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"Covid 19 and impact on our play" Topic

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UshCha09 Oct 2020 12:12 a.m. PST

It interesting how the virus impacts have changed our gaming approach. The club has closed down so no big 8ft by 4 ft boards for now. We have to fall back on a home 4ft by 5 ft board. I should note we are definitely not multio player game types, even in normal times.

The other issue is that we have lost many of our social activities so conversation is more important.

This has changed the direction of our gaming somewhat. Moving back in time to WW2 helps, even at 1/144 scale the reduced ranges allow more tactical flexability on a small table, plus with poor communicatios between units smaller numbers of units prove to be more challengeing to use when no radios are available.

The other change is in scenarios. Normally we would go for a very comprehensive scenario incorporating as much pre-battle action as possible. What we aim for now can be perhaps be best by describing it as an analogy with chess. What we are playing are "chess problems". It is best described as setting up a scenario; even pre-deploying some troops, troops and already applying Fear fire and Fatigue effects, then leaving the players to carry on from an interesting tactical point. The other version is to play out scenarios based on small incidents in the real world which were small but significant, perhaps as delaying actions.

While a new approach for us it maintains an interesting tactical challenge, but less time is needed to play, representing effectively the Chess problem.

While in better times these are no substitute for a "Full" game they are well suited to these difficult times.

Does anybody elese play like this and any specific lessons learnt?

Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2020 12:38 a.m. PST

I play solo at the mo. I think a good involved scenario is very important to keep you interested. I have more random event counters, and my Portal marker system seems to be doing a good job of keeping me challenged.
I do miss the banter with other players BIG TIME, but think I can survive till the plague is over

Tom Reed Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2020 5:21 a.m. PST

Moved some stuff to online gaming. Preparing to take part in a 20 player Close Action game with players from all over the place.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2020 5:39 a.m. PST

We are doing play by email for a SWY Black Powder game – using a 5 X 8 table in an un-used bedroom upstairs, 4 players in three different countries, great fun

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2020 5:42 a.m. PST

UshCha, that's how we've played our public-venue games over the years….scenarios must be easily briefed to gamers, and possibly for participants of differing knowledge about the featured period (say WWII as your example).

The rules must be easily briefed and grasped (out of the box) by players of differing skill levels.

The scenario's Battle Problem (perhaps your Chess problem description), must be succinct, and hopefully with mission objectives able to be expressed as "Auftragstaktik" (verbal mission-type orders), and with force components that can be easily sub-divided up between a range of player combinations that might be joining to participate on a side.

Reviewing what I've written here, most of it sounds like a format for convention-friendly gameplay, and to set time periods allowed to pull off a game (basically how we've gamed for decades thru multiplayer meetups, or around town at homes). I've always organized and pushed the public-aspect of gaming at the local shops, of how to show the flag (I come from a time when military wargaming was "coming out of the closet" [post-Vietnam that is], and so I've always pushed for getting out of the basement), so to speak.

The games aren't dull by any means, and the emphasis is less on the technical aspects of playing WWII combat, but more on the decision-making of when to concentrate forces, commit support, reinforce efforts, or even to withdraw and regroup (the actual work that combat leaders are involved with in the field).

Saying all this, the group, and our gaming in the area has generally been on hold these past months……with lots of painting & planning & encouraging communications going on.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Oct 2020 6:47 a.m. PST

My club is definitely in the 8 player, 6x16 table group. Plenty of smaller stuff happens too, but the show stoppers are great, and still very social. We are happy to leave them set up and let a game be spread over 3 or 4 sessions as we chat, snack and generally muck about.

Now we keep it to no more than 8 in the club house, small, separate tables, etc.

Several of the lads will meet up for 1 on 1 games – triumph, board games etc.

raylev309 Oct 2020 11:49 a.m. PST


We are doing play by email for a SWY Black Powder game using a 5 X 8 table in an un-used bedroom upstairs, 4 players in three different countries, great fun

Begs the question…how are you doing it? Pictures?

We NEED to know.


DinOfBattle2 Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2020 6:35 p.m. PST

Gaming every week as normal as we did pre-Covid. Doing this since early May.

UshCha10 Oct 2020 12:15 a.m. PST

Interesting that we have completely diffrent approaches. Multi skill level games really ahve no appeal to me. I want to work out as least in a very small part what the real guys had to do and understand the mechanics of how it all interacts, not feasable without folk steeped in the period. We are happy to train begginers, but we have not for years had sufficent competent players to do a multi player game of any merit. However it would be a poorer world if we were all alike.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2020 6:13 a.m. PST

Hey UshCha, creating my scenario presentations, which are often inspired by an actual engagement I've read about, is where I'm studying the history, force structures, and doing my analysis of the action's command decisions…..this I do to satisfy my military history interests.

Then on game day, I can usually rely on a core of players with multiple decades of gaming under their belts, who can assume the senior command roles (sometimes they might have very little to push in-game, or maybe they'll just be coordinating strategy and any support strikes but then that's their "job"). Then we'll fold in any newer or inexperienced gamers under them, and these newer gamers being divided up amongst the teams (I'm sure this is how it's done in most groups too).

Still, I have to be prepared to coach new players myself, but I enjoy doing that anyway.

What is one of the most important military 'axioms' that I think also applies to wargaming, is an "ability to read a map"…..that is, being able to analyze terrain.

I've learned to stress that my players (and to myself when I play) take some time to analyze the game board and prepare a plan based off of this process…..this is where I enjoy seeing which players have that ability to create organization and develop a teamwork approach before and during a game.

UshCha, perhaps our gaming approaches are different, or rather, what we're enjoying seeing come out of our efforts is different. If we don't get some reward for our effort, we probably would have stop doing this hobby a long time ago.

Enjoying the conversation with you as usual.

skirmishcampaigns11 Oct 2020 4:15 a.m. PST

Discord and webcams have worked really great for our group.

Some even hook up their laptops to big screen TVs and the figures are nearly scale.

UshCha12 Oct 2020 3:29 a.m. PST

Thought it was a good excuse for a picture of the German group slowing the Yanks down.


The light greeen is swamp, immpassible to vehicles. the terrain is a bit contrived but essentially it makes is slow to not go down the road except perhaps by the track on the left hand of the picture.

This is about at the end of the game, the delay is all that can be gotten and its time for the Gremans to leave. The Germans got luck and destroyed a tank but we did force them to deploy the infantry so lots of delay.

For once despite excellent play by my opponent, I had deployed the MG's well so the real tactic of sooting at the tanks to make them button up worked more like you read in accounts and manuals.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2020 4:27 a.m. PST

UshCha, the link requires a login for viewing.

UshCha13 Oct 2020 3:58 a.m. PST

Try no 2 for the pic.

This works! this is my reduced size board.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2020 5:12 a.m. PST

Rt-click and open image in a new tab brings it up full size too…..

(looks like a well-laid ambush)

UshCha13 Oct 2020 6:11 a.m. PST

The board was designed to have multiple ambush positions so that to meet our victory conditions, not written down but understood by both sides the attacker must make reasonable progress. Walking the whole route for instance would be a fail, in the real world the ambush may be miles away so it has to start on the basis of reasonable progress. My opponent could have sent a recon down the far left road which could have sprung the ambush early but there were risks to even that.

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