Saturday, December 14, 2013

My own gaming weekend

Now that I live in a house of our own, it would be a shame to let that space go to waste. To avoid that, I hosted a weekend of gaming at my house. PaukarlahtiCon I called it. Perhaps calling the event a convention is a bit much but I had 15 people over, many of whom stayed throughout the weekend and I was happy I could accommodate them.

The main event was a 6 player game of Battlegroup Kursk. A few familiar faces and a couple of my regular opponents have been collecting WW2 in 1:72 scale for a while and they can pool together large battles now. I've been doing a little bit of 1:72, but contributed only a couple of terrain features, a  Stug assault gun and an Opel Blitz truck into this game. It was nice to attend a game which other people have worked hard on to realise for a change.

The scenario was set during the first soviet attack on Prokhorovka during the battle of Kursk. Our game organizer said the model ratio on the field was something around one model equals three tanks, so the scale was quite appropriate. Here's some pictures of the action with comments.

The table was 6 feet deep and 12 feet long. Three "standard" 6x4 tables side by side. On the bottom left you see the main Soviet tank assault. On the top left, you can see my portion of the forces. ordered to take the farm on the top right. Along the right table edge are German defenders. Infantry and guns fot the top half, mostly tanks on the bottom half. There is a German detachment in the farm in the center of the table.

German assault guns wait for Soviet attackers.

The Soviet T-34's with tank riders.
My forces (Some tank riders included, as well as a bunch of tanks in reserve)

Some German defenders facing my tanks.

The Soviet attack begins! The T-34's ride fast straight towards the German defenders and deploy infantry.

My Soviet forces advance similarly and lose a couple of tanks to enemy fire (German Marder II's in defense).

My tank riders bail out and swarm the enemy entrenchments.

At "the bottom", several Soviet tanks are destroyed and create an obstacle in the narrow pass between the farm and the table edge.

Lots of losses are taken but my forces reach the farm. It is not given without a fight though.

The advance is costly but the trench is taken as well.

In the center, Soviet reinforcements test the German lines but are destroyed by AT gun fire.

The situation at game end. The attack at the bottom of the field has halted at the center farm. On the top, my forces have cleared the farmstead and are poised to flank the German line. The Soviet losses have been unacceptaby high however, and the scenario is a clear win for the Germans.
Battlegroup Kursk seemed like a fun set of rules to play WW2 on this scale with. The rules for movement, firing and morale are easy to grasp and quick to play out. They reminded me a bit of Epic Armageddon actually. The rules for close assault felt a bit odd, however. Groups initiate and continue their close combats by spending order points, which is voluntary. This can lead to groups getting locked down in close combat for a long time if neither player spends points to continue it. Morale checks to enter close combat weren't modified by strenght ratio either, so 10 men assaulting a position held by one man would have the same chance of losing their nerve as against 20. I suppose it's just fog of war then, but it can lead to the player getting frustrated.

Also, I think tank battles feel a bit claustrophobic in 1/72 as the tanks start out what would be very close indeed for real world tanks. 

The "main hall" on saturday night.
Wings of Glory

I also got the chance to play a game of Battletech Quickstrike. I didn't break out the alphastrike rules as I hadn't print out the unit cards for it yet. The game was a straightforward take and hold affair and ended up in a clear defeat for my side. We agreed that the jump pack rules require some tweaking as light jump mechs are super fast enabling them to easily get behind enemy mechs. They are also difficult to hit because their to hit modifiers are affected by their maximum speed, not by how much they actually move.

The city looks a bit green. I think I'll have to get some grey or brown basing for city blocks.

The mechs engage in a close range firefight.

All in all, the weekend was a great success. I'll definitly host another one when I'll get the opportunity


  1. This sounds awesome. I've wanted to hold one o these in our house. We've got the perfect basement for it.

    1. Lately I've been leaning towards the idea of playing several smaller games throughout the weekend rather than one big game. I have the space for three or four tables in the house and maybe three more once the workshop is complete, so I'll be able to host on a bigger scale next summer. With the additional value of barbecue and sauna.