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.
A few months ago, I pointed our customers to The Player’s Aid website as a site that creates consistently high-quality articles about our games (and others). I asked Grant, one of their founders and content creators, if he’d like to write an occasional article for InsideGMT to provide some added content to our site, and also to help spread the word about their site to an even broader group of readers. He wrote us a nice article about playing the Americans in Combat Commander which is now part of a larger series on their site. Today, the guys from The Player’s Aid are back with a new article, this time from Alexander, another of their founders and key writers. He takes us inside air-naval combat tactics in Mark Herman’s Empire of the Sun. I hope you all enjoy the article and The Player’s Aid site! – Gene
Why we do what we do in The Last Hundred Yards– In these articles we discuss why we do what we do regarding the various systems and mechanics used in the LHY. On this occasion we will discuss the Time Lapse, Fire and Maneuver systems. To see the first article in this series, check out The Last Hundred Yards Designer’s Notes: Intro, Initiative, and Activation Cycle on InsideGMT.
Another fairly unique (within the COIN series) feature of Pendragon: The Fall of Roman Britain is that, at least in the scenarios starting at the very beginning of the period covered by the game (c. 360 AD), two of the four factions begin play with not one single piece on the map! These are, of course, the two barbarian factions, the Saxons and Scotti, as Britain begins solidly in control of the Roman Empire, represented by the two Briton factions, the Dux and Civitates. While the barbarians can raid by sea and over the northern border, it will be essential for them to settle on the island itself to compete for a win:
Introduction by Fred Schachter- Game Developer for Hitler’s Reich: A Card Conquest System Game (henceforth referred to as simply Hitler’s Reich) – Vesa “Vez” Arponen is one of those gamers who has talents of his of own, particularly when it comes to designing solitaire-playing “Bots” for GMT Games (most recently for A Distant Plain published in Nr30 of the C3i magazine and upcoming for Colonial Twilight).
Imagine Mark McLaughlin’s and my surprise and pleasure when Vez, a Finn residing in Germany as an educator, came to us to share how thrilled he was anticipating GMT’s publication of Hitler’s Reich and wondering if he and his local gaming buddies could help play test it. Not only that, he volunteered to create a “Bot” for the game. Off to Germany went what was needed for Vez to construct a play test version of the Hitler’s Reich game.
How Vez accomplished creating a “Bot” for Mark’s Card Conquest System design seems is akin to magic to Mark and myself, but did it he did, and Hitler’s Reich will uniquely join GMT’s game line-up being graced with two (2) Solitaire Versions for enjoying this quick playing and entertaining game: the original Solitaire Version previously announced within InsideGMT and now this new “Bot”-driven alternative.
The remainder of this article is Vez sharing an After Action Report (AAR) of one of his play test games of Hitler’s Reich using the “Bot”, which takes on the game’s Axis Side. Hopefully, this will enhance readers’ appreciation of the game and, if you’ve not yet done so, place a P-500 order for it? The exact rules and flowchart image are not here being provided; but what you’ll read is the effect of Vez’s clever work in getting his “Bot” to emulate the play of a live opponent.
Imagine a battlefield where gun positions are effectively mapped out and the defenders are alert and ready to respond to your intrusion. To traverse that field risks cross-fire from a variety of locations arranged with the precision of caliper and slide rule. Once you step foot onto this engineered battlefield, you can expect deadly fire coming at you from straight ahead, from the right, from the left…from above and even from below. It is designed to deter any intrusion, and if you are the poor soul who is ordered to enter that lethal field, your only hope is to do so quickly and exit just as rapidly.
NOTE: All photos and art are play test versions.
GMT Weekend at the Warehouse, October 2016. Across the table from me is Mike Bertucelli. Mike has become a close friend, tested through the wars developing Liberty or Death. We have been gaming together since we met 4 years ago and he is a great guy to play with. That’s true with one exception: when we play Tank Duel. As a tank commander, Mike’s football coaching lineage comes to the surface. He seems to beat me every time we play and does a victory dance over my smoking hulk. My intent is revenge and I have been practicing my victory dance.
Narrative of Mission 13.0 – Chance Encounter – This Mission involves a chance encounter along a road in sector 9 between an American and a German (Enemy) Infantry Company. Neither player has a favorable Initiative die roll modifier in this Mission. There are 7 Mission Objectives consisting of 3 building hexes and 4 separate Woods (grove of trees). The Mission ends at the end of any game turn if one player controls 5 of the 7 mission objectives. The player controlling the 5 mission objectives wins if his Final Score is < 25.
In this Mission, I (Captain Whitley) was the American player and my brother Gary was the German player. The following is a brief account of the action.
Surface to Air Missiles (SAMs) and Antiaircraft Artillery (AAA) are well known threats to players of Downtown and Elusive Victory. They appear again in Red Storm: The Air War Over Central Germany, 1987 and with a vengeance. This article will discuss the SAM and AAA forces of NATO and the Warsaw Pact in Red Storm and how they may affect both defensive and offensive planning in the game.