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Revised WWII Battles in France

The goal of this set of miniature rules was to cover both early war and late war WWII combat in a set of rules that was no longer than six pages excluding tables and whose combat had no more than six modifiers. This set of rules is similar to but more easily digestible than the more comprehensive and complex WWII Battles Quad rules.

Link: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AEXnGeBM-4V5qCE

Mortar Spotter Teams

Tried another game of WWII Battles with the intent on seeing how the latest changes go. The game didn’t get very far at all when my opponent noted that his mortar sections had to expose themselves in order to fire at a target. After a brief discussion it was decided to add “internal” mortar spotter teams in front of on-table mortar sections and platoons. This would allow the spotter to be at the edge of a town, on the crest of a wadi or at the edge of a hill with the parent mortar unit hidden behind it, firing out of sight of the target. Also made a small change to battalion artillery impact areas now at 1.5x the width as a battery but get 2 rolls instead of one. This was modeled after the Soviet mortar bn. which had the tubes spaced 10m apart and the batteries 30m apart in a line. The UK 8-gun battery now has a battery sized impact area but with 2 rolls. This was due to a quote by a German about the rapid fire of the ” semi-auto ” 25 pdrs.

What About Mortars?

I’ve been playing quite a bit of Steel Division II lately and was surprised at the rate of fire of the veteran 60mm mortars being in excess of 30 rounds per minute. I did an internet search on mortars compiling their sustained rate of fire and shell weight from various sources including videos. I then tabulated the results adding them to the WWII Battles HE Analysis. 60-82mm mortars do have twice the rate of fire of the standard gun but half the shell weight so their base PK was unaltered. I also looked at 75 and 76mm howitzers, noting that they have 30-50% higher rates of fire than the standard gun so increased their PK by 1. Note: The M48 HE shell of the US/UK 75L40 gun has a 25% greater weight than the standard gun hence it also gets a slight bump in PK.

I also revised the HE area fire versus hard target combat to a simple table rather than having to do any calculations. The PK of bombs versus hard targets was increased due to the fact that there is some aiming involved, not just random area fire. I also corrected an error in the number of dice aircraft use in area attacks to one as they are now just attacking sections (which was done so you could shoot them down). In addition it was noted that the 15cm Nebelwerfer does damage as a standard 105mm HE round because the HE filler is only 5 lbs compared to the 10 lbs of the M13 rocket from a BM-13. Hopefully this answers a common question on the wimpiness of the 15cm Nebelwerfer.

Link: WWII Battles HE Analysis

 

More WWII Battles Scenarios

Here are two more historical WWII Battles scenarios. These cover the desert and eastern front. Enjoy.

Link: WWII Battles Scenarios 2

WWII Battles Scenarios

Although the WWII Battles Quad rules are designed to allow the players to compose their own forces here are two scenarios based on historical battles, one early war and one late war. The early war scenario has had the unarmored elements stripped out making it a simple easy to learn tank battle. The late war battle is a good combined arms battle.

Link: WWII Battles Scenarios 1

2019 Gaming Retrospective

2019 gaming was spent primarily on the PC. The one miniature game I played during the summer was a 6mm WWII Normandy game using WWII Battles Quad rules. On the PC front during the first half of the year I played some Steel Division Normandy 44 and in an online multiplayer Neverwinter Nights campaign which was frustrating because the game would crash after an hour or so if we forgot to relog. Steel Division 2 came out mid year and I spent much time with that trying to perfect my tactical skills as the game is challenging with hard AI.  I have yet to try the campaign portion of that game, preferring the skirmish portion. In the final quarter of the year Beamdog who had reissued Neverwinter Nights made a massive patch for the game and it now plays smooth and doesn’t crash after an hour. I can now recommend Neverwinter Nights Enhanced as it is now pain free, just remember to press ctrl+enter to go full screen.

TFT on Harn

Recently I had a discussion with a friend over the revival of the The Fantasy Trip (TFT) role playing game by Steve Jackson Games. He had mentioned that there were a few changes from the first edition (1980) but that 95% of it was the same. This reminded me of a campaign on Harn (Columbia Games) a group of us started back in the late 80’s, first trying to use the Harnmaster rules, abandoning them as too complex and transitioning over to the TFT rule set, simplifying many things along the way. Here is a copy of the TFT on Harn addendum to the TFT rules we made up (revised 2004). You also need the Harnworld supplement and a kingdom module, we used Kaldor. The newer HarnPlayer guide would help players understand the world a lot better although it can create information overload. One of the things we did was make magic harder in TFT on Harn compared to original TFT and limit the power and availability of enchanted items. This more closely matches our interpretation of magic on Harn. It also makes the game more challenging as you can’t just get out of a tough situation through the use of powerful magic. Our first adventure was to be the second team to go into a Gargun cave complex and rescue some kidnapped children while most of the Gargun were out chasing the first team. It didn’t go so well with half of our party perishing. Just a reminder that TFT is an unforgiving game even with the slight tweaks we made in the character death rules.

Link: TFT on Harn

Easy Napoleonic Miniatures Rules

Here is a link to some easy Napoleonic miniatures rules for 20 to 25mm miniatures where each player runs an infantry or cavalry brigade.

Link: Napoleonic Rules

WWII Battles Update

Played a game of WWII Battles in France using micro-armor. The scenario was Normandy July 1944 in honor of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Two US Armored Infantry companies, two Sherman tank companies (1st platoon of each is M4/76)  and two batteries of 105s versus two Armored Panzergrenadier companies (one company with a Sdkfz 251/9 platoon attached), one Panther tank company with a Sdkfz 7/1 AA platoon attached, two batteries of 105s and a battery of 150s in a meeting engagement. Realizing that Panthers are extremely difficult to deal with the Shermans hid from them while concentrating on the panzergrenadiers and eventually prevailed with a a US win. An after action discussion resulted in a minor change to the hard target PK modifiers representing tracked tanks bailing out (now a -5 mod, was -6) and small caliber non-autocannon damage (added a -1 mod). I also got tired of lugging three sets of WWII Battles rules around and consolidated them again with each of the four battles now having its own data sheet. The page count goes from 12 to 20 which makes it seem more complicated but the rules remain the same.

Link: WWII Battles Quad Rules

2018 Gaming Retrospective

Historical miniatures gaming was still somewhat weak in 2018 with a single game of Gladius and Pilum ancients and a couple trial games of WWII Battles in France using 6mm minis. PC wargaming was up considerably with many hours spent playing Steel Division Normandy 44. This game gives up historical realism in favor of game balance with air parity allowing both sides to use attack aircraft and Allied armor penetration values tweaked to allow them to better penetrate German armor. There are no command control rules allowing players to move individual tanks, guns and squads wherever they wish resulting in a game of micromanagement like Squad Leader. The games AI and graphics (both units and terrain) are great. I look forward to Steel Division II to be released sometime in 2019 which takes us to the Russian Front.

Postscript: An analysis of the Steel Division armor penetration system reveals a highly unrealistic method of determining penetration. 20mm autocannons regularly penetrate the front armor of Sherman tanks at very close range. This is not realistic as it is known the 20mm penetrates about half the front armor of a Sherman at close range.