Grognard Wargamer Thread!

Doh, you’d think I would have taken a look in there before sitting down to draw up my own tables! But I suppose making your own table is a great way to learn a table.

Hey, there’s that fella’s flipbook partway down the list. By the way, I don’t mean to cast aspersions on anyone’s flipbook. It might be awesome; I was only reacting to how he was using it in a video I tried to watch. Still, looking at the two flipbooks currently posted, that flowchart approach seem like a weirdly convoluted way to process the rules.


Not that I’m trying to feed the addiction, but Noble Knight Gaming has second editions (the latest) new for $65.

I’ve used them for a number of orders and everything’s gone well.

@tomchick , I have a copy of Peleliu that I have been wanting to learn. You mentioned a guy with a terrible video playthrough, but are there any good ones out there, by chance?

Not that I’ve seen, but if you find one, please let me know! There’s a guy who’s not active anymore named Dan Likos who has a very good video of D-Day at Omaha Beach, which is an earlier iteration of the same ruleset. He knows the rules well and he’s excellent at articulating his moves and why he’s doing them. He’s even got this kind of soothing Carolina lilt to his voice. At least I think that’s what it is. Here’s the start of his D-Day at Omaha Beach series:

@SadleyBradley, if you do sit down to learn Peleliu, let us know how it’s going and if you’re having any issues. I’ve been eating, breathing, and drinking Peleliu for a while now and I’d be happy to chat about it and the challenges with trying to learn, play, and eventually win* it.


* Ha!

By golly, you’re right. I’ve been hovering over the red “add to cart” button, but I think I’ll lurk over Tom’s shoulder for a bit longer.

Hehe, I don’t think I ever won any scenario in D-Day at Omaha Beach. I did come close! But I think that’s a good thing. Solitaire games don’t hold my interest unless they’re challenging.

I have D-Day at Omaha unpunched at the moment, as it was an Xmas Pressie, debating on waiting to see if my pal wants to play it co-op when he comes over and we can learn it together. Looking forward to it…

This thread has inspired me to break out D-Day at Omaha Beach. I’ve got it open and am reading through the rules today. Hoping to punch counters and give the training wheels scenario a spin tomorrow.

Oooh, please keep us posted, Mr. Blitz! I’ve still got tons of gameplay to go with Peleliu, but I think I like this system enough that I’ll end up getting Omaha or Tarawa at some point in the future.

-Tom, about the spend the rest of Sunday afternoon storming Peleliu

Will do!

My initial impression was that the rules were pretty straightforward, but there’s some complexity here as I read through them. Not so much difficulty conceptually, but there are a bunch of details to remember.

BGG has a flipbook for Omaha that came recommended on Twitter. I’ve printed out the basic version of it.

Tom, can you expand on this?

I don’t get it—what kind of game needs a flipbook? Is this some other kind of flipbook with which I’m unfamiliar?

I don’t get it either, to be honest.

I guessing because each page has one particular segment of the sequence of play, perhaps? So you flip through one page for one segment. Flip flip flip.

Or maybe we just need a new word for “shortened rulebook where each page outlines a particular segment of the sequence of play in enough detail to play the game without having to hunt around in the rulebook after you’ve read it once and semi-understand it”?

But yeah, I’m not sure “flipbook” is the word I would have chosen for this. It doesn’t feel like a flip book. I’m not going anywhere close to that fast.

I can, but then I would end up teaching the game. :)

At a very basic level, you draw a card every turn to determine which Japanese positions on the map will fire. For instance, here are a couple of battalions of US Marines on the right flank of the landing in my current game (which is NOT going well). The 7th regiment on the right is tasked with taking this jungle area, while the 5th regiment on the left should sweep across the airfield in front of them.

The AI cards are multipurpose, so they’ve got information splashed all over them. During the Japanese turn, we only look at the colored shapes in the dark stripe along the bottom of the card. For now, just look at the colors of the three squares and that final black symbol:

This means all yellow, red, and brown positions will fire, and if there are targeting limitations, they’ll prefer targets with a triangle. We resolve each color in turn, so starting with yellow, every yellow position checks whether it can shoot at a US unit:

The 5th regiment has overrun its yellow position, so they aren’t affected. The two yellow positions on the right can’t reach any US units. We know this because the colored dots in the hexes tell you which positions are vulnerable to enemy fire. You’ll note that yellow emplacement at the top center is smack dab in the middle of thick jungle. They can only reach the hexes immediately adjacent. So yellow does nothing because its fire can’t reach US units.

But then there’s a letter in some of the squares! These letters describe behaviors above and beyond simply firing at US units in range. Each of these letters is a whole range of different actions depending on the situation.

For instance, the letter A in the yellow box is for artillery, assaults, and ambushes, basically in that order. If the yellow position had artillery, they would fire artillery to damage one unit pretty much anywhere on the map with a triangle symbol. Since the yellow positions in the jungle don’t have artillery (most of the artillery is on a mountain range offscreen), the A instead indicates an assault. In the situation above, where the defender can’t actually see a US unit, it will first try to move to a closer unoccupied position if it can. Since I haven’t left it any gaps, it will close combat any position occupied by a US unit within three hexes. So in this case, that face-down chit on a yellow position will assault to try to retake the brown position occupied by 7th regiment’s K company:

If L company had managed to move one hex closer to the yellow position, the yellow position would have instead just attacked normally, and we wouldn’t have to fight a risky close-quarters battle in the jungle for a position we thought he had secured! (There’s a ton of randomness in close quarters battles.)

Then the red positions will fire or do R actions, which are reinforcement, resupply, and overrun (the symbol in brown doesn’t change behavior; it just means brown fire can snipe leaders). This letter systems allows for a range of behaviors that make the Japanese side play more dynamically with patrols, mortars, infiltration in areas you thought were secure, machinegun emplacements, arriving reinforcements, that sort of thing.

What this all means is that every position in the game, even empty positions, have a framework of possible behaviors you have to be aware of. If the 7th regiment sticks to the beach to try to take that blue position hemming me in on the right, it’s safe from direct fire from those yellow and green positions deeper in the jungle. But they can still harry me with mortar fire and ambushes.

It’s random whether it will happen, but it’s a very real risk as sure as direct fire from that blue position I’m going to attack. So I have to weigh the cost and benefit of securing the jungle as opposed to just pushing along the beach to the right.

So that’s what I mean by the AI doing unexpected things, but not randomly or stupidly. That yellow position in the jungle isn’t just going to sit there and wait for me. It has a range of sensible behaviors waiting to be triggered by the right combination of color and letter, and how it responds to that combination is determined by the situation I create on the map.



I thought of you and your gameplay of Peleliu when listening to this great podcast episode on the son of a soldier who fought in Peleliu. Podcast’s summary of this episode, I highly recommend you listen. Hope you like it.

In September 1944 a young Marine name Eugene Sledge landed on the Pacific Island of Peleliu. As a mortarman, stretcher-bearer and rifleman Sledge would fight his way across Peleliu then the Japanese island of Okinawa, arguably two of the fiercest and filthiest battles of the Pacific campaign.

With the Old Breed has proved to be highly influential and has been used as source material for the Ken Burns PBS documentary The War (2007), as well as the HBO miniseries The Pacific (2010), where Eugene Sledge was played by Joseph Mazzello.

Yep, I’ve seen The Pacific and I have Sledge’s memoir here on my desk. Thanks for the heads-up on the podcast and especially that Ken Burns documentary. I didn’t know about that one!


Thanks for laying that out Tom. That’s a fascinating bit of mechanics

HBO’s The Pacific was just OK first time I watched it, but after reading Sledge’s book (and other first person accounts) and re-watching it, it blew me away the second time through. What really struck me was how random the deaths were, how totally filthy everyone was, how hell on earth the battlefields were. After watching that and then a couple of other movies, such as Flags of our Fathers, it struck me how clean and ironed the uniforms were, how much more “organized” the battles were in other movies. I knew a guy when I lived in Iowa who lied about his age and joined the Marines and fought in the island hopping campaigns in WWII (including Pelelieu) and after we got to know each other really well (I used to take him fishing, he needed help due to his age and issues) I got him to talk - a little bit - about the Pacific war for a young marine. He talked about crawling through mud filled with intestines and eyeballs and other body parts, how random death was (the guy next to you just suddenly having his head explode or his stomach torn open from enemy fire) and how literally unreal it felt. The latter part of the Pacific gives a tiny taste of that.

@tomchick thanks for the explanation. I played board wargames when I was an early teen, just playing both sides and trying to pretend I didn’t know what the other side was doing. Since I started playing them on the computer, back in the early SSI days, I haven’t played board games and I’m thinking of dipping my toes into solo board games.

0600 hours, June 6, 1944. The first wave of Shermans heads for shore. What could possibly go wrong?

Those are some beautifully clipped counters, Mr. Blitz.