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Breakout at Anzio – 80th Anniversary

Breakout at Anzio – 80th Anniversary

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Project Blog by oriskany Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

Lately, I've been running war games every weekend with members of the community via web conference. Players log on and play wargames with each other in real time, regardless of location, and we usually have at least a couple spectators as well. Many times it’s been Darkstar, but we’re also running wargames in Panzer Leader, Arab-Israeli Wars, and now Valor & Victory.

BoW/OTT community members @brucelea, @damon, @davehawes, and @rasmus have taken the plunge, leading battalions across thousands of meters of desert, starfleets in pitched battles across the heavens, or vicious firefights in the jungles of Vietnam, all without leaving the comfort of their home.

Hard-core, old-school command-tactical wargames can now be run (complete with spectators and recordings) in real time, with BOTH PLAYERS moving pieces across THE SAME virtual game board, thus maintaining player agency, speedy and instant results (no play by e-mail), interwoven turn sequences, any questions / feedback instantly received and addressed, and with the game being virtually recorded as it goes, a ready-made battle report can actually be created as we go.

All of this without the players having to install any new software on their computer, on any platform (PC or Mac). All that's needed is to agree on a time, a handful of dice, and a bellyful of courage!

Every weekend can now be a boot camp! All without costing me thousands of dollars in airfare, too!

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Breakout at Anzio - 15mm Battlegroup Game (80th Anniversary) P2

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Join us as we finish up our 15mm miniature game of “Battlegroup” – recreating part of the Anzio Breakout.

Part of the Italian Campaign of World War II, this engagement took place 80 years ago this week.  Specifically, we’re looking at elements of Combat Command “A”, 1st US Armored Division hitting the “Caesar Line” positions held by elements of 3rd Panzergrenadier Division.

Breakout at Anzio - 15mm Battlegroup Game (80th Anniversary) P1

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Join us for a 15mm tabletop miniature game of “Battlegroup” where we’re recreating part of the American breakout from Anzio beach head, 80 years ago this week, at the end of May 1944.  It’s a 50 square foot table, over a hundred miniatures on the table (including infantry) and four players.

Anzio was a rather rough story for the Allies, especially the Americans.  But now four months of wasted opportunity and bitter stalemate are coming to an end.  Combat Command “A” of 1st US Armored Division might finally be spearheading a breakout, only exhausted survivors of the 3rd Panzergrenadier Division stand in their way.  Can the Americans finally open the road to Rome and fulfill the elusive promise of the Italian Campaign?

World's Bloodiest Tennis Court (Battle of Kohima - Valor and Victory) Part 2

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We’re back to finish our game of Valor & Victory commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Kohima. Fought in April 1944, the Battle of Kohima (part of the larger Imphal Campaign) helped check Japan’s Operation U-Go, where the Japanese mounted an invasion of British India out of occupied Burma.

So far, the game has certainly proved bloody, but the Japanese have taken the Tennis Court and are about to overrun the Clubhouse beyond, enough ohjectives to give them victory. Can the British and their Indian allies (Rajput and Punjab Rifles) stand tall and pull out a win?

World's Bloodiest Tennis Court (Battle of Kohima - Valor & Victory) Part 1

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Join us for a big, meaty game of Valor and Victory, where we’re recreating part of the Battle of Kohima in World War II. This week marks the 80th Anniversary of the climax of this battle, fought along the east Indian borderlands in April, 1944.

The Battle of Kohima (part of the larger Imphal Campaign) helped check Japan’s Operation U-Go, where the Japanese mounted and invasion of British India out of occupied Burma.

Part of the Battle of Kohima centered on (of all places) the tennis court of a local Deputy Commissioner’s residential estate. For upwards of a week, this tennis court stood as a blood-soaked no-man’s land between troops of the Japanese 58th Regiment (31st Division) and troops of the Royal West Kents, the 7th Rajpat Rifles, and 2nd Battalion / Dorset Regiment.

Let’s see how this “Wimbledon from Hell” unfolds on our gaming table!

Souq el Gharb (Lebanon 1983) - 15mm Wargame

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We’re back with another modern-era wargame tabletop battle report. This time, we’re using Mark Ritchie’s “Tactical Combat” system in 15mm to recreate the 1983 Battle of Souq el Gharb. Part of the Lebanon Civil War, the battle pitted Syrian-backed Druze militia and PFLP remnants against the recovering Lebanese Army in a small village southeast of Beirut.

It’s a conflict not often seen on the wargaming table. What small, half-forgotten corners of military history has your group explored?

Warlord US Infantry Box - Oriskany Jim Ventures Once More Into 28mm

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Returning at last to the hobby miniature desk, I crack open a box of Warlord’s 28mm US Infantry figures, reviewing the contents and putting the kit together.  28mm isn’t a scale in which I usually work, but I’m usually up to try something new when it comes to wargaming hobby.

What 28mm World War II have you worked with?  Do you play Bolt Action, or other larger-scale friendly games like Rapid Fire or Chain of Command?

Oriskany Jim Discusses GDW "Assault" - Epic 1980s Tactical Wargame System

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“Assault” is a great tactical combat wargame system designed by Frank Chadwick of Game Designers Workshop back in the 1980s, simulating theoretical battalion, regiment, and brigade-sized battles in what was then the “possible future” of 1985.

US and Soviet forces, strictly built and organized along actual tables of organization and orders of battle, face off in the hills, forests, and towns of West Germany. Later expansions would delve into West German, British, and Dutch forces, as well as bringing in rules for armored cavalry, air cavalry, and combat engineers.

In this video we take a look at this classic, a cherished relic by the bygone golden age of wargaming.

British at Anzio - 80th Anniversary Panzer Leader Wargame - Part 2

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Damon and Oriskany Jim are back to complete our game of Avalon Hill’s Panzer Leader, set during one of the battles of the 1944 Anzio Campaign.

Shortly after the Allied landings, three British battalions of 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, driving toward Campoleone were about to be cut off by counterattacking elements of the German 3rd Panzergrenadier Division.

It was up to 46th Royal Tank Regiment and the London Scots to hold open an escape path so their comrades could safely withdraw.

British at Anzio - 80th Anniversary Panzer Leader Wargame - Part 1

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Join Oriskany Jim and Damon for a game of Avalon Hill’s Panzer Leader, set at one of the battles of the Anzio Campaign in Italy, fought exactly eighty years ago today (4 February 1944).

Here, three British battalions of 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division driving toward Campoleone were about to be cut off by counterattacking elements of the German 3rd Panzergrenadier Division.

It was up to 46th Royal Tank Regiment and the London Scots to hold open an escape path so their comrades could safely withdraw.

Christmas Carnage - North Pole Defense Game (Part 02)

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We’re back for the fiery conclusion of our “North Pole Defense” Christmas wargame! As we saw last week, once again an army of villains have mobilized to attack Santa’s North Pole workshop and Christmas village. This time it’s a brigade of Spartan and ODST troopers form the Halo universe, reinforced with vehicle and heavy weapons support.

Losses have been heavy, with heroes eliminated on both sides, only for new heroes to arise to take their place. Santa’s forces are holding for now, but the game remains precariously in doubt!

Christmas Carnage - North Pole Defense Game (Part 01)

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Well, looks like it’s happened again!  Once more an army of miscellaneous evil doers has gathered their strength for a direct, tabletop assault on Santa’s north pole workshop and holiday village, intent on ruining the Christmas holiday for everyone.

Fortunately, the heroes of Santa’s North Pole Defense Force have mobilized to save the day in the name of the holiday spirit and Christmas cheer.  But it seems every year the enemy gets stronger!  Fortunately, the NPDF has also been reinforced with new reindeer and polar bear figures, but will it be enough?

Epic Defense at the Valley of Tears - 50th Anniversary - 15mm Wargame P2

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Well, this was going to be a series of wargames and discussions to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Yom Kippur War of October, 1973. But for now, we’ll just finish up with our Part 2 of Golan Heights and we hope you enjoyed it. We’re using Seven Days to the River Rhine System by Great Escape Games. Here, the “OZ 77” Battalion fought an epic defensive battle against huge Syrian forces at what history would call the “Valley of Tears.”

Epic Defense at the Valley of Tears - 50th Anniversary - 15mm Wargame P1

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We’re kicking off a short series of wargames and discussions to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Yom Kippur War of October, 1973.  For starters, I’ve put together a game set on the Golan Heights using the Seven Days to the River Rhine System by Great Escape Games.  Here, the “OZ 77” Battalion fought an epic defensive battle against huge Syrian forces at what history would call the “Valley of Tears.”

This release was originally scheduled for the first week of October, the actual 50th Anniversary of this battle. However, that date was uncomfortably close to the start of the current Gaza Conflict, so the release was postponed until now.

Lebanon, September 1983

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Had a great game of Mark Ritchie’s Tactical Combat today, with pro-Syrian Druze vs. Phalange “Kataeb” Christians, northern Lebanon, September 1983.

Lebanon, September 1983
Lebanon, September 1983
Lebanon, September 1983
Lebanon, September 1983
Lebanon, September 1983
Lebanon, September 1983
Lebanon, September 1983

30th Anniversary: Black Hawk Down (Game Video) Conclusion

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We’re back to finish our 30th Anniversary wargame of the Battle of Mogadishu!

October 3 marks the 30th Anniversary of the “Day of the Rangers” – the Battle of Mogadishu. To mark the date, I put together and ran a 20mm game of Force on Force by Ambush Alley Games and Osprey Publishing.

So far, the Americans have eliminated about twenty SNA militia, but have taken two casualties themselves and lost their first humvee. Making matters worse, their supporting MH-6 “Little Bird” gunship is now out of ammo and has returned to base. It’s still up to Lt. Colonel McKnight, SFC Norm “Hoot” Hooten and SSgt Eversmann to get to the first “Black Hawk Down” crash site and secure it for the supporting UN convoy.

30th Anniversary: Black Hawk Down (Game Video)

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October 3 marks the 30th Anniversary of the “Day of the Rangers” – the Battle of Mogadishu. To mark the anniversary, I put together and ran a 20mm game of Force on Force by Ambush Alley Games and Osprey Publishing.

In our scenario, the Olympic Hotel has been hit and the target prisoners captured, but now the Black Hawk helicopter “Super Six One” has been hit by an RPG and crashed. It’s up to Lt. Colonel McKnight, SFC Norm “Hoot” Hooten and SSgt Eversmann to get to the crash site and secure it for the supporting UN convoy.

German Counterattack at Salerno (Panzer Leader - 80th Anniversary)

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This weekend marks another important 80th Anniversary in World War II history: Operation Avalanche and the Allied invasion of mainland Italy in September, 1943.  More specifically, on September 12, 13, and 14 we saw a powerful German counterattack mounted by elements of 16th Panzer Division (XIV Panzer Corps) that damned near could have driven a big part of the Allied bridgehead back into the sea.

This is the counterattack we’re recreating in a game of Avalon Hill’s classic Panzer Leader, with “Kampfgruppe Stempel” of the 16th Panzer Division hitting 143rd US Infantry Regiment, 36th Division along the Calore River near Salerno, Italy.

Completed T-62s

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Here are the completed T-62s from last night’s stream. I tried to paint these in such a way as they can be used as either Syrian 1973 or Iraqi 1991 … Egyptian 1973 in a pinch.

Primarily, they are in Iraqi 1991 markings, minus the platoon markings that would go on the fume extractors.

Completed T-62s
Completed T-62s
Completed T-62s
Completed T-62s
Completed T-62s

Hobby Build: T-62 Main Battle Tank (15mm Battlefront)

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When it comes to Soviet / Cold War Era armor, there’s no such thing as “having too much” on your hobby tabletop.  One such example is the T-62 main battle tank, produced by the tens of thousands and seeing service in about 30 countries.

The Battlefront 15mm kit is another great product, not just because of the detail and manufacture, but the options the kit gives you to build different versions of the T-62 to meet different historical needs for your tabletop.

Sho't Centurions - Israeli Defense Force - 15mm - Yom Kippur War

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Been chewing on these this weekend.
*15mm (1:100) “Sho’t” Centurions for use in upcoming 50th Anniversary wargames of the Yom Kippur War.
*As you may have seen on last week’s Hobby Stream.
*Changed the hue to more of a “Golan Green.”
*Added what .30 cal machine guns I had. Should all be M1919 Brownings, some of FN-MAG / M240s and M60E3s.
*Also, I know my platoon/vehicle tacticals are technically inverted. This is how I like them.
*Originally Centurion Mk3 with 20 lbr guns, up-gunned to L7 / M68A1 105mm rifles.
*Added headlights
*Added stowage
*Added radio antennae

Sho't Centurions - Israeli Defense Force - 15mm - Yom Kippur War
Sho't Centurions - Israeli Defense Force - 15mm - Yom Kippur War
Sho't Centurions - Israeli Defense Force - 15mm - Yom Kippur War
Sho't Centurions - Israeli Defense Force - 15mm - Yom Kippur War
Sho't Centurions - Israeli Defense Force - 15mm - Yom Kippur War
Sho't Centurions - Israeli Defense Force - 15mm - Yom Kippur War

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