Red Storm AAR Playtest, Part 2

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The following is part 2 of an after action review of my most recent test game of Red Storm with my good friend and playtest team member Chris Baer.  This scenario is titled “Offensive Counter Air” and features two big NATO deep strike raids going over the front and into southwestern East Germany.  In Part 1 Chris and I both provided our thoughts as we went through the pre-game planning phases.  Here in Part 2 we’ll discuss some of the action in the scenario itself.

Red Storm Playtest AAR, Part 1

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The following is an After Action Review of my most recent test game of Red Storm  on a long Friday morning and afternoon with my good friend and playtest team member Chris Baer.  This was a test of one of the bigger scenarios in Red Storm, “Offensive Counter Air”, which features two big NATO deep strike raids going over the front and into southwestern East Germany to hit Warsaw Pact airfields.  I wanted to test one of the bigger scenarios to see how certain rules “scale up” to a very large scenario.  In particular, I wanted to fully work out the SAM and Electronic Warfare rules, areas where the rules for Red Storm make some significant changes from earlier games in the series.  Here in Part 1 of the AAR I’ll go through my pre-game planning from the NATO side of things, with Chris providing some insights into Warsaw Pact planning.  In Part 2 I’ll show some images of the game with a bit of commentary on how things went.

Two Good Years Out of Seven: The View from Paris After a Game of The Seven Years War: Frederick’s Gamble

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Introduction by 7YW:FG Game Developer – Fred Schachter

Mark McLaughlin and my designer/developer partnership span a number of fine GMT games: but since my business career took me away from the Northeast; it’s been all too rare that I could visit with my friend Mark and enjoy a good fun time gaming.  A recent trip to New York City, however, provided opportunity for a side trip to Mark’s home. 

During this visit, I re-introduced Mark to Greg Ticer’s The Seven Years War: Frederick’s Gamble, which we last played a few Impulses of during WBC 2014 when GMT introduced us to Greg.  As InsideGMT content for this game indicates; there’s been considerable progress and improvements made to this design since that WBC. 

It was a genuine pleasure to share the latest iteration of 7YW:FG with Mark. Mark had such a grand gaming experience he was inspired to write this After Action Report for InsideGMT.  I wrote the photo captions and the end game victory calculations. However, this article’s photos would be better appreciated if a reader references a copy of the 7YW:FG play test map.  Enjoy!   

B&T Warpath Chronicles #3: Action Tokens Part 3 — Full Action Round Example: French & Indian Rampage, British Resilience

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“Bayonets & Tomahawks Biweekly” is an article series appearing on InsideGMT periodically every two weeks. It features articles from the Bayonets & Tomahawks development team regarding the game’s design, development and upcoming release.

Issue #3: Action tokens PART 3 — Full Action Round Example: French & Indian Rampage, British Resilience.

The following play example focuses exclusively on how tokens are used in the Action Round. Movement, battles and other game mechanics will be explained elsewhere. I’ve minimized strategic insight for a clearer demonstration. The Action list featured in previous article is repeated at the end of this article for reference.

70 Minutes to Victory: A Hitler’s Reich Replay with The REAL Game Components

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Introduction: Readers may wish to reference other InsideGMT material regarding this fascinating upcoming P-500 listed game for background and explanation of game mechanics whose general appreciation is presumed by this post.

Finally, a long-awaited day has come… being able to play Hitler’s Reich: A Card Conquest System Game (Hitler’s Reich) with REAL components, using the map and cards created by artist Charles Kibler from my amateurish components used to date in many a Hitler’s Reich play test game. Along with these were GMT “wooden bits” similar to what could be provided with the published game.

Although there is still some prettying up of the game’s European Theater of Operations of World War II map to be done along with minor edits of the cards; the After Action Report (AAR) described by this InsideGMT post was this designer’s first playing of the game with their professionally rendered graphic components… the same components you could experience with Developer Fred Schachter at WBC 2016.

Silver Bayonet: Playtest Report

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Y’all may know Ralph’s work from other GMT titles such as Operation Dauntless, Blood & Roses, Infidel, and the soon-to-be-published Arquebus. He was a valuable member of the playtesting team, and, below, he describes his experience with the 25th Anniversary Edition of Silver Bayonet.

When I heard Mitchell Land was working with GMT to re-issue Silver Bayonet, I approached him about playtesting the game. I knew Mitch from his Next War series and like his ideas on modern war. Many years ago, I had played the original Silver Bayonet game. It is a good game with a few flaws that kept it from being a great game. As one of the first GMT games, the rules and scenarios were ambiguous at points. The lack of smaller advanced game scenarios kept me from playing anything but the standard game. I just couldn’t convince my opponent to play the 39 turn campaign so we could use all of the cool hidden movement rules and helicopters.

A Walk in the Sun: Scenario #5 After Action Review from Silver Bayonet

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Once again we find ourselves deep in the jungle basking in the sunshine and tropical weather. This scenario, #5, depicts the ill-fated journey of the 2/7 Cav (along with elements of the 1/5) as they humped overland from the aftermath of LZ XRAY to a new landing zone, LZ ALBANY, a few miles away.

The torturous terrain combined with a severe lack of sleep and some command issues resulted in the cavalry troopers paying a heavy price as they were ambushed during their walk in the sun.

[NOTE: These examples don’t, necessarily, show the best tactics to be used. They are for illustrative purposes.]

The Drang River Valley (LZ MARY): Scenario #3 After Action Review from Silver Bayonet

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Following the recommended order of scenario play, the first is #6 Tea Time, we come to scenario #3 LZ Mary. This scenario depicts the night ambush conducted by A/1/9 and some CIDG Strikers on the NVA 66th Regiment as it was moving into the Ia Drang Valley as well as the subsequent NVA counterattack.

[NOTE: These examples don’t, necessarily, show the best tactics to be used. They are for illustrative purposes.]

Tea Time: Scenario #6 After Action Review from Silver Bayonet

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Here’s an AAR of the shortest scenario in the game: #6 “Tea Time”.

This scenario simulTeaTime1ates the night attack by the VC on the Brigade HQ. The HQ was lightly defended and cooks, clerks, and other “ash & trash” were pressed into service as riflemen. The HQ was saved, but that safety was bought dearly.

The Brigade HQ sets up in 3909 along with B/6/14 Artillery Battery. The VC set up in the hexes indicated by the Assault markers. I’ve spread out the units so you can see who is involved. The FWA also start with 10 Air Points which represents the HH-1 Aerial Rocket Artillery helos which were operating out of the HQ.

Setup rules indicate that the PAVN player must place at least one Assault marker. He places three and declares which units are Assaulting. Note that, although there are eight stacking points of units available to the VC, only four stacking points may actually Assault a hex. In this case, the bigger H-15 Main Force companies (2-3-9s) will do so as there are four of them and each is one stacking point.

A Playthrough of Comanchería

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Joel Toppen and Mike Bertucelli asked me to play through the tutorial for Comanchería to assist in proof reading. For me it was a rare treat to learn to play this much-awaited game with adult supervision and possibly get a few games in before it gets printed!

The game covers 4 historical periods from 1700 to 1875.  You make the decisions of the Comanche people trying to survive and thrive in the face of numerous threats and opportunities.