Operation Sealion. The Battle of Brighton – 06:30-07:00

Eventually I have reached 90 minutes into the German attack on Brighton.  This battle is beginning to look like the representation of Stalingrad refought by Lionel Tarr in the 1960s and referenced in Donald Featherstone’s books “War Games” and “Advanced War Games”

The following are the reports sent at 07:00 to the German and British overall commanders in this Play by E-mail campaign.  The battle has now reached 07:30 but for security reasons I am publishing one half hour in arrears.

Brighton 18th September 1940 British 0700

Brighton 18th September 1940 German 0700

Operation Sealion – The Battle of Brighton

Hello followers,

Well, it has been a while since I posted, and here is why.

  1. Ongoing arguments between insurers and builders about the re-instatement of our house as it was before the fire of 4th July.
  2. Arguments with caravan insurers, purchasing a replacement caravan and trying to find someone who would insure the replacement.
  3. Finding somewhere to keep the new caravan while the builders – if we ever get any – repair the house and re-fence the garden.
  4. Sourcing a new garden shed/workshop.  Achieved as a local contractor will build a bespoke shed to fit the space available.
  5. Buying an awning that fits the new caravan, and, as yet not begun, selling the old one.
  6. Undergoing a biopsy to investigate my almost certain cancer.

and finally, the fact that I am running a PBEM wargame and anything that I post will be visible to both commanders.

So, with the game now poised at 07:00 18th September 1940, here are the battle reports for the previous 30 minutes from 06:00 to 06:30.

The situation is the German attack on Brighton, with the intention of capturing Shoreham harbour to allow unloading of armoured units.

Brighton 18th September 1940 British 0630

Brighton 18th September 1940 German 0630

 

 

A day of many parts

Today, despite being well into the second half of July, is dull and drizzly, following spectacular thunderstorms last night.

So I am confined indoors and catching up with several domestic and wargaming tasks.

I was inspired after listening to the latest Meeples and Miniatures podcast and after our recent fire to start documenting my wargame collection for insurance purposes.  It will be a long task.  It took me a week to collate from memory and photographs what we lost when the two sheds burned down.

Then I found a compiled list of unit values for Panzer Leader 1940 at www.imaginative-strategist.layfigures.com for use in my Operation Sealion games, which I began to incorporate into my game records.

Next task was the pile of ironing, helped along by watching a couple of episodes of “By The Sword Divided”.

DSCN0706

This is a BBC drama series screened between 1983 and 1985, like a sort of 1640s “Downton Abbey” which coincided with my early years of  English Civil War reenactment, and later episodes included some of my oldest – and in some cases sadly departed – friends as “supporting talent”.  The DVD series was released by the BBC in 2004.

Then I turned to some figure painting, namely the 1790s 6mm MDF soldiers from Commission Figurines.  These little “toy soldier” style figures are a little fragile, and because I expect them to be handled by small people I glue them in ranks of 3 to form blocks.

DSCN0708

During the course of this I managed to drop a paint pot lid onto the beige carpet.  I hope that after some immediate panic action and a steam cleaner I have (almost) got away with it.  Time for a second application of carpet cleaner now before the Memsahib sees it.DSCN0707

And it’s still only 1:30pm!  Plenty of time for more catastrophes before bedtime.

Always something else to prepare…

I want to know why it is that, with a former “walk-in” wardrobe and half a loft full of wargaming impedimenta, every time I want to play a game I have to prepare some new models?

For my next game I have already painted up some GHQ A13 and Mark VIb tanks for the British, not to mention several Adler Vickers MG teams marching and firing and about a dozen new trucks and lorries.  The Germans needed cyclists and new MG34 teams, as well as more infantry and a captured truck with hastily applied white crosses.

As for the terrain (I use Kallistra hexagons, pre-flocked and then customised) I have to make some more embanked railway lines and three level crossings which must involve ramped roadways.  Alternatively I may make road bridges across the railway, but that will be even more work!

To help this game along I have just received the first consignment of double curved railway track from Leven Miniatures, designed to my specifications so that four pieces  – two inner curve and two outer curve – will exactly fit a 10cm hexagon with a 60 degree curve.  I urge all gamers of late C19th onwards to buy some of these if only to repay Mick for his development time!

In addition, and very oddly, I needed to model an ancient British hill fort that would meet the requirements of the ground scale (10cm hexagon = 250 metres side-to-side) and also accommodate bases of at least 15mm x 20mm.   Pictures will no doubt be forthcoming in the battle report when I finally get around to playing the game.

Wargame updates

What have I been up to since my last blog posting?

1. The Battle of Brighton in my “Operation Sealion” PBEM game is coming together.  I have painted and based most of the British force.  Today some more  6mm cyclists arrived in the post which must be painted and based.

2.  I have been working on preparing game counters for a medieval campaign based on the TV series “Game of Thrones”.  I am using army lists from DBA, with 13mm square  game counters bought from “Plastics for Games” covered with printed 1/2 scale top-down soldiers copied from the “Junior General” website.  The game will be played on Avalon Hill “Squad Leader” boards using a scale of one hexagon = 20 yards (half the scale of their WW2 game).  Here are the counters for the yellow household.

Yellow

3. I have been reading about the D-Day landings from the German perspective.  I downloaded a book to my Kindle which consists of five interviews with German soldiers who were there on the day, one from each of the allied landing areas (Gold, Juno, Sword, Omaha, Utah) – although these areas were not known from the German perspective.  The interviews were conducted in the 1950s, and where possible with the same soldiers who had been interviewed in 1944 for “Signal” magazine.  These stories are the best reference work I have ever read with detail about actual combat.  My wargames of the period will be tailored accordingly.

All is chaos and confusion

My wargaming has been somewhat disjointed in nature recently, for reasons of domestic bliss.

It was decided to have the woodwork around most of the house repainted as several bits were looking tired and discoloured.  In order to paint the dining room, we had to move all the shelves and cabinets, necessitating the removal of records, tapes, CDs, ornaments and other paraphernalia.  Having done this, the long-outstanding plan to replace the furniture was resurrected, and while the furniture was being removed we may as well have a new carpet!

Thus for some weeks there has not been a spare flat space in the house, except for my desk in the office I share with the memsahib, who has decided to work from home this week.

I do have a card table in the man-cave in the garden which is currently set up for me to learn the mechanics of the “Black Powder” rules before the Donald Featherstone tribute weekend in March.  However, venturing into the garden not only reminds me how much work is needed to be done there, but also commits me to unending games of ball with the dog.

And so, what have I been up to?

I did manage to play through a couple of battles from the Operation Sealion PBEM campaign which thankfully has reached a lull while I wait for the orders from the Germans for their landings on the second high tide.  For these I used my Memoir ’44 boards and home-made unit tokens unitil the last indoor table was removed from use.  I also revamped the unit database for the British side to make it more player-friendly.  When I can get back into the office I have to do the same for the Germans.

SInce then I have been working through my outstanding game list and preparing the paperwork for several other battles in different periods that have been pending for a while.  Amongst these are a Spanish Civil War engagement using one of Charles S Grant’s scenarios, a 1939 Germany v Poland battle, also from Grant’s book, and the next battle of 1792 for my “Est-il-hereux” rules (which must wait for the card table to be cleared).

No doubt all of the above will require more models to be painted when I have a table and access to the toy cupboard again.

Until then I will content myself with theoretical gaming and preparation.

And moving stuff around the house as directed by the boss!

 

Eastbourne, 17 September 1940

Yesterday, 3rd January, I played through another engagement of our long-running Operation Sealion Play-By-Email campaign.  The situation potentially called for a large amount of German units that I don’t currently have painted and prepared, as well as a lot of railway track terrain to build.  I opted to fight this as a “TEWTT” – a Tactical Exercise Without Tiny Troops.

I dug out my Memoir ’44 board game and designed tactical counters for platoon sized units, which were printed on A4 sticky label sheets, cut out and attached to plastic counters which I had previously bought from Plastics For Games.

tactical-labels

These labels follow the principles of the early war German map marking symbols as far as possible, but have additional elements for gaming purposes.  They were designed usin MS Paint on a pixel by pixel basis.  I have decided to create all the forces in the campaign on the same principle so that I can fight any forthcoming battles without delay.  Tokens will be kept in separate bags or boxes according to their current location on the campaign map.

It was one of those engagements that happen in a campaign which could practically only be fought as a solo exercise, and gave me a lot of fun. The situation is that a small, scratch force is being attacked from both sides by brigade sized forces and wisely decides to clear off before the pincers close, but will they make it?  And the battle ended with a “blue on blue” incident.  Unusually in this game neither side had any losses.

The battle report is here in MS Word format

battle-report-25-eastbourne-17-sep-1030-1200

and here as a PDF

battle-report-25-eastbourne-17-sep-1030-1200

The next engagement is at Lewes, concurrent with the attacks on Eastbourne.