Sunday, 10 September 2017

GZ: Update

I have uploaded the next working version of GZ. This includes rules for sniper units. As you might guess from the picture above, the next section is breaching.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

GZ: Snipers...

filling in the gaps!

I'm starting to make progress with filling in some of the gaps in the current version of the rules. Next up is the sniper section. I'll update the rules page shortly.

As an aside, I'm pleased that the game I have been working on as developer for Tiny Battles (Operation Icarus) has now been released. A really nice game that produces great narrative. Well worth a look! As my first developer gig this was pretty tough and a real learning curve. No wonder my 6 x 6 challenge is behind schedule!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

GZ Vietnam.......

search and destroy!

Just to draw your attention to Duc de Gobin's brilliant use of the draft GZ rules for a Vietnam scenario. I'm always really happy when people try the rules I produce especially when it looks fantastic as well!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

GZ: Coalition forces....

half way there!

One of the nice things about GZ is that you need very few forces to have a good game. I'm looking at around 8 units per side plus a leader. Each unit is one fire team, one specialist team (HMG, ATGW, JTAC etc) or one vehicle. Above is one leader, one HMG team (ok its cheating, there are two M60 gunners which will do in my book), and one vehicle.

Here are two fire teams (working from the bottom up), HMG team, Leader, vehicle, and, lastly, an ATGW team. 

The troops are Esci US troops (a bit Cold War but they will do for me), the HMMWV is Matchbox and the rest is paper and Fab Foam.

For Coalition forces you probably just need one box of modern US infantry (Caesar make several) and for the OPFOR, one box of militia (again Caesar make two types).  

I have nearly finished painting up my US infantry and have undercoated the bad guys. I have also stocked up on Matchbox style HMMWVs including UN and Police vehicles. In the wings I have 3 M113s (Airfix) and a Revell Abrams (which was on sale for £2.99). I'm also working on an Mi-24 (1/144) to be my generic close air support.

I'm using 3D card buildings from Junior General as well as their trees and elephant grass!

Next step will be to play test through a series of training scenarios which I will post about here. I'm really pleased, this is quite exciting!

Monday, 28 August 2017

Ground Zero...

playtest version now up!

Although the rules are not yet complete, and there is much to do, I'm happy to share this current version in the hope of eliciting some useful feedback from those that take an interest. You can find them here.

The interesting thing about the mechanisms in this game are that they are very fun and very fast. Even playing both sides solo, the rules contain such a remarkable amount of uncertainty that they are very challenging. Mastering the tactics though will be the real trick.

My thanks as always to Peter for the fundamental ideas from his Grid Based SciFi game which form the basis of these rules.

Friday, 11 August 2017

GZ: Training scenario...

it seems to work!

AO Barnet: Block B3 Building 6

Mission: This area has been infiltrated by OPFOR during the night. Surveillance indicates the enemy have occupied building B6 (red circle) with the intent of interdicting the main supply route (dual carriage road to north). The intent is to enter the building using fire and manouvre and destroy enemy forces in close combat.

Enemy: Estimated at 10, light weapons including automatic weapons. Likely course of action is to resist as exfiltration routes are limited.

Own forces: Three fire teams from ready response squad plus one HMG team as manoeuvre support. 

Terrain: The enemy occupies a walled area (low walls) surrounded with open ground. scrub and trees to the south provides a covered approach to the rear of B6.

Time: Building to be cleared by 0700. Units to secure Line of Departure at 0500.

Execution: HMG team to provide support by fire from covered position to left of start line (yellow) with fire team 3. Teams 1 and 2 to manoeuvre and gain access to walled area and then assault and clear the building.

Time schedule: Supporting fires to commence at 0515 and manoeuvre to commence at 0520.

My apologies to anyone that knows how to use METT-TC and OPORD procedures correctly. This is a quick trial run of the basic mechanisms in GZ to see whether they produce the game I have in my head.
Set up

So, not quite like the surveillance photo but not bad. OPFOR occupy the house and a small walled grove. Coalition in the tree line, teams 1,2 and 3 reading from the right with the HMG team on the far left.

By the way, Fab Foam hexes and Junior General paper house and trees. The low walls do not block LoS but do provide cover. Friendly teams do block LoS.

0515: HMG suppresses the OPFOR team on the roof but it rallies and goes into overwatch. Teams 1 and 2 manoeuvre. 

0525: The HMG team keeps OPFOR on the roof suppressed while Teams 1 and 2 start engaging the enemy in the grove to little effect.

0530: The HMG team fully suppresses the enemy on the roof who now disperse (destroyed, but in reality they couldn't take the heat and scarpered). Coalition pop smoke to obscure the enemy's LoS from the grove.

0535: The guys in the grove make a break for the house as Coalition teams move up to set up a new base of fire. That HMG is proving tricky to move up!

0540: Small arms fire pins the OPFOR team down in the open, they are disrupted and finding it hard to rally and move into cover. Unsportingly, Team 3 with a great LoS pours intense fire into the enemy who crumble and run. My plan had been to use Team 1 to try out the close assault rules.

AAR: Did the rules do the job?

Absolutely, I'm really happy with that little battle. It told a story and the tactical feel was spot on. Even though the rules are simple, they are a bit slippery and I made some errors. 

Tactically, although in this scenario this was the right start line (concealed approach and cover for the support teams), it was too far from the building to make a rapid assault.

Although I rated the Coalition troops as three activation dice (i.e. very good) and the OPFOR troops as 2 (which is not shabby), if the OPFOR had an HMG on the roof then there would have been problems as they would have raked the start line. As it was, two Coalition teams took casualties. 

Overall, a nice little battle. My fallback plan was to call in an airstrike which I might do next time just to see how it works.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Ground Zero.....

street fighting in Vietnam!

On my first post about GZ Duc commented that it could be used for Hue or even a 1985 cold war gone hot battle in Germany. Well, the funny thing is that I chanced upon this article on the War is Boring site about the new book on Hue by Mark "Black Hawk Down" Bowden. The book will be released in the UK in a few weeks and looks like it will be really interesting.

What caught my eye is the video above of a CBS news report from the battlefield. This shows some fascinating things:

  • As a nine year old I was glued to the evening news abut Vietnam so this looks really familiar. This sort of coverage though is not something you expect nowadays and probably reflects some significant changes in news reporting and societal norms. I don't see Kate Adie doing anything like the reporter in this news item.
  • The US Marines had to relearn street fighting from scratch, as every generation of soldiers does. What this report shows is a classic hesitation in troops moving from a covered position under fire to make an assault. You see Marines making the "is it worth it" calculation and then deciding that it isn't with some unfortunate results.
My design objective with GZ is to make a simple game that feels like the real world, but without the bullets. This seems a bit tricky but I'm hoping I'm almost there. More on this soon. In the meantime, I'm dipping back into Leo Murray's Brains and Bullets which is very much on the money in terms of the reality of combat.