BochumCon 2023

Last weekend we met at a small games convention dedicated to CoSim and other board games. After a hiatus of 2 years due to Corona SARS-2, this convention has now restarted with around eighteen players. As most participants have a background in Eurogames or tabletop gaming, most are still in transition to the more complex board games in the wargaming world. All games are chosen in advance to ensure all players can play what they like most and that there will be at least one fellow player. The arc stretches from the more colorful fantasy board game to the most complex CoSim.

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The Grim Reaper’s Lair [SF 3]

Currently I am engaged in Sword & Fire: MANILA. Looking for a scenario that might lend itself to solo play, I came across this one. It has only a few fortifications and I decided to place the two minefields and barbed wire barriers openly to channel the movement. The date is February 11, 1945 when the US 148th Infantry Regiment of the 37th Infantry Division assaulted Manila’s Paco cemetary area defended by the Imperial Japanese 5th Marine Battalion.

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Nothing Ventured [STL 2]

Jeff and I have decided to renew PBEM with scenarios from the China-Burma-India: The Lost Theatre I. The second scenario is set January 17 1942. It features Burma Frontier Force. I have never dealt with this group before. As I get it from the descriptions on the Burma Army site I linked, the BFF was a military force derived from police forces. The Japanese, on the other hand, are from the 55th Infantry Division, a regular Japanese army formation.

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Sword & Fire MANILA

A friend of mine got hold of the new HASL by MMP, Sword & Fire MANILA. The game we played incited my enough to later purchase the package for myself. The Battle of Manila took place from 3 February to 3 March 1944 and involved intensive fighting but also gruesome warcrimes committed against the civilian population. I really appreciate the designers telling us the whole story.

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INS 5.12 The Guards II

Half done, half coming with this scenario of It Never Snows. The Germans have so far resisted stubbornly with what few forces they have in the sector, disrupting the Allied schedule for linking the British Guards Armored Division and the US 101st Airborne Division. The German 59th Infantry Division and 107th Panzer Brigade are currently pinning down the airborne troops and not allowing them any progress in securing an undamaged bridge over the Wilhelminakanaal. We pick up the report on Day 3 of Operation Market-Garden, September 19, 1944, to see how events unfold.

101st Airborne inspecting a broken glider in Holland
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INS 5.12 The Guards

I’ve played It Never Snows several times now, solo and face to face. I realize that although the rules are pretty simple, playing the game well and making use of the few special units is not an easy task. What I like best is that the game is not scripted but puts you in charge of the overall commander with multiple choices. Where you send your reinforcements and what mission you give them is entirely up to you.

Sherman tanks of the Irish Guards Group
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