Principles of WWII Play Tests June 2022

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Game 1 - Play Test 9th June 2022

The first play test for Principles of World War II.

I was asked by a couple of friends to see if I could put together a WWII version of the Principles of War rules. The game is designed for large scale action with the basic unit being the company. Today’s game had a 1943 Panzer battalion and a Panzer Grenadier battalion supported by a company of heavy tanks (Tigers) and two batteries of A/T guns and two batteries of self-propelled artillery.

They were was opposed by two Russian tank brigades (one line, one guards) each with one light tank battalion (Coy), one medium tank battalion (Coy) and an infantry battalion of two companies plus a leader and supporting A/T units from a tank destroyer brigade.

The game went well with lots of feedback and things to look at over the next few days.

Game 2 - Play Test 15th June 2022

After the first play test last week I spent the weekend working through the issues raised and simplifying the firing mechanisms. Today Graham and Karl played the second play test game for the new Principles of World War II rules.

The game had a German Panzer battalion and a Panzer Grenadier battalion supported by a heavy Tiger company faced off against a Russian Tank Brigade and a battalion of Russian infantry with two batteries of 76mm A/T artillery. To keep the game focussed on the combat systems we played a simple encounter game ignoring the orders and objectives.

The game went well with the Panzer battalion coming off second best in a fight against the Russian armoured units supported by the Russian A/T guns. The Tigers were initially deployed far from the action and took time to move up but proved to be extremely effective at long range shooting.

In the centre a company of Panzer Grenadiers defended an area of ruins against a strong attack from two companies of Russian motorised infantry, while the Russian infantry battalion moved to flank the Germans after the T34’s had forced the Panzers back.

The game worked well and everything fell into place so looking forward to some more play testing.

Game 3 - Play Test 22nd June 2022

This play test game will be a Commonwealth combined arms brigade (one tank battalion & one infantry battalion) attacking a Volksgrenadier battalion plus supports deployed in several company strength entrenchments with minefields.

The game went well with the Allied armour rushing up the right hand side of the table and coming under long range A/T fire. The Allied use their off table supply to suppress the German defensive position in the woods while their recon units rush ahead to find gaps in the minefields for the armour.

The Allied infantry command comes under fire from the German off table artillery supported by on-table 120mm mortars and infantry guns. The infantry attack is slowed and brought to a halt as companies start to break.

Once gaps have been found the Allied armour rushes through the gap and moves round to skirt the wood. The Germans move their Stug platoons from their central reserve position to catch the Allied armour as they rush through the gap between the wood and table edge. The Stugs catch the first unit of Shermans as they move round the wood but cannot stop them exiting the table.

The after game conversation lasted through to midnight as we went through discussions about: -

1. How best to handle speculative off table artillery fire.

2. How best to encourage players to use combined armour and infantry instead of rushing the tanks off on their own.

3. The need to design the army lists to make the organisation of formations on the table clearer.

4. Thinking about how best to work initiative, either alternative player movement as basic PoW. Or both players roll initiative for all officers at the beginning of each turn then the leaders move in sequence from highest to lowest. This involves both players during each turn but seems to have some timing issues and a little confusing for players at first.