EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Thursday, June 14, 2018

We interrupt this restoration

to report on today's WWII rules exploration at Ron's.

Modified Battle. The Soviets look to be in trouble.
It wasn't my fault really that we didn't play the proposed Colonial PW game, or even Ron's fault, no I lay the blame at the foot of Bob Kett of the (bobthepainterblog) and his initial fiddlings with a hex based WWII version of the tank side of Grant's Battle . Ever since I read that post I've had an itch to try a more old school WWII game again. The various mechanism heavy, rules heavy, planning and manoeuvre light, sudden death, WWII games we've been playing the last couple of years have not been satisfying. 

Ron laid out a table based on the Recce in Force scenario in Battle then we pitched four T34/85 against five PzrIVH. It was a fun little game that was over in 3 or 4 turns so we hauled out various Grant and Featherstone books and bent our minds to hex based infantry and artillery rules to match.

But they win in the end.
Before we were also looking at Bolt Action and Airfix Battles infantry rules (which appear to be derivative) and I was beginning to despair. This was not looking like it would get us back to the sort of enjoyable WWII games we used to have.

I started to reminisce about those fun, modified Memoir games from 3 and 4 years ago. It didn't take long for us to remember the issues we had meshing the card deck and 3 zone  system with Grant scenarios nor did it take long to speculate about using our modified armour rules without the cards and sectors. (In this case the 85mm gun on the T34/85 would hit the PzrIV on an emblem as well as on the armour symbol.)

Essentially a Featherstonian type game  where the players develop the plan and try to execute it in the face of the enemy while the dice help determine the success or failure of their plans. 
Modified Memoir: Everyone wins but technically the Soviets are about to win another close battle with a lucky shot at the critical point.
A sharp little refight was soon under way with the advantage swaying back and forth until a lucky die roll rescued the 'superior Soviet plan' from imminent disaster!  The whole thing lasted about the same time as the modified Grant game BUT we played twice as many turns and there was more manoeuvring, more tension and more swings of fortune. In other words, more fun.

Hopefully next week we can get a full all arms scenario in.

14 comments:

  1. I would love to seeswhat your sector less modifmod M44 rules look like. What you describe (modernised old school games) is exactly what I am looking for and failed to achieve with my modifications to the Portable Wargame.

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    1. I don't have a copy of the rules but essentially what we were doing 3+ years ago is giving each side a CO with a 4 hex radius (Colonel Centre if you will) + 2 subordinate commanders:(Majors Wright and Left) with a 3 hex radius. The cards then applied to this command radius.

      The commanders had a move distance, 3 possibly? and could be moved anytime they gave an order. They could not be hit and if attacked would automatically retreat.

      Out of command units could only use non sector specific cards of a ..March? ... the thing on one of the decks that extra moves? Memory fails me,

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  2. Superb post Ross, thanks, I will keep coming back to this - more please.

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  3. Ross Mac,

    A very interesting blog entry that leaves readers wanting to find out more about the rules as they develop.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. More power to your elbow squire.

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    Replies
    1. That's a joint that doesn't get oiled as often as it once did.

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  5. Excellent to see Bob's inspiration at work!

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    Replies
    1. Its what I like to think wargame bogging is about.

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  6. Ross

    I recently got a copy of Memoir '44 and am thinking of meshing the rules with the armour values in Spearhead?

    Steve

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    Replies
    1. Steve, I'm aware of Spearhead but don't own it and haven't played it so can't comment.

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    2. Ross
      The main thing I was looking at stealing was the strike value/defense value of the tanks.
      Steve

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    3. Steve, I'm of two minds. I like the idea of the strike and defence approach but it smacks of 1:1 scale skirmish games rather than a game where units represent platoons or companies which is more where my head is.

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