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Now for something completely different

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Now for something completely different

Post  Ian on Sun May 29, 2011 11:31 pm

For some years now I have been drawn towards some form of Battle of Britain game. The players would be 11 group in the command room, allocating squadrons to intercept reported raids, placing them on a situation table. It would probably have to be real time.

There would be no German players - the day would be pre planned, these things don't happen on the whim of a general! Part of the schedule may read

1200 - Chain Home reports 50+ aircraft crossing French Coast
1205 - Raid F reaches target - If more than 30% strength, HORNCHURCH is out of communication until 1430
1215 - Raid H reaches target. Any planes on ground at BIGGIN HILL destroyed
etc etc

Ideally communication from the umpires would be by telephone and/or speakers

What holds me back is would there be enough roles (I wouldn't expect plotters to dress as WAAF's!) Would people be happy just moving markers all day, while someone else got teh interesting bit of issuing intercept orders?

Ian

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Re: Now for something completely different

Post  hammurabi70 on Mon May 30, 2011 3:41 am

Ian wrote:For some years now I have been drawn towards some form of Battle of Britain game. The players would be 11 group in the command room, allocating squadrons to intercept reported raids, placing them on a situation table. It would probably have to be real time.

There would be no German players - the day would be pre planned, these things don't happen on the whim of a general!

What holds me back is would there be enough roles (I wouldn't expect plotters to dress as WAAF's!) Would people be happy just moving markers all day, while someone else got teh interesting bit of issuing intercept orders?

[1] Variety is good; how many players in the team?
[2] The German raiders could be planned and moved by the umpires but you could have a German team planning the raid for next day while the British are fighting the current day.
[3] I think to flesh it out you would need to be precise on what you want to achieve and what roles are required to be filled. I played a BoB game as the German where I preset each days' raids and the British player had to respond. For me the key was to plan up front the raids to integrate the movements across Kent and to keep the defender off-balance so my main raids hit while his aircraft were rearming. It does not necessarily have to be multi-player as that game was a two-player game. DUEL IN THE DARK might give a few ideas of what is possible.
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Re: Now for something completely different

Post  Martin on Mon May 30, 2011 12:20 pm

For some reason I didn’t pick-up on this idea when you first posted it, Ian. I would definitely be interested in playing such a game though.

I also think Hammurabi has raised some good questions & points. I particularly like the idea that you could have a German team planning the raid for next day while the British are fighting the current day.

So the game could actually last a few days, with both sides being briefed on what has gone before, albeit with a day’s lag in the German case. It does mean that the Germans have to plan the next day without knowledge of what’s happened during the current day. But perhaps that’s the way it was? They would presumably not have had photo-recon results of damage for at least 24 hours, and even their own losses would not be known for sure until the end of the day.

I fear my lack of knowledge of the Battle of Britain is showing here Is this a real issue?

Martin

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Re: Now for something completely different

Post  henridecat on Mon May 30, 2011 4:54 pm

A squadron leader, just off on a mission, runs past, and dashes into a Nissen hut
The squadron leader enters an RAF officers' mess and takes off his helmet

Bovril (Terry J.) Morning, squadron leader.
Squadron Leader (Eric) What-ho, Squiffy.
Bovril How was it?
Squadron Leader Top hole. Bally Jerry pranged his kite right in the how's your father. Hairy blighter, dicky-birdied, feathered back on his Sammy, took a waspy, flipped over on his Betty Harper's and caught his can in the Bertie.
Bovril Er, I'm afraid I don't quite follow you, squadron leader.
Squadron Leader It's perfectly ordinary banter, Squiffy. Bally Jerry ... pranged his kite right in the how's yer father ... hairy blighter, dicky-birdied, feathered back on his Sammy, took a waspy, flipped over on his Betty Harper's and caught his can in the Bertie.
Bovril No, I'm just not understanding banter at all well today. Give us it slower.
Squadron Leader Banter's not the same if you say it slower, Squiffy.
Bovril Hold on, then. (shouts) Wingco!
Wingco (Graham) Yes!
Bovril Bend an ear to the squadron leader's banter for a sec, would you?
Wingco Can do.
Bovril Jolly good.
Wingco Fire away.
Squadron Leader (draws a deep breath and looks slightly uncertain, then starts even more deliberately then before) Bally Jerry ... pranged his kite ... right in the how's your father ... hairy blighter ... dicky-birdied ... ... feathered back on his Sammy ... took a waspy ... flipped over on his Betty Harper's ... and caught his can in the Bertie.
Wingco ... No, don't understand that banter at all.
Squadron Leader Something up with my banter, chaps?

A siren goes. The door bursts open and an out-of-breath young pilot rushes in in his flying gear.

Pilot (Michael) Bunch of monkeys on your ceiling, sir! Grab your egg and fours and let's get the bacon delivered.

General incomprehension. They look at each other

Wingco Do you understand that?
Squadron Leader No, didn't get a word of it.
Wingco Sorry old man, we don't understand your banter.
Pilot You know ... bally ten-penny ones dropping in the custard ... (searching for the words) um ... Charlie Choppers chucking a handful ...
Wingco No, no ... sorry.
Bovril Say it a bit slower, old chap.
Pilot Slower banter, sir?
Wingco Ra-ther!
Pilot Um ... sausage squad up the blue end!
Squadron Leader No, still don't get it.
Pilot Um ... cabbage crates coming over the briny?
Squadron Leader No.
Wingco, Pilot and Bovril No, no ...
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Re: Now for something completely different

Post  Martin on Mon May 30, 2011 6:51 pm

Smoke me a kipper, skipper..............

Martin

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Re: Now for something completely different

Post  Ian on Mon May 30, 2011 11:00 pm

I hadn't considered it that way (multiday, not Monty Python get togethers)

What I would really be aiming at is 'real time' - time on clock is time of day. One of the challenges of modern warfare is the need to keep up with the 'information curve'. Something like BoB there are immediate decisions to be made, and tense moments waiting for squadrons to come back to ready status

I'm now considering discreet turns, over a number of days. I still think all pre planned would be teh best way, because I don't think the umpires would be able to prep the future German raids - but you've got me thinking now. Might be boring for the 'Goering' though - being a book keeper!

Ian

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Re: Now for something completely different

Post  hammurabi70 on Tue May 31, 2011 11:32 am

Ian wrote:What I would really be aiming at is 'real time' - time on clock is time of day. One of the challenges of modern warfare is the need to keep up with the 'information curve'. Something like BoB there are immediate decisions to be made, and tense moments waiting for squadrons to come back to ready status

Yes but I think you do not want to be too literal with the clock - dawn in August comes early and most aerial combat was in the 6am to 8am time-frame and that is not noted as a prime wargaming time.
Suspect

You would also need something like a real ops room to get the right effect. In 15 minutes a bomber balbo over Calais could do 40 miles so be well into Kent before controllers knew about it. Update controllers for each 15 minutes and leave them one turn in arrears will put them under pressure but remember they can compensate knowing what the time lag is. Therefore you want a few oddities - low flying fighter-bomber raids coming in under the radar, false sightings and so on.
monkey

You have given me a thought on expanding that BoB game - I must talk to the designer.
Idea
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Re: Now for something completely different

Post  Ian on Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:10 am

I feel that many of these problems are minor ( eg take our own clock, set to what ever time we want etc)

I'd be looking at doing one of the days where pilots could find them selves making 4 or more sorties, rather than a narrow dawn band.

The most important question is: would you be interested in collaborating?

Ian

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Re: Now for something completely different

Post  hammurabi70 on Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:36 pm

Ian wrote:I feel that many of these problems are minor ( eg take our own clock, set to what ever time we want etc)
I am being light-hearted.

Ian wrote:I'd be looking at doing one of the days where pilots could find them selves making 4 or more sorties, rather than a narrow dawn band.
My preference would be to do a series of days rather than just a single day in detail. I think a single day will be less rewarding than it might appear. Difficult to adjudge the result, assuming you want one.

Ian wrote:The most important question is: would you be interested in collaborating?
To be equivocal as normal the answer is "I might". I need a month or two to do some game research. I would be looking at doing:
(1) Germans as either two players planning raids for alternate days while watching their own individual days' raids develop
OR
Umpire prepared daily activity [gives them some fun up front]
(2) British as a number of sector controllers [3?] running half a dozen squadrons
(3) Umpires: three to run each day at speed and then allow a daily overnight regroup (fill in craters, repair damage, add new aircraft)

I think if you want to do one day in great depth I suspect the answer is "no". In effect I am thinking of expanding an existing (and moderately successful self-produced) two player game into a multi-player experience, and if you are interested in that then - "maybe".

Another approach would be to pick an existing succesful game on BoB and adapt it. There are a lot to choose from both as boardgames and PC games.
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Re: Now for something completely different

Post  hammurabi70 on Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:16 pm

Still working on this.
Idea
Ian, have you noted this one?
http://shop.strategyandtacticspress.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=WW19

Have you obtained a copy?
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Re: Now for something completely different

Post  hammurabi70 on Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:02 pm

There might be a solution ready at hand:

http://www.wargamedevelopments.org/rules.htm

http://www.freewargamesrules.co.uk/uploads/7/0/8/1/7081303/bob_final.pdf

Two options. One seems to be a single day and the other a longer campaign version. Worth checking out to see if they fit your aspirations.
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Re: Now for something completely different

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