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Makes one hunger again for early war CM2.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Sea_Lion_(wargame)

"The German first echelon attack was launched at dawn on 22 September 1940 and consisted of 8,000 airborne troops and 80,000 infantry landed in amphibious operations. The invasion fleet suffered only minor losses to Motor Torpedo Boats, however the Germans lost about 25% of the barges used for the first echlon when these were destroyed on the beaches. During this 24-hour period the Royal Air Force lost 237 aircraft (about 23% of its fighting strength); the Luftwaffe losses amounted to 333, also about 23% of its aircraft. Naval engagements were indecisive at this stage as the Royal Navy was still assembling its main destroyer fleet to attack; but a small force of destroyers, supported by the cruiser HMS Manchester, attempted to reach the invasion beaches from Portsmouth, and were easily sunk by the German destroyer and S-boat escorts. The larger ships of the Royal Navy Home Fleet (including battleships, heavy cruisers and aircraft carriers) were not to be committed due to their vulnerability to air attack and U-boats.

The Germans managed to advance a dozen or so miles inland and even captured the ports of Folkestone and Newhaven but the docks at Folkestone had been thoroughly demolished by the British rendering them more or less unusable. British and Commonwealth forces were moved to fully engage in the battle with the first counterattack on 23 September, halting the advance of the Germans towards Hastings and recapturing the western bank of Newhaven. German paratroops were also pinned down by long-range artillery directed onto the captured aerodrome at Lympne by stay-behind forces. At this stage the Germans had few tanks (including amphibious tanks) and only light artillery ashore. An increasing shortage of ammunition was slowly forcing them back towards the sea. The Germans asked "Hitler" if the nighttime bombing of London could stop and the aircraft used to support the invasion. The request was denied. By dusk on 23 September the Germans had the assault troops 10 divisions ashore, but most were halted by counterattacks, and were awaiting the remainder of their equipment, stores and personnel on the second and third echelons."

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On 4/16/2020 at 7:34 PM, Bartokomus said:

that would be an amazing "what-if" to play, i'd pay for it 😉

Well too late now but Paddy re ran the game on the 26th April 2009 and I was the ground umpire.

An interesting insight into the process and often these games are better in your imagination than in practice. 

;)

I just checked the cast and Andreas who used to frequent here a long time ago took the role of Hitler. Watching a German play Hitler was very interesting and he was perhaps too good at it!

I have the debrief that I  might post some notes from if there is interest. 

I think our version was a pale imitation of the original game and Paddy was past his peak and perhaps should not have tried to re live it...

As it happens due to lockdown I am currently running a Sealion Battalion level Kriegsspiel game for some of the Oxford Wargamers but it just focuses on a small action around the River Arun...

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5 hours ago, Holien said:

Well too late now but Paddy re ran the game on the 26th April 2009 and I was the ground umpire.

An interesting insight into the process and often these games are better in your imagination than in practice. 

;)

I just checked the cast and Andreas who used to frequent here a long time ago took the role of Hitler. Watching a German play Hitler was very interesting and he was perhaps too good at it!

I have the debrief that I  might post some notes from if there is interest. 

I think our version was a pale imitation of the original game and Paddy was past his peak and perhaps should not have tried to re live it...

As it happens due to lockdown I am currently running a Sealion Battalion level Kriegsspiel game for some of the Oxford Wargamers but it just focuses on a small action around the River Arun...

I would love to hear more about your game with Paddy... this kind of wargaming history fascinates me.  Much like the invasion of Fulda wargame (late 70s I think) where General's Balck and von Mellenthin commanded the NATO forces defending against a Soviet invasion. 

You're making me wish I lived in Oxford.  There are no wargame  organizations like that near me sadly. 

Bil

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Hi Bil,

Hope you are still enjoying your wine, as it happens I know a few folk in the DC area and once this play test is completed I  plan to run it for them, I shall invite you at same time. Better to keep folks together in the same time zone. 

A few years ago I ran a Vietnam Hue map game for them just via locked forums on the Kriegsspiel web site.

As for Paddy's game when I get on my PC I will see what of interest I can share.

I seem to remember you have moved south of Richmond? 

My yearly trip in July to Historicon looks very doubtful at this stage so I need to focus on online gaming, the chaps in DC are using discord not sure what they are playing but hopefully I will get an insight soon...

Stay safe...

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To answer that important question... Maybe but not shown at that level of detail....

I have searched my Photo archive and it would appear I have none of that day which is a pity in hindsight but at the time I was pretty busy and I tend to live life through my eyes rather than be one of those always taking photo's and then missing the experience.

What I have found is the e-mails sent to me with the briefings and game structure plus the end of game debrief.

Some Samples of the umpire sheet written by Paddy and to give you an insight of the days structure

Quote

However, please note that the structure of this game is not like that of a normal 'Kriegsspiel' / Map Wargame, or Megagame, in which there are many turns, in each of which a set of detailed player 'orders' are processed in detail by a large team of umpires. Instead, it is intended to be much nearer to the structure of a Diplomatic Crisis Game, in which the players spend most of their time talking to each other, referring to umpires only relatively rarely and lightly. That is why I am prepared to go up to 60 players with only 5 - 8 umpires (although on the day it is quite likely that we will get no more than about 40 players).

In any case we have effectively got little more than 4 hours of playing time. This means that we will be able to cover only two main playing (or 'decision-making') phases:-

i) Initial planning and getting the Germans (or whatever small percentage of them will be able to manage it!) across the Channel. The key question for German players is to determine just where they will be aiming for; and for British players to plan their deployments and how they will fight - in this phase while the Germans are still at sea. Two 'weekly' rounds of dice rolling will take place in this phase: one to see what damage is caused before the invasion is launched (mostly by air), and one to see how many Germans will be able to get ashore in the first wave (especially with the naval battle).

 

ii) Landing the Germans on the beach and then exploiting inland. The key question for German players is to determine the main thrust lines; for British to decide the main plan of defence on land. Note that in this phase I expect the volume of business will become too much for the umpires, so we will have to start fudging wildly: we don't have the resources to conduct a careful map game. But we do need to draw some approximate lines on the map to establish German progress (or lack of it), so once again dice will be rolled in two rounds: one to resolve the battle of the beaches (and on the Fallschirmjaeger's target airfield), and one to see what happens in the 'break out'.

 

- After which, in the debrief, we will be able to make some sort of (totally fudged) assessment of (iii) = Whatever final outcome might have resulted from it all.

With something like this there will be a lot of fudging to recreate Sealion in 4 hours, so were there "Schwimmwagens?"

Yes some where in the fudge...

Some notes from Paddy's debrief

Quote

 

It was unfortunate that the initial advertising by Duxford, which was finalised around Christmas-time (ie before my plans had been finalised), did not actually state that the Sealion day would contain a game, and indeed would consist of far more game than lecture. This left room for misunderstanding, since the regular attenders of the 'adult learning special interest days' were apparently expecting straight lectures. Two of them did in fact walk out at the end of my two lectures, and before the game, although (thankfully) everyone else stayed on and seemed to enjoy the game. The fact that they walked out was doubly disappointing to me because my lectures had been designed to explain and extol the virtues of both historically-based wargaming and informed historical speculation of the 'what if?' variety (sometimes called 'alternate history'). I had especially tried to explain some of the many different fictional 'histories' that have been written, in one way or another, about the supposed 1940 Operation Sealion.

(Further on in the debrief )

....Obviously I had not pitched my lectures at the right level, because at least two of the audience drew the conclusion that the whole area of games and speculative fiction was 'not historical'. In particular I bitterly regret my use of the word 'fudge'. I used this word to mean 'cutting through to the essential truth rather than slavishly following a complicated set of rules'; but too late I realised that some people took it to mean just 'making things up as you go along' - ie using all the arts of 'fiction' in its purest form. In retrospect I see that I should have gone in heavier at an academic level over this point, perhaps starting with Pascal's dictum that 'If the nose of Cleopatra had been a centimetre longer, the whole face of the world would have been changed'. This conveys the essential truth that big events are sometimes decided by very small events that might easily have turned out differently. Unless you are a total determinist who believes that nothing can possibly stand in the way of what Tolstoy called the 'locomotive of history', which puffs on remorselessly along its pre-laid tracks, you surely have to accept that history moves from one cross-roads to another. At each one there are choices that may well go either way, depending on very small influences. Hitler MIGHT have decided to launch Operation Sealion in September 1940. It is 'historical' to record that in fact he didn't: but it is equally 'historical' to remember that he might easily have done so and, if he had, to look into what subsequent crossroads he might then have encountered.

 

It was an interesting day and fell between two stools which left many unsatisfied in what they had hoped for.

Some had thought it would be just lecturers and for the older portly lady cast as Herman Goering it was a tad too much to bear and she left.

For those of us expecting more gaming it was lacking and fudged too much.

It was a useful day to attend and learn from and did give me a better insight on Sealion and there were some funny human moments that still make me smile like seeing Andreas in full on Hitler mode...

He was even mentioned in the debrief as he made a big impact...

Quote

 

(a) The Top Jobs

However, casting the specific roles of Hitler and Churchill turned out to be a real headache. I had three retired officers of general rank on my books, so I successively offered the role of Churchill to two of them, and Hitler to the third. No joy! But fortunately Mark REDACTED tipped me off that Andreas REDACTED would make an excellent Hitler - as indeed he did. He played a very forceful & historically aware Hitler, and he is in fact German (unlike Hitler himself, of course!).

 

This left Churchill. My third pick, on the day itself, turned out to be no more lucky than the first two, since the person concerned walked out as soon as (or because of?) they were selected. But fortunately a hero then came forward to fill the role very well - and victoriously!

 

 

So when you see things like this noted on the WWW don't let your imagination run wild, the reality might not always be up to your imagination. Just remember the Wizard of Oz and what might really be behind the curtain!!

For me 11 years older it is usually all about people and how well they work with one another and the leadership from the top and how that filters down. That is usually what is more interesting to watch...

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What I have found photo wise is some of the games I ran where I had a bit more time, this is an image of the small scale Sealion game I ran in June 2009, it is a map and counter game where the players do not get to see the master map and the umpires move the units based upon the player orders.

038.JPG

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6 minutes ago, Holien said:

What I have found photo wise is some of the games I ran where I had a bit more time, this is an image of the small scale Sealion game I ran in June 2009, it is a map and counter game where the players do not get to see the master map and the umpires move the units based upon the player orders.

038.JPG

Board games always simply a nice moment with friends before and after the battle !

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@Holien Fascinating.  So it was more of a Free Kriegspiel type game.  I guess these games planned for groups of individuals who are expecting something else entirely are a shot in the dark.. still I like the idea of using games to teach a lesson.. how many of the participants actually "got it" I wonder.

Very interesting post, thanks for sharing.

Bil

Edited by Bil Hardenberger
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4 hours ago, Holien said:

What I have found photo wise is some of the games I ran where I had a bit more time, this is an image of the small scale Sealion game I ran in June 2009, it is a map and counter game where the players do not get to see the master map and the umpires move the units based upon the player orders.

Once upon a time I thought of proposing a game using a thread posted in the GDF as a way to allow the forum to participate in such a scheme, but forum games are against the rules, so there went that idea.

I do like the method of not allowing the players to see the real dispositions, whereupon they must rely on their own observations, reports generated by the game master, and their own notes to generate their operational plan. It's a great way to enforce a fog of war.

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21 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

Once upon a time I thought of proposing a game using a thread posted in the GDF as a way to allow the forum to participate in such a scheme, but forum games are against the rules, so there went that idea.

I do like the method of not allowing the players to see the real dispositions, whereupon they must rely on their own observations, reports generated by the game master, and their own notes to generate their operational plan. It's a great way to enforce a fog of war.

I have over the years run many of these games and the insight you get is really important to understanding how battles happen.

It is usually more down to the orders and when units receive them than the actual combat. It is difficult to explain and I  will try and note some examples from my current Sealion game which finally started last night once I got orders from the last allied player.

Usually I run them FtF and try to have an umpire per player so with 3 a side we end up with 6 umpires and me.

Each umpire talks to their player to work out what they intend.  This then gets brought back to master map in an area away from the players eyes and ears. I collate the information update the map and resolve any combat. Each umpire notes what their player should be aware of and then goes back and updates the player.

Messages between players are sorted by me and sent to the right player after the appropriate time delay. 

The key to winning is usually how well players coordinate and respond to messages and the situation,  combat often the least important aspect...

Running a  pbem version is a bit more of an overhead for me and trying to get every one lined up harder...

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On 4/20/2020 at 6:46 AM, Holien said:

It is usually more down to the orders and when units receive them than the actual combat. It is difficult to explain and I  will try and note some examples from my current Sealion game which finally started last night once I got orders from the last allied player.

Single players can, to an extant, experience this by giving themselves too much mental load. I'm using my spare time currently to play through War in the East for the first time. The Soviet Grand Campaign in particular as I felt that learning the game while playing the Soviets would make thematic sense as during most of 1941 I didn't really understand the game particularly well and am becoming more confident now that 1942 has rolled around.

However, because the scale is so large it has been difficult for me to utilize the global scope of information I do have to always make optimal decisions. For example, I spent much of the Winter '41-'42 counter-attacking around Leningrad in grueling battles to create more depth around the city. It was only with a few weeks of winter left that I realized that a significant portion of the Southern Front around Odessa was held by Hungarian and Romanian troops, and that by attacking there I could cause far more material damage and relieve pressure around Leningrad. My eventual attack in the South pocketed a few Divisions but the spring thaw left me largely empty handed.

In a smaller scenario I would have been more able to "math out" the game and make optimal decisions but because the scale is so large that doing so is prohibitive you start to add back in soft factors that can give you some insight you wont normally get.

Within the context of CM you can generate a similar overload if your computer can support Battalion+ engagements on large maps as the complexity can start to obscure what would be obvious in a Platoon scale match.

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So I said I would furnish some examples that is all about decisions and less about the actual combat. Attached is the current area of operations where the German player is tasked with crossing the River Arun.

The German player does not get this detailed view until they have been in the area for a length of time and then I start to feed them these A grade maps.

The A3 Map is the quality the Germans get to begin with. The key with any of these games is understanding the terrain and how to use it. As a commander maps are absolutely key. In the ACW period they rarely had detailed maps, some commanders even brought Map Makers along with them Stonewall Jackson employed an amazing chap called Jedediah Hotchkiss. He is one of my mapping heroes and Jackson was capable of great things in the Valley because of his maps.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedediah_Hotchkiss

Anyway I digress...

So examples of decisions rather than combat affecting the outcome of the game.

Allied player rightly blew the bridges at New Bridge but failed to put any thought into the foot bridges...

Result the Germans are crossing at Guildenhurst foot bridge.

The Allied player put units in Paplands Hanger woods and the buildings just South of the woods and the German player just tried to rush units in open across the bridge. Result lots of dead Germans. Eventually they worked over the allied positions but a simple fire mission on the possible enemy locations would have saved a company of infantry from dying.

The Allied player then made a key decision to pull back a heavy weapons company from the woods just before the Germans woke up to the fact that they should be shelling with artillery those woods. Again combat little effect and the Allies saved a Heavy Weapons company.

With hidden movement and only being updated when things are revealed it is about the commanders decisions rather than the combat. Of course the dice rolls do have an effect and it can sway a battle but often it is more about the decision of where things are located.

CM is often about that too...

Seelowe Map.JPG

A3 Map.JPG

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