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Author Topic: What was the last rules set you played 2020  (Read 5844 times)
John Cook
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« Reply #75 on: 14 March 2020, 08:53:15 AM »

It's now 2021!
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ianrs54
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« Reply #76 on: 14 March 2020, 11:03:08 AM »

John - the way this year is going I wish !
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Last Hussar
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« Reply #77 on: 14 March 2020, 12:34:19 PM »

Just found Parachute regiment have cheated Shocked
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ronan
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« Reply #78 on: 14 March 2020, 12:55:30 PM »

Just found Parachute regiment have cheated Shocked

They always do !
 Cheesy
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paulr
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« Reply #79 on: 14 March 2020, 08:51:36 PM »

The attack was prompted by the Sherman's of 1/Coldstream rolling over the bridge. It appears to be no longer a case of if the British will make breakthrough, but when...

General Urquhart smiled at the  young Major sitting in the Sherman he had clambered up. "Remind me never to make a foolish promise like that again. Now, can your bloody radio get General Adair, because I'm buggered if ours can."

 Whew!
 Grin
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John Cook
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« Reply #80 on: 14 March 2020, 10:00:49 PM »

Bugger, so much for hibernation.
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Last Hussar
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« Reply #81 on: 15 March 2020, 03:28:09 AM »

Hells Highway, turns 18 & 19 - daytime 22nd Sept.

General Bittich massaged his temples. There seemed to be more British paratroopers packed in to the city than there should have been room for. He had tried various tactics for the past week - artillery bombardments, attacks along the whole line, attempting to pinch off the salient that's jutted out along the road north to Apeldoorn, all had failed. He thumped the table, 500 meters was all he needed, enough for his panzers to clear the woods so they could deploy off the the road, instead of being stuck in travel column.

He looked at his Chief of staff. "Go with every things every rifle, every artillery piece. Oh four hundred. Might as well be cut to pieces trying, rather than wait for the British tanks to do it."
...
The sergeant rushed into the room, stopped, took a deep breath and, fully composed, snapped a salute. "We've stopped 'em sir. Started dropping back about 13-30. The lad have had a battering, think they fired every shell in Germany at the eastern road, but the Staffies on the northern road held.

Adair smiled at Urquhart. "Fancy handing back some of what they've been dishing out for a week?"
He leant over the map spread across the dining table.
"The Grenadiers and Coldstream will move to here - they will like that, right of the line, while the 43rd will push up the Apeldoorn  road, supported by the paras...

***
Number one son started the awkward process of shuffling units on the map, to ensure no more than 2 counters a hex as the tanks rolled into Arnhem. With a couple of units on the main road, and panzers arriving painfully slowly from the west, following a long loop round from the north, the eastern minor roads had become a tank park, with a number of battalions spread on many roads.

The Poles were taking a battering from the Germans arriving from the west, but the 82nd were rampaging; though they did send some units to push the Germans off their HQ, a number were in Germany itself, chasing Germans back to Berlin. If the map east of Grosbeck had gone further, I swear #1 would still have pushed to the edge.the last units of 15th army were mopped up in the south, and the side road loop secured.

After my final desperate attack, he pushed back all along the line, achieving break through in the west, and also on the road north.

It was obvious that playing more would be pointless, even if I sealed the road breach, I was getting stretched too thin in the light of XXXc arrival with more units

Having no options left, along with few units, I suggested we call the game on turn 19 (22/9, PM turn), rather than play the full 26 turns.

***

The radio operator scrawled the translation from Morse down, checked it said what he thought it did, then turned to Adair with a huge smile. "Message from Recce battalion, 2 Stafford's, 1745 22 September. Have cleared units in front of me, and are pushing north on road. Can you spare some Sherman's to join us?"

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Last Hussar
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« Reply #82 on: 15 March 2020, 03:29:13 AM »

My Post-game thoughts later, when I can get on proper keyboard.
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paulr
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« Reply #83 on: 15 March 2020, 08:09:11 AM »

 Thumbs up Applause Thumbs up

Sounds like a great way to spend a few days with your son(s) Smiley
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Steve J
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« Reply #84 on: 15 March 2020, 08:19:59 AM »

Looking forward to the post-game thoughts.
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Last Hussar
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« Reply #85 on: 15 March 2020, 06:14:52 PM »

So - Operation Market Garden, as played by the Victory Games boardgame "Hell's Highway".
This is a hex board and counter game of the famous operation. 1 counter = 1 Bn, 1 hex =1300m. 1 turn = AM, PM, or night. 26 turns total (designer estimate 25 hours for full operation).

Part 1 - The game

Number 1 son had studied the battle extensively in the run up to the game, once it was arranges about a month ago, when we had a short learning game.  It paid off, in that he was able to use the 'Travel Mode' rule, and friends cancelling Zone of Control (ZoC) to shield the paras as they charged towards Arnhem.  He was definitely helped by the fact I misread the QR/Counters I had initially available, and thought the 2 units of Armoured infantry from 10 SS had to come-on in Travel mode.  This delayed me 2 turns, by which time he was already in the city.  This isn't to take anything away from the rather fantastic charge down the two roads past Oosterbeck by 1 Para - a colonel somewhere misread a map, the sort of friction miniature games often use command rolls for. By the time I got to the outskirts he had enough to form a perimeter This limited my ability to use tanks, as the terrain outside of the city was mostly prohibited to armour- I couldn't get off the road to deploy, and where the terrain was track friendly I couldn't get to it in Travel mode as it was in his ZoC.

At the other end of the map the German units dug in along the Valkenswaard - Eindhoven road proved to particularly stubborn, delaying him by 2 days. Eindhoven was another delay, and even when he had both ends of the bridge, armour and PaK in the rest of the city was a problem. He again was able to use paras in combat mode (the 101st this time) to negate ZoC, and push the travel columns up to Son.  However this did provide a hostage to fortune, in that XXX corps supply route can be negated by a single enemy ZoC, even if it was occupied by friends (RLC drivers don't particularly want to drive POL and Ammo in range of machine guns, no matter who else is there with them!) This meant he was forced to continually attack units next to the road in the hope he would inflict "Disrupt" results to stop ZoC.

The 101st and 82nd were having a whale of a time, running round the countryside and jumping on every flak unit they could find and "Punching them in the face" (#1s words).  This gave them pretty much free reign to do what they needed.

Although XXXc could keep pushing along the road, as long as they were shielded by paras, the non armour-friendly terrain off the road did mean that there was a hell of a queue of tanks back from Nijmegen while 9SS Recce held the north end of the bridge in Lent (a town, not the bit before Easter). What with the fights and German re-enforcements further south they continually flitted in and out of supply.

Probably the allies biggest stroke of luck was the weather clearing, so although the Polish were late, they were nowhere near as late as historically, and so managed to get control of "The Island" between the Waal and the Rhine, letting the allies hold both ends of the Bridge, and being able to help at Lent.

The game has a good way to deal with 'off-map' German movement. There are "Tactical Reserve" boxes around the edge of the map - these serve German entry areas. They can also exit into them, and from there transfer as a turn's movement to the Operational Reserve areas. 1 OR is connected to a number of unique TRs each allowing units to exit, move to the OR, move to a different TR, then re-enter somewhere else - 1 box jump per turn.  The ORs are connected to Command Reserve for each German Army (1Fj, 15th and 2nd SS), so over 5 turns a unit can skirt round part of the map.  TRs become closed in sequence as VIII and XII corps "Advance" off map.  I didn't use these as much as I could have, being able to consolidate in one or two areas may have changed things.  The other problem is the SS CR only connects to one OR south of the Rhine, and due to distance/having to cross the Rhine only one unit per turn can move from the SS CR to this OR. I needed to start moving idle stuck panzer bns early, which I didn't, rather they were waiting for a 1 or 2 hex advance by the infantry so they could get somewhere they could deploy.

By turn 19 (PM 23rd) it was obvious that there was nothing I could do to stop XXX reaching the south bank of the Rhine, and as he held not only both ends of the Bridge, but the hexes around the north end, there was nothing I could do to stop the paras moving out the way to make room for the Guards tanks, however slow that was, (even with Red Caps yelling that they had never seen such useless driving!) And no, I didn't let him win just because he's my son and I was the Germans.  I'm impressed with his early turn actions with 1 Para - they almost certainly made the win possible. Screw that up, and no matter what he had done for the rest of the time, it probably would have been impossible.

It certainly was an experience over the 4 (real) days it took, at 5-6 turns a day. We stopped at the end of every German turn (Allies go first in each Game Turn) for tea or food. It won't be something I will do again in the near future (these were the first times it had been played in the 20+ years I've had it, since picking it up 2nd hand)  However its a very useful resource for maybe doing with a 'Megablitz' scale set of rules, or even just putting terrain out for a scenario.
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paulr
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« Reply #86 on: 15 March 2020, 06:23:26 PM »

 Thumbs up Applause Thumbs up
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Last Hussar
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« Reply #87 on: 15 March 2020, 06:35:45 PM »

I'll comment on the rules later, except for this little bit, which acts as a footnote to above, but is about the rule mechanism.

Stacking limits are 2 counters per hex, In addition units have a number of steps, from 1 to 4, represented by small black dots. A unit can lose one or more steps in an attack, losing Combat Value (flip them) as they do, and for those that start with 3-4 steps replacement counters for the 1-2 steps.  The rules also state that no more than 5 steps can be in a hex.

Towards the end we found that a number of para units in Arnhem had 2 x 3 steps in a hex, The rules, as written state excess units in a hex should be eliminated. This seemed harsh for one excess step, and I had decided on day 1 that I would say it meant reduce unit steps until the 5 were achieved, though I hadn't told #1 this, as I didn't think it would come up- we both knew the 5 step limit.

It was as much my oversight as his, as I was doing a lot of the fiddly movement in Arnhem - 14 counters in 7 hexes, surrounded by the SS counters, also doubled, and then Disruption markers on various stacks - because my fingers are more nimble, and they were on my side of the table. I failed to note the three dots on the bottom counters as I picked up the top counter to tell him what he had under it.

When I did spot it we just put a step loss on one counter, making it legal. I checked the CRT, and the difference would have been minor. Of the 2 or 3 step losses inflicted by him in defence, there is a 1 in 6 chance it wouldn't have happened, and that depends if the loss was caused by the unit that we reduced. In offence there is no CRT difference between 2 Strength 5 units attacking together and a 5 and a 3.

If we played EXACTLY as written then things may have been different, he would have had to lose a unit (which seems too much for a single step - a third counter maybe, but not a single step), so my attacks would have had more undisrupted units.  However I checked, and I'm pretty sure with planning he could put 2 legal units in each hex anyway, and some of these would have been a 4 which on the CRT is the same as a 5.

So although he 'cheated' it should be treated exactly the same as we actually achieved. It was just a bit disappointing to find it slightly tainted by a playing cockup, rather than actual play.  I post this as part of my game-experience, rather than any criticism of him.
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paulr
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« Reply #88 on: 15 March 2020, 11:59:44 PM »

Having two different stacking limits to keep track of must have been a pain

This sort of thing is one of the reasons that I donít play many board games
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Last Hussar
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« Reply #89 on: 16 March 2020, 12:44:47 AM »

Hells Highway
Thoughts on the rules.


The rules for the game are for a board wargame, rather than a miniatures game, and written in 1982/3. And it shows, especially the age.
As mentioned above they are frequently confusing, or difficult to find the bit that you are looking for - though I think we all know that feeling! What the biggest style difference seems to be is the ORDER of presentation.  The bit that stops you firing both in your turn and as defensive fire is at the end of the section, and because it isn't hinted at above I had stopped reading at the point I needed, though I probably had read them.  The artillery rules have each paragraph title highlighted, but it doesn't have a 'QR' at the top, that takes you through the order of actions as a simple list.  If I wrote the artillery section I'd put the first bit as

"Artillery fires using the following sequence
Requirements and restrictions (10.1)
Spotting (10.2)
Communication (10.3)
Method (no paragraph in the rules for this - same as direct firing, but always good to repeat)
Firer Disruption (10.4)

The player can just remind himself of sequence, and know where to go for clarification. Also the most used sequences - turn order, fire method - are NOT on the QR, instead 2/3 of one side is 'Unit Types' which actually has very little of use, and is on the rule book back page anyway.

By far the most... shall we say unusual... part is the fire table.
As miniature gamers we are used to roll x, modified by firer, do y.
Board games tend to have CRT - at odds x:y roll z causes this.

These are in a way closer to miniature games. You roll a die, add for target type- the addition in itself being dependent on terrain the target is in, then cross ref with the firers strength for result. This leads to disrupt, and possible 'step losses'. The worse the terrain, the lower the +, with indirect tending to be 1 lower.

The odd thing is the addition is fixed Direct Fire at Infantry in Clear and it is ALWAYS +6, no matter unit firing. If you have AT capability then shooting at armour is +1, otherwise tanks shooting at tanks is the same (+3) as infantry shooting at tanks in the open. (oddly, the rules make no mention that tanks have AT capability, so we just didn't add 1. It wasn't a choice - we didn't discuss this, it never really crossed our minds).

The other thing is tanks in cities. +0. Infantry targets have +3 - both the same as woods. Yes, the units are battalions, not just one type of target, but did panzer battalions have integral infantry support? I don't think I need to comment further. (Though if I did it would be to opine maybe different AP and GP ratings should have been done!)

The Supply rules are worth mentioning. Every top level formation - 2 SS, 1 Para etc, has a supply track. Extra supply happens at the start of the AM turn- dependent on formation type - SS get 6, for airborne it is variable, and modified by flack and enemy close by. Every 6 rolled in combat uses 1 SP per direct fire unit, and 1 per artillery STEP. A particularly impressive barrage wiped out the Paras supply - luckily it was the night turn. If you don't have supply, lose 1 step per 2 SP used. Out of supply units, ie those who get cut off by ZoC, are assigned their own small supply from the main track which they use instead. Being out of supply limits some units, and gives a +2 against Germans (not SS north of the Rhine).  XXX corps are always in supply as long as they are 8 movement points from a road connected to the entry point.  The road is the supply hex as long as it connects to a road that is a supply point - enemy ZoC stop a road being a supply point, which is why the Germans managed to stop supply by being near the road.

The problem was the writers didn't consider a whole formation may lose access, as the 82nd did when I moved into the supply drop hex. We just assumed that no resupply could take place while it was blocked - what they carried was what they had. As they have a max of 12, this could have got interesting (but it didn't).

Now please explain this
"A motorized [sic] unit (except those in XXX corps) may not enter or remain in Travel mode if Isolated in the friendly Command Phase"
[my emphasis]

"An Allied unit in XXX Corps Command can enter of remain in Travel Mode only if it occupies a valid XXX Corps supply source during the Allied Command phase."

Well, which is it?

We left them in Travel mode, mostly to avoid having to take off then put on counters, and I strongly suggested to #1 he shouldn't really be using them.

While trying to find this rule to type it now, I've found this - "A unit in XXX Corps Command in Travel Mode that is not on a Supply Source hex during the friendly Command Phase must immediately change to combat mode."

As no XXX unit can leave the road in Travel Mode (they are all motorised), is this about a road not being a supply source? Or does it mean POTENTIAL source!

As the rules went, this was probably the most frustrating part - what could XXX do while the road south was blocked, and my indecision caused some annoyance with #1 son.

Despite this, the rules have a number of good points - the concept of the supply pool, the way travel on Minor Roads is handled, as it forces you to spread out units on the road if they will be going on the minor road (which is the last 2 hexes in Nijmegen, annoyingly for #1). Also the concept of the disruption coming off at different times depending whether it happened when you were attacking (you are vulnerable during their turn) or defending (you lose the next turn).

Because of the scale - 1300m hexes - combat represents an assault, not just firing, so neighbouring units can be drawn in to support.

The German off-board movement is a good idea.

On top of it all the Orbat and Map is a fantastic resource - more useful than many books I've tried.
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