Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Hi! I thought it would be useful to put together a summary of progress towards putting on a big Cold War Commander game in Sheffield in the Spring of 2011.
Over a dozen people have now expressed an interest to some level or other. It would be helpful if they could all join the Yahoogroup as this is likely to be the main means of communication at least for now.
I’m of the view that this isn’t a problem. There’s at least one potential player who could probably provide all the forces we need from his own resources. Now, I’m sure some players, like me, would want to use this game as an excuse to recruit a shiny new force of Danish reservists or whatever and I’m sure this can be done in the time available as soon as we have a scenario planned.
Ian Shaw has done some excellent working on putting together period-specific CWC-based organisations for the Northern Front (Scandinavia and Finland) and for Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) on the Central Front. These are in the Files area of the ColdWarCommander yahoogroup. Given the levels of attrition during an intense round of combat operations you don’t have to follow these exactly but they are a good starting point.
I’ve heard no dissenting voices to the idea that we base the setting of our game on Hackett’s books. I’m assuming then that we are all happy with the August 1986 time frame and Hackett’s broad narrative thrust.
We have had a suggestion that we should game the operations on the Northern Front. My guess is that this would produce some interesting games that are a bit different to the usual Central Front armoured clashes. My only concern would be that if we go with this setting we might bring back in the question of whether we have enough available models.
I’ve tried to accommodate both this suggestion and the Central Front setting in the six scenario settings I outlined at the Land of Counterpane. I’ll copy these into the yahoogroup Files area. So far, we’ve had only one potential player express a preference. If you think adopting a broad scenario now is the way forward, please have a look at these options and let me know which you’d prefer.
If,on the other hand, you’d prefer some other approach, let us know. We need a range of options before we can choose one!
Construction of the hall is underway and continuing despite the bad weather. I’ve spoken to the Headmaster (the building will double as Village Hall and school hall for the local primary school) and flagged up that we’ll want to book the hall for a weekend as soon as the arrangements are in place to do so.
So thanks all who have expressed an interest. Now let’s make some progress on deciding what we’re going to do, eh?
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I’ve also been working on some Morocanth. My rule with these is that the army should contain no more than one unmodified example of each casting. As I need about twenty figures and only five or six different Morocanth figures have been produced, that means a lot of conversion work.
These two are by Games Workshop. Their heads have been swapped and are in the process of being repositioned. Much gap-filling Green Stuff will be required.
The final figure this time around. His arms have been slightly repositioned, his club removed and his right hand drilled out to accept a wire spear.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I started my Saturday Afternoon Wargames (penultimate Saturday of each month at Stately Crawley Manor) because I realised I was spending a lot of time on preparation for wargames (modelling and painting) and relatively little on actually playing.
Of late, this train of thought has taken a branch line: which rules do I actually play and which are really just useless padding? I thought I’d try and work out how many games I’ve played over the thirty-something years I’ve been messing about with toy soldiers. After much cogitation (and a little creative blank-filling for some of the older stuff) I came up with this list:
Hordes of the Things, played over 130 games
Arc of Fire, played 20
Tac: WW2, 12
Cold War Commander, 8
Rapid Fire!, 7
Flight Leader, 6
Squad Leader, 6
My own Wars of the Roses skirmish rules, 5
Air Force/Dauntless, 4
Sixth Fleet et al., 4
The Fire and the Rose, 4
Air War, 3
WRG 1950-85, 3
Airfix Guide WW2, 3
WRG Ancients, 3
Square Bashing, 2
The Sword and The Flame, 2
Corps Commander, 2
Hell in Microcosm, 2
Dirtside II, 2
Disposable Heroes, 2
Hell By Daylight, 2
Future War Commander, 2
Shock of Impact, 1
Ancient Principles of War, 1
19th Century Principles of War, 1
Polemos GNW, 1
Volley & Bayonet, 1
Bayonet Point, 1
Fox Two, 1
Dragon Pass, 1
Fistful of TOWs, 1
WRG 1685-1845, 1
General Quarters, 1
Plus various one-offs with a fine selection of home-made rules. I’ve probably missed a few - I vaguely recall some computer-moderated Napoleonic naval rules and a mid 19th century set that used cardboard counters instead of figures.
The first thing that strikes me is how few games I’ve actually played a large number of times. It looks like just over half of all the wargames I’ve played have been Hordes of the Things!
I say “played” but I should add that a lot of the time my wargaming takes the form of setting up and refereeing games. If you were to restrict me to games I’ve actually played in, HOTT would probably be closer to 90%.
The next thing that this exercise has flagged up is the “acquired but never played list”:
Renaissance Principles of War
DBR (sensing theme here?)
Hell and Uncivil Disorder
Hell and Fateful Decisions
Mr Lincoln’s War
Les Gens Braves
Six Gun Sound
They Died For Glory
Chaingun, and finally...
... the almost unplayable WRG 1950-2000.
It’s scary how much work I’ve put into some of these games in the past!
Finally, some good news is the high position for Cold War Commander. It’s only relatively recently that I started playing this game but it’s already in the top four. It seems the Saturday Afternoon Wargames are having an impact!
Monday, December 6, 2010
I'm planning a big Cold War Commander game next year and we need to decide which scenario to play. So far I've found the following possibles in Hackett's The Third World War and its sequel The Untold Story.
OPTION A - 4th August, 1985
One Division of 2GTA, supported by two Polish divs (one tank, one MR) pushes toward Kiel Canal. Polish 6th Airborne and East German Willi Sanger diversionary unit in support.
Interesting mix of units, possible major terrain item (the canal).
OPTION B - 5th August, 1985
I (Be) Corps pushed back west of Kassel. Soviet attacks open a salient between I (Be) Corps and III (Ge) Corps on the NORTHAG-CENTAG boundary. Soviet thrust develops towards Giessen. V (US) Corps counterattacks into the flank of the Soviet salient between Alsfeld and Schluchtern.
Good mix of nationalities (no Brits though)
OPTION C - 10th August, 1985
After days of heavy bombardment Soviet amphibious forces land at Bodö. A Norwegian bde and a British RM Commando move the oppose the landings.
Could be spectacular, no heavy weapons on either side
OPTION D - 12th August, 1985
SOUTHAG, now consisting of II (Fr) Corps, II (Ge) Corps and a couple of brigades of Austrian troops, under heavy pressure along the Lech. (TTWW p169)
Interesting mix of forces, possibly interesting river crossing scenario
OPTION E - 14th August, 1985
0400, Soviet 7th Guards Army launches attack on Venlo position (no chemical weapons used). Bn strength airborne attack on rear areas at Roermonde and Neuss. The MRRs lead the attack. An additional attack by Soviet MRD west of the Maas, southwards towards Roermonde is held off by a US bde with two Dutch regiments under command.
Crucial battle of the campaign, good mix of forces,
OPTION F - 14th August, 1985
Battle of the Lippe - Soviet forces attack southwards across the Lippe down the east bank of the Rhein. They are opposed by regular and Heimatschutzkommando West German forces plus a Dutch bde and elements of II (Br) Corps. Flooding, minefields and close air support help to slow the Soviet advance. (TTWW pp235-238)
Another part of the crucial battle, interesting terrain.
OPTION G - 14th August, 1985
This option combines Options E and F into a single, huge game. This may need to be “bath-tubbed” (using, say, battalion-sized forces to represent brigades) in order to fit everything in.
Big, epic in scope, too big?