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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Monday, May 28, 2018

Surveying new encampment....

Related image

Wrapping up the old house and hunting for new one.  With luck, we will not be ambushed by Gauls in between.

More updates later

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Breaking Camp, Taking a Hiatus

We are preparing our house to sell and looking for another in the local area so my gaming activities will have to be put on hold for the greater good.  But because I have an AWESOME wife, one of our requirements is gaming space.  (nothing at all to do with the fact that right now the first thing you see when you walk in the door is my workspace...)

I have packed up all my 28mm terrain, unpainted figures, broken down my painting workbench, and emptied my card catalog of figures.  All packed up in a POD storage container.

Staying with me is... My 28mm painted figures in a Battle foam box, a HECK of a lot less than I moved 5 years ago from Florida.  Shedding figures I didn't use has made my collection much more manageable, I game more, and it is much easier to transport.  Storing those in the top of the closet while we show our house.  Also keeping with me is small boxes and multi-use terrain:

  • 10mm WW1
  • 6mm AWI (and AWI Skirmish)
  • 3mm Cold War
  • 6mm Napoleonics (although this is mostly for safe keeping as I have rebased my French but not my Austrians yet)

I shall only be posting sporadically, but have no fear, I shall return as time permits and will keep following the rest of your guys in the community.

And, as soon as we get settled, I will bring back the tactical Decision Exercise as I still have magazines to get rid of, although I may randomly pick winners from the entries or have voting.

Until then, good gaming!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Tactical Decision Exercise Contest Winner #1 Announced!!!

Ok, as a quick reminder here is the original post.

Please read the comments on that post for all of the entries...


As a quick reminder, here is the situation, see original post above for more background.

Feel free to debate the solutions and my decisions to your heart's content in the comments!

Current Situation:    

While out on patrol, you receive an alert on the platoon radio net that a UH-60 helicopter was hit by an RPG and has crashed at a location two blocks southwest of your current position.  Immediately, your Platoon Leader gives orders for all squads to converge on the crash site to secure the wreckage and evacuate any survivors.  You immediately begin moving your squad toward the crash site along a narrow side street.  The area is deserted, a sign that all of the local civilians are aware of the impending danger and are trying to keep out of the way.  As your lead team nears a corner, they signal a halt and indicate enemy activity to their front with a hand signal.  You rush up to the corner, peer around the corner and see this:

A small group of fighters are positioned in an open area approximately 75 meters to your front.  By their distinctive red headscarves, you recognize them as members of one of the militias that you have been fighting over the last several days.  There are 9 men on the ground:
  • Six of them are brandishing AK-47s 
  • Three others are carrying RPG-7s (like the one reported to have struck the downed UH-60).  
  • Also, there is a small pick-up truck with an SPG-9 recoilless rifle mounted in the back. 
This element is stationary and they have not detected your presence.  They all seem to be focusing their attention in the opposite direction from your squad’s location.

There is a small concrete barrier just to the front of where you are standing that offers a well-covered position where you could position your squad in a linear formation facing the enemy. Beyond this barrier, the ground is open with no cover.  With no time to spare and no way of bypassing this enemy force, you decide to attack. 

(Determined using my own probably very unsound military judgment...)

1st Place (a tie buy lucky for me one of the gents if from the UK)

Jim Hale: 

I like his thought process, but as he is in the UK, no magazines for you, just the honor and glory that goes with the prize!  Using the MG on the technical is good, and I like the way you assessed the threats from worst to least and privided rear security for your unit.

"Hi! Just for fun for me, I'm in the UK.

Okay I'd task the M240 team to take out the SPG9-Technical, then act as its boss thinks best. The two rifle teams will target the RPG guys, followed by the guys with AKs. The DM and the RMAT are watching flank and rear. 

We'll use the concrete barrier as cover and open fire once we've reached it.


a) The M240 is the best anti-vehicle weapon. The SPG-9 is the most significant threat. If nothing else it will make things hot for the crew. 

b) The RPGs are either HEAT or Frag projectiles and only need to be near to my position to cause casualties. 2 * M249 + 40mm + M4 should make short work of them.

c) The AK guys are really going to struggle to hit my guys at 75m, they would usually prefer <60m, possibly even <40m if they aren't hardcore. Some of them might blow when the Technical and RPG guys take hits in any case. 

d) The Team leaders (inc the M240 boss) know their jobs, or they wouldn't have them. I don't need to micromanage them.

e) Flank and rear security are necessary, just in case the bad guys are waiting on support."

Nick Riggs 

(Contact me with your address and I will mail out your magazines.)

I liked his rationale as well, identifying the RPG's as probably the biggest threat, the M-240 is used for rear security, which is a trade-off not being able to use it for the attack by fire, but given the unpredictable nature of urban combat, it is a reasonable decision and leaves it in reserve in case it is needed.

"MG team, take up position 30m back and face back to cover our rear. The squad will creep up behind the barrier ahead. When I open fire on the SPG-9 gunner, FT1 will fire on the RPG guys and FT2 will fire on the AK guys. Keep shooting until all targets are down."

The fighters are an identified enemy carrying weapons and with heavy weapon backup, so I assume the rules of engagement allow me to attack them without warning. There's no point in being particularly stealthy as everyone would have seen the helo go down so we don't have any time to spare. 

I want the MG to protect our rear in case we get attacked from behind. The MG should be able to deal with any attackers approaching from up the narrow street. 

I guessed the RPG gunners would be the biggest immediate threat as it would take longer to bring the SPG into action and the gunner should be down by then. The squad should have some protection from the AK gunners but any delay in dealing with them and they might spread out, take cover or some other action against us, so I wanted to simultaneously hit all parts of the enemy. Ideally a well-placed grenade from each of the fireteams would take out each of the enemy groups at the same time, so the rest of the squad should be able to mop up any remaining forces."

Honorable Mention, Whoa Mohammad:

It was tough, I really, really like this solution, as he has a plan to break contact if need be as well as rear security.  It was a tough decision, the only thing I would have done differently is put more fire on the RPG gunners, I am not sure a single SAW is enough.  But, I could be wrong, they are bunched up pretty tight and the 240- can work right easily enough after disabling the technical and SPG-9

"1st Fireteam deploys to the left on my command engages the six infantry firing from left to right.1st Team will be prepared on order to engage the technical with 775mmRR in the center. 

The M240 team will Deploy to the right of 1st team. This teams primary target is the technical with 75mmRR. It will be prepared on order to support 1st team.

2 team will deploy its SAW on the right of the M240 team it will engage the 3 man infantry team to the right of the technical. the 2nd team leader with the 2 remaining men will provide security but will be prepared to support by fire and or smoke if the platoon needs to break contact and displace."

Why all these answers are better than cadet solutions I found...

The student's solutions ignored flank and rear security 100% of the time and focused on which fire element should engage which enemy group.  This is the whole point of exercises like this in the classroom and MILES exercises in the field.  More sweat on the training field, less blood on the battlefield. 

Next Time

I will post another Tactical Decision Exercise soon and set it in another era. Until then, Nick send me your address and your magazines will be winging your way!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tactical Decision Exercise Contest #1!!!!


I am a bit heads down at the moment with real life and painting the rest of my Pendraken WW1 figures and making terrain.  I plan to do a full photo shoot when done, but in the meantime, do not have much to share.

What I do have to share is a stack of magazines I want to get rid of.  So, to make things interesting, I am going to run a few Tactical Decision Game exercises to get some conversations rolling and I hope you find them enjoyable.  Here are the rules:

  • Send me your solution by leaving a comment below before midnight EDT on 4/14, your comments will not be published until after the deadline, so no looking at other's papers!
  • I will select the top 3 and a winner using my own judgment (as good or bad as that may be)
  • I will publish all of the comments on this post so everyone can peruse them and tell me why I am wrong (us wargamers are an ornery lot!)
  • I will publish another post with the top 3, including the winner.
If you win AND you live in the continental United States, I will ship you completely FREE six random magazines from my stack for your enjoyment.  They range from 1994 - 2015 and include Miniature Wargames, Wargames Illustrated, Battlegames, and Wargames Soldiers and Strategy.  Who knows what you'll get!  I don't because I have already sealed them in the USPS flat rate shipping pouches.

If you win and live outside of CONUS, you will get glory, honor, and respect.  You can have the magazines too if you'll pay the shipping. (Sorry, international comrades)

I'll try to post about 5 of these over the next few weeks covering various periods.  We'll start simple.  Let's begin with one I pulled from a West Point class website, it set in the current age and is called...

Squad Attack By Fire

You are the Squad Leader for 1st Squad of 2/B/2-329IN.  Your rifle squad consists 2 fire teams.  Additionally, you are reinforced with a three-man M240B machine gun team.  
SQD LDR= Squad leader 
TM LDR = Team leader 
GREN = grenadier, M4 with attached M203 40mm Grenade launcher
RMAT= normally the squad Javelin ATGM gunner, but left behind for this mission so another AR
AR = Automatic rifleman with M249 squa automatic weapon
DM = Squad designated marksman armed with upgraded M-16 with bipod and good optics.

Your unit is currently deployed to the country of Somalistan as part of a U.S.-led force that is attempting to conduct humanitarian relief operations.  You are operating in the capital city which is a large urban slum of almost a million people.  There are heavily armed gangs of fighters roaming the streets under the command of the warlords who have taken control of much of the city.  2-329IN has established a Forward Operating Base (FOB) near a large soccer stadium in the northwest part of town, and the companies have been conducting patrols in the surrounding neighborhoods to assist in quelling the violence being perpetrated by the street gangs.

Current Situation:    

While out on patrol, you receive an alert on the platoon radio net that a UH-60 helicopter was hit by an RPG and has crashed at a location two blocks southwest of your current position.  Immediately, your Platoon Leader gives orders for all squads to converge on the crash site to secure the wreckage and evacuate any survivors.  You immediately begin moving your squad toward the crash site along a narrow side street.  The area is deserted, a sign that all of the local civilians are aware of the impending danger and are trying to keep out of the way.  As your lead team nears a corner, they signal a halt and indicate enemy activity to their front with a hand signal.  You rush up to the corner, peer around the corner and see this:

A small group of fighters are positioned in an open area approximately 75 meters to your front.  By their distinctive red headscarves, you recognize them as members of one of the militias that you have been fighting over the last several days.  There are 9 men on the ground:
  • Six of them are brandishing AK-47s 
  • Three others are carrying RPG-7s (like the one reported to have struck the downed UH-60).  
  • Also, there is a small pick-up truck with an SPG-9 recoilless rifle mounted in the back. 
This element is stationary and they have not detected your presence.  They all seem to be focusing their attention in the opposite direction from your squad’s location.

There is a small concrete barrier just to the front of where you are standing that offers a well-covered position where you could position your squad in a linear formation facing the enemy.  Beyond this barrier, the ground is open with no cover.  With no time to spare and no way of bypassing this enemy force, you decide to attack. 

What do you do?

Take 1 minute and think about your course of action, then type up what orders you will give to your 2 fireteam leaders and the attached M240 Machine Gun team.  Then write up why you issued teh orders you did.

Good luck!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

German Trench Raid, 1917 with Trench Hammer

Got a quick solo game of Trench Hammer in with some of my 3d Corp Trenchs, now dry brushed.  I won't give a blow by blow of the mechanics, but for this game, it is important to remember that troops protected by trenches take 1/2 damage.  Enjoy!

German Briefing

There is a Tommy Vickers Machine gun firing from a small salient sticking out of the British lines that the regimental commander wants to be silenced.  Also, pick up any prisoners that you can and bring them back for interrogation.

To accomplish this task, you will be given 2 raiding parties, one you will lead and one that will be led by your senior NCO.  Our sappers have already cut paths through the enemy wire, allowing one party to attack the enemy position from each flank.

You force consists of 2 Leaders and 2 raiding parties each consisting of:
1 x Assault Squad
1 x Bombing Squad
1 x MG08/15 Squad

We have conducted harassing artillery fire every night in this sector for the last week and will fire a box barrage to cut off the British position from reinforcements. There is a partial moon, but it looks like fog tonight, which should work to your advantage, as visibility will be limited to 12"

Good luck, and if you succeed, there may be an Iron Cross and a few day's leave in it for you!

British Briefing

You are Lt. Arthur Hastings, and your platoon is assigned to hold a salient sitting slightly forward of the main British trenches that houses a Vickers Machine Gun team.  They are well sited to give the Boche a good drubbing if he decides to come over the top and also makes life difficult for the hun along a section of his trench.   Your battalion and company commanders have made it quite clear that you are to hold this position and they are afraid that Jerry may launch a raid to take out the gun.

Your platoon is up to strength and consists of yourself as the leader, the Vickers team and:
1 x Rifle Section
1 x Bombing Section
1 x Lewis Gun Section
1 x Rifle Bomber Section

It is about 1am and foggy tonight, limiting visibility, but your plucky lads are alert and ready for anything.  But just in case, you are holding your Bombing Section in reserve in case the dastardly hun tries any funny business.

The Game

Click to enlarge
Initial dispositions, with German raiding parties approaching from the flanks

 Unsuccessful assault on the Lewis Gun section that led to the German Senior NCO becoming a casualty and eventual destruction of the Assault squad by accurate close range Lewis Gun fire.

 In this terrible picture, you can see the Ger,ans do manage to take out the Vickers Machine gun with a volley of grenades, but their assault troops are held up in the open while the British leader orders his Bombing squad up in support.
 The Huns on the left flank are content to hunker down in craters and trade fire with the defenders.
 Meanwhile, the combined fire from the British rifle section and bombers knocks the Assault squad out of action and leaves the German Lt.  out of action.
Here you see the end game, with the Germans withdrawing before their box barrage ends.

I judge this a minor British victory, as the Germans did knock out the Machine gun, but were pretty badly cut up in the process.  They failed to capture any prisoners or even gain entry into the British positions.

While Lt. Hastings' Battalion commander is not happy about losing the gun, a new one will be sent up tomorrow night and remounted and Hastings at least gave the Boche a good drubbing.

All in all a fun little game, that played out in about 30 - 45 minutes and I think gave a pretty good result.  Next time, I may fancy it up a bit and give the raiders a chance to get closer.

I hope you have enjoyed this and good gaming!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

3d Corp Flexible craters and trenches with 10mm

At Siege of Augusta, I picked up a pack of craters from one of the vendors (I cannot remember who for the life of me), with the intention of using them for my 10mm WW1 games.  You can see them in action here, and they have worked well, al; though I will get around to drybrushing them eventually.

Meanwhile, I have been on the prowl for a good set of rugged trenches for my WW1 games.  I don't have the time to make nice sculpted terrain boards and need something that won't damage and stores easily.  So, I ordered a set of 15mm trenches from 3d Corp to use with my 10mm Pendraken figures, and here are the results.


The company is in Poland and sells via an eBay store here.  Ordering was of course easy via eBay, I paid via Pay Pal, and shipping time was about 3 weeks, which I think is pretty good from Poland.
I ordered two "Wargaming Scenery XL Flex TRENCHLINE SYSTEM"  which is scaled for 15mm.  One was a section fo trench and the other was a pack with a 45 degree bend, two trench ends, and an artillery position.

PRO: Fast shipping (I think) from Poland, selling via eBay and paying with Pay Pal, I could track the package and I felt I had recourse since this was the first time I have ordered from them.  Plus they seem to have good reviews.

CON: There was a STRONG chemical smell when I recieved them, but they are made fromf lexible rubber, so I assume it was some sort of outgassing and I could not smell it much a week later.  Just FYI

They are designed for 15mm Flames of War sized bases it appears by the pictures, but I wanted to see what they would look like with 10mm...

What do they look like? (Click Pictures to enlarge)

Here is a section of trench on a 3' wide terrain cloth with a 6 inch ruler layed down to give you an idea of scale. I have layed out all of the pieces so you can see what I recieved.

PRO: These are Flexible rubber and I cannot break them!  I can also cram them into a box for storage.

 Here is a closeup with a Mchine gun sap and a British 4 section rifle platoon.  My troops are based on 40mm x 20mm bases to give you an idea of scale and the MG is on a 25mm round.

CON: for 10mm only the trenches are a bit wide and the traverses wind up being pretty long.  I have two possible solutions, one that you will see below involving trimming the pieces.  The other is to assume the Trenches are a bit of an abstration in Trench Hammer and assume there are other traverses in there we cannot see.  Then limit the line of sight alomng a trench to 6" (Assault Range) and Bob's your 4th Cousin!  So this is not a huge con for me, but it might bother some folks.  Plus teh interior of the trench is 30mm wide, so I can clear show squads that are up and manning the firing posts, and slide back the ones that are not.

 Some sneaky German Storm Troopers are raiding the trench.

Another shot with the ruler and troops to give you an idea of size. 

 Here si have rearrainged the pieces t create a "Bastion" like outpost.  To make it fit, I took one of the 8" long straigh sections and cut it in half.
 Here you can see that a bit better, that is one advantage to these, with a good set of shears, you can cut them to the shape you need.

PRO: You can also see the detail molded into the pieces, which I think will dry brush nicely with little effort for a really nice effect.

And here is the bastion again, ready to hold off the Boche.

Verdict - Thumbs up (for me)

Would I reccomend these?  Absolutely for a 15mm gamer.  For myself, gaming in 10mm I still answer yes, as they meet my primary requirement for ruggedness and storability.  For "sit on top" trenches they shoudl blend nicely once I have dry brushed them.

The only downside is for folks that do not want thier terrain a little abstracted, these will feel a bit out of scale for 10mm, assuming a scale of ~ 1:150 then theses trenches are 13 - 14 feet across in scale.

For me these are good balance between my storage requirements and scale and I have ordered a few extra pieces.  I plan on trimming some more to make the traverses a bit shorter.

I hope this has been helpful.  Now I have to finish painting tanks, my new blasted forests, and minenwerfers!  Until next time, good gaming!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Another Go at Trench Hammer

I had another go with Trench Hammer this evening, same scenario, but with a couple of important differences, inspired by this discussion on TMP.

  • I actually remembered to apply the firing bonus for shooting at targets that move in the open.  This counts even in firefight rang or the assault, so really benefited the defender.
  • I also made the to hit score when firing at previously unspotted enemies 11+.  It lets the defender hold their fire at least until firefight range with little chance of incidental damage without adding complications with reaction fire and separate spotting rules.
  • I removed the +1 firing negative for MG08/15 teams that move and fire.
Here is a brief recap, not blow by blow like last time, but you can see the difference those changes made.  Click pictures to enlarge.

Pretty much the same setup as before.  The British from left to right have a Lewis Gun section, Vickers HMG, and a plain old vanilla Rifle Section.

 The Hun starts out pretty much as before, but the fire from the MG08/15's in the hill is pretty ineffective.

 The British then open up, with the Lewis Section taking a little damage from return fire, but mostly the boche know we are here!
 The next turn sees the German Platoon leader stops and regroups one of his rifle sections while the other engages in an ineffectual firefight with the Lewis Section.  Meanwhile, the Vickers adds more fire to the Huns on the hill and the rifle section delivers enough fire to cause one of the MG08/15 sections to break!  I assume they are not all dead, just had enough for this fight and combat ineffective.
 Maybe setting up the MG08/15's on tops of a hill with no cover was not the best idea, as the British knock out the other section.  Meanwhile, the German rifle sections get close enough to assault the Lewis Section, they take some damage, but the Lewis must have jammed and they scamper off, combat ineffective.
So, the Germans are down to their rifle sections and decide to gamble on a frontal assault on the Vickers.  What a terrible idea!  They are mowed down for their troubles and the remaining rifle section decides to high tail it out of there.

If I were running this as a campaign, I would probably let the British player get his Lewis Section back, as the survivors rally and the platoon leader cross levels his sections.  Meanwhile, I'd reinforce the Germans and maybe allow a flanking attack through the woods.  Could be interesting, stay tuned. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Trench Hammer Game Mechanic Demo

I recently had the honor to collaborate with Ivan from Nordic Weasel Games on Trench Hammer (available here at Wargames Vault), a set of tactical WW1 rules derived from his excellent Squad Hammer.

Here is a replay showing some of the rule mechanics.  You can use any scale and basing scheme you wish.  I intend to use casualty markers to mark hits but have used dice for clarity in the pictures.

Just to get some admin stuff out of the way...

  • The table is about 30" wide
  • The figures are 10mm Pendraken based on 40mm x 20mm bases
  • Craters are from a company called 3d Corp in Poland. They are flexible rubber and I have ordered some trenches from them as well.
  • Click pics to enlarge!
  • A few basic rules:
    • Units can be issued one of 4 orders during a turn: Engage, Regroup, Withdraw, or Redeploy
    • Units with Engage orders may move THEN fire.  Fire is always at the end of your move.
    • Units are destroyed when they take 7 hits.  Hits are an abstract representation of casualties, suppression, and morale effects.
  • The game only took 30-40 minutes, but I was one of the designers and playing solo.  But they are very fast play with an emphasis on fire and movement and small unit tactics.  As a rule of thumb, if you like other games Ivan has designed or One Hour Wargames, they will probably be your cup of tea. 

Ok, here is the scenario...  March 22, 1918 and the Great Kaiser Offensive shatters the British front lines.  The remains of a British platoon with a Vickers HMG have set up a blocking position in a set of shell craters at a crossroad.  A fresh German platoon from the second wave is approaching with orders to clear the position and continue the advance.

Here is the German platoon, behind a hill ready to attack.

And here is the British Defensive position.  The Platoon leader has rallied what remains of his unit, but they are short of grenades and rifle grenades, so consist of a Lewis Gun section and Rifle section in addition to the Vickers.

Turn 1

The Germans go first. Trench Hammer is an I Go / You Go system, with the active player rolling 2d6 and (usually) picking the higher.  This is the number of squads he can activate.

The German player uses 2 of his activations to have his MG08/15 squads move onto the hill and fire at the Lewis Section.

Firing is a 2d6 roll, and you want to equal or better the target number to cause damage. You start at 7+ to hit, and while you are encouraged to use your judgment, there are some canned modifiers.  As the Lewis Gun section is in a shell hole, they receive a +2 modifier.  So both MG08/15 sections need a 9+ on 2d6 to cause damage.

Note that the MG08/15's would get a -1 to hit and have 8+ (because of their LMG) if they had remained stationary and fired. The MG08/15 was cumbersome and the Lewis Gun does not have this restriction.

Both squads hit and cause a total of 6 damage to the Lewis Section.

Meanwhile, off camera to the left, the Germans use their remaining activation to move a bombing squad forward 6".  The Platoon Leader uses his special Move Out! ability to get the other squad to advance 2".

For the British Activation on Turn 1, they were able to activate all 3 units.  (not pictured here)  The Platoon Leader shifted over to the Lewis Section and used his Heads Up! ability rally off one of the hits and then issued a Regroup order to the Lewis Section.  Regroup allows you to roll a d6 three times, each time, if the roll is < the current number of hits, you remove a hit.  the Lewis Section removes 2 more hits this way.

As seen below the Vickers HMG fires at the Germans on the hill.  The base to hit is 7+ but as an HMG is firing they get a -2, so need a 5+ to hit.  They do hit and score 5 damage.  The rifle section misses it shot.

Turn 2

The German player rolls 3 activations. He chooses to use his first on to issue a Withdraw order to the damaged MG08/15 squad and they retreat behind the hill.  They automatically recover 1 hit as a result.  This is how suppressive fire is built into the rules.  The German player could have left them on the hill to fire but would have probably lost them in the next British turn.  Now he will have the opportunity to have the Regroup in future turns, but they cannot fire this turn or probably the next.  

So, the Vickers has successfully suppressed them, without having to have any separate suppression or morale rules. Hits are an abstraction of casualties, suppression, and morale effects.

Using his other 2 activations, the German player moves his Bombing squads forward and fires on the Lewis Section.  As they are <12" away but >6" They engage in a Firefight, so the Lewis Section gets to fire back immediately when fired on. The Germans come off the worse in the exchange.

The British turn begins with them receiving 2 activation points.  The leader rallies a hit off fo the Lewis Section, the Lewis Section delivers withering fire on one fo the German Bombing squads, destroying it.  Meanwhile the HMG puts accurate fire on the remaining MG08/15 on the hill. 

Turn 3

The remaining German Bombing squad moves forward and Assaults the Lewis Gun Section.  An Assault is any combat within 6" and both sides fire simultaneously.  This is also where the strength of the grenade tossing Bombing squads show.

As they are in an assault, the bombers do not have to contend with the cover of the shell hole as their volley of grenades arc through the air.  As you can see below, the Germans destroy the Lewis Section.

Meanwhile the MG08/15 teams are still regrouping behind the hill.

The British player has lost his Lewis Section and Platoon Leader, leaving his HMG team vulnerable, so...

Turn 4

Turn 4, the Germans move their regrouped MG08/15 teams in to pour fire into the remaining British Rifle Section, causing 3 more Damage, bringing them up to 6.  The remaining German Bombing squad finishes them off in a bloody assault, taking 3 hits in return.

The British Vickers team decides to withdraw...

The Germans used fairly good fire and movement tactics in this assault but will need to regroup before pressing on.  At this rate I am sure the war will be over by Christmas...

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little demo of some of the mechanics.  Remember you can use any scale or any basing scheme you wish and there are plenty of optional rules to add more chrome if you like.

Until next time, good gaming!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wife Decisively Wins War of 1812

And by decisive, I mean like the United States never expands west of the Ohio valley decisive.  

As the British, she let me run rampant in the west, lured me in with Montreal and then decisively defeated my two main field armies and captured Albany, New York and everything in between.

I apologize to all of my fellow Americans...

Monday, January 22, 2018

First 10mm WW1 platoons ready for Trench Hammer

I have been trying to play WW1 for over 10 years, even finishing and selling off a 20mm project because I just did not have the space to store everything.

Recently, I was privileged to be able to collaborate with Ivan from Nordic Weasel Games on a tactical set of rules for the Great War called Trench Hammer, available here at Wargames Vault.

It is aimed at games roughly the size of Through the Mud and the Blood from Too Fat Lardies (1-2 Platoons per side), but fast play (1 hour-ish) in the spirit of One Hour Wargames.  If you have any interest in the Great War whatsoever, buy the Too Fat Lardies' rules, and supplements!  They are a wealth of information that will get you started reading on this fascinating topic.

So... I playtested everything with empty bases and have finally gotten enough painted up for a game. I wanted to go with Baccus 6mm, my preferred range for everything not 28mm Pulp at the moment, but while the range is great looking and ideal for large-scale games, they do not have the range of specialists I need for the tactical game I am aiming at. (Sorry Peter, but don't worry, you'll get your hands on more of my loot soon...)  So I decided to go with Pendraken's 10mm WW1 range.  It is perfect, I can get all the wacky specialists like rifle grenadiers, flame thrower teams, etc., still using a small scale.  And the small scale will let me paint units quickly and easily and fit into my playing space.  The cost was also very attractive too, for 2 basic platoons, it was about $40 to the US shipped, and when it is all said and done, I'll be able to to do 2 platoons per side, with some tanks and support weapons for $80 total.

Units in Trench Hammer maneuver as squads and take hits until eliminated.  No need for figure removal, with hits being actual casualties, stress, suppression, etc. so no need for individual figure removal.  But, I did need to be able to identify special weapons.  So I went with this basing scheme:

  • Squads are Two 40mm x 20mm bases, each with 3-4 figures.  This minimizes the number of "things" I have to move around the table, speeding play, but allows some articulation of the squad to conform to terrain, as the bases may be placed in line or one behind the other.
  • Heavy weapons like MG's and Mortars on 20mm or 25mm circles
  • Leaders on 15mm circles.

Here is what I have painted up so far, Click to enlarge:

British Rifle platoon circa 1917 - mid-1918 with 4 specialist sections:

A typical German Rifle Platoon.  The Germans had HUGE latitude so I can reorganize the bases to reorganize the platoon.

 Extra Germans, Stoss Troops or Trench Raiders that can be used as Assault squads are intermixed in the rifle platoons.  Plus a handy Flame Thrower team.

And here is how much storage space this all takes...

Next up I have more troops to paint, including British Trench Raiders, enough extras for 2 platoons per side, and minenwerfers.

And of course Two Mark IV tanks and an A7V tank...

Next time, going to try to get up a play by play example of the Trench Hammer Rules.  Until then, good gaming!

Monday, January 15, 2018

Siege of Augusta Part 2: Scenario, Player Aids, and After Action Review

Here is a link to my Google drive folder with the scenario and all the player aids I used!

If you played or observed my game, or just have an opinion, please leave a comment below.

As I started running convention games again after my experience at Historicon last year, I try to do a short after action review after each convention to make my games better.  My old Section Chief would be proud...

I hope anything running a game of any sort will find this useful.

Here are some good things that I think I want to SUSTAIN:

  1. Under advice from the players I had at Southern Front, I reduced the table size, getting everyone into the action faster.  Plus it was easier for kids playing to reach and adults could sit down and play.
  2. I had a sign in sheet at my table, that included a sign saying "Returning at [X] PM" whenever we went to eat.  This really reassured players that we were coming back and would start on time, so they did not go looking for another game for fear this one would not happen. ()This was my wife's idea!)
  3. Started at 9:30 on Saturday morning and not at 89am sharp, this let me pick up a lot of players that got in a little later.
  4. Be Welcoming!  I had walk-on parts available and was able to handle folks who just walked by and wanted to join in or got there a little late. Partially because...
  5. PULP = FUN, the genre is good for that,  Maybe not so much if you are doing Wagram, but pulp style games are perfect for that.
  6. Games were FAST, between 1 1/2 and 2 hours playing time.  This meant no one got bored and everyone has time to shop the vendors and look at other games too.
  7. I used director's judgment on when to stop the game.  Otherwise, folks will fight to the last man.  Once it became apparent that folks were going to get away, I pulled the plug.  Nothing ends a game like having a Great Old one show up!
Some things I still want to sustain that I did time before last as well are:
  • Pack ahead of time
  • Range Sticks and quick play sheets still worked well.
  • Have a defined goal in mind.  Mine was a fast fun, engaging game that lasted no longer than 2 hours.

Here are a few areas of improvement I think I want to tweak for next time.

  1. Maybe a small headset and speaker.  My wife is a teacher and has one, it would allow me to stay out of the way more and everyone can hear me as I walk around the perimeter.
  2. I had a 3rd table that I gave up for another GM.  It was the right thing to do, but if possible it would have made managing extra stuff easier such as...
  3. Staging props and figures that can show up on the table at any time.  I spent too much time rummaging under the table for dinosaurs and quicksand traps.
All in all, it was an enjoyable experience, I am thinking about my next scenario and am feeling Rocket Men and ships.  Lots of ships.

Until then, good gaming!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Siege of Augusta, Part 1: The games

Thanks to everyone who played in my games at Siege of Augusta Saturday, and especially thanks to my lovely and talented wife, without whom it would not have been possible.   She did all of the terrain set up and without her support, there is no way I could have done this three times in one day!

Here is some promised info:

I'll be posting my Siege report in 3 parts:
  1. Recaps and pictures of the games (I ran 3 on Saturday)
  2. An After Action Review of how they went from a GM point of view
  3. Some observations about the con.

Game 1: The world was saved, the girl was saved, and Fu Manchu made off with the artifact

Game 2: The girl was saved, the cultists stopped, but Fu Manchu summoned the Old Ones for his own nefarious schemes!

Game 3: The world was saved, the girl was saved, Doc Savage Gunned down, the slavers summoned a dinosaur, and Fu Manchu hypnotized it!

I hope everyone who played had a good time.  It was a lot of fun to run and every game someone came up with something new to try.  Thanks once again to my wife and until next time, good gaming!