Sunday, May 3, 2015

6mm WW2 Russia 43 Iron Wedge Red Guards scenario with MWR

Introduction
I have acquired a lot of WW2 rules for company/battalion (1 figure = 1 team/squad) over the years and have not played most of them.  My aim is to use the Russia ’43 Red Guards at Kursk Skirmish Campaign book and use a different ruleset for each scenario.  I am going to scale the scenarios up from skirmish to the level required by the rules and then scale the measurements down from inches to centimetres to play on a small board with 6mm figures.

This is my first battle in the series and so will start with something not too complex.  I am using the Mechanised Warfare Rules (MWR) rules by Andrew Thomas and available from Irregular Miniatures.  MWR is one of the inspirations for the Pz8 series of rules.

See this page for information on my replaying of WW2 scenarios with different rules.

Overview of Mechanised Warfare Rules
MWR is a 'rules light' set of rules for WW2.  It also contains an addendum for post-WW2 conflicts.  If you like a lot of detail and everything spelt out on what you can and cannot do, these rules are definitely not for you.  But for a fun game, these are great. But I do miss that there is no command and control at all.

Scale
There are two scales of the game: 6mm where 1” = 25 metres and 2mm where 1” is 50 metres.  Other than this difference, the example base unit for 6mm is generally a team of 1 vehicle; for 2mm it is 1 squad and 3-5 vehicles. All distances are in game are in metres.  Game uses d6s only.

Turn sequence
Game sequence is:
Player A moves
Player B fires
Player B moves
Player A fires

Command and control
There is no command and control. There is no spotting or hidden movement other than unit cannot fire at unit not in LOS.

Move
Rough ground moves are:
  • Infantry move 100m
  • Vehicles move between 150m and 350m depending on the vehicle (there is a table)
Road movement is double.

That is all the movement rules.

Fire
Example fire ranges:
  • Infantry base range is 100m.
  • MGs are 200mm.
  • Guns are dependent on calibre and  range from 200m (20m), 6pdr (500m) up to 1500m for the large guns.
To hit roll 1d6 and a 5-6 hits, 4-6 at half range, -1 if firer moved. Artillery uses a 1” burst circle and hits on a 5-6, +1 if FO of HQ unit within 500m of target (this is the only mention of HQ units); If artillery misses it falls long or short.  This is it for the to hit rules.

To fire attacker roll 1d6 and adds their attack factor against soft or armour targets e.g.
  • 1 for infantry Vs armour
  • 2 for infantry Vs infantry
  • 5 for a Stug Vs armour
  • 2 for a Stug Vs infantry
Defender rolls 1d6 and adds defense factor e.g.
  • infantry in open 0
  • infantry in soft cover 1
  • Stug is 3
Compare attacker score against defender score:
  • If less, no effect
  • If equal, defender cannot fire or move for one turn
  • If attacker 1 or 2 more then defender is immobilised but may fire after 1 turn
  • If 3 or more then defender destroyed
Close combat
There are no specific close combat rules.

Morale
There are no morale or experience rules.

Aircraft
There are aircraft rules – limited sorties, 4 types of aircraft and anti-aircraft rules.

Scenario
I am using IRON WEDGE the third scenario from the Russia ’43 Red Guards at Kursk Skirmish Campaign book.  This first two scenarios is quite small and infantry only.  I wanted something with some more variety to test out the rules.  It pits limited but dug-in defending German infantry and AT gun against advancing Russian tanks and tank riders.  The Russians are trying to exit off the German side of the table.  The Russians win if they exit 3 AFVs by the end of game turn 12, otherwise the Germans win.

Overview of the table - Russians enter on the left, Germans deployed anywhere from the hills to the right edge.  This is also this board that I cut and flocked.  did not turn out too bad.
Troops
German

Germans - picture is fuzzy but gives you an idea of the quantity.


Force HQ
     1 Infantry HQ base
     4 infantry bases (each with satchel charge)
1st Pioneer company
    1 HQ base
    1 MMG base
    6 infantry bases (2 with satchel charges)
    1 flamethrower base
2nd Pioneer company
    1 HQ base
    1 MMG base
    7 infantry bases (1 with a satchel charge)
1 AT section
    1 Pak 36 3.7cm AT gun

The 2nd Pioneer company was the variable attachment.

There are no satchel charge rules in MWR so will use: range 1", hit on 4+, Attack value Infantry 8  AT 5 

Soviet
A not great picture either of the Russians.

T-70 unit
    3 T-70 on turn 3 (a d4 roll)
T-34 unit
    3 T-34 on turn 1 (a d4 roll)
1st Tank Rider company
    1 HQ SMG base
    7 SMG bases
2nd  Tank Rider company
    1 HQ SMG base
    7 SMG bases
1st Motorised infantry company
    1 HQ Rifle base
    1 MMG base
    5 Rifle bases
    3 trucks

The 1st Motorised infantry company was the variable attachment.

As each vehicle may represent 3 vehicles in the rules, I will allow 3 squads per represented tank to be mounted.

Deployment
The scenario calls for an 8’ long table that I am scaling to 30” (I have made a board 72cmx48cm scaled down 2.5 from a 6'x4' to match scaling rules down from inches to cm. Naturally, the first scenario I try out is 8', not 6'!) .  German setup is 72” inches from their edge that equates to ¾ of the length.  So for my Game, the Germans may setup within 22.5” of their edge.  German infantry may be in foxholes and the AT Gun dug-in.  Additionally there is two 1"x3" (1cmx3cm on my table) unmarked AT/AP minefields that may be placed at the start. note:

The stream is soft and impassable to the trucks and cause a bog check to AFVs.  MWR has no bog check rules so I will use:Bog check - 1 on a d6 is bogged; 5-6 on a d6 to unbog.

All Russian AFV entry points much be recorded prior to the start. Tank riders may enter on or off the tanks.

Focus for the Germans could be on back just before exit, or up front hoping for early KOs and slowing down.  I went with focussed mostly at the back with some at the front to keep the Russians honest.

Note the 37mm AT gun has a rang of 10 inches and infantry stands are 2".

German deployment
Game
Turn 1 the T34 and trucks enter.  The trucks are going in the front to find the defence, rather than the T34s.  Getting 3+ tanks to the other side is the aim.  12 turns, 6" a turn move for tanks is 5 turns.  The T70s not on until turn 3 and it will be 8 moves for them!  Trucks move 4'".  There is no sight rules or hidden rules in MWR so will just say cannot see units in or behind cover. Unless the Russians want to dash the whole way without stopping, 12 turns seems doable.

That Russian tank riders are at the edge of the board indicating what tank they are on.

Russians enter on the left. Infantry at the edge are the tank riders that are riding the tank further up the table.
The Russians decide to focus on right flank as there are less ambush positions.  This leaves a flank (their left) alone. Hopefully the defense is distributed (of course it is as the game is solo, but this is the attempt to think from one sides view!).  The trucks will need to go first as they do not count for victory conditions and need to wait until the T70s show up as they should go before the T34s to probe the defenses as well.

In Turn 2 and 3 the trucks advance a little more and in turn 3 the T70s enter the table but don't go to far - the best paths are still unknown.

T70s enter.  Again, infantry at the edge are actually riding the tank/truck further up the table.
The trucks reach the gap, and are fired on by infantry to each side.


Two German infantry are close enough to fire at each truck.  Infantry miss (5+ required at long range i.e. 1" to 2").

In turn 4, the Soviets will have to speed things up with only 8 turns to go. The fired on trucks unload (no rules for that either - I made up one saying 1 turn to load/unload).  The T34 and T70s dash forwards.
The trucks showing where the enemy after, the tanks roll through the gaps.
Dismounted infantry fire at the Soviets -  one miss, one permanently immobilised.
Some of the German infantry on their right flank move closer to middle - there is nothing coming there way so they will race to try an intercept the Russians.   Note there is no rules for moving in or out of melee. At this scale, I will follow the rules, so trucks etc. can move of of melee if they wish.

The Soviets fire back but miss with all rolls.  I assume you cannot fire though troops so the Russian tanks have no line of fire to any spotted infantry.

Turn 5 see lots of movement from the Russians as they race through the first gap between the hills.

Russians closing in on the gap before the river.  The German AT Gun is in the centre in the woods, To the right can be seen German infantry racing towards the gap to beef up the firepower.
The Russians are closing in on the last gap between the woods before the river.  Close enough for the 37mm to open up a hit and a difference of 3 in the dice sees a T70 KO!  And the Russian infantry disable a truck and the passengers debark.   Any German infantry not near Russians  move towards this gap.  The Russians fire on the 37mm with everything they can but all they achieve is a immobilise (no fire for one turn).

37mm AT gun (at right) immobilises a T70 (shown with some smoke).  At the left is the disabled truck with dismounted German infantry.
Turn 6 - Do the Russians wait or dash through the gap? Dash!  Only as the rules will punish them if they sit there. The sequence of "Player A move, Player B fire, Player B move, Player B fire" really helps the short range infantry fire if you do not move. Regardless, the more chance of movement the Germans get, the more firepower they can bring to bear and the worse off the Russians will be.  Dash it is.  After the Russian move, the Germans fire and  KO a T70 and another T70 is immobilised for one turn.  Germans move in to maybe get in another shot if the Russians stay still.  The Russians fire at the approaching German infantry and manage to rout two stands.

The gap before the river is crowded as the Russians attempt to dash past the Germans.  The square bases are Germans - they are surrounding the tanks but the turn sequence means they move close, but then Russians will fire and then move away.
Turn 7 and two T34s move off the board.  I am assuming 1/2 speed for the river.  It is 1" wide, T34s move 6" so they moved 4", enough to exit.

Two T34s have already existed and the last T34 is only a short distance from existing.  
The third T34 is nearly off and there is only two stands (one with a satchel charge) that can fire at it.   Both miss.  I don't play out any more moves - in turn 8 the T34 can move off the board.

The table at game end.  Russian infantry at the first gap between the hills and a lot of Greman and Russian infantry at the gap at the river.  The T70s are unlikely to make it off the table but no matter, the Russians got 3 tanks off the other side.
The Russians meet the victory conditions and win.

BUT....

It was 4 weeks after I started playing until I played the last turn. When writing up this post that I  realised I had completely forgotten about the minefields.  So let us replay a part of turn 7 when the first T34 cross one of the minefields to see if things go differently:

T34 enters unmarked minefield: minefield misses.  Assuming that nothing was triggered due to the miss, roll for the second T34 entering the minefield:  A hit, but no damage.  The third t34 avoids the area.  So the three T34s still make it off the table and it is still a Russian victory.

I also forgot a bog check for the tanks at the stream.  I roll now for each of the T34s and they all passed.

The game is actually a lot closer than it was adding in the mines and the bog checks!  One poor roll for mines or bogs would have seen the Russians lose.

Verdict
I did not realise I did not scale the rules down from inches to cm until turn 5.  This turned out to be a good thing as it played really well using inches on the small table - the firing distances in cm (2cm for infantry) and the number of turn it would have been for the T34s to cross the entire table (12 at full speed) would have skewed the game.  There was only a small number of units on the table and the rules are likely designed for much more. It worked really well and felt right.  About 2 turns in a though the turn sequence would not work for chase games like this, but it did.  I thought it would be a Russian cake walk.  It wasn't.  I like the rules ans a basis to build on. They are simple and fun.

I originally made the 30"x20" board about 14 months before this post and this is its first outing. I had also set out the terrain about 14 months as well.  It took awhile to get around to finding the gaming enthusiasm for this (it came back months ago) but I am glad it did.  I like the small table and 6mm games.  I already have the second one setup and ready to go, hopefully taking less than 14 months to get around to playing it!

2 comments:

  1. very interesting Shaun, another good game in a small space - interesting though that the non-conversion 'mistake' of inches down to centimetres actually worked so well.

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    1. Hi Norm,

      Yes, I was surprised too when I was halfway through and realised I forgot the scale down, but it actually was working better than if I had scaled down!

      After a brief flurry into larger games last year, I am finding my interest is back on the small board games this year.

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