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’m an avid follower of Martin Rapier’s blog The Games We Play and when looking at his history found his battle report of Leshnov 1941. The scenario has a long history originating with Grant (1981), then Thomas (2014), Rolph (2017) before Martin’s version. The scenario is for Martin Rapier’s One Hour WW2 (6 hit) (a variant of One Hour Wargames). Unfortunately, Martin’s version of the scenario is implicit in his description of the game. Hoping to to play it myself, I’ve tried to re-engineer the scenario from his description. Rapier notes that this scenario exercises all the main game mechanisms of his One Hour WW2 (6 hit) as it includes airpower, artillery, AT guns and all the major unit types including Heavy Tanks and recce.
Adam remains keen on ‘O’ Group, and has put together an Eastern Front scenario called “Collective Farm 643”. Chris took the attacking Soviets and I had the defending Germans. Adam was umpire and provide all the kit.
Summary: Over quick. The Soviets took the direct route to the objectives and got hammered.
Our recent experiments with ‘O’ Group have got me thinking about a similar set of rules that has been lurking on my shelves: Blitzkrieg Commander (BKC). I’ve got every edition of the rules (1 through 4), yet I have never played it because it was a bit too crunchy (concrete) for my tastes. But it is a credible alternative to ‘O’ Group, so I got it of the shelf and read through it.
I prefer scenarios over pick up battles so I’m trying to wrap my head around how to map official historical orders of battle to BKC OOBs. In this post I play around with a official Soviet historical order of battle for a infantry battalion and see what that looks like in both game scales of BKC. Not that I’m going to use an official OOB for an actual scenario, but this exercise will help me understand which bits of the historical OOB turn into BKC stands and which bits get ignored. And because BKC has two game scales – regimental where a base is a platoon and battalion scale where a base is a squad – I’m going to have to do this twice.
Adam and Chris had another go at the ‘O’ Group sample scenario transferred to the Eastern Front. As in our first play test and second play test, “Cristot” became “Kristov” and the Germans were attacking a Soviet defensive position. Adam was keen to have a go himself so took the role of the attacking Germans. Adam also provided rules knowledge, figures, most of the terrain, and narrative for the battle report. Chris was the defending Soviets. I took photos and add some extra thoughts at the end.
As my recent post on Three dimensions of game design: Simulation, Playability, Abstraction shows, I’m allergic to multiple steps to resolve a single action during game. I’m allergic because multiple steps slows the game down. ‘O’ Group has three steps to resolve each shooting action by a rifle platoon – spot, hit, save. Of course, the is the traditional link from hit to save as well, but there is also a link between the first step (spot) and the last (save) that you have to remember – and those links add cognitive load and take time. So I wanted to explore simpler rules that achieved a similar effect but with less steps. I can’t match the results exactly but I can get pretty close with a single to hit step, dropping spot and save.
Warning: Do not read this post unless probabilities in game design are your thing.
Chris and I had another go at ‘O’ Group sample scenario transferred to the Eastern Front. As in our first play test, “Cristot” became “Kristov” and the Germans were attacking a Soviet defensive position. Adam was umpire and provided rules knowledge, figures, most of the terrain, and narrative for the battle report. I add some extra thoughts at the end.
Adam Landa was keen to try out ‘O’ Group, so we gave the sample scenario a go but transferred it to the Eastern Front. The objective, “Cristot,” became “Kristov”. We also discarded the tanks and anti-tank guns. I contributed the photos but all words are Adam’s, although I add a few thoughts at the end.
Chris, Adam and I had a go at Live Free or Die. The scenario was Alternative Chacabuco so a Liberators game using my Live Free or Die house rules for Big Base Liberators. Chris was the Patriots, Adam the Royalists and I was rules interpreter.
Summary: The game system defeated us. After hours of play we were no where near a conclusion so we gave up.
Andrés Ferrari suggested I have a look at Live Free or Die: Tabletop Battles of the American Revolution. Not because I play the American Revolution, but because he thought these could be adapted to the South American Wars of Liberation. So I got the rules and now I have to figure out how to play them with my kit. The big question are my Big Bases but there are a few other points worth touching on so, where appropriate, I compare Live Free or Die to Liberators QPR because this is what the scenarios refer to. Using the concepts discussed here I have I’ve also written a Alternative Chacabuco Scenario for Live Free or Die.
I’m on a roll. A Liberators roll. Jamie got me started but this scenario is because of Andrés Ferrari. He suggested I look at Live Free or Die for Liberators. I needed a scenario to play test it on and John Fletcher’s Alternative Chacabuco (13 Feb 1817) is my go to scenario for trying out rules for this period. This is my conversion of John’s scenario to Live Free or Die.
Following on from my Review of Martin Rapier’s One Hour WW2 (6 hit), I thought I’d take another look at using my Big Bases with One Hour Wargames (OHW). Specifically using Base Width as the measurement rather than inches. OHW Distances and 8cm wide bases I’m a fan of Big Bases, but as I mentioned … Read more
You might remember that Peter of Grid based wargaming inspired my Terrain Cards. Terrain cards were actually part of Peter’s Campaign set in the English Civil War (see Grid Based Wargaming – ECW). There is quite a lot to this campaign – Peter wrote something like 45 posts on it and played 30 games. I love it. Tons of inspiration. And I appreciate the obsessive element that saw Peter completing this project – I think it took him 18 months.
We played Big Base Triumph in the Punic Wars – liked the Triumph rules but thought some of the troop types sucked. To really challenge ourselves and test out that impression, we played another, bigger, game with Iberians on the table in force. So “Light foot” for both Scutarii and Caetrati and “Javelin Cavalry” for Roman, Numidian, Carthaginian, big shield Iberians, and small shield Iberians. I felt, somehow, I was about to rub salt in the wounds. Of course this is Punic Wars.
Summary: Romans (Chris, Adam) beat Allied Carthaginian (Jamie) and Iberians (Steven)