Sunday, April 17, 2011

North Africa & Northern Conspiracy Symposium

It's been a busy, but fun, week for me as far as wargaming goes. On Thursday evening I participated in some play testing of a set of WWII North Africa rules that Gordon from Adler Hobby created. We'll be starting up this campaign in a few weeks after the completion of our early war Escalation league while we wait for the next early war army list book to come out. The campaign is based on a combination of a few different campaign systems Gordon likes including elements from Battlefront's Firestorm series of games. We will be using the Battlefront North Africa army list book.

The idea behind moving to mid war is to enable the newer players from the early war escalation league to re-use many of their miniatures and get ready for the upcoming early war book, which will have some early war North Africa army lists in it. The campaign will be played with teams of two. Each player will field an 850-point force. Games will be approximately 2000-points with two 850-point player forces and a bonus platoon drawn from a common pool. This is another way to limit the amount of new lead newer players will have to paint.

In the top photos below you can see the Axis players: Italian armor and Italian infantry. The lower photos show the Allied players: British armor and American armor. Please excuse the un-painted models. Since this was a play test we used what we had. My models will be painted soon. In the play test we tried out the campaign map moves and played a game for some fun at the end. The game was a very one-sided affair. A German 88 all but wiped out the American Shermans and two Italian portee 90mm AT guns wiped out the entire British force. Seems the Allies need to find an answer to this.






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Friday evening our club held it's first of what may become many lecture symposiums. Club president Mike Coppinger introduced this new idea and I think it's going to be a good addition to the club's activities. The lectures this time were given by club members Ralph Gero and Byron Champlin with guest speaker, and club alumni, Frank Chadwick.
Ralph's lecture subject was 'How to Run a Campaign'. This lecture spanned a lot of topics, ranging from types of campaigns to topics on map design, communication with players, and how to handle GM conflict.

By far the most entertaining portions of the talk for me were discussions about past campaigns we've had and situations that arose in them and how those situations related to the topics listed above. This was definitely an 'audience participation' lecture. Very entertaining as well as informative.
Byron's lecture was one he has given at the 18th century history conference. The topic was the first year of the Seven Years War. The lecture contained slides of maps and portraits of historical figures mentioned in the lecture. It covered everything from the political events leading up to the outbreak of the war and covered the military actions in all of the major military theaters of the war.

I've always had only an overview knowledge of the war - nothing more than can be gleaned from reading a few Osprey books. Byron's lecture was very informative and entertaining. In fact it has piqued my interest enough that those 15mm Seven Years War figures I have in my dead lead pile may have just shifted up a few notches on the 'to-do' list.

Our last lecturer was Frank Chadwick of Volley & Bayonet and Command Decision fame. Frank is also a Northern Conspiracy alumni member from when he lived here in New England. Frank was generous enough to travel up to deliver a very interesting talk on the Arab - Israeli 'October War' of 1972. I've attended several of Frank's lectures at Historicon and other events and they are always very entertaining and informative. This one was no exception. Although I usually consider my wargaming interests as ending on VJ day, this lecture has convinced me that there are other very interesting military actions after WWII. The forces involved in this conflict and the circumstances of the battles make for very interesting wargaming potential. Maybe some some micro armor is in my future......

Thanks to all of the lecturers. I had a GREAT evening attending the lectures.

1 comment:

Adam1776 said...

Share your feeling about the lectures. I do consider myself well read on the 7 years war but I must say Byron's lecture was one of the clearest overviews of the many facets of the war and there connections that I have heard.

As to 88s and 90s I probably shouldn't say this as I plan to play Germans but the answerer has always been artillery.