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Joys Of Wargaming

By Mike Haran
Mar. 29, 2012

Reflecting on past battles on the board I am often struck by the sheer improbability of of such events occuring in real life. I have commanded RAF fighter command during the Battle of Britain, tank crews some time and somewhere I am not quite sure when and where, German infantrymen in present day Afghanistan, British forces in nineteenth century Afghanistan during the great game period.

The pupose of the game is to become involved in war with out the inconveniece of the heat, dust, flies, lousy food and strange smells usually accompanying war; not forgeting to mention the chance of getting yourself killed.

One of my most memorable actions was the time I lost WWII single handedly. I was commanding RAF fighter command. The Luftwaffe were attempting to knock out my airfields so as to have air superiority for Operation Sealion, the invasion of the UK.

It was getting on for evening and time for jerry to call it a day. I had a report of a small raid of ME110's somewhere in Cornwall or Devon so I scrambled a couple Hurricanes. 110's are not much of a problem as the twin engine aircraft was a mistake being inferior in maneouver.Not these babies,they were a special weapons and tactics unit which evaded my hurricanes through some type of Hun trickery and then to crown it all went on to their alternate target, me like a fool not checking on what it was before scrambling my aircraft. Well it was the worst target possible (for me that is): RAF HQ Uxbridge.

The net result was heavy damage to RAF HQ, the single RCAF squadron unable to hold of this elite unit in sheeps clothing. My interterception die rolls were now compromised, steady bombing putting my airfields out of action within week allowing the mounting of Operation Sealion free from air attack and most probably the loss of the UK to the US as a base from which to attack the German heartland.

During this game I began to get sn eerie feeling that I was playing a live opponent (this is a solo game). Let me explain. I had decided to move some of my squadrons to the western part of the country so I moved one counter.Lo and behold when I rolled for my opponent he too moved to the Brittany coast covering the moved unit. What the heck I thought, just coincident. Three squadrons I moved and three times he moved his counters covering mine. It was now more of a game of checkers. How did he know where I had placed my squadrons unless he was actually watching what I was doing?

Another game and another time. I am a tank commander. There is an obvservation tower on a hill. I am on an adjoining hill, a valley separating us. Some gives an order and we are racing down hill in the direction of the tower. Bang:some one has managed to knock out the main gun sights with a lucky shot. What the heck, I continue down the hill at full speed, hatch open, me standing in the turret directing the main gun crew. With the sights out every shot went wide or short, usually by as much as two hundred yards, me laughing my head of at the ludicrousness of the situation.

Never got the tower, had to button up and get out of there. If it had been real some one would no doubt have given me grief for taking uneccessary risks. Hey its only a game!

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About the author Mike Haran: Here is the link to my new web site devoid of any connection with the above which I use as a device to publish my war games,link.

Email: manzikertca@yahoo.com


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