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.

Saturday 5 August 2017

Operation Martlet (Revisited): Mission 1 - Probe Into Fontenay

The Too Fat Lardies' Operation Martlet "pint-sized" campaign was too good to just play once, so today I played it again.

 I used the WRG 1925-1950 rules to play out the scenarios, although I strongly considered using Nuts! and Chain of Command instead.  However, both of those rulesets seem to play better with individually based 15mm figures than with my element based 6mm figures.  The scenarios in this campaign demand just a little bit more scenery than I have in 15mm at the moment - I really need some more 15mm farm buildings for this campaign! - so I decided to go with 6mm figures and the WRG rules again.  I am really looking forward to playing this campaign with Nuts! one day though, I think it would be tremendous.

This campaign concerns Operation Martlet in Normandy 1944, specifically the attack towards Fontenay and then Ruaray by 11/Royal Scots Fusiliers, later relieved by 7/Duke of Wellington's Regt, against elements of the 12th SS Panzer Division:

Anyway, the first scenario featured a British rifle platoon of 11 RSF supported by a Sherman and a FOO for a 3" mortar battery against a German SS Panzergrenadier Pl supported by a Pak40.

The Set-Up:

The road to the outskirts of Fontenay.  The Scots are probing from the left (North).  Incidentally, the hedgerow at the top of the picture is to mark the edge of the board.  It cannot be used as cover by either side.

Another view.
And looking along the road that the Scotsmen will advance by.

The Battle:
An infantry section with an attached PIAT hug the bottom hedgerow.

Infantry sections advance by pepperpot next to the main road.

Another view.

The advance is unmolested so far: a section reaches the first building (bottom-left); whilst the advance near the main road is about 50m short of the house by the crossroads.

Another view.

Contact!  British infantry occupying the wall (left) and the stables (closest building) are engaged by a German infantry section.

Meanwhile, the remainder of the British platoon have occupied the crossroads.

The firefight continues; lots of suppression, not much damage!

The remainder of the British platoon formed up, ready to continue the advance

But the trap is sprung!  German infantry to the top-right of the crossroads (just visible behind the hedge!) and another section (beyond the building at the top-left) open fire.

A view from the Eastern side, so the German section can be more easily seen); British troops occupying the building by the crossroads are supporting the Brits outside

The Sherman moved to help the Scotsmen engaged at the bottom; its HE fire and extra MG, allied to the rifle and Bren fire, has destroyed two German MG42 teams.  The British infantry leave the stables to assault the pinned down Germans.

The firefight around the crossroads continues.

While the Fusiliers have completed the destruction of the German section at the bottom.

The FOO calls in 3" mortar fire on the German section at the top...

Six Germans become casualties!

The Sherman moves up to help the Scotsmen at the crossroads, but a Panzerfaust screams out and brews it up!!  Note that supporting fire from the house has already eliminated one of the German LMG teams here.  Just after this, the remainder of both German sections broke and ran.

With the Germans eliminated or driven off, the Scots resume their advance
British: 1 x Sherman, 1 x PIAT team
Germans: 2 x Rifle groups, 3 x LMG teams

Game Notes:
I was using the WRG 1925-1950 rules (reviewed here) along with the solo play "Threat Generation" system from Miniature Wargames 373, which I have reviewed previously here, but in essence involves using a card deck to pick German defenders (or nothing, there are some dummy cards); randomly generating the direction and distance of the threat; then randomly generating the tactical posture of the threat.  It does work really well for a reasonably casual solo game.

 It doesn't generally give the toughest game - although you do need your wits about you - simply because a randomly generated defence shouldn't be as effective as a planned one, given reasonable tactics and an average dose of luck.

You get a feeling for how the WRG rules work after a while, especially in infantry battles: lots of suppression for relatively little damage, as long as the range isn't very close or somene is caught on the move in the open.  This feels pretty realistic.  Suppressing then assaulting really does work, as long as you have numerical superiority too (otherwise it is hard to generate the forces needed to carry out the assault, they are all too busy pinning).  It was quite a lucky shot that did for the Sherman!

I should note that I use a ground scale of 1":10m for these scenarios.  For 6mm troops that is not too far off accurate ground scale!

Figures mainly by Baccus 6mm, the Sherman is from GHQ, the buildings from Leven Miniatures and Timecast.


  1. Good stuff buddy, thanks for posting, it's good to see you getting some more fights in. Your 6mm table and troops look fantastic, and I thought the game went well, too.


  2. Thanks very much Jack, it is good to be back playing. Lots more to come (And time to catch up on how Cuba Libre is doing too)!

    1. Cool man, and don't waste time on Cuba Libre while you're in a gaming groove! ;)


  3. My first thought was - so soon? you only played this about a year ago. Just checked at it was nearly double that! It was a good series of games last time, so hopefully it will be just as good this time round. I think I may have even commented back then that I really do want to play these rules sometime but still have not found the time. Some of their (WRG 1925-1950) concepts do influence my own rules, and I used the penetration table to validate some of the percentage chances of a KO in some of my rules.

    Oh, and I am always surprised by your 6mm games - they always look like you are actually playing at a larger scale.

  4. I know, time marches and takes no prisoners...

    Yes, I was I hoping for games at least as good as last time and I haven't been disappointed. I do think I am going to have to tweak the LMG rules a little though.