Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life; currently concentrating on a re-fight of the entire Peninsular War, but with the odd foray into ancient, medieval and WW2 battles.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Scottish Corridor Campaign Battle 04 - Probe at Bas de Mouen re-visited

This was a replay of the second battle in the campaign, scenario six from the TooFatLardies' Scottish Corridor mini-campaign book.






As I will explain in the game notes, I didn't stick with the WRG 1925-1950 rules that I have used thus far, but instead mashed together that set with the TooFatLardies' "Chain of Command".

Orders of Battle:

Kampfgruppe Frey / 1st SS Liebstandarte Division
1 x Panzer Grenadier Pl
2 x PzIVF

3rd Monmouths
1 x Rifle Pl
1 x 6lb anti-tank gun

The Battle:

To simulate the pre-battle patrolling and advance, the Chain of Command rules use "patrol markers" to indicate where each side gets to.  Here, red for British, blue for German.
This translates into "jump-off" points, which I suppose are similar to spawning locations in computer games i.e. where the forces of each side can spring into the game.  Green for British, yellow for Germans.


The game underway.  The Germans advance a section through the woods on their left, accompanied by a Panzer IV.

Some luck at the right moment allows the British to ambush the advancing German section as its riflemen try to advance towards a farmhouse.   The German section in pinned by the fire, but not destroyed.
Same situation seen from the British perspective
The Second Phase


The Germans move a second tank up and also begin an advance on their right (top).  Again, the British (located in the building top-left) try to ambush the advancing German panzer grenadiers but again their shooting suppresses rather than kills.  The supporting German MG42s (in the hedgeline) return fire to suppress the British infantry in response. 
A British 6lb anti-tank gun (hard to see: on the top-left by the road, hiding in the hedge) suddenly opens up on the leading Panzer IV and brews it up!
Third Phase


German machinegunners eliminate the anti-tank gun crew and cause some casualties amongst the British in the buildings (top-left).  However, the Monmouths have got the better of the German section nearest and eliminated an MG42 team and the riflemen who had been pinned in the open.

Victory on each flank!  The German section has been destroyed by the British in the near ground, but the British infantry section in the buildings has been eliminated by the German sections on the far side of the road.  The Germans had a little good fortune and slightly against the odds, the British platoon lost its nerve first and withdrew!  The Germans were thus able to successfully probe to the edge of the board past the now undefended buildings (top-left).
 Results:

British losses: 15 men killed and wounded, 1 6lb anti-tank gun destroyed.
German losses: 16 men killed and wounded, 1 PzIVF destroyed.

Game Notes:

Recent campaign games had worried me a little that the Germans just did not have sufficient chance of winning.  I was using the WRG 1925-1950 rules along with the "Threat Generation" solo system published in Miniature Wargames 373:


 And whilst this gave very exciting games in general, playing one side obviously gives the player incentive to play against the system as hard as possible and "win" the game by beating the system.  However, experience has shown that if I play sensibly and methodically, I'd have to be quite unlucky to lose.  So in this game, I decided to experiment with something else.

There are two main reasons I haven't been using the TooFatLardies' Chain of Command rules for the games so far.


Firstly, my 6mm troops are based in elements and Chain of Command uses a figure-removal system.  Secondly, the Chain of Command rules are heavily interactive, in that players have to make decisions in both their turn and their opponent's turn.  So what I decided to try in this game was to keep the firing, movement, visibility and morale elements of the WRG rules, but use the patrolling and activation systems for the Chain of Command rules, whilst limiting the "out-of-turn" options to opening fire on a visible target.  This means that the "non-active" side can get a couple of additional shots off, but can't immediately open fire on troops they can't see.  For instance, in the game played above, the British infantry in the buildings could fire on the German infantry in the open field but couldn't fire on the German infantry section which was activated that turn, because it was in the hedge and over 50m away.

I was very pleased with how it worked and it created a very close game.  I'd warn players about one thing though: the realism levels are high in this game!  So, infantry can get suppressed easily and it makes dismounted manoeuvre hard and tank combat is often decided by who gets off the first shot.

For future development, I may look at how the combat system in Chain of Command can be made more "element" friendly or alternatively how a more extensive junior leadership system can be incorporated into the WRG rules.

Played on a 3'x2' board, buildings from Total Battle Miniatures and figures and vehicles were mainly from GHQ in this game.

6 comments:

  1. FYI jump off points aren't "spanning points" they represent the general run of the frontlines where the forces would be concealed positions until they were engaged in the fight.

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  2. Okay, thanks. I thought they were a bit like spawning points because "all infantry units or leaders deploying onto the table must be placed within a specific distance of a friendly jump-off point. How far...depends on their troop quality."

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  3. An interesting report and mix of the WRG and CoC rules.

    If you look at some of the battle reports for CoC you'll see players have used FoW troops to play which also have troops on bases ratehr than individually mounted. Since troops normally work as teams or weapon crews, you should be able to play CoC without any major issues using WRG elements. Instead of individual figure removal you'd want another way to track loses on stands. We use small dice to mark shock using individual figures but a different color of small dice could be used similarly to track loses.

    Chris

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  4. Thanks for your comments. I may well give this a try in the near future.

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  5. Enjoyed the mash up. Thanks, norm

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