Posts

Eight Hours of Slaughter: A France '14 AAR

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  The turn 1 tactical map. I recently purchased France ‘14 from John Tiller Software. Unlike WW2, the AMRW or the ACW I know practically nothing about WWI other than what I might have seen in movies like War Horse and 1917 . I have been expecting incredibly high casualty rates as I play my way through short, small scenarios like “Flank Guard at Elouges,” and so far the game has lived up to my expectations. This short, 4 turn scenario was a fearful slaughter. The historical situation : Elouges, Belgium, 16km west of Mons, 24th August 1914 : On the 23rd of August, during the first day of the clash at Mons, the BEF scored what could be called a tactical victory. The BEF had been bloodied but had denied the Germans a real foothold on the south of the Canal du Centre. On the following day, the Germans resumed their advance and the BEF began a fighting withdrawal to the south. It was during this second day that more desperate fighting occurred, in which Smith-Dorrien's II Corps suffere

Maxwell's Marauders: Find the Observation Post

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Maxwell’s Marauders, 1st Platoon, C Company of the 7th Marine Regiment is a fictional unit, filled with characters that I have created to deepen my connection to my Squad Battles “ Proud and the Few ” gaming. The New York boys, Bullseye, Sgt. Rock and the rest are going to be persistent characters (unless they die on my digital battlefields) that take me through the War in the Pacific. From Guadalcanal to New Britain to Peleliu and finally Okinawa, the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment served with distinction and so too will Maxwell’s Marauders. Along the way, my hope is that by investing in the backstories of the soldiers on the map, I will play smarter and take fewer risks with them, enjoy my gaming and appreciate this great Squad Battles system in a deeper way. About these scenarios The scenarios are short (under 20 turns (100 minutes or less of combat). They are historical, even though the unit is fictional. Each battlefield map is an approximation of the terrain Frisbie’s

Command Ops 2: "Unrein's Fight"

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The  best Command Ops 2 scenario I ever played  was called “ Burning Metal .” It was designed by  Tim at Ranger X3X  and pitted the 1st SS Panzer Division against the US 2nd Armored Division. It was a straight-up fight in the Dutch countryside. Going into it I knew casualties were going to be high and the challenge was clear. It was also a fictional scenario that didn’t get weighed down by the historical straitjacket that wargame designers wear. “Unrein’s Fight” is my homage to “Burning Metal.” It pits the 14th Panzer Division v. 2 Soviet Corps (a tank and rifle corps). The Soviet player is on the attack and the German player is on defense. The historical context for Unrein’s Fight is this: Fictional scenario Jan 25, 1944: 2 days, 10 hours, 43 minutes, 197 units Background: On January 6, 1944 the Korsun salient was already an ongoing concern for German commanders.  Soviet offensives around Kiev and Kirovograd threatened to cutoff two German corps and German frontline comman

Command Ops 2: "Konev Attacks"

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Confession time, I have really struggled to finish the 3 Korsun scenarios I have been working on. You know that already because I have been blogging about them for over two years and only released “ Lang’s Challenge .” The truth is, I’ve been way more interested recently in the complexity and combined arms operations of the Pacific theater and the invasion of Italy. But with everything slowing down, I have been replaying this scenario and making a few tweaks to prepare it for release. “ Konev Attacks ,” the second scenario for my Korsun project, is finally available for download. It is larger than “ Lang’s Challenge ” at 625 units and over 450 square kilometers. I almost scrapped releasing it though, because the third scenario “ Konev’s Breakthrough ” includes this part of the battle and is much larger in scale. In my opinion, this scenario is the most interesting as the Axis player. The Allied side is a steamroller that uses brute force and to punch a massive hole through a very

"Road to Naples" a new Panzer Campaigns scenario

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I am really enjoying  Salerno ‘43  from John Tiller Softwar e. The battlefield is interesting, the German defense spirited and the challenge for the Allies is considerable. I am almost done with a play-through of the German side vs the AI and I am starting an Allied play-through tonight. These are 80 turn scenarios and I have not regretted one minute spent playing them. While I play this title, I am also reading Rick Atkinson’s absorbing book  “The Day of Battle”  about the Italy and Sicily campaigns, the Cassino and Salerno  Osprey Publishing  titles, Matthew Parker’s  Monte Cassino: The Hardest Fought Battle of World War II   and  the official histories of the US Army . As I play the Salerno beachhead scenarios, I am also thinking about what came next historically because the game does not include the fighting for the mountain passes east of Naples, the advance on Avellino, Acerno and the long campaign in the fall and winter of 43-44 as the Allies drive on Rome. Salerno ‘43 own

Squad Battles: The Battle of Coffin Corner

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The 1943 Cape Gloucester campaign,  Operation Dexterity , on New Britain features a series of nearly flawless combined operations between the US Navy, Army, and the Marines. On December 26, the 1st Marine Division under General William Rupertus executes three separate landings on Cape Gloucester to capture a key airdrome. Two landings on the north side of the Cape at Borgen Bay and one on the south side at Green Beach near the village of Sumeru. This  Proud and the Few  Squad Battles’ scenario, focuses on the smaller Green Beach landing. I will release on my blog a series of Panzer Battles scenarios focusing on the northern landings and the Japanese counterattack most likely in March or April. Scenario description : On December 26, 1943, the 1,500-man STONEFACE Group--designated Battalion Landing Team 21 and built around the 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, under Lieutenant Colonel James M. Masters, Sr.-lands on New Britain’s GREEN Beach at 0730. In the face of a lengthy naval bombard

Less screen-time leads to more focused gaming

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I have more games than ever but I want to play most of them less and less. As I approach my late 40s, I find myself wanting to absorb more detail from the games I play, but I have less time to wargame as my family life keeps me pretty busy. That lack of screen time has led me to choose better, ask more questions about titles I am interested in and say no to the voice in my head telling me to click the purchase button. I also find myself wanting to game more offline. I recently dusted off my ASL manual and bought the Pacific starter kit for that game, as well as  Undaunted: Normandy from Osprey Games . These two titles added to my already alluring collection of Napoleonics, AMRW and WWII operational games and are making my tabletop more attractive than my laptop. That said, I had a pretty fun digital gaming year in 2019. I discovered probably my favorite game of the year  Piercing Fortress Europa ; I began to dabble in the Pacific theater of WWII with a  Panzer Battles Tarawa scen