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Hobby Video and Announcement

Hobby Video and Announcement

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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!

This Project is Active

Replay Video - Damon vs. Oriskany (Conclusion)

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
No Comments

Here is the replay video from Sunday’s stream, where @damon and I completed our game of modern-era Panzer Leader.  The scenario sets a joint task force of US and Japanese armor and infantry to assist beleaguered Taiwanese forces trying to hold out against an onslaught of Chinese PLA armor and PLAN Marine mechanized infantry.

The video starts off with the battle in mid-swing (Turn 6 out of 10), so there is no set up, displosition or deployment moves, etc … just straight into combat already in progress.

Might be a fun listen while hobbying or painting.

Red Dragon 2028: Chinese Invade Taiwan (Damon v. Oriskany Panzer Leader - Conclusion)

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
No Comments

Please join us as we continue our explorations of a hypothetical Chinese invasion of Taiwan in the near future.  This will be a continuation of the Panzer Leader Modern Era game begun between myself and community member Damon on August 8.  In this game, we saw elements of a US Army Stryker Battalion, reinforced by a tank-heavy armor team and joined by elements of a Japanese Rapid Deployment Brigade, rush to the rescue of overwhelmed Taiwanese units crumbling before an onslaught of Chinese People’s Liberation Army armor and Marine mechanized infantry.

The game is currently halfway through its planned ten turns.  The set up, deployment, background, and opening “posturing and disposition moves” are all complete, the two forces are well and truly locked up in fiery combat.  Now it’s gut-check time, so see who wins, and by what degree!

Sunday, August 22 – 2PM East US Time, 7PM UK Time

Sitrep Twitch

Sitrep YouTube 

So just to set the stage for today’s stream, here is a brief, partial battle report outlining the highlights of the engagement so far.  Again, only half the battle has been played out, today’s stream will finish out the game and decide the winner.

For those just joining us, here is an expanded and more detailed situation sketch of the invasion so far.  The Chinese have thrown two “Group Armies” across the Taiwan Strait (about 120,000 men total), attacking Taiwan in two basic waves.  The first was an airborne wave (largely a sacrificial feint), the second was a seaborne wave, spearheaded by high-speed Marine assault hovercraft.  After forty-eight hours, only the amphibious assault in the north has managed any kind of toehold, as well as (against all odds) one of the “sacrificial” airborne landings in the south.  These positions have been rapidly expanded into semi-viable bridgeheads on X-Day+2, but they remain widely separated, vulnerable to counterattack IF Western Pacific allies can must enough of a counterattack in time.  Now, on X+3, the Americans are launching their first sizable counterattack in the north, assisted by elements of a JSDF Rapid Deployment Brigade.  Their mission: to head off Chinese armor threatening to break out of the Hsinchu Bridgehead before they smash northeast along the Lung Tan Highway and threaten Taipei from the southwest.   For those just joining us, here is an expanded and more detailed situation sketch of the invasion so far. The Chinese have thrown two “Group Armies” across the Taiwan Strait (about 120,000 men total), attacking Taiwan in two basic waves. The first was an airborne wave (largely a sacrificial feint), the second was a seaborne wave, spearheaded by high-speed Marine assault hovercraft. After forty-eight hours, only the amphibious assault in the north has managed any kind of toehold, as well as (against all odds) one of the “sacrificial” airborne landings in the south. These positions have been rapidly expanded into semi-viable bridgeheads on X-Day+2, but they remain widely separated, vulnerable to counterattack IF Western Pacific allies can must enough of a counterattack in time. Now, on X+3, the Americans are launching their first sizable counterattack in the north, assisted by elements of a JSDF Rapid Deployment Brigade. Their mission: to head off Chinese armor threatening to break out of the Hsinchu Bridgehead before they smash northeast along the Lung Tan Highway and threaten Taipei from the southwest.
The shattered remains of the Taiwanese 234th Brigade sets up on the table, clearly showing the Lung Tan highway interchange.  Outnumbered between eight- and twelve-to one, their higher command and communications infrastructure has now been taken out by cruise missiles launched from Chinese submarines.  They hold the objective hexes marked in yellow.  The Americans and Japanese will be entering from the east.  The Chinese will be entering from the west.  Whoever controls at least three objective hexes at the end of the game is the winner.  The shattered remains of the Taiwanese 234th Brigade sets up on the table, clearly showing the Lung Tan highway interchange. Outnumbered between eight- and twelve-to one, their higher command and communications infrastructure has now been taken out by cruise missiles launched from Chinese submarines. They hold the objective hexes marked in yellow. The Americans and Japanese will be entering from the east. The Chinese will be entering from the west. Whoever controls at least three objective hexes at the end of the game is the winner.
The battle jumps off on Turn One with neither side wasting any time.  People’s Liberation Army tanks (ZTZ-99As of 10th Armored Brigade) swiftly overrun the first Taiwanese objective at the highway interchange (“Cloud Leopard” APCs and infantry).  One tank platoon is disordered in the attack, but they will swiftly recover.  To the south, Chinese Marines of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) swing around the left flank of the Taiwanese 234th Mech Brigade, setting up for one hell of an infantry assault into the town of Lung Tan itself.  American and Japanese forces arrive minutes later, and when Damon’s communications officer ask the beleaguered Taiwanese who is in command, the frantic reply comes back: “You are!”  American Predator drones and tanks of Team Whiskey (1/35th Armor, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Mechanized), swing north around the PLA 10th Armored threatening the northern objective hex, AH-64D Apaches using their chain guns to chew up some Type 89A APCs with their infantry still aboard.  The Predator drones sling out their Hellfire missiles, but a combination of Chinese cover, laminate armor, and bad luck saves the Chinese for now.     The battle jumps off on Turn One with neither side wasting any time. People’s Liberation Army tanks (ZTZ-99As of 10th Armored Brigade) swiftly overrun the first Taiwanese objective at the highway interchange (“Cloud Leopard” APCs and infantry). One tank platoon is disordered in the attack, but they will swiftly recover. To the south, Chinese Marines of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) swing around the left flank of the Taiwanese 234th Mech Brigade, setting up for one hell of an infantry assault into the town of Lung Tan itself. American and Japanese forces arrive minutes later, and when Damon’s communications officer ask the beleaguered Taiwanese who is in command, the frantic reply comes back: “You are!” American Predator drones and tanks of Team Whiskey (1/35th Armor, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division Mechanized), swing north around the PLA 10th Armored threatening the northern objective hex, AH-64D Apaches using their chain guns to chew up some Type 89A APCs with their infantry still aboard. The Predator drones sling out their Hellfire missiles, but a combination of Chinese cover, laminate armor, and bad luck saves the Chinese for now.
Pressing their advantage in the north, Team Whiskey comes down off the high ground overlooking this road junction and objective hex, with two platoons of M1A2C battle tanks (formerly M1A2 SEP v3), along with Type 10 Japanese MBTs and MCV combat vehicles.  The first platoon of PLA ZTZ-99A battle tanks goes up in a series of fiery explosions (goon Abrams gunnery there) while the Japanese, despite being outnumbered in tank 3:1, use the MCV and heavy weapons infantry platoon to the southeast to pin down PLA 10th Armored Brigade’s right wing (note units set at an angle, this indicates they are “disordered”). Pressing their advantage in the north, Team Whiskey comes down off the high ground overlooking this road junction and objective hex, with two platoons of M1A2C battle tanks (formerly M1A2 SEP v3), along with Type 10 Japanese MBTs and MCV combat vehicles. The first platoon of PLA ZTZ-99A battle tanks goes up in a series of fiery explosions (goon Abrams gunnery there) while the Japanese, despite being outnumbered in tank 3:1, use the MCV and heavy weapons infantry platoon to the southeast to pin down PLA 10th Armored Brigade’s right wing (note units set at an angle, this indicates they are “disordered”).
In the south, the Chinese commit to their assault into Lung Tan.  Their ASN-205 drones spot Taiwanese and newly-arrived American units of “Task Force Rapier” (1/17th Infantry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division).  The Chinese 3rd Marine Brigade then move their Type 05 amphibious APCs into the streets of the town, perhaps getting too close to American and Taiwanese guns, but the alternative is to leave their two heavy urban hexes open for t he American to occupy.  Rather than pay for such costly hexes twice, the Chinese get aggressive.  The risk largely pays off, they only suffer two APC platoons disordered, and now some 350 Chinese PLAN Marines are within assault range of the defenders of Lung Tan. In the south, the Chinese commit to their assault into Lung Tan. Their ASN-205 drones spot Taiwanese and newly-arrived American units of “Task Force Rapier” (1/17th Infantry, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division). The Chinese 3rd Marine Brigade then move their Type 05 amphibious APCs into the streets of the town, perhaps getting too close to American and Taiwanese guns, but the alternative is to leave their two heavy urban hexes open for t he American to occupy. Rather than pay for such costly hexes twice, the Chinese get aggressive. The risk largely pays off, they only suffer two APC platoons disordered, and now some 350 Chinese PLAN Marines are within assault range of the defenders of Lung Tan.
In the north, the PLA 10th Armored quickly finds itself in real trouble.  As their powerful ZTZ-99A tanks keep getting pinned down, they can never really release a coordinated, close-range gunnery salvo against the Americans and Japanese bearing down on their front and right wing.  Apaches start slinging out Hellfire missiles, picking them off, once they are spotted by Predator drones (even after the Predator Drones have fired their missiles, they remain valuable as spotting and targeting tools).  It’s an uneven cycle of fire superiority, with the Chinese tanks always just 30 seconds behind their opponents, taking losses that leave them pinned down, unable to return effective fire, and unable to even withdraw safely under this crossfire of American and Japanese shells and missiles (TOWs, Hellfires, infantry AT weapons, and 120mm sabot rounds).     In the north, the PLA 10th Armored quickly finds itself in real trouble. As their powerful ZTZ-99A tanks keep getting pinned down, they can never really release a coordinated, close-range gunnery salvo against the Americans and Japanese bearing down on their front and right wing. Apaches start slinging out Hellfire missiles, picking them off, once they are spotted by Predator drones (even after the Predator Drones have fired their missiles, they remain valuable as spotting and targeting tools). It’s an uneven cycle of fire superiority, with the Chinese tanks always just 30 seconds behind their opponents, taking losses that leave them pinned down, unable to return effective fire, and unable to even withdraw safely under this crossfire of American and Japanese shells and missiles (TOWs, Hellfires, infantry AT weapons, and 120mm sabot rounds).
In the south, however, Chinese Marines split the allied position wide open.  A pair of J-16 Flanker strike aircraft scream in, and despite one being damaged by a near miss from an American Stinger team, American and Taiwanese forces are pinned down as a massive PLAN infantry close assault comes in.  The issue is never in doubt.  Platoons of Taiwanese Cloud Leopard APCs and American MGS Strykers are lost, along with most of the 234th Brigade’s infantry.  The Chinese have firmly taken Lung Tan, and a second objective hex.  Taiwanese survivors withdraw to the northeast, Americans fall back straight down that eastern highway.In the south, however, Chinese Marines split the allied position wide open. A pair of J-16 Flanker strike aircraft scream in, and despite one being damaged by a near miss from an American Stinger team, American and Taiwanese forces are pinned down as a massive PLAN infantry close assault comes in. The issue is never in doubt. Platoons of Taiwanese Cloud Leopard APCs and American MGS Strykers are lost, along with most of the 234th Brigade’s infantry. The Chinese have firmly taken Lung Tan, and a second objective hex. Taiwanese survivors withdraw to the northeast, Americans fall back straight down that eastern highway.
To the north, meanwhile, the Chinese advance largely collapses.  Pointblank American and Japanese tank fire (120mm and 105mm from that Japanese MCV platoon) shatter most of what’s left of 10th PLA Armored’s tanks.  Furthermore, these allied forces are soon gearing up for a counter-advance to the southwest to retake that highway overpass objective in the lower left corner.  While this didn’t work out well for the Chinese at all, it showcases how the Panzer Leader system can really capture the essence of fire superiority.  To be honest, as the Chinese player, I should have run two turns ago, and at least mouthed a decent defense from those tree lines to the southwest.  There are only two full platoons of Abrams tanks on the table, I came DAMNED close to taking one of them out.  But with most of my tank force now wrecked, I stand virtually no chance of slowing them down.  To the north, meanwhile, the Chinese advance largely collapses. Pointblank American and Japanese tank fire (120mm and 105mm from that Japanese MCV platoon) shatter most of what’s left of 10th PLA Armored’s tanks. Furthermore, these allied forces are soon gearing up for a counter-advance to the southwest to retake that highway overpass objective in the lower left corner. While this didn’t work out well for the Chinese at all, it showcases how the Panzer Leader system can really capture the essence of fire superiority. To be honest, as the Chinese player, I should have run two turns ago, and at least mouthed a decent defense from those tree lines to the southwest. There are only two full platoons of Abrams tanks on the table, I came DAMNED close to taking one of them out. But with most of my tank force now wrecked, I stand virtually no chance of slowing them down.
So here is the situation at the end of Turn 5, the halfway point of the game.  Long story short, the Allies are winning in the north, losing to the south.  Given the overall balance of what is left, I’m pretty sure the Allies will win this one, taking the highway overpass objective.  I will probably hold Lung Tan to the south and maybe take that smaller road junction and ton to the southeast, leaving me with two objective hexes, and Damon with three.  We’ll see what happens in today’s stream as we finish out this battle.   So here is the situation at the end of Turn 5, the halfway point of the game. Long story short, the Allies are winning in the north, losing to the south. Given the overall balance of what is left, I’m pretty sure the Allies will win this one, taking the highway overpass objective. I will probably hold Lung Tan to the south and maybe take that smaller road junction and ton to the southeast, leaving me with two objective hexes, and Damon with three. We’ll see what happens in today’s stream as we finish out this battle.

Oriskany vs. Damon: China Invades Taiwan (Panzer Leader TCME)

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
No Comments

Good afternoon, folks.  Here is the replay video from the recent Panzer Leader Modern Expansion game between myself and @damon.  I an playing the leading elements of two Chinese brigades (one PLA armor, the other PLAN Marine Mechanized Infantry), and he’s got a western Pacific task force built around:

Team Whiskey (1/37th Armor, 2nd ABCT, 1st US Infantry Division / Mechanized): A US tank-heavy armor team

1/17th Infantry, 2nd SBCT / 2 US Infantry Division (elements)

Task Force Kumamoto: (42nd Japanese Rapid Deployment Brigade, 8th JSDF Division

Survivors of decimated Taiwanese 234th Mech Brigade.

We’ve got ultramodern MBTs, five variants of Strykers, Apaches, Flankers, Predator drones, Javelins, Stingers, high-tech combined arms weapons and units of FOUR friggin’ armies on the table at once.

This game is resuming to its shattering finish LIVE later this weekend.

Meanwhile, the replay is offered here in case you might find it a pleasant listenwhile painting or hobbying.

Gameplay Stream Playback - China vs. US - AirWar C21 - 2028 Taiwan

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
5 Comments

Good afternoon:  Here is the gameplay stream playback video, where myself and Bernhard sat down for a game of AirWar C21 by Wessex Games.  The scenario was another chapter in our ongoing “Red Dragon” setting, where we imagine a Chinese conventional forces invasion of Taiwan in 2028.

Might be a fun listen while hobbying for painting.  We breeze over the setting, set up is already complete, and first movement is already resolved.  We get right into the thick of it with some point-blank gunplay and missile launches.

The game includes F-22A Raptors of teh USAF, F-35C Lightnings of the US Navy, pitted against J-20 “Mighty Dragons” amd J-11 “Flanker Ls” of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.

Hope you like it!

Ultra-Modern Fighter Combat: Live Community Wargame (PLAAF vs. USAF/USN)

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
No Comments

The year is 2028.  After nearly a decade of continual escalations of tensions in the Straits of Formosa, the unthinkable has finally happened.  The People’s Republic of China has committed to a conventional-forces invasion of Taiwan, and as the United States and her allies respond, full scale war erupts throughout the battlefields, skies, and seas across the western Pacific.

Join Bernhard and I as we imagine the opening air clashes of such a war, wargaming a scenario “AirWar C21” by Wessex Games.  We’ll be looking at some of the most advanced fifth-generation, stealth-capable fighters that could participate in such a conflict, like the Chengdu J-20 “Mighty Dragon of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and the Lockheed Martin F-35 “Lightning II” of the United States.

Sunday, August 15 – 2PM East US Time, 7PM UK Time

Sitrep Twitch

Sitrep YouTube 

An expanded and more detailed overview of our hypothetical war, showing the situation on Day 5 of the imagined invasion.  We certainly hope this kind of war never actually takes place, but (God forbid) if it did, these really are some of the units that would almost certainly be involved.  Note the initial airborne drops (blue) have mostly failed, per design.  These were diversions to spring Allied reponses prematurely, the real assaults were Army and Navy/Marine landings in red.  Supporting landings are shown in yellow.  Again, even most of THESE have failed, but two lodgements have been secured by invading PLA/PLAN forces.An expanded and more detailed overview of our hypothetical war, showing the situation on Day 5 of the imagined invasion. We certainly hope this kind of war never actually takes place, but (God forbid) if it did, these really are some of the units that would almost certainly be involved. Note the initial airborne drops (blue) have mostly failed, per design. These were diversions to spring Allied reponses prematurely, the real assaults were Army and Navy/Marine landings in red. Supporting landings are shown in yellow. Again, even most of THESE have failed, but two lodgements have been secured by invading PLA/PLAN forces.
The four types of aircraft that will feature in today's game.  There are widely-varying levels of capability here, and each of these types have their own strengths and weaknesses.  Well, except those poor J-11s... they're based on a 30-year old former Soviet design, but trust me ... given the updated missiles they carry, they still pack a deadly little punch.The four types of aircraft that will feature in today's game. There are widely-varying levels of capability here, and each of these types have their own strengths and weaknesses. Well, except those poor J-11s... they're based on a 30-year old former Soviet design, but trust me ... given the updated missiles they carry, they still pack a deadly little punch.
Here's the map for today's game.  It's an 8-foot by 5-foot table, with each grid measuring about 1 nautical mile.Here's the map for today's game. It's an 8-foot by 5-foot table, with each grid measuring about 1 nautical mile.
The combatants for today's game.  The Chinese certainly have an edge in numbers, but those J-11s are not fifth-generation stealth-capable craft like the J-20s, the F-22s, or the F-35s.The combatants for today's game. The Chinese certainly have an edge in numbers, but those J-11s are not fifth-generation stealth-capable craft like the J-20s, the F-22s, or the F-35s.

Model Kit Rescue: Revell "Snap-Tite" 1:72 A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)

Tutoring 8
Skill 8
Idea 8
3 Comments

Sometimes we don’t have access to the best, or most advanced, model kits.  Sometimes we don’t have our airbrushes, the best paints, or a lot of time.  Sometimes we just want to crush out some hobby, and make the best of what is on hand.

Oh, and sometimes the model is a RE-PACK … where some poor kid chopped the pieces out of the model with a chainsaw, put the model half-way together, gave up, and his mom threw the mangled ruins back in the box and returned it to the store …

And then I buy it … get home, take it out … and realize its time for a “model kit rescue!”

RED DRAGON 2028: Live Stream "What-If" Community Wargame

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
No Comments

The year is 2028.  After nearly a decade of continual escalations of tensions in the Straits of Formosa, the unthinkable has finally happened.  The People’s Republic of China has committed to a conventional-forces invasion of Taiwan, and as the United States and her allies respond, full scale war erupts throughout the battlefields, skies, and seas across the western Pacific.

Join @Damon and I as we imagine the opening ground battles of such a war, wargaming a Modern Era Panzer Leader scenario with a joint task force of US Army and JSDF forces – rushing to relieve beleaguered Taiwanese defense troops.  The Taiwanese battalion doesn’t have long, crumbling beneath a gigantic armored spearhead of China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Sunday, August 8 – 2PM East US Time, 7PM UK Time

Sitrep Twitch

Sitrep YouTube 

Here is the scenario, at least on the northern coast of Taiwan.  The Chinese are Taiwanese forces involved are actual units that would almost certainly participate in a propsective conflict like the one we are imagining.  The US Forces are also real, 2nd Striker Brigade Combat Team / 2nd US Infantry would almost certainly be involved (2nd US Infantry is earmarked for defense of South Korea), the deployment of 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team / 1st US Infantry (Mechanized) is a little more speculative.  Most speculative is the Japanese 42nd Rapid Deployment Brigade / 8th Division.  As an RDB deployed in the southernmost part of Japan, it's a solid guess ... but Japanese troops deployed into other nations presents significant Constitutional issues for the Japanese government.Here is the scenario, at least on the northern coast of Taiwan. The Chinese are Taiwanese forces involved are actual units that would almost certainly participate in a propsective conflict like the one we are imagining. The US Forces are also real, 2nd Striker Brigade Combat Team / 2nd US Infantry would almost certainly be involved (2nd US Infantry is earmarked for defense of South Korea), the deployment of 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team / 1st US Infantry (Mechanized) is a little more speculative. Most speculative is the Japanese 42nd Rapid Deployment Brigade / 8th Division. As an RDB deployed in the southernmost part of Japan, it's a solid guess ... but Japanese troops deployed into other nations presents significant Constitutional issues for the Japanese government.
Here is the map for today's game (Panzer Leader / Tactical Combat Middle East - with new units created by myself)Here is the map for today's game (Panzer Leader / Tactical Combat Middle East - with new units created by myself)
The American forces, two reinforced companies, basically, with some additional support assets.  Note the heavy deployment of the The American forces, two reinforced companies, basically, with some additional support assets. Note the heavy deployment of the "Stryker" combat vehicle in a wide array of variants. These are largely replacing the traditional idea of the "tank" or "APC" in many mission profiles of the US Army since 2007.
The Japanese and Taiwanese allies ... Again, small numbers, but the JSDF is a pretty advanced force.The Japanese and Taiwanese allies ... Again, small numbers, but the JSDF is a pretty advanced force.
The invading Chinese, part PLA (People's Liberation Army) - and some Marines of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).  J-16 fighter-bombers (Chinese version of the SU-27 Flanker) for tactical air support.  Notice both sides also have drones for additional air capability.  The invading Chinese, part PLA (People's Liberation Army) - and some Marines of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). J-16 fighter-bombers (Chinese version of the SU-27 Flanker) for tactical air support. Notice both sides also have drones for additional air capability.

The scenario:

The date is August 8, 2028.  After a series of escalating incidents, a disastrous trade war, and diplomatic failures, the People’s Republic of China sees no choice in launching a conventional-forces war into Taiwan.

American intelligence, along with their allies throughout the Western Pacific, have some warning against the impending onslaught, but not nearly enough to stop it in its tracks.  Still, the initial Chinese assault and lodgement across the Straits of Taiwan is one of the costliest maritime military operations since the Seconde World War.

The initial phase of the Chinese assault comes as a series of gargantual airlifts, striking at three points up and down the eastern Taiwan, coming at Kaohsiung in the south, T’aichung in the center, and near the capital Taipei in the north.  These are, for the most part, costly failures, resulting in a catastrophic loss of aicraft and paratroopers for the PLAAF and airmobile forces.

However, these were largely feints, sacrifical openers to trigger response protocols for the Taiwanese military and the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet.  The real shove comes just hours later, a massive sealift operation by enormous fleets of PLAN and PLA amphibious assault and Marine forces, largely spearheaded by heavy-lift hovercraft.

Even these assaultys run into serious trouble, hammered by the American and Taiwanese … and later Japanese … naval airstrikes.  However, the northern lodgement at Hsinchu secures a viable (if embattled) beachhead.

Meanwhile, surviving PLA airborne units have secured a tenuous foothold at Kaohsiung in the south.  And here is the one lucky break the Americans and her western Pacific allies have caught so far … while the Chinese have indeed landed two solid and growing lodgements on Taiwan … they are spaced far apart, and thus remain vulnerable if a counterattack can be mustered quickly enough.

Forces, however, remain scare, and even for the US military, air- and sealift capability across the vast Pacific remains limited.  Nor can the allies send all the forces they would want to … South Korean forces (and many American units in South Korea as well) are cannot freely deploy to Taiwan … given the threat still posed by North Korea.  Suffice it say that as the invasion of Taiwan gathers steam, the situation along the 38th Parallel is … tense.  Also, Japan’s constitution strictly limits the degree to which the JSDF can deploy combat assets to other countries, and the Japan’s Diet remains locked in furious debate over expanding their response to the crisis.

In this scenario, we find ourselves entering the fourth day of the war.  Leading elements of two American Brigade Combat Teams (TF 1/35 of the 2nd Armored BCT / 1st US Infantry Mechanized) and 1/17 of the 2nd Stryker BCT  2nd US Infantry) have been formed into Task Force Rapier, which you command.  Having landed in Taiwan, orders are to push west with all possible speed to head off gathering PLA armored spearheads breaking out of the Hsinchu beachhead, threaten the southwestern approaches to Taipei.  From the north, you are joined by Task Force Kumomoto of the JSDF.

Ahead of you, somewhere in the chaos of the battlefield, the crumbling remnants of the Taiwanese 234th Mechanized Brigade is sacrificing itself in a desperate delaying action againt unbelievable odds.  Your communications officer reports they have been screaming for help for the past two hours …

… And for the last few minutes, they have been screaming for orders.

Just then, your XO delivers the report from Brigade, Chinese “heavy rocket regiments” (IRBMs – with conventional warheads thank God), have annihilated most of the Taiwanese command and control network.  Their military is now effectively leaderless.

As your lead units draw close to the survivors 234th Mechanized, still locked in a death grapple against far superior units, your communication officer manages to raise them on an allied frequency.  You ask who is in command up there.

In frantic but perfect English, the reply comes back:

“You are, sir.”

Good luck.

HK Ops: Modern Military Role-Playing Demo Video

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
3 Comments

Here is the replay from Sunday’s stream, where we ran a quick refresher, overview, and intro for HK Ops, the modern military RPG developed for virtual on-line play for the Sitrep Podcast.  Myself and @gladesrunner went through the basic premise of the game, how to create a character, how to spend XP, and a sample couple of turns in a typical firefight.

Might be a fun listen while painting or hobbying!

A blank character sheet.  Note the formatting is LANDSCAPE for best on-screen play (as opposed to A4 / 8.5 x 11 portrait for print-out).A blank character sheet. Note the formatting is LANDSCAPE for best on-screen play (as opposed to A4 / 8.5 x 11 portrait for print-out).
Completed new character, with a little Completed new character, with a little "start up XP" to join a more experienced party. Note the equipment list, filled in "automatically" with some simple drop downs to reduce bookkeeping to an absolute minimum.
A sample background map.A sample background map.
A sample A sample "campaign" map of the actual operational area where the mission takes place.
A tactical map, where a firefight is playing out.  Jenn, playing a vehicle expert formerly from South African special tactics and rescue police, has just run over two ISIS terrorists in her JTLV. A tactical map, where a firefight is playing out. Jenn, playing a vehicle expert formerly from South African special tactics and rescue police, has just run over two ISIS terrorists in her JTLV.
That BMP-2 just missed us, but Jenn spun us around the building (taking loads of fire along the way) We're both wounded, but I'm out with my M4 assault carbine and grenade launcher to at least pin down those incoming insurgents, while she clambers into the turret of the JTLV and puts a 20mm burst in to the back of the BMP-2.  That BMP is damaged ... but not out by any means ...That BMP-2 just missed us, but Jenn spun us around the building (taking loads of fire along the way) We're both wounded, but I'm out with my M4 assault carbine and grenade launcher to at least pin down those incoming insurgents, while she clambers into the turret of the JTLV and puts a 20mm burst in to the back of the BMP-2. That BMP is damaged ... but not out by any means ...

HK Ops: Desert Strike Mini-Mission

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
4 Comments

Join me as I take a player through a very quick, very small mini-mission in HK Ops, our Modern Military RPG system, custom-made for Sitrep Streaming and online play.

Sunday, August 1 – 2PM East US Time, 7PM UK Time

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Video Replay - Colombian Jungle Raid (Policia Nacional de Colombia / DEA vs. Medellin Cartel) - 1989

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
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Good afternoon:  Here is the game playback video from yesterday’s live stream, where Oriskany Jim and Sitrep 6 faced off in a jungle raid during the height of the “Escobar Era” of the Colombian Drug War.

In summary, the Polica Nacional de Colombia’s “Seach Bloc” has found a network of Medellin drug labs and processing centers in the jungles of the Zaragosa Highlands, northeast of Medellin.  Mounting up in an American DEA-supplied UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter, Colonel Carillo gets a squad of his Colombian assault troops and a criminal informant (Jorge Noreña) and heads off to wipe out the target.  Two US DEA agents are along on the op.  The primary tango is Talabera, a prominent Medellin lieutenant running this local lab network.

Can Bill conduct the raid and capture /destroy all the drug labs in time, while keeping his own losses down and capturing / killing Talabera?  WIll other cartels get involved?  AUC right-wing paramilitaries?  FARC Marxist rebels?  It’s a free-for-all in the Colombian Jungle, listen in to see how it plays out.

Might be a fun listen whil hobbying or painting.

Hope you like it!

Colombia Jungle Raid 1989: Sitrep 6 vs. Oriskany Jim (Community Wargame - Sitrep Skirmish system)

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
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Join Bill (Sitrep 6) and Oriskany Jim as they head into the Colombian highlands circa 1989.  It’s the height of the “Escobar Era” drug war against the Medellin Cartel, and law enforcement is headed into the jungle to root out another of the Cartel’s labs.  Government forces will include troops of Policía Nacional de Colombia’s “Search Bloc” – backed up by Americans in the DEA.

But will they be facing Cartel thugs?  AUC right-wing militia?  Marxist guerrillas of the FARC movement?  Innocent farmers?  All of the above?  Tune in and find out as the Sitrep Podcast pivots back to our “Modern Warfare” roots.

Sunday, July 25 – 2PM East US Time, 7PM UK Time

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The main foci of the 1980s-1990s phase of the Colombian Drug War.  All factions were heavily active in the country's capital Bogata, while the Medellin and the Cali Cartels were the most powerful narco factions at the time.  Other factions include the Colombian government, the United States, smaller cartel factions, ultra-right wing paramilitaries like the AUC, and remnants of Marxist groups like FARC.  Yeah, it's a free-for-all.The main foci of the 1980s-1990s phase of the Colombian Drug War. All factions were heavily active in the country's capital Bogata, while the Medellin and the Cali Cartels were the most powerful narco factions at the time. Other factions include the Colombian government, the United States, smaller cartel factions, ultra-right wing paramilitaries like the AUC, and remnants of Marxist groups like FARC. Yeah, it's a free-for-all.
The map for today's game, in the Zargosa Highlands northeast of Medellin.  Drug labs, processing stations, and trucking depots are marked as government objectives.The map for today's game, in the Zargosa Highlands northeast of Medellin. Drug labs, processing stations, and trucking depots are marked as government objectives.
The assault squad of Nacional Policia Colombia's The assault squad of Nacional Policia Colombia's "Search Bloc". They also have two American DEA agents with them and a criminal informant who may be able to convince cartel members not to resist, surrender, or even turn against their former bosses. In modern "non-kinetic" warfare, you rarely know who your friends or enemies truly are.
The Cartel The Cartel "troops" assigned to protect this part of Escobar's narco-empire. Talabera is the kingpin here, the government player gets additional points for capturing him alive.

Video Replay: Brucelea vs. Oriskany - Operation Goodwood (18 July 1944)

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
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Here is the video replay of a true beast of an epic Panzer Leader game, over four hours of tank duelling in the deadly “bocage” terrain of Normandy.  This game recreated the eastern half of Operation Goodwood (opening phases), where elements of 11th Armoured Division collided with counterattacking elements of 1st SS “Leibstandarte” Panzer Division and Tigers of schewere Panzerabteilung 503.

Can @brucelea ‘s more numerous Brits get the upper hand on @Oriskany‘s deadly SS panzer force of Panthers and Tigers (and oh yeah, King Tigers)?

It’s a long one, with some great moments of brigade-level WW2 tank action.  Might be a fun listen while painting or hobbying.

Thanks very much!

Tank Clash in Normandy: British vs. Germans in the Bocage (July 1944) Community Panzer Leader Game

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
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Join @brucelea and I as we return to Panzer Leader, this time for a recreation of the “bocage hell” in the summer of 1944.  The D-Day landings at Normandy were all well and good, but what followed was almost two solid months of some of the worst fighting ever seen on the Western Front.

German defenders, determined and well-equipped, made expert use of the “bocage” agricultural fields in the area, turning all of Normandy into a semi-flooded, channelized, fortified honeycomb of point-blank defense. Often the Allies had no choice but to drive straight into such defenses with frontal assaults.

Conversely, the Germans had to contend with a foe that outnumbered them sometimes ten-to-one and had total dominance of the air.

Sunday, July 18 – 2PM East US Time, 7PM UK Time

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Okay, so here is the background area for today's battle - a small flanking action connection to Operation Goodwood, the 77th Anniversary takes place today (July 18, 1944).  The red rectangle shows the 3600-meter scaled battlefield contained in our game (24 hex board, 150 meters per hex).Okay, so here is the background area for today's battle - a small flanking action connection to Operation Goodwood, the 77th Anniversary takes place today (July 18, 1944). The red rectangle shows the 3600-meter scaled battlefield contained in our game (24 hex board, 150 meters per hex).
Here is the map for our game.  Again, 150 meter hexes (about 5 feet in 15mm).  British (predominantly elements of 11th Armored Division) will be coming on from the north.  Germans (1st SS Here is the map for our game. Again, 150 meter hexes (about 5 feet in 15mm). British (predominantly elements of 11th Armored Division) will be coming on from the north. Germans (1st SS "LAH" Panzer Division, sPzAbtg 503) will be coming on from the south in a local counterattack that took place about 11:00 hours at Cagny, 18 July 1944.
My forces as the German player.  With units of 1st SS My forces as the German player. With units of 1st SS "Leibstandarte" Panzer Division and Heavy Tank Detachment 503, I have some of the best toys in the business. If only I wasn't outnumbered over 2:1 ...
The British (elements of 11th Armored Division, VIII Corps), with plenty of air support.  All these units were there except for possibly 7th RTR / 31st Tank Brigade.  They WERE attached to VIII Corps, so they were in the general AREA, but I included them to get some heavier British armor on the table.The British (elements of 11th Armored Division, VIII Corps), with plenty of air support. All these units were there except for possibly 7th RTR / 31st Tank Brigade. They WERE attached to VIII Corps, so they were in the general AREA, but I included them to get some heavier British armor on the table.

Video Replay: AirWar C21: Britain vs. Argentina over the Falklands - May 1982

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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Greetings, OTT:  Here is the video replay of the AirWar C21 game between myself and @hegemongary, where we recreated one of the initial fighter sweeps at the onset of the 1982 Falklands War.

We buzz through a very brief overview of the conflict’s background, and then launch aircraft and get into the dogfight (Royal Navy FRS1 Sea Harriers vs. Argentininian Mirage IIIEA interceptors).

Might be a fun listen while working on some hobby or painting.

It’s maneuverability and electronics vs. speed and numbers!  Who will prevail?

Check out our Discord if this kind of gaming interests you.
https://discord.gg/k6AMchYCSE

AirWar C21: Britain vs. Argentina over the Falklands - May 1982

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

In April 1982, the ruling military regime of Argentina invaded the British Falkland Islands, 400 kilometers off the Argentinian coast. The British quickly mounted Operation Corporate to retake these remote South Atlantic Islands.

As their naval task force approached the occupied Falklands, the British knew they had to clear the skies of Argentinian aircraft, which enjoyed big advantages in numbers, combat-experienced pilots, and the ability to mount larger, faster aircraft off nearby land bases.  The British, meanwhile, had advantages of their own in the form of the Harrier “jump-jet” and the American-made AIM-9L “Sidewinder” air-to-air missile.

Join us for a game of AirWar C21, where we will recreate one of the first engagements between Mirage IIIEA interceptors of the AFA and FRS1-variant “Sea Harriers” of the Royal Navy, launched off the British flagship HMS Hermes.

Sunday, July 11 – 2PM East US Time, 7PM UK Time

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Campaign area for the Falklands War, immediately before the onset of Campaign area for the Falklands War, immediately before the onset of "real" hostilities with the sinking of the light cruiser ARA Belgrano.
immediate strikes of 1 May, 1982immediate strikes of 1 May, 1982
Argentinian aircraft in today's game.Argentinian aircraft in today's game.
British aircraft in today's game.British aircraft in today's game.
Map for today's game.Map for today's game.

Oriskany Jim vs. Piotr - "The Arab-Israeli Wars" Scenario B1 (Bir Gifgaga, Nov 1956) - PART TWO

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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Join us as Oriskany Jim and Yavasa finish up their discussion of their recent game of Avalon Hill’s “The Arab-Israeli Wars” – where they recreated the largest armored engagement of the 1956 Sinai War between Israeli and Egypt.

This was the tank clash at Bir Gifgafa, a key pass leading out of the Sinai Mountains toward the startegic Suez Canal to the west.

Interested in this higher-level “command tactical” wargaming?
Check out our Discord:
https://discord.gg/k6AMchYCSE

Oriskany Jim vs. Piotr - "The Arab-Israeli Wars" Scenario B1 (Bir Gifgaga, Nov 1956) - PART ONE

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
No Comments

Join us as Oriskany Jim and Yavasa sit down to discuss a recent game of Avalon Hill’s “The Arab-Israeli Wars” – where they recreated the largest armored engagement of the 1956 Sinai War between Israeli and Egypt.

This was the tank clash at Bir Gifgafa, a key pass leading out of the Sinai Mountains toward the startegic Suez Canal to the west.

Interested in this higher-level “command tactical” wargaming?
Check out our Discord: https://discord.gg/k6AMchYCSE

American Revolution (July 4 Special) - Hobby, Painting, 20mm Wargaming

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 5
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Happy Fourth of July, Sitrep Operators! Here is a quick video to commemorate American Independence Day, with some Hobby, Painting, and 20mm Wargaming with a battlefield set in the American Revolution of 1775-1781

Thank You So Much (Mid-Year Platform Benchmarks)

Tutoring 5
Skill 5
Idea 4
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Here is the replay from Last Night’s bonus stream. A quick little discussion (26 minutes) just to say thank you, review the first half of 2021, and look at where we’re going from here.

Video Replay: Cbenner vs. Oriskany - PanzerBlitz (Battle of Dubno)

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6
No Comments

Good morning, all.  Here is a video replay of our Sunday Stream, where @cbrenner and I take a swing at Avalon Hill’s PanzerBlitz system.  Our subject is the part of the Battle of Dubno, which took place eighty years ago this week.

At the time this was the largest tank battle in history, where the spearhead of “Panzergruppe Kleist” (probably the largest single field formation of armor ever mounted by the German war machine) was struck from four directions by five Soviet mechanized corps.  Here we see the counterattacking spearhead of 8th Mechanized Corps (12th and 34th Tank Divisions) hitting the flank of the German 16th Panzer Division, XLVIII Panzer Corps.

Might be a fun listen while painting for hobbying.

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