Malta.  Many were also deployed in the Black Sea and on the great Russian rivers - another opportunity to wargame an overlooked but huge area of conflict.

DFS 230 gliders deploy Fallschirmjaeger inland of the impending German naval attack.  I have a few scenarios for these pieces of kit - but I can also see them used as an option in a future one day campaign.  In the Nostalgia campaign it will enable the Germans to employ commando raids using the feared Brandenburg Kommandoes!

Monday, 8 February 2016

One Day Campaign - design notes.

Following on from Phil's post I thought I ought to explain the thinking and logic behind Saturday's game to enable any one else to put on a similar battle.

What the hell - I thought it was funny!

The whole point of the exercise is to create a large battlefield, using a reinforced division against a suitably balanced opponent, in which we use all the terrain, get a result in a day and both sides feel they could have won.  I must admit, this is an ambitious game to put on and many things needed considering.

Large Battlefield

The aim was to use all or most of the tables, forcing both sides to consider flanks and offensive/defensive options that you do not get on a Thursday night game.  I had an increasing amount of points linked to objectives on each table to keep it simple and force both sides to use all the available space.  It was also intended that both sides could easily judge at any point how well they were doing.  All the tables had troops deployed on them and by 4.00pm the Germans still held 12 points out of 18!


My feeling was if we got 12 turns it would be an interesting exercise but not worthwhile repeating.  18 was the target but we did 25!  The two sides run by two different players were allowed to go at their own speed only tying in when units needed to move from one side to the other.  The aircraft arrivals on the hour gave some background to the moves but I was surprised at how the moves kept pace.  Fighting on one side would slow things down but a lull would allow a catch up and the spread of battle meant that the playing time equalised across both sides.

Balance of units

This is a difficult one to judge and in a game where disparity of numbers is important, it takes a lot of thought.  I went with a 2 to 1 ratio in favour of the British; Russian doctrine was never to attack unless you had a 3 to 1 superiority so I thought I was running a risk with higher odds in favour of the Germans.  A British infantry division of 9 x battalions supported by an armoured brigade of 3 regiments gave me a core strength of 12 x fighting units.  Against this powerful formation I went for units from a 1944 Panzer Division; experienced, well equipped and reasonably typical of the type of mobile defensive formation you might expect in this period.  A full infantry brigade, plus panzer battalion, anti-tank battalion, artillery battalion and 2 x ersatz battalions gave the Germans 8 x fighting battalions of mixed morale.  The British would have extra assets to add to their units but again this could be offset by the better firepower and command and control of the German units.  The British would have Fireflies and seventeen pounders but the German ability to mass Stugs and Pak 40s would enable them to create local superiorities.


The tables were supposed to get more difficult, more or less, as you progressed from one to three.  The river line gave an obvious line of defence but the points ensured that this strategy would at best result in a narrow defeat.  Again, there needed to be balance to give the Germans opportunity to defend but not result in a slogging defeat for the British on one table.  The river was no surprise to the British and they had the equipment to cross it but the Germans had the opportunity to use this as a barrier on one side of the table whilst being flexible on the other.

Command and control

The map had another important function of simulating the difficulties of organising a large scale attack and allowing for the different doctrine and training of the Allies v the Germans.  The movement arrows meant that the British had to think about axis of attack and commitments from reserve whilst giving the Germans the advantage of a flexible defence.  This was meant to be a balance of British superiority in numbers versus the greater tactical flexibility of German interior lines.

The Players

This is a tricky one and something that is crucial for any game we put on.  There must be something for everyone to do without feeling they are over taxed.  The complexity must be carefully managed without slowing the game down through too much admin or unfamiliar rules.  Again, the layout of the game spread responsibility across all the players; although I was worried that the British player with the greater number of units could struggle under the workload - in this case Russ - but I think he enjoyed the chance to use all his units.  I do feel this format would benefit from more players, especially C in Cs to coordinate the air, order reserves, and to give an overall watch on the battlefield strategy which, I think, would speed things up.  However, we have to manage with just the five of us and I think we would be lucky to find others of a like mind!  I had quite a fun game and I wasn't over taxed with rule queries or arguments (there were none of these and the whole day was good natured without any tensions) but I do think an Umpire is necessary just to push the day along and remove any log jams in what is a rather complex game.


In general, the whole approach to this kind of game is to create a different set of opportunities and difficulties for each side that on the whole is balanced.  The British had the two advantages of superiority of numbers and choice of when to commit reserves.  The Germans had superiority of command and control, tactical flexibility on the table, and the terrain.  The disparity in numbers, I felt did not favour the British enough, and I was concerned that the British would struggle, especially as it would be very hard to keep track of all their units with the same number of players.  Therefore, I was very impressed when the British pulled off a narrow victory in the last hour and that the Germans had nearly held on and even had an opportunity to launch a counter attack that may well have ruined the British plan.

I think all the above should be considered if you are thinking of putting on a similar game; and if we play these regularly we will appreciate the differences and exploit them to make some very exciting games just as we did with Russ' original terrain board.

I suggest we replay this game but with the teams on opposite sides giving both sides an opportunity to use the experience they have gained from being the enemy.  Len has pre-booked every first weekend of the month for the rest of the year - is everyone free for Saturday 2nd April?

Sunday, 7 February 2016


Well done Ian for bravely suggesting a change in wargaming for us.  The multiple battles (although from the German side it felt a bit one-sided as hordes and further hordes appeared all over the place) worked well and added amazing dimension to the thought processes. I certainly made a few mistakes which annoyed me and Mark will admit to focusing on his ding-dong battle with Jon which sucked in troops which may have been used elsewhere.

Balance is tricky. With the troops to hand if the back tables were worth 4 points rather than 3 then we may have put more store in giving up in one area to protect the back line - but once the Alies were onto the second tables it was too easy for them with the numbers and quality.

But the concept itself worked really well.  It can apply itself to different periods but definitely works for WW2.  I can definitely see this working for the Eastern Front, indeed any theatre.

Well done to Russ for doing the boards in time and to Ian to organising it all.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Saturday's "Big Split Board Battle"

Thanks to Ian for staging this one, I thought it was a great idea and it played out really well.

Now we have played this it opens up other theaters of war.

It felt like we played 10 Thursday night games in one day.

Very rewarding but challenging none the less!

Even though The British had superior numbers it was not a walkover by any means.

The 25 pounders lived up to the reputation once more and I even managed to deplete the ammunition on some of the batteries with little effect of the Axis.

In case you did not already know it - yes they really are shit!

I thought the 5.5" guns were a little more effective and in the end helped us to a victory.

British armour proved to be effective through numbers. The Firefly's were the unit of the day for us together with the 17PDR's that Jon used effectively.

On my side table 2A proved a real hard nut to crack. Phil made clever use of limited assets but managed to cause me a major headache by 3.00pm.

I was glad to of cleared this table but it slowed us down big time.

Jon made tracks over on his side but hit some heavy resistance from Mark late afternoon and was beaten at one point.

We somehow managed to make it to the back tables with limited time left but this was enough to gain a minor victory on points.

I think that the Germans missed out on their ability to flank us more effectively and I was glad that this was not put to use more effectively. The British could only advance in linear fashion which I felt could of been exploited better as the Germans had the run of the entire battlefield and could of caused us major problems. I guess we kept both Mark & Phil occupied so as to stop this happening.

Here are the photos with Phil practicing his Kung - Fu

Great day, thanks to all for making it happen.