Category Archives: AARs

Panzer Campaigns: Japan ’45 – A Grogheads AAR

Japan45

The latest, hot off the press game from John Tiller Software is Panzer Campaigns Japan ’45. It covers the planned, though never actually launched, invasion of the island of Kyushu code-named Operation Olympic. Kyushu is one of the main islands in Japan and its capture was deemed a priority essential as a jumping off point to the invasion of the rest of the Japanese home islands. It fortunately never came to pass as Japan surrendered in August 1945 following defeats throughout the Pacific, military collapse in China and Manchuria, a declaration of war followed by a blitzkrieg from the Soviet Union, and to cap it off, atomic bombing of their cities by the USA. They were in a really bad place with no way of achieving strategic victory.

Japan45

Japan45

By: Boggit,

Nuts! 4th Edition – Pzrjager Goes on Patrol!

nuts

Today I’ll be doing a tank patrol as the Americans in Normandy using NUTS! 4th Edition and Tabletop Simulator. I’ll be using the rules for solo gaming.

Setup

I have a platoon of three M4 75mm Shermans, each with a tank commander (TC) Rep of 5, and the gunner, loader, driver, and bow gunner with Reps of 4. Rep represents things like skill, experience, and training and will determine how well our crews fight, drive, and react to certain situations. I won’t be playing with any “Star” rules, which give your “main character” many opportunities to escape damage or death.

To keep things simple all enemies will be a Panzer IV F1 platoon. Their TC will have a Rep of 4 and the rest of their crew will have a Rep of 3.

By: Pzrjager,

nuts

Nuts!

Kriegsspiel That Would Never End™ – An AAR, part the last

The AAR has landed ~

Jim Owczarski, 2 June 2018

I have said elsewhere that along this road I learned a lot about running a Kriegsspiel via e-mail.  I have run many face-to-face in my home and elsewhere, but this one created new necessities and inventions.  I have already discussed the oversized wall map and Dalek stickers my wife and I used to track the action.  Shortly into the action, she also fashioned a special ruler, marked off with the map’s scale.

Faded just a bit.

Kriegsspiel That Would Never End™ – An AAR, part 3

The AAR that will actually end™ ~

Jim Owczarski, 19 May 2018

I have played in a fair number of Kriegsspiels, and run a bunch more, and each one teaches something about the nature of warfare in the era.

One of the greater lessons of this one to me was the difficulty of bringing your opponent to battle if he did not want to fight you.  Consider the following:

  • The troop columns are very long.  Even under the simplified system used, a French division of 8,000 men stretches over 4 km.  A division of 2,000 cavalry stretches to the same distance.  In the mixed divisions — common among the Prussians — a 9,000-man division consisting of 7,000 men and 2,000 cavalry covers 7.5 km with an additional 15% penalty because of the relatively poor organization of their wagon train over against the French.
  • Only one division can have a given road at a time.  My friend Doug Miller has written about this elsewhere, but there is a remarkable display at the Deutsches Historisches Museum on the history of road improvement in Germany from the time of the Thirty Years’ War to the Napoleonic era. (Author’s Note:  All museums should have displays that awesome.)  It makes many points, but the one relevant here is that these divisional columns would never have been able to move side-by-side without dramatically slowing their march rates.
  • You do not want the MOVEMENT PENALTY.  In my household, it is a rule when measuring Kriegsspiel marches by anybody silly enough to think he can save time by going off-road that one say MOVEMENT PENALTY in the most ominous voice possible.  It certainly can be attempted in a pinch, but is a very poor way to get to the battlefield.  All through our visit to this battle space, my wife and I repeatedly looked at the hills, the forests, the rivers, and everything else and said, yes, MOVEMENT PENALTY.
  • The battle space in the game is relatively small.  “Flight of the Eagle” decrees that battles generally occur in an area of five square kilometers and that until a column arrives inside that square it cannot be deployed for battle.
  • Commanders were only working with 12-hour days.  The hours of daylight in October in Thuringia are judged by the rules to be 0600 through 1800.  Marching after dark incurs a dramatic penalty in fatigue and no force can move more than 20 hours without rest.  Fights after nightfall — in the darkness of 1806 that is difficult for folks today to imagine — were very rare and I allowed them only under exceptional circumstances.

Kriegsspiel That Would Never End™ – An AAR, part 2

The AAR takes waaaay less time than the game ~

Jim Owczarski, 16 May 2018

One of the great joys of the Kriegsspiel is the fog of war and command friction that results from any double-blind game.  The Jena-Auerstedt campaign’s fights over 13 and 14 October made this point eloquently — and I am not only discussing the fact (alluded to in the videos) that during this period Napoleon lost Bernadotte’s I Corps for a fair amount of time and Brunswick lost contact with Blucher and Ruchel for several days.

While Murat, Lannes, and Davout were barrelling nigh Hell-fot-leather Northward along their western line of advance, Napoleon I himself could never quite figure out where the Prussians were.  He kept punching forward hoping to hit something and never realized just how empty the battle space was.  In the early marches, he failed to catch the divisions guarding the Hof gap and then both Marshals Soult and Ney kept nudging forward along the eastern routes trying to make contact with Hohenlohe’s men who scampered as fast as they were able.