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"Dusting off the sand - Old Skool WRG" Topic

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Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2022 6:54 a.m. PST

Hi All,

We played a North Africa desert action yesterday, with a well-worn copy of the Armour & Infantry 1925-1950 rules by the War Games Research Group. These rules had been the mainstay WW2 system used around our local scene back in the 1970's & '80's.

Though it was a dusty trail backwards in many ways, the game delivered a fresh look at why we enjoyed the WRG rules then………they enabled enough encounter depth through simple rule mechanisms, with just basic weapons tech. (fielding multiple combat companies made easy).

I commanded a British Cruiser squadron and a Honey squadron vs. a German light Panzer company in a simple meeting engagement over open desert with a few elevations dotting the landscape.

After the opposing forces exchange ineffectual fire at the flanks and at range, the action heated up over a central ridge feature near the German half of the board. The losses were fairly even there, with a half-dozen wrecks brewed up for each side, but then the WRG turn sequence reared it's ugly head (or would that be enforced con-sequence)… was crunch time. If I, as the British tank CO were to press forward over and around the ridge, my opponent would have the opportunity of first shots as I exposed myself (a simple and all-to-common wargaming dilemma). Knowing that the rules would not shine a forgiving grace if I pressed forward, and that the enemy kills could then elicit possible failing morale checks on top of my losses, I decided my gallant desert warriors had achieved enough… was now time to extract my tanks and attempt a hasty retreat.

Retreat they did, to fight another day, but leaving the field to the Afrika Korps, and to the potential of the enemy recovering many of their losses (the near-equal encounter would in affect swing towards a German victory as a result).

All was clear, and these consequences acceptable because I was making a decision to preserve my force from expected destruction, and taken from a level of command I felt would be my "duty" to do so.

Maybe this short report weighs a bit too much on nostalgia, but it was still nice to make a gaming connection with "my tankers" nonetheless.

We'll be doing more games with WRG in the weeks ahead.

Here's a few of the pictures I captured -

Fitzovich Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2022 7:49 a.m. PST

It was indeed a fun time kicking up the desert dust with these venerable rules. I enjoyed seeing them once again in play despite my typos on the homemade vehicle cards. Looking forward to gaming again with them in September and October.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2022 7:59 a.m. PST

The neat individual tank charts Fitz made up did put a modern gloss onto the ole rules (then maybe that was from their plastic lamination). ;)

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2022 1:53 p.m. PST

What I love about the photos is the contrast with the bocage in Normandy in 1944. Here, other than undulations in the sand, there is no cover whatsoever.

The morale of this must be that tank against equal tank conflict, in a chance encounter in the desert, is a mug's game. Both sides should pull back. Let the A/T guns, or air, or even artillery do the work.

The trick of course is to withdraw without exposing your tanks' weaker armour to even more damage.

dragon6 Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2022 2:01 p.m. PST

Ah… I 'member those rules. We played them a lot back in the old days. Those and the "modern" set 1950-1975 ;-D

I forgot to ask, what scale are your models?

I loved Brazen Chariots, great book

Fitzovich Supporting Member of TMP26 Aug 2022 3:26 p.m. PST

The models were 1/144th supplied by FlyX. I brought along the mat and some hills that I borrowed from another member of our group. It was an amalgamation of things from various sources. Next game will be in the desert but with a few added units here and there as we get familiar with the rules again.

Captain Pete31 Aug 2022 7:00 a.m. PST

That is a great looking game, FlyXwire! I know when I introduce new players to Mein Panzer, I use my North Africa terrain so people don't have to worry about trees getting in the way. I do have some low hills on the map so that players have some terrain to use and there is usually a small village in there somewhere.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2022 1:28 p.m. PST

Pete, we're trying to kick the dust up around our parts a bit and like you said, N. Africa is such an accessible theater to game WW2!

I just started another thread along these lines, showing some German strongpoint weapons that'll make our "Dustup" idea closer to coming off.

TMP link

Bill Slavin03 Sep 2022 9:24 a.m. PST

That is a really nice looking game and those little 144th Matildas are beautiful.I like that you withdrew rather than expose your forces to needless destruction. Very un-gamey and not often seen on a table!

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP04 Sep 2022 4:08 p.m. PST

Bill, I bet we would enjoy gaming together too…….must be our years [old farts attitude] in the hobby.

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