Saturday, March 29, 2014

"Look, Sarge, No Charts" Rules Author Team Hosts Army SLDP

Last Thursday the author team of the "Look, Sarge, No Charts" series of miniatures wargaming rulebooks, Buck Surdu, Dave Wood, and myself,  helped lead a Senior Leader Development Program (SLDP) for a US Army unit, using three of the LSNC series of rulebooks: "Fate of Battle" (Napoleonic), "A Union So Tested" (Civil War) and the original "Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWII" rules.   Joining us in game-mastering the event were members of the HAWKs wargaming club,  Ed Duffy, Sam Fusion, and Eric Schlegel.  Sam was also the mastermind behind the event, and can be credited with putting the whole thing together. 
A look at the map, and a part of the Order of Battle for the Civil War version of the game.
   The idea behind this year's event was to fight a battle from three different eras, Napoleonic, American Civil War, and WWII, on the same same battlefield using the same order of battle and initial deployment.  The battle we chose was the Battle of Laon, a Napoleonic engagement from the 1814 campaign.  For the WWII version, cavalry units were replaced with armor units.
Dave Wood (in blue shirt leaning over table), who co-gamemastered the Napoleonic game with Buck Surdu, discusses an aspect of the rules with one of the players, while Buck (in blue shirt on left) looks on.
 This is the sixth time we have run a wargaming event for this unit, and it has become very popular.  In fact there was such an overflow of folks who wanted to take part, that Ed, was called upon to run a fourth game using his home-brew modern skirmish rules. 
Same Fuson (in cap), who was the gamemaster on the WWII table, helps a player with moving his units
Approximately 12 Officers, NCOs, and Senior Civilian Staff took part in each game; with the goals of team building, problem solving, and learning a bit about the nature of warfare in the  historic period in which their game was set.
Eric Schlegel (in cap), who was the gamemaster on the Civil War table along with me, listens as a player asks a question.
While many of the participants had never played a miniature wargame before, the players were quick to pick up the rules, and really got into the games. There was frequent cheering, or groaning, as player's fortunes rose and fell.  And, of course, plenty of friendly trash-talking among opponents. Everyone involved seemed to have a great time. And we, the authors, had a blast running the games. 
Ed Duffy (in green sweater), gamemastering his modern skirmish game set in Afghanistan.
After the games concluded, Buck Surdu conducted a debriefing session where those playing the roles of the senior commanders on each table got a chance to explain the goals they had hoped to achieve and how they had hoped to achieve them, as well as discuss some of the realizations they had had about the nature of warfare in the period in which their battle had been set.   Also discussed was how each of the battles were different or were the same given the different natures of the armies that fought on the terrain in each historic period. 
Buck (in blue shirt), leading the after-action report on the WWII table.
As usual, we had a great time and look forward to coming back and doing this again.

Monday, March 10, 2014

War Horse IV Con Gaming Day

Two Saturdays ago, a bunch of the HAWKs went up to War Horse Con, a gaming day hosted by Sam and Kathy Fuson at their place near Gettyburg, PA.  Sam invited a bunch of his friends over, and along with a crew from the HAWKs, we had a fun day of gaming.  This time we had four games in Sam's spacious basement; in the morning Sam's friend Ed Duffy ran a modern skirmish featuring US forces vs Terrorists using his own homegrown rules (unfortunately I didn't get any photos of it), while in the next room, Dave Wood and Buck Surdu ran a Napoleonic game using "Fate of Battle" rules on a large "L" shaped table. This game was a scenario of the Battle of La Rotheire in February of 1814, and was a playtest of a game they were going to do at Cold Wars.
Buck and Dave setting up their Napoleonic game.
A shot of the French defenders on the right end of the line.

A look at the left wing of the battle
After a quick lunch break, we reconvened for the afternoon session.  Sam ran a fun Sherlock Holmes inspired GASLIGHT game that had some cool innovations in it; such as searching for, and finding "clues" that were either Scrabble tiles or puzzle pieces. The players then had to assemble the tiles into correct words or assemble the puzzle pieces to reveal messages written on the back.  This was his first time GM-ing a GASLIGHT game, and he did great.
    In the other room, Duncan Adams ran a WWI Look, Sarge, No Charts game.
Sherlock Holmes investigates the Castle door, while his associates wait nearby.  Meanwhile the gangsters in castle open fire.
An overview of the table.
The Baker Street Gang interrogates some of the locals.
The Villain makes his escape.
Here's some shots of the WWI game.
Duncan's WWI game.  German defenders dug in on the outskirts of a town.
An overview of the WWI battle
French forces advance towards the town at the top of the picture.

All in all it was a fun day of gaming, and I look forward to the next one!