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Sunday, 10 July 2016

France 1940 - experimenting with rules

Just a short note to record last week's game. I mentioned in May that we were experimenting with WWII rules. Basically we have adapted mechanisms we like from several different rulesets and are trying to hybridise and innovate to make something new. This is meant just for our own amusement, but then again that's how BBB started ... anyway, we'd done a little development work since the first game so it was time for a second tryout. We had six players for a scenario loosely based on the situation of the famous Arras counterattack when Allied armour hit Rommel's 7th Panzer Division in the flank. For our game there were two German mixed Kampfgruppen strung out along a road, with a couple of companies as flank guards. Two French tank battalions and an infantry battalion were tasked with cutting the road.

 
Char B1 bis - what a magnificent beast!
(Photo by "The Shadock", from here

Game-wise: a couple of 88s did great execution and wiped out a lot of Char Bs. There was some inconsequential pinning action on the German west flank, before the French switched their effort to the east. Their tanks took a pounding but their infantry were able to leap into a town astride the road. A German counter-attack retook half the town but failed bloodily in the other half. Victoire!

Rules-wise: despite rules and scenario being cobbled together, with players who were unfamiliar with the mechanisms, the game rocked along at a fair old pace. The combat resolution was swift, leaving game time and mental capacity free for the higher level grand tactical decisions to be made and implemented, and for the battle to evolve through different phases and to be completed in just a couple of hours. A satisfactory test which was encouraging overall, vindicating the concept, while generating a number of useful ideas for improvement. Watch this space.