Monday, 20 May 2013

Preparing for COW

COW (the annual Conference of Wargamers that is organised by Wargame Developments) will be taking place in early July, and I have just begun to plan a possible session to put on.

For the first time I will be trying to stage a planning/map-based wargame, and it will be based on Operation Vijay. This was the military operation staged by the Indian Armed Forces in 1961 that led to the liberation/conquest of Goa and its incorporation into India. (I use the terms 'liberation' and 'conquest' because the opposing sides – India and Portugal – saw it in those respective terms.)


In 1961 the Indian Army was still very 'British' in style and equipment, and many of the senior officers had served in the British Indian Army before Independence. The same was also true of both the Indian Navy (which operated a mixture of new and second-hand warships acquired from the UK) and the Indian Air Force (which operated Hawker Hunters, English Electric Canberras, and Folland Gnats). The game will therefore give players the opportunity to plan an operation using equipment and tactics with which they may well be reasonably familiar.

The map-based wargame will then see the players (the Indian Armed Forces) put their plan into operation against the umpire-controlled Portuguese ... although I might try to find someone who would be willing to take on the role of the Portuguese Governor of Goa, and who could plan their defence of the colony.

All that I need now is a large-scale map of Goa ... and that is proving to be a bit more difficult to get hold of than I had expected!

18 comments:

  1. You'll no doubt let me know if there's even the thinnest excuse to produce any toys...

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  2. Tim Gow,

    I had not considered it before ... but it might make for an interesting small Megablitz game, fought out over a cloth terrain.

    The Indians would need a 1945-era British Infantry Division and a Parachute Brigade (plus transport for the latter). The Portuguese would need little more than a few small infantry and light armoured units (British armoured cars/Recce units?). Triangle 1:1200th-scale Minic warships would be sufficient to represent the Indian Navy, and some Hawker Hunters would be ideal aircraft for the IAF.

    The more I think about it, the more I like the idea. If I produce the maps and briefings, could you provide most of the toys? If so, we can run it as a joint session.

    What do you think?

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Bob

    Looks interesting. I looking forward to seeing what Tim pulls out of his toy box for this one.

    Cheers
    PD

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  4. I really should know when to keep quiet....

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  5. I suppose it would be too much to hope for elephants. They'd take a bit of knocking over in a funny little wars version of this idea "we will need much bigger cotton buds..."

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  6. The Portuguese were using EBR-75s and Stuart light tanks in Africa then, not sure what they had in Goa though.

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  7. They had 4 Recce squadrons; there is a photo of knocked out Portugese "armour" which consists of Willis Jeeps with what look like Humber IV a/cars (at first I thought they were Saladins)& possibly Dodge 3/4 ton trucks. Other photos show what look like US style trucks.
    They had some elite Cacadores as well as some African troops. Photos show troops in shorts with (?) Italian steel helmets & WW2 US & British small arms (inc Sten). The Police & Customs units have peaked caps.
    The Indians may have had some armour; there are vague mentions of an "armoured division" as they thought the Portugese had heavy armour. Indian armour would be either Sherman, Centurion or AMX13
    Neil

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  8. Peter Douglas,

    You and me both! Tim Gow has such a large and eclectic collection of stuff that I am not sure that anyone - even Tim - knows exactly what is in it.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. Tim Gow,

    You said it ... and I am not going to contradict you.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Ken H,

    I regret to say that I don't think that elephants will be making an appearance ... but you can never be quite sure with elephants!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Nigel Drury,

    Without giving much away, the answer to you question is ... not a lot.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. Tradgardmastare,

    What a terrible pun!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  13. Neil Patterson,

    Your researches have brought up similar answers to mine, and I suspect that the Portuguese are going to end up with armoured cars, Jeeps, a few trucks, and lightly-armed infantry that are equipped with World War II weapons ... and that the Indians will not have much more modern 'kit'.

    I also read about the use of an Indian 'armoured' division, but I suspect that this might be tank support allocated to the infantry division used for Operation Vijay.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  14. I never saw a Purple Cow,
    I never hope to see one;
    But I can tell you, anyhow,
    I'd rather see than be one

    Gelett Burgess, 1895

    The Best of Luck at CoW

    CCF

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  15. CoastConFan,

    I had never read that before ... but I am pleased that I have done so now!

    Very amusing!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  16. As I understand it Goa had developed its own unique culture but of course it must have been a massive threat to the rest of India and Third World countries like India could not be termed imperialist; that was only the nasty white countries. James O

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  17. James O'Connell,

    You might think that ... but could not possibly comment!

    Needless to say, most Indians that I know regard the invasion of Goa as the 'liberation' of a European-occupied part of India. I don't think that the Portuguese saw it that way at all!

    All the best,

    Bob

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