Origins! Command Post Wargaming
What is this “Command Post Wargaming” of which you speak? ~
The GrogHeads Command Post Wargaming Team, 26 June 2016
There are all sorts of stuff you can do at a game convention. You can play games, shop for games (and accessories!), hang out discussing games with other gamers… all things you can do at home, but made easier by the concentration of the gamers in one place. Things you can’t do at home, though, are the bigger destination events that you need a convention to support. The Command Post Wargame events are a destination event.
There’s plenty of information about the Command Post Wargames here. What we’ve got for you in this article are the details of this year’s mission, and a look at the teams in action.
First, here’s a look at the briefing that the team gets in preparation for their mission. This gives them the details of what they’re doing, and how they’re going to be structured to do it.
This year’s mission brief:
2ACR is tasked with clearing the B10 highway, and seizing the town of Uhingen and its associated river crossings.
Enemy forces are believed to be a reinforced brigade which has suffered significant attrition. In addition, the Air Force struck the enemy’s Division- and Army-level fuel depot recently, so enemy mobility is expected to be low. The enemy is expected to have a long-range SAM installation in your area.
An MLRS battalion has been tasked with direct support. One battery is in range and ready to fire, and the other two are en route. You can expect 6 sorties of Close Air Support, and two Wild Weasel sorties. You have a battalion of attack aviation (Apaches and Kiowas) in direct support.
(ed note: an entire battalion of MLRS is freakin’ awesome. And never going to happen for an ACR back in 1985)
Here’s the actual area on the ground through Google Maps. Just off the map to the upper right is the city of Göppingen, where 1ID(M)-FWD was based during the Cold War. Further northwest of that is Schwäbisch-Gmünd, former home of the 56th Field Artillery Command, and our content editor.
In planning this mission, the players face several dilemmas:
- The main mission is to clear the B10 highway and take Uhingen. However, the B10 highway runs along a river with few intact bridges.
- How do you apportion forces to either side of the river, and keep them mutually supporting?
- The main mission has an open flank to the south. How do you divide your forces between accomplishing the mission, and screening your flank?
- Given those competing requirements, how do you form a sufficient reserve, yet ensure that each task has enough combat power assigned?
In addition, the players in the Intel shop faced some distinct problems:
- What are the enemy’s most likely and most dangerous options?
- With your limited reconnaissance capabilities (the ACR is a reconnaissance organization, but in this mission, most of it must be used as combat power), what areas should you be watching in order to figure out which of those options – or what third option! – the enemy is executing?
- How do you keep those reconnaissance assets far enough forward to provide useful warning time, yet protected enough to stay alive so they are able to report?
So what did our players look like in the game? We had a large planning map for the players on the table in front of the monitor where they would watch the game being played.