My German readers will no doubt recognise the above as Berlin Templehof Flughaven/Airport, accurately portraying the ferocious combat that took place between the advancing Soviets and the tenacious defenders in 1945. I know it intimately because yours truly was stranded there two years ago on the way to join the Flames of War European Team Championships held in Poland that year.
Team Northern Ireland E.T.C.
This article is concerned with those wargames scenarios where no one wants to be the defender and/or one side took a “passive” role. If you aren’t blessed with a regular opponent or your gaming chums are just too aggressive, then the P.O.S.T. system might be the answer. I will demonstrate how Cardiff Toy Spartans organised a D-Day game but hopefully the applications will be obvious. You still require the good will, of course, so I still recommend you avoid inviting the uber-competitive!
Many moons ago, a rules-set entitled Pony Wars caught my attention. I played a few memorable games with my Aifix ACW Union troops chasing the diminutive Indians around the prairie. For some reason the Airfix Indians rode dog-like ponies I remember. The Indians came on from random entry points and then acted on a series of dice rolls, modified by their strength e.g. large war-parties tended to charge the nearest US cavalry patrol whilst smaller bands of Indians shadowed their opponents and traded shots. Those Indians that didn’t have an opponent nearby, headed off towards either a point on the table or fort/ wagon train/buffalo herd e.t.c.. The games were great fun, pure Hollywood, and thoroughly absorbing. As an aside, an interesting aspect of the rules was that the Cavalry had to note down their ammunition expenditure to stop the horse soldiers blazing away at any redskin that appeared. Later, came the boardgame, Ambush, set in World War Two with a squad of G.I.s stumbling through the Normandy Bocage, disturbing angry Germans at every (wrong) turn. The game had an A4 card, different for each scenario, that the player cross-referenced with the hex number the GI was entering. Although this may sound a little clunky for the Call of Duty generation, it did give a game full of suspense and incidents. So the first of this week’s projects will be to merge these two approaches to provide an opponent as the brave Ameicans storm Omaha beach. The defenders will be deployed randomly but with a view to actual deployments. The attacking Ameicans will ‘activate’ enemy responses and just to add spice there will be an ‘incident’ table to consult just to make any budding Tom Hanks types, something to think about. I always preferred John Wayne……….