Operation Market Garden – wargame update 10/10/13

Having started some intensive play-testing before exposing my victims to the game, I have discovered that with the current rules it is not possible for any British parachute units to reach Arnhem Bridge from their allowable drop zones on the first day, even if the Germans decide to stay at home and put their feet up for the day. Since it is a matter of record that it actually happened and was potentially crucial to the success of the operation from the allies’ viewpoint, I think a review is needed.

The Second World War game. Orders of Battle

Readers may wonder at my eccentric conversion of the units on the map to the units on the table top  in my Second World War game, so this note is to explain my logic.  As stated in the introduction, this is a game.  It is a big enough wargaming project without trying to recreate the actual orders of battle.  In war, as in many other areas of life, you don’t always have what you need, so you have to make do with what you have.  So in my game, which will be mainly played solo, I can make my grand plans by sending an infantry  or armoured “division”  into battle, and then as the commander on the ground I don’t know quite what I will have available.  I have prepared conversion tables, partly explained in the blog, which will be applied to new units the first time they go into battle.  I have not yet decided if battle casualties will be applied exactly according to the tabletop results, or as a proportional reduction of the dice rolled for the next engagement.   The latter appeals, as it can represent reinforcements and reorganisation, equipment temporarily out of action, etc.  (qv 9th & 10th Panzer Divisions in September 1944)  And now, back to painting the forces generated for the 1st September 1939.

World War Two game: compromising

As expected, with early war games, there must be some compromises in the order of battle for my 1st September 1939 battle. I can find no reference to Poland having self-propelled guns or armoured half-tracks in 1939, so I have changed the Polish order of battle as follows:
Self-propelled guns are replaced by motorised towed artillery.
Other artillery are horse-drawn. I may need to dig out some Heroics gun teams for this.
Half-tracks are replaced by TKS tankettes with 2cm cannon.

World War Two. Getting started

I have finally made a start on the World war Two project.  I have written the basic rules for using the Axis & Allies game, the mapping and unit conversion to wargame forces.

The first engagement on the German-Polish border is set and now I have to get the required models ready for the tabletop. See the Second World War game page for more information.

“Est-il heureux” updated 20th January 2013

This is a scene from my wargame system that I call “Est-il heureux?”, meaning “is he lucky?”, the question hat Napoleon reputedly asked of his new generals. The game is designed for display of historic battles at Napoleonic re-enactment events, as well as being a quick game to play at home.

The idea is to show something that could have been invented and created by an old soldier to relive his past glories, and as I now play the role of a pensioner of les Invalides, it is a good way to pass the time and educate and entertain the visitors.

The troops are represented by wooden blocks covered with printed paper soldiers. Houses are from toy shop “village in a bag” and two dimensional trees are from christmas decoration suppliers or commissioned from my own design. The ground is represented by stacked cork wall tiles with roads and rivers chalked in.

All movement and combat is controlled by dice with red, green or blue coloured faces, keeping the game simple and easy to remember.

I hope in the near future to publish a blow by blow account of a battle using his system.

20th January 2013
Today I am busy producing more troop blocks for a forthcoming game set in Spain in February 1813.
For this game I will need a lot of red skirmish infantry representing Spanish guerrillas, and some of the new designs representing infantry and cavalry in march column on roads.

In the picture are completed blocks and some of the printed paper covers for the unfinished blocks cut from 12mm pine strip wood.