I made it back to Bovington Tank Museum on Thursday. The last time I went there was in 2007, when there were major renovations taking place, so I had to go back and see how it had changed.
There is a whole new area which traces the history of the Tank from WW1 to modern times. It is a fantastic display, superbly done and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the history of armoured vehicles. The museum is in the heart of the English Army, Tank training area at Bovington and if you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Regiments vehicles training, from the many public viewing areas or even pass armoured vehicles travelling along the road.
The Museum has a huge range of ‘working’ tanks and puts on live displays in the arena during the summer months. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any on the day I was there. I’ve taken many photos and will post more when I return to Australia, but here is one just to tease you.
This is the my first section of WW2 British Paratroopers. The miniatures are mainly Bolt Action miniatures, accept for the one in the middle at the back, I bought this ages ago and have no idea who makes it. Anyway, I painted them some time ago and they’ve been sitting on the shelf awaiting another WW2 game.
Let me know what you think.
Just came back from a very enjoyable play test of Landser. I printed out a version of the rules I have reformated and redesigned, also a squad summary sheet. I really am trying to make the flow of the rules the best for ease of use.
I really wanted to test how the Heavy Machine Gun HMG worked and also revert to the original template firing method instead of the burst dice. So Guido and I set up a 6 x 4 tabletop designed around a prepared fire position for a HMG. We set up length ways with the HMG at one end. There was a very open and flat killing ground left in the centre with forrest, fields and other terrain on the edges. To negate these we put lengths barbed wire at the edges to funnel any flank moves back into the centre and eventually into open ground.
Chris took one Vickers HMG with a loader and supported by a spotter defended against one squad of Fallschirmjager.
The attack began with Guido’s Fallschirmjager splitting into three groups with their Light Machine Gun LMG holding the centre as two groups advanced on either flank. We immediately found the squad summary sheets very useful. I really like the rules for spotting in this game as it cuts out the God view and you have to be able to ‘Observe’ a target before you can shoot it and when you are doing some actions, like running, you can’t see anyone until you stop and look again. This tries to mirror the confusion of the battlefield without being too bogged down.
Anyway, once the Vickers opened up and every German on the field knew they were there, it began drawing a large amount of fire. Unfortunately for the German troops the prepared position made it very difficult to engage the HMG at range. They had to get closer! A number of very brave Fallschirmjager attempted to advance across open ground, only to be sent forced to ground. It seemed that a number of the attacking Germans were out to win and ‘Iron Cross’. On closer examination, it would seem that had they coordinated the attacks from both flanks and attacked in force, the outcome may have been forced quicker.
The English HMG gunner took a glancing hit mid way through the battle, only the recover and quickly re-enter the fight. Bad, Unluck or shocking dice from Chris only gave out 3 light wounds to the Germans, even though the template firing rules were working really well. He did manage to stall the Germans for 13 turns before the German LMG finally struck home and put the gunner out of action.
The English spotter briefly thought about taking over, but his moral failed in the face of the German advance on both flanks.
The game took about 2 hours to completed and there was a definite outcome. Using the quick play wound rules, made for a much faster game and now that we understand the mechanics things seem to flow faster.
In summary, the squad sheets worked well, the machine gun template rules seem better than the burst dice format, even though it is easy to hit using the template it isn’t easy to put a figure out of action, especially if you have to divide your fire. Scenarios battles seem to work best, rather than meeting engagements.
Our next game will test another key weapon, perhaps Mortars. I’d also really like to try a Normandy landing scenario and Pete is looking to make a concrete bunker terrain piece. Really going to have to think about the numbers of attackers and defenders, but it will be a lot of fun.
Sorry for the late review, but I have been distracted lately.
Anyway, I went to see Valkyrie on Friday night without any expectations besides that I knew the film featured a number of highly respected English actors like Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh and Terence Stamp. It also had a number of excellent German actors in the cast including Christian Berkel and Thomas Kretschmann who both appeared in the award winning German film ‘Downfall’.
It was quite an engaging film, considering that you know the outcome of the real event. That said, I still hoped they would succeed. Funny how films with historical context really have the power to engage on another level and World War 2 still has the ability to connect to an audience emotionally because of its savagery and also I guess, because it was the last war where there was a definitive ‘Good v’s Evil’ conflict.
I have to applaud Tom Cruise for taking on such a significant historical character and risking the fury of the German public. Totally different from characters he usually portrays, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg is a man of principles, who loves his country and will stand up when lesser men did not. As history shows, he was also to pay the ultimate price for his ideals.
The film was well paced, well scripted with excellent performances. The technique of changing the language from German with subtitles to English was nicely executed and from that point I totally accepted the mix of English, German and American accents. Uniforms and settings were accurately portrayed, but the one criticism I have is for the German inner circle of Hitler and his henchman. The actors just didn’t seem to capture the power or charisma that those men must have exuded. I think nobody will ever be able to match the performance Bruno Ganz gave as Adolf Hitler in ‘Downfall’.
It was refreshing to see a Hollywood film that didn’t try for a happy ending. How could they if the film was to stay true to history, but how often have we heard that downbeat endings have been sacrificed for happy ones. I give Valkyrie 4 stars
Hello all, sorry about the slow posts but not much happening at the moment. The boys gathered this evening for pizza and a game, it was great because a complete novice to tabletop wargaming came and had a go with us.
4 x 4 table with limited terrain was used, Pete set up the board to replicate something he’d seen in the Warhammer Great War rules. We used a squad of WW1 Australians to do battle with a squad of WW1 Germans, just so we could blood the miniatures we had painted and left sitting on our shelves for so long. Admittedly it is easy to transfer the rule dynamics to most firearm periods and WW1 has basically the same weapons types.
The game pitted two Australian squads against one German. The objective for the Australians was to cross the board and exit on the German edge. The German’s were tasked with holding a fence line for as long as possible. Initially I had expected the game to last for 7 turns, but we were to learn about that. Becca’s and Chris took a squad of Aussies each and Guido took the Germans, Claude just hung around to give advice when required (much to Guido’s annoyance). The game played up to 13 turns with the Germans holding out and breaking one Australian squad in the process.
- Need to record all players actions and results for each turn.
- Need to somehow make this visible on the playing board.
- Extended wound table gets difficult to maintain unless detail results are taken, but if we had a good recording device it may have worked.
- Game is played best with just a squad per side, but this might change if we have proper records and know the rules better.
- The HMG and GPMG are basically the same thing in the system and should just go under one name.
- Grenades are fun!
- Gotta keep track of turns. Perhaps there is a need for another turn measuring template or something.
- Rules layout is extremely important.
I question the LMG burst method and may return to trying the original template method.
We’re getting a hang of the rules now and changes or modifications are being identified. Need to keep playing them on a regular basis and print out and new draft version for everyone to have a look at and use in a game.
I am really enjoying trying to develop these rules and really appreciate the input of the boys during the games.
Back to the rules!
Check out Becca’s view of the game at the following link: