Friday, June 24, 2011

So Much For That War

You would think that after a long personal experience with wargaming I would appreciate that different eras require different skill sets in wargamers. Someone who is good at a WW2 armor/infantry game might not be so good at ancients. How much worse, then, when it is the 18th Century? I've seen this in games of Frederick the Great (now by AH) and Napoleon in Italy. The 18th/19th Century gamer will respond to moves and countermoves. A lot of WW2 gamers will bull ahead, and we'll end up with a horrible smasyh. Maneuver to secure an advantage is a lost art with a lot of them.

For that matter, I've seen the "smash ahead" type WW2 gamers lose badly to someone who maneuvers and sets up situations.

So what happened?

Disaster on the Zocchi!!!!!

I have been in search of a general or two who would get the war off to a start. Every gamer I tried looked at the river, decided this was not their cup of tea, and sat still, awaiting events. Finally I found a tankie who decided that aggressive action was the key. And he had all of that cavalry just sitting there.

He crossed the river, going north. His opponent had set up cleverly one hex back from the river. We went through the steps outlined in previous posts. Our tankie massed his tanks, er cavalry, and charged.

I'm not sure if Operation Goodwood or Minden is a good example of what happened. To be blunt, the defender shot the daylights out of the attacking and unsupported cavalry. Then, when that failed, he belatedly tried an infantry advance. No finesse, just an assault all along the line. The same thing happened, and this time the defender unleashed his cavalry on disordered foot.

Well, that decided the battle then and there after only four turns. Then, with the former attacker now backed against the river, the former defender pushed forward and launched a new attack on an army that was basically a disordered mob.

The former attacker took 35,000 men across the river. In the first battle he lost8,000. In the second he lost 14,000. That's 22,000 lost out of an army of 35,000. That is an estimate, by the way. I haven't even bothered to look at the casualty rosters.

To quote a friend about a miniatures battle from long ago, it made Custer's Last Stand look like a near-run thing.


All that preparation, and it was fairly pointless. Still, if I wanted to boost my own ego, I'd take my 1813 Prussians up against this tankie. I don't even want to consider what would happen if I took my 1806 French up against him. After a while it wouldn't be fun.

After it was all over I heard him mutter that this never happened when he took his Jagdpanthers and Tigers up against Sherman tanks. I think I'll leave his education to someone else.

I might try this again, but a) with a different map, one I'll create and share; b) different gamers who are versed in the period.

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