Welcome to the latest section on Feldgrau.com! This new section will be a place to discuss all aspects specifically related to board wargames with an emphasis on the WWII era. Some examples of these wargames include series like Advanced Squad Leader and Europa, and individual games like Panzer Leader, Panzer Blitz, Bismark, France 1940, Crimean Shield, Operation Spark, DAk, Afrika, and many, many others.
If you are not familiar with what a tabletop wargame is I highly recommend that you read the following info mostly taken from a pamphlet by Franch Chadwick and originally published by GDW, a wargame company no longer around.
Tabletop wargames include board wargames and miniatures. Board wargames are games that conist of physical maps, counters to represent units and leaders, and printed rules and charts. Miniatures wargames are tabletop wargames played using actual miniatures of men, weapons and vehicles. Instead of maps and counters to represent a battle or war, one uses terrain and painted figures and models in various scales and sizes.
Introduction to Board Wargaming
Board wargames are games dealing with wars or battles. But a wargame is much more than just a reenactment of the event; it is dynamic: it re-creates the situation and underlying conditions of the event, showing the major factors which influenced the outcome. It is also competitive: two players vie against one another to win the game, creating a drama and intensity in game terms which echoes that of the real battle. The combination of the two--dynamic and competitive--results in a game that is both exciting to play and representative of the event.
People play wargames for many reasons. They enjoy playing highly competitive games. They have an interest in history (either in general or in military history specifically)--an interest in the events that shaped the world we all live in. Wargaming is a hobby, and, as in other hobbies, sharing your interest in wargaming with other gamers in the hobby is fun.
A board wargame is a wargame that uses a map-board and counters as its basic elements. Although board wargames come in many forms, most have four common features: a map, counters, rules, and charts.
Wargaming is a hobby that has been growing and expanding for decades. By its very nature, each game available is very different from every other game, but all can be categorized into one of three types: board gaming, miniatures gaming, and computer gaming.
The map shows the area where the battle was fought, depicting important terrain, roads, or other features that influenced the course of the battle. A map usually has a grid superimposed on it. Hexagonal grids are most common because they are efficient and easy for players to use, but other grids (squares, irregular-shaped areas, and so on) are possible. Whatever the form, the grid helps to position the playing pieces and to regulate their movement and combat.
The counters represent the historical forces involved in the battle and are usually square, die-cut pieces of cardboard. The printing on them specifies the type of military units they represent, their nationality, and their combat and movement abilities.
Diagram showing map and counters: the arrows show possible movement paths for a unit
The rules tell how the counters move and engage in combat, what the victory conditions are, and any other information needed to play the game. The rules to all good wargames try to show the situation covered by the game in realistic terms: what was and was not possible on the battlefield is or is not possible in the game. Consequently, wargame rules tend to be more complex than those of other games (such as Chess or Risk), but players are rewarded with an exciting and challenging game situation.
The charts summarize often-used game information for quick reference during play. Most wargames have a terrain effects chart, which specifies the effects of terrain on the movement and combat of the counters, and a combat results table, which is used when resolving combat between the counters.
Example chart: Combat Results Table
For more information on board wargaming I suggest you check out the following websites and then feel free to post here to discuss them as they related to WWII in general and the Germany army.
An Intro to Wargaming
Wargaming entry on Wikipedia