Saturday, October 9, 2010

A day of pushing cardboard


The Battle of Wavre
So today we had our Hex and Counter Wargame Day, through the inestimable Garden State Gaming Society on meetup.com, and held at Mighty Titans Hobbies and Games. It was a blast! A couple of games of Tactics II (the 1958 wargame by Avalon Hill that led me to become a gamer, pretty much), a game of Napoleon's Last Battles (an SPI quad game from the mid-1970's; they played the Battle of Wavre, if I'm not mistaken), and then we all (except Rob-- the slacker) pitched in for a game of Starfire (Task Force Games, 1978) to round out the day.

Red won both games of Tactics II (having won the initiative both times), the French won Wavre, and the Terrans obliterated the Khanate forces in Starfire. Indulging my natural penchant for tooting my own horn, here's how the first game of Tactics II played out. (Click to embiggen if anyone besides me actually cares...)
The mighty army of the red nation speeds down the roads to bring the enlightened red rule to the poor benighted blue nation. That's mountains on the top edge of the map, forest near the opposite edge.
The blues form a line behind a river, making a pretty impressive defense that proved tough to crack. They also sent a strong force to either flank; both the forest and the mountains. The center was only weakly defended, however, which would cost them...
Red manages to bottle up the blue advance in the mountains with a token defense, but using the terrain it was enough to slow them down. The same in the forest; blue had a strong material advantage, but red slowed them down to a crawl with rivers as defensive points and a small mobile force. The encirclement and destruction of the blue center defense is nearly complete.
Red breaks out. The center force manages to use the roads to swing around to the rear of the blue forest offensive, seizes the blue capital and another city, and begins to flank the blue river line in the center. The mountain passes are a graveyard as blue tries to bowl their way through. A single red headquarters unit keeps the mountain pass secure against blue infantry and armored divisions.
The last vestiges of the blue resistance begin to crumble. The river line is broken, the forest offensive is bogged down, and the mountains remain blocked.
It's all over but the parades and the speeches declaring the superiority of the red nation's way of life. Red has placed a force to prevent the blue forest thrust from coming back to assist with the defense of the blue cities, the river line is all but gone, and the last blue city is threatened. The game is called-- a victory for red.