Just Jack's original game is here, so I won't repeat all the details. The game is basically a German advance against a junction held by a very scratch Commonwealth force.
KG Comd: 1 x Rifle Grp (Comd), 1 x Kubelwagen
1st Platoon: 1 x Rifle Grp (Comd), 8 x Rifle Grps, 4 x LMG Grps
2nd Platoon: 1 x Rifle Grp (Comd), 8 x Rifle Grps, 4 x LMG Grps
Support Platoon: 1 x Rifle Grp (Comd), 2 x HMG, 2 x 81mm mortars
Stug Platoon: 3 x Stugs
3 x Stukas are also available for an air strike (either pre-plotted or on a 4-turn call)
Tomforce Comd: 1 x Rifle Grp (Comd), 1 x Car
RE Platoon: 1 x Rifle Grp (Comd), 6 x Rifle Grps, 3 x LMG Grps
Support Platoon: 1 x Rifle Grp (Comd), 2 x HMG, 2 x 3" mortars
NZ Armed Car Platoon: 1 x Armd Car w/2pdr; 2 x Armd Car w/LMG
My figures are really for Northwest Europe 1944-45 rather than the Med in 1941, so a certain amount of proxying and squinting is required, particularly for the AFVs. The Stugs are considered to have short 75mm guns, the Commonwealth armoured cars to be of an early war type (I should actually work out what they really would have been).
I did consider giving the RE platoon a -1 to reaction tests but decided against it, partly since they are going to be up against it anyway, partly because it is arguable in these conditions whether a -1 pip on the die is too severe a penalty.
KG Klink and Tomforce will follow the plan in Just Jack's original battle and I will only change their orders in reaction to subsequent events.
|The Germans are approaching from the North (left); the Commonwealth are defending the village (centre) and the pass between the hills (right)|
|From the top-left going down, we have the support weapons platoon, the KG command group (the vehicle is following up), and then the two infantry platoons|
|The RE Platoon is defending the village|
|Whilst Tomforce commander and the British Support Weapons platoon is on the bottom-right hill, Vickers forward and 3" mortars at the back.|
|The German heavy weapons set up on the high ground|
|Overwatching the advance of the two German infantry platoons|
|A platoon goes into all-round defence on the hillock|
|The Stug platoon arrives|
|One of the infantry platoons, using another hillock for cover, advances towards the hill to outflank the village|
|The Stug platoon advances in support|
|The flanking platoon approaches the base of the hill|
|Whilst a section from the other platoon gingerly advances towards the village: thus far, not a thing has been seen or heard of the Commonwealth defenders|
|The RE platoon fires when the German infantry is only 50m away! Four of the Germans are cut down in seconds|
|An MG34 team is cut-down by the Vickers HMG on the flank; although many of the Germans are pinned, no further casualties are caused|
|Some surprisingly accurate return fire eliminates one of the Vickers HMG teams on the hill...|
|Supporting German fire proves quite effective, silencing most of the sappers facing North (i.e. left)|
|The NZ Armoured Car troop has taken up positions behind the hill to the East of the junction (centre-top)|
|Combined British mortar, MG and rifle fire suddenly takes a heavy toll of the German platoon on the flank: another 10 Germans fall, mainly hit by some accurate mortar fire|
|A brave group of German infantrymen get into the village after the supporting machineguns have wiped out one of the British sections, but the RE prove of surprisingly stern stuff and simply gun down the attackers|
|The German flanking platoon runs for it, unable to endure further minutes under the barrage!|
|The NZ troops moves into hull down positions...|
|Which does them little good...|
|Since a fine shot by one of the Stug gunners blows one of them up!|
|Further German fire eliminates the other Vickers HMG team on the hill|
|And more accurate fire from the Stug crews eliminates a second NZ armoured car|
|Mortar fire starts to pin some of the British commanders and mortar crew|
|Which is then switched onto the village: a combination of this plus Stug fire and accrued casualties persuades the surviving sappers to pull out!|
|The remaining armoured car tries to provide some kind of overwatch..|
|The surviving Germans reach the safety of the hillock, whilst the Stugs push slowly forward (top)|
|The remaining Brits run out of the village down the road|
|Klink orders his remaining infantry to advance|
|The RE platoon suffer more casualties from the Stugs as they retreat|
|A wider shot|
|The Germans complete their occupation|
|Major Tom and the surviving mortar crew retreat|
|As does the remnants of the RE platoon|
A very enjoyable game and scenario and not in the end differing too much from the result in Jack's original. That said, it is quite a different game experience, since the games focus on quite different things. Up to a point, Chain of Command focuses on overall commander effort and activity, whilst WRG concentrates on the effect of the decisions only. It has a more laborious system of written orders and radio nets and so on to work out what can happen and when, rather than introduce systems based on dice (or cards, or whatever). I think CoC works a lot better for this, especially two-player, since the system provides the friction. In solitaire games, the WRG system works out just as well, I think. One thing where CoC, and modern rules in general, are clearly better is in providing useful force morale rules, which don't really exist in these WRG rules. Platoons can be routed, destroyed or captured, but technically you can fight until the last platoon: modern rules with their break points do this kind of thing much better.
One big difference is the spotting rules: infantry are not particularly strong in this game but they are almost entirely invisible. The battlefield I used covers c.900m x 650m. Firing infantry can only be spotted at a maximum of 500m, which might explain certain oddities of the battle above: the flanking platoon was being hit by stuff that their commanders and support platoon couldn't see. I committed myself to following the original orders, but if I were playing from scratch, I would have used different tactics for this reason alone, with the supporting platoons pushed forward more and conversely more of the flanking platoon held back in support.
One shock I got: I hadn't realized that Stug IIIs are pretty much invulnerable to 2-pounder guns in this game!
Figures were mainly Baccus 6mm, with vehicles mainly GHQ I think. Buildings by Total Battle Miniatures.