Showing posts from May, 2012

Raid & Riposte: The NATO AAR

I recently played my first game of Lock ‘n Load’s new game, “Raid and Riposte” which was featured in their latest issue of “Line of Fire” (issue 12 for those of you keeping count).

Raid & Riposte is a light wargame based on an event in designer Mark H. Walker’s novel, “World at War: Revelation”, which took place during a fictional invasion of Western Europe by the Warsaw Pact in 1985. The game is centered on the Soviets’ attempt to defend the captured West German city of Tanenhause from a NATO counter-attack. It features a pretty interesting set of game mechanics like action points, assaults and units with special abilities, all of which encourage players to use combined arms tactics to achieve their goals.

This AAR is a report of my first time playing this game. I’m the NATO player and Kev Sharp took the role of the defending Soviets. At times, we were forced to muddle our way through the rules to determine if we were doing things right and I think we largely succeeded. H…

London's Burning (Part 3)

Friday, August 16th, 1940:

Pilot Sergeant Waters is pulled from reserves and will work with F/Lt. Stone this morning.  In the early dawn, a huge raid comes over the Channel.  With only 2 fighters against six aircraft, the odds are long that they'll be come out of a scrap unharmed but Waters and Stone decide to check it out.  At 10,000 feet, they encounter four German fighters escorting two bombers.  One bomber is an He 111 and the other is a 'flying pencil', Do-17.  With such heavy fighter protection, the pair decide that it's probably not worth risking their planes so much on such little fish.  They bug out and let the raid move on.  It's not their proudest moment but at this rate, the RAF needs to conserve its pilots and planes.

The raid hits the emergency airfield at Lympne and returns back to France.  
10 a.m.  Another raid comes in, this time with 4 aircraft.  This seems much more manageable!  In order to check out where it's going, the men decide to wait f…

London's Burning: August 14th and 15th (Part 2)

In the previous post dealing with this game, Adlertag had just finished and the RAF was licking its wounds.  Our two pilots, F/Lt. Stone and Pilot Sgt. Drake had met two very different fates.  Stone had been in battle with a German raid in the morning and was shaken so badly that he was unable to fly the rest of the day.  Drake heroically prevented another German raid from bombing a radar station but his Hawker Hurricane was turned into swiss cheese by three German fighters.  Though he bailed out near the coast, Drake drowned in the sea.

On August 14th, F/Lt Holmwood, a reserve pilot was called up to replace the loss of Drake.  Holmwood, a Hawker Hurricane pilot, gets ready for the day ahead.  Stone is still somewhat shaken from the events of yesterday.  The damage to the squadron's sector has been surprisingly light, with an airfield at Marston and West Malling bombed and taken out of the action until repairs are made.

Nothing much happens on August 14th.  Routine patrols in the …

London's Burning: August 13th - Adlertag

In 1995, Avalon Hill produced "London's Burning", which is a solitaire game about the Battle of Britain.  London's Burning doesn't attempt to cover the wider aspect of the battle like RAF:  Battle of Britain but instead builds a tighter narrative by focusing in on a single squadron of pilots and their attempts to fend off German bombing raids over England during August and September, 1940.

For this report, I've chosen the "regular scenario", which starts on August 13th and ends on September 6th.   I'll be playing through the game on and off in the next couple of weeks, highlighting or narrating any interesting events that occur as I play through it.

Setup and Pilots:

Our two active pilots are Flight Lieutenant Stone and Sergeant Pilot Drake.  Stone is a Spitfire pilot while Drake flies the Hawker Hurricane.  In reserve are Flight Lt. Holmwood and Sergeant Pilot Waters, both of whom are Hurricane pilots.

Each Sunday, another reserve pilot becom…

Ranger: Commo Site Recon

In 1984, Omega Games published "Ranger", which is less a board game than sort of a solo role-playing game that features realistic elements of US Army Ranger patrols and operations.  The game takes place in a fictional country in Central America and players make a host of decisions such as how to equip and prepare men for a mission, the route to an objective and how to extract after completing a mission.  Since the game was written by an ex-Ranger, it feels accurate and there is great attention to detail throughout the product.  The game includes a ton of mission cards and there are maps and even a grease pencil!
Here's a mission I recentlyplayed.
Puerto Oro has recently been suffering from leftist incursions from its southern neighbor. Congress has approved a limited deployment of a single Ranger battalion to advise Puerto Oro's government forces in the area and to lead strike missions against leftist elements.

This is our area of operations (AO) in Puerto Oro. It consi…

Band of Heroes: Carentan - The American AAR


Here's Kevin Sharp's report from our game yesterday.  He fought like a lion as the commander of Easy Company.

Ok… Let set the record straight at the get go. I’m the Allies. In fact, I’m the American player. Actually I am Easy Company. Yes. Indeed. E for Easy. Not E for eliminated. Not E for Eventually. Not E for Exterminated. When you see the word Company and the Letter E you think this:

So starting out on this scenario as my first exposure to WWII LNL, I figured this would be a cinch. The good guys always win, when you roll with Easy Co. Turn1. WTH? I start in Line Of Sight (LOS) with 2 of my 3 squads? No matter what one of them is shot at by that honking great MG the Jerries have. We of course dodge a bullet, no one is hurt and we hurtle across the board, evading fire. We ARE EASY COMPANY!!! Well since this is a AAR, I’ll leave hooha out of it. I got a little carried away there! A quick look at the board reveals that we nee…

Band of Heroes: Carentan - The German AAR

Through the miracle of Vassal, I sat down and played LnL's "Band of Heroes"  this afternoon and played through a scenario called "Carentan". The June 12, 1944 battle for Carentan was fought by two fierce opponents, the men of the 101st Airborne 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Company E ("Easy Company") which was immortalized in the HBO series' "Band of Brothers" and the German Fallschirmj√§ger Regiment 6.

Due to my affection for the TV series and my admiration of the men in Easy Company (or heck, any veteran of any war, for that matter) I have a special place in my heart for this scenario so I was pretty happy when my regular opponent agreed to play it, despite his stated desire to blow stuff up with tanks. We had a really good run with this scenario and it took some interesting twists and turns, especially in the late game. My opponent has agreed to do a joint AAR for this scenario so I'll post the progress of the battle from…