Wargaming in Auckland New Zealand since 1974!


Oh Yeah!Our friends down at the North Shore Wargaming Club (NSWC) look like they have been sneaking in some DBMM240 practice for the tournament this weekend…

Three games were played at the NSWC’s first November meeting and another 4 games at the following meeting (this weekend just passed) – sounds like some serious preparation down at the NSWC! Check out the NSWC Site for the results…

I’ve finally got my act together and written up the DBMM240 conditions for the 6 December 2009 tournament. Please have a read and get back to me with any (sensible) questions. It should all be straightforward as I’ve simply tried to tabulate the important variations into one document, trying to reconcile any inconsistencies in the process. The major exceptions are Baggage and Terrain.

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Early (Ancient) Germans.One of the big challenges facing the club today is the debate in Ancients Gaming between DBMM and FOG. As in many other clubs and wargaming groups around the world at present there is a split between gamers who prefer FOG and those who prefer DBMM – luckily the AWC at least has no odd Ostriches still sticking to DBM (of course there is nothing really wrong with that if its your thing, but its a position causing a 3 way rules-set split of gamers in some areas so doesn’t help unify the scene)!

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The club is organising this to be run on 06 December. This is, of course, the AGM date so entering is a way to have something to do if you’ve nothing else planned. Doors will open at 8:30 for a 9am start with three 2.5 hour rounds through the day. The first round will finish in time for the AGM formalities.

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AATB No.1Last year, 1995, the United States Marine Corps began trials of a modified LVTP7 amphibious APC with a rather interesting Power plant; A gas turbine-driven electric generator of some 750 thousand watts of power production. Electric current from this generator drives two engines on the tracks and two aquajet water drives, replacing the Diesel engine and standard Hamilton Jets. Even including the mass of the complex cooling fans required for the gas turbine, the weight is precisely the same as what has been removed, and in fact the situation for the engine now becomes more flexible; the lighter fuel storage system required has improved the performance of the vehicle by around ten percent in speed.

This is a vindication of the 1990 study by the US Department of Defence that predicted the day of the “ All-Electric Tank “ was within sight; An armoured fighting vehicle in which locomotion, weapons and defences are driven by electricity. This is not Sci-Fi, in the sense of ray-guns, but Science Fiction that becomes Science Fact, and it has some very interesting effects on wargaming.

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AATB No.2Round Robin and knockout competitions have been found wanting in wargames competitions, perhaps the most popular draw has been that known as ‘Swiss Chess”. However, recent discussions with CWS members and observation of the smallish numbers of competitors in many competitions have persuaded me that;

  •  The “Swiss Chess” system is not well understood;
  •  That “Swiss Chess” is not always the best system to use, especially where competitors do not outnumber available rounds by many.

Explanation Of The Swiss System:

The basic idea of the Swiss System is to cater for large numbers of competitors in a tournament of few rounds, allowing all to play in every round, yet retaining the knockout idea of providing a dramatic finish by matching the best two performers in the final round. This is achieved by progressively pairing players on the same or nearly the same cumulative scores. So far, so good.

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AATB No.2In a preceding article Ion Dowman clearly demonstrates the correct way to run a Swiss Draw tournament. One of the important factors in the Swiss system is the “Pairing” of opponents, and consequently how participants are ranked based on their results during the tournament. I would like to make some further observations and comments on this.

An issue that I personally consider significant is whether a Win is of greater value than two Draws? I believe it is, the reason being the artificial constraints imposed by the tournament environment which prevent all games from reaching their natural conclusions. This effectively means those players who are slow (whether intentionally, or unintentionally), who use the Fabian tactics Ion alluded to, or who compete without a reasonable knowledge of the rule set being used can often end up ranked in the middle of the field at the conclusion and having won perhaps only one game! While those who play to complete their games in the time allowed (and perhaps win two games in 6 rounds) are effectively penalised in comparison!

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AATB No.2All to often we play games with little thought about victory conditions, usually just to shoot ’em up and she’ll be right! However with a little effort and time before each game it can be given much greater depth, and consequently be more challenging and interesting to the participants. I would like to suggest some ideas for how this can be done.

Many wargamers play their games in isolation with little “purpose” behind them, the recent suggestion that a gamer’s tactics would change if their opponent got to ‘hit’ each element they lost with a heavy hammer is all too true, and it is this ‘strategic’ purpose that is lacking (we would all be very cautious if playing with the above rule)! The ideal situation to impose this ‘purpose’ is the campaign, this always puts an all new perspective to things, the opponents in a battle may not have the same objective for instance. Unfortunately 99% of the time we do not have the luxury of participating in campaigns (which is a pity) and so we need some way of creating these constraints artificially, one system I have come across is in one of my many rulebooks; “Washington’s Wars”. These rules were designed for French & Indian war action and the American Revolution, disappointingly the rule mechanics and effects on the table did not match the impressive packaging! The rules did however include one good idea about victory conditions and it is a variation of this that I will present below.

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