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  • in reply to: Ten Most Decisive Battles in History #146868
    MartinR
    Participant

    My deep ignorance of global history precludes me from glibly listing the ten most decisive battles in human history (maybe including one between Neanderthals and Humans?) but if I had to pick ten important battles which are actually gameable they would be:

    Cannae

    Zama

    Edge Hill

    Bosworth

    Borodino (or Leipzig or Waterloo)

    Blenheim (or Ramilles)

    Koennigratz – probably the single most important battle in list as it determined the course of history from 1866 to 1989

    Market Garden

    Operation Uranus

    Midway

    Funnily enough, I’ve Wargamed all of these, some of them multiple times.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: January 1983 #146645
    MartinR
    Participant

    I used to push my Airfx figures around, then I found this:

    That would be the early 1970s.

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: The Witcher #146531
    MartinR
    Participant

    Agreed re KOTOR. There aren’t many games that have that ‘well blow me down’ moment. There have been rumours of a remaster for years, but I can’t see it happening. At least it is apparently compatible with my Xbox One, so when I’ve finished ME2 I might just have to fire it up again…

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: The Witcher #146396
    MartinR
    Participant

    ” In fact it’s just too much for me, the second game is 20-25 hours long,  the 3rd is like 60-120 hours long, there’s like 20 hours of dialogue/cinematic in the game.”

    Yes. I’m just replaying Mass Effect 2 and I do love how those old style RPGs are just so much more focussed and fast moving. Stuff happens! The dialogue is quick!

    Fallout IV and Witcher 3 each took a year of my life, whereas I managed to play Knights of the Old Republic all the way through eight times with varying combinations of character classes, alignment and gender (I never mastered the Jedi sgunslinger though, give me a Jedi Consular, a lightsaber and force lightning any time).

    I did make a start on the Witcher 3 DLC, but in the end I decided that life is too short.

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    MartinR
    Participant

    Interesting. I wonder if there is another from Mid-war to see if changes were implemented and what other lessons they learned once the war got going.

    I assume the lessons learned apply to principles laid down in Truppenfuhrung published in the late 1930s (translations are available), which covers operations up to divisional size in a range of circumstances including mountain warfare etc.

    The only later manual I’ve come across is the misleadingly titled “German Squad Tactics” in the Nafziger series. It does cover the minutiae of platoon level combat (who carries the MG34 etc) but is mainly concerned with company level operations for infantry and armoured panzer Grenadiers. It still assumes a four gruppe platoon with a 50mm mortar section though, even though the infantry section is supposedly from 1942.

    As John notes, a lot of this stuff is about march security, recce, the organisation of attack and defence, objectives, boundaries etc. No reference to buglers I’m afraid.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    MartinR
    Participant

    Thanks John, very interesting.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Open/closed tank hatch terminology #146099
    MartinR
    Participant

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a British tankers memoir referring to being ‘buttoned up’, that sounds very American. Hatches are open or closed. In fact they generally just talk about whether the commander has his head out or not.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Panzerblitz at fifty #146000
    MartinR
    Participant

    I used to calculate artillery effect as against an average of two units stacked (so if there were three, firepower was increased 50%, and doubled if there were four, whereas it was halved if there was only one).

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Panzerblitz at fifty #145879
    MartinR
    Participant

    Managing the DD results is the key to tactical success!

    I still like PB and I don’t care about opp fire, the shoot then move sequence gives the defender all the opp fire they need and is far less clunky than the horrible MP counting in PL (and which still let’s units hop from Bush to Bush unscathed). PB has a delicate, chess like, feel to it.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    MartinR
    Participant

    I have a notional monthly budget which is used for gaming and re enactment purchases. The actual monthly amounts vary, but I try to stick to no more than the budget averaged over the year. If I go to a show, I take a bundle of cash as my spending limit, and when it is gone, it is gone.

    Tbh, wargaming stuff is pretty cheap compared to militaria, but for both my biggest limitation is storage space, and that is a bigger limiting factor. I’ve been doing this a long time so I rarely have big gaming projects any more, more a case of filling in gaps.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Soviet artillery data preparation time #145660
    MartinR
    Participant

    One of my pals did Napoleonic artillery re enactment. The calculations are a bit simpler for that:)

    Our (grand) tactical games generally feature quite a lot of artillery, the last one had no less than five battalions/Field Regiments supporting ten manouvre battalions, although for some reason the Royal Artillery kept firing indirect 25pdr HE at panzer battalions and wondering why it took an awful lot of shells to do any damage, although it did cause some obscuration. The Germans, wisely, fired all their guns at soft targets.

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Postage Rates! #145428
    MartinR
    Participant

    Tbh, if the shipping charges are clearly laid out, then it is just part of the product price. Yes, some pricing schemes penalise smaller orders, but you always have the choice to shop elsewhere.  That is how capitalist economies work, they aren’t “fair”.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Definition of troop #145247
    MartinR
    Participant

    Depends on the context doesn’t it. Troop can refer to a large collection of soldiers, subsets thereof or a very specific unit of organisation (such as a cavalry or armoured troop), it can also mean walking along in a somewhat laborious manner.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: The Witcher #145141
    MartinR
    Participant

    Yes, I the setting and art style is another great part both the 2nd and 3rd game clearly has amor/technology level of late medieval. Very much 1480s-1500 in style. And nilfguard obviously is just the HRE by another name(though seems to be far more efficient and competent then the HRE ever was.)

    I rather thought Nilfgard was Russia, from a Finnish perspective.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: The Witcher #145102
    MartinR
    Participant

    I’ve not played Witcher 2, but Witcher 3 was fabulous, racked up 180  hours on it, but I’m something of a completionist and like to do every single side mission. The TV series was good as it gave me some back story on the characters, but I felt I’d got to know them pretty well anyway.

    The Baltic feel of the Witcher universe is quite unusual, compared to the usual cod medieval setting for lots of these things. Unlike a lot of RPGs, you can’t just slaughter your way to levelling up, well you can, but it will take forever and cost a fortune in weapon and armour repairs.

    As noted above, your choices have genuine and sometimes far reaching consequences.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: You can’t take it with you. #144931
    MartinR
    Participant

    I have designated some of my gaming pals to dispose of the stuff on my behalf and save my wife and kids the hassle  Given our advancing years we have already had to do this for a few people.

    Yes, it is worth some money, but compared to the house, not so much. There is just so much of it….

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: How do you control yourself? #144636
    MartinR
    Participant

    In the main I decide what I want to do, plan what to buy, then buy it, paint it and put in storage. If I’m very lucky I might even get to play with it. I’ve discovered my main limitation is storage space, which helps keep the madness in check. OTOH if you think wargaming is expensive and takes up a lot of space with stuff you’ll never use, try re-enactment…. guess how much a 1952 dated General Service Shovel (short) goes for these days. At least I can use it to dig the garden.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: What are you reading? #143684
    MartinR
    Participant

    I’ve been working my way through Rick Atkinsons Liberation Trilogy covering the US Army in Europe from Operation Torch to VE Day.

    I also read Lion Rampant by Robert Woollcombe. A memoir of 6 KOSB from D-Day until the end of the war and I’ve just finished re reading The Silmarillion. Now I know a bit more about Anglo Saxon history and Norse mythology it all makes much more sense and there are some really cracking stories in there which would made great films. Way better than The Hobbit at any rate.

     

     

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Square Grid Question #143418
    MartinR
    Participant

    Regiment of Foote would be OK, just use single figures instead of multi figure bases for units.

    One Hour Wargames are easy enough to convert to a grid, or just plonk the figures on big bases which amounts to much the same thing (I’ve been using 5″ bases on a 3×3, so maybe use 4″ bases on a 2×2?).

    I would have recommended ‘Marston Less’  by Staines Wargamers, but their domain seems to have disappeared. I used those for both ECW and TYW with a few mods.

     

     

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Buildings for 18mm? #143131
    MartinR
    Participant

    I use 6mm buildings with my 15mm stuff. Timecast, Hovels or home made.

    Sub scale is just more in keeping with the ground scale, unless you are doing skirmish where the figure and ground scale are the same.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Im trying to make attack rolls more interesting #143019
    MartinR
    Participant

    If you want to include some sort of weapon failure chance, then just include it in a single roll – like MG malfunctions on a double 6 in Squad Leader.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Change? That sounds like effort and.. #143018
    MartinR
    Participant

    I deliberately made all my hills rather brownish looking so I can use them with my grassy or arid terrain cloths. They also do as muddy for WW1 Western front games.

    But yes, having to produce a load of new terrain would, in general, be off putting.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Basing and rebasing for Chain of Command #142459
    MartinR
    Participant

    Arty Conliffe has pretty much retired from wargaming although I gather he is still tinkering with one of his Ancients rule sets (or he was a couple of years ago).

     

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: 15mm Infantry #142432
    MartinR
    Participant

    I rather like the PSC US infantry but if you want something more chunky, my go to manufacturer for metal 15s is Peter Pig or you could have a look at Old Glory which are a similar size even if the castings can be a bit rougher. Not seen the BF figures so I can’t comment.

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Project to-do lists #142402
    MartinR
    Participant

    I have so much stuff that these days I’m at the “bits and pieces” stage. I’ve still got a Baccus ACW army to paint, and one day I’ll standardise all my WW1 stuff on 15mm,  otherwise I’m still mainly experimenting with different formats, approaches and technology for lockdown gaming.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Franco-Prussian War – battles #142130
    MartinR
    Participant

    I think the main things to model in a grand tactical game are that French infantry significantly outranged the Prussians, the French (Imperial) units were rather smaller than their Prussian counterparts, the Prussian artillery otoh was considerably superior in terms of firepower – steel breechloaders make a big difference, the slightly eccentric French shell fusing perhaps less so. Operationally the French also operated the Napleonic style reserve artillery concept, so the guns they did have were rotated the to the firing line, whereas the Prussians put much more up front and relied on pushing ammo resupply forward which accentuated the artillery firepower advantage.

    In the battle of the frontiers the French forces were also considerably outnumbered and their Corps had much larger spans of control (the Prussian Corps usually only had a couple of divisions) which added to their command problems. In the Republican phase these factors were more balanced as the French Corps were smaller and the Prussians more dispersed. The quality of the French troops was much more variable though.

    It is an interesting period, although the really big battles are quite hard to do justice too (even with the likes of BBB).

    tbh I prefer the Wars of Italian Liberation and the Six Weeks War as they are even more asymmetrical, but I guess there is only so much kicking around of the Austrians you can do (Custoza aside).

     

     

     

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    MartinR
    Participant

    I belive both the ATR and PIAT were issued on an as needed basis and simply given to someone in the platoon to carry around. With a degree of foresight, they might leave their rifle in the platoon truck. Even earlier, the Brens were a issued weapon, and left on the truck when not required. It is a good job the British Army was motorised and had lots of trucks to carry this stuff around. I imagine the bulkiest items were everyone’s large packs with their greatcosts jammed into them.

    Moving with rifles at the trail also seems to have been “a thing”, it is  in Infantry Fieldcraft and Tactics, and also another training film The Fighting Section Leader.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    MartinR
    Participant

    Via Facebook I recently saw a WWII British training film on the composition of an infantry platoon and how it conducts a platoon attack. It took me back to the section and platoon attack films that we were shown endlessly in the mid to late 1970s. Anyway, the section strength in the film was a corporal and 10, and the platoon runner was called a servant!

    I was recently watching what sounds like the exact same film, if the runner had a bicycle. The runner was a servant as it was  Guards platoon. I did enjoy the whole platoon counting off what they were armed with and what their job was.

    You aren’t going to Montys Men 2021 by any chance? (it was the MM2021 FB group where the vid was pointed out to me).

     

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: 6mm WW2 Suggestions #141955
    MartinR
    Participant

    iirc Baccus vehicles scale out at around 1/250th

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    MartinR
    Participant

    I’ve seen the thing about platoons generally having a strength of 20 men in a number of places, possibly including both Wigram and Jary. It makes sense as sections of less than six men aren’t really viable, at which point it ceases to be a platoon, and you need some sort of HQ or again, it isn’t a platoon.

    Just reading “Lion Rampant”, a KOSB officers Memoir from NWE. He says much the same thing, although after one bloody action during Epsom the platoon strengths for the entire company were, respectively 14, 8 and 6. They were pulled out to reorg fairly soon after that. I’m wondering what a platoon of six looks like, two Brens, a CO and a runner/rifleman?

    I wonder how many people actually field four section 1940 German infantry platoons, they are really quite scary.

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    MartinR
    Participant

    If you cover the soft polystyrene in undiluted PVA/White Glue it hardens it up no end. That it was what I do with all the hills I make. A couple of coats of PVA and you can throw them across the room without damage:)

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: British Desert Force 1941 #141294
    MartinR
    Participant

    Very nice indeed, what a lot of stuff!

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Company Command Rules #141174
    MartinR
    Participant

    “What aspect of crossfire are you referring to? As in what rule or idea, I assume, keeps you guessing?”

    Fundamentally, the initiative driven unit activation, which gives the possibility that enemy units an appear from any direction, not just the “front”.  It forces you to deploy depth with proper flank and rear security.  Yes, it can appear silly as a platoon makes it’s way unopposed right around the table, but in tactical combat, that is exactly what happens when you lose the initiative. Movement and combat ranges are regulated by terrain density, so the terrain becomes the game grid. Lots of terrain, and moves /ranges are short, less terrain and moves/ranges are long.

    All good stuff, but some players hate being out flanked and being unable to respond, and it is possible for CF games to degenerate into a terrain item by terrain item bug hunt. As I said, for club tactical games, we’ve settled on something more measured, which may not be terribly dynamic but at least means you can replicate battle drills.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    MartinR
    Participant

    I like making things, but if something is hard to make, I’ll buy it. Define “cost”, I get infinitely more pleasure from using something I’ve made than something I’ve just bought. A lot of commercial terrain items are too big/small or just look goofy. Some are beautiful things of wonder.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    MartinR
    Participant

    Me too! It is something which was always rather rushed when the club was open, but with lockdown I can spend as long setting up the table as I like.

    When I was a kid, I used to set the table up and use a periscope to get a worms eye view of the ‘action’. I was mightly pleased when I spent two hours setting up for a recent remote game and my wife came in the room and said ‘oooh, isn’t that pretty’. Made my day.

     

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Company Command Rules #141131
    MartinR
    Participant

    I’ve played both PBI and IABSM, and of the two I preferred IABSM although it takes more work to set scenarios up.  The card thing works fine, you have to be careful where to put your leaders (just as in Squad Leader etc) to keep thing moving. The players need to be a more flexible in IABSM, ‘play the period not the rules’ and all that. I really like the grids in PBI, they work very well indeed, but there are quite a lot of rules and you do end up playing the rules not the period, to an extent. I’m not a fan of buckets of dice. In theory you can have unlikely and extreme results with lots of dice, but the mathematics of large numbers says otherwise. If you want extreme results, use a D20.

    The ideal would be IABSM played on PBIs grid so you don’t have to worry about all those boring measurements and geometry, and you get zero effort beaten zones. There is a reason real soldiers don’t stand quite so close together as wargamers like to put them.

    I think tactical combat is one of the hardest things to model effectively as psychology and limited intelligence plays such a huge part, both very hard to emulate in a toy soldier game. As one of my pals who gets paid to do this stuff in real life said, the biggest transformation in command was the widespread introduction of secure communications and GPS. Suddenly you knew where your own chaps were, and you could talk to them reliably. Amazing! Commanders up until the 1990s didn’t have that luxury.

    For that real ‘wtf did they come from’ feeling, Crossfire is hard to beat. The closest I’ve ever come in a tabletop game to replicating my experiences of playing at soldiers. For gaming purposes though, we do like the WRG type mechanisms (shoot then move, short bounds, lots of neutralisations from ranged fire) as they are the only set of rules we’ve played which allow you replicate WW2 Battle Drill. I guess they appeal to my tidy mind.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Company Command Rules #140893
    MartinR
    Participant

    There are many, many rules at this level.  The main differences are about the degree of unpredictability you are happy to tolerate.

    Along with PBI and IABSM, I would add as worthy contenders, Crossfire, its more structured pal, Fireball Forward and Iron Cross. There are many more of course.

    We tend to play this level of game with a light derivative of the old WRG 1925 to 50 rules, although they use teams, not sections, as the elements.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Brain storm session: Hiding unit strength #140703
    MartinR
    Participant

    I’ve been using hidden markers for years. I just make them up out of steel paper stuck to card with the values on the underside, and the bases have a small strip of magnabase on the back they they stick to.

    Even if the combat results are known at the time, the players almost immediately lose track of the state of the opposing units as they just see a load of identical inverted counters. So just make up three states in this case, for Fresh, Worn and Spent.

    What is really funny is that sometime players lose track of the state of their own units….

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: Any 1/144 (12mm) gamers here? #140649
    MartinR
    Participant

    1/150 is a scale, “10mm” is a description.

     

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    in reply to: German Defeats in Mobile Operations #140361
    MartinR
    Participant

    It is the 2:1 odds stipulation, although at a theatre level that is a crushing superiority, less so at a tactical.

    There were any number of mobile battles in Russia, some better known than others, where the Germans were defeated, but the force ratios were often (but not always) somewhat against them. Dupuy lists are large number of engagements in the appendices of Numbers, Predictions and War (as well as on the Dupuy Institute website whose url escapes me right now) which list Victor’s, force ratios etc.  That is the raw stuff from which the relative unit combat values are calculated.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 679 total)