Wargame Progress – Market Garden

Back into my 6mm gaming mode I am setting up the battlefield for the next game in the Market Garden campaign.

About 1/6 of the table is a built-up area and I have populated it with a set of model buildings from my store. Some of these are most inappropriate for the Netherlands, particularly the Kentish oast houses, but I am taking the opportunity to paint every building taken from the box before replacing the wrong’uns with more geographically relevant structures.

So for the time being, the area looks like this:

This is a mixture of buildings from Various manufacturers and some home printed models.

Painting continues…

Gaming Serendipity?

About 3 weeks ago I was searching the internet for an old boardgame: Brittania, which I played once, many years ago. The game covers the early years of the foundation of Britain, from the Roman invasion to the Norman conquest (and beyond?)

At the time it seemed somewhat complex for my taste, and was a pure “cardboard counter” game.

Anyway, I thought it might be interesting to get a copy of the game.

Suddenly, a couple of days later I received an e-mail to the effect that PSC Games were re-releasing the game, with 3d playing pieces and the addition of a 2 player version.

Then the Kickstarter invitation arrived. I subscribed. The project was funded within 5 hours.

We shall see what develops.

Back to 6mm gaming

After fart-arsing around with many different wargaming ideas for the last few months, including playing my Market Garden campaign with hex and counter just to keep it rolling, my 6mm mojo has been reactivated.

Thus we are back in the Shedquarters building a new battlefield.

Battlefield under construction

On the horns of a multilemma

Before I start, I should explain that a multilemma is a bit like a dilemma, but with more options.


Mythically a Multilemma is a creature with horns that grow in a manner similar to a “monkey-puzzle” tree. Once every 1500 years it migrates to the coast (normally Bournemouth or Torquay) to indulge in a bit of sea-bathing, in the process of which it invariably drowns due to the weight of the horns when soaked in salt water. (yes: I made that up, just like the folks at Games Workshop used to do.)

But for our purposes a multilemma is the situation that I face.
In my campaign I have a company of German PanzerGrenadiers in 1944 facing a company of British Glider Infantry, across a bridge. To the right (from the German viewpoint) of the enemy is another company of PanzerGrenadiers, but to their right is a company of British Parachute infantry. The company commander of the southern unit has (by rolling a 6) decided to attack.

My problem is how to play this engagement:

  1. A simple die roll, taking into account the support companies.
  2. Hex and counter boardgame. Each company is 4 counters. 1 hex = 250m. Rules: Memoir ’44.*
  3. 6mm models on hex terrain (similar to option 2 but wth 3D detail), in which case I will probably need to do some terrain building. Rules: Probably Memoir ’44, and my preferred option.
  4. 20mm. I would need to substitute American soldier models for British. As for rules, I have several possibilities. I would probably have to make some quite a lot of terrain, including a river and a rail bridge. Chain of Command rules?
  5. Counters as Sections/Squads with Squad Leader boards and local rules.
  6. Counters as Sections/Squads with Squad Leader boards and 1970s (not Squad Leader) rules.
  • Option 2 has been the normal recent method of resolving engagements, but can be somewhat boring, particularly with small engagements.

So far, from the above, I have a Sexilemma. Not something that I would wish to meet in a wood on a dark night!
But it is looking to me as if the answer may be D6-based. Before I roll the die( and a D3 or a D6) any suggestions?

Thanks for any input.

Positives and negatives

It would seem that the veteran model railway company Hornby, that has since taken over rival companies such as Triang, Airfix and Scalextric, may have decided to support the modelling community in preference to the toy sector.

In a recent BBC interview the new chairman said to the effect of : “We have to look at our target market. For example: ‘How does the Harry Potter train set fit into my layout of Torquay in the 1960s'”

He also referred to keeping the Scalextric* motor racing models relevant. But also that the Airfix range will include everything from a simple clip-together kit to a super-detailed model that will take up to 3 months to assemble.

——————–
*It is unfortunate that he replaced the ‘x’ in Scalextric with a ‘c’. A common mistake, but not ecpected (sic) from the chairman of the company.

But that in turn reminded me of a business meeting in the 1980’s at Zanussi; about to launch their ‘Nexus’ range of washing machines.
(Paraphrased from memory)
Marketing Director: “Our market research company tells us that anything with an x in the middle has positive connotations.”
Managing Director: “Like ‘toxic’ or ‘noxious’ for example?”
Methinks that somebody had been briefed before the meeting.

As it was in the beginning…

Many moons ago I acquired a copy of the GHQ rule booklet: “Tank Charts”, first published in 1984.

I have never got around to actually playing a game with this horribly complex (but normal for their time) set of rules.

So I thought that it might be an interesting exercise to evaluate the rules using the described encounters from the book “Battle”, by Kenneth Macksey.  The book documents a fictitious combined arms operation in Normandy in the summer of 1944

The first engagement is by a sniper against a machine gun position (described starting on page 37 of the book).

Snipers are not covered by the rule set, so I used the factors for an infantry rifle half-section.

—————-

PFC Cherry (the sniper) reported:

“I consulted my manual to see if I could spot the enemy.  Rule 2.1 states that I have to spot the target before shooting at it.  The MG team was for no apparent reason rated as easy to see as an anti-tank unit.

I consulted my observation table. 

   I had conducted a specific search: +5

   The enemy was concealed: -2

   The enemy was an anti-tank sized unit: -3

   The range was 0-250 yards: +9

5-2-3+9 =9, so I had actually just about seen them (needing 9 or more)

Then I worked out the chances of a successful shot.

I checked my Base Fire Table (Rule 6.2). I rated myself as the equivalent of a five-man rifle unit.  I guess the range was around 200 yards, so my Base Fire Value was 3.  From this I had to subtract 1 because the enemy was “positioned” and 1 because they were in a hedgerow (Rule 6.3).  I checked that my target had been both located and spotted.  Normally I would have only a 1/6 chance of hitting, but because I am American and it was 1944-45, I had a 1/3 chance (Rule 6.4.1).

Having evaluated the chances I pulled the trigger.  A lucky 5 meant that I reduced the enemy strength by 1.     I knew that I would need a second shot to stop them returning fire (Rule 6.4.2).

Because I had just fired they would have a +3 chance of spotting me (Rule 2.2)

This was not looking good.  I needed to skedaddle pronto.”

————

That was the resolution of one wargame figure firing at two wargame figures.  it took just over an hour to read the rules, evaluate the factors, check the results and document it.  The documented action is supposed to have taken 20 seconds!!!

How the devil did we ever finish a game in the 1980s?

Aha! I remember… We never did finish a game in the 1980s.

I will be evaluating further actions in a similar vein..    The next one from the book will be retaliatory mortar fire.