Grognard Wargamer Thread!


I’ve often dreamed of playing a game that looks a bit like this video. One where divisions/corps can kind of smoothly get pushed back and retreat or be over-run as the front line evolves in continuous time.



I vaguely regret that Road to Moscow never got beyond vapourware, but there was a post on it I saw once that suggests the beta reality was not…fun.



I had a copy of that beta. It was the ultimate example of concept >>> reality


#5990 Does this sound about fair?



That’s very interesting! I think the game I had in mind was a bit less ambitious and more arcade-like than the concept of Road To Moscow. Basically try to make the simulation a little higher level so that once you give a unit a stance and movement orders, there wouldn’t be as much need for a smart unit AI to implement the orders. Also not allowing intervention other than designing the plan seems rather odd from a player engagement standpoint.



Heh, I’m “bluemonday” in that exchange.

Yeah, I vaguely remember talking about that with Eddy. His review, if anything, was generous. A lot of the interface stuff was clumsy or didn’t work. And it was hard to tell what the combat model was doing.

The Command Ops system pretty much did what Road to Moscow tried to do, but Command Ops did it at a smaller scale, and at a time when the graphical representation issues were mostly solved. I think Road to Moscow started in the late 90’s when just getting the graphical engine to look good and smooth was a major technical hurdle.

I actually don’t think it would be a huge leap from Command Ops to a larger-scale Eastern Front wargame. Certainly at the level of what @MikeJ is suggesting. But I’m not a developer, so what do I know.



I’m shocked, shocked! I’ll phone Peter Hook…



I did it a little bit in Stakva/OKH kinda half ass, its pretty easy just throw some beziers between calculated key points based on units.

If I wasnt so behind on hobby projects its something I would love to do right. I agree that smooth “playing on a high level map” kind of vibe could be very cool if done well.



“Former EA exec as head of The Sims label and former CEO of Linden Labs Rod Humble announces ambitious Eastern Front wargame that will feature ‘smooth playing on a high-level map.’ It will be ‘very cool’ and ‘done well,” Humble promises.”



Hooky don’t talk to them chaps no more.



lol :)

Oh and yeah the Glanz Smolensk Atlas isnt very good either if memory serves. I will dig it up and check but I think its pretty poor as well, alas.

He does such fantastic research and yet when it comes to maps, sigh.



Rod could go incognito and use a pseudonym, like Rodrigo Humilde or Roderic Modest.



“Carlos Danger!”



It’s something I’ve wanted to do as sort of a demo thing for like a decade but if I didn’t have the time back then, I sure don’t have the time with a young child.

Also “if done well” carries a lot of weight there!

P.S. Thanks for Stavka/OKH!



Don’t know if grognard wargamer means hex and counter type only, but thought I would post this here as well.

Cold Waters is 50% off on Steam for a couple of days ($19.99).

I’ve had it on my wishlist for a long time. I remember early on it had a lot of fanfare, but then some mixed reviews.

Is it a must have for military sim types?



I think it is a very interesting sim, but some find it very unforgiving, like in this review

Mission design in the old Microprose games wasn’t precisely fair and it seems that the tradition continues to the dismay of some. These days I don’t have the time to be grinding through a huge number of deaths in a game as the days of spending 8 hours trying to beat one of these missions are gone. I don’t think that to be a problem with the game design though :)



Once you learn to dodge torpedoes the game shines.

Until then the missions last as long as your countermeasures.



Don’t Tread on Me, the American Revolution Solitaire Board Game, by R. Ben Madison

After playing through The White Tribe several times, including the playthrough earlier in this thread, I decided that I would give some of R. Ben Madison’s other games a try. Madison has a “British Wars Trilogy,” which covers the American Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Falklands, all from the perspective of the British. I’ve decided to tackle them chronologically.

Don’t Tread on Me takes the perspective that the American Revolution was Britain’s Vietnam War, and adapts David Kershaw’s Vietnam Solitaire system to deal with eighteenth century counterinsurgency warfare. In order to secure the American Colonies for the crown, the player must keep Liberty low, by controlling a majority of the five spaces on the board (representing New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the Carolinas/Georgia), including whichever space the government back in Britain wants the player to hold (the “Target Space”).

Don’t Tread on Me’s phases work as follows:

  1. Force Adjustment: The player receives his allocations of pounds from Parliament, and then checks the turn record track for any news, which will trigger an event.

  2. Smugglers Phase: Smugglers and Privateers form crucial building blocks for the American rebellion. Each turn, Smugglers move from the Caribbean to sea zones bordering the various colonies. When a Smuggler occupies a sea zone, they provide arms and equipment to the rebels, allowing the creation of one Continental Army unit per Smuggler. As the game progresses, the Rebels obtain Privateers, which act as Smugglers that can fight back against any British efforts to blockade the colonies.

  3. Naval Phase The British may sortie naval units to attack Smugglers or Privateers. In order to attack, the player must pay the cost indicated on the fleet (1 or 2 Pounds), and then roll equal to or below the units strength (3 or 4). If successful, the Smuggler/Privateer is eliminated. Privateers get to take a shot first, and hit on a 1 or 2, sending the British unit to the harbor before it gets to shoot. In addition, once the French intervene, the British may send a naval unit to shadow the French fleet, which makes it harder for the French to intervene in battle.

  4. British Ground Phase: In this phase, the British implement winter attrition on the Continental Army, parole prisoners of war, and purchase troops. Hessians (black counters) must be purchased first. Hessians generally anger the Americans, and do not contribute to control of a state, and so are less useful overall than Regulars, Cavalry, or Loyalists. British units can then move within a state, or force march to move between states, at a risk that the unit will be eliminated.

  5. Battle Procedure: We take a short detour from the phases to discuss battles. Battles occur when Rebel and British ground units occupy the same county within a colony. In battles triggered during the British Ground Phase, the Brits have the initiative and get to choose the order in which battles resolve. In later phases, the Rebels have the initiative, and battles are fought top to bottom on the map. Before each battle, the Brits and Rebels call for the militia, the results of which are based on the state’s loyalty to the crown. Units have three strength points, which determine their strength in each of the terrain types (Wilderness-Farm-Town/Fort). Per standard wargaming convention, SPs are added up, an odds ratio is established, and a die is rolled on the combat results table to determine what happens. Stacks can be eliminated, retreat (with or without pursuit), counterattack, or result in an exchange (eliminating the lower strength side and reducing the higher strength side equal to the strength points of the lower strength side

Understanding the retreat rules are vital for the player. When the British retreat, they follow a priority list. First, if the French Fleet is adjacent, the British may not retreat by sea, and are eliminated if retreating from a county marked on the map with a blue die. Second, the British retreat to a county containing friendly units. Third, the British retreat to a county containing units of both sides. If a British unit is in a loyalist stronghold (marked with a Union Jack on the map) they may retreat to sea. If none of these conditions are met, the British units are eliminated. Rebels may retreat to an empty county, and thus are spared elimination–although they scatter if they are retreating from the lowest numbered county, and go back to the force pool.

After a battle, if the British win, the state becomes more loyal (+1 loyalty), unless Washington is present. If the Rebels win, the state becomes less loyal (-1 loyalty).

  1. Place Rebels Phase: Committees of Safety (COS) and Continental Army Units deploy on the map. One or Two COS units are placed per turn via die roll. After that, Continental Army units are placed in colonies adjacent to sea zones with Smugglers. Smugglers in the North Atlantic always place Continental Army units in the Target Space. Battles occur.

  2. Rebel Campaigns In this phase, Rebels launch a major campaign or two minor campaigns, based on die rolls. In a minor campaign, the rebels place a Continental Army unit in the higher numbered colony, and a COS unit in the lower numbered colony, gather their forces, and battle Brits in the state. In a major campaign, the Rebels gather forces from across the map, and potentially roll through the major campaign state into the target state. We will engage campaigns in more detail as they occur.

  3. Logistics Phase: In states where the British have “Lobsters” (red colored British units), the player may spend one pound to increase loyalty by one. The British may then move any of their units to any county in any colony for one pound each.

  4. Liberty Phase: The British tally up colony control. If the British fail to control a majority of colonies, or fail to control the target state, liberty advances by one. If the Rebels control Quebec, liberty advances by one. If Liberty reaches 9 or higher, the rebels win. At any time during turn 14 or 15, the British player may concede American independence in exchange for a Marginal British Victory (the historical result). Otherwise, play continues until the end of Turn 16.

  5. Random Events Phase Assuming the British do not lose the game due to Liberty, a set of random events happen, which are generally unfavorable to the British.

At the beginning of the game, New England is both the Target State and a hotbed of revolution. It will be almost impossible to hold New England and control a majority of colonies, given constraints on the British. The board begins as follows, with the British about to be ambushed by Rebels in Massachusetts:

(Sorry about the reflection from the overhead light off the plexiglass.)

I will try and do a few moves every day, but may be distracted at some points. I’ve played around with the system a bit (and suffered some catastrophic losses until I figured out the retreat rules), but have not played a full game to completion yet. My apologies for any rules errors as I play through.



Turn One, Early 1775

His Majesty’s Government, concerned with the increasing unrest apparent among the King’s subjects in the American colonies, turn to a vocal back bencher, Charles Foster Kane, to act as Viceroy for the American Colonies. Despite the lofty title, the task is a thankless one. Kane is offered a small stipend from Parliament to defend the colonies, given little control over operational objectives, and expected to control what may be an uncontrollable revolt. Viceroy Kane is directed to maintain British control over New England, the stronghold of the Rebels. This is a tall order, made taller by the events of early 1775.

Force Adjustment

  1. Viceroy Kane receives five pounds from the UK government to begin shoring up the defense of the colonies.
  2. Unfortunately, His Majesty’s Government does not anticipate the drive of the Rebels, who are planning an ambush in Massachusetts. As a result of the Shot Heard Round the World, the British Ground Phase is skipped this turn, and the rebel army in New England will ambush (and likely massacre) the British there.

Smugglers Phase

  1. The Smuggler in the Caribbean moves to Long Island Sound, promising to supply a potential Continental Army Unit in New York.

Naval Phase

  1. Hearing rumors of Smugglers in Long Island Sound, just outside Viceroy Kane’s headquarters, Kane orders Howe to patrol the region, at a cost of 2 pounds. Unfortunately, Howe is unable to catch the Smugglers, and returns to Harbour without a victory.

British Ground Phase

  1. Skipped This Turn.

First Battle Phase

  1. The Rebel units in Massachusetts ambush the British. The Rebels (5 SPs) are supported by 3 SPs of Militia, for a total of 8 SPs to 5 for the British. The Rebels roll on the 150% odds table, but roll a 2, resulting in a Counterattack by the British. In a counterattack, the new attacker rolls on the 100% table, regardless of the true odds. The Brits have a chance! Unfortunately, the British play right into the Rebels hands, walking into an ambush that eliminates the British Units, which go to the Prisoners of War box. Because the Rebels won the battle, New England’s loyalty is reduced by 1 (now at 2).

Place Rebels Phase

  1. A Rebel Committee of Safety is formed in the Tidewater in the Carolinas.
  2. Smugglers provide support to the Continental Army in New England, creating four units (3 in Maine, and 1 in the Connecticut Coast). A Continental Army unit is also deployed in the British stronghold in the Hudson Valley in New York.
  3. No battles occur, as no Rebel Units occupy a space with British Units.

Rebel Campaign Phase

  1. The Rebels initiate minor campaigns in New York and Pennsylvania.
  2. A Continental Army unit deploys to New York, joining the unit already in the Hudson Valley.
  3. A COS deploys in Pennsylvania, and moves to occupy the area Around Philadelphia, which contains both a British stronghold and the Continental Congress.
  4. No battles occur.

Logistics Phase

  1. Nothing happens this turn.

Liberty Phase

  1. The British control Virginia, and all of the other states are either Rebel controlled or uncontrolled. Virginia gets +1 loyalty (to 6), No change in Carolina, and Pennsylvania, New York, and New England all get -1 loyalty (to 6, 9, and 1, respectively). Pennsylvania gets an extra -1 for the presence of the Continental Congress (to 5).
  2. Because the British do not control three states, including New England, Liberty increases by 1 (to 1).

Random Events Phase

  1. Tar and Feathers: Rebels agitate for mob violence in Virginia, but the lack of an organized Rebel unit in the state means that they are unable to drive Loyalists underground.
  2. Southern Reactionaries: Slavery supporters in the Continental Congress drive a wedge between North and South. The Southern States become less loyal to the crown, seeing that Congress will protect slavery. The Northern states become more loyal to the crown, as misgivings about slavery dampen enthusiasm for the revolution. Pennsylvania, always a bellwether state, follows the northern states and becomes more loyal to the crown. (+1 loyalty New England, New York, Pennsylvania, -1 loyalty Virginia, Carolina).
  3. Frigates Diverted: No effect, as no frigates are in play.

The situation at the end of Turn One:

Looking over the situation, Viceroy Kane plans a counterattack in turn two. Kane will attempt to drive the Continental Army out of New York, and the Rebel Committees of Safety out of Carolina and Pennsylvania. Control of New England is likely lost, so Kane will attempt to regroup in New York, suffering an increase in Rebel’s demand for Liberty in Turn Two.



Operational Art of War IV on sale at 34% off on Steam for Midweek Madness. It’s been sitting in my Wishlist for a while – I’ve got at least two previous versions (original and Century of War) sitting in a storage closet somewhere. At $26 this seems like a decent price. We’ll see how much I actually end up laying it, but I’ve had fun with the earlier versions.