Commanders, a wargame digest


This week

18 Aug 2019

Tanks in ASL.

Quite a bit of time is being spent at the moment with vehicle rules for ASLSK and I have started to put an article together that is intended to encourage the infantry only player to have a dabble, without feeling they have to know all the options and variables that fall out of play.

It will just stick to a couple of typical examples that the gamer can rehearse.

As much as I like it, I find myself constantly wondering who thought it was a good idea to ever let a game get this complicated!

10 Aug 2019

Tigers at Minsk rules update

There is an August 2019 version of the rules at my DropBox. The main reason is that I had a technical problem (computer file lost) with the working copy of the file and had to re-create it back from the 2016 version.

I took the opportunity to change one rule. Now vehicles are not allowed to enter building hexes. I was never really happy with he way that this worked and changing it brings an advantage to those wanting to use bigger scales, as on a 4’ hex, getting a vehicle and a building into the same hex is usually physically impossible and somewhat counter-intuitive. 

LINK to the new 2019 version.

8 Aug 2019

Counter-attack at the Power Station

I eventually got the game going that I set up a few days ago and it was very enjoyable, highlighting, if nothing else, just how much game you can get out of a small space.

We had units using the city sewers and a sharp lesson in having unsupported armour in a city environment.

Anyway, the AAR write-up is here LINK

3 Aug 2019

Counter Attack at the Power Station

It has been a while since the hex cityscape has hit the table, so a scenario based around a counter-attack was put together and set out.

Unfortunately back ache prevented play, but I took enough pictures of the set up positions to outline a brief blog post about the intended scenario.

There are also a link there as to how the city board was created.


27 Jul 2019

Moscow 1941

The latest S&T covers the latter part of Operation Barbarossa, from the second week of October, right through to the New Year.

The Germans get one guaranteed turn of the summer weather, with some powerful 1st turn advantages, such as a 4 column shift on the combat table, but from turn 2 onwards, the mud and the snow begin to take on their historical significance, making German headway slow.

We only got halfway through the game, which did a good job of giving the German player the emotional connection with the advance being a tough grind, but for the Soviet player, that sense of working hard just to maintain the front was not so strong, despite the ‘dead pile’ being significant. But the Germans were only a few hexes away from Moscow and the defensive perimeters, so perhaps that sense would have followed in the next few turns.

Anyway, a good S&T issue with clean rules. I have reset the board to play over the weekend and will likely base the next blog article on an examination of the game - updating here when that is done.

EDIT - there is a full write up over on the blog LINK

20 Jul 2019

Phottix LED light source

The camera and lighting section over in the Accessories section has been updated following a change of camera and an addition LED bank.
20 Jul 2019

Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain by Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) is a lovely looking boardgame, with miniatures. Mike had taken the time to paint the aircraft ready for our game and had done a splendid job that added much to the appearance.

My first impression was player excitement when I saw the set-up and when plotting the various missions that I had drawn, but actual play quickly revealed a very luck dependent system in which I as the German player had very little control or decision making opportunities, while the British probably had a bit more, because they allocate their fighter defence.

The German player does not get the feel of choosing and switching bombing strategies and some of the randomness shows itself in other ways, such as me being ‘given’ a fighter heavy force of 5 air units and 1 weak bomber, a combination that I would never have chosen. Also London never became a targeting opportunity, which sort of undermines the history somewhat.

The actual admin of the game flow does not feel as ‘easy’ as perhaps it should to these older grey cells and overall, I felt the game was showing its Euro Game credentials rather more than I would have hoped.

I’m more disappointed at my lack of enthusiasm because of the effort that Mike put in to making this a lovely looking game, you certainly get the feeling of wanting to pull out some long sticks and start shoving the aircraft around in the way that Group Control Rooms did on their big plotting tables.

18 Jul 2019

ASLSK module 4 Pacific

I took the Pacific module out for a spin and enjoyed what the new rules did, giving a different play than usual.

I have put a post up on the blog that discusses the new rules, highlighting how some of them influence play by way of an AAR.


14 Jul 2019

Incredible opening

Just played the War of the Rats scenario from Starter Kit 1. On the very opening Prep Fire, a German stack with Cpt. Weiss (9-1), a MMG and a 4-6-7 fire on a Soviet stack in a building, containing Sgt. Zygin (8-1), a MMG and a 4-4-7.

As shown, the dice roll is double 1. The German MMG will retain rate of Fire and they inflict a 2 Morale Check.

Zygin rolls double 1 and is fine. The 4-4-7 roll double six!!! The result is that the 4-4-7 section breaks and suffers casualty reduction (for the morale check of 12) and suffers an Experience Level drop. The Rate of Fire shot extra shooting doesn’t do anything.

Next the German Flamethrower attacks and rolls 3!!! Getting a K/3 result.

While a great opening in terms of the dice story and though a devastating opening for the Soviet player, the Germans only captured two out of the three objective buildings, with the third being fought over in the last turn and last couple of dice rolls, as Soviet SMG reinforcements arrived late in the game and just about saved the last factory.

13 Jul 2019

The compact wargame

The blog has always been themed around ‘wargaming in small spaces’ , though my gaming in general has lost a bit of that focus.

For reasons outlined in my most recent blog post, I am inclined to stop this ‘drift’ and to put my gaming back onto a more certain track. certainly in so much as things need to ‘earn’ their space on my shelves.

More at the blog on;

11 Jul 2019

28mm Austrian Infantry

I picked up a box of Victrix 28mm plastic Austrian infantry 1798 - 1809 on a bit of a fancy, as I am not ready to start this project yet. 

My usual battalions are 18 figures on three bases, but to represent this nationality using column and big battalions, I will need to move up to 24 figure battalions on 4 bases. Fortunately there are enough figures in the box to do this, plus two command sprues allow for two mounted colonels and two flag bearers.

It is also worth adding that I had a minor problem with my box and Victrix gave superb and instant support, so full marks to them.

3 Jul 2019

Black Powder on a Pinboard

This is just a bit of fun, showing the Black Powder rules working with one Brigade per side on a pinboard sized battlefield.

There is a brief post covering the action over on the blog.


1 Jul 2019

Phoenix Wargame show 2019

Atended Phoenix 2019 today in beautiful Cumbria. This is a small and friendly show that has around 20 traders and 7 demo / participation tables.

An enjoyable day and I came away with six foot of 6” river and got all ‘Dark Ages’!

There is a full write up on the blog, together with pictures at the below link;

29 Jun 2019

Update for Tigers at Minsk rules

Well not really an update, but there will be a new 2019 PDF version. This is because I recently lost the 2018 working file, which had not been saved to the cloud. 

The 2016 working version had been saved and the 2018 PDF version was also safe, so I had to do a bit of manual jiggery-pokery to update the 2016 working version to the 2018 standard.

While I have been doing that, a bit of formatting changed, some text was improved and a new rule for faster vehicle movement on a bigger table is being looked at. All-in-all, this will justify the new file needing to be named July 2019.

I continue to be quite pleased by what the rules do and will get some more support material up on the blog soon.

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