Books – Reorganising my history bookcase made me think about my interests

Steven's History Bookcase - Banner

My big history book case is in the living area and not surprisingly my wife gets annoyed when the books get messy. Recently I tidied it up. Aside from the fact it took hours – which I didn’t enjoy – I found it interesting what this filing task highlighted about my interests. Aside from my enduring interest in all things Spanish and Portuguese, it turns out I have quite a big interest in World War II (okay, not so surprising), and a huge interest in Colonial Empires with a side order of Cold War.

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Liberation – An A4 Insurgency Campaign

Liberation – An A4 Insurgency Campaign - Banner

I was looking at the tokens I designed in for Using Political Tokens for Military-Political Climate in an Insurgency Campaign and realised they weren’t very easy to make. They are round and double sided. Doh! So I decided to redesign them as square. And that led to doing the entire Campaign on an A4 sheet of paper. This campaign can be for any insurgency but I have the Portuguese Colonial War in mind. This is the third iteration on Simulating Politics in a Wargaming Campaign with Political Tokens – an idea I borrowed from Kapitan Kobold

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Monaldini and Monticelli – A Crossfire Battle Report in Italy 1

Monticelli-151 Kiwi Sherman III and Knocked out Sherman III - Banner

Jamie and I played my Monaldini and Monticelli Scenario. Kiwis and Greeks against Fallschirmjäger and “Turcomen” during the Italian Campaign. And lets not forget the six Shermans.

Summary: Great scenario. Lots of tactical decisions for both players. Nice to get a few tanks on table. Great game. We’d play it again. I won. Or perhaps Jamie did.

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Monaldini and Monticelli – A Crossfire Scenario in Italy

I wanted a scenario to play test my emerging revision to the Crossfire armour rules. This scenario simulates the New Zealander and Greek attack on two small settlements – Monaldini farm and Monticelli – south-west of Rimini on 14 Sep 1944, during the Italian Campaign. Defending are Fallschirmjäger and “Turcomen” i.e. Soviet PoWs in German service. It is roughly a company a side in terms of infantry but the Kiwis have six, count them, six Shermans.

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Generic 30 Years War Army List for Tilly’s Very Bad Day

Generic 30 Years War – A Tilly’s Very Bad Day Army List - Banner

The rules for Tilly’s Very Bad Day include a generic Army List for the Thirty Years War. I wanted to explain the army list a bit so copied it here. And having copied it, I couldn’t resist tweaking it. This list applies to all western and central European armies i.e. those of Spain, the German Catholics (Bavaria/Catholic League, Austria/Imperial), the German Protestants (Palatinate, Brandenburg, Bohemia, Saxony, etc), Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and France.

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Cassinograd – A Crossfire Battle Report 3

Cassinograd-336 Germans in the Municipal Buildings - Banner

Jamie and I played a draft version of Cassinograd – A Crossfire Scenario based on Crossfiregrad. We played two games in a couple of hours. Jamie was the attacking Kiwis and I was the Fallshirmjaeger. This is the second game.

Summary: Great game. My larger regular force was much more resilient than the small veteran force I used in Game 2. Jamie captured the objective (the Post Office), but he literally did it as his clock counted down to zero. Very tense and exciting game.

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Twilight of the Britons – A Battle Report 1

Britons-103 Army A - Warlord's Shieldwall - Banner

Vincent Tsao and I have been playing around with a version of Twilight of the Sun King for the early medieval period in Britain. I started with a rewrite of my original 2001 version of Twilight of the Sun King and incorporated ideas from Vincent’s Battle of Hastings variant. The result is called “Twilight of the Britons: Fast play rules for the English invasion of Britain”. I got Adam and Chris to give an early draft a go. So early I’d only written the rules that day, so isn’t wasn’t so good.

Summary: Too much dark age shield wall stodge. Not enough heroics. But a glimmer of hope for the rules.

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Cassinograd – A Crossfire Battle Report 2

Cassinograd-211 Across the ruins of Cassino - Banner

Jamie and I played a draft version of Cassinograd – A Crossfire Scenario based on Crossfiregrad. We played two games in a couple of hours. Jamie was the attacking Kiwis and I was the Fallshirmjaeger. This is the first of our games, making the second Cassinograd game with Bruce Stewart’s being the first.

Summary: Okay game, but could have been better. I had a small veteran force. The smaller forced lacked resilience, despite the higher morale, and Jamie took the objective (Municipal Buildings) relatively easily.

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Cassinograd – A Crossfire Scenario based on Crossfiregrad

Scenario - Cassinograd - Crossfire - Banner

Gunnery Sargent Rock (Bruce Stewart) got me thinking about Cassinograd. This is an adaptation of Doctor Phalanx’s Crossfiregrad scenario, transferred from Stalingrad to the Italian Campaign with 2 New Zealand Division (Kiwis) attacking Fallchirmjaeger in Cassino town. Crossfire of course. Bruce’s version was pretty much standard Crossfiregrad, but I’ve made some more changes to add flavour.

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KB4R The Swamp – A Crossfire Battle Report

KB4R-006 Table from Soviet perspective - Banner

Jamie Wish and Chris Harrod played “The Swamp” (KB4R), the fourth game of Krasny Bor, featuring the Blue Division in an epic Crossfire campaign. The Spaniards were defending the second line – near the Leningrad-Moscow Railway line – against overwhelming odds.

Summary: I thought it would be over in 1 hour, but in an awesome David and Goliath contest Chris’s reinforced company of Spaniards held Jamie’s three battalions of Soviets for 2.5 hours of game time and 7.5 hours of real time. The Spanish defeated the first Soviet battalion but eventually the Soviets ground their way through the Blue Division lines. The time ratio, 2.5 hours of game time in 7.5 hours of real time, demonstrates how grindy it was – not for the faint hearted.

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