Saturday, 15 August 2015

Under an August Sun?

More Tannenberg

Not quite an August sun today, a bit rainy in fact, so time to update the blog.

I like to take a difficult book on holiday with me, the sort of book that is hard to read on a train journey without falling asleep. This year it was....

I bought this in February 2014 when I started work on my Tannenberg game. I have had it on my desk since then and have made various attempts to get through it. I have now succeeded and found that it is a very good book.

Dennis Showalter provides a very insightful analysis of Russo-German relations from 1870 onwards. Although he has a heavy weight style of writing, especially on the political and strategic background, the description of combat operations is simply superb. Perhaps one of the best descriptions of a battle since "The Battle" by Alessandro Barbero! Critical points are that neither side knew where the other actually was and neither side really knew the other's intentions. German corps and divisional commanders frequently did what they wanted, when they wanted to, so top down direction was very difficult.

I also had the opportunity to drop into Claymore in Edinburgh the other week. Probably my favourite show. I bought a game....

With a hundred counters, this is a brigade level game of the battle against the Russian 2nd Army around Tannenberg. It looks very good, although Decision Games have had to carry out major surgery on their Fire and Movement standard rules to make them work for this battle. The rule book is therefore a mess. Other than that it looks very interesting.

So guess what, I have dusted off my Tannenberg design and got on with it. The map is now done, hurrah!

I now also have a more informed view of the OOB, it will be corps level for the Russians and division for the Germans. I have also better understood the movement dynamics and scale following the descriptions of the operations in the book. 

The combat model was the sticking point last time and I have now resolved to use the Worthington Games approach in Holdfast, i.e very simple. It will be interesting to test this out.


Jonathan Freitag said...

Regarding to book reading and travel, I tend to do the same. Otherwise, I fall asleep at night as I try to read. On a plane, I can get in lots of reading.

For your Tannenberg campaign, have you examined Peoples Wargames, "The Cossacks are Coming?" I keep that one on my eBay Watch List. Some day, I will grab it.

Old Trousers said...

Hi Jonathan, Thanks for the tip. I have had a look at the game on BGG and the Oregon Consims sites. The mapwork looks great. I wish I'd seen this before I started on mine!