With Partizan 2014 successfully completed, its time to look forward to “Operation Market Larden”, a day of wargaming hosted by the Evesham wargames club on Saturday 14th June.
Operation Market Larden, or OML to give it a more catchy title, will be the second run out for the Operation Gericht game featuring the German attack on the village of Fleury on 23 June 1916, which we took to Partizan last weekend.
I’ve wanted for a while to try and build up to the Evesham games day by posting some of the background to the Operation Gericht game, some of the scenario mechanics and some of the pre-game events and decisions which the eight players who are booked for the games are going to be making.
In these posts I was keen not to “give the game away” as regards what the two sides, Germans and French, are deciding. Such details will no doubt be closely guarded in the respective headquarters of General Petain and Crown Prince Wilhelm, at elast until Mata Hari becomes involved in the evolving chaos.
Instead, I’ll be focusing on ideas for enhancing the scenario through looking at some of the aspects of the actual battle which we’re trying to replicate, possibly with a very small dash of alternate-history.
As of now, the eight players have chosen their sides, and are currently adding the details of their Big Men’s characters using the “Just the Right Sort of Chap” and “Les Grandes Hommes” articles which you can find on the Blog on the right hand side-bar entitled “Playtesting Scenarios, Campaign Diaries, Play-Aids and Painting Guides”.
Basically, the players need to work out, for their respective Big Men:
- the Big Man’s breeding as an Officer;
- his popularity;
- his physical stature;
- his health at the start of the game; and
- any character traits he may have.
The next stages of the pre-game work will be a series of choices for the consideration of each group of French and German players. I don’t want to give too much away, but this will involve things like:
- deployment of resources (which support weapons do you want to get your men to drag up to the line first?)
- reconnaissance (how well do you know the terrain and the valley in which the action takes place?)
- inspiring your men (are you going to focus on a rousing speech – and can they hear you – or are you going to focus on getting them some rations and hot food?)
The idea is that when we all collectively reach Evesham on the 14th, the players will have a sense of the battle, an idea of the context of the specific action, and feel a little bit invested in the troops under their command. And I should have a better idea of how to arrange the scenario to be fair, but testing, for all sides.
One of the other things I’ve been keen on testing is the form of information distribution to the players. With this in mind, I’ve created a forum thread at the TooFatLardies forum which will be the method for disseminating all kinds of reports, rumours, information, and newspaper reports. The latter will be appearing frequently on the thread, courtesy of Alois Zurlauben, Paris correspondent of the Zuricher Zeitung (“the neutral voice of a continent at war”).
Hopefully you can follow the fun at the forum thread HERE. I’ll also be experimenting with tweeting new forum posts using the somewhat unimaginatively titled @RoundwoodsWorld
So, with all that in mind, pull up a plate of cheese and wine (if you’re favouring the French) or black bread and Bavarian beer (if you’re favouring the Germans), and enjoy the show.