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Epic Wargames Meetup IV - 99 Luftballoons - RSR/HFR WWIII Meetup

"You and I in a little toy store buy a bag of balloons with the money we've got

Set them free at the break of day til one by one they were gone..."

This is it folks, the balloon is up!  The Soviets have just a few summer months to defeat NATO in Europe and the North Atlantic before they run out of fuel and political resolve, and internal strife destroys the Communist State.

We are playing the combined WWIII Air/Land/Naval War scenario using TSR's Red Storm Rising and Hunt for Red October board games, both designs based on Tom Clancy's famous books and movies.  I anticipate playing the advanced game rules, long game version with probably all or most of the optional rules in play, including stealth bombers, chemical weapons, decoys, and bridging.

The area of play covers all of West Germany (remember that country?) and Eastern France in the land game, and the entire North Atlantic in the naval part of the game.  In the land game, the Soviets are trying to capture a certain number of NATO cities before time runs out.  The Soviets are the aggressors with an attack-move play sequence to exploit breakthroughs in the NATO lines, while NATO puts up a staunch move-attack defense, allowing it to mass forces then counterattack.  The naval portion of the game is the contest to get supplies and reinforcements convoy from the United States to Europe in time; the results of the naval game replace the automatic reinforcement schedule in the original land game.  The turn sequences of the two games are combined and integrated for the WWIII scenario, and air units can be shifted from one game to another.

James, Dave, Kyle and I have played these games many times over the years and are willing to teach the rules, which are not at all difficult.  This is the Epic Wargame we've been itching to play for the last two years.  The land game and the naval game have distinctly different characters and feel; the land game is a slugfest, area by area, city by city, whereas the Hunt for Red October naval game feels like "naval chess," with a very unique combat resolution system and lethal results.

I don't know how long this game will take, but I anticipate two meet-up sessions at least.  Ideally, the game could require eight players (four on each side, each playing a part), but I am setting this meetup currently for six players with a waitlist.  Those who RSVP should be prepared to come back to finish the game within a couple of weeks; ideally, an Epic Wargames meetup series should meet twice a month so that we make progress and don't forget the rules or what we were doing.

As usual, hot lunch and cold beverages and snacks will be served before the game.

"It's all over and I'm standing pretty, in this dust that was a city

If I could find a souvenir just to prove the world was here

And here is a red balloon, I think of you and let it go..." - Nena

 

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  • Charles P.

    After an Americana lunch fare, we dove into the complexity of the combined game. James and Sean played the NATO forces, while Dave and I played the Warsaw Pact. I am not as familiar with the Red October rules, so Dave took the lead in the naval war, although we played it as a cooperative command. Over in the Red Storm game, I commanded the northern sector, while Dave took the Southern sector, including the Fulda Gap battle. We set up the game, and played - with much rules checking - the first 2/3 of the first turn. In the North Atlantic, I set up a double line of subs to block the convoy and James deployed his subs to clear the way. The net result of the sub war was the loss of two Tangos and a Victor by the Soviets and the Brits lost two Trafalgar class subs. This is about even up losses. Meanwhile, two Soviet naval task forces chugged through the Danish Straits, led by the carrier, Kremlin. NATO failed to detect the fleet, but thinking that the lead force was beyond Soviet..

    June 23, 2013

    • Charles P.

      Like the Soviets, NATO's ground attack aircraft overall suffered significant casualties and were only somewhat effective, except for the three air units that James deployed for interdiction in the south - we don't dislodge them and they did affect our movement. The NATO counter-attack in my northern area was generally ineffective and did not push me back. In the south, NATO was unable to regain ground in the South Fulda Gap and instead formed a line in front of Nurnburg. However, the NATO counter-attack in the Northern Fulda gap was surprisingly effective, James rolled several one results on the d10, and destroyed the Soviet 47th Guards Armor Division and 27th Guards Mech. Infantry division. The ground war of the first turn ended with one NATO armored division crossing the Iron Curtain into East Germany.

      June 23, 2013

    • Charles P.

      And that's the epic first turn. Please go back and start reading from the top for the full account.

      June 23, 2013

  • Sean

    Excellent as always, Chuck is a great host. Warsaw Pact ground forces didn't crush us as badly as we expected, and the Soviet subs are being slowly swept from the seas. Played 3/4 of one turn in about 7 hours ... Loads of fun! Only thing better would be playing with bikini models.

    June 23, 2013

  • Sean

    Read the rules to both games twice, will still need to refer to the rules as we play to remember little things (like support, "stacking", etc.). Seems that its tough in the ground game for Warsaw Pact to come to blows, NATO is much more maneuverable, but when they do it's bye-bye most NATO forces. And in the oceans, NATO controls the sea lanes, WAY too much detection for Warsaw Pact to deal with. Again, whoever is my partner, just remind me on stuff like assets, etc.

    June 22, 2013

    • Charles P.

      Yes, until the Galactica shows up and starts providing orbital bombardment and Viper support to NATO ground troops. Then it's all over unless a Cylon Basestar shows up to support the Warsaw Pact.

      June 22, 2013

  • Sean

    I volunteer to be ground commander for either side if that okay with whoever is fortunate enough to me on my team ...

    June 22, 2013

  • James

    We are awake. unless something weird happens, we are on target to get Sean and arrive at 1.

    June 22, 2013

    • Charles P.

      You roll 2d10 needing sevens or less to hit, and you roll an eight and a nine.

      June 22, 2013

  • James

    Kyle Hons called me a little while ago, he can't make it. Looks like 4 left. Unless someone else joins, we could go 1 land and naval commander each side of nato / Pact, or split each side so that each player has a land / naval play action going on, on each board. See you all there.

    June 21, 2013

    • Charles P.

      Those Kyles!

      June 21, 2013

    • Charles P.

      We shall destroy you Capitalist pigs! *CLANG!* What was that Comrade? What? We've been hit! We're sinking... help, help, SOS, SOS, Mayday....

      June 21, 2013

  • Charles P.

    Just as an aside, I stumbled today on a KS project to re-make and modernize Kremlin, the game of bribing, blackmailing, and sending people to Siberia. I still have my original AH version. He is designing it as three versions of the game in one box, the original Kremlin reprinted, AH Revolution reprinted, and a modernized version of Kremlin with all of the modern suspects. Here is the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1649598142/kremlin?ref=category

    June 19, 2013

  • James

    I think it was each naval turn is 2 land turns? got to check. SO Naval people should be doubled up with perhaps a land or air.
    Definitely at least one Pact and one Nato Ground guy. Maybe one all nato air, one all pact air. But after placement, they are more or less modifiers. I'll look at the maps and see. Might be have all six have duties on the sea map, and all six have duties on the land.

    May 9, 2013

    • James

      Yup and yes agree both.

      May 10, 2013

    • James

      It's two naval turns to a complete land turn. So naval impulse, Sov attack, sov move, naval impulse, Nato move, nato attack. End turn cleanup. Supplies and assets for nato determined by convoy arrivals. Typical results for nato naval transport vs red force subs and naval air assets from kola peninsula will be some reinforcements arrived damaged, but could be wiped out or arrive free and clear if one side gets lucky or super skilled. I am getting amped up for this already.

      June 13, 2013

  • Charles P.

    The Plan (sort of): I have two tables. I plan to put RSR on one table and HRO on the other. Both tables can be covered when not playing. I ask everyone involved, if possible, to try to read the rules to the game before the meet-up if you can find a copy somewhere and you have not played before or have not played in a long time. If needed we will review the rules before the game starts. It is more likely that players will not be familiar with HRO. If we need to review or explain the rules before playing, I will probably take the air-land commanders at one table and James can explain the HRO rules to the player from the other side who will primarily be playing the naval game. Of course, it would be good if all players knew both games. We will also have to review the long WWIII scenario special rules together before we start. I will have made a checklist table so that we can check off the parts of each integrated turn as we play so that we know where we are in the turn sequence

    June 6, 2013

    • James

      again still working on this.

      June 6, 2013

  • James

    Also, I will continue with my edits of the rules for clarity that I began last year. Make some player aids and such.

    May 9, 2013

    • James

      Doing more on this this week.

      June 3, 2013

  • Charles P.

    Eight Players: I have received some inquiry as to whether I'd expand this to eight players. As of the time of this posting, there is still one open spot for the six player game so it's not a immediate concern to expand it to eight players. However, I am hesitant to go to eight players in any event because of scheduling issues created by so many players. My experience with Here I Stand playing with just five players pointed to the difficulty of schedules for a multi-game that will likely require multiple sessions to play.

    May 14, 2013

  • Charles P.

    The game could really use eight players, but I have limited it to six because I think that is more manageable. I've never had eight players in a game at my house before. With six players, there will be three on each side, chosen randomly. Divide it up however you want, maybe an Air Marshal, Admiral, and Commanding General, or maybe one player in the naval game and two sharing land-air sector commands on the land board. We'll figure it out.

    May 9, 2013

  • James

    Signed Kyle Hons up for this. I expect he'll attend.

    May 9, 2013

  • James

    Yeah, this Series Chuck has planned is gonna be the spiffiness. We played similar last year, I was the Warsaw Pact, they were giving me fits with the 82nd and 101 running around in the rear area supply cities, cutting my logistics train, but the hordes of T-72s, backed by Chem, drove and drove west. Very close game. I don't care if I win or lose, it's a great contest. Looks easy, but it's not. Looks difficult, but it's easy. Got to play it to see what I mean. The actual core rules of the thing are pretty simple.

    May 9, 2013

  • jeffrey f.

    Two of my favorite modern war games. Wish I could join you but have my Navy reunion that weekend. Hope you have fun

    April 2, 2013

  • James

    What you guys don't know is this used to be my favorite song when it came out. I learned it in German, and English. ...Everyone's a Captain Kirk! That was a pretty good writeup, Chuck.

    March 31, 2013

    • Charles P.

      Yes, I had the cassette single, English on one side, German on the other. In the old days, I could sing either (not saying that I could sing outside a suitcase).

      March 31, 2013

  • starwolf

    cue the heavy synthesizer! This will rock!

    March 31, 2013

4 went

  • Charles P.
    Lord of Felines, Assistant Organizer,
    Event Host
  • starwolf
    Will Play Anything, Organizer
  • James
    Assistant Organizer
  • Sean
    The "Game God"

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