I only seldom play maritime wargames. This one though made me curious as there are quite a few play through videos on the internet. The game concept seems to offer a narrative experience with few tactical decisions to take. Anyway, the U-Boat warfare was an important element of German strategy in both world wars. Everybody probabely knows the film DAS BOOT, several U-Boot captains are legends. So why not give it a go?
For my first game I chose U28, a Type VIIA U-Boot, and membetr of the 2nd U-Bootflotille. Its wartime Kommandant was Kapitänleutnant Günther Kuhnke, so he is going to be our hero in this naval campaign.
In my second play of the Fall Blau scenario I played both opposing sides more aggressive. I reasoned the German Army Groop Command would want to repeat the stunning successes of 1941 encirceling and destroying large numbers of Sovjet units. Therefore I let the attack with little regard to own losses. The Sovjet basically fight a delaying battle, but do get ample units to stage some counter attacks.
One of my newest aquisitons in wargames is Stalingrad ’42. I played the Case Blue scenario to get to know the game mechanics. All in all they are quite familiar to me, similar to Ukraine ’43 and Holland ’44 with minor differences and game specific rules. I like the medium complexity of the rules as they allow for a fluid fast paced game. I think this particular scenario could be played in an eveneing when you are somewhat familiar with the rules. The campaign game probabely takes an entire weekend to complete.
Since I read Herfried Münkler’s book The Great War three summers ago I got more and more interested in understanding the root cause of this world encompassing conflict. I wanted to better understand the strategic and operational thinking of the political and military leadership of the countries involved. Also I was and am fascinated about the effects that the war’s outcome and its unresolved problems still have on world politics today. Only since the end of the Iron Curtain have we become aware of the underlaying dynamics when we have seen several of these unresolved problems turning into regional conflicts.
To me wargaming is a multi-dimensional approach towards learning about such subjects. It involves reading, gaming, visiting museums, travelling to battle fields, viewing films and listening to lectures. All this is quite possible, if you live in Western Europe as I do. The green fields of Flanders and eastern France are only a 200 km drive away.
A short vacation on Walcheren island has brought me into contact with a countryside similar to the polder land we encounter in the ASLSK historical module Decision at Elst. This low-lying land is comparable to the area south of Arnhem that was fought over during the Market-Garden opertion in Sept 1944. When you travel between towns the first you get to know about the settlement ahead is its church. The towers are clearly visible from kilometres away and its easy to understand their importance as observation posts.
Stonewall Jacksons Way published in 1992 by The Avalon HIll Game Company I aquired some 15 year ago from a wargames buddy. The game spent all the years in a dark shelf as I never found the time to occupy myself more closely with it. I allways admired the maps but never came round to actually read the rules.
Cedar Mountain scenario result with Federal and CSA casualties shown as colored cubes.
After some years of abstinence I have resumed painting som miniatures. I got stimulated by the excellent videos by Little Wars TV. I got especially captivated by their videos on the ACW battles of Antitam and Gettysburg. These the club played out with Altar of Freedom Rules that I once bought and used to play quick battles. I played with bases that I pasted pictures of ACW regiment on. I also bought a pack of 6mm Adler Miniatures, but only few of them ever saw my painting table.
When I got notice of this game I ordered it right away. Why, you ask? Well, first its one of the first wargames from a German publisher. I was curious to learn what design idea the developers might follow. Second Aachen 1944 offers an interesting subject seldom treated in wargames. The only other campaign game that I know of addressing the Stolberg Sector comes with the Command Decision miniature rules. Last and by no means least I live in Aachen.
Historical wargames on historical maps are much of my liking. Therefore I always am interested to obtain a copy when a new HASL gets published. One exception might be the HASLs that feature on island hopping in the Pacific. European, Russian, and North African fronts oriented HASL in contrast will most likely make it into my ASL collection.
So finally here comes Forgotten War Korea: 1950 – 1953, the newest ASL core module. I was somewhat uncertain whether to obtain a copy. But I like playing ASL and I dislike not having the boards to play with. What to expect from the scenarios and the period specific rules I do not know.