Sunday, 4 February 2018

20mm WW2 1944 West Front skirmish - near Cahagnes

I have played a little of WW2 low level skirmish in the past.  As part of the 2017 6x6 challenge I  played four of my new-ish company level rules (based on rolling a number of d6 and counting successes rather than rolling 1d6 and adding and subtracting modifiers).   I wanted to try out the mechanics with a skirmish level game.  Lastly, I promised my internet buddy Just Jack I would play a WW2 skirmish game. How many reasons do I need :-)

The game was going to be loosely based on a real world event that occurred with B Company of the 7th Battalion, The Hampshire regiment on 31st July 1944 outside Cahagnes but now a fictional scenario with a small lost patrol making their way back to the lines on that same day.

Game is done in comic book style using Comic Life 3.    Figures are 80's vintage 20mm plastic from Revell, Matchbox and Airfix.  Table size is 2'x2' representing about 100mx100mm.  Rules are my own and are like a cross between NUTS! and FiveCore Skirmish. Sort-of.

I was going to do a fairly normal – for me – game of a patrol of 7-8 British soldiers based on a real event that occurred in July.   Just Jack posted up 5 more battle reports with small units of modern soldiers facing some opposition.  Also, Nordic Weasel released a new version of Five Parsecs from Home – a SF campaign and battle system for a small band of adventurers.  I don’t really have the figures or the time to do Five Parsecs from Home justice but did like the idea of a small band of heroic adventurers.  I am slowly re-watching the Combat! TV series.  I already have a board setup for a WW2 skirmish game. It all came together into an idea. The premise is that a British patrol has been cut-off, a German counterattack has pushed the front-line even further way, and our band it making it back to their lines.  The band is five troopers, mostly veterans and will give them all skills just to spice it up.  This should hopefully appease my appetite for a small heroic game.

The Game

The game in non-comic form
Lieutenant Lightfoot, Rifle, Veteran, Agile: move and shoot without the -1 penalty
Sergeant Samms, Rifle, Veteran, Stealthy: Roll one more die to be spotted and if no success on that die, not spotted.
Corporal Chapman, SMG, Veteran, Tough: +1d6 in close assault
Lance Corporal Palin, Rifle, Veteran, Eagle eyes: +1d6 for spotting
Private Baker, Rifle.

Follow the road and exit on the other edge to entry.  The German MMG at the road curve has not been spotted and is in ambush.

The Game

  • The team move up.
  • Palin spots the two potential enemies that are revealed not to be enemies.
  • Palin moves up and attempts to spot MMG.  He is joined by Chapman who are then attacked by MG.
  • Palin pinned and Chapman suppressed.
  • Subsequently both are out of the fight.
  • The other three move into shellholes, then up through the orchard and across to side of MMG.  All fire but all that happens in one pinned!
  • Meanwhile 3 Germans have appeared on the other side and are moving towards the noise of battle.
  • The British  fire has suppressed one of the gunners.
  • The MG fires back and pins Lightfoot and suppresses Baker.
  • Brit return fire has no effect on Germans (poor dice rolling here!).
  • MG fires - Samms out of the fight, Baker out of the fight. Oh dear.
  • Lighfoot suppresses another of the German crew.
  • MG gunners all rally.
  • MG fires and Lightfoot out of the fight.

Well, that did not go as planned, although it was likely realistic.  I have no idea what I was thinking when Palin and Chapman jumped the hedge in front of the German MG.  It does go to show that rifle armed infantry does not do so well against a well placed MG.  I guess I will be using different soldiers for my next patrol.

The rules are still very much a work in progress - as are the company level rules, although the latter are quite close to finished.


  1. Hey, I’m famous, and motivational! ;)

    Glad to see you getting a WWII fight in and posting, but DAMN!!!! You have just witnessed the tough part with so few men on the board: a bad roll or two and it’s over.

    Which is why I have to do so much cheating in my continuous campaigns ;) No magic dice, I don’t mess with that type of thing, but after Palin and Chapman got hit I might have thrown some stuff in the game. Like the other three circle around the German MG and get back to British lines, and the next game is those three bringing help back to collect the wounded. Or a nearby British patrol hears the gunfire and arrived on scene, between the German MG and rifles.

    I always have a plan on how to save the show ;)
    In any case, it was a fun read and I appreciate you sharing it with us, and I hope you accomplished what you set out to in terms of rules mechanics.


    1. interesting. I had not thought of having a plan to help the guys out in case it all goes pear-shaped. But I guess I just like to see how it goes without any help. I had a similar situation a year or two ago in a WW2 skirmish when half the section was knocked out in the first fire fight of the game! I think I am not as attached to my guys as you may be :-)

    2. Marines think of everything ;)
      And you not being attached to your guys is exactly what is wrong with the world today! Would it kill you to care, just a little bit, about your 20mm plastic men, Mr Travers?

      I enjoyed the batrep, but I fear I won’t see anymore because you got all your men killed or captured! Quick, build a new squad ;)


  2. Funny, creative and wonderful report, well done Shaun!

  3. Entertaining game report, love it. Mind you, from the size of that pig and cow, they were just as scary as the enemy MG team. :-)

    1. Thanks John. The farm animals are ancient - possibly even from when I was a child. I often think about buying some 20mmm farm animals - the railway modelling sets are very cheap and I would not even need to paint them - but just never seem to get up the energy to do so :-(