|These are just my German AFVs and artillery|
I have been fascinated by the World War Two operational level game developments by a number of gamers and game designers who began exploring such game systems for several decades now. Names such as Bob Cordery, Tim Gow, Chris Kemp and Martin Rapier come to mind, each with their own signature stamp on the concepts. One ought not perhaps overlook Neil Thomas's One-Hour Wargames
, and perhaps I have rather neglected to investigate further into the Sam Mustafa Rommel
I'm a newbie to this type of game, for years being an aficionado of the Command Decision
systems. But when a couple of years back I set out a CD game, it remained on the table for several weeks with just two or three moves played, and was then put away again. It was just too much effort. Since then I have played several Not Quite Mechanised (NQM)/ Hexblitz/ Megablitz
games and found them a lot of fun.
BUT... I know it not what you'd call 'good form', but I do feel the need to adapt such systems to my own inventories. Although I know of at least two collections in this town that are orders of magnitude larger than mine, I have over the years amasses a fair inventory of kit...
|You know what they say about gondolas, eh?|
Of course I want to use it (it is also high time I organised it all). It just wasn't happening with Command Decision, and the formerly popular Panzer Marsch! wasn't getting any traction lately, neither.
'Jacko' (Paul Jackson) and I have been much taken with the upscaled 'version' (insofar as it has any 'formal' existence) of NQM, and have conducted some experiments along those lines. We tried adapting the system to a hex grid game, using some Hexblitz
mechanics, and we got a pretty exciting game out of it.
Continuing the saga, Bob Cordery has revisited his earlier Operational Art game system with a view to conducting an Operation Barbarossa campaign. Exciting stuff. Meanwhile, Jacko and I have been working on a game based upon the 1941 Western Desert relief of Tobruk, called Operation Crusader (18 November - 20 December, 1941.
So far I have been working on the Orders of Battle for the belligerents, and have come up with something that looks like this. This is only the New Zealand Division and the Ariete Armoured, by way of sample ORBATS.
|New Zealand Division setting out for Tobruk|
2nd New Zealand (NZ) Division: Maj-Genl B. Freyberg car SP=1
4th (NZ) Bde:
20th Bns - 3 stands (1) - 3SP + 1 (Veteran) = 4SP
5th (NZ) Bde:
23rd; 28th (Maori) Bns = 4 stands 4SP + 1 (Veteran) = 5SP
6th (NZ) Bde:
26th Bns - 3 stands Basic 3SP+ 1 (Veteran) = 4SP
27th (MG) Battalion (2) - 1 Vickers MMG stand - 1SP +1 (Veteran) = 2SP
4th, 5th, 6th
Field Rgts each with:
1 x 25pr gun/how, Quad tractor;
1SP, 1 LOG (or grouped as 1 piece 3SP)
7th Anti-Tank Rgt:
1x 2pr AT gun with portee
14th LAA Rgt: 1 x Bofors AA gun,
tractor: 1SP, 2LOG
Divisional Cavalry: 1 x bren carrier, 1SP Recon
Divisional Engineer Companies: 1 Engineer stand, 1 truck, 1SP, ENG
Reserve MT Company: 1 truck, 4T,; 1 POL/Ammo truck 1LOG
Note 1: I'm considering add a command figure to this 3-stand formation. This figure
would bring no SP to the group. See infra)
Note 2: I'm thinking of modifying for quality and training by +1 (experienced, Soviet Guards) and +2
(Veteran or Elite); +1 for AFV or Medium-heavy artillery and mortars, and possibly rockets; +1 for AFV
armed with cannon (so not L3s or Lt Mk VIs); +1 for heavy AFV: +1 for superior equipment at any level
(the idea being that a Panther, Firefly and T34/85 gets the +1 for superior medium tanks only)
Note 3: I see that I gave 2SP to the artillery and AT stands. That was actually a mistake, but I am
considering letting it stand, with a premium for certain weights or characteristics of artillery
(+1 Quick Firing; +1 100mm-140mm; +2 149mm and heavier.
Total Strength: 23SP; 18 stands (excluding transports). Exhaustion point: -8SP
This formation would look. I believe, practically identical to a Bob Cordery or Tim Gow set up.
But instead of SPs assigned to every stand, they are assigned (this applies to infantry, cavalry,
and some recon units) to groups of stands representing regiments, brigades, and sometimes Divisions.
At the beginning of the Tobruk relief operation in Novemkber, 1941, the New Zealand Division
comprised nearly 20,000 officers and men, according to the Official History, By this time, the average Russian Rifle Division could consider itself fortunate if it had as many as 5000.
Now, let's have a look at some of the opposition.
Division: HQ: CO, car, Sigs vehicle 1SP
Supply Column: Medium or heavy lorry LOG=3
POL Column: Medium or heavy lorry or
fuel tanker LOG=2
7th Armoured Battalion – 53xM13/40 1xM13, 2SP +1 (Tank) -1 (Poor Equipt) = 2SP
Armoured Bn – 53xM13; 1xM13 2SP
Armoured Bn – 53xM13; 1xM13 2SP
2 Rifle stands, 1 MG stand, 1 Mortar
2 trucks, each 2T
1 AT stand (47mm AT gun), 1SP, truck or portee mount 1T
132nd Artillery Regiment
x 75L27 field arty; 10 x 105L28 light arty, total 34 pieces)
1 x 75L27 @ 2SP OR
1x 105L28 @ 2SP
1 x 75L27 @ 1SP PLUS 1 x 105L28 @
Semovente Battalion: (4 ACVs and 16
AFVs): 1 x Semovente; 1SP +1 AFV = 2SP.
4/132 AA Battalion/ 2/24 AA battalion:
(18 Hvy AA) 1 x truck portee 90mm AA
OR 1 x 8.8cm FlaK SP=1; 2AA
3rd ‘Lancia di Novara’
Battalion: 33xL3.35 – 1 x L3/35 1SP Recon
3rd Regiment ‘Nizza
Cavalleria’: 40xAB41 – 1 x AB41 A/Car 1SP Recon
Total Strength = 19SP, 13 stands, Exhaustion point -7SP
1. I am counting 30 tanks or assault
guns as 1 SP; 24 guns as 1 SP. This is double the Cordery system, and I do admit is not altogether commensurate with the upscaling of the infantry. This will require testing, but I have hopes it will work out..
2. Each line represents a unit.
3. The Bersagliere Regiment may include a command figure to which the SP marker is assigned.
If used, this will apply also to the NZ and other brigade groups. 4. Multi-stand units may occupy two adjacent or 3 (hexagonal) or 4 (square) co-joined grid areas
My thinking is this, and owes something to the Chris Kemp game system. It is intended as an aid to attack, can fight a little, but is really designed to improve attacking chances. At the moment a units attacking a defensive one requires (in 'my' system) a 6 to hit an enemy in 'D' mode - defending or 'dug in'. But suppose the enemy position were not reconnoitred ahead of time? This should give the defenders the chance to get their licks in before the attacker can (so the attacker takes losses before rolling for its own attack). This applies only to the first turn of the attack, subsequent turns will be held to have developed the enemy positions well enough for more effective attacks. I am considering also bringing back the 5-5 and 6-6 hit requirement for the first round of an un-reconnoitred attack.
6. MG, infantry gun, mortar and heavy weapons (HW) stands that are integral to infantry and cavalry units I am considering allowing distance combat out to 1 grid area, at 1SP per stand. This will be allowed only if the unit as a whole has no enemy in an (orthogonally) adjacent grid area.
As I don't have the Italian inventory, I'm hoping to take some pics of 'Jacko's' kit to show what the Ariete Division would look like.
|Should the NZ artillery comprise 3 gun stands, or just one?|