Sunday 29 July 2012

AAR on D Day plus 2

The only change I made to the previous blog detailing the forces involved, was to add a dummy blind each turn to the German forces at entry ( a very good suggestion posted on the TFL forum apologies for not noting your name. ).
Turn 1 and the Germans get Panzer Zug 1 plus an infantry zug arriving at entry point A. The panzers are spotted immediately by the vigilant tommies. Things begin to look ominous for the Brits as the turn card pops up each deal of the deck before tea break. ( for those not familiar with IABSM, the action stops on the deal of the tea break card and the deck is shuffled, this can result in lots actions before the turn is moved on on the appearance of the end of turn card. ) The German forces arriving quickly so that the British do not get chance to take on the attackers piecemeal.

 British troops use the cover of the woods, the panzers wary of getting too close to the woods stand off electing to fire high explosive shells at the Tommies.

  Lt. Baggs sends the Piat team to the left, putting the house between the armour and themselves.
 The German company HQ machine guns moved onto the hill to put suppressing fire into the woods. Walker having spotted them calls in the battalion mortars. All those hours put in on Salisbury Plain pay off with a devistating direct hit. The rapid fire of the mortars effectively neutralise the machine guns for the rest of the game. The rest of the German forces can be seen moving through the close Normandy lanes.

 The alert British soon spot most of the German blinds.
 Corporal Quaver the 6pdr IC takes careful aim on the panzer coming up the lane. The first shot misses its target, but a second aimed shot smashes into the track of the panzer immobilising it.

 The German tank commander frantically scans the woods edge for signs of the anti tank gun. He fires his high explosive rounds but only manages to inflict some shock upon the guns crew. The high British morale  eases the situation ( An allied rally card ).
Cpl Quaver takes another shot, hitting the tank again! , he fails to destroy his target, but the veteran crew of the tank know when their luck is up and the commander orders his crew to bail out. He has learned that it is easier to replace a tank than an experienced crew.

 The German platoon commander seeing the danger to his supporting armour moves around the house with a section. A close assault results in the pita team being driven off.

 The platoon 2" mortar drops smoke in front of the Jerry tank but not before its bombardment of the woods edge severely damages one of the platoons section.
 German platoons in position waiting for the final assault on the woods.
 The German armour standing off, their supporting infantry preventing the British from leaving the cover of the woods.
 A successful German assault wipes out Cpl Quaver and his crew. A series of firefights and close combats force the British back from their positions, they also lose the platoon Piat & Mortar.
The Germans have pushed into the woods, and having the numbers on their side, Captain Jacobs reluctantly orders Lt. Baggs and Sgt Smith to pull out their men. The British conduct an orderly retreat.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

D Day plus 2 ( a fictional scenario )

As I have forces for early war west and east and mid and late war eastern front those chaps at TFL chose to release Battle for Liberation, a handbook for the war in the west 1943 to 45. Thanks guys!

Written for their IABSM company level rules, it is set at 1:1 and is a great source of information for any company level game system using that ratio.

But the glass is always half full and this gave me an excuse to purchase some late war British from Peter Pig. Having finished them I had to put them to use, so what follows is a fictional scenario to get my British into action.


It is the morning of the 8th June, during the night the British have taken a small hill dominating the local area.

The German commander has ordered an immediate counter attack with any available forces, with orders to take back the hill before the British can dig in and reenforce it.

British Briefing

You are Captain Jacobs, you have under your command two regular platoons of 2nd Company. Last night you successfully captured this hill from Jerry. They obviously are still in a state of shock and disarray, otherwise the hill would have been better defended. Anyway their misfortune is your good luck.

As Battalion HQ considers this hill vitally important they have sent whatever assets they have available.

A 6 pounder has just arrived, along with Walker the forward observation officer from the mortar platoon. Further help will be sent as soon as possible, but congestion and local counter attacks are hindering our efforts. ( Note to Umpire, reserves will not arrive during this game. )

Capt. Jacobs Level III

Plt. 1                       Plt. 2
Lt. KP Bags Level II                       Sgt. Smith Level II
3 Sections of 8 men                       3 Sections of 8 men
Piat Team crew of 2                       Piat team crew of 2
Mortar 2” crew of 2                       Mortar 2” crew of 2

Walker FOO                       ATG 6pdr crew of 5, Carrier as tow.
Mortars 3”  x 6 off board

German Briefing

The Tommies captured the hill last night. It is is imperative that we regain it’s possession before they can stabilize their positions. You have a full company of veterans and the support of two panzer platoons. The enemy has less than a company and no armoured support. You will need to strike quickly before they can reenforce their position.
Looking north toward the hill. Road A is top left of picture, road B centre left, and road C bottom of picture.

The German player should be informed of the following just before the game begins.

Unfortunately due to the need to rush the armour into position, breakdowns and the RAF have reduced Zug 1 to two PzIVs and Zug 2 to only one PzIV. However the attack must go ahead as planned.
Your six platoons will arrive two each turn in turns one to three ( they will be randomly diced for, or if you want an easier game for the German player let him choose ). Each platoons arrival point  must be diced for separately and will be, road A on a 1 or 2, road B on 3 or 4 and road C on a 5 or 6.
All this confusion represents the difficulties the Germans had in coordinating their counter attacks just after D Day.

Co HQ                                  Pz Zug 1
BM Level III                          BM Level II
BM Level II                          PzIV x 2 morale 4
MG42 tripod x 2 five crew each.

Zug 1 to 3                          Pz Zug 2
BM Level II                          PzIV x 1 Morale 4
3 Sections of 8 men

The game has yet to start so the AAR will be up in in couple of weeks.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Eastern Front October 1943

In October 1943 the 315th Grenadier Regiment of the 167th Infantry Division had to hold a 10km long battlefront. The Regiment numbered just over nine hundred men and was supported by just four StuG IIIs. Three Soviet guards infantry regiments and a tank regiment with the support of two further Divisions  smashed through the 315th and poured westward. The survivors formed small battle groups resisting the Soviet forces flowing west.
Chaos followed, with Division first ordering a counter attack with non existing troops, then ordering the survivors to hold their positions.

This scenario pits a small battle group at Solotaryevka and a small wooded hill against overwhelming Soviet odds. Could they hold out against the next wave? A small force with a high proportion of Big Men try to hold off an unknown number of Soviet attackers.

I like to use IABSM 3 Company level rules, but these forces can be adapted to any company level rule set.

KG 1 ( village )

Big Man Lvl 3
2 HMGs ( 5 crew)

Zug 1
Big Man Lvl 2
Big Man Lvl 1
2 Sections of 8 men

Zug 2
Big Man Lvl 2
Big Man Lvl 1
2 Sections of 8 men

1 Pak 38 crew 5

1 75mm IG crew 5

KG 2 ( the woods )

Big Man Lvl 3
1 Forward Observer
1 HMGs ( 5 crew)

Zug 1
Big Man Lvl 2
Big Man Lvl 1
2 Sections of 8 men

1 x StuG III

As this was a solo game for the enemy I used the system of blinds from Platoon Forward tweaked for company level, that way I wouldn't know the exact make up the enemy, each blind may represent a platoon, HQ, heavy weapons group or nothing. 

I used the following:
7 x Type A , 5 x Type B and 3 x Type C. I then shuffled them and diced to see which section of the table they arrived on and which would be reserves. As it turned out all but two started on the table.
 The battleground, Soviet blinds mass for the assault.
KG 2 defending the woods.
 KG 1 on the village perimeter.

 KG 1 on the village perimeter.
 Soviet blinds revealed. Argh! most blinds contained forces, this was going to be pretty one sided.
 Blinds revealed at the other end of the table. One armoured platoon, an infantry platoon and CHQ with MMGs.
 Platoon 4 advance on the wood supported by a platoon  of T34s, confident that the previous waves had silenced the bosch.
 Soviet troops advancing in the open take a terrible toll.
T34s engage Zug 2.
 Solotaryevka under attack.
 Soviet machine gunners in the open, too good a target, the machine gun bursts into life.
They pay the price and are cut down.
 Soviet armour stand off and shell the wooded hill. ( PSC T34s great value. )
The lone StuG behind the wood engages the armour assaulting Solotaryevka.
 Human wave! two platoons of Soviet infantry charge the German defenders.
 1st Platoon are short.
2nd Platoon closes with the Jerry.
 Sweeping away the defenders they gain a foothold in the village.
 The Jerry section and HMG open fire cutting down the Soviet platoon caught short of the village.
Wait till you see the whites of their eyes.
 Soviet armour fire High Explosive on the wooded hill, ( two T34s roll a six in the attack, a third rolls double six. ) Its all over at the wooded hill as the survivors lose their bottle and retreat to the far side of the hill.
 The platoon big man signals the advance.
The hill is lost, the only option is to make their way back west to where ever the front line is now.
Russian infantry break into the village.
The StuGs only success, one bailed out T34 ( The eagle eyed will have spotted Zvezda T34s, also great value but early war only. I had to press them into service didn't have enough T34s ).

Defeat is only a matter of time now, the German commander signals his men to fight their way back to their own lines.