The idea for FearNaught came from a desire to more closely recreate some of the amazing battles fought in WW2, not individually but as a team. Numerous companies of troops of all types battling it out with a dangerous foe to achieve an overall objective.
If you haven’t attended one of these events it’s crucial that you know how they work as although the mechanics of the campaign will appeal to many I can fully understand they will not appeal to all.
Each campaign weekend is based on one particular theatre of operations, Anzio, Falaise, Gazala etc, to set the tone and also to dictate what’s expected of the forces involved. For example at Falaise where historically the Germans suffered huge losses but still managed to extricate a significant amount of soldiers to further prolong the war. In our recreation the objective for the Allies was to make the most of their situation and cut the Germans off and clearly the German’s objective was to get as many people out as possible. The image below show’s the campaign map on Sunday morning, with the Allies closing in but with still strong German elements holding out and crucially keeping vital bridges and crossroads open to pull troops back in good order.
In a further example we again take our lead from history; we had fierce fighting on Hill 262 all weekend at the Falaise campaign where some of the Polish troops held on for the entire weekend which allowed the Allies bonuses for their artillery (spotting).
What may come as a shock to newcomers is that some of the games are not balanced i.e. although the players may start of with 1500 point each, one player may get significant reserves from ‘division’while the other will not. There are numerous other events where one player or pair players (in doubles games) will get a helping hand. It’s important to stress that it’s carefully noted who gets a helping hand in order to balance things out for the weekend. That is, although you may have had a serious uphill struggle in your game but you can rest assured that another of your own team will have had a boost somewhere along the line.
Other points worth noting are that most games are not scored in the normal (FoW) manner and some games are brought to an end if they look like stagnating. The aim is to emulate real warfare in that while some battles did of course come to a standoff where both sets of troops fought to a standstill or simply consilidated and waited for reinforcements. This set of events does not translate well to the tabletop battlefield, so I usually step in, have a quiet word with all the players and ‘call’ the game. Fortunately, as the Fearnaught regulars are sensible folk, they offer realistic advice and analysis of the game in progress and will admit that “we’re going to need another 5 turns to take the objective” etc. The reason games aren’t normally scored in the traditional manner is because I want to encourage realistic play. What I mean by that is, rather than attempting to pick off one of the enemies weaker platoons for argument’s sake, merely to gain a 5-2 win, I want players to do the ‘realistic’ thing, i.e. rather than take some potshots at a damaged tank platoon to force a morale check you really ought to be concentrating on that healthy tank platoon on your left flank etc etc.
Ultimately, I want everyone to have a thoroughly enjoyable weekend with a combination of singles and doubles games where, at the end of it you feel like, win or lose, you’ve done your part and of course never losing sight of the fact the we really shouldn’t be taking it too seriously.
Here’s a few quotes (of many) that FearNaught has received:
Just wanted to say it was a fantastic weekend and even though my light armoured company got stuffed twice I still really enjoyed it .
Thanks to Alex, Pete E. and all our opponents for making Fearnaught the frenetic whirl of wargaming madness that it always is…
..another great weekend, despite me having to lose a platoon whenever my German allies had to dig in and let me do the hard work of digging out the Brits, South Africans and Indians.
A 572 mile round trip – well worth it though – congrats to Alex and Lee for a great weekend’s gaming. Also to all players for entering into the right Spirit.
I would also like to say many thanks to Alex and Lee for organising the weekend, all three of us from SAD had a great time. Thanks to Colin for pairing with me for the weekend and putting up with my Trained Germans and general numptiness, and to all my opponents for two very memorable and great games. Overall it was a superb weekend, great games, good meals, great company and a special setting.
The high point of the weekend was Alex and Lee constantly getting called back to our table by Legi (Chris Legg) doing his Oliver Twist impression ‘please Sir can I have some more Shermans Sir?’. That or Legi’s ‘I’ve lost the plot’ impression when he was throwing waves of infantry at Barkmann to try and kill him despite the lines of MG42’s covering the open ground he sent them into.
Editors note: Chris did get a lot of support to try and take the bridge but set what surely must be a record in losing 27 Shermans.
Great fun holding Falaise against Chris and Alan’s Canadians, even more fun trying to break out against Sam and Dave…so glad my troops and tanks got sacrificed to save my glory hungry and erstwhile partner Pete (who didnt even mention me in dispatches )…
Two epic games which nearly resulted in me achieving my aim of repeating history and seeing 3 FJ wiped out, after seeing of Oddball & Toby’s French/US forces I was left with 4 stands of FJ!!
Further discussion is available in the Historical section of The Wargamers Forum.
Finally, with over 120 games already played, there has never been a ‘blue on blue’ game (my pet hate)