WW2 miniatures – WGRG 1973 revised and revisited again

All preps now done for our next Wargames Research Group 1973 revised ruleset outing. This is the sixth game in our regular-ish series, running at 2 per year.

For tomorrow’s game, we’re attempting a historically based, but not actually historical, situation, set in Poland in 1944. The Germans are counter-attacking against a Russian armoured force. Both sides have considerable trimmings – can’t give away too much as the blog has ears!

There are two main differences in the format of this game that make it more than usually interesting. It is our first attempt to run the new infantry rules we’ve been developing. These are intended to speed up infantry combat, to represent the Command/Control, Firepower (capability) and Morale (resilience) effects of a company – not individual figures or individual stands. We’re modelling company level capability not actual structures, which, for a corps level game, is rather too much detail. We’ve focused in on the fact that a company basically has rifle power, LMG power, AT, mortar and other specialist functions, plus command. It’s the distribution and tactical use of these systems that gives each nationality its different doctrine in the use of infantry. Our design of infantry elements is intended to represent this company level capability and doctrine, rather than platoon or squad organisation. So, for example, late war German infantry have a predominance of infantry support weapons and less riflemen, whereas the Russians have large concentrations of rifles, but fewer LMGs and supports. This means that German firepower can be maintained even if extensive casualties are taken, whereas an equivalent Russian unit will tend to fade – of course the Russians will just stick another unit in! In addition the German infantry have very flexible heavy weapon support down to company level, whereas the Russians have separate battalions for support, requiring much more command effort.

The second innovation, developed by Pete, is to run the Corps level game via a series of separate one-on-one encounters between individual sub-commanders, while the C-in-Cs simply carry out the overall direction, in terms of grand tactical movement, reserve placement, and so on. Only the sub-commanders get to move the figures around. We will play up to 4 rounds of 90 minutes to 2 hours during the day. Rapid victory on one table can mean you get an advantage on the next table if following up. Also there’s the opportunity for long-range weapons to fire from one table across to another (some guns and howitzers have ranges of 4 km or more, and our tables are 2.5 km x 4km). We reckon to have up to 6 games running in a round (though more likely 4), so we may get 16 to 20 individual encounters.

We’ve had considerable pre-game action in terms of reconnaissance, and things are shaping up for an epic encounter. And at the very least we will have tested out this method.

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