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.

Sunday 13 August 2017

Operation Martlet Revisited - Mission 5: Winning Your Spurs

The Scenario: There is little in the way of defensive positions between St.Nicholas and Rauray.  The British, led by the Duke of Wellington's Regt, must advance along a spur to the outskirts of the village.

The Forces: The British Rifle Platoon is at full strength and has an extra rifle section, plus two FOOs with two 3" mortar batteries in support.  The Panzergrenadier Pl is down to two sections' strength, and is supported by an infantry gun this time.

The Terrain: 

The spur.  The hedgeline marks the edge of the game world.  The stream is really supposed to be a drainage ditch but I figured it would serve a similar purpose.  The key thing to remember is that it is supposed to be lower than the surrounding ground.  Otherwise, a fairly open terrain.

And looking up the table from the British side.
 The Battle:

Given the sparseness of the terrain, the British advance in extended line, with a rifle section advancing along the ditch.

A closer view.  The British troops seem to be successfully blending into the sparse cover!!!!

Contact Front!  A German section opens fire.  The nearest British rifle group is cut down immediately.

Note the gap in the line above.  However, the majority of the British platoon then put fire down and suppress the German section

The British section in the sunken stream advance without being noticed!  A combination of rifle, machine gun and mortar fire have eliminated the threat from the German section in the field

Another German section opens up from the edge of the hedgerow.  The range is a bit greater this time, so the British avoid taking casualties.

The Germans are eliminated by the same combination and the advance resumes.

With the lead rifle section covering both directions and another in the rough ground (top-left), the British continue their advance across the field.

The position at the end of the battle.  There are a couple of photos missing; basically a Germaninfantry gun appeared at the bottom of the table, but although suffering few casualties, they failed their morale test and routed pretty quickly.
British: 1 Rifle Group, 1 LMG Team
Germans: 2 Rifle Groups, 3 LMG Teams

Game Notes: The campaign ended at this point, as although there is another mission to do, the Germans didn't really have enough troops left to field even a barely viable platoon.  I think that this mission just confirms the lessons of the rest of the campaign: for the combination of WRG 1925-1950 rules and the Threat Generation System to work, the rules need to make LMGs more effective and the solo system needs to be able to generate potentially larger number of threats all at the same time to create the possiblity of overmatching the British platoon.  As it is, against methodical play, the Germans were eliminated relatively quickly.  Unfortunately as well, the infantry gun was activated right at the end; an early activation might have been more of a test for the British.  As it was, fairly straightforward.

So, a successful campaign fought, with some interesting challenges.  I don't think I will play it again as is, but may return to it in the future with a different rule set.  When I have sufficient 15mm terrain to tackle it, I think that it may make an excellent campaign for Nuts!

Many thanks to the many of you who have read and commented on this campaign.


  1. Damn man, slow down, I can't keep up!!! ;)

    But that was a great set of fights, fun to watch and read through. I appreciate all the hard work, thanks for posting these up.

    While a great mini-campaign that looked like a lot of fun, I agree with your assessment of the situation regarding the rules. For me, first and foremost would be throwing out the force structure from Chain of Command, and I wouldn't even bother with 'following' the German platoon. I'd totally randomize the enemy force (via the Threat Generation system); my experience is that we, as solo gamers, typically need to be outnumbered in order to have a fun game.

    As you noted, your games were certainly realistic, but a couple of them were less than fun. But finding a way to deal with the enemy is always the key to us solo gamers, isn't it? I went looking for the magazine with the threat generation system, but didn't have any luck...

    Anyway, thanks again man, and I can't wait to see what you get up to next.


  2. Thanks very much Jack, I have really appreciated your comments over the course of the campaign.

    I was thinking about the difference between this and a lot of your games, in that your games often feature a smaller but more elite force played by you as opposed to my WW2 games, where I often play against a force at least equal in skill and equipment quality. I think in some ways that means that reality and a fun game can somehow be closer than in peer-vs-peer stuff at this small unit level. I'm not sure that I have expressed the thought very well, but hopefully you get what I mean. Anyway, I have a couple of points to think about and work on before I next tackle something like this.

    My next project in this vein will be to resume my British 1944 Nuts! campaign...unless I do an American 1944 campaign first! But either way, I do need to do a little bit more work on terrain before that happens. I have a Napoleonic campaign ongoing in the meantime.

    If you get a moment, could you send me an e-mail please? I'm at j_w_h_07_14@_yah_oo.c_o.u_k (underscores removed)

  3. No sweat man, I really enjoyed the fights, and like I said, I know how much work goes into posting these batreps.

    Regarding elite force vs non-peer, don't be fooled. I may talk up the 'elite' aspect in my batreps, but in the actual games, I rarely give my guys any sort of bonus. Well, unless I'm getting my butt kicked. But that's what I'm getting at: the 'elite bonus' is me; those are my troops and I want them to win, and the other side is somewhat randomized (like with your threat generation system) and attacks/defenses can become disjointed. So I'm almost always playing peer-to peer, the recent Ambush Alley games and the a few games I played with SOF Warrior notwithstanding. That is to say, almost everything I play is Fivecore (Company Command and Five Men at Kursk), and they are played 'straight up.'

    I certainly know how it feels to have too many projects going on; I need to get back to my Napoleonics as well! In any case, thanks again, and I'll send you an e-mail shortly.


  4. Ah, that is interesting, thanks very much for clarifying that Jack.