second chance games

Search This Website of delight

Showing posts with label Normandy. Show all posts

Bloody Verrieres: The I SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrieres-Bourguebus Ridges Volume I: Operations Goodwood and Atlantic, 18-22 July 194...

Bloody Verrieres: The I SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrieres-Bourguebus Ridges by Arthur W. Gullachsen Bloody Verrieres: The I SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrieres-Bourguebus Ridges by Arthur W. Gullachsen

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Normandy





Bloody Verrieres: The I SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrieres-Bourguebus Ridges


Volume I: Operations Goodwood and Atlantic, 18-22 July 1944


by


Arthur W, Gullachsen 






 Here we are again in the fields and hedgerows of Normandy. A ton of ink has been used to describe five battles in particular: Normandy, Kursk, Gettysburg, Waterloo, and the Bulge. It would almost seem like these five campaigns were the only ones to take place in history. On the Normandy campaign you also have two camps: the first by American authors that states that Monty was slow and not a great general, the second by British authors that Monty had planned out the campaign from the start and it all worked according to his plan. The problem with the second is that Monty planned some large-scale attacks on the German lines, as this book shows. The planning for them also included points to be taken far behind the German lines after the breakthrough. I am sorry to say you cannot have it both ways. If all he intended was a meat grinder, then why all the grandiose plans of attacks? The reason it was a meat grinder was because of the desperate defense the German units put up. As I have said before, you can admire their pluck and fighting ability and still wish to see a good lot of them hanged. This book shows the horrific battles that took place for one of the areas around Caen. No matter what Monty's plan, the British and Canadians showed how fierce in battle they could be.


 The two volumes are about five days of battle during the Normandy Campaign around the city of Caen. The author makes three assertions in this book and backs them up with facts. One, that Sepp Dietrich (commander of the I SS Panzer Corps), was not the inept fool that he is almost always described as. Two, that the 1 SS Panzer Division was instrumental in stalling Montgomery's Operation Goodwood. Third, that though the Germans in Normandy made a great defensive battle, it actually turned into a Pyrrhic victory for them. The reason being is that so many reinforcements etc. were sent to this part of the Normandy Campaign that other parts were denuded of the above. So, whether Montgomery planned it or not, the battle did go the way his supporters say he planned it. 


 This is an excellent work that adds to the history of the Normandy Campaign. It also gives the armchair historian points to ponder. Thank you very much Casemate Publishers for letting me review this book. I cannot wait to get my hands on Volume II.


Robert

Book:Bloody Verrieres: The I SS-Panzerkorps Defence of the Verrieres-Bourguebus Ridges, Volume I: Operations Goodwood and Atlantic, 18-22 July 1944 

Author: Arthur W, Gullachsen 

Publisher: Casemate Publishers











Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle For France,1944 by Gilberto Villahermos...

Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy: The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle for France,1944 by Gilberto Villahermosa Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy: The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle for France,1944 by Gilberto Villahermosa

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Normandy




Hitler's Paratroopers in Normandy

The German II Parachute Corps in The Battle For France,1944

by

Gilberto Villahermosa





 To Hitler, the day of the Fallschirmjäger ended with the invasion of Crete. They had suffered so many casualties during their successful attack that it was almost a Pyrrhic victory. At the siege of Stalingrad the Luftwaffe's airlift capacity was bled dry of pilots and planes. So even had Hitler changed his mind about the Fallschirmjäger, it wouldn't have mattered. Their wings were clipped. However, the Fallschirmjäger's usefulness was not over. They were some of the most highly trained soldiers in the Third Reich. They would continue to win laurels all over Europe as Fire Brigade soldiers, closing holes in the lines and stopping various Allied offensives in their tracks. When you think of the Fallschirmjäger in the infantry role, you usually think of their defense of Monte Cassino. This book shows how they were deeply involved with the defense of Normandy.

 The story of the Fallschirmjäger in Normandy is a story of dedicated soldiers who belonged to very different units as far as their training and abilities are concerned. The 3rd Parachute Division was the cream of the crop as far as both Fallschirmjäger and Infantry Divisions. It was one of the very few infantry Divisions that the German General Staff listed as well equipped and strong enough for offensive operations; let that sink in. According to Allied interrogation they believed their commander Generalleutnant Schimpf 'a god'. The division had its complete complement of soldiers and was the fourth strongest division in Normandy, behind three SS Panzer Divisions. The 5th Parachute Division was another story. It was made up of recruits, most who didn't have jump training, and not anywhere near its established amount of weaponry. The 6th Parachute Regiment of the 2nd Paratroop Division also was well thought of and fought in Normandy. Elements of the 6th Parachute Division also fought in Normandy.

 All of these units were part of the II Parachute Corps. The book tells the story of the II Parachute Corps, and its battles in Normandy to stem the Allied tide. The author goes through the Corps conception and birth. Not only is this a book about the Normandy battles, but it is also a reference book on the training and composition of not only the II Parachute Corps, but also the disparate units under its command.

 The 2nd Parachute Division, or some of it, was tasked with defending Brest under Generalleutnant Hermann Bernhard Ramcke. Ramcke was one of only twenty-seven men in the armed forces who were awarded The Knights Cross, with Oak Leaves, Swords, and Diamonds. The defense of Brest was considered of the highest importance, because the Allies desperately needed a port to use in Northern France. The only problem for the 2nd Parachute Division was after its mauling in Russia, the division was badly in need of men and supplies. An American assessment of its strength put it at 35% of its full complement. Ironically, for the Allies, the fight to conquer Brest so totally destroyed the city that it was unusable as a port. In fact, after the war, French authorities were even considering not bothering to rebuild the city where it was. The author shows us all of this desperate fighting.

 For the author's ability to help you visualize the Normandy battles the book is worth its weight. When you add in the incredible amount of detail that you will learn about the Fallschirmjäger the book is a steal. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Thank you Casemate Publishers and Pen andSword for allowing me to review this wonderful book.

Robert

Publisher: Pen & Sword
Distributor: Casemate Publishers

Combat Infantry by Columbia Games  Tactical games, much more than operational or strategic ones, have been left ...

Combat Infantry by Columbia Games Combat Infantry by Columbia Games

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Normandy



by







 Tactical games, much more than operational or strategic ones, have been left in a quandary. The problem is how to represent movement, fire, and elapsed time in a coherent and logical manner, without the rules approaching the size of 'War and Peace'. Some of the most heated discussions online and off are about tactical games, and how each game does or doesn't fulfill the above in the gamer's eye. 




 Combat Infantry portrays the Normandy landings, and the fighting in the Bocage right after them. It is strictly a U.S. infantry and their supports against the Germans. More add-ons are planned to include other armies and terrain. 




 Columbia Games states "The game delivers a high level of tactical realism, yet is very playable". If you were going to sum up this game in one sentence, I do not think you could do better.


 The rule book is only twelve pages long. The game is a block game and uses that format to simulate the 'fog of war'. One innovative rule is that once a tank moves or fires, its block is shown face up for both sides to see. The designer states that infantry could locate and distinguish between tanks by their engine sounds. Listening to the different cars around my neighborhood in the morning, I believe he is correct. 




 The game focuses heavily on the command part of small unit tactics. You have both PHQs (platoon headquarters), and CHQs (company headquarters) to order your units with. The command/leadership rules really require the player to maintain unit integrity. As in real life, mixing up units from different commands is not a successful tactic. The game does not use cards. In another innovative way, the game also has no combat results table. I know, heresy, simply heresy. As I said, the rules are not long and are well written. It will not take long at all to start playing.




 It was meant to be a two player game, but the solitaire gamer has not been forgotten. You can play it just playing both sides, and there is an optional rule for a chit pull system for the enemy activation.




 The game's two maps are 16.5" X 22", and they represent the beaches and some territory further in. They are hard cardboard maps. The scale of the hexes is 100 meters per hex. The blocks are standard and there are 66 for each side (green and black). There are also 22 yellow markers to show smoke etc. The only problem with the rules and maps are in relation to the Bocage hedgerows. The rules are written as if the hedgerows were actually represented on the hex sides, where they are actually portrayed in the hex itself. It is really not that big of a deal, and once you understand the gist of the rules it becomes a non-issue. The line of sight rules are also easy to understand. The game comes with all of the rules and markers needed for tactical gaming ie. counters for foxholes, mines and barbed wire etc. Their are also rules for airstrikes. The game rules can be downloaded here:


 Here is a link to the games FAQ:


http://columbiagames.com/resources/3471/3471-FAQ.pdf

 This is the sequence of play:


1.0 The active player on the first turn is specified by the scenario. In each successive turn it is determined by a high roll on one ten die.

1.1  The active player activates any one HQ per company. When commanding multiple companies, the player will have multiple HQ activations, each resolved one by one.

1.2  Units in command (or have passed a no-command roll) can do one of the following actions: Rally, Fire, Special Action, Move. HQ actions take place after all other commands.

1.3 Assaults, units that have moved into an enemy occupied hex now trigger up to three rounds of combat per assault. 

 After all activations are resolved, the enemy player now conducts his player turn. Player turns alternate until both players complete four player turns. This then ends one game turn.

 This is just a synopsis.




 Deciding victory in the game is standard and straight forward. In each scenario certain hexes are victory hexes, and each eliminated enemy unit adds to your score.




 The rule book contains a 'what's not in this game' section, with an explanation of why. Some of these are:

"Opportunity Fire:
Opportunity fire, always a difficult game routine, was not that common in reality. World War II infantry and vehicles simply did not move through open terrain without clinging to every tiny bit of cover available, nor without fire support to keep the enemy heads down. The standard 'fire and move' tactics, where one or two platoons gave fire support, allowing the third platoon to move, was specifically intended to eliminate enemy opportunity fire".

"Status Markers:
Status Markers should not be missed. Cluttering maps and units with markers such as 'used', suppressed', or 'final fire' is not necessary. Units are upright, face-up,  or face-down depending on their action"




 Units have their blocks revealed by tilting them face-up when firing. One hit is scored for each die roll that equals or is less than the firing unit's (modified) firepower. So there is no need to cross reference a table. The unit either hits or misses. If it is a hit, the target unit's strength has one step deducted, and the block is flipped to its appropriate side. 




 You can use a headquarters unit to rally any unit under it, as long as it is in command range. If the rally attempt succeeds, the unit gains one step back to its strength. The unit is then flipped down on its face, and can do nothing else that turn.




 So, the question becomes does the game system work, and the answer is a resounding yes. One thing to keep in mind is that movement points are expended crossing hexsides, and not entering the hex. There are some innovations and changes from the usual in tactical games. So gamers should approach the game with an open mind, and not automatically look askance at it. Columbia Games has succeeded in making a highly realistic, but fun and fast wargame to play. As mentioned, different armies and theaters are to be added, and I am looking forward to them.


Robert 







Combat Mission Road to Eindhoven Part 1 AAR by Ian Leslie  

Combat Mission Road to Eindhoven Part 1 AAR by Ian Leslie Combat Mission Road to Eindhoven Part 1 AAR by Ian Leslie

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Normandy

Combat Mission Road to Eindhoven Part 1 AAR by Ian Leslie



 

Part 2 of Road to Eindhoven Combat Mission AAR by Ian Leslie. Enjoy.  

Combat Mission Allied AAR Road to Eindhoven Part 2 Combat Mission Allied AAR Road to Eindhoven  Part 2

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Normandy

Part 2 of Road to Eindhoven Combat Mission AAR by Ian Leslie. Enjoy.





 

Allied AAR of Battlefronts superb Combat Mission Beyond Normandy game. AAR by Ian Leslie  

Buying the Farm Combat Mission Allied AAR Buying the Farm Combat Mission Allied AAR

For your Wargamer, Toy soldier collector, MiniFig collector, military history nut. Reviews, interviews, Model Making, AARs and books!

Normandy

Allied AAR of Battlefronts superb Combat Mission Beyond Normandy game. AAR by Ian Leslie




 
PixelPLaybox.co.uk