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Tag Archives: Operational

A Wing and a Prayer – First Look!

Coming in for landing on a table near you ~

Michael Eckenfels, 1 November 2017

I’m going to try something different. Well…kind of different. Here, I’d thought that unboxing videos were the way to go, but perhaps the written medium is the best way to go. I think finding the happy medium between the two is going to mean a bit of back and forth, not just in our forums, but also in discussions of these articles. Hopefully, you will spend a moment or two to let us know what you think.

That said, it seems that there’s several companies vying for the solo bomber-missions-in-Europe mantle. DVG has B-17 Leader, Legion Wargames has Target For Today (not to mention B-29 Superfortress and Hell Over Korea), and here, Lock ‘n Load Publishing has A Wing and a Prayer.

 

The box cover’s design is eye-catching, I think.

Designed by Erik von Rossing, whom has quite a few solitaire game titles to his name, this one has been received by the wargaming community with positive vibes, as far as I’ve been able to tell. I’ve checked out multiple first impression pieces and articles on this game as they’ve trickled in over the last few months as I’ve waited to receive this copy, and there’s nothing really that I’m thinking is going to surprise me in a bad way. We shall see once I get it to the table, though. 

Modern-Day Napoleonic Battles & Travels, Part the Fourth

Wherein our intrepid traveler deigns to report his on-the-ground experiences ~

Jim Owczarski, 28 October 2017

I suppose it is prudent to begin in the middle, at least as far as my trip is concerned, with my one-day drive to Schleiz and Saalfeld.

When I began traveling to Europe a lot of years ago my photographic weapon of choice was an old warhorse of a Konica 35mm SLR.  Built to last and weighing nearly enough to deny it modern carry-on status, its film had to be changed dexterously and in the dark.  I can recall having to do it more than once with my hands inside an empty duffle bag.   One never knew if a particular photograph had turned out until developed weeks later — remember Fotomat? — and, more than anything else, the cost of film and developing set a hard limit on the number of pictures one was prepared to take.

Things are different now.  I’ve spent the weeks since returning from my journey to Germany going over the thousands – yes thousands – of photographs I took of Jena-Auerstedt and other battlefields on my iPhone trying to figure out which ones tell this story best; or, honestly, even how to begin telling it.

GrogHeads Reviews Burma Road for Order of Battle Pacific

A worthy new addition to the Order of the Hex ~

Avery Abernethy, 16 September 2017

Inducted for impressive modeling of a wide range of military missions: revolt suppression, irregular forces to large scale battles.

Like most Americans interested in World War Two in the Pacific, my reading has focused on the US Navy, Marines, and Army operations. However, Japan focused more than half of her resources and the majority of her Army and Air Force on land operations in China and SouthEast Asia. Although the Japanese Navy, Air Force and Merchant Marine were eventually destroyed by the United States’ military, Japan held onto most of her gains on mainland Asia to the end of World War 2.

Likewise, wargames have focused far more on Europe and to a lesser extent the conflict between Japan and the United States in the Pacific. Burma Road is the second addition to Order of Battle World War 2 focusing on land warfare in Asia. In Burma Road the player takes the role of commander of British Commonwealth forces in Singapore, Thailand, Burma and India. The scenarios reflect the huge contribution of Indian, Australian and New Zealand forces. Like earlier releases in the series, Burma Road is turn based IGO-UGO.

GrogHeads Reviews Sovereign of the Seas

Global naval conflict in the Age of Sail? Yes, please! ~

Jim Owczarski, 26 August 2017

The child of many gifts who does not rise to his potential is a cliche.  Now a parent, I find that cliche, when made flesh, to be one of the most frustrating of human experiences.  After all, this is a person you love with all your heart, who you know is capable of remarkable things, and yet, in this moment, for reasons you cannot discern, is just not, well, getting it done.

Thus my summary of Compass Games’ Sovereign of the Seas, an improvisation on the theme of Avalon Hill’s legendary War at Sea that has within it some legitimately fun, if light, game play, but needed more time in development; development that now, unfortunately, is being handled after release.

GrogHeads Analyzes Order of Battle: Kriegsmarine

Some thoughts on strategy for your naval battles ~

Avery Abernethy, 20 August 2017

Avoid purchasing battleships.

I have several strategy suggestions gleaned from three completed games. Avoid purchasing battleships. They are slower than cruisers and their firepower against surface ships are not worth the extra price. But the obsolete battleship you start with at Danzig is remarkably effective as an anti-aircraft platform. It is helpful to keep her alive. You need to stay with the Deutchland cruiser class for two reasons. First, they are less expensive. Second, they have a one hex greater firing range than the Admiral Hipper class. The extra firing range is much more important than slightly higher damage.

GrogHeads Reviews Order of Battle: Kriegsmarine

Battles in the North Sea at the Atlantic rage through WWII ~

Avery Abernethy, 19 August 2017

After the successful invasion of Norway in 1940, German naval combat was largely limited to submarine warfare, commerce raiders and costal defense. Order of Battle WW2: Kriegsmarine is the fifth supplement in the Order of Battle series. The Kriegsmarine single-player game puts you in the role of the commander in chief of the German Navy and provides extensive what-if options to WW2 German Naval operations. I purchased Kriegsmarine and played it through three times.

GrogHeads Analyzes Aftershock: A Humanitarian Crisis Game

Professional development through better gameplay? ~

Brant Guillory, 12 August 2017

The first tremors hit Carana around 415 in the morning, local time. The capital was just stirring as many laborers were hurrying through their pre-dawn meals before shuffling out of their small houses to arrive at work by sunrise. The full brunt of the earthquake arrive 20 minutes or so later, and the devastation was described by at least one news outlet as “biblical.” The nations tenuous infrastructure, barely a patchwork to begin with, had no chance against the fury unleashed by the Earth’s shifting tectonic plates as bridges crumbled, roads buckled, water pipes tore apart like paper, and the electrical grid shut down, ending any communication that was out of shouting distance.

The full brunt of the earthquake arrive 20 minutes or so later, and the devastation was described by at least one news outlet as “biblical.”

Help was slow in arriving. Certainly the help wanted to arrive, but the routes into the country – the limited airport, the ramshackle seaport, and inland border – were never ideal under perfect circumstances, and these were not perfect circumstances. The local population certainly had a will to survive, but lacked critical supplies for medical care, safe water, and food & shelter. The world mobilized to help.

And the help began to arrive, a multi-headed hydra of organizations, services, expertise, and agendas. Usually cooperative, occasionally antagonistic, and always under the steady gaze of the worlds’ TV cameras, the various organizations rolled up their sleeves to start the long, hard slog of restoring the basic necessities of life to Carana.

Raid on the Marshall Islands – an Order of Battle Pacific AAR, part 4

The culmination of the raid on the Gilberts & Marshalls ~

Avery Abernethy, 30 July 2017

As introduced in the first episode – 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. 

On Turn 13 the Red Task Force air wings start the attack on the last major objective. It will be a tough nut to crack. There are at least three squadrons of Japanese planes including a highly dangerous torpedo squadron. My carrier will have to stand off at least two flight turns away to the East to avoid being hit.