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Raid on the Marshall Islands – an Order of Battle Pacific AAR, part 1

After Pearl Harbor, it’s time for the US to strike back ~

Avery Abernethy, 24 July 2017

After the Japanese destroyed most of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 the US Naval Command and President Roosevelt were under tremendous pressure to position the US Carriers into a defensive position. Some argued the carriers should defend Hawaii. Others suggested pulling the carriers back to protect the US West Coast. After taking command of the Pacific Fleet on December 31, 1941, Admiral Nimitz was responsible for how the US Fleet would be deployed.

Instead of a strict defensive deployment, Nimitz used the remaining US ships centered on the aircraft carriers to both ferry planes to Pacific outposts and also to launch raids against the Japanese. The decision to launch raids against Japan was a very ballsy move by Nimitz. The most famous raid was by Doolittle’s group from the Carrier Hornet. But a more extensive raid against the Gilbert Islands came first.

This is an after action report (AAR) from Order of Battle: World War 2 the US Pacific Campaign and the Marshalls – Gilbert Islands Raid scenario. I played this scenario as part of the US Pacific Campaign.

Tuesday Interview – Luke Hughes of Burden of Command

The main brain behind the forthcoming Burden of Command has a chat with GrogHeads ~

Brant Guillory, 11 July 2017

When I hear “Burden of Command” I start to flash back to my days as a company commander, and being buried under a pile of 15-6 investigations, dental cat-IVs, and guys who couldn’t qualify with their personal weapons.  I’m assuming the newly-announced “Burden of Command” game isn’t a game of competitive administrative duties.  Give us the thumbnail insight of what we can expect in the new game, and why this one is more focused on the ‘burden’ of command than other similar games on the marketplace?

Damn, I can run but now I can’t hide.  A real company commander, I’d love to know when and where! (ed note: nothing exciting – it was a National Guard HHC while the rest of the battalion was mobilized)

Now you are so right, real command is a lot of administrative tedium puncture by rare moments of terror.  However, maybe not such a great game. Though the game “Papers Please” might teach us differently.   What you can expect in BoC is not only the command and control decisions you associate with classic wargames (directing fire and maneuver, and the 4 F’s: find, fix, flank, and finish) but the morale oriented decisions we might associate with a classic tactical board game (ASL, Combat Commander, Band of Brothers, Fields of Fire).

Finally, and more unusually, you must take responsibility for the “preserve” decisions around the men’s physical and psychological welfare on and off the battlefield. They will look to you for the right mindset to adopt in the face of war. Novelist Karl Marlantes, who dropped out of his Rhodes Scholarship to serve as a 1st Lieutenant in Vietnam wrote “What It is Like to Go to War.” He argued that, like it or not, when you go to war you enter a spiritual journey because you are in the presence of death. You have entered the “Temple of Mars” as he so eloquently put it. Whether or not you or your superiors have prepared you for that experience, and for making life or death decisions is a different question.  But the burden will be yours, prepared or not.

In sum, leadership in BoC is “Direct, Motivate, and Preserve.” And the burdens are many.

Order of Battle: Pacific, the Philippines, Part III

A multi-part AAR of a battle in the Philippines ~

Avery Abernethy, 7 June 2017

This is the 2nd Scenario in the US Pacific Campaign for Order of Battle WW2.  The First Scenario is Pearl Harbor which is not suited for an AAR.  I’m playing on the Lt. Level.

The end of the battle, and the fall of the Philippines?

Turn 11, Part 2

Order of Battle: Pacific, the Philippines, Part II

A multi-part AAR of a battle in the Philippines ~

Avery Abernethy, 6 June 2017

This is the 2nd Scenario in the US Pacific Campaign for Order of Battle WW2.  The First Scenario is Pearl Harbor which is not suited for an AAR.  I’m playing on the Lt. Level.

Continuing yesterday’s battle…

Turn 5 – achieved first objective

Order of Battle: Pacific, the Philippines, Part I

A multi-part AAR of a battle in the Philippines ~

Avery Abernethy, 5 June 2017

This is the 2nd Scenario in the US Pacific Campaign for Order of Battle WW2.  The First Scenario is Pearl Harbor which is not suited for an AAR.  I’m playing on the Lt. Level.

Terrain before main troop deployment

Following up the success at Pearl Harbor the Japanese invaded many areas in the Pacific.  The largest concentration of US ground forces were in the Philippines.  The Japanese landed with huge forces after McArthur allowed almost his entire air force to be destroyed on the ground.  McArthur retreated southward towards the Bataan Peninsula.

GrogHeads Reviews Order of Battle: Winter War

Airboy bundles up for a fight in the snow ~

Avery Abernethy, 1 April 2017

I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Finland. The Finns were one of the few who repaid their World War 1 debts to the United States. I’ve had three enjoyable trips to Helsinki in the last thirty-five years. The Finns have good beer and you can take a “beer trolley” tour of Helsinki. “Hello” in Finland is “Hey” – the same way Auburn fans say hello to each other.

WinterWar-1 - Scenario 1 Intro

Impressions of Strategic Command 3

And… a comparison with Strategic Command WW1 Breakthrough ~

Boggit, 23 February 2017

Developed by Fury Software, and Published by Slitherine

About three years ago I did a detailed review of Fury Software’s Strategic Command WW1: Breakthrough and ended up recommending it as “not only highly playable but also a very deep, subtle and immersive game.” What, I wonder, has Fury Software been doing since? Well, they’ve spent a couple of years working on their new WW2 game – Strategic Command WW2: War in Europe, and have changed their publisher.

So what’s it like?

The first thing to hit me between the eyes is the artwork. In comparison to SCWW1: Breakthrough, Strategic Command WW2 looks like a different game. Of course it is, but in comparison the artwork is stunning, and that includes the map, the counters, and the event notifications. It is a dramatic improvement.

 

The old style artwork…

The old style artwork…

The Tuesday Interview – Nikolai & George from Sovereignty

The guys from the latest Matrix Game 4x hit stop in to chat about their new release. ~

Brant Guillory, 21 February 2017

So it’s not like the world is lacking for 4X games.  What made you think “the world needs this game?” and how did you get that vision from inception to the full release of Sovereignty?

Nikolai Soderstrom (Designer): To be honest, I don’t really consider this a 4x game. We certainly didn’t go into it thinking we needed to create a 4x game. I mostly consider Sovereignty an accessible turn-based strategy game. Manage your kingdom. Go to war. Fight battles on the tactical map.

Our inspiration is deeply rooted in the grand campaign worlds of Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Birthright, in Middle Earth, and in historical settings to craft a rich political and cultural landscape in which to set a strategy game. In Sovereignty, you can play any one of 34 different realms, and each one is unique. We wanted the rich cultures established in the lore to resonate in the gameplay itself. Each realm has its own playstyle, its own ambitions, fears and rivalries, its own unique units, spell repertoire, agents, economy, diplomatic position, and heroes.

TI-Sov-10