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"Interesting WW2 Scenarios?" Topic

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12 Sep 2018 10:19 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Interesting WW2 Scenarios" to "Interesting WW2 Scenarios?"
  • Removed from WWII Discussion board
  • Crossposted to WWII Scenarios board

Areas of Interest

World War Two on the Land

868 hits since 12 Sep 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Achtung Minen12 Sep 2018 8:59 a.m. PST

I've been tasked with coming up with an unique and interesting scenario for a WW2 game session (approximately a company per side in size). I looked in my SkirmishCampaigns books and found those to mostly be the "capture and hold" or "escape the table" sort… I am looking for something a little more idiosyncratic than the usual generic battle objectives, but also something that is definitely gameable and fun! Any ideas?

Edit: Oops, meant to crosspost this in WW2 Scenarios… could you help, Bill?

mwindsorfw12 Sep 2018 9:22 a.m. PST

Not sure what board games you have available, but sometimes they have a wider range of scenarios.

One way you can toss a wrinkle in is by making force preservation more important to one side by counting their losses more heavily against them.

You can also do a variant of The Eagle Has Landed. A smaller elite force has to capture the flag, blow the bridge, etc, as reinforcements slowly trickle in.

Good luck.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Sep 2018 10:13 a.m. PST

Seeing as it is the correct time for the Arnhem anniversary, why not do one of the many company actions where brit paras have to break through ad hoc german units. The paras had to fight back to the river, out of the town and other desperate actions. The unknowns are German support from other German SS units. Dutch resistance and flaky German emergency units. You might even consider including barrages and air attacks. Plenty of [potential for night actions too.


SBminisguy12 Sep 2018 10:33 a.m. PST

If you have a castle to play with, this is a pretty unique scenario -- US soldiers + Wehrmacht soldiers + French POWs on the same side fighting against 17th SS Panzergrenadiers two days before the official surrender of Germany. What a heck of a mash-up!!

The Battle for Castle Itter was fought in the Austrian North Tyrol village of Itter on 5 May 1945, in the last days of the European Theater of World War II.

Troops of the 23rd Tank Battalion of the 12th Armored Division of the US XXI Corps led by Captain John C. "Jack" Lee, Jr., a number of Wehrmacht soldiers led by Major Josef "Sepp" Gangl, SS-Hauptsturmführer Kurt-Siegfried Schrader, and recently freed French prisoners of war defended Castle Itter against an attacking force from the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division until relief from the American 142nd Infantry Regiment of the 36th Division of XXI Corps arrived.

The French prisoners included former prime ministers, generals and a tennis star. It may have been the only battle in the war in which Americans and Germans fought side-by-side. Popular accounts of the battle have called it the strangest battle of World War II.[2]


warwell12 Sep 2018 10:38 a.m. PST

Kelly's Heroes

mjkerner Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2018 11:04 a.m. PST

I second Arnhem fights or Kelly's Heroes, but how about Brecourt Manor?

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2018 1:50 p.m. PST

Capture a V-1, or V-2 site, before they can be launched.

Stryderg12 Sep 2018 2:44 p.m. PST

Have one side try to defend a bridge. Only they find out on turn 3 that the other side crossed some of their troops up-river.

If you want to get a little weird-war, then have both sides assault a town from opposite sides only to meet up with werewolves in the middle…surprise!

If you've got multiple players, give each one a squad or two and semi conflicting objectives:
squad 1: find/defend the local bar, the boys need some R&R
squad 2: the leader is a bit of a coward, fire off all ammo then retreat (if you have out of ammo rules)
squad 3: capture a prisoner
squad 4: take no prisoners, and make sure no one else does either
squad 5: meets a VIP who issues new orders, escort him across the table

Davek0scale14 Sep 2018 8:55 a.m. PST

Demolition raid?

UshCha19 Sep 2018 11:39 a.m. PST

The trouble with the better scenarios is that they require the players to be far more capable. It no good giving a "chuck em down and have at em" chap even if he knows the rules, an interesting scenario, as he will not bother with the briefing. The 6 mode scenario I just covered on the moderns would be a change. Have one route the primary objective but give the sides enough to almost but not quite cover the flanks. You then get the skirmish battle to find an out flanking route, lightly defended so the primary can be attacked from the rear. Lots of room for bluff and counter bluff with a few dummy markers. The at raker will not know which of the tip primary nodes are. If you want to make it difficult put in the odd bridge some with a weight limit significantly lower than the heavy it vehicle in the attackers force. Huge levels of realistic plausible friction.

Mark 121 Sep 2018 7:57 p.m. PST

The trouble with the better scenarios is that they require the players to be far more capable. It no good giving a "chuck em down and have at em" chap even if he knows the rules, an interesting scenario, as he will not bother with the briefing.

Quite agree. On several occasions I have created what I thought were very creative scenarios, with interesting hints in the briefings to help generate side-stories. On many occasions it has worked very well. But there are some times when it has very much failed, usually because it just isn't some people's gaming style.

I can recall one case that typifies both sides of this issue.


For many years I did more modern gaming (usually cold war, so not so much modern by today's standards) than WW2.

I set up a scenario to be played at the home of a fellow I had known and gamed with for a few years. I built the scenario out of the then-current headlines about stresses and concerns of the then-more-militant communist government of East Germany (tells you how long ago this happened!) as Poland left the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union, under Gorbachev, softened it's stance vs. NATO.

My scenario briefings included 5 or 6 snippets of fictional news stories to set up the conflict -- a growing number of popular protests in East Germany, some city not too far from the IGB where the civilian population had rioted and declared themselves for Western Germany, brutal and violent repression by the East German government, the then-recently-formed joint Franco-German brigade, which had been put together to support UN missions outside of Europe (and was therefore not directly under NATO command), launching itself across the border to provide help, and the Russian government delivering an ultimatum to NATO giving them three days to get that force OUT of Eastern Germany.

I then put together a force of French mech cavalry (ERC-90 armored cars and VAB-mounted infantry), with orders to secure a route for the withdrawal of the Franco-German Brigade, a US armored force (M1A1 Abrams and M2 Bradlies), who had orders to cross the IGB, link-up with the joint Brigade forces, and hopefully open up the route of withdrawal by a simple show of force, including orders not to fire unless fired upon, an East German force of a full battalion of motor rifles and a full battalion of T-72s, with support, who's orders were to encircle the joint brigade to prevent any re-enforcement or withdrawal, and a Russian tank division advance guard of recon, a company of T-80s, and a platoon of BMPs, who had orders to get the d@mned East Germans to return to their barracks so the frikkin' Franco-German brigade could get the h3ll out of there on their own in order to de-escalate the whole thing, but who also had exactly NO tolerance for an American force entering Eastern Germany to link-up, which might well be an effort to re-enforce the joint brigade.

But no one knew who the other gamers were playing or what their orders were.

I was the Umpire. I also took the Russians (last to enter the board, and smallest force). The host was the Americans (second last to enter, second largest force). Another guy I had gamed with many times was the East Germans (largest force). And a new guy I had never met before was the French (2nd smallest force, first to enter the board).

The French player, who had to run the length of the table to get to the US player, started by running some of his armored cars down the highway. The East Germans entered the board on one of the long sides, with the goal of crossing the width of the board to cut it in half and place himself between the French and the Americans. The Russians and Americans were not on the board yet.

The East German took a long-range shot at the French armored cars. He missed. But the French player immediately diverted his cars off of the highway to cross some farm fields and get to cover.

I told him he would have to roll for bogging. He said "why?" I pointed out that he was crossing an agricultural field, in wheeled vehicles, and the briefing docs had very specifically said that the area was rolling farmlands that had recently been ploughed, and that while the weather was clear and sunny on the day of the scenario, it had been raining for the last 3 days.

And of course he got bogged. And wow, did he grouse and grumble.

And the game continued, and even though he was exposed for a few turns he didn't get shot to pieces, but managed to get into cover, where he sat for the rest of the game, grumbling as the East German dropped mortar fire around his ears, while the East German main force turned to face off with the Americans, who were now on the board and advancing quickly.

I came on with the Russians just as the main American force was starting to exchange shots with the East Germans. My entry point allowed me to quickly cut-off an American flanking effort. He backed into cover before he and I exchanged any shots. And then things got weird.

I had established the scenario-specific rule that all communications between forces had to be by written notes, only one per turn, and only AFTER units were in base contact. While my tanks and mech infantry set up a blocking position to hold the American flanking effort, my recon troops turned away from the Americans and drove to the East German mortars. I then gave a note to the East German player. He was visibly surprised.

My note had informed him that I was the advance guard, that the rest of my tank division was coming down the road, and that Warsaw Pact high command had given my division (the Russians) overall command of this area of operations, that he was to stop firing and withdraw, returning to barracks to stand by in reserve.

He looked at me long and hard. He looked around the table. He re-read the scenario briefing and his own orders. Then he scribbled out his reply. It read something like "Go suck a rock. I'll stand down when my own government tells me to."

Some gamers just get me.

On the next turn, while the American started to re-deploy to get out of the field of fire of the East German force, and bring more forces to face my smaller contingent, I handed the German player a note that read something like "If you disobey the orders of the Warsaw Pact high command, I will be forced to fire on you."

His expression didn't even show a bit of confusion this time. He immediately scribbled out his reply. It read something like "I have more tanks than you, and you are facing the wrong way. Do not threaten me unless you want a lot of 125mm AP up your backside."

In the next turn my tanks pivoted around to face the Germans. And my recon force ran over his mortars, scattering the crews and crushing the tubes.

The American player was quite surprised. He stopped advancing. He wanted to see what happened next, before he decided what his course of action would be.

In the next turn most of the German T-72s that were in position opened fire on my T-80s, and my T-80s returned the fire. The T-80s had better fire control ratings, better armor, and better projectiles under rules we were using (actually 3 of my T-80s fired AT-11 tube-launched ATGWs), and only a fraction of the T-72s were in position to fire on my T-80s. So the German tanks didn't fare so well in the exchange. But the German infantry and ATGW teams did a fair bit of damage to my recon troops, who tried hard to escape to cover, shooting as they ran.

As this action started to develop, the American decided to send a platoon of Bradleys to contact my force. My BMPs shot them to pieces. Now he was INTENSELY confused.

The game went on. I found it extremely entertaining. The German player, who was training to become a policeman at the time, a fairly big and burly guy, just guffawed and laughed and stopped around expressing his delight in the whole thing. The American player applauded my scenario, said enjoyed it too, and he and I gamed together many times over the coming years.

The French player complained from start to finish. Even after the game, as we picked up and discussed it and revealed our orders to each other and yammered on about why we did what we did, and what we were trying to do, and what worked and didn't work, and all the usual post-game re-hashing, he just complained about how stupid it all was, and what was he supposed to do with a few armored cars against all those tanks, and how was he supposed to know that his armored cars couldn't cross ploughed fields, and why would I write that stuff about it raining for the last 3 days in the briefing, when I could have just written that he would bog on a 3, and how was he supposed to know who was on which side once it all got going?

Clearly what he wanted was to line up two sides of tanks, and throw some dice. He had no interest in solving puzzles, or waiting to judge when to make his move, or even engaging his imagination with the storyline after it was all over.

I kind of felt like I mis-judged and set it up without considering all perspectives. For me it was a great day of gaming, but I left with regrets. He didn't enjoy it at all, and pretty much saw it as a wasted day. He never gamed with me again.

OK, story mode over. They say confession is good for the soul. Thank you, and I'll accept my penance with grace.

(aka: Mk 1)

Levi the Ox29 Sep 2018 7:29 p.m. PST

Mark, that's a great story!

Achtung Minen-

I'd recommend looking around the fringes of whatever major offensives happened in the theater that you have miniatures for; the confusion caused by "blitzkrieg" lends itself to more dynamic scenarios. I play in North Africa, and there are some great historical small-scale actions in the initial battles, with British and Axis troops dashing hither and yon across the desert and even becoming intermixed during the night!

In addition to more dynamic scenarios, a setting like this means vehicles present are more likely to be lighter recon platforms or support equipment, so the game doesn't hinge on the roll of the only weapon that can hurt the enemy tank.

Achtung Minen03 Oct 2018 11:26 a.m. PST

Thoroughly enjoyed reading that story Mark! It really shows the mayhem you can create with multiplayer games, contrary objectives and restricted communications!

What I came up with for my skirmish scenario was basically one side was trying to kidnap an officer from a forward communications post while reinforcements rolled in to rescue him. It turned out to be quite fun!

I am thinking for my next scenario (Goumiers in late WW2 France) that the Allied platoon will be trying to fight their way back into a French town so that their suave CO (the dashing Lt Abbas) can get the phone number from a girl he had met the night before the Axis advance. We'll see how it goes!

UshCha05 Oct 2018 11:45 a.m. PST

Mark 1, Excellent tale. My co author almost never writes scenarios. However he understood the two players he was writing for. The scenario was to get back a stolen High teck weapon but not start WW3. Both player, me being 1, played it to the hilt using bluff and counter bluff. Large numbers of tanks staring at each other but neither one wanting to start the war. Certainly not for the "average put em down and throw die player" but excellent for the puzzle freak.

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