This is the final part of my G.D. ’40 sequence. I hope it illustrates quite well my idea for ‘window games’ – ie, using a different game system (in this case, Advanced Squad Leader) to simulate the battle at a smaller scale. This game will be continued if my plans for a future emagazine are realised.
Here below is the ASL translation of the action in Stonne at the same time. The squad of my German character (who witnessed the French air attack on his unit in the woods – see Part One) is outlined in red at the top right corner. His platoon has been ordered to take care of the last remaining French defensive positon – the Heavy Mg at top left. Shouldn’t be a difficult task given their shattered morale state!
And here is the position to the east in Stonne wood. The French are beginning to receive quite a battering.
With Stonne more or less in German hands now, the anti-tank guns have already been released from the reserve and should be in the village within an hour or so. The coming French counter-attack with a strong tank force (my French character is the tank commander of one of them) is likely to be a stormy affair!
My next post, in June (I hope to make a new post every month now) will show my idea for a Solitaire ASL campaign game on the Eastern Front in WWII – ‘Roads to Stalingrad.’
My original idea for a ‘Great Wargame’ on WWI has taken a bit of a back seat due to a recently increased workload, but I intend to post up quite a comprehensive campaign AAR I did years ago using Ted Raicer’s ‘Glory’s End’ wargame of the initial campaign on the Western Front. To be timed for the 100th anniversary in August.
The two areas outlined above are where the initial action takes place. I Battalion, Gross Deutschland are tasked with taking the village of Stonne, while II Battalion are to take possession of Stonne wood just to the east. As the German infantry leave their start-lines at 0600 hours certain elements come under heavy air attack and are delayed. Then there is a heavy bombardment of Stonne village. The following maps outline the early developments of the attack.
In part three I will show how the attacks develop, and also I will show my ‘window’ adaptation of the position in Stonne village at the level of Advanced Squad Leader, in order to follow more closely the movements of my German character (who is in the 1st Company of I Battalion).
I am a huge fan of The Gamers’ Tactical Combat Series. It was a wargaming revelation to me when I bought ‘Objective Schmidt’ back in the early 90’s. A decade later, I made my first tentative efforts at making a graphic representation of a later game in the series, ‘GD ’40’. I am posting up here some of those efforts, cleaned up with Photoshop. The colour has not reproduced very faithfully, unfortunately, perhaps because it was originally done in watercolour – the greens have gone positively luminous! This would be one of the stories to be continued in a future emagazine, if it ever comes to pass.
Below are the op sheets for the French initial defence and the German plan of assault.
I decided to follow one individual soldier from each army, with plans to tell their stories in more detail, using ASL as a ‘window’ game when necessary. The first page here below features the present tense narrative of Axel Mauthner, private in 1st Company, I Battalion Gross Deutschland Regiment. His unit received a nasty surprise on reaching the Start Line north of Stonne (which can be seen in I Battalion’s Op Sheet above):
In my next post I will show the results of the bombardment on Stonne and the subsequent assault by the Gross Deutschland Regiment.
The big project of Graphic Wargames this year is to create a graphic story based on the 1914 campaign in north-western France and Belgium, using the excellent recently published design by Mike Resch, ‘1914, Offensive à Outrance’ (GMT Games). Mike has kindly given me access to the game graphics which will enable me to make a graphic AAR of the campaign. My intention is to follow the fortunes of two soldiers, one French and one German, throughout those dramatic first months of the war, and to make a graphic novel out of their story.
‘1914, Offensive à Outrance’ will tell the story at the level of division/brigade:
Then there will be a ‘window’ from division to battalion level (as in the lower illustration above), using the rules of ‘La Fleur au Fusil’ (Vae Victis) to fight the engagements in which the characters’ divisions are involved.
Further ‘windows’ will simulate the action at platoon and finally squad/individual soldier in order to tell exactly what happens to my two fictional characters, and the result will be made into a graphic story. The game will write the story.
This is obviously a BIG project, and my idea, if I get enough interest in the project, will be to publish the story serially as part of an emagazine which will involve other stories from other games (like the ‘En Pointe Toujours’ sample in my first post). In future posts I will outline ideas I have been working on for other games.
Please do drop me a line at ian.hamilton@sfr if you are interested in being put on the provisional list for a future emagazine.