It is 18th May 1940. the British Battalion of 23rd (Northumbrian) Division on the extreme right of the BEF is pushing out patrols to try and establish the limit of the German advance and the location of French troops in the area.
2 x NCOs (Rifle, Rep 4)
1 x Bren Gunner (LMG, Rep 4)
1 x ATR Gunner (ATR, Rep 4)
6 x Riflemen (Bolt-Action Rifles, Rep 3)
Due to the poor training level of the British, only Rep 4 soldiers are trained in weapons other than their own (i.e. if the Bren gunner is out of the fight, only a Rep 4 soldier can pick it up).
Friendly Investment Level: 3 Enemy Investment Level: 4
Use the normal reinforcement chart, except:
British AT weapons are ATRs (use the Russian stats) not PIATs
No British SMGs. NCOs replace with rifles, Officers with pistols.
British armour has an equal chance of being a Matilda I or Matilda II.
German AT weapons are ATRs
German armour has an equal chance of being a PzII, an StuG IIIB or a light armoured car.
Resistance fighters are French infnatrymen (Rifles, Rep 3)
The mission is to get a member of the British patrol within 6" of all three zones at the opposite edge of the board and then return safely.
|The battlefield: the British patrol advances from the bottom-right
|The small copse: this is an initial recce before the main patrol began
|The farm at the other side of the battlefield
|The view along the wooded belt, with the hill at the top-left
|The British lead pair in the copse observe movement...an elderly Frenchmen hobbles out of the tree-line towards their position
|The British point man (right) and Corporal (left) in the copse observe the approach of the French gentleman...
|A German MG34 team comes patrolling out of the tree-line and spots the old man!
|That moment of uncertainty is all the British Corporal needs - a couple of rounds rapid drops the German machinegunner before he even thinks about firing. His no.2 rushes back into the cover of the woods
|The British section moves up...
|However, a German patrol has just entered the wood belt from the other side!
|Another view of the patrolling Germans
|The German squad's point-man is wounded by rifle fire as he advances into the woods. The German NCO and his machinegun team drop into cover. An inconcuslive exchange of fire follows.
|The British Corporal leaves the firefight to his 2iC and takes a small group right-flanking. They run into the pistol armed German who fires some inaccurate shots then runs...
|The British Corporal drops him in his second bit of neat shooting for the day. The British patrol in the dead ground at the far side of the hill.
|The Germans make an effort to get forward but suffer two more wounded; one of the British riflemen is also hit
|Making good use of ground, the British Corporal's team finished the reconnaissance
|Silence falls around the battlefield - neither patrol wishes to risk more casualties...
The affair petered out at this point, since no-one really wanted to do any more fighting. The Germans lost 2 killed, 2 wounded and 2 wounded prisoner, the British had a single wounded.
Although some of the initial shooting was quite accurate, the firefight around the woods was very desultory, both sides finding it difficult to get a bead on the other. The generally low quality of the British troops did not help matters... It did make me think a little about the way woods and bushes are supposed to be portrayed in Nuts! It isn't particularly clear to me if the rules imagine that the area is just considered 'wooded' and the exact positioning of the foliage is just indicative or if it is supposed to be a more precise model. The way the rules are worded makes me incline to the former, but I am really not sure.
One thing that I think is miscalibrated in Nuts! are the recommended distances with the suggested table-size. Troops deploying from blinds are supposed to be 3" apart - just outside of grenade blast distance, which is fair enough. But that means that potentially a 10-man section will be depoyed over 30"...i.e. nearly the whole length of the board. So I have had to use a kind of 'best guess' as to how enemy troops would be deployed. It isn't a massive problem, but i wonder if some of the distances might warrant a bit of adjustment, especially if there is going to be anything approaching a platoon on the table at any given point. Regardless, the Nuts! rules still give a pretty good solitaire game.
The figures are a mixture of Plastic Soldier Company and Battlefront. The buildings are from Empires at War.