Daily Archives: March 14, 2015

War of 1812 G.A.M.E.R.


Duncan's War of 1812 G.A.M.E.R. game

Duncan’s War of 1812 G.A.M.E.R. game

Last night at HAWKs night Duncan ran a very interesting game, based on a concept we had discussed a couple of times.  The idea is that one formed unit is advancing toward the other.  Both units have deployed skirmishers.  The game represents the skirmish fight between the units as the gap between them closes.  In the picture above, the long blocks of wood along the left represent the front to the advancing American unit.  The right edge of the table represents the front of the stationary British unit.

The American skirmish line

The American skirmish line

Duncan chose to use G.A.M.E.R. for this game, with just slight modifications.  He used the carbine stats from WWII, created his own hand-to-hand modifiers, and made some rules for firing at formed units.  The point of the game was to get skirmishers within 24 inches of the formed enemy units and then shoot at them to inflict  casualties that would hopefully influence the result of overall battle (e.g., stop the Americans from closing or force the British to withdraw rather than stand and fight).  At the end of each turn, the advancing American unit moved six inches.  When the two formed units came within 24 inches of each other, the game ended.  Casualties on the formed units were counted up and morale checks made at the end of the game based on those casualties.

Part of the British skirmish line

Part of the British skirmish line

So how did the game play out?  Chris and I were the American skirmishers.  Greg and Don were the British skirmishers.  Each of us had a platoon of skirmishers, composed of three squads.  Two squads were deployed.  One was formed as a reserve.

Early in the game, one of Chris’ deployed skirmish squads routed off the table, so he had to deploy his reserve.  He and Greg beat on each other, but by the end of the game, Chris was unable to get any shots on the formed British unit.  I advanced steadily, but luck was not with my units.  Even though I deployed my reserves early, I only got three shots on the formed unit.  Don’s skirmishers really crushed mine, inflicting many casualties on the advancing American line.

At the end of the game, based on casualties inflicted on the two formed units, the British line had to make one morale check, and the American line had to make four.  In the case of the advancing American line, the result was a charge toward the enemy, followed by a pin result.  The British morale check also resulted in a charge toward the enemy.  So, while the result of the skirmish fight was a convincing British victory, Duncan declared the result of the battle a draw.  If the objective of the American line was to close with the enemy, since the American line did so, I would call that an American victory.

Though G.A.M.E.R. is still under development, it is interesting to see how other HAWKs are already using it outside its intended purpose.  When I began this development journey, I thought that I would use GAMER for WWII and science fiction skirmishes.  It works surprisingly well for black-powder era games.

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Battleground WWII – Saturday Cold Wars 2015

Saturday evening at Cold Wars 2015, I ran a Battleground scenario called “The Fight on Wilkes – 23 December 1941”. 

The basic scenario description:  On the morning of 23 Dec 1941, under cover of darkness, Japanese forces landed on Wilkes Island. Although the US Marines defending the island were spread thin and outnumbered, they were still able to mount a counterattack. “At this time,” states a Japanese report, “Wilkes Island was the scene of a fierce and desperate battle.”  The Marines completely eliminated the Japanese landing force.  Unfortunately, the Marines on Wilkes Island were forced to surrender when the rest of the Wake Island defenders capitulated later that same morning. (Adapted from a Jim Keats scenario from the Iron Ivan Games website)

A view of the gun position looking south towards the landing beach
A view of the gun position looking from the west

The Japanese set their three squads in defensive positions around the guns; not knowing the direction of  the Marine

 The Marine attack consisted of four elements:  CPT Platt, two MMG teams, and a reinforced squad from the west; Battery L crewmen from the north; and Lieutenant McAlister and a squad
from the east.

CPT Platt and others move through the jungle towards the Japanese position

 The Japanese Naval Landing Force didn’t have any heavy weapons but as it turned out, they didn’t need them.  On the west side, CPT Platt, his MMGs, and the other Marine squad poured a lot of ineffective fire into the Japanese.  The Japanese return fire was a little better.  The Marines decided if fire wasn’t working, then a taste of clod steel might help.  So out of the jungle they charged.

Despite their superior marksmanship, the Marines take more casualties than the Japanese

As the Marines charged toward one of the Japanese positions, the Japanese managed to blow up a 5” gun ammo bunker.  The resulting explosion took out 3 Marines.  Most of the remaining Marines were then cut down by a LMG – ending the Marine’s heroic charge.

One Marine survived the charge against the Japanese LMG position
CPT Platt engages the Japanese Commander
The Japanese Commander defeats CPT Platt

It was at this point, with around the loss of CPT Platt and 50% casualties, the Marine decided they didn’t have enough combat effectives to continue the attack.  They fell back, leaving the Japanese in possession of the gun position.

Although the game ended early, all involved had a good time.  And with the time change that night, getting to bed early was a bonus.

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