Sunday, 5 September 2021

WW2 West Front 1944 on a large 3x4 grid with 6mm forces, and son

Introduction

These are two games I played with my 13yo son S-- who wished for a game using the 6mm figures as per the campaign I am running on an A4 page.  But wanting to run it on a larger table.

Rules

I am using my own rules. 

The rules (slightly revised since my last 3x4 game, see below) here:  ww3x4 Advancing Companies v2.1a.pdf

There is a summary of changes on page 7 but here they are:

  • Activation was a d6 roll to choose a side, now it is alternate. This also changed the sequence of firing when in the same square.  I have left the old method in as an option.
  • Events now optional.  With so few units events can dramatically shift the game dynamic.
  • Clarified vehicle flank attacks.
  • Clarified how a leader may survive a stand’s routing.

The main change is activation is now alternate squares  and it is now harder to assault a square – moving into a square now sees the occupiers  firing at the attackers prior to a melee.  The rest is still much the same: 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 has one square activated and units in that square can fire, move or rally.  Then the other side activates a square.  After each 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.

First game (2 pictures and rule changes with musing)

The first game we played I took only two pics:


The layout


End game – the hill is taken!


It was a really great game.  It was actually quite a tough fight for both of us but in the end the Germans prevailed and took the hill from me as the British

Background and rule changes

We were going to play with 20mm and tanks but (there is a long story here) they are in a cabinet in another house for staging (it sold!) and the figures won’t be back until mid-September.  My son was happy to play with the 6mm.

I got the felt tiles about 5 years ago.  They are each 24cmx24cm.  My son wanted a big hill and set up all the terrain (I don’t have that much to set out!). We played co-op each taking half the British force and attacking the defending Germans who had 2 Panthers and an AT Gun as well as a few MMGs and a few sections.  As we have just watched A Bridge to Far, we were airborne with no heavy weapons.  He made up some “campaign”-type rules where the game was spread out over several days.  Once a side morale broke, that was the end of the day.  We got to check if routed units came back (or the Germans fixed their tanks). Check for reinforcements (1-3 on a d6).  We played 4 “days” until we managed to take the hill.  He also made up d6 rolls sometimes to decide what the Germans would do.  And also if infantry could swim across the river when retreating (bad dice rolls though and only 1 made it).

So we were playing the same rules on a grid, albeit large with 6mm figures.  At a scale of 150m to a tile, the game was at a ratio of 1:600.  Figures are 1:300 so ground scale is only 1:2.  A lot closer to 1:1 I have ever played!   The green is a little bright but I did like admiring  stuff at a 1:2 scale.

Anyway, I realised while the activation sequence was good at occasionally giving a side two activations (a hangover from the CCG Tank Commander originating game where you could play a card to get an extra activation in a turn) and I knew it and had no issues.  But when playing with someone else it was a) confusing to roll so often to see who activates and b) did not actually add much value to the game to randomise activation.  We went to alternative activation and it worked fine.   We also removed events rather than roll each turn, possibly as we rolled a few events early and it really swung the game.  Events can easily turn the game (happened in I think mission 3 for me) and maybe too much randomness with such small forces.  I did not miss the events during the game (or the next one – see below) but will have to think more on events as I do like the random sniper and artillery.  I may think on how to include events again, just maybe not as often.

Also found that moving into a square and then doing melee did not seem fair to be simultaneous –the stationary force should really get in  a first fire.  So now if a force moves into a square, the occupiers fire, then the moving units fire, and then melee.  This worked out very well.

Second game

The second game we moved the terrain around.  The British were trying to take the hill but the Germans are counter attacking and are aiming to build a bridge across the ford at the centre of the table.  But to build the bridge the Germans need to collect 3 essential items of equipment scattered over the table.  The British will if they capture the hill or stop the Germans taking the bridge.  The Germans win if they build the bridge.  S-- came up with the scenario and laid out all the terrain; as with the first game, having just watched A Bridge Too Far obviously had some influence.


The battlefield (white circles indicate the three essential items the Germans need to collect).  British enter from the left, Germans start on the hill at the right.

 

Troops (estimating form the images)

British  (me):

   Company HQ

   2 Platoons, each 3 sections.

   1 x 2” mortar team

   1xPIAT AT team

Reinforcements:

   2 x Sherman A4

   1 x 6pdr AT+ Carrier

   1 platoon with 3 sections

Germans (S--):

   Company HQ

   2 Platoons, each 3 sections.

   1 75mm AT Gun

   1 Panther

   1 Tiger (actually not in play - left over from previous battle!)

   1 Sdkfz251 for transport

 

Game

The British enter alongside the centre road, aiming for the centre village and the left flank woods.


British enter


The German early moves see them head for control of the centre hill.  The AT gun on the rear hill actually has quite good LOS.


Germans first move

The British take the village on their side of the central ford.  The Germans move to the top of the centre hill.  The Germans suppress the British in the village.


Centre Hill Vs Village battle (and can see the Tiger KO'd from the last game in the rear of the image with several British units at the woods bridge)

The British take the opportunity to move from the bridge and assault the German controlled hlll!  The British are repulsed with only one German section suppressed in return.


After a British failed attempt at a hill assault

British reinforcements enter – a section, a Sherman and a 6pdr.


British reinforcements arrive

The British reinforcements advance and shore up the village at the ford.  They come under fire from the Germans in the village at the bridge to the wood.  They were going to cross the bridge to get at a bridge building piece but realised they would come under fire from too many British that were next to the woods.  So instead they fired on the British in the village, KOing the Sherman and suppressing most of the rest.


The Village Vs the Bridge defenders.

After making short work of the British in the village, the Germans move back to the commanding heights of the centre hill.


Germans move back to the hill

 

One of the pieces for the bridge is across the river and is proving difficult to get with the British  able to contest the bridge.  S-- decides that on a d6 roll of a 5-6 a section can swim the river (had this rules in the first game as well).  On a 1-4 they do not make it and are swept away.  He allocated only one section to the task.  I mention they have to swim there and then get back and a one-third chance each time is not great.  S-- thinks it will all be OK.  Swim there – rolls a 5, swim back rolls a 6.  All good.  I then mention there was a 1 in 9 chance of that happening you know;  if you had sent 9 sections across and back, you would expect only one to actually make it! S-- just smiles.  Sometimes it is better not to know the exact odds in advance!


The successful river swim

The British see a chance to knock out some of the Germans.  They assault the hill.  Just taking out one or two units would be very useful.  It does not go well.  A 4-6 will do some damage.

 

Another hill assault – the melee.


The British have almost nothing left on the table.  The Germans complete the bridge and win the game. The next two images say it all- showing the British losses and German losses throughout the game. The British did get more forces as they were mostly attacking but lost everything compared to almost nothing on the German side. Lots of German suppression but no German losses. 


British losses


German losses

Verdict

We both had a lot of fun. I may have been overly enthusiastic using attack as a tactic :-) The tiles are packed away as my son is over 6mm WW2 for now. My next A4 page mission will be trying out the new rules to see if they are still fun solo.  And the 20mm is due back soon so may get them out as well before the year is out.  It has been 4 weeks since we played and alas no time for games for me or him – studying, sleepovers and yard work on my side are conspiring to make sure neither he of I can get in a game.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

WW2 West Front 1944 Campaign game 05 on a A4 3x4 grid with 6mm forces

Introduction

This is mission 5 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.

Rules

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 V2.0c.pdf but spoiler (see the end of the post) will change from next game.

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 5

It is 1944 and a UK infantry force is attacking a German armoured force. The UK mission is a small attack. The depleted company is ordered to make a local attack on an enemy position.

The terrain is mixed, with a bunker and some wire deployed:

Wooded Hill | Brush |Key Building

Crops | Open, road |Hill

Marsh | Stream |Orchard

Woods | Crops |Hill

Primary Objective: Key Building (3).

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

The UK has green morale for its seven sections and three leaders. Support includes 2xMMG, 2xChurchill, 1 Engineer section.

Available indirect support is 2x25pdr.

The German has veteran morale for its two sections and one leader. They start dug in. Support includes MMG + tank hunters + Sdkfz251/9.

Troops

British


1 Company HQ

1st platoon – 2 sections + 2” mortar and PIAT

2nd platoon – 3 sections + 2” mortar and PIAT

3rd platoon – 1 section + 2” mortar

2 Vickers MMG teams

2 Churchill VII

1 Engineer section

Artillery support – 2 x 25pdrs

 

Forces relative to campaign:

Co HQ Hodgson (Green)

1 Plt HQ Cole (Green), 1 Plt 1 Sect Burns (Green), 1 Plt 2 Sect Knowles (Green)

2 Plt HQ Ross (Green), 2 Plt 1 Sect Turner (Green), 2 Plt 2 Sect Wade (Green), 2 Plt 3 Sect Hartley (Green)

3 Plt 1 Sect Manning (Green), 3 Plt 3 Sect Williams (Regular)

German

1 Zug HQ

2 Gruppe

1 MMG team

1 tank hunter team (with Panzerschreck)

1 Sdkfz251/9 (with 75mm/L24)

Deployment

Where to put the bunker?  The hill in front of the building seems like the likely choice and I went for this position.  It gives a line of fire across all the lines of advance on the building.  In it is the MMG.

The wire can go in front of the bunker (between the orchard and the bunker) to really limit infantry assaults on it.

The tank hunter team needs to be in the same square as a tank to fire at it.  And cannot really be be seen until the enemy is in the same square.  But the British are unlikely to move the tanks into a square without having infantry go in there first.  So wooded Hill to the top left or maybe the marsh?  Wooded Hill wins the roll.

Sdkfz251/9 is really anti-infantry and so into the Brush at the back. 

The two infantry units and leader?  Into the building.  I was tempted to put one in the wooded hill or the Brush but focus! The objective is to deny the British the building, not hurt them a lot.

I am a little concerned I have spread defence over 4 squares, considering most of the time will be only one square activating at a time.  But multiple squares have the advantage of being harder to spot and less susceptible to artillery.

The British will do a two-pronged attack up both flanks.  The openness in the centre means each flank can hopefully support the other.  More tanks on the right to help with the bunker assault.

German deployment


Game

British move 1st platoon and a Churchill onto the hill.  The Germans could open up with the MG. At this range is a 4+ and good chance to suppress or KO the two sections.  But then that means the Churchill could see the bunker and suppress it.  I roll randomly for what the Germans do – they fire with the MG. The 1st  platoon that is only two sections is suppressed and must retreat as in the open.  They retreat off the battlefield and are lost. Well, that did not go well but the same thing happened in the previous mission (one entire platoon routed after first combat).

British entry


Allies move the other Churchill up and then move into the orchards, hoping there is no anti-tank there.   I am very nervous with only tanks on the table.

Churchills in the orchard.

A British sniper (a random event) gets a bead on the bunker MMG and suppresses them.

Germans move the tank hunters into the brush with the Sdkfz251/9; those Churchills seem as though they will be annoying.  The British move the 2nd platoon onto the hill.

The Churchills move onto the hill with the suppressed bunker (note the Germans have had three attempts to rally the MG but to no avail).

The 1st section of 2nd platoon wanted to move with the Churchills but forgot the barbed wire is impassable to infantry.  I will need to bring the engineers on ASAP.  

Churchills assault

The bunker MG will only be KO’d on a 6.  The Churchills have 2 weapons each.  They get a 6!  The German MG in the bunker is gone.

The British bring on the engineers.  The Germans move in the tanks hunters and the Sdkfz251/9 into the Churchill square.  The best chance they are going to get to remove the Churchills.

Germans throw their anti-tank forces at the British Churchills.

Melee phase is simultaneous.

One Churchill suppressed.  Tank hunter team routs, Skkfx251/1 is fine.

The 75mm/L24 is not going to do anything to the Churchill.  What was I thinking?   It retreats. 

The Damaged Churchill tries to rally and routs instead.  The other Churchill moves off the hill.

The Churchills in a good supporting position

The Engineers move up and cut a gap in the wire.  British artillery target the key building (this was a random event) and suppress a German defending Gruppe that routs in a later rally attempt.

The suppressed Gruppe that routs on a failed rally attempt.


The Churchill fires at the half track and destroys it.

Churchill Vs the Sdkfz251/9


British move up to the hill with the abandoned tank and then advance into the building..  

British advance.

 

British assault the building.


The Germans fire and miss!  Melee phase sees The German Gruppe eliminated as well as 1st section of the 2nd platoon.

The British have captured the objective!

End state


 Note: The Germans decided to stay on the table for every army morale check (kept rolling 6s for this)

Post-battle status

Co HQ (Hodgson) New morale level is Regular.

1 Plt HQ (Cole) routed during the mission and are ok to continue. New morale level is Regular.

1 Plt 1 Sect (Burns) routed during the mission and are disbanded.

1 Plt 2 Sect (Knowles) routed during the mission and are ok to continue. New morale level is Regular.

1 Plt 2 Sect (Davies) had no troops prior to battle but have received replacements.

2 Plt HQ (Ross) 2XP gained.

2 Plt 1 Sect (Turner) routed during the mission and are disbanded.

2 Plt 2 Sect (Wade) New morale level is Regular.

2 Plt 3 Sect (Hartley) 2XP gained.

3 Plt HQ (Burns) had no troops prior to battle.

3 Plt 1 Sect (Manning) New morale level is Regular.

3 Plt 2 Sect (Hanson) had no troops prior to battle but have received replacements.

3 Plt 3 Sect (Williams)

 

Verdict

Another great game.  The fact the British had the Churchills and the Germans had little Anti-Tank really helped the British.  Not a balanced scenario but the campaign is not about balanced scenarios.

But…after this game I played a game with these rules with my 13yo son, using 10” grid squares.  I have changed the activation sequence.  For that though, you will have to wait until the writeup of that game.

Saturday, 31 July 2021

WW2 West Front 1944 Campaign game 04 on a A4 3x4 grid with 6mm forces

Introduction

This is mission 4 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.

Rules

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 V2.0c.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 4

It is 1944 and a UK infantry force is defending against a German armoured force. The UK mission is an ambush.

The force is lying in ambush along a likely route for enemy forces.  Hit them hard!

The terrain is mixed, with:

Crops | Brush |Hill

Crops, road | Marsh |Wooded Hill

Key building | 2-4 buildings |Stream

Open | Hill |Crops

The battlefield

Victory is to inflict more casualties than receive. Lose if receive more casualties than inflict.

Major Victory is achieved if destroy all transport as well as more casualties.

The UK force deploy in zones 4-6. The German force enters zone 4 single line and spaced apart.

Note: Road in zones 4,5,6 that enemy travels down.  Zones 4-6 need to have covering terrain.  A relief force should enter on turn 5 at zone 4 but will fail to appear.  The British can breakoff when relief shows up but as it will not, the British will have to drive the Germans from the field.

The UK has green morale for its five sections and three leaders. Support includes 2xMMG.

Available indirect support is 2x3" mortars.

The German has regular morale for its four sections and one leader. Support includes MMG + panzerschreck team + 75mm ATGun.

 

Troops

British


Company HQ

1st platoon – 2 sections

3rd platoon – 3 sections

2xMMG

2x3” mortars indirect support

 

Campaign notes:

Co HQ Hodgson (Green)

1 Plt HQ Cole (Green), 1 Plt 1 Sect Burns (Green), 1 Plt 2 Sect Knowles (Green)

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

German

1 Kompanie HQ leader

4 Gruppe, 1 with a panzerschreck

1 MMG

1 75mm ATGun (towed)

6 halftracks (they are an armoured force).

Deployment

The two key points are the Germans will move in two groups of 3 halftracks each, and that any units can be seen in the same square but only on a 6 one square away in good concealment.  If the British are in the same square as the Germans, they will be able to see the British and dismount (units can move and dismount in one activation).  The British need all six halftracks on the field to have a good chance of winning.  The short of this is the British setup one square away from the first two squares of the road, and then in the wooded hill in the third square of the row as the Germans may not get that far!

The British deploy in ambush (3rd platoon + MMG at the bottom, 1st platoon +MMG to the right on the hill).


Game

Germans get one activation and move on the first three halftracks.  They then get another activation and bring on the other three half tracks.

The German halftracks enter the ambush.

The British have one activation.  They do have PIATs with two of the sections, but they need to be in the same square. An MMG can fire on the halftracks but only have a one in six chance of destroying them.   But if the British sections move into the same square as the Germans, the halftrack MGs will likely rout them.   So much easier if they were trucks!  Hmm.  The British move into the rear square with two sections of the 3rd platoon (one with PIAT), Lieutenant Burns and an MMG. 

The British launch themselves into the rear of the transport column

The melee phase in simultaneous.

The British PIAT destroys one halftrack, a section manages to destroy another halftrack and a third is damaged and so also destroyed.  Two German Gruppe passengers dismount and are suppressed.  The towed ATGun (the third halftrack was towing it) and crew is considered lost.

The halftracks MG fire managed to rout all three British units (unbelievable dice rolls – lots of 6s). Nearly half the British units are lost already!

The two suppressed German sections can stay in the square as there is no remaining British in the square.

The rear column after melee


The Germans attempt to rally the suppressed Gruppe but fail.  The British, being mad, move the 1st platoon  from the wooded hill into the leading three halftracks. Live or die!

The other main attacking force moves into combat with the lead halftracks.

Two halftracks are destroyed and the passengers (a Gruppe, Commander and an MMG) dismount suppressed.  Amazingly no British units were destroyed but all were suppressed and as there was a remaining good order German unit in the square the British retreat. The halftrack that is still OK is assumed to have done its task and will retire and hide.  I left it in the square but it is not in the battle anymore.

State of play in the ambush

The British attempt to rally the 3rd platoon in the wooded hill, the MMG team is the only successful rally.

The Germans dismount the Gruppe from the remaining halftrack and successfully rally the remaining two units. And the Germans receive a random event and they unsuppress one of the two Gruppe in the rear of the convoy.

The Allies get two (!) activations.  The MMG on the hill fires on the leading Gruppe and does manage to supress the only unsuppressed Gruppe.  The other two sections of 3rd platoon attempt a rally, it does not succeed and one routs.  The British have lost over 50% of their forces but continue on.  The second activation sees the lone 1st platoon section fire at the Gruppe for no effect.  The Germans manage to unsuppress the MMG and a Gruppe.

The Germans are doing Ok, unlike the British.

The British get the upper hand and manage another two activations!  MMG suppresses the German MMG and the 3rd platoon section on the hill rallies. Major Hodgson successfully calls in the support mortars but the fire for effect results in nothing.  The Germans unsuppress a Gruppe.

This may go on for awhile and the Germans have the upper hand as they have more forces.  At the moment neither have enough active forces to make a difference but the Germans will win an attrition battle – they are better at rallying.

The Germans manage to rout the British MMG but in retaliation the British also rout a German Gruppe.   Very lucky.

The British still hanging on.

A bit of back and forth firing but the next major event is the British mortars successfully rout the German MG.  Even though the Germans are down to half their casualties, they carry on!

German MMG is lost

A little bit more firing but no routs, just more suppression and poor rallying.  The British finally unsuppress the 3rd platoon section on the hill and move the 1st platoon section onto the hill.  They can then move and assault the marsh!

The remaining British force on the wooded hill gets ready to assault the Germans in the marsh.

The assault (this was an British activation after a German one and then followed by a melee phase)

The British assault the Germans in the marsh

The British rout the Germans.  Even down to two Gruppe (in the first square of the ambush) and losing their leader, the Germans still decide to hang in there.

Success – the British eliminate the Germans.

There is nothing for it – the only way the British can still win is to assault the remaining Germans and hope they roll better in a melee

The British assault the last of the Germans.

 

They win – they rout a Gruppe and the remaining Gruppe finally has enough and retires from the field.  The British were untouched.

An overview of the battlefield at the end.

 

Post-battle status

Co HQ (Hodgson) 3XP gained.

1 Plt HQ (Cole) 2XP gained.

1 Plt 1 Sect (Burns) 2XP gained.

1 Plt 2 Sect (Knowles) routed during the mission and are ok to continue.2XP gained.

1 Plt 2 Sect (Davies) had no troops prior to battle.

2 Plt HQ (Ross) was not in the battle.

2 Plt 1 Sect (Turner) was not in the battle.

2 Plt 2 Sect (Wade) was not in the battle.

2 Plt 3 Sect (Hartley) had no troops prior to battle but have received replacements.

3 Plt HQ (Burns) routed during the mission and are disbanded.

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

3 Plt 2 Sect (Hanson) routed during the mission and are disbanded.

3 Plt 3 Sect (Williams). 1XP gained. New morale level is Regular.

Verdict

Well, that was harder than I thought.  If only I had not rolled up for a German armoured force then the transports would have been trucks that do not fire back.  I really thought the British were going to lose.  I did think about giving the British units an advantage to being in ambush but the spotting rules and turn sequence worked OK without needing any special ambush rules.  I have not changed the rules at all since game 1 (even if sometimes I play them wrongly) so that is good.  And one section is now no longer green! 

Sunday, 25 July 2021

WW2 West Front 1944 Campaign game 03 on a A4 3x4 grid with 6mm forces

Introduction

This is mission 3 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.  The British did not win missions 1 and 2.

Rules

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 V2.0c.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 3

It is 1944 and a UK infantry force is attacking a German armoured force. The UK mission is a patrol.

The force is tasked with patrolling the No-Man's Land area to your front.

The terrain is hills, with:

Open | Woods |Open

Crops | Hill |1-3 buildings

Open | Hill |Wooded Hill

Hill | Open |Open


The battlefield

Victory is to inflict more casualties than receive or make enemy break-off. Lose if receive more casualties than inflict and enemy does not break off.

Major Victory is achieved if inflict more casualties than receive and make enemy break-off.

The UK force all enter in zone 12. The German force Enters zone 3.

 

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

Available indirect support is 2x25pdr.


Germans

The German has green morale for its seven sections and one leader. Support includes Heavy Tank – Jagdpanzer 75/L48

Available indirect support is 2x80mm.

No MGs again.  Unlucky as it is rare for this to occur.

Troops


The British forces

Co HQ Hodgson (Green)

1 Plt HQ Cole (Green), 1 Plt 1 Sect Burns (Green), 1 Plt 2 Sect Knowles (Green), 1 Plt 2 Sect Davies (Green)

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

Deployment

None – both units start off table.

British goal is to rush to the centre hills and hopefully get into a commanding position before the Germans have a chance to bring their units on – this only way the British can win if by constraining the Germans to one square, or at most two.

The Germans will aim to make it to the buildings and the central hill to stop the British from bottling them in.

The Germans have a tank that the British can only take out by being in the same square.  The Germans may have one more squad than the British but they have only one leader.  Green troops, as I have found out, are difficult to rally once suppressed.

Game

The British get lucky with two activations and bring on all their forces, 3rd platoon under Burns to the left, and 1st platoon under Cole to the right.  For the purposes of the game, Captain Hodgson is with Burns and the second platoon.  The Germans move on one Zug.

 

First moves.


The Germans get to activate and need to make a choice – to they bring on more units (into the wood sin Zone 2) or move the existing units into the building (the only hard cover on the board and a very good defensive position).  They move into the building.  The British 3rd  platoon move up to the wooded hill and fail to spot the Germans.

 

The Germans manage to get to the buildings.

And it is here we say farewell to the pink document folder. I had been using to protect the game.  It was all I had in the house.

Good bye

I got the the storage room and pulled out a much nicer looking timber box. I have half a dozen of so of these I either made or refurbished to store gaming stuff.

And hello.

The British get their act together (two activations in a row).  I agonised about whether to move the 1st  platoon into the buildings or bring up 3rd  platoon further. Or send in one section to the building that means I spot the Germans and then call in the 25pdrs? But the section will surely be suppressed and the there is a 50% chance the artillery is busy elsewhere. But then I remembered – 2 activations – the first to move in, the second they can fire.  Normally with one activation a side it will happen that one side moves into the square and the other fires back in the next activation.  The British move in the 1st  platoon and then fire, causing one suppression and one KO.  Note that activating the British first platoon with the second activation is against the rules - the second activation must be with a different square and different units.  Can't even remember my own rules!

 

The British move into the outskirts of the buildings.

The Germans then agonise on whether to bring on another platoon (if all their units are KO’d on the table the game is over!), or try and rally the suppressed Gruppe (1/3 of a chance) and fire at the British (1/2 chance of suppression/KO of one unit).  They decide to bring on the other platoon.


The German bring on the other force.

The melee phase occurs in the building square.  It is deadly as no cover bonuses, all units can fire at +1 to the dice (although suppressed units don’t get this bonus).  The Germans suppress two sections but the other Gruppe is suppressed.  All the German units in the square are suppressed and there is one unsuppressed enemy and so the Germans must retreat one square.  The British 1st platoon hold the building.  Must not forget though – the goal is maximum casualties!

The rules are working really well – I ponder a lot on every activation on what is the best thing to do.

 

The Germans retreat from the building.

The Allies use their activation to concentrate fire from 1st platoon in the building into the German Zug in the woods (they managed to spot them).  One section fired and Lieutenant Cole successfully called in the 25pdrs.  The sum effect was one suppressed. The reason to fire on the woods was the slightly better choice – one Gruppe is out of action and will only rally on a 6 (green and no leader).  The unit on the field would have been a better target for the 25pdrs as they would have been classed as in the open but they are already suppressed and only a ½ of a chance of rallying.  And this would be the sole activation for the Germans.  All up, reducing the woods square attack potential is the thing to at the moment. 


The British fire at the German Zug in the woods.

The Germans bring on the last Gruppe and the Panzer.


The tank arrives.

The Allies move 3rd  platoon into the wooded hills.  From the building the 1st platoon fires at the newly arrived Gruppe and it routs.

“Artillery?  Hello, artillery?”

Lieutenant Cole call for the 25pdrs fails.

 

The Panzer fires at the buildings and supresses the only non-suppressed section.


The tank suppresses the section in the building.

The Germans move two Gruppe in the building.  The British cannot fire back as they are suppressed.  Instead, they move the 3rd  platoon onto the hill.  The only German unit that could fire at them is the tank- all the remaining units are suppressed.


Germans move in, British move up.

Now it is the melee phase where all hell breaks out in the building.  Three Vs two but the British units are all at -1 for being suppressed.  The German’s KO two sections of the British 1st platoon!  The British only suppressed one.  The remaining section with Lieutenant Cole retreats.


The building belongs to the Germans.

The tank fires and supresses two units on the hill.  Things are really not looking good for the British on patrol. 

Then Lieutenant  Burns on the hill calls in the 25 pdrs that hit with devastating effect (lots of 6s).  And the lone section fires as well (with a 6 as well).

The tank is KO’d by the barrage.  This covers a wide range of results but basically the tank is no longer in action, and the two other units rout as well.


Tank gone, as well as all the other units.  Don’t sit in a field!

The Germans have lots over half their forces and their leader and decide to retire from the field.  The British can claim a major victory – inflicted more casualties and forced the Germans from the field!

To be honest, at the start I did think it was going to be another loss for the British. A string of 6s in the last turn helped.  And using the artillery!

Post-battle status

 Co HQ (Hodgson) 3XP gained.

1 Plt HQ (Cole) 2XP gained.

1 Plt 1 Sect (Burns) 2XP gained.

1 Plt 2 Sect (Knowles) routed during the mission and are ok to continue. 1XP gained.

1 Plt 2 Sect (Davies) routed during the mission and are disbanded.

2 Plt HQ (Ross) had no troops prior to battle but have received replacements.

2 Plt 1 Sect (Turner) was not in the battle.

2 Plt 2 Sect (Wade) was not in the battle.

2 Plt 3 Sect (Hartley) had no troops prior to battle.

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) 3XP gained (an additional XP for good shooting)

 

Verdict

12 squares, a couple of pages of rules and only a handful of units.  It was supposed to be quick and easy.  These games are taking longer than the equivalent on a 2’x2’ table.  But in a good way.  The focus is so much on each and every activation – what one decision to take? – rather than movement and firing. It is what I was looking for and why I went back to the 3x4 grid.

Green units are terrible to rally – once they are suppressed it is a 6+, or 5+ with a leader present to rally.  Regular units are 5+ and 4+ respectively.  At least with regulars there is half a chance.    I find with the Green units once suppressed they stay there.  Cannot wait until some of the sections are Regular and units may actually rally.