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"More Historical Scenarios for Flames of War!" Topic


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indierockclimber11 Apr 2012 5:14 a.m. PST

Posted a few more Historical scenarios- check them out here link

We also posted a "wall summary" of FoW rules which are handy to have printed out and hung where they're visible.

4 scenarios:
"Queen's Cauldron"- French vs Germans near a large chateau
"Last Man Out"- British delaying action before Dunkirk
"Stoumont"- Kampfgruppe Peiper vs Americans in Bastogne
"Pegasus Bridge"- British paras try to secure the bridge on D-1

itaphil Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2012 6:08 a.m. PST

Excellent work! Thanks for sharing. I'm always looking for historical (or at least historically based) scenarios for FOW.

indierockclimber11 Apr 2012 6:14 a.m. PST

Keep an eye on our site, we've got tons more on the way :)

VonBurge11 Apr 2012 6:18 a.m. PST

Looking forward to reading some AARs from games using those scenarios!

AngusIII11 Apr 2012 6:47 a.m. PST

Outstanding thanks for all your hard work!!! And the way positive atmosphere you create and promote with your podcasts, website, and forum. Very well done and helpful.

Cheers,

Scott

ezza12311 Apr 2012 7:14 a.m. PST

Thanks for the update, very useful and please keep up the good work.

I have recently got hold of the latest FoW rule book and am looking to use them for Sino-Japanese encounters. The Bitter Defence of Otta looks like a good first scenario to try out. With a few tweaks the Japanese will be standing in for the British and the Chinese as the Germans. No ski recce troops though!

Ezza

indierockclimber11 Apr 2012 7:22 a.m. PST

Thanks for the kind words Scott! I don't have time to be negative about the things I enjoy :)

@Ezza- let us know how it goes!

Derek H Inactive Member11 Apr 2012 7:35 a.m. PST

How much resemblance to history does a "historical scenario" need in order to be labelled as such?

lcannard Inactive Member11 Apr 2012 7:42 a.m. PST

I dunno, why don't you post up what you've got and we'll try to help you out?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2012 8:59 a.m. PST

What would the Flames of War players on TMP do without Mister Sunshine, Derek?

Derek H Inactive Member11 Apr 2012 9:15 a.m. PST

I imagine that most of them wouldn't even bother to engage their critical facilities.

Just like now really, but without anyone to complain about.

Personal logo Who asked this joker Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2012 10:24 a.m. PST

Scenarios are scenarios. I suspect they would be useful for just about any game of the same scale and scope of FoW.

Thanks indierockclimber. They should prove to be very useful.

indierockclimber11 Apr 2012 10:32 a.m. PST

Some men just want to watch the miniature worlds burn.

VonBurge11 Apr 2012 10:49 a.m. PST

Ah Derek…

How much resemblance to history does a "historical scenario" need in order to be labelled as such?

Have you actually bothered to look into them? Any specific issues you've noted? Some of these scenarios posted on WWPD are direct translations of "Squad Leader" scenarios. There might be a good amount of research to the others as well.


I imagine that most of them wouldn't even bother to engage their critical facilities.

Strawman Derek. Strawman. Just love how what you so frequently try to criticize others about is the same thing you so often do yourself.

Cheers, VB

Derek H Inactive Member11 Apr 2012 12:05 p.m. PST

VonBurge wrote:

Have you actually bothered to look into them? Any specific issues you've noted?

The only one I know anything about, Pegasus Bridge, is just awful.

Three gliders are in the Coup de Main force in the scenario, five were there historically.

Reinforcements in the scenario are glider borne infantry, historically they were Paras. The rest of the airlanding Brigade didn't arrive until the late afternoon of the 6th.

There's far too much heavy(ish) support for the British in the scenario.

The paras that initially relieved the Ox & Bucks at the Bridge had lost their HMGs and 3" mortars and the 6pdrs and 75mm Howitzers arrived with the Airlanding Brigade. The defenders of Pegasus Bridge had to fight off the German armoured counter-attacks with PIATs

Sappers, Recon and flamethrowers? Not in any history of Pegasus Bridge I've ever read, and I've read a few.

Features that were important on the day (Le Port Church, Benouville Chateau and the water tower) are not represented on the table.

I can't be bothered to go through my sources to identify any problems with the Germans.

As far as I can see the scenario designer has drawn up a rough map of the area, missing out important features but including all the usual problems caused by the FoW "flexible groundscale", and then used it as a venue for a slightly modified FoW points battle presumably using using the Death from Above scenario from Diving Eagles as that's what he says it is.

That's not what I call a "historical scenario" which is why I asked my original question.

Scenarios from other games are not historical sources.

indierockclimber11 Apr 2012 12:17 p.m. PST

I've passed your observations off to the scenario writer. Thanks for your assistance D!

Derek H Inactive Member11 Apr 2012 12:20 p.m. PST

Good to see you keeping up high editorial standards.

indierockclimber11 Apr 2012 12:24 p.m. PST

I'd say we're Pulitzer bound, myself.

SFC Retired11 Apr 2012 12:49 p.m. PST

Derek,

I designed this P'Bridge sceanrio. As in all my sceanrios and I have designed many; it is "based" on the historical event. I never tried to make it 100% true to events of June 6th 1944.

I try to make all my sceanrio stay within the FoW system and rules along with making it fun, balanced and most of all playable.

I have played or GMd the sceanrio over 20 times to include 4 different conventions. It even won a PEL Award at Fall-In a few years ago. It is almost even in win and losses for both sides. And most important I have never had a complaint on the scenario and how much fun it was to play by over 50 gamers who have played it until yours….

All Battle Barn club sceanrios are designed by a bunch of guys who have been wargaming for many-many years. Most of us are retired military and or ex-service memebers who have walked many of the battelfields around the world that we prepare for. For example I spent 8 straight weeks in Normandy documenting the 50th commemortaion events for the US Army back in 1994. Does that make me an expert…no but I am not unknowlegable about what I design for ether as your post seems to insinuate?

To finish…as stated above the primary objective for all our Battle Barn sceanrios is to make a playable and fun game to which I know we have accomplish. Perhaps give one a try before you type and complain?

Bing

VonBurge11 Apr 2012 12:52 p.m. PST

Scenarios from other games are not historical sources.


Guess there's always a danger in taking a scenario from a game source alone. Would have thought though that ASL with its long standing history and huge fan base may have come close to getting it right, but I'll take it on your word that they are off here while also noting there are often different interpretations over certain aspects of exactly what did happen in these ever more distant engagements.

That's not what I call a "historical scenario" which is why I asked my original question.

I'll accept that. Of course you could also submit a modified and more accurate one yourself since you're put off by this one scenario.

I'm all for seeing a historical scenario being as accurate as possible and would be happy to see your input into that process regardless of game system.

Cheers, VB

Derek H Inactive Member11 Apr 2012 1:02 p.m. PST

SFC Retired wrote:

I designed this P'Bridge sceanrio. As in all my sceanrios and I have designed many; it is "based" on the historical event. I never tried to make it 100% true to events of June 6th 1944.

That's completely fine by me and I can see several advantages in doing it that way. And as you say it can make for a better game. I've played numerous games like that over the years and have enjoyed lots of them.

But that's not really how it was presented, and I still wouldn't call it a historical scenario.

VonBurge11 Apr 2012 1:10 p.m. PST

If/when a hitorical scenario departs from 100% known historical fact, for the sake of playability etc, I'd generally like to see a footnote or designer comment alerting us to the change and why it was done. Esepicially so if it's a "What if" approach.

indierockclimber11 Apr 2012 1:14 p.m. PST

My apologies for (inadvertently) being misleading. I've changed the description text to say "Historically based"- a proper distinction!

SFC Retired11 Apr 2012 1:19 p.m. PST

You the man indierockclimber! Thanks for all you do for FoW and the WWII game community.

SFC Retired

ezza12311 Apr 2012 2:03 p.m. PST

indierockclimber,

It may take a while to get a report back to you as I still have to get all the figures together and then get them painted. But I will get there in the end.

Ezza

Dogged Supporting Member of TMP11 Apr 2012 11:13 p.m. PST

Agree with SFCRetired.
Your site is inspiring and helpful. I guess veteran FoW players will find it so; as a newbie, I certainly find it so, to say more, it is extremely helpful.
Thank you very much and keep it going!

TopKick Inactive Member12 Apr 2012 3:19 a.m. PST

I really enjoy the Pagasus Bridge scenario. SFC Retired did a great job of taking a well known event from WWII and modifying it for FoW. I have chatted with SFC Retired offline about this scenario a good bit. He could have easily taken actual OBs and translated them to FoW directly and ended up with lopsided points. I think SFC Retired spent close to a year reserching the actual fight at Pegasus Bridge before attempting to write a FoW scenario. When it comes to making a historical scenario work with a points based game, you really need to use some artisitic liberty at times to make it possible for either side to win. I really appreciate it when a guy attempts to make this hobby better by taking a swing at writing scenarios, and then says "here fellas, enjoy them for what they are…have fun" I call that being a force multiplier in FoW gaming. My hat is off to you SFC Retired, Bravo Zulu!

Derek H Inactive Member12 Apr 2012 4:31 a.m. PST

This is one of the things that really annoys me about FoW. People make the most outrageous claims for anything to do with it. That scenario has got some flavour of Pegasus Bridge. And I'm more than willing to believe that it's a fun and well balanced game like everyone says it is.

But as any sort of attempt at being a representation of what actually happened in the area of the Orne Bridges on June 6th, 1944, it's several miles off target. The emphasis is obviously somewhere else. SFC Retd said it himself "making it fun, balanced and most of all playable".

All that's perfectly good, so why do you all seem to want to claim so much more for it?

I hope SFC Retd managed to find something else to do with all that research, because it doesn't look like he used much of it designing that scenario.

nochules12 Apr 2012 5:44 a.m. PST

Plus historically the soldiers were over 5' tall and not only 15mm as depicted in the scenario presented. So on historically accuracy as far as that goes you are already only at 1/100. Also I don't recall any of the troops being made out of metal or plastic, so that is 0% historically accurate. So the fact that your oob or the terrain is only about 80%+ accurate is the least of your concerns!

VonBurge12 Apr 2012 6:18 a.m. PST

This is one of the things that really annoys me about FoW.

It would appear that virtually everything about FoW annoys you.

All that's perfectly good, so why do you all seem to want to claim so much more for it?

I believe indierockclimber said he was renaming the section "historically based" scenarios thanks in large part to your input.

Cheers, VB

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2012 8:20 a.m. PST

I really enjoy the Pagasus Bridge scenario. SFC Retired did a great job of taking a well known event from WWII and modifying it for FoW. I have chatted with SFC Retired offline about this scenario a good bit. He could have easily taken actual OBs and translated them to FoW directly and ended up with lopsided points.

What's wrong with "lopsided points"?
Heavens to Betsy, I hear the "haters" often enough when they jump all over my sorry butt about that very thing!
"Even points" are fine for tournaments, indeed they are essental.
Even points are OK for "historically based scenarios" too.

But, why not present an ACTUAL OOB for an ACTUAL BATTLE, with platoons, models, etc. called out for FoW game play, and do it, warts and all.
Then, put out the "balanced" scenario to contrast with it.
I wonder which one gamers would choose to play?
I know which one I would like to play, and it wouldn't be the agonizingly "fair" one.

It seems to me too much work to try too hard to acheive "balance" in a HISTORICAL scenario. I hope the issue is not gamers' self-esteem! I would rather lose, knowing I was on the short end, then lose knowing I had a 50/50 chance. grin So much for MY self esteem"…

It also seems to me that Flames of War players have this perception going against them that they must have everything "fair". That makes us look like whiny crybabies.
Witness the endless hand-wringing about whether "Fallschirmjarger HMG Pioneers are too expensive", or whether "Fearless tanks with Hen and Chicks should cost more".
It makes us look like weenies.
Just give us a First Principles DIY points system, and stop trying to make everybody happy.

Derek H Inactive Member12 Apr 2012 9:39 a.m. PST

I agree with John the OFM :-)

I can see why some people like balanced games, but I'm much much happier using imbalanced but more historical OOBs in my own games.

VonBurge12 Apr 2012 9:49 a.m. PST

Victory conditions can always be adjusted to account for a force imbalance. That's part of the "art" of scenario design regardless rules sets used.

SFC Retired12 Apr 2012 10:01 a.m. PST

As stated above I have played or GM'd this P'bridge sceanrio at leasts 20 times. It is almost even in wins and losses for both sides.

In many of the games the British commanders choose to land thier 3 gliders (I know in June 44 there were 5 gliders) in non-historical psositions. Some choose to land north of the canal some choose to land south of the canel. A few slected to land on both sides and one or two selected to land far from the canal. Does this make the sceanrio non-historical because they did not follow MAJ Howards attack plan?

In a few games one or more gliders skided into the canal. This did NOT happen in Jun 44. So should I not allow it in my sceanrio? In one game when this happened the Brit player rolled for survial and only one team out of all the glider riders survied the crash.

In another game the Germans (REL TRAINED) Garrison troops rallied on turn one and assulated the Glider troops killing a whole Platoon. That did not happen in Jun 44 ether…

Point is guys if you do not want to play the sceanrio then dont but why discourgae those who may want to give it a try.

I told myself and my friends I would not allow myself to be pulled into the "trap" of negatviity many of the regulars write on this fourm…this will be my last post on this topic.

Good gaming and have fun!
Ron

Derek H Inactive Member12 Apr 2012 10:04 a.m. PST

Wargaming doesn't have to be a competition – it can be approached as a form of cooperative storytelling.

If you take that approach you don't need need victory conditions. Just play the game, have fun, then discuss what happened.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2012 11:46 a.m. PST

Victory conditions can always be adjusted to account for a force imbalance. That's part of the "art" of scenario design regardless rules sets used.

I don't understand why that is "needed" either for a game touted as historical".
You either take the crossroads, or you don't. Why give anyone a "close enough" for getting close to it?

What would be the "victory condtions" for a KG Peiper vs "those damned Engineers" Bulge scenario?
Simple. Peiper must seize the bridge intact, and the Engineers must blow it up. I see no way to "adjust" those conditions, or even the possibility of a tie.
What does a "force imbalance" have to do with anything?
It IS black and white. Ask Master Yoda if you get points for "trying". grin

VonBurge12 Apr 2012 1:11 p.m. PST

John,

I'm simply saying that one can set the victory conditions appropriately based on the force ratios, unit/equipment types, and situations involved with the scenario. Thus bringing game balance into an otherwise unbalanced situation. But it's a bit of an art to do so and requires some practice runs to make sure you have it right.

In our group's past Bastogne campaign where in many early scenarios there we had a lone defending US company facing a much larger German brigade size Kampfgrouppe. The Germans were going to "win" in all of those and we knew it. So victory conditions for the US were measured more in terms of to what degree, if any, they held up the German assault. In some later battles, the US measured their victory more in terms of reduction of key pieces of German kit (i.e. Knock out the Panthers with indirect fire to give the US Shermans a fighting chance in a later scenario). Of course well run campaigns tend to generate their own victory conditions for specific scenarios pretty well enough, perhaps a bit more akin to Derek's "Narrative."

What would be the "victory condtions" for a KG Peiper vs "those damned Engineers" Bulge scenario? Simple. Peiper must seize the bridge intact, and the Engineers must blow it up.

Of course mission success or failure in such clear cut circumstance is very easy to define. But yet you can still further evaluate the victory in terms of the price you paid in blood and material to achieve it. The lower the price the higher we can rate the victory. There usually is a follow on mission…"Great you took the hill! But did you do so with enough forces surviving to defeat the expected counter attack?" If you took the hill and have enough troops left to defeat the counter attack you get an "A", if you took the hill but lost so many forces/resources during the execution of it that your ability to hold on to it afterwards is questionable you get a "C", if you failed to take the hill you get an "F." Something along those lines. We can choose to quantify that outcome with a "score" if we want or as Derek suggests simply discuss the outcomes to make some sense of what occurred/was achieved. Both methods are fine. But even if we follow the later don't be deceived, we still are determining a "winner" relative to the situation and thus inducing a degree of competition. Indeed the struggle of arms is always a competition and we almost always have winners and losers in it.

I see no way to "adjust" those conditions, or even the possibility of a tie.


Is it not possible for both the Engineers to fail blowing the bridge and the KG also failing to take it? That might seem like a rather "tie like" outcome possibly with a follow-on battle and/or reinforcements required to resolve the situation more fully in another go?

Cheers, VB

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2012 2:51 p.m. PST


Is it not possible for both the Engineers to fail blowing the bridge and the KG also failing to take it?

Yes, of course. HOWEVER, KG Peiper has a deadline, and must advance.
If they do not take the bridgem they miss the deadline. So, they lose.
They engineersm for whatever reason, have successfully delayed Peiper. They are expendable.

VonBurge13 Apr 2012 5:39 a.m. PST

Well then, with further clarification you have now precisely delineated how only one side can win in this scenario. Before that clarification your description of each side's objective/mission created a possibility where both could fail.

But let's not get all excited that this means in any given military situation there is always a clear distinct single winner. In some cases each side's mission/objectives may not even be the same exact thing. For example one side could have a mission to attack and seize a specific objective (town, hill, key terrain etc) while the other side's mission may simply be to conduct a defense in depth to allow no penetration of enemy forces beyond a certain line which the other side's specific objective may not be beyond. So both sides could "win" here if you are evaluating each sides' performance on how well they attained their mission.

We could also have each side conducting probes/reconnaissance to gather information about their enemy. Is it not possible here that each side could gain roughly the same amount of information about the other? We could also have a situation where both sides are trying to secure (not seize) the same objective, let's say a crossroad. Is it not possible that each side could, from stand-off position, be able to deny the use of that crossroad of the other side with neither side even really "holding" that objective?
There are many other examples but hopefully the point is getting through with these few.

So back to the question:

Victory conditions can always be adjusted to account for a force imbalance. That's part of the "art" of scenario design regardless rules sets used.

I don't understand why that is "needed" either for a game touted as historical".
You either take the crossroads, or you don't. Why give anyone a "close enough" for getting close to it?

Precisely because sometimes there are no win situations for a given side. In such cases your evaluation of a side's performance will often come through comparison to what was achieved in the actual battle. That's where I was going with my Bastogne example. The isolated US Companies (28th ID) were not going to "win" in any way, shape, or form. We knew it yet we still played the games to see just how well they could do knowing full well they would come desperately short of being able to stop a German Regimental/Brigade size KG attack. So their performance evaluation came more from a measure of how many turns they held on for, or how much damage they caused to the enemy before they were overrun. That's where victory conditions become subjective (and why I said an "Art") and Yoda gets his points for trying.


Cheers, VB

VonBurge13 Apr 2012 7:28 a.m. PST

Well then, with further clarification you have now precisely delineated how only one side can win in this scenario. Before that clarification your description of each side's objective/mission created a possibility where both could fail.

But let's not get all excited that this means in any given military situation there is always a clear distinct single winner. In some cases each side's mission/objectives may not even be the same exact thing. For example one side could have a mission to attack and seize a specific objective (town, hill, key terrain etc) while the other side's mission may simply be to conduct a defense in depth to allow no penetration of enemy forces beyond a certain line which the other side's specific objective may not be beyond. So both sides could "win" here if you are evaluating each sides' performance on how well they attained their mission.

We could also have each side conducting probes/reconnaissance to gather information about their enemy. Is it not possible here that each side could gain roughly the same amount of information about the other? We could also have a situation where both sides are trying to secure (not seize) the same objective, let's say a crossroad. Is it not possible that each side could, from stand-off position, be able to deny the use of that crossroad of the other side with neither side even really "holding" that objective?
There are many other examples but hopefully the point is getting through with these few.

So back to the question:

Victory conditions can always be adjusted to account for a force imbalance. That's part of the "art" of scenario design regardless rules sets used.

I don't understand why that is "needed" either for a game touted as historical".
You either take the crossroads, or you don't. Why give anyone a "close enough" for getting close to it?

Precisely because sometimes there are no win situations for a given side. In such cases your evaluation of a side's performance will often come through comparison to what was achieved in the actual battle. That's where I was going with my Bastogne example. The isolated US Companies (28th ID) were not going to "win" in any way, shape, or form. We knew it yet we still played the games to see just how well they could do knowing full well they would come desperately short of being able to stop a German Regimental/Brigade size KG attack. So their performance evaluation came more from a measure of how many turns they held on for, or how much damage they caused to the enemy before they were overrun. That's where victory conditions become subjective (and why I said an "Art") and Yoda gets his points for trying.


Cheers, VB

R Mark Davies14 Apr 2012 5:23 a.m. PST

Derek, while I agree with you and John on most points here, I do need to correct one of your criticisms; There were indeed Sappers in Howard's coup de main force. D Coy, 2 Ox & Bucks had two platoons from B Coy and a platoon from the divisional Sappers attached for the assault, plus RAMC personnel (and glider pilots, obviously). The Sappers and RAMC personnel were divided up equally between the six gliders and men were removed from the B & D Coy platoons to make room for them.

However, the Sappers were only there in order to remove demolition charges from the bridges or to demolish the bridges as the situation required. You are absolutely correct in that they were not tooled up for assault pioneer work with satchel charges, flamethrowers and the like. Howard's gliders had nothing heavier than 2-inch mortars and PIATs.

Derek H Inactive Member14 Apr 2012 8:31 a.m. PST

I stand corrected.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2012 8:46 a.m. PST

That's a simple enough change to a FoW scenario. Include sapper teams to do "normal" sapper work, but keep their AT assault rating as for the riflemen.
I often scratch my head at the automatic AT upgrade for sappers and engineers. Are slide-rules and crowbars really that effective? grin

R Mark Davies14 Apr 2012 12:30 p.m. PST

Absolutely. REs certainly had the potential to get tooled up (see D-Day) but were frequently far to busy doing those 'boring' (in wargame terms) but essential jobs of shoring up culverts to take the weight of tanks, breaching obstacles, building obstacles, building roads, building bridges, etc, etc.

However, Airborne REs certainly did go in for assault pioneer work (see Arnhem), but this wasn't one of those occasions. Howard took the conscious decision to go with less heavy weapons/engineer kit and more men on the gliders.

So I'd say fine, take the assault pioneer kit, but remove one rifle section from the glider it's on.

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