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, 7 April 2017

Nuts! 18 Platoon Campaign - Scenario 01: Mount Pinçon

I have been toying with the idea of doing a campaign based on the book "18 Platoon" by Sydney Jary.  It is a memoir of his experiences as the platoon commander of 18 Platoon, 4th Somerset Light Infantry from Normandy 1944 to Germany 1945.

 As Nuts! has recently been working quite well for me, I have written and played the scenario to fit in with these rules, but they should be easily adaptable to other systems.

Jary's first action was part of Operation Bluecoat. After a bloody failed daylight attack, a couple of companies of 4/Somerset Light Infantry successfully infiltrated onto the summit, after which the Germans retreated.  18 Platoon suffered a single casualty, as fire went through one of the attacking companies into it in its reserve position.  The next morning, it led the advance down the opposite slope and was then ordered to take the next ridge from any enemy opposition...

The Forces:

Jary says that there were only 12 men in the platoon for the Mount Pinçon battle.  It is unclear if he includes himself, or if he includes the casualty from the first part of the operation.  Thus there are a couple of options in the order of battle:

18 Platoon:

2 Lt Jary (Rep 4): Armed with a US large calibre pistol
Sgt Kingston (Rep 6): SMG or rifle
Cpl Proctor (Rep 5): SMG or rifle
9 - 11 Riflemen: generate as normal

Arm them with 0 - 3 Brens, 0 - 1 2" mortar and the remainder with rifles.

Reinforcements:  any AFVs generated are Bren Gun carriers.

Investment Level: 4 (relatively strong)

The Germans:

Investment level 2 (quite weak)

Special Events:
The first civilian generated will be a single female (Rep 2).  She must accompany the soldiers who first encounters her unless she can be taken to the (cleared) farmhouse.
In the random events table, replace the following numbers:
1 - All Germans within LOS surrender
4 - The British Coy Commander (Rep 2, medium calibre pistol)  turns up.  He will go straight to Jary and make his life a misery for D6 turns (unable to move when active, temporarily reduce Rep to 3).  He will then move to cover and fall asleep!
5 - Artillery strike (the Germans had pre-planned defensive 50mm mortar fire).

Exit the table off the opposite edge (as per option two in the "Attack" mission). 

The Game:

View of the battlefield: bocage, with a large central orchard and a farmhouse in the centre

A slightly more elevated view, so you can see the end of the table (the objective)

18 Pl advance in two sections each in single file

18 Pl takes up defensive positions at the edge of the orchard, preparing to advance
A Panzershreck team stumbles into the edge of the British position: after a brief exchange of fire, the lead German falls, wounded; the other German (with the Panzershreck cowers behind the trees)

Sgt Kingston throws in a grenade, it doesn't cause any damage but the German keeps his head firmly down

A British soldier advances and knocks out the Panzershreck man

The Bren gun team establish a position in cover; then a German LMG team is sighted.  The German LMG team fire first but don't cause any casualties; when the British gun team are encouraged back into the fight by Sgt Kingston and Lt Jary, the German MG42 gunner is killed.  The number two runs for it and escapes

A closer in view of the fighting!

The German soldier makes his escape!

The British advance cautiously, but encounter no further opposition

Another view

The Brits found a civilian girl and take her to safety in the farmhouse (not shown - I have no 15mm civilian figures!) then adopt a defensive position (roof removed to show positions)

The British Pl form up along the final hedgerow, next to the road

Objective achieved!
Game Notes:

Hopefully this simple scenario may be of use to other Nuts! players.  It is simple and winnable, so it may one for the beginner rather than the grognard!  On the other hand, the beauty of Nuts! is that you never quite know what is going to happen next!
As a tactical note, cautious advances with lots of snap ambushes, taking care to create arcs of fire where the enemy can't simply retreat out of sight and into cover/safety are really useful in this game.  Try and have at least one good soldier in any group to increase the chances of getting that all-important first shot in, and have leaders ready to encourage support weapons.
Incidentally, although this mission went well (helped by the German LMG team missing, although it wasn't an easy shot) it didn't have as good a result as in real life, where the Germans encountered quickly surrendered - although 18 Pl was then hit by accurate mortar fire and could easily have lost some more.
Rules are Nuts! Final Edition, figures are a mixture of Plastic Soldier Company, Battlefront and Peter Pig, the farmhouse (sorry it is unpainted! but I think it looks quite nice anyway) is from John Banks.


  1. Great report. German LMG teams turn up regularly in my NUTS!-like skirmish games too. I tend to be able to get rid of them, except in the last game I played where it wiped out half my section. I am keen on scenarios for skirmish and this one with 11 men fits the bill. It will likely have to wait a year as I am not sure I can fit it into 2017 :-(

    Oh, and on another note a campaign on skirmish games like this would be great, and I would certainly play it. I am looking at the same thing based on Hamsphire Regiment 7th battalion company-level games (you played one of the scenarios i posted) but alas I have not found the time to get back to it. The 7th battalion was at Mount Picon too and I plan on having a scenario or two there.

  2. Thanks very much Shaun. The second scenario is written but I'm waiting for a few more buildings and to make a few suitable stone walls before the I bring it to the table.

    And like any true gamer, I have already had some thoughts about an interesting subject for the campaign after that (and which was directly inspired by your work on the Hampshires).