Alexander and I went along to today’s session of Chestnut Lodge Wargames Group in Anerley. Despite the engineering works we still got there in time to take part in both sessions, although we nearly missed Brian Cameron’s Weird War Two.
Weird War Two
Captain America was the movie of this game, which has been played many times by CLWG (and others) and it is a regular favourite. All it lacks, according to Alexander, is a Green Lantern character, and perhaps a mention for Bucky on the Captain America card!
We joining in with Jon Casey as the Americans and we more or less quietly stayed out of the way and developed our lightning spitting Tesla Cannons just in time to use them to shoot down the Italian Spaghetti Foo flying saucers. However the Germans had a super soldier programme on the go at the same time as the Japanese helicopter programme. So not looking great for the Allies. That said, Captain Britain was almost unstoppable (which is more than can be said for the US super heroes).
As a mature game there isn’t really much room for improvement with it, although we did play with a couple of rules during the game. This was really a matter of clarity in the rules rather than anything major. One of these was about when heroes were available to defend bases, whether you needed to fight both the hero and the base defence. Seeing as the base defences used the same mechanism as the hero combat we decided that you needed to fight twice, and that your hits carried over between consecutive battles. This made it an advantage in defending your base if it was attacked. Although this didn’t apparently make much difference when the much enhanced Captain Britain attacked the Italian base and won three consecutive combats without suffering a single hit! The other rule we played with was the one granting the ability to reroll the dice once. As played this was re-rolling once for each dice roll, because only once overall made it much weaker than the +1 that most of the other upgrades offered. However being able to re-roll any dice roll once turned out to be over-balancing in the other direction. So a compromise of re-rolling up to two die rolls per combat (which was the first to inflict three hits won) was adopted. This seemed to work, although we only played a few combats after changing the rule.
This was an idea from Jim Wallman on something that might be feasible for a wargames show. The game involved using binoculars to identify tank pictures (printed to scale) on tables at the other side of the hall. Once the spotter identified the tank then target orders (using the standard Group, Range, Indication, Target) Â were given to the gunner who pointed the anti-tank gun model at the chosen target and then put their hand up to ‘fire’.
Jim had done a fair amount of prep in that there was a list of about 40 tanks each of which had a small and large front image and a large side image printed on card. These were what we were looking at. To make it a little easier he gave us the list of tanks (but without images) so that we had a smaller number of types to choose from.
Overall it was fun, although I personally didn’t know some of the models, and between us we got them all. Some of them I think only because we could chance guessing the ones we didn’t know off the list we’d been given. The gunner aspect got forgotten quite quickly, other than running to collect the ammo from the chair in front of where we all sat. The gun line being fixed meant that the tables with the tanks on moved towards us. This made it slightly more cardboard box simulator ish because we were still and the tanks came onto us. Using the binos also helped this feel, perhaps as a demo game it needs a tin helmet and some snadbags to rest the binos on?
What it did do was remind me of tank duel and think about perhaps trying to get that going with some of Alexander’s friends round our place in the summer (when there will be room to play it on the patio (it needs quite a bit of space to work properly does tank duel).