Training Battles (for G40 Beginners)


  • 2019 '15 '14

    This is something I do with my new players when teaching the game, for any A&A game really, but lately I have been thinking a lot on g40 for beginners (not least because I have some friends at work who have expressed an interest.)

    The first thing I do, before we even look at the map and the money, or start discussing anything particularly complex with regard to the overall game rules or situation, (but the very first thing we do) is break out the units in the box!

    This builds on the basic principle that everyone who wants to play A&A wants to play it because they like Plastic Army Men and Maps and WW2 history. The combat system in A&A remains the most entertaining part of the thing for me, and the dice, so this is the first thing I want to showcase to players. Set up training battles, with brief introductions about the units, their cost and basic abilities, that’s how I like to run things.

    The first few are example battles and they are always the same, but important, because they express the underlying foundation of everything.

    Infantry vs Infantry, since infantry are the beating heart of the game.
    Then after that Tanks vs Infantry,
    then Tanks and Infantry vs Infantry.

    These first three sample battles also allow for the introduction of the critical concept “fodder” to the new player’s understanding or as a refresher. After that I like to launch into real practice battles between the players, before the game itself is started. Example battles can be played out before each practice “Training Battle” to introduce whatever new units from the roster you want to bring into play.

    What I would propose here, is that we come up with some standard Training Battles that everyone can use. I mean like a list of a dozen Historical Battles with familiar names, and using the units in the roster in a staged way. Battles we could list with a specific set up, and then have new players “Run” as a way to get the gameplay happening.

    We could design a clean, relatively short but engaging list of Land Battles, Naval battles, Land or Naval with Aircraft involved etc. Then come up with a specific list of units for each side. Say 6 on the ground, 6 at sea.

    Some good examples of a naval battle list might start with something like, Sinking the Bismark. then build to a
    Midway, and then maybe a Leyte gulf at the high end. You do the same with land battles.

    This could all be happening before or during the map set up process. So what you are doing is basically setting things, while your players run some sample battles. This primes everyone for the gameplay that will occur in the first round. Depending on how many players you have with you.

    Any suggestions? Basically what we are looking for here is little Historical Battle set ups for players to train on, using a basic list or card. This gives the GM something to use to get the players into the game, while they work on broader organization and explanation of the rules. I’m surprised something like this hasn’t been included with a boxed game yet, even after all these years, and the evident usefulness of something like that as a teaching aid.

    The way the rulebook reads, there is brief introduction, then several sections and mammoth lists of rules with enumerations and specific illustrations and examples of exceptions to these, and sprawling lists of NOs. But nowhere in there is just a basic, how to Teach this game to people section with some aids for that process. Even the starter board 1941 doesn’t really have this, but I’m not  talking about the starter board here, I’m talking about G40. G40, a game where you could conceivably design this list of battles to actually be pretty interesting, with the new units Mech and Tac Bombers, as well as their integration with other land and air units. Or to highlight the combat abilities of Carriers etc. Or you know, just run a whole series of a dozen sample battles.

    The Dirtiest Dozen battles of WW2! 😄

    Basically what we’re looking for here for is a list of battles, and the corresponding unit set up. Not an insane unit set up, but one which gives the flavor, and which could serve as a trainer for people being introduced to the G40 roster.

    Thoughts?


  • Customizer

    I’m not sure how specific I can get as far as examples right now. I’m training new players for FTF games. so far Classic and Revised have been doing their job with flying colors. The next implementation after a few more sessions will be to start introducing units from the Global games with Global stats but using a Classic and revised boards. Before we jump to Global I think an AA50 session is in order.  If you’re lucky enough to own a copy, AA50 is a must before the Global jump I think.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10



  • you want to get someone into A&A?  Find a copy of A&A 1941!  That is basically a beginners version, the rules are pretty simple, and it doesnt take too long to play.  I have a copy of it as well as the others and when someone asks me about the game…i break out 1941 to see if there is interest, then i go to 1942 2nd, then pacific 40 2nd , europe 40 2nd , then global 40 2nd.

    I figured that is the chain of command that i use when it comes to introducing someone to A&A.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    I should clarify,  I own all those boards you guys mentioned and am fairly familiar with how they can be used, I’ve been doing this for a while. 😉 Let me digress for a second and explain why I am putting the emphasis here on G40. First, I have already tried using “staged” games for  the teaching process, example: 41 leading into 1942.2 leading into AA50 etc. While this has been somewhat helpful it is also very time consuming, and it introduces the game in a way that creates weird feelings and peculiar expectations from the players. All the map switching and unit changes, and especially the change in core rules like how production is handled.

    I find that if the “endgame” is players playing Global, then starting with all those other boards can potentially waste time and just introduce even more confusion than if you simply start on the big map. For starters the scale of 1941 is considerably smaller than all other world theater boards, and the naval roster is also very limited. It doesn’t do a whole lot in setting up general principles for the more expanded rosters or the general gameplay strategy on the larger maps. I have had to mod 41 pretty heavily to make it entertaining both for myself and other players in my group to enjoy it (to include artillery for example or extra income) but even then once they see “the big map” they basically lose interest in 41. My friend Jen for example, who is a neuro science phd, was insulted by the suggestion that she should have to play the nerfed starter board in order to understand the complete game. I tend to agree. I don’t even bother with 41 now, because the gameplay is grinding and the movement and production strategy it teaches doesn’t port very well, and the cost structure and unit roster is likewise pretty limited. So basically we started with 1942.2, which was fine. As I am a fairly competent GM, and when it comes to encouraging enthusiasm for A&A among my friends, I am basically a ninja at this stuff 😄

    1942.2 has the advantage of being a board that the players can buy for themselves, and it doesn’t set up a lot of false expectations or require a lot of backtracking when you move to the next map (which Classic, Revised or AA50 do, when you try to use them in the staged game teaching process.) Basically my position is this, if I can teach you to play 1942.2 then I can teach you to play Global. And even if you haven’t 1942.2, I can still teach you how to play global!
    This provided I have at least one player to help me, who already has experience with Axis and Allies to help.

    In fact, just starting with g40 is now my preference.
    You guys know how A&A works right? The trick is to teach one opponent first, and then have them help you teach others in Multis. Add in snacks and have the World at War DVDs playing on the TV in the background! And you are basically good to go hehe

    Because players learn fastest from direct observation, and by actually playing, you will teach better by example than you can with abstraction. There is nothing in the G40 unit roster that is so terribly complex, that I couldn’t teach you how to run practice Training Battles with it in under an hour.

    This is why I think it would be cool to have some sample historical battles that we could use. Pre-set battles with unit breakdowns we can use.

    Oh great links CWO mark! I’m not sure what express was originally intended to look like, but there are some great historical notes in there that could be used to design training battles. Basically this is an open call for suggestions. Example…

    1. Name of the Battle: with a brief historical blurb
    2. Nations and Units involved on each side

    Then come up with a dozen or more of these that fit the 1942.2 or g40 rosters (which are thankfully compatible for the most part, in that the values don’t change dramatically like they do with other boards). We could then print them out on some cards, and just let the players run them for practice and training.


  • '16 '15 '14 Customizer

    I don’t have specific battles, but I think land battles are the easiest. Then amphibious assaults. Then sea battles are the hardest with all the special rules, particularly with subs involved. Some of my guys don’t buy sea units because they really don’t get how to use them yet. Good idea to practice battles! It wouldbe good to come up with some kind of random battle generator to practice with.


  • Customizer

    @RJL518:

    you want to get someone into A&A?  Find a copy of A&A 1941!  That is basically a beginners version, the rules are pretty simple, and it doesnt take too long to play.  I have a copy of it as well as the others and when someone asks me about the game…i break out 1941 to see if there is interest, then i go to 1942 2nd, then pacific 40 2nd , europe 40 2nd , then global 40 2nd.

    I figured that is the chain of command that i use when it comes to introducing someone to A&A.

    I used 41 to teach my wife so it is good for teaching as you mentioned.


  • Customizer

    @ Black Elk,

    I get where you’re coming from. I am teaching new players right now myself. I have refrained from doing Global thus far just because of time and space. I had planned for a weekend session and my player had one afternoon to play Global and is still learning the ropes of Classic and AAR. When I set up just the boards it was a bit intimidating so we continued “class” with Classic lol.

    I would make one suggestion though. I would try doing Sealion and Normandy from a couple of different approaches and maybe Stalingrad or Moscow using some 'trained rat" strategies.

    Good Luck!


  • '14 Customizer

    Black Elk - Don’t forget “The Wall”. Always have to play that movie at least once during a gaming session.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Regarding your request that we propose various interesting WWII battles, what I’m wondering is this.  Is the idea to try to replicate those battles accurately?  Or is it to provide a simple demonstration of the A&A combat system, with the chosen battles mainly just providing a background setting for purposes of flavour and colour?  Those two approaches might have very different requirements.  A&A isn’t a tactical-level simulation, and the various global games don’t even qualify as operational/theatre-level simulations; they simulate a war, not a battle, whereas what you’re describing really involves just fighting a battle rather than getting all of the economics and strategy of fighting a war.

    If the idea is to replicate accurately a battle or campaign, the end result would have to look lik A&A D-Day, Bulge or Guadalcanal – three games which are rather different from the global games you want to teach.  So I wouldn’t recommend trying to do so.  The better option, in my opinion, is to use the background-setting approach.  In this approach, the actual historical battles would be part of the “backstory” of the training exercise, but the exercise wouldn’t try to replicate the actual battle accurately.  Rather, they’d focus on one small piece of it, which could very well be fictitious.  For example, your infantry-versus-tank exercise could be set at Kursk, for purposes of flavour, without actually being a Kursk simulation; instead, the scenario might involve such-and-such a Soviet regiment (real or fictitous) facing an attack by such-and-such a Panzer formation (real or fictitious).  More fun than just an abstract training exercise having no context, but still focussing squarely on teaching mechanics rather than replicating a historical battle.


  • 2017 '16

    Thinking out loud about Battle of Midway.

    You can introduce the idea of Dead Zone over a SZ and how it is a must to keep as much naval units together to the new players.

    A) It is USA’s turn. They get the initiative because USA crack the Japanese Secret Code. (To explain to new player why it is not IJN on attack.)
    All US’ units will attack SZ24.

    Attacking roster:

    USA
    Put 1 StB & 1 Fg on Midway.
    1 Fleet Carrier with 1 Fg & 1 TcB, 1 Destroyer and 1 Sub in the nearby SZ25 of Midway
    1 TcB on Hawaii and 1 Cruiser & 1 damaged (or not) Fleet Carrier in Hawaiian SZ26
    Making for the damaged USS Yorktown during Battle of the Coral Sea being repaired at the start of US turn, if you want to introduce this rule about 2 hits Carrier on which planes cannot land when damaged.

    Defensive roster:

    IJN
    Put 2 Carriers with 2 Fgs & 2 TcBs in SZ 24, between Iwo Jima and Midway. Here is the Dead Zone. :evil:
    Put 1 Battleship, 1 Cruiser, 1 Destroyer, 1 Sub and 3 transports in Iwo Jima SZ17

    B) It is also possible to show what could happen if IJN player choose to keep all is better defensive units (2 Fgs and 2 TcBs) while taking hits on both Carriers.
    Let’s just talk about Retreat option for attacker (by pushing IJN planes to ditch into the ocean for a 42 IPCs lost, at no cost for USA) and how it can become a complex matter to select casualty.

    About US casualty choice for planes.
    You can explain why it is better to kill the Tactical Bomber coming from Hawaiin Islands (3 moves done) instead of Fg from Midway (only 2 moves done) if it becomes necessary to put damage on all US Carriers. So, all planes can reach Midway on NCM.
    And if there is an untouched surviving US Carrier, it will be better to have a defense @4 instead of the TcB Def @3, in case of IJN counter-attack coming from SZ17.

    In addition, this could be an historical reminder of the first US Torpedo Bombers lost against Nagumo’s Carriers.

    C) You can add a variation by moving the Destroyer unit from SZ17 with the 2 IJN Carriers in SZ24 (playing the role of the IJN Arashi against the USS Nautilus).
    To explain Subs against Destroyers dynamics.

    D) Another variant would be to put all the units from SZ17 alongside of Carriers in SZ24.
    To show how different the battle could turn when all warships are together to defend.

    Probably CWO Marc can help up with other interesting details to get a better refined Midway Battle modelisation.

    I hope, at least that scenarii A, B and D could help players understand why IJN lost all his planes and precious Carriers during the Battle of Midway.


    There could be some explanatory introduction such as IJN player was planing to attack Midway, for instance.
    The 3 transports were in Okinawa SZ19 and moved toward Iwo Jima SZ17 droping their loads of grounds units for the next turn assault.
    1 Battleship, 1 Cruiser, 1 Destroyer, 1 Sub moved from Japan SZ6 to protect them in SZ17.
    The Carriers were coming from far away SZ30 near Johnston Island and have no other choice than moving into SZ24 to prepare the Midway attack.

    Once this said and played all examples, you can used it to show how it was bad planification and how putting the 3 Transports in Japan SZ6 while all other warships would have been covering the 2 Carriers in SZ24 is a much better plan to counter the USA defense which make SZ24 a Dead Zone.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Just a quick note to say that I’ll be away all day Friday, so I’ll return to this discussion sometime over the weekend when I get a chance.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    @CWO:

    Or is it to provide a simple demonstration of the A&A combat system, with the chosen battles mainly just providing a background setting for purposes of flavour and colour?

    Exactly  😄

    I think it would be too tall an order to ask for much beyond that, since as you rightly point out A&A is essentially a strategy game, and particularly great at simulating the tactical. Still, I think we could get some reasonably historical but still fun battles to play out.

    Oh that is a cool idea Baron! I suppose initially I was envisioning battle set ups that could be run independently of the game map, but it might be cool to create a more advanced tier of Training battle that used the map as well for concepts like deadzones. I dig it


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Black_Elk:

    @CWO:

    Or is it to provide a simple demonstration of the A&A combat system, with the chosen battles mainly just providing a background setting for purposes of flavour and colour?Â

    ExactlyÂ

    I think it would be too tall an order to ask for much beyond that, since as you rightly point out A&A is essentially a strategy game, and particularly great at simulating the tactical. Still, I think we could get some reasonably historical but still fun battles to play out.

    This is good to hear because it makes the task a lot easier.  Modeling actual battles accurately would have been a real “witch with a capital B”.  Using historic battles simply as the background context of a small-scale, tightly focused training exercise, and doing so just for the purpose of firing up the imagination and enthusiam of the students, sounds both fun and practical.

    So with this being established, the next thing I’d recommend would be for you to start by listing all the exercise types you want to conduct, and to then ask the folks here to suggest battles that would provide the best context for those exercises.  (I think this would be preferable to going in the opposite direction, meaning the concept of starting out with a list of battles and then devising exercises to fit them.)  You’ll probably get several battle suggestions for each exercise type, and it would then be up to you to decide which one you’d prefer as your background story for each exercise.  For each final choice, you (or someone else) could write the little historical blurb (just a couple of paragraphs should do) that would explain to the students the general background situation of the exercise.  You’d then follow this by the specifics of the student tasks: the Order of Battle on each side (number and types of forces deployed), the capabilities of each unit (attack / defense / movement values + special abilities), their starting positions on the map, their objectives and victory conditions, and the details of how the dice and other mechanics function.  You’d also indicate how mcuh each unit costs – not because any units will be purchased (since they won’t be in such an exercise), but just so that the players will know how much each unit is worth (which may affect their decisions about what units to commit to battle at which locations).

    For starters, I’ll think about these three battle types that you mentioned…

    Infantry vs Infantry
    Tanks vs Infantry
    Tanks and Infantry vs Infantry.

    …and see what might be good WWII battle choices.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Here are some initial suggestions:

    Infantry vs Infantry

    • Stalingrad, Autumn 1942
      The battles inside the city from September to November were heavily based on the use of infantry (though in a house-to-house street-fighting environment, an aspect which the training exercise shouldn’t try to replicate)

    Tanks vs Infantry

    • Kursk (just one small part of it), July 1943
      Lots of actions to choose from; Wittmann would be a good source for precise suggestions, but off the top of my head I’d suggest focussing on part of Model’s 9th Army attack against part of Rokossovsky’s Central Front

    Tanks and Infantry vs Infantry

    • The Mortain counter-offensive (a.k.a. Operation Luttich), August 1944
      5 German divisions (3 Panzer, 2 infantry) vs. 5 Allied (primarily US) infantry divisions

  • 2019 '15 '14

    @CWO:

    Here are some initial suggestions:

    Infantry vs Infantry

    • Stalingrad, Autumn 1942
      The battles inside the city from September to November were heavily based on the use of infantry (though in a house-to-house street-fighting environment, an aspect which the training exercise shouldn’t try to replicate)

    Tanks vs Infantry

    • Kursk (just one small part of it), July 1943
      Lots of actions to choose from; Wittmann would be a good source for precise suggestions, but off the top of my head I’d suggest focussing on part of Model’s 9th Army attack against part of Rokossovsky’s Central Front

    Tanks and Infantry vs Infantry

    • The Mortain counter-offensive (a.k.a. Operation Luttich), August 1944
      5 German divisions (3 Panzer, 2 infantry) vs. 5 Allied (primarily US) infantry divisions

    I love it! This basically exactly where I was driving with this. Cool trainers with a simple backdrop like the ones you just suggested for the Infantry and the Tanks.

    The think the next step would be artillery and mech. Combined with those two.

    Then perhaps Air vs Air.

    Fighters vs Fighters
    Fighters and Tactical bombers vs Fighters Tactical bombers.
    Any of these with strategic bombers added in on attack or defense.

    Air and Ground vs Air and Ground with aa guns.

    Then introduce Naval

    Destroyers vs destroyers, or destroyers vs cruisers
    Subs vs destroyers or cruisers
    Destroyers vs subs

    Then get the air and the capital ships into it

    Battleships vs destroyers or cruisers
    Fighters or Tac Bombers vs Battleships

    Carriers and air vs destroyers or cruisers or battleships
    Carriers and air vs Carriers and Air

    Any instances of subs fighting capital ships
    Or any battles to explain the complex interaction between subs destroyers and air (I expect this would probably be the most challenging to lay out from the history.) But perhaps you could design the battle to represent a “campaign” of a few battles combined as if a single engagement (for the purposes of designing a training combat scenerio. ) I think the Air vs Naval could potentially be very informative for players to see in operation, because that plays a large part in the game.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Here are some ideas for the next batch.  If I come up with additional ideas later, I’ll post those too, but the ones below would probably work all right.  Some I’ve left blank (or filled in only with vague suggestions) because I can’t think of any historical examples which fit precisely that combination, or because the combination seems problematic to me.

    Artillery and Mechanized Infantry combined with Infantry and the Tanks

    • The Ardennes Offensive, May 1940
      An effective combined-arms campaign, notably in the phase which saw the Germans crossing the Meuse.

    Fighters vs Fighters

    • Battle of Britain, Summer-Autumn 1940
      A classic dogfighting example.  The exercise’s descriptive paragraph should note that these fighter-versus-fighter actions didn’t exist in isolation; their context was the German bombing campaign against Britain.  As I recall, the RAF’s Hurricanes would typically go for the German bombers, while the higher-performance Spitfires would tackle the escorting German fighters.

    Fighters and Tactical bombers vs Fighters and Tactical bombers

    • [Specifics to be determined]
      If this said “Fighters vs Fighters and Tactical bombers” the answer would be easy: the early phases of the Battle of Britain in which the Luftwaffe was foolish enough to include Stukas in its attacking formations.  Stukas had been very effective in Poland and in the 1940 campaigns in the Low Countries and France, where they operated at short ranges from their bases and had good protection from friendly fighters.  Over Britain, however, where these factors no longer applied, their slow speed and lack of maneuverability caught up with them: they got slaughtered by the RAF and were soon withdrawn from action.  For an actual “Fighters and Tactical bombers vs Fighters and Tactical bombers” scenario, the best bet would be a battle somewhere on the Eastern Front (I can’t think of a specific one) in which the Russian Stumkovik and the cannon-armed tankbuster version of the Stuka were both in use.  The scenario could be semi-fictitious in nature, unless someone here can think of a specific battle that actually used this comibation of forces.

    Fighters and/or Tactical bombers with strategic bombers added in on attack or defense

    • [Specifics to be determined]
      If you take out the Tac bomber component, any of the Mustang-escorted American daylight bombing raids against Germany would work nicely.

    Air and Ground vs Air and Ground with AA guns

    • [Blank for now]
      I can’t think of any historical examples of such a combination, which frankly seems a bit improbable.  Air versus Air and AA guns would be easy to portray by using the British night-time bombing campaign against Germany, with the German defenses consisting of night-fighters and FLAK guns.

    Destroyers vs destroyers, or destroyers vs cruisers

    • The Channel Dash (Operation Cerberus), February 1942
      The German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen made a daring and successful dash from Brest to Germany, right through the English Channel.  This feat profoundly mortified Great Britain, which had been very disorganized in its response to the situation.  One of the piecemeal actions taken by the Royal Navy was an attack againt the German ships using six destroyers and three destroyer escorts.  It failed.

    Subs vs destroyers or cruisers

    • [Specifics to be determined]
      Probably the best option would be the US submarine campaign against Japan in the Pacific.  I can’t think of a specific example at the moment.

    Destroyers vs subs

    • [Specifics to be determined]
      The Battle of the Atlantic would be the best choice for illustrating this.  It’s too bad the movie The Enemy Below is fictional because it depicts a great destroyer/U-boat one-on-one duel.

    Battleships vs destroyers or cruisers

    • The Battle off Samar [note that it’s “off”, not “of”], October 1944
      Halsey having been lured to the north by a Japanese decoy formation, Admiral Kurita’s force of 4 battleships (including the superbattleship Yamato), 6 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers and 11 destroyers was able to sail unopposed towards the approaches of Leyte Gulf, where the American invasion of the Philippines was under way.  The area was defended only by a small American task unit, Taffy 3, commanded by Admiral Sprague and consisting merely of 6 escort carriers, 3 destroyers and 4 destroyer escorts.  Hopelessly outmatched and caught completely by surprise, the Americans nevertheless threw themselves against the superior Japanese forces with such gutsiness that Kurita withdrew, on the assumption that powerful US reinforcements had to be nearby.  The A&A training exercise could focus on the destroyer-versus-battleship aspects of this engagement.

    Carriers and air vs destroyers or cruisers or battleships

    • Ark Royal vs Bismarck, May 1941
      After sinking the Hood and crippling Prince of Wales, Admiral Lutjens had detached Prinz Eugen from Bismarck and was proceeding alone towards France.  Admiral Tovey, pursuing far behind aboard King George V, had no hope of catching Bismarck unless she could be slowed or stopped.  The carrier Ark Royal, heading in Bismarck’s direction from Gibraltar, launched two air strikes against the German battleship and, on the second attempt, miraculously hit her major weak spot, her rudder, hopelessly jamming it and causing Bismark to lose the ability to steer.

    Carriers and air vs Carriers and Air

    • Midway, June 1942
      Two good options to choose from here, depending on which specific attack (US versus Japan or Japan versus US) you’d like to model.  There was the US dive bomber strike which crippled three of Nagumos’ four carriers in a few minutes; note that the Japanese fighter combat air patrol was absent at that moment (it had been pulled down low by the earlier American torpedo bomber attack, so it wasn’t at its patrol altitude when the dive-bombers showed up).  The Japanese launched a couple of strikes against the Yorktown, which both damaged her, but I can’t recall if the Japanese planes had to tangle with any defending US fighters in the process.

    Any instances of subs fighting capital ships

    • [Specifics to be determined]
      See this thread for examples: http://www.axisandallies.org/forums/index.php?topic=34274.0
      Note that this depends on what you consider to be a “capital ship”.  The conservative definition (in WWII terms) is limited to battleships and battlecruisers; the broader definition includes carriers.  Ironically, Shinano, which was sunk by a US sub, was a battleship that had been converted into a carrier midway through its construction, so it kind of straddles both categories.

    Or any battles to explain the complex interaction between subs destroyers and air (I expect this would probably be the most challenging to lay out from the history.)

    • [Specifics to be determined]
      I’d argue that “explaining the complex interaction between subs destroyers and air” is beyond the scope of what a small-scale A&A training exercise can accomplish, at least in any sort of detail.  Your best bet for a simple exercise involving those units would be to set it in the Battle of the Atlantic, with an Allied convoy as the prize, German U-boats as the attackers, Allied destroyers as the surface defenders, and the air component s being supplied on the Allied side by escort carriers and by shore-based Liberators and on the German side by FW-200C Condors.  The scenario could be semi-fictitious in nature, unless someone here can think of a specific battle that actually used this combination of forces.

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Here’s a possible format for the kind of short historical blurb that could be included at the beginning of each training exercise document.  I picked the Air-vs-Air exercise as an example.  I didn’t include a title, nor any of the specifics of the exercise (the order of battle, the exercise victory conditions and so forth) because those all depend on what Black Elk specifically has in mind, so those elements would best be handled by him.

    –---------------------

    Britain, August 1940.  In the skies over southeastern England, the Battle of Britain has reached its critical phase.  The Luftwaffe, seeking to achieve the air superiority which Germany must have in order to launch a successful amphibious invasion of the British Isles, is sending its planes to attack the vitally important airfields of the Royal Air Force.  The goal of the Heinkel, Dornier and Junkers bombers is to knock out of action the RAF Fighter Command squadrons which have been stubbornly defending Britain’s airspace since July.  Fighter Command’s meager resources are being stretched to the limit to protect the indispensable aerodromes, and casualties on both sides are mounting rapidly.

    Alerted by radar that large enemy formations have taken off from France and are heading westward across the English Channel, RAF Hurricane and Spitfire fighters scramble into action.  The Hurricanes will have the job of shooting down the Luftwaffe bombers.  The high-performance Spitfires will be responsible for tackling the German fighter planes which are escorting the bombers.  The Spitfire pilots know they will be facing one of German’s most effective fighters, the fast-climbing and powerfully-armed Messerschmitt Bf 109.  In the dogfights that will result, the pilots on both sides will have to use all of their skills and the full capabilities of their machines to emerge victorious.


  • 2019 '15 '14

    This is fantastic!  Seriously,  I love it!  I’m going to put this to use in my next multi.  Even for seasoned vets, I think these trainers with the historical blurbs would make for excellent warm ups and refresher (especially for people coming to the newer games like 1942.2 or Global from the older games like Revised or Classic.

    Yeah I can see the difficulty with the tactical bombers. The trick is that with the unit interactions laid out in the rule book Tac Bombers get that bonus +1 to attack when paired with fighters or tanks if that unit interaction was to be demonstrated perhaps a focus on tanks might be easier rather than the fighters. But for the Air on Air I love the Battle of Britain idea with the Stuckas getting reamed hehe. To show how the fighter might boost a Tac bomber I suppose the idea of a vague scenerio in the east would work. I quick sample if needed, but so far I love the battles you’ve laid out. I can already tell this is going to be great fun for my players.

    The example above is great! Perfectly suited

    Once the blurbs are drafted I will totally type these out on “trainer cards” and suggestions with unit match ups for each. So glorious!

    Thanks for always being Johnny on the spot with the historical breakdowns man! These are perfect
    😄


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Black_Elk:

    The example above is great! Perfectly suited
    Once the blurbs are drafted I will totally type these out on “trainer cards” and suggestions with unit match ups for each. So glorious!
    Thanks for always being Johnny on the spot with the historical breakdowns man! These are perfect

    Glad you liked 'em.  Looking forward to seeing your trainer cards if you could post a couple of sample pictures here when you’ve completed a few cards.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    Excellent examples by CWO Marc here. I have one additional suggestion: for “Air and Ground vs Air and Ground with AA guns”, I’m thinking of the Battle of Berlin. The German “Flakturme” definitely played a role in that battle, although they of course also shot at land units, which doesn’t quite match A&A. And while I thought that the Luftwaffe was virtually nonexistent at the time, Wikipedia still mentions more than 2,000 German planes involved in the battle.
    The concept of “defending the capital” would nicely match a characteristic situation where such forces meet on the A&A board.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    I am surprised at the figure of 2000 planes. I thought aviation fuel was a problem and with all the Russian planes in the air, I’d be astounded if they had many successes.
    I have a book on the last year of the Luftwaffe; might see if I can find any evidence to back up that figure.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    @wittmann:

    I am surprised at the figure of 2000 planes. I thought aviation fuel was a problem and with all the Russian planes in the air, I’d be astounded if they had many successes.
    I have a book on the last year of the Luftwaffe; might see if I can find any evidence to back up that figure.

    I was equally surprised, and now that I check the German Wikipedia page, they mention “more than 100 planes”, which more closely matches my perception of the situation. Your book may provide us with some clarity in the matter.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    At a quick glance: LF6 (in the East) had 1524 serviceable aircraft on 9-4-45.
    Only 20 Bombers! Were 641 Fts and 533 Tacs.
    The reasons the numbers were so high are: planes held in storage parks
    For immediate replacement of losses and the shortage of fuel for the piston engined planes. Many sat out the war well defended, camouflaged and dispersed in blast pens.

    I have not been able to see more than a hundred sorties per day.
    The Russians had 7000 planes for the Berlin 16th April battle.
    I did see that on the 7th April 59 ME262 sorties were flown (the highest number) from Jagdverband 44, Galland’s command.

    It is a good book: Alfred Price’s The Last Year of the Luftwaffe.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    Thanks, Wittmann.
    Anyway, the Germans still had some planes left, so the Battle of Berlin might work as an example of “Air and Ground vs Air and Ground with AA guns”.


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