WARGAME WEDNESDAY: Fire in the Lake, Silent Victory, and Combat Commander

Wednesday , 18, May 2016 1 Comment

The big news this week is that Andrew Ruhnke’s Falling Sky is arriving at the homes of wargamers the world over. Twitter is lighting up with images of skrinkwrapped wargames emerging from their boxes of foam peanuts. Those that are holding out for the upcoming two-player COIN game by Brian Train are meanwhile getting a look at the map.

Out in the blog scene, though, I’ve stumbled across some particularly good wargaming commentary at a site called The Players Aid. If you can’t afford to spend a week at a games convention, this blog really is the next best thing. Here are some of my favorite bits from recent posts there:

COIN Series (The Players Aid) AAR – Fire in the Lake Full Scenario – 1964-1972 — “If you are not aware, I love to Tweet out pictures of the events and key points of each game as we play. It is always interesting to see the feedback and responses that we get. So as you may have noticed, I used one such comment from around the time of the 4th Coup! card that said ‘There’s hardly any VC or NVA on the board…!’ When I read this, I just giggled as they were judging based on the picture at that time but had no idea what had transpired to that point. So I will try to paint the picture so you can see why there were few VC or NVA on the board at the end!”

Solitaire (The Players Aid) Dive, dive, dive! – Silent Victory: U.S. Submarines in the Pacific, 1941-45 — “The game, for me at least, hinges on your capacity to get into the role of captain and bring the game to life in your mind’s eye. The more you can suspend your disbelief and make the dice rolls for more than just numerical charts the greater your experience will be. Role playing takes this game from a dice mashing exercise to a deep story telling device chocked full of tension, agonizing decision making and sublime victory! I have a background in D&D and other pen and paper RPG’s so this aspect of the game came naturally, and when I found myself on the brink of losing my crew and vessel to the dark depths in the China Sea, I felt genuinely sad that my career would come to a watery end. Silent Victory is very much a game of ‘the more you put in the more you get out’. Something that enamoured me to the game was the fact that I could play for twenty minutes and I felt I had played a great game, but that this single session had also contributed to a greater whole; the career of the captain, brings the story of the patrol into a greater context within the war. This was very satisfying.”

Squad Level (The Players Aid) A Preview of Combat Commander: Europe by GMT Games — “The other favorite part for me is the narrative that is told as the battles unfold! As I was playing the Example of Play scenario, I felt as if I was Sergeant Kaminsky trying to inspire his men to move up on the first building to engage the enemy and knock them out of that fortification. I experienced the disappointment of Sergeant Ganz as his troops were forced to retreat to the north to try to repel the Russians who were threatening the German troops in the buildings. I felt the disgust in my unit’s performance when the very powerful infantry gun continued to miss its targets (twice)! I was relieved when the random event put a blaze marker in between my troops and the German forces in the woods obscuring their line of sight and not allowing them to effectively fire. The narrative is the best part and allows my mind to participate in the battle, even though I am not there. It is a similar feeling to a well written book that forces you to take the role of characters and experience their feelings as you read the pages.”

Here is the rest of this week’s link roundup:

PaxSims (Simulations)

Inside GMT (GMT Games)

Real and Simulated Wars (JC)

Ludic Futurism (Brian Train)

VASSAL (News)

The Players Aid (Grant A. Kleinhenz)

One Comment
  • Jeffro, quit teasing me with COIN pictures and stories. I’m trying to hold out for Pendragon.

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