Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life; currently concentrating on a re-fight of the entire English Civil War, but with numerous discursions into battles from many different periods. The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Nuts! Normandy '44 Campaign - Mission 01: Patrol to Hill 342

Nuts Campaign Game - Mission 01: Patrol to Hill 342

I wanted to play Nuts! more this year, so it has made it as one of the games on my 10x10 BoardgameGeek Challenge list (also here). I have a few ideas for really good Nuts! campaigns in the future, but whilst I am still getting used to the rules system, I thought I would generate a fictional campaign from the rulebook itself.  So read below for the first in my Nuts! Final Version Normandy '44 campaign:

My Forces -  a section from the Tyneside Scottish:

Me - Section Commander (SMG) Rep 5
LCpl Robson - Section 2IC (rifle) Rep 4
Pte Charlton - Bren Gunner Rep 4
Pte Todd - Bren Gunner 2nd Rep 4
Pte Armstrong -  Rifleman Rep 4
Pte Brown - Rifleman Rep 4
Pte Nixon - Rifleman Rep 4
Pte Johnson - Rifleman Rep 3

I'm not using the "Star Quality" rules or any individual characteristics as yet, I am going to wait until I am more familiar with the ins and outs of the rules first.

The Mission
The sector: random rolling generated a nice mix of open, hills and clear terrain, including a large building. I have added the hedgerows to give a better look and more cover.  The British will approach from the bottom and must recce the top edge (get within 6cm of the of top edge, divided into three sections of 20cm, all of which sections must be approached)

A slightly closer-in shot

The leading British pair enter the right-hand woods

Black counters indicate possible enemy troops - note two on the hill.  There is a third hidden in the hedgerows to the left-centre.  In these rules, all buildings may well be occupied too. 

A more top-down look.  My plan is to approach the hill slightly from the right where there are good covered approaches and stay away from that church

A worm's eye view

The Brits line the hedge in ambush as a possible enemy approaches...

Weapons are readied...but false alarm!  Carry on.

Another possible enemy approaches, again the Brit section prepares an ambush...and again, another false alarm!

And again!  This should be easy for the Brits, it appears that the sector is empty

Oh no it isn't!  The sound of shouts and whistle to the rear indicate the Germans are attacking through the woods!!

There is just time to get ready before the Germans arrive.  British fire drops one of the German machine-gunners and forces the rest of the German section to take cover.  Note the British lead scout remains facing the other way to give some semblance of all-round defence

More machine-gun chatter and rifles barking!  Another German is out of the fight.  The German NCO keeps his men trying to advance however

I think this is what they mean by fighting at close-quarters! A German grenade is about to kill one of the Brits (Pte Nixon)

The German Feldwebel gets his men to charge after another grenade is thrown.  A couple of Brits are knocked down initially, but the Germans are worsted.  Two are incapacitated, then the German NCO is hit too.  The Germans run!

The British continue their patrol, but a German Panzerschrek team also approaches through the woods
The British patrol completes its recce.  Note the Bren gun group left at the hedge-hill intersection for protection

Another view

The Bren gunner kills the Panzerschrek gunner and the German number two flees.  The British then retrace their steps, not neglecting their obstacle crossing drills!

The British return cautiously

Returning through the woods

Mission completed!
Game Notes:
Another fun game of Nuts!  It rattled along at a decent pace without too many problems.  My main rules concern here was when the Germans were fast-moving through the woods, at which point would the in-sight test be triggered: when the first German figure completed its move, or when the German group had completed it.  The rules as written incline me more to the first, but it actually seems to be the second alternative (thanks to THW! for posting this video):

Apart from that though, no major issues.  The Germans rolled an "attack" mission, which is why their troops were being so aggressive.  Leadership was important too: as long as the Rep 5 German NCO was directing matters, the Germans were full of buzz (basically the leader supplies an extra die for certain crucial tests: this greatly increases the chances of troops remaining in the fight).  As soon as he was knocked out of the fight, the surviving Germans packed up straight away.  The British had been a little unlucky not to do more damage in the initial firing and one of the German grenadiers managed to get a good grenade throw off, but overall the luck of the British held and they were able to maintain their advantage.
One very good thing about these rules is that hits are difficult to achieve and there is a lot of "non-participation", as some troops can easily end up spending an entire firefight ducked back in cover.  It makes a decent stab at emphasizing the importance of machine guns and grenades, and hits with rifles are not that easy to achieve for typical riflemen (usually a 1-in-6 chance: a solid rep 4 soldier will typically need a 6 to hit).
So plenty more to explore here, but a very good start to the campaign.
Figures used were mainly Baccus 6mm, but with some GHQ and Adler in there too. Building from Baccus. Played on a 2'x2' board, took about an hour or so of playing time.

Campaign Notes:
After the successful mission, the squad has improved too:

Me - Section Commander (SMG) Rep 6
LCpl Robson - Section 2IC (rifle) Rep 4
Pte Charlton - Bren Gunner Rep5
Pte Todd - Bren Gunner 2nd Rep 4
Pte Armstrong -  Rifleman Rep 4
Pte Brown - Rifleman Rep5
Pte Elliot - Rifleman Rep3
Pte Johnson - Rifleman Rep4

British Force morale has improved, German morale and commitment has decreased.  On with the next mission!


  1. Thanks for posting. Didn't even realize that you were using 6mm, very nicely done.

  2. Thanks very much, I appreciate it. I'm looking forward to getting some more games in during the next couple of weeks.

  3. Technically, the In Sight Test is triggered as soon as one or more elements enters the line of sight of the enemy. At that point the triggering group can move up to two more inches for free before the IST moves into resolution.

    After the IST, if any members of the moving group are in good order (generally not in Duck Back, dead, or out of the fight) they complete their movement – which could trigger another IST if they're particularly unlucky or bold.

  4. "Technically, the In Sight Test is triggered as soon as one or more elements enters the line of sight of the enemy."

    Speaking technically, how could more than one element trigger it? Surely by this, the test would be triggered as soon as the first figure enters LOS.

    1. Picture a line across in the woods. They all step forward into sight - trigger the In Sight and have 2" of movement left - even if that means stepping back out of sight.

      Now picture a column of 1 wide and 120 deep. First guy steps out, triggers the In Sight. Next guys within 2" could move into sight.

  5. Thanks for that Ed, fortunately exactly as I played it. Your YouTube video was very helpful.

    All the best

  6. Most impressive AAR! And it shows what can be achieved with 6mm, a scale I haven't used before. I actually play NUTS! at the other end of the scale, namely 1/35.

  7. Thanks very much, Stiubhart. I bet that 1/35 looks most impressive! I keep on meaning to have a go at doing this with 15mm figures, but I haven't got around to making/getting enough terrain yet.