Saturday, February 28, 2015

Operation Jupiter Game 04 - Wicked Wyverns

Introduction
This is game 4 is replaying the scenarios from the Briton Publishers Operation Jupiter skirmish scenario book (Lulu PDF link).  I am replaying them on a 4.5'x5' table using 20mm, my own Advance to Cover rules and a figure scale of 1 figure = 1 section.  Background on why I am playing these is at the start of the first game post.

Scenario
Three German snipers are around the farm complex.  A company of British troops need to fish them out and take control of the farm

I was thinking of skipping this as it is three snipers versus 14 figures.  But then I thought, what better way to test out my rules.  With only three snipers on one side, will the sniper rules work fine?  The answer was yes.  So I am glad I played the game.

Troops
British

The British forces.
1 Battalion HQ
     3 figures + 1 sniper
1 Company:
      1 CO and 9 figures

German
The Germans.  All 3 snipers.
3 snipers
1 offboard 88mm flak battery with 2 missions.
Note: the 88mm flak has direct line of sight to most of the British end of the table and can fire when activated.

Sniper locations.  Note the one on the left cannot actually be seen in the picture.  In fact, as I wrote this up weeks after playing, I am guessing it was about here!
German snipers were setup not knowing how the British were to advance.  I put them in the trees so I could allow them to have line of sight over the walls.  This is the same table as scenario 3.  I thought is was supposed to be the same place by the picture in the scenario book, but it isn't!  The setup is very similar though, so no harm done.

The British decide to advance though the wheatfields down their left, and send one platoon (3 figures) down their right.

Game
There is not much to this game from a photo side other than the slow disintegration of the British forces as they advance.
A sniper can fire as far out as a MMG and with the same dice (3). However, they may only target one figure.  The three dice is to simulate the morale effect they had, rather than killing power.  Also, to spot a sniper at greater than 18" is a 4+ and there are only a few snipers to spot, and a unit can spot once per activation.
The British advance immediately into fire from the 88mm.  Two British figures are down already from the leading company.  The snipers fire and miss and remain unspotted.

The British advance.  Battalion HQ to the rear (on the left), two platoons (minus 2 figures killed by the 88) top middle.  Another platoon on the other side of the road to the lower right.
Two snipers focus on the single platoon on the British right and two British figures are gone.  The one remaining one spots the sniper! But this lone British figure is killed by return sniper fire.  

The lone survivor on the British right after his two mates bail.  He is subsequently killed by further sniper fire but he managed to reveal the sniper before going.
 The flak 88mn strikes for the second and last time and takes out another two figures. The company is suppressed (cannot fire on next activation).  Icing on the cake and the German snipers take out another figure from the company.  All that is left is the company commander who survives the requisite morale check.  So far, Germans have destroyed 9 figures and the British have revealed one sniper.  The British Battalion HQ spots a second sniper and kills him. The British sniper kills the other spotted sniper.  Things are looking better for the British.

The remaining British.  The lone survivor of the company is top right, the Battalion sniper is at the back on the left.  The three centre figures are the rest of Battalion HQ.

The remaining German sniper takes out the company commander.  With the company gone, the only unit left on the table is the Battalion HQ.  A force morale check is taken and the British decide to retreat.  A good decision.  I am not sure pressing on would have achieved anything other than more British deaths.

The British head for the wall, ready to retreat along it.

The remaining sniper, never spotted, in his tree.
Verdict
I was thinking of skipping this scenario.  How exciting could it be - three snipers versus a company advancing?  But it was actually quite tense.  Will the British manage to spot and kill the snipers before they take their toll?   In this case, the British retreat but a few different dice rolls and they would have made it.  I was engaged every activation. A great scenario that worked really well with my rules so that is a good sign that the rest of Operation Jupiter will as well!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Operation Jupiter Game 03 - barn at Chateau de Fontaine

Introduction
This is game 3 is replaying the scenarios from the Briton Publishers Operation Jupiter skirmish scenario book (Lulu PDF link).  I am replaying them on a 4.5'x5' table using 20mm, my own Advance to Cover rules and a figure scale of 1 figure = 1 section.  Background on why I am playing these is at the start of the first game post.

These games are like vignettes of larger battles.  The report is not long nor that detailed but this is the first one in this series I did take some notes.

Not to preempt anything, but this was the most fun battle I have played in a while.  It was very nail-biting from turn to turn as the British kept assaulting the farm as the clock was ticking.

Scenario
Germans are holed in some farm buildings.  The British have 10 turns to dislodge them (note it is 6 turns in the scenario but I started them on one edge a fair distance from the farm so added 4 turns for the extra movement).

The Germans setup int he farm complex on the assumption the Brits will have a hard time kicking them out in the time limit.  the Pazerschrecke team setup in corner, in case tanks come down the road.

Troops
British
The considerable British force (considerable compared to the Germans)
 1 Battalion HQ
     4 figures + 1 PIAT
2 Company:
      1 CO, 1 2" mortar and 9 figures
1 Churchill VII
3 fire missions of 3" mortars

Deployment - one company and HQ on the left, the other company on the right.
Assume 2 turns used up to get to the deployment position shown above.

German
The small force of German defenders
1 Battalion HQ
   4 figures
1 Company
   1 CO and 9 figures
1 Panzerschrecke team
1 MMG

Defending the farm. Two platoons of the company in the large thatched building with the third platoon in the smaller building to the right  All figures are actually in the building they are behind so I know what is in them!
Game
Two turns gone to get to deployment position, 8 to go.  The British advance the 1st Company (the one travelling down the right of the table).  This take 4 turns - sending one platoon across the field, make sure nothing there and then the rest following.  This is as the British do not kniw if the Germans are at the hedge or tree line so need to be careful.  Of course, the Germans re all in the farm.

1st Company advance across the field on the right and in front of the farm.

2nd company advances in step formation as well and a platoon runs into the Panzershrecke team that is hiding in a corner of the field. The Panzerschrecke team are two figures and fire with their rifles (2 dice in total). Two 6's, two dead Brits. Most of the rest of 2nd company fire at them for only one hit. The next turn a platoon (3 figures) enter in close combat with the single remaining German and the latter are captured.

2nd company.  The figures at the far right have just discovered a Panzerschreke team.
Time is running out for the British. Mortars are called onto the main building prior to some assaults; 2 dead Germans and all are suppressed.  Not bad.

Result of morrar fire on the building - 2 Germans are killed (4 left). I did mention it earlier but the figures are actually in the building but I put them behind so I know what is there.
The mortars softening up the building, a platoon from 1st company charge. The MMG (on overwatch) decides to fires at them - 3 dice - crossing the road but rolls all 1's for all misses. The MMG firing gives their location away, so it was a bit of a risk to do so.  It could have been worth itbut did not pay off. The assaulting  platoon loses close combat: 3 attackers dead (all of them) and one defender. This is close combat in my rules, borrowed from Take Cover!! that took the concept from Rapid Fire: roll 1d6 each, add number of figures and a couple of modifiers. - winner loses 1 figure, loser loses three and retreats 3". It is fast!

British platoon assalting the main building.  They fail.
Germans in the building rally.  The 1st Company get ready for a pincer assault - one on the MMG and one on the main building again.  A platoon (3 figures) has advanced into the next field and is across the road from the MMG.

1st company milling behind the hedges across the road from the farm.  At the right can be seen some of the platoon about to charge across the road in to the MMG 
The British platoon from 1st company charge across the road into building with the MMG and win the close combat, all Germans killed.  A foothold!

Assaulting the MMG held building,  it was a success!
The mortars target the main building again  for 1 casualty.  Another British  platoon and the Company officer from 1st company charge into the building after the artillery lifts. It fails, 3 attackers lost and one defender killed.  The British are running out of men and time.

Another assault that fails.  Readers taking notes will see I failed to remove a German figure that should have gone from the previous assault.
1st Company rolls for morale as they have lost 7 figures and their officer.  They fail and are pinned (no move and no fire until rallied).  Half the British force has gone and only one building taken.

2nd Company is in position. A platoon from 2nd company charges into the main building.  This also fails but 1 defender killed.  Only one defender left!

2nd company platoon assaults (and fails)
The German defending company is 50% down and rolls a morale test that sees them pinned.  This causes the entire force to roll a morale test but it is OK.

Another 2nd company platoon assaults the main building with the one pinned defender.  Unsurprisingly they win.  Actually, based on the past history with assaulting this building, may be it was surprising!

Another 2nd company platoon assaults the main building and finally a win.
 The final Mortar mission targets the small house next to the main building and 2 Germans are killed. The German company morale roll sees them (the two figures left!) rout.  The German force morale also fails. This occurs during turn 10. Another really close game.

End game. Not much left - the 2 German figures at the left are about to rout.  The Battalion HO at the top right will withdraw.
Verdict
The most fun I have have for a while.  All the games have been fun, but this was exceptional.  I think is was the time limit.  I would throw a platoon at the farm - fail; next turn another - fail. Another in the following turn - success but now the company is pinned, use the other company - fail.  tick tick tick goes the clock. I was sweating the dice and the cards (the game uses card activation).

Also, I mentioned it in a previous writeup, but the Operation Jupiter scenarios are more like vignettes of a larger battle. While in another game, the farm would be possibly only a half or a third of the game and the farm one objective of two or three.  I am preferring the vignettes at the moment.

Oh, and the Churchill played no part in the game.  Frightened of hiding enemy Germans, the tank only advanced to the farm in the last turn.