Sunday, 12 May 2013

A Battlegroup Overlord game...and some thoughts

The Young Sarge and I had a game using the new lists in the Battlegroup Overlord book today. I had a U.S. force using the Infantry Division list, and Young Sarge had a German force which was something of a Heer & Fallschirmjaeger Kampfgruppe, but based on the German Infantry division list.
The game sees the Germans trying to hold back the tide of the allies as they close what would become the Falaise gap. The Germans have formed a kampfgruppe from the remains of fallschirmjaeger & heer units. The Germans also start with an 88 already in place as part of this game.
No commentary about the game this time, just a few pictures. We never seem to finish a game to its conclusion, but the Young Sarge did lose half his battle rating points and I lost none, & we decided we'd had enough. The rules aren't playing fast for me, but that's because we don't play much & I don't have other chaps around me who are up with the rule mechanics to make for a faster game- good luck to those gamers in the British Isles who are enjoying a faster style of game. The U.S. forces are from my son's collection apart from the Sherman and a jeep; the Germans are from my collection apart from the Kubelwagen & the 222 armoured car. The cows are objective markers. The Stug blew up very early on due to me drawing out a break down chit which I placed on it.
























Bazooka team takes out 222














It may be some time before I play another wargame as I am knackered at the moment, and it took a lot of energy just to play this one- bloomin' burnout from November 2011 can still bite me in the backside it seems, being in the same job contributes I guess? My old wargaming comrade the "Red Rajah", has also been lacking in energy of late due to health reasons. Perhaps I'll end up as more of a collector and painter than a wargamer? Lack of space, time, and energy are all contributors to this  growing malaise. I really enjoy the creative stuff, but running games and keeping the stuff needed to run such games can be a drain.
I am thinking that WW2 (in 20mm) is far more terrain intensive than other periods I have played, largely because it is such a different type of warfare to the horse & musket & ancients stuff. The earlier periods of warfare needed room to manoeuvre large bodies of men & horses, much more open space was required than the close combat & dense terrain of somewhere like Normandy in 1944. I am running out of room to store hedgerows and buildings in our small abode- good luck to you if you have that kind of space or a club room to store it in. I have a stash of stuff that I will eventually build and paint for WW2, but I haven't the room for any more.

What about Battlegroup Overlord? Nice book, big, shiny, some great pictures, plenty of useful army lists, lots to like. There is a bunch of stuff in it that I won't use, namely the beach landing stuff as I'm more interested in what happened after they got off the beaches - I'd prefer my commandos fighting inland somewhere. I have no plans to invest in the future releases of big supplements from Battlegroup - I imagine Market Garden would be a smaller book, and that would interest me. Keep your eyes out for future releases if you are into different theatres or periods of WW2- Battlegroup has plans for loads more. The mini rule book they released with Overlord is very useful too - still no proper indexes in either of these books, not sure why, most people find an index very useful.

By the way, if anyone would like to pay me to paint miniatures for them, I am open to suggestions....

Cheers & Stay Special,
John (AKA Jacksarge)

23 comments:

  1. Hey up Sarge! Hope you regain some gaming mojo. SAGA might do it for you - no preparation required, nice quick game, easy to put away again. The terrain issue is one of the reasons I've gone with Battle Group Kursk - lots of nice open plains rather than hedgerows everywhere. I'm having my first proper big game of BGK on Tuesday night - it will be interesting to see how it goes.

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    1. Cheers Dux.
      SAGA? I have a copy of Dux Bellorum and haven't played a game- can't be bothered painting up all those elements of troops at this stage. I do already have a small collection of Age of Arthur 28mm figures which might do as SAGA stand ins.
      I hope you enjoy BGK. You may find it useful to make some handy reference cards for AFVs to give to players so they can keep a track of speed, ranges, gun types, ammo etc., as it can be a real pain flicking back and forward through the book trying to find out the specifics on vehicles and guns.

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  2. Hi John, lovely terrain and a good looking game. One of the reasons I like CD3 is the fact that a building becomes a village, a stand is a Platoon and one tank equals 3-5 tanks.

    This makes for more fast play I think and less worry about terrain. Its still there but its more suggestive rather than scaled.

    Space and limits affect us all I am afraid and even I am no exception. Battle on man! You know the Sarge would!

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    1. G'day Paul.
      The thing is I really like nice terrain and lots of it- I just can't store the stuff, plus it costs, and it takes ages to set up each time I want a game.
      Perhaps I should've kept my 15mm stuff or gone with 6mm because of space limitations? I do like 20mm stuff though, the scale I used as a lad still has a lot of appeal.
      I shall endeavour to "battle on" or at least "muddle on" ;)

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  3. I feel your pain sarge.

    I will be playing Battlegroup Overlord in 15mm and Bolt Action in 20mm.

    I have tried 10mm and it didn't do it for me in term of detail: same effect as 15mm, for less appeal.

    6mm was nice but I couldn't see much past 30cm... it was better to play a standard paper wargame (and totally enjoyable)

    Which leads me to another point: do not forget boardgames, they are plenty of them, they have much evolved in 20 years and they still are a lot of fun. No need for space, scenery, figures.

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    1. All excellent points Braxen.
      I'm not planning to rush out and change anything straight away, but will continue to paint & build my way through the stash of stuff I already have I guess.
      Just don't see many games on the horizon, too weary a lot of the time.
      Enjoying your brushwork on the Battlefield/Blitz figures btw.

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  4. The lack of an index is because it was sort of developed in-house at GW, and they hate clear rules of any kind.

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    1. I think you may be confusing "Battlegroup Overlord" with "Kampfgruppe Normandy", which was developed by the now defunct Warhammer Historical. The Battlegroup rules and supplements are from Ironfist/Plastic Soldier Company. Granted, the bloke who wrote the rules, Warwick Kinrade, has worked for GW in the past.
      I'm not saying anything about the clarity of the rules, my comment was just about the lack of an index :)

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    2. They're basically the same game though. Kampfgruppe Kursk was in the works when GW pulled the plug on Historicals, and was quickly rewritten into Battlegroup Kursk. I haven't had a chance to flick through the rules of the newer version but I suspect it'll be much the same with some patching of the rather obvious rules holes. At least I hope they were patched, since they were silly and detracted from an otherwise interesting system. Kinrade has been with GW for a very long time, I remember him writing articles for White Dwarf when I was but a wee nipper barely out of single digits, and old habits die hard.

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    3. Ack, I forgot the rules clarity bit... the problem with GW rules is that they often refer to specific other rules by name, with only odd games like Epic Armageddon using a sensible 1.2.3 format to send you direct to numbers. It results in a giant web of references and a tough time finding the actual rules text, often because it's split over two seperate entries and there's never any index beyond a basic table of contents at the start.

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    4. Fair enough. I must admit there can be a certain amount of flicking about to find stuff in these books. I guess one of the things with modern era warfare is that there is so much more to take into account in terms of different weapons & vehicles and how they were used...

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  5. Hi John,

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again, you set a lovely table! Still, I hear what you're saying, it is a lot of effort, specially if you run out of time or a result.

    Have you considered Crossfire? It's pretty quick (though, terrain dense - getting caught in the open ain't fun!), but the games are pretty cool. The initiative system means both players are involved throughout the game.

    Hang in there mate!

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    1. Hanging in bro!
      I will stick with the battle group rules, particularly as I've invested quite a few squids in the books. I appreciate your suggestions though. I think it may be that I just don't get many games in of ww2. Perhaps I'll get back to some games from earlier eras which don't require as much terrain? I still have a hankering for napoleonics, but not in 1/72, perhaps one of the smaller scales?

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  6. Sad to dissapoint the rumour mongers, but BGK was not a underway when Warhammer Historical dropped away.

    Myself and Warwick started work on it after he left GW, before WH closed down. It was not a 're-hash' but represents around 18 months of work in redesigning the game system and testing the lists and stats for BGK.

    I'd be interested in knowing what the 'obvious rules holes are'...



    Great terrain and models as always Jack. Looks superb.

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    1. Hi Piers,
      thanks for clearing that up, I hope Arquinsiel above reads your comments.
      My intentions were not to provide a critique of the rules, it was more of a personal post that reflected my own weariness.

      Cheers,
      John.

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    2. It's been a few months since the local group has switched over to Dropzone Commander (which I decided not to get into) and we were working with Kampfgruppe Normandy but the one hole that really stuck in my mind was the problem with vehicle maneuvers and how they lacked a rule for turning which negated the need for the rather odd rule on reversing. Mostly we just patched over the rules or ignored them and carried on, since it was a fun game apart from that.

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    3. John,

      Critique away mate... I always value your opinions as much as I enjoy the amazing 20mm models you produce, I hope for the 20mm hobby you stick with it... or move to Ireland and you can play with our club!

      Arquinsiel,

      Yes... I have had many a discussion with Warwick about that in KGN. For fast play, it doesnt really bother me, and my group tends to be too friendly playing to abuse the lack of turning penalties in that game. I wouldnt call it a problem, but I can imagine with the wrong sort of player it could be an issue... In which case always resort to the 'Pointy Stick Rule'.

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    4. Oddly enough, we had the wrong sort of wrong sort, a player who can't process a rules ambiguity at all and must comb the book forever until an answer has been found. If you've been to cons in Dublin I'm sure you've met or at least heard him. KGN struck me as a really nice core game but somewhat rushed execution. I'll hopefully convince people to give the BG(X) books a go whenever the shiney wears off DZC, because despite the faults I had fun with the system.

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    5. Arquinsiel,

      Well if you are in Ireland, come down and try BGO with us in Kildare!

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    6. Sadly I lack transport, being a perpetual student bum. I've walked there a couple of times, but it's a bit of a long one for a game. Have you any plans to be at Q-con or Gaelcon with it?

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    7. Unlikely to do the irish cons this year. Most of my free weekends are booked out with UK shows sadly. The rest have to be spent with the family...

      Would like to get to an Irish con though, as a chum of mine does them reguarly, but its getting the time and the help to sort it...

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