As much as I love the guys I game with, there are times I just want to line them up along the back wall of the bar and shoot them. Two freaking disasters in three weeks due to a simple inability to step away from the hyper competiveness one finds in too many tournament players.
On Memorial Day I attempted to playtest an incomplete set of rules I was working on. No artillery was to be used, straight up infantry fight in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Ahistorical, as the Americans had their hands tied, but I told everyone I wanted to see how the small arms rules looked. So, despite being given more than adequate concealment and BEAUTIFUL fields of fire, the VC players insisted on hiding deep inside of terrain features where the Americans would have to dig them out. Which of course would have never happened without preperatory fire. So, I found out some of the assault rules worked, and it was a fiasco attacking unsuppressed troops. As it should be. As for the actual firefight aspect, I have no idea. Less than a dozen die rolls for fire where made, mostly long range suppresive bursts by US M60s.
Lesson learned, I'm not bothering to do anything new and innovative with the group, as too many individuals can only think in terms of the immediate win.
Last night slightly different story. We ran a Seven Years War game that featured a completely cavalry army vs a mostly cavalry army. The idea was to replicate that part of Kolin where the Austrians launched a cavalry attack to try to take the Prussians in the flank. So, the Austrians had to move across the board on an angle, overwhelm two small Prussian infantry brigades and exit the field with most of their force intact, which was their instructions. Prussian cavalry would emerge and try to disrupt the Austrian advance. I specifically asked the Austrians not to simply block one gap so that we could have a flowing game.
Instead the two Prussian infantry brigades stopped the small force of Austrian cavalry sent against them and the bulk of the Austrians crammed into the one gap and a grinding battle against inferior Prussian cavalry ensued. The Austrians destroyed the Prussian cavalry brigades, as was inevitable given the numbers but were SHOCKED that they lost the game. (oddly enough in between these two games we played an ACW game where one of the Confederates complained, mildly, that the two sides were uneven. Duh. If you are attacking a force your size something went wrong)
I just wish more gamers would play the scenario/period rather than worry about tournament style wins. It would make the hobby so much more enjoyable. And perhaps I'm being a curmudgeon, but after 43 years of wargaming I'm just getting tired of dumb table top behavior.