Tuesday, 15 June 2021

WW2 West Front 1944 Campaign game 01 on a A4 3x4 grid with 6mm forces


This is mission 1 in a campaign following a British company through 1944 France.  I am using 6mm forces and playing on a 3x4 grid on a A4 page.  I did a similar East Front campaign in 2017.

I am still playing another 6mm East Front campaign on a 2'x2' table but this one is quicker to setup and play.

I was looking for a un-fiddly game – something on a 6x6 that was not too dynamic.  I thought about using One Hour Wargames as I have some 6x6 grid rules I could use but while they provide a great tactical game, I find the atmosphere of them a bit bland.

I also wrote some of my own for ancients and WW2 but then remembered I had the 3x4 rules and game!  Hoping it will scratch the itch for a campaign that is quick, no measurements, and fairly simple rules but has tense and tricky tactical decisions.

Lastly, you may note the pink case that the battlefield (well A4 sheet) is in.  This is my daughter's document case that she no longer uses.  In mission 3 I went into my storage and got out a wooden box I had made and used that rather than the pink one.


I am using my own rules.  I have modified the ones I used in 2017 to be 1d6 for all rolls, rather than 1-3 per attack.  They are likely to change slightly as I playtest them on the games.   I am using Platoon Forward to generate the missions.

The rules are here: ww3x4 Advancing Companies V2.0b.pdf

In summary, most units move 1 square and can fire out 1 square and non-firing units are seen at 0 or 1 square.  Stacking is 3 units of one side per square.  Each turn normally has one square activated (random side but a chosen square) and units in that square can fire, move or rally.  Then the other side activates a square.  After each side has an activation there is a special melee phase where opposing units in a square fire at each other. Play another turn and keep this up until one side's morale fails.

Mission 1

Luckily a very simple mission was generated.  Two German sections defending a building with most of the British company (8 sections) with mortar support sent out to destroy it.  How hard could that be?  Well, the Germans are vets and the company is green...

It is 1944 and a UK infantry force is attacking a German recon force. The UK mission is a raid on observation post.

The force is ordered to raid into enemy territory to destroy an observation post.

The terrain is rural, with some wire deployed:

Stream | Road |1-3 buildings

Key building | Crops |Crops

Open | Hill |Crops

Brush | Rough |Open

The battlefield - listening post top right, Russian entry at bottom.

The stream is represented by a pond as I do not yet have a stream.  A stream would block infantry from crossing so it basically makes the top square inaccessible, as would a pond.

Victory is to spend at least 4 turns engaged in combat and cause several enemy casualties. Lose if do not capture a prisoner or observation post or inflict casualties in the 4 turns of combat.

Major Victory is achieved if capture a prisoner or observation post without sustaining significant casualties. Minor Victory if spend at least 4 turns engaged in combat without receiving major casualties and cause several enemy casualties.

The UK force enters in zones 10-12. The German force deploys in zones 1-6.

Note: Observation post needs to be on high ground (hill, building etc). Zone 3. The counter-attack force are reinforcements that enter on turn 3 after shooting starts.

The UK has green morale for its eight sections and two leaders. No support.

Preparatory artillery consists of 2x25pdr. Available indirect support is 2x3" mortars.

The German has veteran morale for its two sections and one leaders. They start dugin. No support.

The counterattack force consists of 1xSquad.


Co HQ Godfrey (Green)

1 Plt HQ Spencer (Green), 1 Plt 1 Section Burns (Green), 1 Plt 2 Section Knowles (Green), 1 Plt 2 Section Davies (Green)

2 Plt HQ Rowley (Green), 2 Plt 1 Section Turner (Green), 2 Plt 2 Section Wade (Green), 2 Plt 3 Section Hartley (Green)

3 Plt HQ Burns (Green), 3 Plt 1 Section Manning (Green), 3 Plt 2 Section Hanson (Green)

Note: although Rowley and Burns are in the game they are intrinsic to a squad.  They are not represented on the table as leaders so cannot add a bonus to rallying. It is the way the scenario is generated that specifies the number of on-table represented leaders.


All the Germans - 2 Gruppe in the building aka listening post.

Germans deploy the 2 Gruppe with the listening post in the rearmost building.  Wire is placed in front 9hasn't been placed yet in image above).  It is impassable to infantry so they will need to assault from the centre crops or the road 
9units may move diagonally0.   Although only two Gruppe, a third will come on as reinforcements.  They are veteran so will recover from suppression easily and the hard cover protection of the building means they will only be suppressed, not routed unless assaulted in the same square.  This means the British will need to enter the square to engage at close range (each square is about 150mx150m) to actually rout the Germans. The Brits are green and will struggle to unsuppress.  For France, I will assume Crops also has hedges and so will offer some protection.  Use of mortars will definitely be required to suppress the Germans so the British can assault the listening post without being slaughtered on the way.

The lack of any MGs on either side is frustrating for them both.  MMGs have a range of 2, while normal rifle squads have a range of 1.  The Germans cannot stop the British early, and neither can the British setup a MG on the hill.


25pdrs suppress the Germans.  Not unexpected.  But they should be able to recover in time – veterans with a leader.  They do a turn later.

1st and 2nd British platoons arrive.

Mortars move on while the 1st platoon continues the advance.

Brits get a reinforcement – the 9th section.

All the Brits on now.

The company is now all one square away from moving into the crops, which then has access into the building.  Plan is to supress the building with the mortars and then advance.

And now the Brits are in a good position

OK, German units suppressed, move up 1st platoon.

1st platoon in position

The Germans get a chance to unsuppress (3+on a d6).  Only one succeeds.  Spencer and the 1st platoon goes in!

First platoon assaults.

Note on the rules: Each side alternatively activates a square. Units in an activated square may move OR fire OR rally.  After every activation, every square that has units from both sides conduct a melee phase where units simultaneously fire at each other.  Units that just moved into the square cannot fire but may be fired upon (to reflect defensive fire) and suppressed units that cannot normally fire can fire in the melee phase at a penalty (last stand).  If all a sides units are suppressed and there is at least one unsuppressed enemy unit in the same square, all that sides units will retreat.  This seems, at least to me, to neatly capture combat at the scale of a square (150mx150m).

The unsuppressed Gruppe fires – no effect.

Melee phase: one 1st platoon British section suppressed and all Germans suppressed.

Lots of suppression but no units lost on either side.

Allies get two activations so move up Rowley's 2nd platoon next to the house.  No point doing fire in the house with the 1st platoon sections as Germans are in hard cover and can only suppress them and they already are. Note: Can’t read my own rules properly – at range 0 the hard cover no longer counts as both sides are in the same situation. 

In the melee phase a British section suppressed and in the following turn the Germans all unsuppress.

Next turn.  One British section lost, one German Gruppe suppressed.

And then another British section lost to German fire L

Not looking good.

The last British section is supressed and there are unsuppressed Germans in the square at the end of melee so the British retreat.

Hmm.  It has been four rounds of combat and no casualties inflicted. Victory conditions have not been met . I will call it a loss for the British who will retire from the battle.

Post-battle status

Co HQ (Godfrey) 2XP gained.

1 Plt HQ (Spencer) routed during the mission and will not be returning.

1 Plt 1 Sect (Burns) routed during the mission and are ok to continue. 1XP gained.

1 Plt 2 Sect (Knowles) surrendered during the mission and are not replaced.

1 Plt 2 Sect (Davies) routed during the mission and are not replaced

2 Plt HQ (Rowley) 2XP gained.

2 Plt 1 Sect (Turner) 2XP gained.

2 Plt 2 Sect (Wade) 2XP gained.

2 Plt 3 Sect (Hartley) 2XP gained.

3 Plt HQ (Burns) 2XP gained.

3 Plt 1 Sect (Manning) 2XP gained.

3 Plt 2 Sect (Hanson) 2XP gained.

3 Plt 3 Sect (Williams) 2XP gained.


Tough game – really shows why MMGs were invented.  The Brits may have been able to take the building with a new round of mortar suppression and assault except the aim was minimal casualties and they did not do that. I really like that the rules show how difficult It is to dislodge a small number of dug-in veteran units.  I thought it was going to be hard for the Brits to win and it was harder than I thought! A good small game that shows me the rule at working how I want them.  Future missions have more opposing forces.

Saturday, 13 March 2021

Battle of Tigranocerta 69BC using Ancients Battlelines Clash


This is game 55 in play testing my ancient rules by replaying historical battles.  I am using my rules Ancient Battlelines Clash.  I am in the process of writing up some revisions to the rules.  I am play testing the rules by replaying all the Peter Sides scenarios from his Historical Battles books.  ABC is designed to finish in around 30 minutes on a 2’x2’ table.

 Battle of Tigranocerta

Mithridates has sought refuge in Armenia. Lucullus, on behalf of Rome, demands that the Armenians give up Mithridates.  The Armenians refuse to do so and so Lucullus invades Armenia.

Here are a few internet links of interest I used for this replay:

Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tigranocerta

Luke Ueda-Sarson's DBM scenario: http://lukeuedasarson.com/Tigranocerta.html



Romans (with some Armenians in the foreground)

3 Legions, Heavy Infantry, elite, line relief, medium missile protection

3 Allied Legions, Heavy Infantry, line relief, medium missile protection

3 Velites, Skirmishers, javelin

2 Heavy Cavalry

1 Light Cavalry, bow

1 +1 General with the Elite Legions.


All trained.

Breakpoint: 9



Armenians (also in shot are some flanking Romans on the hill)

2 Phalanx, poor

2 Allied Heavy infantry, poor

6 Medium infantry, poor

3 Skirmishers, javelin

3 Cataphracts, poor

6 Light Cavalry, bows

1 -1 General with the Cataphracts in the centre.


All trained.

Breakpoint:  16


Scenario changes

The Peter Sides scenario had all the Roman units on the flank on the Armenians.  For this battle I followed the two internet sources above and had them mostly facing each other with some Roman legionaries on a hill on the flank.


Deployment – Armenians at the top, Romans on the left hill and a the bottom


The Romans advance their right flank, the centre but leave the left flank cavalry in defensive mode to protect the flanks of the advancing centre legions.

The flanking legions charge into the Cataphracts

Overview of Roman first moves.

Cataphract routs.  The Roman legion pursues into the next one

Roman pursues into the next Cataphract unit.

This one also routs.  Onto the next one. And then the next one.


All Cataphracts routed.

The Legion continues through the all the light cavalry.  The game is not over yet but has certainly turned into Rome’s favour.

Elite legion with general at the end of stunning flanking attack sequence.

The Armenian right flank light cavalry advance onto the centre legions and the opposing heavy cavalry.  Both are disordered and the Light cavalry evade.

Light cavalry inflicts some damage and evades

The lone legion on the Armenian right is disordered by skirmishers and then subsequently attacked in the flank.  But they stay in melee at the attacking Armenian infantry is disordered.

Legion attacked in the flank.

Roman right flank cavalry charges in, all are disordered.

Roman cavalry (right flank) V Armenians

Centre advances, the left flank heavy cavalry charges the light cavalry that cannot evade as did prior.  Locked in melee.

The Phalanx meets the centre legions – skirmishers wipe each other out.  The phalanxes are poor, there are more legions than phalanxes so melee will be slightly in favour to Rome.  All are disordered.

Phalanx Vs legions.

The right flank light cavalry disorders an opposing infantry unit that advances into the adjacent legion but they are locked in melee.  The Roman cavalry is routed by the opposing infantry!

The Roman right flank. 

The flanked legion on the left flank routs.

The Roman left flank

The left flank Roman heavy cavalry routs the light cavalry, pursues into another infantry units, routs that and pursues into another infantry unit but is held in melee.

Heavy cavalry stopped by an infantry unit

Light cavalry charge into the rear of the legion.  Won’t do much as they are light units but it will give the advantage to the Armenians.  But alas, not in time.  The other phalanx –legion melee sees the phalanx routed.

A routed phalanx

The Armenians have reached their breakpoint and flee the battle.



This felt like an epic!  I think it was the number of small engagements that happened- normally there are just few melees going on – 2 flanks and the centre.  This one felt like the battles were a lot more localised.  The superiority of the Romans was offset by the larger numbers of the poorer Armenians.  So even after seeing off the Cataphracts, the battle was still a hard fought affair.   It was a great game and one I enjoyed more than the others for some reason, probably the variety and variability of the troops.

If I was to replay it I would only have one Roman legion on the hill.  There only really needs to be one, and it was only 3 cohorts that were on the hill in the actual battle.

This was the last of nine games in the timeframe I loosely called “Republican Roman games”.  I started organising these scenarios (reading, converting troops numbers etc) to replay in March 2020!  I have started looking at the next block of 13 historical games “Early Imperial Roman” for Vosges 58BC to Mons Graupius 84AD.  If past experience is anything to go by these will take me into mid-2022.  My mojo is back so maybe faster, who knows?

Monday, 1 March 2021

East Front 1943 Salkov Campaign, Mission 02. 6mm WW2 on a small table


This is mission 2 in a small campaign I am doing to get in some 6mm WW2 games.  I am using a variant of Platoon Forward to generate the missions and opposing forces.  I  started with a Russian green company and they are still all green. While the game narrative is all handcrafted, the mission status may seem a little dry as I am using a spreadsheet to keep track of the Company and also to generate the missions.  Second game in and I change from my own rules to give the recently released Rapid Fire Reloaded a go.


It is 1943 and a USSR infantry force is attacking a German infantry force. The USSR mission is a hasty attack.

The advancing forces have come up against an enemy position that needs to be cleared.

The terrain is mixed, with some wire deployed:

Key building | Woods |Light woods

Hill | Light woods |Light woods

Open, road | Orchard |Key building

Primary Objective (1) - Key Building

Victory is to capture the primary objective. Lose if do not capture the objective.

Major Victory is achieved if capture objectives with minimal casualties. Minor Victory if capture objective but take major casualties.

The USSR force enters in zones 7-9. The German force deploys in zones 1-6.

The USSR has green morale for its nine sections and four leaders. Support includes MMG, 2x75mm gun.

Available indirect support is 2x82mm.

The German has regular morale for its five sections and one leader. They start dugin. Support includes MMG + tank hunters + Heavy Tank .

The battlefield

Note: I am treating Light Woods as soft cover but visibility is 24 into Light Woods for moving units.

USSR Forces


1 full Company.

CoHQ Ldr (Salkov)

1st Plt Ldr (Formin), 1st Plt 1st Section (Amelin), 1st Plt 2nd Section (Vetrov), 1st Plt 3rd Section (Yeltsin)

2nd Plt Ldr (Shulgin), 2nd Plt 1st Section (Zimkov), 2nd Plt 2nd Section (Bogrov), 2nd Plt 3rd Section (Letov)

3rd Plt Ldr (Tokarev), 3rd Plt 1st Section (Milyokhin), 3rd Plt 2nd Section (Perov), 3rd Plt 3rd Section (Slobozhanin)


2x75mm AT Gun + tows

2x82mm mortar in indirect support.

German Forces


1 Zug HQ

   5 Gruppe

   1 MMG

   1 tank hunter team

1 Tiger I

All regular morale


Where to defensively deploy the Germans?  I usually just set most of them up and then for a few have an occasional die roll to choose between some likely spots.  I may need to go think more on a plan more along the lines of Platoon Forward of allocating units to cards and allocating cards to locations.  Not for this game though – I want to play and not spend even more time tinkering.

The Germans have ended up with a defence centred around the building.  There is not really a reserve – the units of the hill could be a reserve if the Russians attack through the heavy woods, and if attacking via the hill the woods is the reserve.  The Tiger is a sort of reserve – will depend on the Russian line of attack.

German deployment

The Russians have it really hard in this game.  While they have a 2:1 advantage, they are green and so not great with morale tests.  They do have indirect support and in this game will need to use it to be able to win.  I think they will come around the right flank using the buildings and woods as cover. 

Rules used (a change)

I have been playing using my own rules for quite a few years. For this game I am playing using Rapid Fire Reloaded (RFR). I have already had one game with 20mm forces and hopefully can use RFR rules for the campaign.  For this game I am using 1 base = 1 squad = 2 RFR figures (so a base needs two casualties to be routed.  RFR is similar to rules I used 10-20 years ago - Take Cover!! - and my rules are derived from Take Cover!! So hopefully RFR can be the ruleset I can use, with only minor tinkering I am sure will be coming!  And converting inches to centimetres.


The Russians move on the table.  It is weird - playing games for so long that are limited activation and now going straight to an IGO-YGO with no limits on the number of units that can move!

The Russians have moved 1st platoon (Formin) to in front of the orchards, 2nd platoon (Shulgin) leading; 3rd  platoon (Tokarev) and Salkov (Company HQ) are in front of the buildings.  The MMG is currently amongst the buildings but will move forwards as the infantry advances.  The AT guns are  heading for the edge of the orchards, once Formin has scouted in front to see that it is OK.

Russian entry.

The German MMG opens up on Formin’s platoon and Amelin’s section routs.

MMG opens fire!

Vetrov and Yeltsin move their two remaining 1st platoon sections in a race for the woods – smack bang into the Gruppe at the edge of the words!  Well, there goes the plan of stopping at the woods to call in the mortars.  The Gruppe is eliminated at the cost of Vetrov’s section. Formin’s platoon is down to one section but they pass their morale test.

Russians 1st platoon runs into a Gruppe

The ATguns have unlimbered and the 2nd and 3rd platoons continue to the far side of the woods.

Rest of company continues advances on the right flank

The German pour fire from the hill into the remnants of the Formin’s platoon – Yeltsin’s section - but do no damage whatsoever.    

Formin calls in the mortars that hit their target and rout the Gruppe supporting the MMG.  They also suppress the MMG (this rule borrowed from Rapid Fire for infantry under indirect fire). The AT guns open up on the MMG with HE but for no effect.

Gruppe gone, MMG suppressed.

The Russians continue to pour fire into the MMG but (amazingly poor dice rolls) fail to inflict anything. The MMG is unsuppressed and fires at Formin and Yeltsin’s section and they rout.  1st platoon is no longer in the battle.

The 1st platoon, just before routing.

Shulgin’s 2nd platoon make it to the edge of the woods to the right of the building.  They are spotted by the Germans who open fire on them from the building, the MMG and the Tiger.

Advancing Russians, the lead elements are spotted.

Only one of Sulgin’s platoon section’s  is routed (Zimkov’s), and the entire platoon is pinned.  Shulgin calls in the mortars but no effect.   Tokarev and his third platoon moves to the edge of the wood.  As does Salkov with the Company HQ.

The second and third platoon at the edge of the wood.

The Russians pour fire into the building – mortars, ATguns, Shulgin’s 2nd platoon, Tokarev’s 3rd platoon and Salkov.  They manage to eliminate two Gruppe and the Zug commanding officer.  The Germans check morale and out off the table.  The Russians have reached their objective!

The last German Gruppe in the building

Post battle

The mission resulted in a major victory.

Company HQ Salkov survived the battle.

1st Platoon Leader Formin bailed with others during the battle.

     1st section OK, leader Amelin OK.

     2nd section OK, leader Vetrov OK.

     3rd section lost many and is full of replacements, leader Yeltsin OK.

2nd Platoon Shulgin survived the battle.

    1st section lost many and is full of replacements, leader Zimkov OK.

    2nd section OK, leader Bogrov OK.

    3rd section OK, leader Letov OK.

3rd Platoon Tokarev survived the battle.

    1st section OK, leader Milyokhin OK.

    2nd section OK, leader Perov OK.

    3rd section OK, leader Slobozhanin OK.

Company status

Zimkov: Leader Salkov, morale Green, experience 4.

1st Plt Ldr: Formin, morale Green, experience 4.

1st Plt 1st Section: Leader Amelin, morale Green, experience 4.

1st Plt 2nd Section: Leader Vetrov, morale Green, experience 5.

1st Plt 3rd Section: Leader Yeltsin, morale Green, experience 0.

2nd Plt Ldr: Shulgin, morale Green, experience 4.

2nd Plt 1st Section: Leader Zimkov, morale Green, experience 0.

2nd Plt 2nd Section: Leader Bogrov, morale Green, experience 5.

2nd Plt 3rd Section: Leader Letov, morale Green, experience 4.

3rd Plt Ldr: Tokarev, morale Green, experience 4.

3rd Plt 1st Section: Leader Milyokhin, morale Green, experience 4.

3rd Plt 2nd Section: Leader Perov, morale Green, experience 4.

3rd Plt 3rd Section: Leader Slobozhanin, morale Green, experience 4.


The Rapid Fire Reloaded rules worked really well.  There was only one gap on whether the Panzerfaust could fire on infantry (it has 4xd6 HE).  I don’t normally and checking the Rapid Fire rules they can only be fired on infantry in hard cover.

The Russian MMG never got line of sight to any unit to participate.  In hindsight they should have setup with the ATguns.

After playing this game, I dug out my own rules from 2014 that were a streamlined version of Take Cover!! (a Rapid Fire clone). They play very similar to Rapid Fire Reloaded. There are a few things in there that I may add to my games, mainly just to help playing solo.  The first thing I added in 2014 was a simple card deck where red = one side, black the other and when drawing a colour you activated a unit on that side.  The uncertainty helps when playing solo.  May do that for the next game.  The only other thing could be a -1 die modifier penalty for infantry moving and firing.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Battle of Orchomenus 86BC using Ancients Battlelines Clash


This is game 54 in play testing my ancient rules by replaying historical battles.  I am using my rules Ancient Battlelines Clash.  I am in the process of writing up some revisions to the rules.  I am play testing the rules by replaying all the Peter Sides scenarios from his Historical Battles books.  ABC is designed to finish in around 30 minutes on a 2’x2’ table.

Battle of Orchomenus

After the Battle of Chaeronea, Mithadates Vi managed to scrape up another army to face Sulla.

Here is an internet link of interest I used for this replay:

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Orchomenus



Roman forces

3 Legions, Heavy Infantry, elite, line relief, medium missile protection

3 Allied Legions, Heavy Infantry, line relief, medium missile protection

3 Velites, Skirmishers, javelin

2 Heavy Cavalry

1 Light Cavalry, bow

1 +1 General (Sulla) with the Heavy Cavalry on right.


All trained.

Breakpoint: 10



Pontic army

3 Phalanx, poor

2 Allied Heavy infantry, poor

4 Light infantry, javelin

2 Skirmishers, javelin

1 Cataphract

2 Heavy Cavalry, poor

1 Light Cavalry, bows

1 Scythed Chariot

1 General (Archelaus) with the Cataphracts on left.


All trained.

Breakpoint:  11

Scenario changes

I drastically reduced the number of light infantry in the Pontic force but they still have more overall units than the Romans. 


Roman on the left, Pontic on the right


The only way the Romans are going to win this in the infantry battle in the centre.  Their left flank is equal to the enemy, and the right is inferior (so will hold back both flanks).  Of course, the Pontic side know this and will be aggressive with their left flank!


Romans advance the centre, Pontic advance the cavalry flanks and launch the Scythed chariots.

Scythed Chariots contact the Roman line

The Roman skirmishers manage to rout the chariots.

The Roman centre continues their advance.  The Pontic cavalry left flank is so close to Sulla.

Pontic Cataphracts and heavy cavalry advancing on Sulla’s heavy cavalry.

The Roman line makes it to the enemy.  There is a of missile fire that goes on between the skirmishers and also the peltasts at the legions.

Roman battle line encountering the enemy

Summary for right side:  skirmisher missile fire sees the Pontic one retire, Pontic infantry then advances, Roman skirmisher retires, Pontic infantry continue to move into legions.  Combat ensures and one phalanx retreats, legion pursues and another melee.    All done via reaction and dice rolls.  I have said it before but this is what I like about the rules – very solo friendly!

Roman battleline right side.

The left battleline flank was easier to resolve – skirmishers retired and legions advanced.

Roman battleline left side.

Wow!  In the Pontic turn for battleline combat they lost 3 heavy units while the Romans lost none.  Mainly due to the Pontic are Poor units so at a disadvantage. 


Three Pontic units lost

Archelaus contacts Sulla! Sulla retreats off the table.  Archelaus follows!  Both leaders are counted as lost, although there are rules that will allow Archelaus to come back in a few turns.  But if the Romans can destroy another unit, they will reach their breakpoint now and free the field before Archelaus has a chance to return.

Archelaus contacts Sulla!

The Romans manage to rout two light infantry.  This is enough to make the Pontic army reach their breakpoint and so flee the field.  Rome has won!



Rule changes

None!  That is good news due to the multiple minor changes I made to the rules. 


A great game and a bit of a nail biter – can Rome defeat enough in the centre before their inferior cavalry flank is overwhelmed?  In the actual battle, Sulla did through in his cavalry to allow the infantry to win the battle.