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, 22 December 2017

WRG 1925-1950: Race to St Leger I

Issue 27 of Battlegames, the first done in the Atlantic Publishing era, featured an excellent article on scenario featuring the "Race to St. Leger", a company-level game designed to showcase the Too Fat Lardies' I Ain't Been Shot Mum rules.  However, there is nothing that would stop one using it is as a scenario for any company-level rules - in my case, the WRG 1925-1950 rules supplemented by the Threat Generation System from Miniature Wargames 373.

I took the British forces for this first game.  The scenario is about the advance of the Green Howards and the Royal Dragoon Guards in D-Day, trying to maintain the speed of their advance in the face of resistance by 352 Fusilier Bn and 352 PzJg Abteilung.  I wasn't too strict about victory conditions, considering that if the British destroyed all the armour opposing them in relatively short-order, then that would be a job well done.

The Forces:


Royal Dragoon Guards:
2 troops of 2 x Sherman M4 and 1 x Sherman Firefly VC

Green Howards:
1 company of 3 rifle platoons (each platoon has a PIAT team, and 2 have a 2" mortar)


352 Fusilier Bn:
1 company of 2 grenadier platoons (1 with 3 squads, the other with 2 - all squads have a single Panzerfaust 30); and 2 x HMG belonging to the Coy

352 PzJg:
3 x Stug IIIF SP guns

However, I couldn't find my Stugs on the day of the game, so I gave the defenders 3 x PzIVG instead.

The Battle:

The first rifle platoon advances cautiously onto the table by the road

They are quickly supported by a troops of tanks from the Dragoons

This advance does not go unobserved however...

From the German Fusilier Coy commander, concealed on the high ground

The British advances develops, with infantry and armour working closely together, always with "one foot on the ground" - with static weapons able to fire at anything that should show itself, whilst other elements advance

One of the platoons goes left flanking and reaches the edge of the orchard on the hill on the British left

Against a surprising lack of resistance, the lead platoon reaches some cover about halfway down the battlefield

One of the concealed Panzer IVs (bottom-left) overlooks the valley, although the actual road is invisible from this position

A closer look

The overall situation at this point: the lead platoon is in the centre, a German PzIV to the bottom-right, another at the bottom near the German company commander, the supporting British to the left

The PzIV fires first on the British Shermans but misses; the British tankers make no such mistake and the German tank is knocked out

A closer view!

The British trip up an ambush by a concealed German squad - the lead section suffers casualties but supporting fire quickly suppresses the Germans

British riflemen going through the orchard (right) are spotted by more Germans - the Germans open an ineffective fire and are soon suppressed by the British Bren and Lee-Enfield fire

Note the supporting British tank troop has advanced further down the road (left); meanwhile, British infantry assault the German squad with grenade and bayonet (centre)

A Sherman erupts into flame as it is knocked out by a Panzer IV

The German tank commander smiles a grim smile of satisfaction...

But return fire from the Shermans quickly silences this second German tank; note that a second British tank has been destroyed near the German CP (top-left)

A dug-in German squad opens fire against the British at the edge of the orchard

The third Panzer IV opens fire from its perch on the hill - but misses again!

A Firefly doesn't make the same mistake and knocks out the final PzIV - the road to St. Leger is open
 Game Notes:
It was great to get back to WW2 after the recent concentration on Ancients and the War of the Three Kingdoms.  The solo game was fun and the threat generation system worked reasonably well, although I think its design is more suitable for a kind of wider, looser battle - it is hard to randomly generated well-organized, layered defences I think, so there was a certain lack of coherence in the German defensive positions.  On the other hand, the lack of predictability does at least keep one on one's tactical toes.  I would advise modifiying the system from all-round danger to generating defenders only in the frontal arc - this avoids making it too easy for the attacker, as otherwise defenders will often be generated right in the sights of concealed attacking supports.
Otherwise the German defenders just need to shoot better first time!  In contrast to many WW2 rules, at these kind of ranges most medium tanks are pretty vulnerable to direct hits, even to the shorter 75mm weapons.  I continue to use my mild modification to the machine gun rules, where MGs which hit can have further shots against other targets within 25m of the first.  Otherwise, a very good game from a very solid scenario using very solid rules.  The only slight complaint is that the scenario uses "turns" as the measurement of time.  If scenario writers are going to do this and not use real time, at least tell the reader what the movement of a vehicle or a foot soldier during a turn is, so it can be converted into a suitable timeframe for the reader's preferred ruleset.  I know that games designers often like to keep time a bit fuzzy and flexible, but it is hard to avoid it when converting real life actions into scenarios.

Note that although the Germans lost more armour (3 AFVs to 2), they were more efficient (66% - 50%) - funny how these quirks work, since the Germans were supposed to be about that much more efficient in Normandy overall.

And for interest, here is a link to another take on this scenario.


  1. Enjoyable, thanks and a scenario that plays to the strengths of 6mm. There was a chap who in his scenarios declared that a game would last for as many turns as your rules allow infantry to move between points A and B (A and B were usually opposite sides of the table), which seemed a very flexible approach.

  2. Thanks Norm. Although there is almost an argument that everything with a tank in WW2 plays to the strengths of WW2, if you want the ranges to look anything approaching correct.

    The infantry move idea is okay, but I think it would encourage unrealistically bold infantry tactics because of the time limits. In general, I prefer in scenarios to be given the real times and then work out a way myself of making it work with whatever rules I am using. But a lot of rules do stumble over the time-distance-turns conundrum.

    1. And to make it worse, rules vary a lot in the movement allowances of vehicles compared to infantry. Some have them really close together (representing tanks moving tactical close to the enemy); other have them wide apart. I find this does occasionally skew time based scenarios with both infantry and tanks as there is a dependency on how slow (or fast) infantry is moving compared to the vehicles.

  3. Yes, quite right. I think the time conundrum has been solved quite well in some rules in other periods, but I don't think anyone has done it very convincingly in C20/C21 warfare at platoon - battalion level. This makes it difficult for all scenarios linked to time.

  4. John,

    Wow, now that is how you carry off an assault, relatively easy day for the Brits! However, as you mentioned, things could have been a bit different had the German tank gunners been a bit more on point. Interesting thoughts on the TGS; I look forward to putting it to use this year.


  5. Hi Jack,

    It is one of those scenarios in which getting the first AFV kill is so important in setting the dynamic for how the rest of the battle goes. That said, I think one useful variation would be instead of generating the defending AFVs singly, then the whole platoon should be generated. This would almost guarantee the defending German armour a minimum of parity at the point they defend, which could give a nastier tactical problem for the British attackers.

    1. Ahh, I see, the Germans suffered not just from bad shooting but also from being piecemealed. I dunno (from a Threat Generation standpoint), that's a tough one.

      I mean, every leader is taught about concentration of force and maintaining a reserve, but reality crashes home when you're the commander tasked with using an understrength company to cover a battalion's frontage, with no idea of where the enemy's attack will actually come. I imagine that's how you end up splitting up your tank platoon to cover three different approaches.

      I say all that to say, I think it works either way! ;) The German CO could have spread his real firepower out to try and hold the line, or he could have held them all back together in order to counter-punch.


    2. Yes, it is difficult to get it quite right. On balance though, including at least the possibility of concentration might be very useful to increase and vary the threat.

    3. John,

      I agree, a variance between singles and a platoon sounds like it would work great. Looking forward to your next fight!


  6. I need to sit down and codify some of my updates and tweaks for the TGS - great though it is as a general idea, I have found that it needs a little flexible interpretation in places.

  7. I was looking to translate this scenario into 15mm and I wondered what table size you are using (it is hard to tell from the photos). I assume the ground scale is standard WRG 1mm = 1 yard?

    1. Hello Martin,

      about 4'x3', played down the length. Yes, 1mm = 1yd.

    2. Great, thanks. I thought it looked around 3' wide. I use 1.5mm = 1 yard for 15mm, so that makes it around 6x4.