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"Villers-Bocage-ish & Villers-Bocagey" Topic


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Whirlwind12 Jun 2023 1:43 p.m. PST

Please see below for a couple of 6mm WW2 battles, very approximately inspired by Villers-Bocage, or more precisely, a scenario which appeared back in Miniature Wargames #63:

First one here: link (which has been up on my blog for a bit already, so a couple of you may have seen already)

And another one here: link which is new.

picture

FlyXwire13 Jun 2023 4:46 a.m. PST

Looks sharp, and enjoyed hearing your comments on the Farquhar version of WRG too.

Hey, the 2nd link here isn't working for me atm.

Whirlwind13 Jun 2023 5:03 a.m. PST

Okay, thanks flyXwire, not sure what the issue is there, hopefully this one will work link

Captain Pete13 Jun 2023 6:49 a.m. PST

Very nice looking game, Whirlwind, and a great AAR as well.

Whirlwind13 Jun 2023 8:59 a.m. PST

Thanks Captain Pete, appreciated.

Cement Head18 Jun 2023 5:21 p.m. PST

Is it possible to get a playtest version of the Farquhar rules?

Whirlwind19 Jun 2023 3:06 p.m. PST

I don't think so – I think John now intends to publish these rules relatively soon. But if you want to ask him, you can message him on TWW (see the thread here) link , he doesn't hang out much on TMP AFAIK.

Erzherzog Johann20 Jun 2023 1:40 a.m. PST

That's what he told me too. Assuming he has the all clear from WRG.

Cheers,
John

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP20 Jun 2023 5:12 p.m. PST

Whirlwind:
A very nice couple of battles. Thanks for posting the AARs … they are a real treat to read with lots of excellent and engaging game-time pics!

I started in micro-armor playing the original WRG rules in the mid-1970s. Wandered through several other sets in the 1980s, and made a somewhat brief foray back to the WRG rules, by then 2nd Edition, in the 1990s.

To my experience the 1st Edition were very good for large armored actions. Quick play and pretty smooth flowing, although as you mentioned in your write-up perhaps a bit low on granularity and I might add a bit rough on the guy who had to face Tigers.

As I look back now I would say they were "optimized" to give results that would play like the British stereotypes of WW2 tank combat. A re-creation of Villars Boccage is just about the perfect case for these rules (again, all just from my recollection of many years ago).

I give credit to you for pushing through the all-arms combat. I found that there was a real disparity in the rules between play speed with armor vs. play speed with infantry. A platoon of infantry took more game-time to run than a company of tanks, giving us a real incentive to go disproportionately heavy on the armor (we were young, impatient, and not much committed to realistic forces). It appears from the pics that the version you are now play-testing retain the fire-team (or half-squad) infantry basing. I think I see roughly 8 to 10 stands per platoon in the pics.

(Note: I am using US Army terms here, where a squad is generally 8-12 men, usually broken up into two or three fire-teams of 3-5 men. In Brit-speak I believe the terminology is somewhat different).

At one point you mentioned the challenges of "battalion level" gaming vs. the smaller levels you have recently experience with the TFL rules. You even opined that basing by platoon (even if game adjudication was by individual elements) might make things go a bit faster.

In my years of gaming I have learned that combined arms games play better if the rules push for squad-based infantry stands (ie: 3 to 5 stands per platoon). This provides players with about the same number of game pieces per platoon for infantry as tanks, leading to more balanced speed-of-play. This may help you to play more fluidly at this unit scale.

Another approach I have learned over the years is to limit the size of the game (ie: the size of the forces) according to the number of players. You do not mention whether these games were played solitaire, or with other gamers, and if with others how many may have been present. What I have found is that my games flow more smoothly if I keep to approximately 25 game pieces per player, plus-or-minus maybe 3 pieces. I might stretch all the way up to 30 pieces for a player who is already familiar with the rules. It has been very hard for me to actually implement this discipline -- I mean we ALL have bunches of interesting stuff that we just crave to see on a battle board. But it really does play better (in my experience) when each player has at most only a bit more than 20 pieces.

If the infantry is squad-based, this means about one re-enforced company per player, whether they push a force built around a company of AFVs or a company of infantry. (With Soviet tanks that might actually be a re-enforced battalion of two companies.) So building a battalion-sized game would usually mean something like 3 players per side. Doable with the right ruleset, and actually a very fun way to wargame, but a bit more challenging to organize.

In any case, looked like some very engaging games. The second one in particular looked like a real fireworks show.

Again, thanks for posting!

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Whirlwind21 Jun 2023 2:49 a.m. PST

Thanks very much Mark. John (the rules author) was telling me he hopes to get this version out relatively soon, so stay tuned.

It appears from the pics that the version you are now play-testing retain the fire-team (or half-squad) infantry basing. I think I see roughly 8 to 10 stands per platoon in the pics…In my years of gaming I have learned that combined arms games play better if the rules push for squad-based infantry stands (ie: 3 to 5 stands per platoon). This provides players with about the same number of game pieces per platoon for infantry as tanks, leading to more balanced speed-of-play. This may help you to play more fluidly at this unit scale.

That's me retaining 1st edition basing rather than the rules, which look more like 2nd edition to me: so bigger sections/squads will have 3 elements, smaller sections/squads have 2. I agree with you that the section/squad as the basic unit would make things go more quickly, although TBF when playing these kind of games (at higher level than reinforced platoon) I treat sections as indivisible anyway. This takes away some of the issues, but still leaves additional dice rolling (relatively minor, although noticeably more than in 1st edition because of the need to roll to locate and the possibility of returning fire when suppressed).

Another approach I have learned over the years is to limit the size of the game (ie: the size of the forces) according to the number of players. You do not mention whether these games were played solitaire, or with other gamers, and if with others how many may have been present. What I have found is that my games flow more smoothly if I keep to approximately 25 game pieces per player, plus-or-minus maybe 3 pieces. I might stretch all the way up to 30 pieces for a player who is already familiar with the rules. It has been very hard for me to actually implement this discipline -- I mean we ALL have bunches of interesting stuff that we just crave to see on a battle board. But it really does play better (in my experience) when each player has at most only a bit more than 20 pieces.

Yes, I entirely agree. I 'went large' on this particular one (playing solo) because John wanted some aspects of the armour and artillery given a bit more of a workout than had been possible in my more typical platoon+ and company- games.

And thanks very much again for your kind words and wise advice.

Whirlwind21 Jun 2023 2:50 a.m. PST

As I look back now I would say they were "optimized" to give results that would play like the British stereotypes of WW2 tank combat. A re-creation of Villars Boccage is just about the perfect case for these rules (again, all just from my recollection of many years ago).

That is really interesting. What makes you say that?

Erzherzog Johann21 Jun 2023 2:53 a.m. PST

An infantry platoon typically has about 8-10 elements, so a company could be as many as 40 elements if it had three full strength platoons plus a heavy weapons platoon.

I agree with Mark that a company is about the limit for a game. I played a few games of WRG 2nd ed with a company of infantry, a company of tanks, and supporting artillery and found that a bit unwieldy, especially as I was still getting my head around all the changes, especially to artillery. We had 1944 German (motorised or foot), US (armoured and infantry configurations), and British, with Churchills. I should have gone with a platoon or two and that's what I'm planning to do as I restart.

I remember a very fun game, played about 40 years ago with WRG 1st ed. The commanders were out of the room with radios or phone (can't remember which). We had a platoon each. I was British and had the carrier platoon. With 2nd ed it would be much better because the rules ave more nuance.

Cheers,
John

FlyXwire21 Jun 2023 6:03 a.m. PST

I believe squad-basing is the key to elevating into company+-level gaming, with platoon-assigned support weapons, and additional Company or Bn.-level weapon attachments intentionally reflected.

This gives players a nod to tactical support and combined-arms operation (a buy-in to the level of game play and tactics being reinforced).

We played WRG initially with the advised fire-teams scaling (and the rules' suggested infantry basing for a 1-to-1 miniatures count per stand), but that created messy, smallish 'counter-style' gameplay in practice. Matter of fact, a friend never used, or has used anything but carboard counters for his infantry units (hard to say he wasn't spot-on with the scale footprint for them, or concerning the practicality of handling these 'bases' on a tabletop).

What we then and now wanted to reflect were scenarios designed for Reinforced Company to Bn.-level gaming, and enabled for multiplayer commands, with component-based, doctrine-informed gameplay.

Organizing basic game components as squad stands within their platoon structures, with support attachments reflected, reinforces a TO&E-informed (component-based) style of gaming.

Over the years, I have debated at reflecting reduced/attritted units by deleting stands within the basic platoon structure, but have always come back to a feeling, and need, to reinforce meaningful TO&E structures to players so, instead of an infantry company having reduced squads or effectives, this would be reflected by deleting a complete platoon, or the amount of weapons support available, but never adjusting the normal number of squads organized within a platoon itself [preserving that basic component structure]. This mindset also transferred to vehicle platoon/battery structures to reinforce to players that they're commanding organized units, and that this is the game level being reflected, so that they can embrace an organized-based level of thinking as they employ their game units to do battle…..the game battle itself will mess up those starting units just fine.

A Coy. or Bn. CO isn't dealing with ordering around fireteams, or sub-sections of squads (those have their leader or assistant leaders already).

Erzherzog Johann21 Jun 2023 9:07 p.m. PST

In WRG (and this variant under discussion) a rifle/SLR element with an integral LMG is weaker than two separate elements (and overpriced as they cost the same as both but are weaker) – I don't think they were an option in WRG1, they are a modifier to the basic element in WRG2, and in the "Farquar" variant they are an option (choose to shoot as either the rifle element or LMG element). It isn't really a "fire team" in the sense of post WWII US doctrine. WRG2 uses them for Marines, where I believe this model was first experimented with, but not for Army. So ironically, because the BAR is about the most rubbish "LMG" in WWII, I'm thinking of rebasing my US infantry as combined elements to reflect their worse effectiveness, rather than an improved tactical doctrine.

I would still reflect weaker companies by reducing elements in the squad/section rather than reduce the number of platoons because that's how it happened. Companies did reshuffle and recombine platoons so that is also an option when numbers have fallen even further.

I don't think two elements in a squad (about 8 in a platoon) is too onerous. US squads in WRG2 are supposed to have 2 self loading rifle elements and an LMG but as I say, I think one SLR and one SLR+BAR is more appropriate. The added BAR that US armoured infantry squads used to grab when they could, I would also add as a +LMG, rather than as an extra LMG element.

I'd say this also apples to armour. Full strength five AFV platoons would be the exception, rather than the rule for late war Germans for example, but yes, fall too far and recombining into two platoons from three would be reasonable.

Using cardboard counters as anything but a very temporary "trying something out" measure.

Cheers,
John

FlyXwire22 Jun 2023 5:18 a.m. PST

John,

If organized 2 rifle stands of 4 castings each, and with a bipod LMG stand of 2 figures (men) per squad (this using the body-count list as prescribed in my 1975 WRG [1925-1950] copy), that's 9 stands for (3) rifle squads (German LMG teams actually with rifle support though?, but -). If modeling (2) LMG teams in PzGren/Fallschirmjager squads, that's also regularly, and at least (3) stands per. Add in one Panzerfaust munition (as separately listed in the rules which should probably read Panzerschreck team), and each squad could comprise 4 individual stands. That number is also equivalent to early-war German or Soviet platoons of 4 squads, so 12 individual elements is a realistic stand count. Then include the requisite Platoon HQ stand (1), and begin adding in weapons support stands assigned lt. mortar, an ATR stand early war, maybe a Bazooka/Schreck late-war, and have an attached MMG….

This is potentially and commonly configured 13, 17, or more individual bases per platoon, to be unloaded onto the game table and amongst its terrain pieces. Back when we played WRG in the 70s and 80s our tabletop terrain was very simplistic, but even then, these infantry stands eventually became clutter around buildings and amongst the lichen trees, etc..

We did play in Micro-scale, but the rules prescribed able to play with figures up to 1/72nd scale, again individually represented 1 for 1 on their group stands. A 4-man rifle section based with 20mm figures easily requires a 1-inch square base if crammed together, or a 2-inch stand if arranged in line abreast, figures shoulder to shoulder that's 100-200 scale meters in the rules per rifle base of 4 figures, at an ugly-spacing minimum too. Stack up a single squad of 1/72nd scale miniatures of 3 or more bases in a firing line, that becomes grossly out of ground scale just by the prescribed body-count style of basing the rules suggest.

Going to a single squad base, with ranging differences and/or firepower ratings for more automatic weapons has become a common rules mechanic over the years. It's not only to make company+-level gaming possible, but it's cognizant of the basing requirements that occur for different collection scales, and to help keep basing footprints at a minimum.

We played WRG a lot back in the day, but we came to realize some of its basic game ergonomics didn't seem to have been tested for practicality (or for their in-game effects), as they were written.

Captain Pete22 Jun 2023 7:12 a.m. PST

I have not played the WRG rules but have played Mein Panzer a lot.

These rules came out in the late 1990s. The scale is 1 vehicle = 1 vehicle and an infantry stand is either a squad or
team.

Mein Panzer seems to work best when each player controls about a company or company plus. Of course a tank company might range in size from 10 vehicles to 20 vehicles or so but usually in 3 to 4 platoons. This keeps things manageable.

For infantry, that would typically translate to at least 10 stands up to 20 stands if you include the individual heavy weapons teams.

For most players, this is a comfortable amount of stuff to handle in a game. Adding a lot more in for individual players to control definitely slows the game down as the workload increases.

I have played Mein Panzer with a battalion (3 companies) per
side with each team having 3 or 4 players. As long as you keep everyone moving and doing something the games seem to move along pretty well. I would assume this would be typical of WRG and other similarly scaled rules sets as well.

The key I think is to make sure that players are all engaged at some level and the workload is not too great.

As an aside, for my 6mm infantry, I base 4 figures on a 3/4" square base for a squad and 2 or 3 figures on a 1/2" square base or occasionally a 1/2" x 3/4" base if the figures are prone.

This has been a very interesting discussion so far and the game AARs were great to see and interesting to follow.

FlyXwire22 Jun 2023 9:39 a.m. PST

Pete, you and Mk1, who play Mein Panzer, always seem to resonate with me when describing your scenarios they're often combined-arms actions, and easily relatable to the scope of WWII tactual ops, and/or procedures.

Take your battlefield format list above (a force template) starting with a Bn. of Armor and/or Infantry (+ reinforcing attachments).

This is the core combat team that makes or breaks tactical battles.

WRG 1925-1950 as written, and units organized as prescribed by the rules, never allowed efficient command of a company of infantry per player, and especially when played within a multiplayer game of having at least one battalion attacking on one side. As you mentioned there can be rules issues of player "work load" (my term "ergonomics").

The WRG rules introduction explains its focus was on armoured warfare, but with suitability for combat between infantry companies. Well, that's a minimum of 1 company vs. another, or if using advised offensive doctrine, multiple infantry companies attacking an opposition-size infantry company.

This is the basic test template of "suitability", a common default battle situation of a 3 to 1, or at the low-end, a 2 to 1 (if reinforced) attacker superiority to defender ratio.

This doesn't just apply to company+ (or Bn.-level) style games, it's the basic force ratio for designing and playing any attack vs. defender game for WW2 (post-WW2 also).

Still, and it's a big still when do we see this doctrinal force ratio enforced, or even advised in today's rulesets? Dear gamer, before you play these rules, make sure you build from 2-3 times the troops within your collection, for at least one side, to be able to attack the other side in the games these rules enable. (?)

This is actually sort of an easy litmus test, where a rules system can be evaluated, for what the author(s) are trying to sell as required force ratios? Does the ruleset prescribe combat between equal forces making sense, other than for playing endless meeting engagements?

We enjoyed WRG, because it allowed for larger formations and more plausible attack vs. defense ratios on the tabletop, but its basing system was stuck at the skirmish level (stands built at a 1 to 1 man per figure dictate).

Like lots of gamers, we saw to modify the heck out of this we weren't interested in playing WRG because it was a tight, small-units action ruleset, but because it offered the possibility of playability for bigger games.

First casualty, go to squad stands, and allow for Pete's understanding about player work load, and have players utilize company/hvy. weapons, and combined-arms support as force multipliers. Then discover which players actually know about doctrine, combined-arms tactics, maneuver, and/or understand what "Schwerpunkt" means better yet, how to do it on the tabletop.

(maybe just too old school) :)))

Erzherzog Johann22 Jun 2023 7:29 p.m. PST

This has turned into a really interesting discussion. I think most WWII rules, if not specifically designed as an infantry set (there was one such from WRG) have tended to emphasise armour over infantry, although that may be less true today than when WRG were producing theirs. I felt that WRG2 shifted the focus significantly towards a better balance between infantry and armour. I'm not really sure why I got that impression, given that armour became cheaper and infantry didn't. Artillery became cheaper also, but much more complicated to plan in list building. I think perhaps it was the set up including planned and hasty attack or defence, leading to a range of possible 'pick up' games, with widely varying troop ratios, from 1-1 for an encounter to 3-1 for some attack/defence situations.

I suspect that I prefer the 'Farquhar variant' way of dealing with range vs armour to the standard WRG version, but I really like WRG2's morale and movement modes.

My first experience of WRG1 was 1:72 / 1:76 but I don't remember (it was a long time ago) feeling that the ground scale really bothered me too much until I used the same ground scale (1mm:1m) for 6mm. My bases for 6mm are 15mm by 12.5mm for a rifle group, so, using 1mm:2m) that suggests the men spread a few metres apart, but obviously they might be a small clump in a bigger space at times. I certainly don't consider it a game breaker at 6mm, even if, in retrospect, it should have been in 1:76. But then I've seen people playing 28mm games with individual figures, where each figure already takes a massively distorted area relative to ground scale. C'est la vie.

My quibbles with the WRG2 rules now are mainly around specific complications, like drawing up the lists, some point costs, artillery and aircraft (although aircraft aren't a vital issue) but I haven't played for a long time so maybe I'm getting ahead of myself . . .

FlyXwire23 Jun 2023 4:20 a.m. PST

John,

We've all certainly forgetten things over time about our gaming for sure!

I can say that I never used the points system to create games instead TO&Es and historically-researched scenarios sometimes my friends would just roll their eyes upon getting a 3-page, typed sit. sheet back then (hey, to me it's always been about the history).

Hearing Whirlwind talk about this 'Farquhar variant' gets my duty-bound sense up to advance some 'advice' of how a new variant could address some improvement expectations.

I did a 'rewrite' of WRG that become a completely different set of rules, that member Wolfhag would have liked. I used the de-classified Ballistic Research Lab report out of Fort Aberdeen on 1st-round hit probabilities as the basis for my multi-round type charts. It was super-accurate, high on tech, but low on dynamic gameplay as a result ('encumbered').

Over the years have designed or modified at least four [unpublished] WWII rule sets, and so have some 'opinions' of what works, and what I think is chaff, but do see the need for speed and an emphasis on decision-making as the premier facets of gaming, within a rules' framework that embeds doctrine, without players necessarily having to know their history or doctrine, but that would be nice. That knowledge makes for better gameplay (and has always been sort of the expectation if gamers might get into a period to do their research).

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP23 Jun 2023 11:02 a.m. PST

This has indeed turned into an interesting discussion of rules and game flow. Credit to all involved for bringing in thoughtful commentaries and added perspectives!

I too have almost completely ignored "points" systems in any of the rules I have played. My opponents have also rolled their eyes occasionally (and shouted and tossed reference sheets up in the air in exacerbation) at how I approach setting up games, which can be very balanced or wholly and grievously unbalanced from one game to the next. The history comes first for me, or rather I might say the effort to engage the imagination about the history, but with effort to make it fun (sometimes uproariously so) as well. Sometimes that makes the games a complete blast to play. But it is highly dependent on the spirit of the gamers -- ya gotta be a bit flexible in your expectations and thinking to get the most out of my style of wargaming.

I like scenario-driven games, with victory conditions that reflect the specifics of a scenario, whether it be an actual historical scenario or an imagined scenario with a backdrop of an historical setting. I often add special rules that are again scenario-driven. I rarely tell either side what forces will be available to the other, or even what the other side's victory conditions are, other than giving vague guidance in the scenario description. Often the victory conditions are not mirrored between the two sides (for example one side may get victory points for taking specific pieces of terrain, while the other side's victory points may have nothing to do with the terrain, but rather come from the balance of casualties inflicted vs. casualties suffered). This unbalanced approach may also be true in the number of victory points available -- one player may have more points accessible than the other, so that it is entirely possible in my games to lose if you have achieved most of your victory conditions but have not prevented your opponent from also achieving his. As you don't know what his are, you need to be observing your opponent and trying to figure out what he seems to be trying to do, even while you are trying to do your own thing.

I tried very hard in the 1970s to add infantry into my games using WRG. At that time the US vendors (GHQ and C-in-C) didn't even offer infantry at 6mm scale. I was the only one among my gaming friends who knew how to buy via mail-order from UK vendors (mainly Skytrex in those days), and so bringing infantry onto the table seemed to me to be something I could turn into a unique advantage. But when I did, the games stopped dead in their tracks and the other players wandered off to grow beards or complete advanced university degrees while I tried to play my unique force. We gamed mostly WW2 eastern front (long a fascination of mine), and using fireteam basing a company of Soviet infantry was about 36 – 40 stands, while a company of Soviet tanks was 10. With WRG's fast-play armor rules I could push 3 or 4 companies of tanks … just imagine what happened to the speed of the game when I tried to replace 1 or 2 companies of tanks with infantry!

As mentioned by others I am a fan of Mein Panzer rules. They are currently in their second major version (MP2 for shorthand). I started with the rules (thanks to Pete's urgings and support) when they were in their MP1 form. The infantry combat in MP1 was fireteam based. The rules were OK -- the armor was fast play at about the speed of the old WRG rules (also comparable to JagdPanzer), but I found the MP1 armor combat to be more satisfying for the armor buffs who want to have a bit more than just "your gun destroys D class armor with a 4 from 250 to 500 meters". But the playspeed of the infantry combat did not match the armor.

In the case of WRG rules I recall a very specific comment in the rulebook (may have been in the updated rules rather than the original) about how the rules could, and had, been used for very interesting and engaging infantry battles. With MP1 we specifically tried a battle that was focused on infantry. It was indeed fun and engaging. But it was a different game than the armored games we had done up to that point, and I expect the same would have been true with the WRG rules. It seems that in both cases you basically had an armored ruleset and an infantry ruleset in the same rule book, but they were different games best played separately.

In MP2 the infantry rules transitioned to squad-level basing. Also some of the complexity was further abstracted and simplified. In this form, I find these rules to be far better than any other rules I have played in terms of balancing infantry and armor for combined-arms gaming.

I have now had the great pleasure of experiencing on the game table some of the phenomena that I had only been able to read about before. I have had my opponent's armor outrun his own infantry in advancing across the open fields into my infantry defensive zone, as he focused on catching my own retreating inferior tank force. He quickly discovered that having his tanks were vulnerable to infantry close assaults and enfilade fires from AT guns, while his own infantry support was not able to cross the open fields through my mortar fire. I have felt the power of even the smallest tankettes when I kept them at a reasonable range and used them to suppress my opponent's unsupported infantry while my own troops advanced to close-combat range.

With MP2 I have found a lot less "my tank is bigger than your tank" jousting matches, and far more "get to the decisive point the fastest with the mostest," how "tanks may take ground but infantry holds ground" and "most tactical problems can be resolved by liberal application of firepower". I can see why and how 1941 Germans with PzIIIs can beat Soviets with KV-1s, and how 1943 Soviets with T-34s and 1944 Americans with Shermans can beat Germans with Tigers. I don't even need to use morale rules, because the players themselves will feel the pressure to pull back when they start to lose the contest for fire supremacy.

Oooh, I am talking myself into taking out some toys again. Hmph, gotta get back to work. Maybe later.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

FlyXwire23 Jun 2023 5:16 p.m. PST

Oooh, loved that Mark!

It sounds like you're in a good place here, at least with the knowledge you can get the depth into your scenarios, and the game results square up with your journey into history and back – and then onto the tabletop.

Whirlwind23 Jun 2023 11:59 p.m. PST

Very interesting Mark. I think that is why I have found that an infantry platoon plus a couple of supports (the Chain of Command level, if you will) actually works quite well with WRG, because the number of elements involved is typically like two weak companies of armour.

But it was a different game than the armored games we had done up to that point, and I expect the same would have been true with the WRG rules. It seems that in both cases you basically had an armored ruleset and an infantry ruleset in the same rule book, but they were different games best played separately.

Of course it is possible that this is not actually a bad representation of WW2 combat: that the larger armoured attacks in most circumstances are actually not that integrated with infantry attacks; and infantry attacks supported by small numbers of armour is more accurate.

FlyXwire24 Jun 2023 4:50 a.m. PST

Well maybe Chain of Command is just like WRG infantry gaming then?

This size of game also goes for Bolt Action, that's for platoon actions, and there's probably a 1/2 dozen decent skirmish rule systems popularly being played on tabletops these days which have come out in the last 20 years for this level of miniature wargaming. Why go back to WRG for this?

That boat has already sailed.

Erzherzog Johann24 Jun 2023 11:58 p.m. PST

More interesting discussion here. I played a lot of non-points based scenarios at home, but getting a game at the club often seemed to require agreeing a points value and turning up the next weekend.

"Why go back to WRG for this?"

I guess there are a number of possible answers. Nostalgia could be one. I personally have some great memories of really fun games played with WRG 1st ed and I remember liking the look of 2nd ed, although I never played enough games to really decide whether or not the added complexity (and associated learning curve) were worth it, especially since after I had taken a long break from wargaming, things had changed at my club. People weren't playing WWII any more. AFAIK that is still true, apart from a bit of (I think) Bolt action – single based 28mm, which I'm not interested in getting into. There was a spell when 15mm Flames of Warhammer was popular but, while pretty, and great to see variations like Italians being played, it never appealed to me. Too "games workshop" for me . . .

I think there are people (the writer of the 'Farquar variant' being one), who believe there is basically a good game in there.

I've read reviews of a number of sets, trying to find one that suits my wishes. I will definitely investigate "Mein Panzer".

I did notice that WRG 2nd ed seemed to get away from the "my tank is bigger that yours" problem, because infantry just seemed more relevant, and 1944 wasn't dominated by Tigers because Pz IVs seemed useful.

I do remember a particular quirk of WRG 1. Tiger Is seemed to be the absolute best values armour that points could buy. 3 x 165 point each plus command was the best 500 points you could pay. Weaker German tanks ran the risk of being knocked out, Panthers were more expensive and had weak side armour. Ally players spent all their time trying to come up with the best solution to the Tiger, which was realistic I suppose :~)

Cheers,
John

FlyXwire25 Jun 2023 6:01 a.m. PST

John, very mindful comments.

Certainly one of the challenges put forth in game design, is not to just clone another set of rules, though we see this being a most prevalent 'industry' behavior in our small niche market.

The opportunity of innovation, seems to be to do something different.

Again, that's why it might be worth pushing here maybe there's something different to be had with this "(the writer of the 'Farquar variant' being one)" thing? If this variant is just being a cleanup, or clone of an old set of rules, how innovative can this be.

So why go back to WRG for this?

Is there some innovation to be seen, new ideas, or reason for this thread [or someone's blog entry] to generate more than 25 interested responses?

Another comment I'll forward, on a facet of historical gaming when do/how can little game companies reach out to gamers, to ask what they might want, or think is needed in the hobby?

(I guess that's a lot to expect in our shrinking hobby now)

Yes, there is some reaching out, like polls Editor Bill does here on TMP, but I think there's just more cloning-business occurring, which really just marginalizes the hobby more.

Gaming, and miniature gaming presentation, is a lot about showing off some energy, right?

Once more why go back to WRG for this, unless there's a spark of innovation to warrant positive interest?

Kudos to Whirlwind, for showing some solid presentation energy here…..

FlyXwire25 Jun 2023 8:01 a.m. PST

Going beyond 25 comments I see.

Innovation.

Well, these charts below were conceived with the WRG 1925-50 rules in mind Timothy Kask's article "WWII In The East, The Final Collapse…..Random Scenario Generation For Micro-Scale Battles".

I've kept this Little Wars game magazine edition from 1978 all these years Innovation.

It was a four-page article, 3-pages of charts (2 here), that was an effort to put historical context, organization, and doctrine into a random scenario generator [engine].

You needed a varied collection to satisfy the needed types and units listed. As I recall, I reduced some of the generated elements to match up with what I had in my collection at the time, and put these variables onto cards.

Today this type of generation can be found featured in some WWII PC games. I think Lock n' Load Publishing (of board games) has a form of scenario/force generator for some of their print games.

What was interesting with Timothy Kask's Task-Forcing charts here, was that it could be used as a 'bottom-line' mission generator, but when taken to its ultimate output players were tasked with a mission fulfillment, and to use the equipment available.

Maybe you got the good stuff, maybe not……deal with it Soldier, the battle has begun!

Whirlwind25 Jun 2023 12:20 p.m. PST

Again, that's why it might be worth pushing here maybe there's something different to be had with this "(the writer of the 'Farquar variant' being one)" thing? If this variant is just being a cleanup, or clone of an old set of rules, how innovative can this be.

So why go back to WRG for this?

Is there some innovation to be seen, new ideas, or reason for this thread [or someone's blog entry] to generate more than 25 interested responses?

I think the original impetus for John to do this was as an intellectual gap-filling exercise; it had struck people as odd that there was a 'missing' WRG WW2 set, one which incorporated Phil Barker's thinking as an advance on 1ed (both WW2 and modern) but without some of the heavier aspects of WW2 2nd edition/modern 3rd edition. The aim was to stick closely to Phil's logic for Modern 2nd edition, with some tidying up around weapons, armour classes and artillery. Some people still use one or other of the WRG WW2 editions, many others remember them somewhat fondly. So I don't think the idea is to be bigger than CoC, it is just to provide some gamers who might be interested with a new take on old favourites.

Well maybe Chain of Command is just like WRG infantry gaming then?

This size of game also goes for Bolt Action, that's for platoon actions, and there's probably a 1/2 dozen decent skirmish rule systems popularly being played on tabletops these days which have come out in the last 20 years for this level of miniature wargaming. Why go back to WRG for this?

That boat has already sailed.


Well, I use WRG now , since I prefer it to CoC and Bolt Action (usually) for this size of action. There may be others who agree with me. CoC has its own very particular flavour and focus: small-unit leadership aover the last 100 yards range or so (the implied distances within CoC are very short). Bolt Action's focus seems to me (I have only read and seen this, not played it) to be on its very nifty pinning mechanic and again, implies very short combat ranges (and sacrifices quite a lot here to get the game it wants to). Both rulesets use individually based figures too, which always means you can optimize to individual figure location as well, which you might or might not want. WRG makes far fewer compromises with things like ground scale, artillery, orders etc. and there may be gamers who prefer these emphases instead.

FlyXwire25 Jun 2023 1:37 p.m. PST

Well, somewhat disappointed by this Whirlwind.

Btw, basic WRG was cleaned up a lot by Mike Reese a long time ago, but perhaps what's old is new, or what's lapse becomes new ground to cultivate.

Best of luck!

Whirlwind25 Jun 2023 2:04 p.m. PST

Well, somewhat disappointed by this Whirlwind.

Oh, how so?

FlyXwire25 Jun 2023 2:21 p.m. PST

As my posting here must come an end. ;)

Jefthro311 Dec 2023 8:28 a.m. PST

If the updated WRG rules do become available to purchase l will certainly buy them , for some reason when Phil rewrites a set of rules the new set often bears little familiarity to the original , all one may have wanted was more of the first.
For instance the 1988 version is rich in detail and complexity and probably more accurate , but less playable when all l wanted was to allow the Pz IV H/G better armour protection than the earlier types and perhaps a realistic armour piecing ability for the six pounder and perhaps a simple rule for special ammunition.

Whirlwind22 Dec 2023 10:25 a.m. PST

Well, I think if I were to summarize the changes:

Reworked gun/armour values (and they seem better than the original)
Increased definition of infantry types (a bit)
More detailed observation rules, at the cost of a little more dice-rolling and complexity
Artillery support rules are re-worked to reflect different types of fire support and missions better.

I probably haven't done this justice, but top-level I hope it gives some idea…

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