I do a lot of my game design in my head. Wrestling with how things will work / play / look. But with some things it helps to write down the challenges I’m facing. Here is my latest design quandary. With my Musing on Free Form and Area Movement and my subsequent thinking about big base sabots, I’m back to thinking about ground scale in Deep Battle, my draft rules for Operational level wargaming. Should I go for a tight fit, regular or loose? WARNING: This is a very abstract discussion; do not read if ground scales either terrify or bore you.
I have a growing junk yard comprising nicely painted, but wrecked, vehicles. Nominally these are potential objectives for Crossfire, but I’ve only ever used one wreck. That was the Fieseler Fi 156 Storch for Papa Eicke. The rest of my junk yard are, well, waiting for inspiration for a Crossfire Scenario. These are all 15mm scale.
Deep Battle, my draft rules for Operational level wargaming, includes the “airborne” troop type. I have Fallschirmjäger but not Soviet paratroopers. So I thought I’d have a quick poke around and see what I can do. This post covers the Soviet Airborne Forces or VDV (Vozdushno-desantnye voyska SSSR) of World War 2, including their uniform, painting guide, and which figures to buy in 15mm.
With my Japanese battalion ready for duty in Burma, my next project was the Gurkhas to face them. This is a battalion nominally from 17th Indian Light Division, the guys who fought at Bishenpur, Potsangbam and Ningthoukhong on the Imphal Plain 1944. You might recall from my A Case Study in Balagan Thinking – How I justify collecting Japanese, my justification for collecting Japanese was that I’m (kind of, sort of) Welsh, and so are the 2nd Battalion, 4th Prince of Wales’s Own Gurkha Rifles (kind of, sort of). Anyway, I’ve now got a battalion of Gurkhas for Crossfire. Yay! Can’t wait to get that bag piper on table.
The Burma Campaign includes the Japanese invasion of India in 1944. So the setting flips from Buddhist Burma to Hindu India. Our Experiment in Ningthoukhong made me realise that to refight Bishenpur, Potsangbam and Ningthoukhong, I really needed to supplement my Home made Burmese Pagoda with a Hindu Temple from Manipuri state. Here it is. I designed it and Warbases laser cut it from MDF.
Summary: Good game. Rules were simple but played well. The scenario needs tweaking as favours the defenders too much. And that contributed to Chris’s victory as the Germans.
I designed a version of “The Mill” from Stalingrad’s to use with Crossfiregrad. Warbases cut it out for me and then I assembled and painted it. This is part of my project to see use Cool Ruins for Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station.
I think I obsess about ruins. I have lots of ruins already but that didn’t stop me Planning my Cool Ruins for Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station. So one of my projects for 2021, 2022, and 2023 has been to “Buy, build, paint more 3″ x 3” sectors so I can play both Crossfiregrad and Ponyri Station solely with Cool Ruins” (Crossfire of course). Well, I don’t know about Ponyri Station, but now that my 75mm and 150mm sections have arrived I can definitely do Crossfiregrad.
My WW2 Japanese are ready for duty in Crossfire. I went for a high priority Type ‘A’ Battalion. Then I added in all the support elements. So I’ve got a massively reinforced Leg Infantry Battalion. Weaker formations, i.e. battalions from a Type ‘B’ Division, Type ‘C’ Division, Mixed Infantry Brigade, or Independent Mixed Brigade, would have less than this.
My research on Japanese Roadblocks in Burma. Roadblock Battles on the Retreat from Burma and Bishenpur, Potsangbam and Ningthoukhong – Gurkhas on the Imphal Plain 1944 convinced me I needed some raised road features for Burma. I designed the raised roads, S&A Scenics made them for me. and now I’ve painted and flocked them.
My recent musing on the anti-tank rules in Crossfire got me thinking about my current rules on vehicle actions. CF11.1 Vehicular Actions is massively restrictive as it only gives vehicles the option to move or shoot. So I for 20 years I’ve been giving vehicles multiple move actions (1-3 depending on speed) and unlimited shooting. Both of these rules are contrary to the unlimited actions of infantry in standard Crossfire. It would be great to give vehicles unlimited actions, like the infantry. So I look at the rules that have come before then look at options for unlimited vehicle movement.
At 16.30 hours my raised roads for Burma arrived. Unpainted of course. By 20.00 hours they were painted and ready to play. My Japanese have been ready for a while and I recently based my new Gurkha battalion. It was three years ago when I got all keen and wrote up some notes and drew some maps for Bishenpur, Potsangbam and Ningthoukhong – Gurkhas on the Imphal Plain 1944. Finally we could play some Crossfire at Ningthoukhong.
Summary: In a tense game the Adam’s Japanese held the south of Ningthoukhong against a fierce attack by Chris’s Gurkhas.