Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Fine tuning "Bloody Omaha", 1940s Fest.

As you may recall, the club is taking our IABSM3 demo game "Bloody Omaha" to the "Festival of the 40's" in Pondersbridge (just SE of Peterborough) this weekend. If you're reading this, and feel like attending, it's a great weekend with loads of reenactment groups, evening entertainment etc. Adult admission is £6, kids under 16, veterans and current armed forces personnel get in free. And if you make yourself known to us as a reader of this blog, at the big 8'x6' D-Day table in the marquee, we'll even let you hang around and help try and survive the hell that is Omaha Beach.

After some feedback from the first couple of games, and a rewatch of the opening to 'Saving Private Ryan', we've fine tuned a few things, since in both the games we ran, the Americans pretty much didn't need wave 3 of the landing craft (G/16th RCT of the Big Red One), and they did seem to make it off the beach as far as the shingle a little easily. For those who took part at the club or Operation Market Larden 2, here are the changes:

  • troops disembark off the LCVPs on their first activation, NOT when the LCVP arrives on table.
    • while aboard they count as in hard cover (unless hit by HE, obviously), and they're packed in in the loading order according to the reference sources I have, which means that the 'front' squad will be the one taking most casualties from (say) MG fire.
    • it costs 1 dice of movement to get down the ramp, and they disembark in loading order.
    • I'm considering adding a rule that troops not off the LCVP at the 'Smoke 'em if you got 'em' (Tea Break) card will disembark pretty much in a dense target just off the loading ramp, since the LCVP crew just want the hell out of there.
  • movement penalties:
    • on the beach -1/dice
    • in water -2/dice (the major change)
    • flamethrower teams an extra -1/dice
  • German MG and mortar positions can't be fired on by non-area-effect weapons until they're spotted
  • I may add a German ammunition shortage card to the deck when wave 3 lands (several of the German MG34s actually stopped firing because they ran out of ammo and/or their barrels overheated to the point of being unusable).
  • all assault sections now labelled on the back of their bases - bye-bye coloured PostIts.
  • Medics are only on 2 of the 6 boats in a wave (5 or 6 on a d6, max of 2), and they act like level 3 Big Men who move on their section card (or at the Tea Break if they haven't), and can only remove shock.
We did a test run of the first wave (amid snarky remarks from Reuben, our secretary about why we needed an 8'x'6' table when we were just fighting in the first 18" of it :D) at the club last night (thanks to AndyM (as ever) and John), and it seems to work much better, and feel even more grittily realistic. One section that disembarked pretty much under the nose of Gefrieter Severloh's MG34 was for all practical purposes destroyed in about 3 runs through the activation deck, having piled up enough shock from the first round of fire (plus an MG bonus card) that several of its squads were finding movement nearly impossible, and to make matters worse it had no Big Man or medic. Another had to be chivvied off the LCVP by its Big Man, and the first bunch to reach the shingle were a scattered mess of three different sections.

Poor old AndyM is off to Omaha Beach for real on Thursday, which means he will once again miss a full 'production' run through of the game :D He is under orders to bring me back some photos, though.

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