Monday, 10 September 2012

Wargaming 20 questions

I've seen these 20 questions on a couple of other blogs, so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and have a crack myself:

1. Favourite Wargaming period and why?
Sci-fi. I'm a rocketships and robots nerd.

2. Next period, money no object?
I'm not really much of a period hopper. Because my interests are mostly fantasy and Sci-fi, I can be a bit more creative with my minis. An 18th century Line fusilier can't be used as a Waffen SS panzer grenadier, but a guy in a space suit can be used in all sorts of differing sci-fi settings. I do like the look of some of those Saga dark ages figures, but that does seem to have a steepish start up. So, if money no object we'll say 28mm Dark ages skirmish.

3. Favourite 5 films?
Blade Runner, Point Break, Alien, Shawshank Redemption, Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Empire Strikes Back (I get +1 for advantageous position)

4. Favourite 5 TV series?
Game of Thrones, West Wing, Big Bang Theory, Eureka, Farscape

5. Favourite book and author?
One? Just one? I like to many books and authors to pick one. Put a gun to my head and I'd probably go for either Lord of the Rings or Mort.

6.Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
Ghengis Khan seems to have done rather well. Plus that Hannibal chap.

7. Favourite Wargames rules?
Blitzkrieg/Cold War/Future War Commander. Simple, fast and intuitive. You get outstanding responses from the author on the forum and he's happy to take suggestions and criticism.

8. Favourite Sport and team?
Rugby, England

9. If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
Assuming I could take the Mrs along, the far future, so that medical science had evolved to the point where they could sort me out!

10. Last meal on Death Row?
Traditional Christmas dinner, turkey, roasties, stuffing, pigs-in-blankets and so on, with Christmas pud and cream for dessert.

11. Fantasy relationship and why?
Angelina Jolie. I think the reason is obvious.

12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
In my minds eye, John Cusack, but he'd probably need to put on a few pounds and lose the hair.

13. Favourite Comic  Superhero?
Iron Man.

14. Favourite Military quote?

Rule 1, on page 1 of the book of war, is: "Do not march on Moscow". Various people have tried it, Napoleon and Hitler, and it is no good. That is the first rule. I do not know whether your Lordships will know Rule 2 of war. It is: "Do not go fighting with your land armies in China". It is a vast country, with no clearly defined objectives.." - Bernard Law Montgomery

15. Historical destination to visit?
I'm very much interested in experimental aviation - X-planes and so on, so I think being able to hear that first sonic boom over Edwards a Chuck Yeager busted the sound barrier in the X-1 would be quite something.

16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
I don't get to play as much as I'd like. My previous bunch of regular gamers have dispersed, so it's quite infrequent to get a game in now.

17. Favourite Fantasy job?

The man that gets to slap George Lucas with a wet fish every time he has a stupid idea. I'd be good at that.

18. Favourite Song Top 5?
See Q.5 - just 5? I've got thousands of tracks on my MP3 player that I love.

19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?
I was playing in a week long WW2 megagame in Cornwall - Fall of France 1940 using Spearhead. Possibly the geekiest thing I've ever done - a wargaming holiday. Anyway, I was playing the Germans and I'd spent pretty much all of the week so far trying to achieve an opposed crossing over a canal outside Brussels. My units were getting chewed up and every day I'd make a small bridgehead, to be told by HQ that they couldn't support it and I'd have to retreat back under cover of dark. 

On the 4th day the British defenders flanks collapsed on another part of the table and I get to exploit my position and move inland. At the end of the day I was looking at defending against a British counter attack the next day over an adjacent river. During the planning phase that evening I was standing surveying the terrain with the CO and 2IC of the German forces and they suggested troop placements for me, in a few nearby villages and hamlets that would cover a fording point. Thinking back to the last four days of river crossings, I thought that the ford was the last place I would want to cross - an obvious target, overlooked from 4 easily fortified positions and with no cover once you got feet dry on the other side. 

Instead, I'd want to cross upstream, near some woods that looked onto the rear aspects of two of the hamlets, with good opportunity to work round through the woods to flank. The CO and 2IC were skeptical - bearing in mind this was the first time I had ever played Spearpoint ("What's a battlegroup?") or even WW2 -  but let me deploy one token force in the buildings by the ford, one in the woods near the river and a reserve in the other woods that could be exploited. I plotted my pre-planned artillery to fire on the place that I though was the likely crossing point and then on the rally points nearby once the troops were over the river.

Next day, British counter-attack starts and not a sausage arrives at the ford. Instead two battalions cross the river at exactly the point I predicted. My pre-planned arty dropped right where I wanted it, my PAK line was in just the right place and my HMG's had perfect lines of sight. The targeting was so spot on that the British CO requested that the Umpire confirm the pre-planned matched the plans I had submitted the night before - and I can't say I blamed him or held a grudge for him asking. It was a perfect ambush, and I'd based it all on the experience gained from the pounding the Brits had given me over the last few days. The infantry assault faltered and then routed and a planned tank breakthrough was blunted as a reserve Panzer division made itself known (although I felt sure I could have held off the tanks too). 

20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?
Small mindedness. Bigotry. I also get quite annoyed by those wargamers who think that their period/ruleset is the only "real" wargame - "Fantasy/spaceships/horror - that's not real wargaming"


Brummie said...

Nice answers. That WW2 game sounded brillaint

Mr. Harold said...

Great wargame story!