MINI GAMING: Memorial Day Blitzkrieg Commander MWS Meeting (27 May 2006)!
MWSS (Miniatures Wargaming Society of Sacramento) is a local gaming club and has been around for some time now... although it's mutated more than a little over the years. At one time, it was known as SAGA (Sacramento Area Wargamers' Association) according to one older and very active member. I went a few times back when it was SAGA and observed that the club (at that time) suffered from the curse of so many wargaming club's: The Curse of the Brothers Gemini or factional infighting among the members.
Well, things have changed and the group, while it suffers the occasional lapse, has turned over some new leaves. I like to think that much of the group has grown older, matured and can recognize their differences and move on appropriately.
You can learn more about the MWSS gaming club here:
Well, enough of that, the purpose of any gaming or wargaming club is to play games and here's what we played over Memorial Day weekend...
MWS Members & Guests in attendence:
- Bob S.
- Joe Bianchi
- Mike O.
Not bad attendence at all for a weekend with many competing events such as Kublacon!
And several of our members attended Kublacon... I hope that they had a great time!
As as a final side note, usually the honorable Mike Warde photographs and records the meeting so please consider this humble post a very unsatisfactory stand-in for his excellent work! He couldn't be in attendence at the meeting due to the fact that... he was saving the world again in his superhero alter-ego mode. None of us know who he really is in superhero mufti, but we can guess...
1. Blitzkrieg Commander
Game Referees & Hosts:
- Bob Sidowski
- Mike O'Brien
- Dick: Oberkommander (Central / Eastern Flank)
- Keith: Fascist Lackey of the Eastern Flank
- Maks: Fascist Lackey of the Western Flank
- Don: Grand Commissar / Premier / Grand Poobah (Western Flank)
- Mark: Commie Lapdog of the Eastern Flank
- Rob: Commie Lapdog of the Central Region
This was the "big game" of the meeting... Mike O'Brien and Bob Sidowski had planned and prepared for this game for ages... even going so far as to issue maps and briefings by E-mail to the commanders before game day. They also garnered volunteers and players before the meeting which led to them having two fully staffed sides before the game even started... very often, folks just show up and pick and choose which games they're going to play. That practice sometimes leaves gamemasters who show up later without players... a good idea by Bob and Mike as well as something to think about.
Well, the scenario was a very typical Eastern Front one (at least for us at MWS):
A German logistics base in the rear is tasked to defend against a massive Russian front trying to exploit a hole in the German lines. The heavily outnumbered Germans must try to hold out as long as they can against the near undefeatable Russian masses...
That was, more or less, the scenario we played when Mark hosted awhile back and we played it again with Bob and Mike! Essentially, the German players are condcuting a holding operation, while the Russians were tasked with breaking through and crushing the Germans no matter the casualties... Ho hum.
The map was set up with a village and several woods with the Russians entering the board from the North...
The Russians under Don's leadership decided to probe at first with mostly lend-lease vehicles: Stuart light tanks and US halftracks supported by a penal battallion. The penal battalion spawned a number of bad jokes later...
These ran into prepared defences under Dick and Keith's commands which gave the probes one heck of a beating.
Once the Russians knew where the Germans were, they let the hammer down...
A massive Russian tank army approached with overwhelming numbers and firepower.
And when I say overwhelming, I mean it! The Germans only had a platoon of StuGs and a measly few AT guns to try and stop the Slavic juggernaught!
It looked pretty grim for the Russians for a few turns, but a reenforcing German tank detachment entered the field from the South end after about five turns or so and somewhat gave the Germans a hope for holding against the hordes.
However, the German Pz-IVs and StuG-IIIs still were mightily outclassed by the Russians assault guns, SU-122s, and tanks, T-34s.
The SU-122s stationed near the beginning of the village really gave the Germans what-for... Kudos to the clever Russians for such excellent placement of their assault guns.
One of the big surprises of the game was that artillery didn't have much of an effect on the game... I don't know if that's through command error or otherwise...
The Germans only had a single mortar platoon and it was placed out of useful range and when advanced, was crushed by the Russians.
The Russians, while having an incredible number of guns, spent most of the game targetting areas suspected of harboring Germans... only none were there.
One of the more interesting thing about Blitzkrieg Commander is that it's a betting game... in order to move troops, one has to roll under a command number, which decreases as you try to get more and more out of your troops. Not only that, but a natural twelve (on two D6 dice) is always a catastrophic failure (roll an a table for extra bad things to happen) and a natural two (on two D6 dice) is a always a massive success (generally a free extra action is given).
Naturally, this led to havoc for all of the players, very much a fog of war effect! Several of us including Mark, Don and I consistently missed our command numbers and watched the units under our command sit uselessly... unable to act through confusion or some other lame excuse.
At one point, poor Don, rolled the dreaded two and his Commissar was shot by his own troops causing a key Russian command stand to retreat throwing havoc throughout the Russian lines.
And, I, Maksim, rolled no less than SIX of the dreaded twos on my side... aaaccckkk! I'm lucky that Dick and the rest of the Germans didn't shoot me!
Here are some of the more memorable quips from the game:
Don: "I got a nob job from Bob!"
Dick: "Don, you really appear to have the penile battalion in hand..."
Maks: "Rob, you cant beat Dick..."
Mark: "Why do I always have to be a one-pip commander at the wrong times..."
Bob: "Kaegogi (Korean for edible dog meat) isn't quite what you're looking for..."
And the award for MVP (Most Vitriolic Player) goes to...
Don, who really gave Maksim a run for his money in the kvetching department...
And the MVP (Most Valuable Player) award goes to...
Keith, who made an incredible string of great rolls with an AT gun on the Eastern flank... Rob was a close runner-up for some of his more deft maneauvers...
We ended up calling the game a minor to moderate victory for the Germans... although I suspect since we all got our gaming fill, the end result doesn't really matter!
Ancients in Attendence:
- Joe Bianchi
Brian brought his DBM kit, but the DBM game never fully materialized. However, they wtill had a great time watching our game and socializing among themselves. Brian, being the great veteran he is, wore a very appropriate T-shirt for the Memorial day weekend... it read "All Gave Some And Some Gave All."
Greg had recently taken a trip back East and brought back a number of early American map reprints... I think that he had visited Jamestown if my memory holds... beautiful and very interesting maps. Greg has been thinking about running some AWI (American War of Independence) or ACW (American Civil War) games. Greg shared an anecdote that they unearthed a near perfectly preserved leather shoe while he was there... very cool!
And perhaps some of the better news came a day or two after the game...
One of our members, Joe Bianchi, is in a garage band and are getting ready to cut a demo! Mazel Tov, Joe!
Due to my band cutting a demo, I will not make the June meeting and will be moving my game to the July meeting. We have two other games scheduled so if you wish to run one at the June meeting, please let me know.The above message was Joe's announcement to us...
- Joe B.
And the below message was my congrats to him.
Subject: [M_W_S] Mazel Tov to the Joe Express Band!And Don, being the character he is, piped in...
That's great news about the demo... I'm very happy for you. MazelTov!
We'll miss you at the meeting though... you're always a great guy to game with.
Wishing you the best...
What is the name of your band?
RE: [M_W_S] Mazel Tov to the Joe Express Band!
You have to let us know when you are going to be playing.
The first round of vodka is going to be on me.
- Don Delis.
Oh, what a merry band we are!
Have a great weekend!
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