Naval Command in Print! – Available from Lulu.com

A few days ago I received a hard copy of my Naval Command rules from the print on demand website Lulu.com.  The book itself is a 96 page paperback A4 with black and white inside pages (this keeps the printing costs down) and is available for the bargain price of £15.00. The rulebook contains all the rules needed to play the game and fleet lists for a range of nations.

Nav Com book

The rulebook can be purchased from lulu.com

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Naval Command – Ship Data Cards – Now Available!

New Ship Data cards are now available for Naval Command. These are designed to be printed out with each being roughly the size of a postcard. Each contains all of the data for each class of ship meaning that players wont need to keep referring back to the rulebook or fleet lists for ship data during the game.

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Ship Data Cards (Modern British, USA and Russian)

 

Fireteam: Card Driven Activation

Recently I have played a number of wargames that use playing cards to determine activation order and initiative (black ops from Osprey being an good example). I have found that using a card draw system can add an extra level of uncertainty and tension to a game, which also simulates the “fog of war” of a battle situation. This post includes my own system for determining the order in which units are activate in my own Fireteam (Modern, Nam and WWII) rules.

Players will need one set of ordinary playing cards, shuffled well. I have found that the small sized  cards like those found in Christmas crackers work especially well as they can be placed on the gaming table beside a unit to mark that it has already being activated while not causing too much table clutter.

At the start of the game each player is dealt a hand of 5 cards. The remaining cards form the “activation deck”. Each player is assigned a colour (red or black). Cards are drawn from the activation deck one at a time. Each time a card is drawn the player who’s colour it is  may activate one unit/team.

Once both players have activated all the units in their force, the cards are returned to the activation deck and the deck is shuffled.

Any time that a card is drawn from the activation deck the opposing player may use one of the cards in their hand to “beat” it. In order to beat a card a player must play a card from their hand with a higher value (aces are high and colour does not matter). If the card beats the activation card the player may activate one of their units instead. The other player may also counter the card by using a higher value card from their own hand. The cards in a players hand are not replaced at any time during the game.

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Armoured Strike: AAR

The first meeting of the Minehead Wargame club in 2017 saw the cold war turn hot with meeting engagement between  British and Soviet mechanized 6mm battlegroups somewhere in 1980s Germany. The game was a good chance to give my latest rule set: Armoured Strike another run. The battlegroups we used were as follows:

British (Myself)
1 x Battlegroup HQ
1 x Subordinate HQ
1 x FAO
1 x Scimitar Recce Company
1 x Mechanized Infantry Company (FV432)
2 x Chieftain Tank Companies
1 x Battery of 105mm Howitzers (Off-Table)

Soviet (Nik)
1 x Battlegroup HQ
1 x Subordinate HQ
1 x FAO
1 x BRDM-2 Recce Company
1 x Mechanized Infantry Company (BMP-1)
1 x T-72 Tank Company
1 x T-62 Tank Company
1 x Battery of 122mm Howitzers (Off-Table)

A simple battlefield was set up with a few roads, a stretch of autobahn, some woodland and a town. We both chose our deployment side and began placing our deployment markers and deciding on objectives. Once all our markers were placed we began the Reconnaissance phase. Once all our forces were revealed we deployed our HQ units and Logistics units and began the game.

The initial British moves saw the Chieftain tank companies advancing ahead in line formations while the mechanized infantry raced up the road in an attempt to secure a nearby crossroads (one of the objectives). Meanwhile the Soviet Tanks cautiously advanced while their BMP-1s dashed along the roads and headed for the same objective crossroads.

This was when things really began to fall apart for my British forces. The chieftains took heavy losses from the T-72s and T-62s as well as the ATGMs on the BMPs hitting from the flank. The soviets managed to push the British back through the town into the corner of the table

The Soviets won the initiative for the first few turns allowing them to dictate the course of the came and inflict serious damage to the British. This was also coupled with some excellent dice rolling from Nik (the Soviets) and some truly terrible dice rolling from myself. By the time the British gained the initiative it was too late, the Soviets held the objectives and knocked out far too many British tanks.

A fun game was had by all involved. The rules worked really well (even though I lost.. I blame the dice and poor tactical decisions on my part). The game moved along at a good pace the rules really made us both think about our actions and maneuvers.

 

 

 

Tactics: Terrain Analysis

Correctly understanding the terrain of a battlefield can often be the difference between winning and losing a game.

While carrying out research for a set of modern amour rules I am working on I came across the following extract from US Army Field Manual FM71-2: The Tank and Mechanized Infantry Battalion Task Force. The extract explains how a battalion commander can analyze the terrain in a combat area in preparation for an operation.

The procedure would be easy to adapt for wargaming purposes. While playing a game players can use the following procedure to look at the terrain set up on the gaming table and come up with a plan on how they intend to deploy and maneuver their forces.


Terrain is analyzed using the five military aspects of terrain (OCOKA) detailed below:
Observation and fields of fire –  Observation is the ability to see over a particular area. Fields of fire refer to the area a weapon can cover effectively from a given point.

Cover and concealment – Cover is protection from the effects of fire, concealment is protection from observation.

Obstacles – Obstacles are existing or reinforcing features that stop, impede, or divert movement.

Key terrain – Key terrain is any feature or area whose seizure or control offers a major tactical advantage.

Avenues of approach – Avenues of approach are routes by which a friendly or enemy force may reach an objective or key terrain feature. The S2 should consider both ground and air avenues of approach.  Mounted and dismounted avenues of approach include mobility corridors. Mobility corridors are areas within the avenues of approach that permit movement and maneuver. An avenue of approach is broad enough to contain sufficient mobility corridors to support rapid movement and maneuver of forces along its course. Avenues of approach are readily identified when NO-GO and SLOW-GO terrain has been depicted on a combined obstacle overlay. Once identified, avenues of approach should be analyzed (using OCOKA, ease of movement, and maneuver room) and then compared from both friendly and enemy perspectives. This comparison will help in identifying key and decisive, terrain.

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