Andrew the Tekkie was in the chair and opted for a WW2 game in 15mm using the 1970s rule set Operation Warboard by Gavin Lyall.
A full battle report can be read on Andrew's Blog
So I will confine myself to a few observations on what was a rather good game with significantly more than lip service paid to the history involved than is usual in more recently published "games" .
For a first game using this system the whole thing flowed exceedingly well. Leaving the mechanics in the hands of the Umpire is- for us- always the way to go. The Umpire IS the rule book - and -being human- can throw we players curve balls at his leasure and, when all works well, elevate the whole affair to something more than a mere dice rolling exercise.
So we actors upon his stage must simply don our motley and play our parts. Therein lies the "fun" but in order to play our parts we have to have some glimmering of knowledge outside of the pages of the rule book otherwise what the hell is the point. I might as well play snakes and ladders.
|An Me 110 gives some poor British transport a proper Strafing|
Which brings me to the latest issue of Wargames Soldiers and Strategy- this issues there- Raiding during the ACW is well handled and indeed the whole magazine has plenty of reading in it though I do find some of the attitudes expressed really rather narrow minded. This narrow mindedness is most ably expressed in The Irregular" column by one Ian Beal. Entitled "Don't be a Bore It's just a game" it is yet another paen of praise for the supremacy of the game designer over other mortals. Another sharp telling off to anyone who actually does his own research and dares to come to his own conclusions. That may not be what Mr Beal intended but by Gum that is how it reads. Such narrowness is equally as annoying as Mr Beals chosen Betes Noir "wargames bores who have once read an Osprey" . Now I am not witout sympathy here but surely informed discussion and debate is part of what we do?. At a show- where you are on public display (and therefore should perhaps expect to get shot at) it is also ill- mannered (though perhaps less so in the confines of "club- night" ). However overriding all this that that now common and rather childish attitude of " I don't want to use my brain I only want to play a game" which - for me often seems to reduce our hobby to nothing more than dross. This is examplified in Mr Beals piece by his description of one of his WW2 games "The Stuart was the last remaining vehicle running around the table trying to keep out of the way of the big guns". I suspect that by his light all of our group would be classed as "wargame bores"- to which we would object mightily "history bores " though ... perhaps not so much.
Now don't gety me wrong here if that is the way he enjoys his hobby fine go ahead but don't assume I or anyone else has the same narrow game -centric attitude. Don't assume that we cannot read somewhat more than an Osprey in our chosen periods. Don't assume that game designers must be right.
However having said all that and dished it out a bit I find myself in complete agreement with his penultimate paragraph. This is what we normally do. Give a set of rules a good airing and decide which bit we like and which bits (or even the whole book) go in the bin. But we don't do this for reasons of mere game we look deeper than that. Therein lies the fun.