Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Operational Games’ Category

Following swiftly on the CoW report, I’d like to add an update on the German HQ group from June.

They are pretty much done now. I did a little experiment with some decals – a learning process. I’ll get the surfaces flatter next time. Still not so bad (especially given they’re not even the right size) …

Anyway, here’s the group, followed by some of the individual models. I hope you like them!

The mobile phone camera is a bit harsh on the 3D printing striations. They’re not so noticeable with the naked eye.

‘K’ for Kleist, of course. The slightly oversized numberplates work fine on the back. I’ll have another go at the car pennon *wry smile* (we’ll get there in the end).

Figures by Peter Pig, cyclist and friend by Paint and Glue courtesy of NQM Chris. The bicycle is very fragile. There’s a wireman there so they can keepin touch.

The radio truck is an old bit of Matchbox optimistically grafted onto the back of a Zvezda Art of Tactic Opel Blitz. It looks nice now it’s tidied up (here, with the Flakpanzer for a bit of protection) . ..

The air recognition flag is painted but the swastika is a decal. Again it turned out OK I think.

Peter Pig crew, as you’d expect. The gunner took a bit of persuading.

In action …

Well I never …

Stalingrad won’t be much fun.

Read Full Post »

As many regulars will know, my WWII collection is dual purposed … for tactical as well as operational wargames. The figures for 198 ID are ‘borrowed in’ from my PBI company, and just as there is a consequent ‘fill out’ in progress for all the impedimenta that goes with the Divisional Level formation (recorded here, as it joins the collection, under German Horsedrawn – for such most of it will be), there are also some components that need to be added to the basic blocks or that would be ‘nice to have’.

15mm figures by Peter Pig

So, in addition to an extra combat stand and support stand, I needed some recce for each of the regiments. I also decided (‘nice to have’) to add some boats to represent the river crossing and bridging capacities. Of course all divisions would have the facilities, but in game terms it is nice to have appropriate makers through which to channel the player’s attention (thinking forward; sending the boats to the right place; not leaving things behind etc.) …

Some Useful Boats

So, we saw the basic boat model on its trailer in the last update … added to this, now, is one in action – a Sturmboot 39 – and a couple of inflatables. These will come out at the sharp end … for most of the time the Division is moving around the theatre, the potential of these craft will simply be represented by the transit model, of course.

Also in the picture is a ‘downed Luftwaffe’ dinghy and a waterline Schwimmwagen which I already had (so this is now what I have got, as far as riverine assaults go)

The asault inflatables are by Quality Castings (with a couple of extra crew which are Peter Pig. The Sturmboot 39 is adapted by me from one of the resin boats from The Square (i.e. – and appropriately enough – it’s the same boat as the one on the trailer … I’ve just added a modicum of detail, given it a scratchbuilt outboard and a PP crew figure … and chopped it sufficient to have the right, ‘sturm’, attitude in the water).

P.B.Eye-Candy’s 15mm scale Leichtes Sturmboot 39

It has (seemingly always) an MG34 mounted in the bow and a very chracteristic motor (again, always the same power plant) which appears to be a Kovats type K4R4 … although highly simplified, I’ve tried to follow the basic shape and configuration in the scratchbuilt version.

The characteristic Kovats K4 R4: powerplant of the Sturmboot 39

As standard in my collection, the various watercraft are mounted on clear bases …

The scouts

Yesthatphil’s 15mm German recce stands

The recce stands with my PBI Aufkalrungsschwadron all use pretty fancy kit. Of course, 198 would have its fair share of motor vehicles, but that wasn’t the balance I wanted to strike. So I’ve made 3 new stands for this purpose … basic infantry going forward to scout without the luxury of armoured cars and half tracks. Consequently, I gave one a bicycle, one a motorbike, and one a horse.

Again denoting them as PBIs sent forward, I’ve given them the white wafenfarbe (uniform piping) of the infantry (rather than of specialist reconaissance unit).

(figures by Peter Pig, bicycle from model railway supplies)
Wehrmacht 198 ID scouting parties

Each of the bases is completed with a Peter Pig 2-man radio team in greatcoats (to which I’ve swapped a couple of heads for variety) …

The box of divisional assets and support ehelons is filling up.

Somewhere in RussiaAssault troops from 198 ID make an improvised river crossing prior to bridging operations

Read Full Post »

So this is the first set of pictures as the models begin to get painted and based, ready to fill out the rear echelon of the infantry division. This batch has a small limber, a heavy supply wagon, the Machinegun Flak cart and a boat.

The boat is intended as a generic marker – possibly marking assault boats, possibly bridging equipment, depending on the demands of the scenario. It is an upturned ‘The Square’ resin boat on some BPM 3D printed wheels.

The gun represents a divisional anti-tank unit, notionally equiped with a 50mm Pak 38.

(gun and limber by BattleFront, figures by Peter Pig, horses by Museum Miniatures)

This is modeled as my usual combination of the gun (BattleFront) on a metal shim with a ‘limbered’ base and a ‘deployed’ base, each of which has a magnabased patch for the gun.

The deployed gun (again, figures by Peter Pig)

1:100 scale/15mm models on P.B.Eye-Candy

Heavy Supply Wagon (Schwere Feldwagen Hf.2)

Wagon and Horses by Quality Castings, driver by Peter Pig

And finally, the little flak cart … (Maschinengewehrwagen 36)

Limber, wheels and weapons by Battlefront, cart scratchbuilt. horses by QRF and crew by Peter Pig

The vehicle typically is armed with MG34s, whereas I had MG42s in my spares – however, some pictures I have seen do suggest MG42s were used. I have simplified the gun sights.

Maschinengewehrwagen 36: details

So far, so good. Hopefully I can get a little shift on with the next batch.

Read Full Post »

ID 198 01

What, no horses?  Well, I’ll start my project with an Infantry Division.  Let’s call it ID 198.

It would not have been entirely mechanised.

I need quite a bit of ID 198 for the battle of Rostov scenario, and, in the past,  have drawn suitable components from my PBI company force (as shown in the pictures) … but I’ve added supporting equipment for the higher levels on a somewhat unsystematic basis (i.e. cobbled it together).

As I need to add some typical German horse-drawn equipment to my German collection (and some tows for my 105s), it seems sensible to flesh out a generic infantry division with artillery and supports.

I’m tagging it ID 198 as providing units for 198 will be part of its job, although my intention is something more generic than 198 itself (which was often chronically understrength) and it won’t exactly mirror any specific formation.  Even, say, at Rostov, 22nd Panzer was supported by around a division’s worth of ‘leg’ infantry (mostly 198) but it wasn’t exclusively from ID 198 and not all of 198 was there (reality being a little more ‘ad hoc’, sometimes).

ID 198 02(another way of looking at a German Infantry Division)

The footsoldiers notionally form 3 regiments of 3 battalions each … for 198, they were 305, 308 and 326 (although 326 was heavily depleted by 1942, and by the time the division was redeployed from Russia, all the regiments were down to 2 battalions).

The 3 infantry regiments were supported by Artillery Regt 235.

ID 198 03(the footsoldier bits of the Infantry Division)

At this scale, each battalion is represented by a command stand and an infantry stand, the regimental HQs have some support stands.

ID 198 04

These paired PBI stands take up the same basic space (*wink*) as the wider stands Chris now uses in his NQM set up (so he would call this scale ‘1 base = 1 battalion’, counting PBI ones as half-bases).

So the next phase will involve me basing up lots of horse-drawn limbers and equipment to provide the guns, carts, ambulances etc. to allow all these soldiers to operate in the field effectively.  Hence the title of the post … German Horse-drawn etc. … that’s the job in hand.

Those of you who have followed this blog for some time, now, will know the one element already in place:

ID 198 05

This will keep them in good spirits.  I’m planning to add a bakery and an ambulance to make 3 recovery stands.  But more of the ‘to do’ list will appear in Part Two.

Edit: I should have included that, for Fall Blau, the Divisional Commander was Albert Buck.  He sounds like a wargamer’s general to me: he was an internal promotion, previosly commanding Regt 305 … and he died in action in the Causasus battles in September 1942.

Read Full Post »

BAA 01

Apologies for what has been quite a big hiatus on this blog during the long lockdown.  I haven’t disappeared … just there has been a lot going on and that, what projects I have been working on that are relevant to this blog have been longer term rather than quick-hit types.

That said, this is one of those ‘pocket projects’: some bigger guns.  Or ‘a’ bigger gun, anyway (at the scale I’m using, a single model will represent the battery) … I’ve had a go at scratchbuilding e.g. the 21cm before (and had planned to dismantle it for casting) but, although I had tried my best with the elusive issue of scale, in the end it still seemed on the small side.

When Butlers released a Big Bertha for their WWI range, I wondered what it would look like a scale down (i.e. I ordered a 12mm scale BB to test out as a 210mm to 305mm equipment for 15mm scale) … I’m more than happy with the result.  It looks how I expected a siege howitzer/mortar to look in this scale.

BAA 02(the Big Bertha model as pictured in the Butler’s online catalogue)

As I suspected, the gun shield was easy to remove with a model saw.  After some experiment I also removed the front gantry and glued this in position on the ‘deployed gun’ base (it would have been folded away for transit anyway, and positioning it on the base actually works very well).  That’s pretty much it for modelling challenges.  I left the rear gantry in the ‘up’ position, which is a little incongruous in the transit mode – but I think you can almost get away with that (wargame modelling always has to allow a certain level of compromise).

BAA 03(the battery deployed)

So this is a battery of older style 21cm ‘mortars’ or maybe a Skoda 305mm.  The Germans made good use of both, and other captured equipment.  For a Morser 16, I really should fair in the recuperators on top of the barrel (but then I might lose its generic quality – please feel free to comment on that *wink*).

BAA 04(battery in transit)

The vehicle is towed by a repurposed French tractor and the crew have a central European look to them.  They are Axis, for sure.

So, the model is Butler Printed Models, the wheels on the scratch built limber/bogey are Skytrex spares.  The tractor is QRF and the gun crew Peter Piggies with headswaps.

BAA 05

As for the model itself, I am very pleased.  The barrel has come out very smooth, and the 3D printing striations are not very prominent at all on this one.  The dry brush finish does bring them out just a touch in photos, but just to the eye, they don’t show.  Seriously – that’s picky old me, saying it.  It is a great model, either of the intended super-gun in 12mm, or as an ‘extra-heavy’ piece in 15mm.

City blocks in Stalingrad, Rostov or Sevastopol are right to be alarmed at this addition to the Wehrmacht artillery park.

BAA 06

 

Read Full Post »

We Also Played 09(What a Tanker: a bullish T34 closes on its prey)

This blog is a picture set entitled ‘we also played’ …

It is getting towards the end of the year and I have blogged mostly about my own projects and about the big games and shows.

There’s a lot more to wargaming in Middle England than the big stuff – I wargame mid-week 3 times a month … a lot of that isn’t modern … and a lot of the modern stuff goes otherwise unreported: so here’s a look at what else we did.

We Also Played 01(Classic AK47: Peter Pig T55s … one already wrecked)

AK47 by RFCM/Peter Pig.  In addition to my ‘Minus 47’ arctic game, we played a ‘straight’ version because it is still immensely entertaining (and because one of our newcomers had never played it – needless to say he ‘got it’)

We Also Played 02(AK47 Classic: Panhards move in … figures and vehicles by Peter Pig from Trebian’s collection)

Richard’s Russian Ripping Yarns …

We also enjoyed another of Richard’s occasional series of ripping yarns set in Revolutionary Russia (with spies, Rolls Royces, damsels in distress and secret missions) … this time climaxing with heroes and villains leaping into moving cars …

We Also Played 03(Ripping Yarns)

We Also Played 04(… this one was notionally about a bridge)

Bayonets and Ideology

We Also Played 05(BAIT … RFCM’s Spanish Civil War variant of the PBI style game – more of Trebian’s toys)

Cod Wars … a first time at this odd post war North Atlantic sideshow.

We Also Played 06(Cod Wars … a group of trawlers peacefully going about their business)

We Also Played 07(HMS Leander to the rescue)

As a youngster I had an Airfix Leander but no game that it fitted into.  No wonder I liked this game.

NQM … a perennial favourite … I often only blog about the big games rather than the stocking fillers.  Inevitably, of course, a lot of the smaller games are test runs ahead of the grand Operational Games …

We Also Played 08(regular Monday Night NQM … a trial run at landing Fallshirmjaeger on Crete)

What a Tanker

It was good to have a go at this currently highly thought-of TFL game.  Individual tamk combat.  I likened it to ‘Saga for tanks’.  It has lots of nice things in it.  It has other things in it that I would have fixed if it was my game idea.

Good game but I had expected to be more impressed than I was.

We Also Played 10(What a Tanker by Two Fat Lardies: driving past the wreck of that bullish T34)

Read Full Post »

So the big El Alamein game came and went over the Summer …

FFDD 000

It was indeed big, although, in the end, I’m not convinced the squares made as much of a contribution to managing the sprawling engagement as I had hoped they would.

An upside of the venture was that I got to fit out my Vichy French as Free French (or Fighting French, if you prefer) … the stalwarts who joined Montgomery’s army in the desert … heroes of Bir Hakeim and El Alamein.

FFDD 00(some new kit to give a Libyan configuration to my Moroccan French)

The French forces retained some of their original weapons though had much Anglo-American gear too.  They had little bespoke armour, using British tanks and theatre converted vehicles.  Yay … real world conversions – a lot down to the inventive mind of Adrien Conus …

FFDD 10(hard fighting at Alamein: FFL go in, supported by a Tanake unit, carrier conversion and Conus gun)

The Crusader tank is a lovely QRF model … the rest I had to build.  The Tanake had to built from the chassis up.  The carrier and Marmon-Herrington are what I have previously termed ‘pointless conversions’ (you can get them – or the basic vehicle anyway – just I had something nearly suitable so went about it the hard way!)

Tanake

FFDD 01

This is an armoured car built on a Dodge truck … so my work began with making some cosmetic changes to a QRF (nearly right) Chevrolet … (basically the bonnet/hood) and then painting the inside before assembly …

FFDD 03

The back end is all thin card … (recycling the backing card of the superglue with which it was assembled) … meanwhile fabricate an armoured shield with light gun and MG on a pintle, ready to drop in (this just makes painting and assembly easier) …

FFDD 04(we should end up with something that looks like this)

I’ve then made up wheel arches,  finished and sanded in the surfaces and detailing with Miliiput and made ready to paint.

FFDD 05

I was very pleased … it’s a great vehicle to have to do … (it’s like Indiana Jones meets Lawrence of Arabia – or is that just me?) … and it turned out easier than expected …

FFDD 06(Yesthatphil’s 15mm Dodge Tanake built on the QRF Chevrolet truck)

OK I got the height of the unusual back end wrong: I’ll have to find an example (they were all hand built so do differ) that matches or, at some point, I will need to go back and alter it – but indulge me for now: it was made to a deadline.

FFDD 07(top view and speedy insert)

As with the other vehicles, insignia was added in the less hurried hours after the game.

FFDD 10a

Hotchkiss Carrier and Marmon-Herrington

The ‘pointless’ conversions:  once upon a time I had bought too many Skytrex Humber light armoured cars, and have been grateful for chances to use them.  It’s completely unsuitable for a Marmon-Herrington but with the size and shape changed and bigger wheels … well it’s almost convincing …

FFDD 11(so … reshape, add big wheels, restyle the front, add those tell-tale ribs on the bonnet …) 

Of course the real ‘conversion’ here is adding a French crew, Breda gun mount (rather than a turret) and coal scuttle gun shield.

FFDD 12(again the basics are card, the finishing details are Milliput epoxy … and paint …)

FFDD 12a(Yesthatphil’s French Marmon-Herrington/Breda)

The Hotchkiss Carrier

In this case the unnecessary work was the result of Chris giving me a PSC Loyd Carrier which I didn’t have a particular use for (so it sat on the bench unassembled for a while) … the the French requirements came up and (actually looking for a portee), I found pictures of the carrier SP … Great, I said … I could use that carrier.

Chris agreed, and pointed out that it would almost right (‘good enough’) as there was little difference between the carriers other than the Loyd’s having more wheels.  Well, that’s not good enough then … is it …

FFDD 13

… so in addition to the ‘main job’ of creating a suitable fighting compartment and adding the big (well, relatively speaking, big) gun and shield … I had to shorten the whole thing …  You’d never know, though … right?

FFDD 14(… and just add paint)

Again, I think it turned out fine.  From the contemporary photos it looks like the gun isn’t long enough … I think they mostly used a ‘long’ version.

FFDD 15(French Universal Carrier with Hotchkiss 25mm AT … 15mm conversion from PSC parts)

Both of these pointless exercises have added a lot of value for me … there was going to be work involved in assembling these unusual vehicles anyway … but doing it the hard way has cleared a number of odds and ends from my desk (things have found a home) and the models have already seen action in the big game.

Nevertheless, the Tanake has to be my favourite.  A true ship of the desert.

FFDD 00a

Postscript … I’ve titled this part ‘1’ … the keen-eyed will have spotted the Conus gun in the Alamein pictures.  It was very much a quick stand in … and I need to go back and do the job properly.  And I mentioned portees.  So there will be a part 2.

And there were some soldiers too.

Plus I think the French vs Italian engagement on the Southern flank will make a good PBI game – and that will be a good reason to complete those last details.  It all comes together sometimes.

In due course I will transfer the Tanake build to the modelling section.

Read Full Post »

Op Boxes 05(NQM Squared: the armoured thrust at El Alamein)

Over the Summer a lot of thinking has gone into the Operational Game and into grids – squares and hexes.   I have long advocated that Chris Kemp’s NQM might gain something from the structure grids are able to offer (who is – or is not – in contact with the enemy … who likewise can contribute or support etc.) …

Meanwhile, Trebian has been exploring the Great War, in part, through recreating campaigns using Op 14 by historian and wargamer Richard Brooks (whom many readers of this blog will know through Wargame Developments and his many contributions to the Nugget).

Then, whilst these options were in our minds, Bob Cordery published Hex Blitz (a variant of Megablitz played on a hexagon grid with a card driven unit activation mechanism).

We ran a couple of playtests … we used offset squares rather than hexes … they have exactly the same effects but they aren’t hexes (and Trebian has cloths already marked up in offset squares) …

Personally I think offset squares look a little less ‘star wars-y’ than hexagons – but that’s mostly a taste/style issue.  Board gamers seem to love the little six-sided thingies.

Op Boxes 01(Offset Squares: Hex Blitz on the Eastern Front)

Op Boxes 02(Offset squares: Hex Blitz Spanish Civil War)

I have to say that, for me, the 20th Century seems the age in which most military operations were planned on maps that had orthogonal grids on them … so my top candidate for a grid system to apply to a ‘modern’ wargame  (with inverted commas as we’ll get to a time when WWII etc. is no longer considered ‘modern’) would be orthogonal squares.

In Burma, of course, they fought in an Admin Box … and I can’t help thinking there’s a way, somehow, of translating the Admin Box into the Operational Square.

Op Boxes 03

But I think that’s a bit of literate candy-floss which would only go over a set of robust mechanisms.   So where have we got to?

So far, in all honesty, I don’t think we’ve quite reboxed the fluidity and simplicity of either NQM or Megablitz into the gridded wargame.

Op Boxes 04(Royal Artillery 25pdrs bombard Italian positions in a night phase of CK’s prototype Alamein game)

Op Boxes 04a(NQM Squared – El Alamein: the ‘crumbling’ attacks grind down Axis positions)

I think we have succumbed to the temptations of too many toys and/or of squares that are too small and try to do too much.

Using a large number of models apparently ups the scale of the game … and smaller squares enables more real ground to be scaled onto the same table area.  Both these seem to be win-win choices … but if the battle area becomes confused – and difficult for players to manage easily … then the primary benefit of shifting to the grid – clarity – is lost.  If the umpire is going to have to arbitrate positional and orientation issues then you may as well revert to NQM’s freewheeling style of active umpiring.

Op Boxes 06

I think the looser, less cluttered style of the first experiments with NQM Squared (above), or the simpler figure numbers of Op 14 (below, in a Russo-Polish battle recreated in Jockey’s Fields a while back) can be played more quickly because the table space can be understood more easily.

Op Boxes 07

Some things are not really working for me though … card activation and the unit by unit activation that goes with it … well these are tools to do a job.   I’d argue that whilst they suit a small game … solo game or similar, they are not solving problems you have if you play with a larger number of players and an umpire.

Further, unit-by-unit activation brings a whole host of other problems along with it – as units may end up sequentially attacked by a number of enemy actions in a temporally inconsistent pattern during a phase of otherwise apparently simultaneous action.

Being more abstract, this methodology can allow the resolution of a lot of complex interactions in a series of simpler small phases … but it can equally lead to near surreal episodes of play that defy the willing suspension of disbelief.

Op Boxes 08

If this post seems to have failed to get to an eloquent conclusion that may be a fair impression.  I did get to a nicely worded and coherent conclusion on my laptop – and then the unresponsive page gremlins failed to save any of it … so I am trying to rebuild the thoughts on my phone (which doesn’t just ‘break’ the way PCs and laptops seem to in the age of Windows 10).

So I was arguing for simultaneous action in big games and umpire resolution.

I was arguing against troop positionings straddling square boundaries and intersections … there are many ways of breaking the apparent limitations of the grid  but in breaking the limitations there is a significant risk of also breaking the gains in clarity and legibilty that were the reasons for turning to the grid in the first place.

I think I’m arguing for embracing the grid’s advantages rather than constantly butting against its limitations.

Read Full Post »

20180810_111642_resized

Engineers come in all shapes and sizes, militarily.   We often use the term for assault troops armed with specialist weapons such as flame throwers or who are equipped to break through hardened defences or clear mines … or built positions and/or lay mines.

Engineers build bridges, fix things (and break things) manage decontaminations and of course deal with wire … emplacing or removing …

Not all of these are strictly engineering … but are all part of a range of technical support services that expand or enhance what the basic soldiers can do.

For operational games it is useful to have markers or distinctive figure groups that show which troops can employ these extra technical skills and perhaps have access to special equipment.

My ‘go to’ figure for engineer capabilities in 15mm is a stormtrooper carrying wire from Peter Pig’s WWI German range.  With a suitable head swap.

Sov Eng 03

(Red Army engineers on a stick for painting … and finished: the men with wire are bottom left and 4th from the right)

The other figures are adapted to be carrying tools … axes, spades etc.

These figures are mostly to make up 4-figure ‘work parties’ …

Additionally, I want some motorised engineer battalions to add into mechanised divisions and I decided to represent these the same as I have represented similar German formations … in a truck with an extra base available if necessary to represent them deployed as fighting troops.

Sov Eng 02(work parties and trucks)

I decided to make the engineer’s trucks distinguishable from other generic trucks by adding the frequently seen A-frame hoist on the back of the vehicles …

Sov Eng 04(hoists made from alloy tubing and brass wire being added to Peter Pig resin Gaz AAA trucks)

This simple bit of modelling was finished by using modelling putty to indicate the brackets and rollers etc.

Sov Eng 05(finishing details and adding figures)

Sov Eng 06(trucks, work parties and combat-deployed bases textured in and ready for the vehicles etc. to be painted)

Prominent amongst the figures are some of Peter Pig‘s new Assault Troops in body armour – a very welcome addition.

LMGs in body armourflame thrower team in body armour(Soviet Assault Troops in body armour)

20180810_111915_resized(Peter Pig Assault Troops in body armour)

I think they look the part.

Anyway, here are some photos of the finished figures and trucks

20180810_110441_resized.jpg

20180810_110155_resized

20180810_110826

20180810_110130_resized

The final batch of work parties:

20180810_111350_resized

The guys at the front are a work party for a trains unit (hence carrying a section of rail) and the chaps with blue trousers are to go in the cavalry division.

I either made the added tools or raided them from a pack Donnington do as part of a Medieval camp.  Whether you can get the pack of tools separately I don’t know (maybe try having a nice word with Damien).

 

Read Full Post »

NQM Squared (1)

I put (1) after the title as I’m sure there is going to be more to come (however this post ‘is it’ for now) ..

This was a trial game set up by NQM Chris to see how squares (similarly to my ideas in Megablitz Squared) would help simplify the movement and real estate issues of large operational games.

My project was a mix of Megablitz and NQM methodology applied to gridded battle space.  Necessarily Chris’s experiment was significantly closer to NQM.

(over the battleground: a Soviet ground attack mission is driven off by German fighters)

Scales apart (because scales can always be adjusted) the key difference between the two related operational games is in orders/status and combat.  NQM uses die rolls that are varied in value by the weight of attack and defence values.  Megablitz uses strength points (which give you the number of dice in combat and hits that can be taken) varied in effect by the order status of the units.  I like both approaches.

(NQM Squared: a Soviet assault bridge aids a river crossing)

You can have a look at the ideas Chris was resolving here: Novgorod: NQM Squared

How the squares actually work is clearly a key aspect of the approach … how do you treat diagonals?  How do you handle ‘corner to corner’ contacts.  Using orthogonal squares, how do you do ‘2 up/1 back’ deployments (and, then, who supports whom?) …

(NQM Squared: 3 Red Army battalions plus some Brigade HQ assets advance through an area)

Then again, these are questions that come up without squares – just squares make you answer them and give some structured definition.

Squares can make it imperative and advantageous to occupy ground and (for defenders) to hold a coherent line in a way that is sometimes lost in a more free roaming game system.

Whenever we use squares, of course, players will always ask about hexes, and their elegant relation, off-set squares.

This can be a thorny issue for some periods – but I think orthogonal squares are the obvious solution for a period where officers used gridded maps.  They thought, planned, and moved in a squared world so no harm will result if we model it that way.  The same cannot be said for hexes.

(NQM Squared: German Parachute units dug in)

A thought provoking session which I hope will bear fruit.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »