Sunday, 22 January 2017

Game 50 - Lingevres, Normandy, 1944 - Reliving the Past...!

Waaay back on June 24th, 2012, we posted details of our first game with Rapid Fire. So, for Game 50, what better way to celebrate than to re-fight it and see just what we've learned - straight from the mouths of a jaded Grognard, and an enthusiastic recruit into the chaos enjoyment that is wargaming...

In the intervening years, we've celebrated new rules, cheered at the nostalgia of old rules, set the world to rights in terms of how wargaming rules should work and laughed at the pretence of artificial complexity that is 'those games that were considered so bad as to not feature on the blog'...whose societal members shall of course remain nameless.

So, here we are. Unlike the first time around, this was very much a beer & pretzels (or tea and biscuits) style affair. We've both become less jaded, and learned a lot; all of these games occurring amidst the external influences between us of career change, the joys of publication, the lesser joys of legislation, teaching a new generation of management and chasing money in somewhat nefarious industries - and of course - being p*ssed off with Rogue One when no one else seems to realise how bad it was...*sigh*  On with the game...

The terrain has changed, but the song remains the same. Two battalions of British with armoured assets try to seize the village and crossroads from elite German units.

British units on the start line, hoping to spot German armour early on. They succeed, and the first Panther is taken out early with a shot from the Firefly...(with audible cries of dismay heard at the bottom of the street)...

 German units consolidate, with Panzerfaust ambushes finding their mark.

 British units get out of the open ground as quickly as they can - where German mortar fire was uncannily accurate.

 German units hug the cover, making a general nuisance of themselves, splitting the British attack into flank maneuvering, whilst the British infantry get bogged down.

 German units eventually moving back as the flanks become the axis of advance - allowing infantry free reign to rotate back to the town in significant numbers. This was a mistake on the part of the British...

By turn 8, there was a strong British armoured presence on either flank, but the second German Panther had arrived to ruin everyone's day.

 German infantry by now had become well ensconced in the town.

 As British ATGs get into position, looking for that lucky flank shot...
 ...the Firefly is looking for a more advantageous shot...right up the Panther's...

 ...As successive waves of British armour drift closer to their doom.

 By the game end, the Firefly flanked and killed the Panther, but it was too late. There wasn't enough British infantry capable of moving in to take the town, and time had run out.

'Can't you bloody well see that we're pinned down here man!'

As usual Rapid Fire is just that - rapid and easy on the mind. That's no bad thing, as we had a lot of catching up to do, and could chat freely as we played.

The Good
Rapid fire is quick and decisive. DON'T get caught in the open.
The charts are quick and easy - tank combat, infantry combat, morale, spotting HE and Arty - all very easy.

The Bad
It's still squads acting like companies in a convivial bathtub format.

The Ugly
It leaves out command, suppressive fire, unit ratings - but we didn't want that today anyway...

Rapid Fire still has its place, and we will come back to it. Next up, there might be some operational WWII or a shot at the new 'Combat HQ' which is a similar level at least to RF and Command Decision, and is crying out for a playtest...

...and hopefully we won't leave it so long this time :)


  1. Looking good, Darren. Rapid Fire, i find, fulfills that inner megalomaniac in me that will allow me to play a huge battle if i can find the time to paint everything up. I think the more troops and units you out on the table, the better the game gets, if that makes any sense?

    Keep your eyes peeled for version 3.

    1. Thanks mate. Yes, I'd heard a rumour about Mk3. We actually used the original first edition here, as second gets a bit fiddly with tank crews running about etc.
      (You realise of course, this is just another rehearsal for Able Archer :) )

    2. Excellent! Keep it up! Watching with marked interest. Perhaps we should have a linked campaign!

    3. Ohhh that's a nice idea.
      Perhaps could use a map from Tac Air to co-ordinate campaign.

  2. Duc,

    Looked like a pretty cool fight, interesting maneuver and counter maneuver, seemed the Brits really had to work hard to corral that second Panther.

    I hadn't heard of Command HQ, hope you guys go to that one next.


    1. Thanks Jack - the lack of British infantry in the later shots is probably down to them having to use all of teh cover available as they caught in a crossfire of MGs and mortars in the open.
      COmbat HQ is

      I still have the free download version - talk to me if you need it. ;)

    2. Thanks, Duc, let me take a look.

      I've actually been thinking about operational level games, probably one stand=one company, using the Lardies IABSM-style activation and D6 movement, but with simplified fire/morale. I'd let you know how it goes, but who knows when I'll get to it, too many projects!

      And I liked Rogue One ;)


    3. Ah - yes we have tried Field of Battle where one stand is a company - but will await your games with great anticipation. We're also looking at a larger game of Market Garden where one stand is a battalion in 'Megablitz' or Hexblitz (free on internet) style - quite possibly using Memoir 44 cards for activation. So many ideas here, as I guess Bastogne could also be done.

  3. A nice scenario and a good read. This months Miniature Wargames has an article based around Rapid Fire and 15mm. I thought it was a pleasure to see such veteran rules still getting onto the pages of modern media ..... your post adds to that treat.

    1. Thanks NOrm. I must look at that article. It did bring back memories too.
      I have old pics of games from the 90s. (I had less grey hair though...) I must put them on the blog. The photos were 'developed'. None of your camera phone nonsense in those days.

      I also thought that hexes might work well with the Rapid Fire rules you know, for thought.

  4. Nice report Duc, great pictures and figures, an intense and beautiful looking game!

    1. Thanks Phil. That's a great complement.

  5. ...and strangely no one commented on the little jibe that I gave Rogue One at the start :)

  6. Rapid Fire eh ? Some excellent scns abound but the rules themselves lose appeal rather quickly. But they certainly play as stated.
    Btw I quite liked Rogue One as a stand alone saga not expecting much maybe ?

    1. Yeah, I guess I knew already, but I think the appeal is in the quick setup and quick decisions without book flipping.
      PLaying a game off two sides of A4 with little activation headaches, while chatting at the same time on a relaxing Sunday, has its appeal I guess.
      I have always played it to death, then left it alone for years. I think there are some gaps that can be filled with the odd rules revision, but I always end up asking 'why complicate it'. It has its place I think...

      ...while Rogue One doesn't have its place LOL! I was sold a Heist movie in a trailer that didn't make it into the movie, and I got a crappy war film. I want my money back grrr :(

  7. ...of course, I could still be convinced on the Battlegroup series...