Tabletop Wargamers, or "Stick this for a game of soldiers"

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Edward, Mar 2, 2021.

1. EdwardBartender

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I chanced across an old thread last night on the ww2 area, but wanted to open up the concept a bit more so posting here.

Are there any active tabletop wargamers on the forum?

It seems that the hobby of recreating historical battles with 'toy soldiers'* for entertainment goes back at least as far as the Napoleonic period itself. http://www.bhgs.org.uk/introduction-to-tabletop-wargaming.html

I started with sci fi and orcs and goblins, then moved on to the Weird War II genre (WW2 plus a touch of period appropriate sci-fi and gothic horror). My stuff is all packed away for now, but I picked up the bug again recently, and I'm now considering (when the home redecor in finished...) moving into doing some fully historic stuff as well. Bit of WW2 possibly, though I'm rather attracted to using the Bolt Action rules for the inter-war period (Anglo-Irish War & Civil War appeals for historical interest; Spanish Civil War has a nice appeal as it is a bit more 'removed' from contemporary politics). I'm also, for the first time, really quite tempted recently to dabble with a much earlier period, as I've found a set of rules that will apply nicely to the early eighteenth century Jacobite Risings, again, a period of historical interest for me.

Any wargamers on here? What genre/ period? Inspiring photos of your armies?

*Many years ago, when my brother and I were both avid gamers on one of the Games Workshop systems, my mother went in to pick us up something for Christmas in their store and made the mistake about making a comment - she thought in humour - about us being "adults" and not having grown out of playing with toys yet. An adult punter at the painting table gave her rather a long lecture about it being "an adult modelling hobby"....

2. HaversackOne Too Many

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Most of my wargaming back in the '70s was on boards courtesy of Avalon Hill and SPI. But when I was younger I had a decent sized, (for a septic), collection of Britains War of the Roses knights with which I would create battles and castle sieges. Later on I discovered H. G. Wells's book on wargaming with miniatures, Little Wars which involved quite elaborate rules and used Britains 4.7" naval gun shooting matchsticks. I was reminded of this when I read Gerald Durrell's book, Fillets of Plaice, where in one of the stories he encounters a retired colonel with a house full of miniatures for wargaming. I've also painted more than my share of lead miniatures, (25s and 54s). My interest began waning somewhat once I was in the service. Although I remember one game of SPI's Hof Gap became the basis for a informal CPX between some VII Corps Artillery and a troop of the 2nd ACR...

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3. HarpI'll Lock Up

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At Vilsek?

I wrote a limited distribution analysis of Desert Shield/Desert Storm relevance to oil speculation
which focused on terrain, Muslim vernal lunar damascene, night minutes, latitudinal velocity
at the Gulf of Sidra, coalition force dispersal, armor spearhead. A professional assessment, well paid,
and an interesting revisit to all the useless knowledge I received at government expense.

Boyd's OODA was instrumental at the Pentagon for Storm which is ironic, considering the resistance
his ideas encountered while he was on active duty.

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4. HaversackOne Too Many

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No. It started at Herzo as just a game presented for a Battalion officer development session. Then someone had the idea to use a particular session of the game to script a CPX. Then someone mentioned this to a friend in the 2ACR at Merrill and got them involved. Based on the course of the boardgame, it was played it out with the Cav troop making calls for fire to the Arty Battalion FDC in Direct Support and them in turn sending them on to the three battery FDCs. It was run at Herzo with field phones connecting separate rooms. It was informal, (nothing higher than an O-3, and beer might have been involved). But an appreciation was gained for how fast the battle could move and whether we, (the Arty Bn), could shift ourselves equally fast while still proving supporting fire.

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5. HarpI'll Lock Up

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Acceleration and prosecution of weakness. Von Neuman's complexity of choice; antithetical to simplicity
as traditional maxim which skewers probability factor, and Boyd's OODA. All of which can be summed as
complete unpredictability fast and even faster. Then there is the conventional, traditional, unimaginative
narrow minded shirtfront poker table stakes Jokers who will insist on sticking with the tried and true.

I've seen the fast and even faster. And the unpredictable. And this works.
And the small units have extraordinary latitude in field initiative, while adhering to mission objectives.
This is admittedly difficult but still possible. The Clausewitzian trinity, and Pascal's pressure law force applied,
area of contact: P=$\frac(F)(A)$ follows Boyd's OODA loop dynamic.

I once attended a NATO briefing which tried to sell the aircraft carrier concept but was a busted flush.
The naval officers were sold on the invincibility of carriers and blind to the increasing sophistication
of weaponry that de facto revolutionized land and naval surface warfare. Had an Argentine exocet
missile sunk a Royal Navy carrier during the Falklands an historic analogy subsequent would prove
the Merrimack/Monitor slugfest again. And as all wooden hulled navies were rendered obsolescent
in the course of an afternoon, aircraft carrier eggshells would have been similarly rendered obsolete.

I digress and stray off topic.
Table top war gaming is a valid operational exercise but it demands free imaginative thought,
which, at least to my experience was in critical short supply.

6. HarpI'll Lock Up

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I was serving as an adviser with the Hellenic Army and unexpectedly sent to Germany to study at Vilseck.
There were a dozen of us, and some SEALS, the classes interesting and graded daily, notes collected
and locked up in a safe until after supper, when mandatory study hall began and the sergeants opened
the bank vault and released our notes, which afterward had to be collected, no materials could be
taken out of building to barracks for further independent study. A war game scenario played out in
separate rooms, land line phones, and all notes kept secured. The Fulda Gap will always be a suicidal
defense, untenable. Other ideas developed but helicopter borne 102mm raids against conventional
fixed Warsaw Pact element seemed promising only as diversion. All records collected and I finished
third out of a dozen, received an engraved Zippo lighter. The most salient lesson focused on one of the
course instructors. A highly impressive professional, he could soldier rings around us, and I could not
understand why he was a non com and not a commissioned officer. Turned out he had been a major
and a battalion commander in Vietnam. He got busted. A free thinker, told the truth when asked.
Mavericks in the Army get broken, that was the real lesson.

7. HarpI'll Lock Up

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Dragon war game scenario thoughts direct invasion of Taiwan wedged Beijing Winter Olympics
February 2022 date stake. Beijing heavily invested in United States currency; angered global Covid virus
reputation scourge; political tensions within and without National Peoples Congress and armed forces.
China now has largest navy in the world, expanding Southeast Asian perimeter rim.

8. navetseaI'll Lock Up

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I like turn base strategy games not so much the full scale battle, but the squad tactical type i play on PC
Some with somewhat real world setting like Jagged Alliance 2 mod, or Silent Storm,
some with aliens like X com
Some medieval like Final Fantasy Tactics etc.
Some with custom build robots like Front Mission series.
Some of the newer releases are dumbed down in favor for speed and fluidity. Many games abandon action point system and just go with moving phase and action phase which limit what you can do, some even with free auto reload... or free unlimited ammo. I like the one with AP and a little more elements outside battle, like mining , training locals, recruiting, other management element, basically what Jagged Alliance2 1.16 is just a little bit more modern graphic.

9. navetseaI'll Lock Up

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I tried several time to make board game just for playing with friends, this one is a turn base squad tactic with multiple factions of comparable units, but player can custom fit the unit by carrying different weapon and consumables to play their own strategy concept, compact size tile so it will be quick into contact , before I tried with bigger map tile randomized tiles to make battlefields more interesting everytime and while I enjoy setting up the unit initial placement and how slowly they navigate avoid or pursuing contact, i thought it was engaging and fun... other players i played with want more direct action.... hahaha, generation gap... same with horror movies these days, no one enjoy suspense or invisible looming doom, all they want is in your face CGI monster right now at the start otherwise yawn boring movie....

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10. HarpI'll Lock Up

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Speed and fluidity can exponentially complicate or conversely simplify tactical necessity.

Free unlimited ammo? No shit? You guys are getting drops, right?

11. navetseaI'll Lock Up

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Turn based game is done in each player phase, what i mean by speed is just less waiting time by the other player because the player cant do much during their phase. Not limited by timer like rapid chess, but just nothing much that can be done because the game is simplified. It add nothing to the game, basically semi tactical action game. Unlimited ammo situation is used with things like scifi setting lazer gun and stuff, also an attempt to simplify gameplay.

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12. HarpI'll Lock Up

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Play Chess?

I would posit that Chess or Stud Poker would be more challenging for you.
Scarne's gambling books are great reads. Odds and sagacious sharp duels.
His breakdown, analysis, and synthesis will top any computerized gaming for you. Best luck with all.

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13. navetseaI'll Lock Up

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I play online chess, I never really study it so i probably fall into many kinds of traps hah, but i like computer gaming, levelling up your squad getting better at skill etc is well emulated in computer game.