OrcCon Feb 2018

During the President day weekend WR travelled to Strategicon – OrcCon 2018 to run two different era games with Daniel. Before presenting the AAR for the Flames of War 1945 Operation Overcast revisit and Battle of Halle 1806 revisit, WR presents some photos of the historical games while walking around the convention ballroom and event details from PEL.

Team Yankee Invitational Tournament Day 1 and 2Team Yankee – GM Troy Hill

Day 1 (Rounds 1, 2, & 3) of the Team Yankee Invitational Tournament. You must contact the game master at troyphoto7@gmail.com to receive instructions on how to register for this event. Two day, five round tourney. 70 points for day 1, 85 points for day 2.

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Ludendorff Bridge 1945 Preparation

WR intends to use this updating blog post to show some of the steps WR completes to bring his Remagen Ludendorff bridge 1945 Flames of War (20mm) scenario to life. Each week WR hopes to update this blog article with news of forward progress towards the Remagen Ludendorff bridge scenario, the unit miniatures needed or painted from bare plastic or lead, reference material collected, scenario written up, model and terrain construction, and the long list of small but incremental steps towards a “hoped for” successful scenario game, playtested sometime late March or early April, and featured at the Memorial day regional LAX convention.

Look for the dated updates [xx/xx/2018] below as WR adds to article text.

Previously WR had posted the complete scenario outline and commentary for changes. The Flames of War (FOW) Ludendorff bridge scenario link on WR:  Remagen Ludendorff Bridge 1945

While WR takes inventory of the miniature requirements and what he has already painted in his WWII 20mm American and German collections this weekend, he starts with the basic tabletop terrain requirements. There is the Rhine river itself to simulate, a steel beam long railroad bridge, converted to vehicle transit, two river stone piers, a ramp rise and overcrossing for the rail line to and from the bridge, a railroad tunnel outlined by a cut stone opening into a high but somewhat climb-capable hill with rear uphill roadway, a sunken or anchored river barge(s), some woods, and two separated villages or built up areas. The roads, buildings, and woods WR has in his wargame terrain collection….. the other terrain will need to be constructed.

The scenario map. For WR’s scenario game the squares are 12″ deep and 15″ wide to create a 25% increase in tabletop width due to the use of 20mm scale miniatures.

02/26/2018] First the four towers flanking the four corners of the bridge. WR looked around and found on Ebay these foam cemetery vase inserts ($3 each) which are 8″ tall and 3.5″ wide at base, tapering to 2.75″ at inverted top (base). WR applied a light cost of drywall spackling to fill in the airy holes found in the form and smooth out the foam nicks. Once dry, sand to create a smooth finish then “file out” the stonework grooves and notches to taste. See photos below for example of technique.

Applying a light cover coat of drywall spackling to fill in the foam “airy holes and any nicks or dents. Once dry lightly sand to smooth texture using a sanding block for drywall work.

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Ludendorff Bridge 1945

Recent communication with a fellow gamer has drawn renewed attention to the old Flames of War Remagen or Ludendorff Bridge scenario featured in the July 2014 issue (#321) of Wargamer Illustrated. WR remembers reading this scenario but at the time had no late war American Pershing tanks to play out the scenario. Now, several years later, the American tank pool is vast and deep, including the Pershing tank 20mm miniatures required in the scenario American force. So, looking for a small scenario to hopefully play this holiday period, basically and somewhat with the flavor of the historical action, and having a trestle bridge to feature on the tabletop, the scenario green light is lit. Just need to manufacture the four grey stone towers bookmarking the bridge corners.

Painting of the crossing the Remagen (Ludendorff) bridge. (US Army)

Background material on this historical late war battle is easily found with quick internet keyboard taps. To start the process WR found quick reading for background for the approach battle, the bridge engagements, and the resulting American bridgehead created. The Wikipediaa article on Battle of Remagen 1945, information on the actual Ludendorff Bridge, and from the US Army ETO historical record “The Last Offensive” (chapter eleven page 208) covering Operation Lumberjack; the Battle of Remagen, the approach to Remagen, and Rhine river east bank bridgehead actions after capture of the Ludendorff bridge (.pdf): CMH The Last Offensive. Check out the web site covering the V2 rockets and German efforts to destroy the bridge. Excellent site for Remagen photos, historical documents, and first hand reports of events during the battle:  V2 Rockets at Remagen

The 27th Armored Infantry battalion, part of CCB of 9th Armored Division, approached Remagen from the heights above the town. After fighting into the town, the stage is set for the famous battle for control of the Ludendorff Bridge and the scenario.

The complete scenario from Wargames Illustrated issue 321 (July 2014) article for the Remagen or Ludendorff Bridge Flames of War (FOW) scenario (.pdf): Ludendorff Bridge 1945 Scenario Continue reading

Operation Overcast 1945 Pt II

Bit of a different Flames of War 20mm scenario this time for the Thanksgiving holiday period. WR decided to play another scenario game on the same terrain setup for his recent HMGS-PSW convention Operation Overcast May 1945 game, especially since he hasn’t returned the majority of the terrain pieces to their proper storage. Being also interested in a holiday Thanksgivings game or more correctly worded as a “TanksGiving” scenario using a “TankFest” format….. ie.. a lot of tanks driving about on the large tabletop setting. With the tabletop terrain design done…. pulling out the month old Operation Overcast scenario map for the 16×6 foot table san German equipment, WR only needed to figure out the American and Soviet tank forces for each side, based upon his present 20mm late war collection availability, and the placement of initial tabletop units and arriving reserve units. Motto simple…. lots of tanks. WR has tanks!

View from the southern end of the table. Former Camp Dora at lower left, the Mittelwerk rocket factory, the old V-1 launch ramp, and aerodrome in top distance.

Opposite table view from northern end. Kummerdorf II camp or former military testing grounds and the aerodrome base. WR likes his electrical transmission towers and power sub-station.

Scenario map for tabletop: Same as the former Operation Overcast 1945 scenario. Just the German units and hardware equipment has been removed. Terrain map notes as follows: 1) the Mittelwerk mountain factory is three teams wide within the mountain if combat occurs. Consider the factory floor terrain to be similar to large buildings with four equal size “rooms or areas” within the factory mountain. Vehicles can drive through the mountain at normal unit speed, in single column, but no double movement. 2) The three fuel tanks have some fuel and will burn if successful 4+ FP hit result. A permanent smoke cloud will burn 12″ around the burning tanks till end of scenario. 3) The V-1 launcher ramp has concrete side walls and provides BP cover. 4) The electrical transmission towers and substation are not live with electrical current and provide no cover for concealment but do slow movement for the fence like barbed wire. 5) Radar tower is just for show. 6) Chain link fencing is similar to barbed wire sections for movement and unit crossing.

The entire 16′ x 6′ table map. Each map square is 12″ by 12″. The Mittelwerk mountain tunnel is assumed to be three teams wide if any combat occurs in the former mountain V-2 factory. Americans control the bottom half of scenario map. The Soviets enter from top edge of map.

Scenario Premise: The previous WR Operation Overcast 1945 Flames of War 20mm scenario had two component parts. The first was the search and collection of late war German technology by the Americans and Soviet special “intelligence” task forces or platoons. The Americans by their JIOA Operations Group teams and the Soviets teams from the Special branch NKVD, directly under orders of Uncle Stalin. The second part was the confrontation phase, leading to direct offensive action between the two major powers. In the end, the Americans won the battlefield but the Soviets were more successful extracting the German hardware technology, the German scientists and technicians, and rounding up the former Camp Dora ex-rocket factory technicians. During the first Operation Overcast 1945 scenario there was German hardcore fanatic SS teams, Gestapo teams, and former prisoner guards on the tabletop to interfere with the actions of the American and Soviets.

For this Operation Overcast Part II scenario the Germans are long gone from the tabletop battlefield, the advanced military hardware has been collected and hauled away, and the German refugees and former Camp Dora prisoner workers transported to other regions of safety. The Soviets are returning to the former battlefield as part of a major Soviet armored attack on the American central european army. They are confronted by a similar American armored forces and the “TankFest” scenario starts with that premise. Continue reading

Operation Overcast 1945

WR’s large YR2017 HMGS-PSW regional convention scenario this time was an early version of Operation Overcast, a Flames of War post-war scenario with three not two active sides on the tabletop. The scenario premise has the war just recently ended and distrustful tensions between the allied armies are subdued for the moment by their victory over Nazi Germany. Within days the American Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) and Soviet Intelligence Special Branch (NKGB) teams are racing around unoccupied southern Germany seeking the very scientists, technicians, technical drawings, and actual prototypes of the advanced late war German technology. The winner of this “data collection and personnel roundup effort” will have a tremendous technology lead, placing their nation in the forefront and well positioned as the Cold War hostility reveals itself later.

Operation Overcast May 1945 scenario map showing the four general sectors. (L to R): Kummerdorf II, Filegerhorst Kaufbeuren, Mittelwerk, and Camp Dora zones. Table size is 16’x6′

The scenario notes for the game (.doc file) Updated 02/28/18 (American OSS and Soviet Special NKGB platoons added): Operation Overcast 1945 Scenario notes

The scenario 16×6 tabletop viewed from the Mittelwerk end. Camp Dora situated at left.

Scenario tabletop from the Kummerdorf II table end. Filegerhorst Kaufbeuren in upper background. The Kummersdorf annex are the buildings upper left in photo.

The central Filegerhorst Kaufbeuren with the advanced German aircraft and missiles scattered about the aerodrome. The former Lionel radar tower atop the low hill at right.

Mittelwerk zone shows the Mittelwerk mountain V-2 factory tunnel entrance, the V-1 launch ramp and assembly building. Rocket test launch pad off photo at left.

Mittelwerk V-2 test launch pad for the advance testing of V-series rockets.

Camp Dora compound. Camp Dora prisoners are the workforce for Mittelwerk V-2 rocket factory. Two hut buildings, a barracks, and the “cooler” makes up the corner of Camp Dora pictured.

Electrical power substation for the Kummerdorf II technical factories. Rare to see electrical transmission towers on a tabletop wargame. Rarer still an electrical substation.

Another view of Kummerdorf II zone. WR loves his electrical transmission towers on the tabletop.

Well, the tabletop scene has been described and shown. Now to report the Act I of the scenario; the search by the three American JIOA and three Soviet NKGB platoons as they enter the tabletop. Note: WR used only three teams for each side at the convention. The full scenario calls for four JIOA and NKGB teams on each side and WR added the American OSS and NKGB Special Spetsnaz platoons to OOB this Feb 2018.

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FOW Barbarossa 1941 Mega game

Back on the 29th of July, WR and Daniel drove over to the scheduled Flames of War Ver3.0 Mega Game 1941 Barbarossa scenario hosted by Bruce and company at Games Empire Pasadena. Being “centralized planned minion Soviet players” to the larger actions surrounding both Daniel and WR at the event, we both charged forward as ordered into the teeth of the German defenses.

Scenario Basics: Per WR’s understanding of the scenario, we the Soviet side are attacking the overly extended German panzer (panzer grenadiers) lines. Once the Soviet assault begins, the German reserves arrive at predetermined locations to repel the Soviet onslaught. Both the German and Soviet teams had one player in charge to design (purchase) their several company sized commands, their local reserves, and the backup of divisional support (artillery and rockets). Their FOW Ver3.0 group rules have counter-battery abilities, “across the Volga” off-board artillery, and several AOP and spotting observers placed within both teams lines (see below). If a complete OOB for both the Soviets and Germans is located, WR will amend this article posting. Additional Russia 1941 scenario infomation from Bruce’s hand can be read here: Mega Battle Starya 1941 Russia notes

WR sits in the middle (cream shirt) as Bruce (black T) looks over Daniels deployments right of WR. Closer view of the “C” shaped table design.

A more panoramic view of all six 6 x 4′ tables. Robert, Beau, and Lance (l to r) stand on the German table side. Daniel taking the photos today.

Basic outline for FOW 1941 Russia Mega Battle scenario map as drawn by Bruce (GM). Soviets have the interior table edge and deployment zones. the Germans are on the outside perimeter.

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Battle of Singling 1944 (AAR)

WR staged a pre-Fourth of July Flames of War 20mm scenario event at his local warren last weekend. Set in the cold winter month of December 1944, near the Franco-German border and the old Maginot line, the scenario Battle of Singling Dec 1944 pits the advancing American 4th Armored Division under Lt. Colonel Abrams against the recently arrived kampfgruppe of the German 11th Panzer Division. Based upon an old WWPD (“What Would Patton Do” site) scenario called “Abram’s Folly”, WR enlarged the scenario forces and tabletop area to allow six to eight players the fun of gaming.

The original scenario from WWPD (What Would Patton Do) blog site was titled “Abrams Folly” and can be read complete with this .pdf file: Abram’s FollyThe Singling 1944 (Expanded) Scenario Forces (.doc) roster outlines the original forces and the WR expanded additional units highlighted in yellow. The enlarged scenario map drawn in typical WR style displays the 8×6 foot table and terrain layout and is followed by a recent Goggle satellite overhead photo and contour relief map.

“SINGLING, LORRAINE, DECEMBER 6, 1944: Lt Colonel Creighton Abrams directed Task Force Abrams, consisting of units of the 37th Tank Battalion and 51st Armored Infantry Battalion, 4th Armored Division. On the 6th December a battered tank company and understrength infantry company came up against superior German forces in the small farming community of Singling. The assembly and staging area of the 37th Tank Battalion that morning was muddy from all of the recent rain. The halftracks were having difficulty maneuvering and the infantry were ordered to ride on the rear deck of the tanks for the attack on Bining. When Company B/37th was ordered to divert to Singling the infantry went with them unaware of the change of plans. The attack was hasty and unplanned. Intended to remove flanking fire from Task Force Abrams’ drive towards the German border, the attack was nearly a disaster for the Americans.”

Basic map for the Singling Dec 1944 scenario. Improved WR map with proper labeling will be posted in near future. North is left side of map.

Terrain notes: All open ground is a muddy condition. Fully tracked tanks have no movement reduction but all other vehicle restricted to 8″ maximum movement unless on roadway (paved or packed dirt). Woods are 6″ visibility while orchards are 8″ visibility. Long stream with bushes marked on stream bank considered concealment for infantry teams only. Hedges and low stone walls block LOS for infantry teams unless adjacent, all vehicles gain concealment if fired across. All streams, low stone walls, and hedges cause bogging vehicle checks if crossed. Low hill rise, buildings, orchards and woods equal in height for LOS determination. Church tall steeple observation point sees all terrain after 8″ dead zone from blocking terrain feature. Bunkers are noted as “nests” in original WWPD scenario write-up and played as such for this AAR, but looking at the actual modern-day photos, should be true concrete bunkers. German deployment zones (A-D) at scenario start are outlined by yellow boxes. American initial platoon forces and all reserve platoons arrive at respective red table edge marking. Overhead the sky is overcast with low clouds so no airpower present during scenario. Americans have first movement in scenario.

Google satellite map of the area around singling France.

Google map terrain contour relief showing the ground elevations matched to satellite map above..

The After Action Report (AAR): Last weekend WR invited a group of Flames of War (FOW) gamers to his warren for pizza, snacks, drink and miniature gaming. Team U.S. formed up with Bruce, Andy, and Daniel. Team German had Gary, Lance, Paul, and WR pushing the miniatures. The scenario scene opens with low cloudy sky, the town of Singling centered on the table, just as the American arrive at the table edge. Ahead the entrenched Germans are ready for the approaching Americans who have twelve turns to capture / control all the Singling buildings (six in number) alongside the paved roadway.

Tabletop terrain layout from the east (German) view. The old church is the foremost building. Before scenario start WR noted a missing hedge and building, quickly emplaced.

Side or southern view of Singling town. Clearly the bunkers can be seen. The bunkers (r to l) matched to the attached photos are #1 (upper right), #2 (in town), #3 and #4 lower left. Number 5 bunker off photo to south near lower left road.

The American view approaching Singling from the west. Tabletop ground is muddy causing reduced vehicle movement except for proper tracked standard tanks. Bunker #3 and #4 seen.

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