For the sixth year in a row the HAWKs supported an officer professional development event for the 114th Signal Battalion. The first year, the event just included the officers, so we ran just a single game. Over time, more and more of the battalion’s leadership have been corralled into the event. This year we had almost 40 officers, senior NCOs, and civilian staff of the battalion.
Last year we had a similar number of players and tried to get them into a single game. It worked out okay, but there were a number of players who were in reserve and didn’t get to see much action. This year we divided the training audience into three groups and ran the same battle on three tables — with a twist. The scenario we chose was the Battle of Laon, 1814, from the Napoleonic Wars. This is from our soon-to-be-released scenario book on that campaign. On one table we ran the game historically, as a Napoleonic battle. On the second table, we ran it as an American Civil War Battle, with the Rebs taking the role of the French. On the third table, we ran it as a France 1940 WWII battle, with the French taking the role of the — French.
Dave Wood and I ran the Napoleonic game. Eric Schlegel and Chris Palmer ran the ACW game. Sammy ran the WWII game. He was going to be assisted by Ed Duffy, but we had some overflow folks, so Ed ran a modern skirmish game for a few extra players with the rules he has been developing. (I haven’t had a chance to play this yet, but it is getting rave reviews from those who have!) The three “main” battles all used variants of Look, Sarge, No Charts.
Many of the players did not realize until the battles were over that they were fighting the same battle on each table.
After the games ended, I facilitate an after action review with the staff. It was interesting to compare the various plans and schemes of maneuver across the tables and then to discuss how the battle developed and differed from the plan. I tried to point out some tactical lessons, because some day, these folks might need to use these skills on a real battlefield.
I think the event was both fun and interesting. Thanks to Sam Fuson for inviting us and to the other HAWKs for supporting the event.