Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). 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.

Friday, 1 March 2019

29, Let's Go! Campaign - Mission 1: Probe at La Cambe

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a gamer in possession of a newly painted army must be in want of a decent scenario to do them justice."

So, for my next campaign, I have moved forward (or back) to WW2 and taken on another one of the excellent TooFatLardies' pint-sized campaigns: 29, Let's Go!

This features the "hard-luck" 29th Infantry Division which suffered so badly on Omaha Beach on D-Day.  This campaign is set just after D-Day, when the 29th is pushing forward towards Isigny.  The 175th Infantry Regiment is aiming to seize and hold this bridge which will allow the linking of the Utah and Omaha beacheads.  Elements of the 352nd Infantry Division are attempting to delay them,  to allow the escape of German forces in the area before blowing up the bridge Isigny.

As usual, I am using the WRG 1925-50 rules which still, for me, do so much right without doing too much wrong, and which play very quickly at this size of game (a reinforced platoon).

The Forces:

Like several other campaigns in the series, particularly for the Allied side, the campaign does not follow the fortunes of a single platoon but is rather a series of independent reinforced platoon actions.  On the German side, the campaign mainly features a single platoon, although other platoons take the strain in a couple of the encounters.

 United States:
Pl HQ:1 x Rifle group (Pl HQ); 1 x Bazooka team
3 x Squads: 2 x Rifle groups; 2 x LMG teams
2 x Shermans
1 x FOO with a battery of 4 x 81mm mortars on call
1 x additional Bazooka team

n.b. The 29th apparently managed to get double numbers of BARs issued.  Depending upon how one interprets things, this would justify 2 x LMG teams per squad or ignoring them entirely and just having 3 rifle groups per squad.  This will either be entirely appropriate, a useful simplification or utterly wrong, depending upon your opinion...(recent discussions of these hardy perennials here and here)...

1 x Rifle group (Pl HQ); 1 x Panzerschrek team
3 x Sections: 2 x Rifle groups; 1 x LMG team
1 x Panzerschrek team
1 x Sniper
1 x FOO with a battery of 4 x 8cm mortars on call
1 x MG42 (tripod-mounted) team
1 x IG18 and crew
1 x Pak38 and crew
1 x Pak40 and crew

The Germans are generated randomly from this list.
The Set-Up:
La Cambe.  The US are approaching from the east (right)

An overhead view.

A closer look at the Eastern edge of La Cambe.

The chateau.

The edge of the main bit of the village (left hand side of the playing area)
 The Battle:
The GIs push forward, with a strong base of fire from the rest of the platoon and supporting Shermans

Another view

As the GIs push up alongside the road, they trip up an ambush!  A dug-in German section opens up on the advancing Americans

Another view

A BAR gunner and his number two drop in the first moments of the ambush

US morale is high and its supporting fire effective: the remainder of the leading US squad stay strong and assaults the suppressed German trench

Four Germans are cut down at close range...

...and the remainder of the German section surrenders!

A concealed MG42 opens up on the US infantry!

The GIs continue to ride their luck however: some poor German shooting loses them their chance to cause much damage and then they are crushed by supporting US fire

The US point section (bottom-right) comes under fire whilst advancing further from another concealed German section (centre-left)

The US infantry is suppressed but their supporting armour persuades the Germans to withdraw

The Germans make good their escape through the orchard

A German sniper in the grey house opens up, supported by a infantry gun (alright, it is a mortar - I couldn't find the right model)

A lucky BAR shot finshes off the sniper.  Tanks and infantry attack the infantry gun

After firing a couple of ineffectual rounds, the German crew retreat (left)

Position at the end of the battle: the way into La Cambe has been cleared.
US: 1xKIA, 3xWIA
Germans: 3xKIA, 5xWIA (and POW), 6xPOW

Game Results:
A reasonably text book success for the US platoon.  Helped by having tank support and good bases of fire, and some quite poor German shooting, the US eliminated the main German position in quite short order.  The other Germans were encountered when their morale was already shaky and so they did not put up much resistance, although it at least meant that they could get away cleanly without significant further losses.

Game Notes:
The US were definitely helped by having the extra firepower of two BARs per section, and counting them as LMGs.  They weren't quite as good as the German LMGs, since I allow those a "successive fire" capability: they can fire on successuve targets within 25m of the first target, as long as a hit is achieved.
As usual for these solo WW2 games, I use the "Threat Generation System" from an old issue of Miniature Wargames magazine.  It continues to provide unpredictable, and thus tense, games.  As the active player I do have a systemic advantage in being able to co-ordinate activity better, so each scenario is basically a test of that, but with the proviso that it might end up being trivially easy to win, or impossibly hard, depending on which threats are generated where.

Figures and tanks by Baccus 6mm. Buildings mainly Leven.  The playing area is about 2.5'x1.75' and the game took about 45 minutes or so. 


  1. Thanks, enjoyed. I was pretty sure in my mind that these rules were re-printed by John Curry. I have just checked at Amazon Kindle and the title is not there ...... but several re-printed titles from my early wargame days are. I am going to pick a couple of significant (to me) titles tonight, so thanks for putting me on that track :-)

    1. Thanks very much Norm. The second edition of the rules are reprinted via Lulu ( but I don't think the first edition, or the intermediate edition I am using, have been republished. They were available as a free download for ages.
      Which old rules did you pick up?

    2. Donald Featherstone's Battles with Model Soldiers.

    3. I don't think I have ever read that one, it will have to go on the list!

  2. Nice AAR and paraphrasing of Jane Austen in the beginning. Good read. 😀

    1. Thanks Stew! I know she put it in Pride & Prejudice...but since she was a gamer too (old school imagi-nations!), then I imagine she must have said something like this at one point...😀