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.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

WRG 1925-1950 AAR: Attack on La Londres Farm

One of the bloggers I follow is Shaun Travers.  His blog is an excellent source of ideas and inspirations, particularly if you are looking for ideas for rules and scenarios played out on small tables, with no loss of fun and still retaining good visual enjoyment.  A while ago, he published a scenario which looked an absolute cracker: an attack by D Company of the 7th Hampshires on La Londres farm on 31st July 1944.

This game was played as a "training exercise" for myself: how I would approach this tactical problem.  It wasn't a "fair" solitaire game with me mentally switching sides, but rather my attempt to guide the British using the best tactical practice to victory.

Order of Battle

The British:

Coy HQ: 1 x Comd Gp, 3 x PIATs

3 x Rifle Pl each of 1 x Comd Gp, 1 x 2" Mortar, 6 x Rifle Gps, 3 x LMG teams

+ a call for 4 x 4.2" arty support

The Germans

Coy HQ: 1 x Comd Gp

2 x Rifle Pl each of 1 x Comd Gp, 6 x Rifle Gps, 3 x LMG

1 x Sp Pl of 2 x MMG

The Battle:

hello!
The set-up.  D Coy are in position top-right.  The target farms are bottom-centre. The British looked cramped, but one must remember the ground scale 1cm:10m.  Thus each 4-man rifle group is already spread out over 25-30m, which is pretty reasonable dispersion anyway.

The first shots of the encounter were fired from German LMGs in the top floor of the left-hand building in the right-hand farm complex - 4 Tommies dead and wounded in an instant! The other platoon which was crossing the road was missed.  The British platoon lining the hedge opened a heavy fire to suppress the Germans, before smoke obscured the position.
Now that the enemy position is obscured, theBritish platoon advances around the flank, covered by the second platoon
Note the third British platoon also moving into supporting fire positions (top-right)

The flanking British platoon uses the cover to get close, overpowers a German rifle group protecting the right-edge of the buildings, then assaults the right-hand building: the German section is killed or captured.
The British let the smokescreen rise so they can "shoot-in" the attack on the remainder of the famr complex.  After the Germans suffer further casualties, the remainder of the platoon surrenders.
Using the captured farm buildings as a firebase for the next stage, the British bring up the supporting fire platoon to the hedge by the road, whilst the other platoon follows in the footsteps of the leading platoon, until postioning themselves to the flank, ready for the assault.
Yet again, a concealed German MG cut down the first British riflemen to move out from cover; again the British use the combined smoke and suppression recipe ot silence the German machineguns and move forward for the assault - which duly eliminates the Germans, including the German Coy Comd in the adjacent field.

The remainder of the assaulting platoon adopts its new base of fire positions along the hedge, whilst the last platoon advances to the top-edge of the farm bulidings, ready to begin their assault.

This time the German fire is ineffective and the leading section gets close - however the Pl Comd of the nearby fire support platoon decides that he can take the nearest building and does so.  At this point, the remaining Germans surrendered.  The position is cleared!

The position at the end of the action.
Game Notes
A thoroughly enjoyable little scenario.  I made sure that I used the most methodical tactics I could, isolating individual German positions and using a combination of smoke, suppression and assault to render the German defence ineffective.  However, there is no such thing as an easy win and the 8 casualties were taken at those moments when the British infantry simply had to advance into the open.  Of course, the gaming world "reality" of the edge of the board made it slightly easier - had this not been the case, I may have used the 2nd platoon in the position later used by the 3rd platoon for its assault (to reduce exposure to any further enemy depth positions).
The key rule to use is that infantry in cover in WRG 1925-1950 are pretty much invisible until 50m away unless they open fire.  Thus as long as there are plenty of covered routes, they can be pretty invulnerable.  This can be used to great effect.  Unless they are hit whilst moving with the open or with serious HE weapons, they are very robust too.  My detailed review of these rules is here.
The game took about an hour of play.  I used the venerable but still solid WRG 1925-1950 rules on a 2'x2' table.  Buildings are a mixture of Total Battle Miniatures and Leven castings.  The figures were mainly from the new Baccus 6mm WW2 range.

Update
I have added a couple of additional photos here after some requests for a couple of close-ups of the action. 

4 comments:

  1. Wow! Honoured that you have used a scenario that I spent many hours researching and put together. And love the battle report - the terrain is fantastic and puts mine to shame. But there are no close up of the troops in action :-(

    Your tactics were similar to mine. The rules I used also have stationary infantry in cover not being seen at about 50m also. I really think WW2 actions need to have two things - suppression and decent spotting rules. WW2 1925-50 has both, a fight-move sequence, simple to hit and to save d6 rolls., AT penetration rules that are simple but differentiate guns very effectively. What more could you want! I played these rules long ago and really like them. I read these rules all the time for inspiration in my rules. I just want a faster game with less tables to look up. I like to think my rules somewhat emulate the same results you would get playing with WW@ 1925-1950.

    Anyway, thanks for playing and posting. You ended up with a similar result as I did, but it seemed just as close as when I played it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you - the scenario looked excellent: too good not to play! I am glad you liked the terrain and the report.

    And as you say, the WW2 WRG rules really are good and they do the most important things well. I don't find it surprising that they have served you well as inspiration.

    I have posted a couple of enlarged closer-in pictures; not true close ups, but hopefully they give a better indication of the troops in the terrain.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the additional closer pics. It did help with the narrative and get the idea of how good the troops look against the terrain.

      Delete
  3. No problem, glad I could help. I will try and remember to include a few more in the next reports!

    All the best

    John

    ReplyDelete