Northeast Atlanta Gaming

August 30, 2010

“Chariots of the Desert”, by David Eshel

I’ve read a number of books about the various parts of this conflict, and I’m looking hard for a first person account of the Six Day War I read as a teen (all I can recall are bits and pieces, though). This book came recommended somewhere. It could be Tanknet, it could just be on the dozens of forums I’ve read looking for tank stats. This book though has to be  the best narrative that focuses on the development of the Israeli Tank Corps. It is particularly useful to the historian or wargamer in its wealth of detail. It lists all the  tanks used by the Israelis and then discusses the tanks they faced. A good appendix covers the T-62, for example.

As far as I know, the book is not in print, but is relatively easy to find as a used copy in the usual places, such as


August 29, 2010

More 1980 British Battalion Sheets, and an Options sheet

I’ve updated Sheet E on the previous British post (missing CP and S counters), and I’ll add two more sheets of 1980 British AIW factored units in this post. Sheet F are the Royal Marines, as depicted by Dan Fraser. Sheet G is an options sheet. Included are: Wombat 120 mm recoilless rifles, an anti-tank gun still used in some units in 1980. I provide a battery version, a section sized version (2 Wombats, with a AF of 15), and a “reload” counter, to be placed under an infantry unit or a vehicle to indicate that they are mounting Wombats (i.e. take a Land Rover, place the Wombat reload counter under it, and now you have a Land Rover that uses Wombats). Depending on the scenario you may find them useful. I also provide Milan launchers as a reload counter.

In most of my British charts I broke 81mm mortars down to sections of 2 mortars. You may not want that, so batteries of 81mm mortars, both foot and mounted in FV432s, are provided. A variety of AFVs, not used on the charts, are provided. Included is the Centurion AVRE with its 165mm cannon (do not allow this unit to shoot vehicles or units; the HESH shell is just not designed for that. It is terrific against fortifications or bunkers). Also included is the FV180 combat engineering tractor, and the Spartan ARV.

Included on Sheet G are commando infantry units; these can replace the rifle units in the Royal Marine sheet. There are Scorpion and Ferret reconnaissance vehicles, and 9 later model Centurions, 4 tank platoons, of the Cents that had 50mm of additional frontal armor applied. Centurions are not front line units in 1980, but everyone needs some variety now and then.

80UK Sheet F

80UK Sheet G

August 24, 2010

1980 British Battalions and Regiments

These are based on Dan Fraser’s TO&E, with some modifications suggested by the Yahoo TO&E group. There are 4 tanks per tank platoon. The anti-tank units are composed of Milan sections. 81 millimeter mortars have been broken down into 3 2 mortar sections, so they can be assigned to individual companies, if needed. FV 432 Cymbelines have been added as an option to artillery regiments (replace Signal and OP transportation with them, if engaged in counter battery fire), and an optional infantry company has been added to the tank regiment.

The British used a wealth of ARVs in their service and it is a total tangle to unravel which ones are used at which level. The wheeled ARV depicted is based on the AEC Militant Mk 3.

80UK Sheet A

80UK Sheet B

80UK Sheet C

80UK Sheet D

80UK Sheet E

August 20, 2010

The Black Eagle

Filed under: Armor,Counters — foodnearsnellville @ 11:17 am
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Yes, it’s a tank that was only a mock up at a trade show, with a turret that contained nothing, but what if it were real? It probably would have had AIW stats that that looked something  like this:

To note, stats and the line art for the silhouette taken from Vasily Fofanov’s site, so the counter has content copyrighted by him.

August 19, 2010

The IMSTRAT Tobruk map (Andrew Tullson’s work)

Filed under: Games,Maps,Tactical — foodnearsnellville @ 11:28 pm
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Made by Andrew Tullson of Print n Play Productions, this map has been a delight, and worth every moment of the five weeks it took to wait for Andrew’s busy schedule to clear so he could make it.

I received a bunch of counters from him as well. As I make my own counters these days, I can say without hesitation that the counters he makes are first rate. You won’t be disappointed if you contract his services.

August 17, 2010

Building British Forces, and maybe Tanknet doesn’t suck after all.

Filed under: Armor,Weapons — foodnearsnellville @ 10:30 am
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I’m starting to collect images of British forces currently. An issue though: is the Scimitar’s 30mm Rarden really a H weapon? 10 H 8? The range seems okay, but shouldn’t it have a ranking a bit more like the Bushmaster cannon on the M2 Bradley? Was there no armor piercing shell for the Rarden?

I have been trying to get a login on Tanknet for at least a year, and this morning, waking up, waiting to fight my hell with their “send a message” prompt, I see this:

No “please send a message” prompt. No beyond hell login issues. Glory hallelujah!

August 15, 2010

Counter Cards for Panzerblitz and related tactical games.

Although I have been making plenty of counters, I have yet to play with these counters at the local clubs. Some of the complaints about Panzerblitz that I’ve heard is that it is “too choppy”, that it is too much work, too complicated, that it takes too long. Choppiness can be alleviated by changing or modernizing the turn sequence, in ways similar to Axis and Allies Miniatures, or as Panzerblitz: Hill of Death has done. You could make the CP of Panzerblitz similar to the HQ function of Lock and Load’s “World At War” Eisenbach Gap series, and then use chit based mechanics on a unit by unit basis. You can make the game shorter by planning more small unit count 6 and 8 turn scenarios. But one technique, not well used outside of miniatures, can markedly improve the quality of play for any tactical game, especially with an older population of players with diminishing vision.

Make a card that represents a single playing piece on the board. Have the counter on the card, but enlarged, so it is easy to read. Place any special properties of the piece on the card itself. In Panzerblitz terms, calculate out the weapons effects on the card and any information that ordinarily would have been placed on the UFT. Below are three examples (double click on the images to see the card at full size):

On it you have a counter representation in the upper left. In the middle is an experimental representation of facing and armor in facing (this idea I picked up from miniatures unit cards on “A Wargamer’s Blog”). The lower left text is a list of the pertinent elements on the UFT, largely Panzerleader ’70 based, and to the right some important facts, or perhaps even some historic trivia.

The cards are postcard sized, 4 inch high by 5 inches long. This size is useful because I can, if necessary, put 4 cards onto a single 1 page representation on my computer and print 4 cards at a time on heavy card stock.

The cards save a lot of math, and save older eyes. They can be applied to an existing game without having to change the rules or the counters. They can add functionality to simple counters without reworking the counter itself. They can be modified on a scenario by scenario basis.

To use them, set them out along the edges of the game board, so people can consult them while playing. You might want to laminate examples.

For people like me, it’s a way to make Panzerblitz smoother and faster, more competitive and relevant in the modern age.

For those commercial game makers out there: these kinds of cards can represent a new revenue stream for the real fans of your game.

1980 US Battalions and Brigades

Taken largely from Dan Fraser’s TO&E, with assistance by the Yahoo TO&E group (esp. for Mechanized Infantry). Sheets for a tank battalion, a mechanized infantry battalion, an artillery battalion and a generic brigade HQ are presented. The ‘B’ options sheet from my 1980 Cavalry post can be used with these sheets to customize for 1981, or replace M60A1 with M60A3 counters.For sheets of an enemy persuasion, please check out my Soviet counters.

80USA Sheet E

80USA Sheet F

80USA Sheet G

80USA Sheet H

Utility Counters – Panzerleader ’70 and AIW.

Filed under: Counters,Games,Tactical — foodnearsnellville @ 11:56 am
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A lot of the mechanics of AIW require that the piece be inverted, something you cannot do with reduced counters (as then you’ll be reducing the counter). Instead, a utility counter that says something like fired is needed, a counter that might look something like this:

So below, two PDFs of utility counters. They are obviously influenced by Ward McBurney’s superb utility counters on the Imaginative Strategist site.

Updated Notes: Smoke 1 and Smoke 2 are supposed to be 2 sides of a single counter. Just flip them each turn to count down smoke times. It turns out “Fired” and “Spent” are the same sized blocks and make a good double sided counter as well. “Spent” indicates a counter cannot be used. “Fired” should be used for counters that have fired during their firing phase.

UC Sheet A

UC Sheet B

August 13, 2010

1980 US Armored Cavalry Squads, Regiments and Helicopters: Plenty of Cobras.

I’m a little inundated by the task of building American armies currently, and normally I publish sheets along with explanations of the same. But I’m into working on mechanized infantry and tank battalions and wanted to just publish the sheets for the cavalry and helicopters and come back with explanatory PDFs after the fact.

These sheets (with the exception of Sheet A version 2) have been prepared with Dan Fraser’s TO&E as amended by TO&Es found in the Yahoo TO&E page. The biggest issue with cavalry is the number of tanks simply didn’t fit. So we added a second unit of tanks per troop to make it work. There were only 6 M109s in the Yahoo TO&E, so only 1 battery of SP artillery, instead of 2.  M113s, whether 3 or 4 are being used, are being treated as the same. M113 ACAV’s (upgunned to 4 vehicles) are given as an option. Dragons on the main sheets are being treated as a reload. The unit that fires them should place the reload under the counter to  be used. The unit can use its own firepower and shoot the reload in the same turn. If you don’t like that, an implementation of Dragons as a section are given in the options sheet.

M60A3s are given as options, but the M60A3 often did not arrive at units until 1981 (and then, often in the TTS version). Stingers first became available in 1981. They are provided as reloads.

According to Sabot Dave, M113-TOWs didn’t appear in his unit until 1981. You can replace the M901s with M113 TOWs if you like. M113 TOWs were actually on the Yahoo TO&E, but I didn’t get that in my first read, or attempt at these sheets.

The Helicopter sheet shows a variety of Cobras, including the generic Cobra of AIW and more specific Cobra versions. My reading of the stats of the AIW Cobra are that it has a minigun and a single hardpoint with 17 HEAT rockets. It is firing these rockets singly, or perhaps in pairs. I’m saying this because the 20 mm varieties of Cobra weren’t available in 1976, and there is no other way to account for the 12 A 6 rating of the stock Cobra. There is no other way to explain, why, when the Cobra has 4 hardpoints mounting 2 TOWS each, that the stock Cobra is claimed to be able to add as many as 6 TOW missiles.

In the middle 1970s, Cobras were being upgraded to provide TOW missile capability. These conversions started roughly in 1976 and were finished in 1981 with the AH-1F Cobra. The AH-1G is the Cobra of Vietnam. It cannot mount TOW missiles. It can mount 2.75″ rockets, either HE or HEAT. It can mount 1 external machine gun, either 20mm or minigun (more causes vibration issues). It has 4 hard points, so 4 extras is the maximum it can have. This could be a M197, a set of HEAT missiles, and two sets of HE missiles. HEAT missiles never run out (a simplification, but in essence my interpretation of the 12 A 6 rating of AIW). HE missiles are fired once and the counter discarded.

For other varieties, the loads can be: AH-1S anything. AH-1P anything. AH-1E anything but 2.75″ rockets. AH-1F anything.

The loadout counters are to be placed under the Cobra/other helicopter to be used. Those of you that are clever can use the loadouts to customize UH-1 Hueys, if you wish. Just be sure to have historic justification for your experiments or your game mates might not be so impressed. The OH-58 can carry a single minigun, if desired.

The Sheet A v 2 was my first cut at Sabot Dave’s actual Cavalry unit in 1980. Consider this an ongoing experiment, where I’ll be posting more sheets as I know more.

Building Units:

To make a regiment, combine 3 copies of Sheet A or Sheet A version 2 with Sheet C. Sheet B contains options for Sheet A. Sheet D are helicopters, and hardpoint mounted arms that can be used to swap out or customize the generics on the Cav sheets.

Note: Sheet D has been updated with a range correction for the 7.62mm minigun. Corrected Sabot Dave sheet is US Sheet Av3.pdf

80USA Sheet A

80USA Sheet B

80USA Sheet C

80USA Sheet D

80USA Sheet Av2

80USA Sheet Av3

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