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, 16 January 2022

Kampfgruppe von Luck Campaign: Scenario 002c, Third Probe Into The Hedgerows

The next battle in this Kampfgruppe von Luck pint-sized campaign from Too Fat Lardies is the third attempt of the Germans to push through the defences of 12 Para just to the south of Le Bas de Ranville in the morning of 6th June 1944.  Having failed twice already, although the last time went right up to the wire, the German Kompanie commander must decide whether to re-attack with his 1st Platoon (which fought the first two battles) or throw in his fresh 3rd Platoon.  The problem with doing the latter, even though they are at full strength, is that it means he will have no fresh troops for the subsequent battles whereas the British would have a platoon of 12 Para and a platoon of 13 Para still in reserve.  He therefore decides to throw in his 1st Platoon again and hope that their attack goes better than last time.  

n.b. As mentioned previously, I shouldn't have used 1 Platoon for two consecutive battles, so I decided to let the result stand but 1 Platoon return to the strength they had at the beginning of the second battle.


The Forces:

The British forces are based around a platoon from 12 Para.  Some missing elements have returned, but the platoon was weakened during the first three actions and has thus been re-organized into two sections only:
British Para Platoon:
HQ: 1 x Rifle Comd group, 1 x PIAT team, 1 x 2" mortar team, 1 x sniper team
1 Section: 1 x Rifle group, 2 x LMG groups
2 Section: 1 x Rifle group, 1 x LMG group

The platoon was reinforced with an extra rifle group and an extra LMG team for this battle, from stragglers from other platoons within 12 Para.
German Panzer Grenadier Platoon: 
HQ: 1 x Rifle Comd group, 1 x Panzerschrek team
Squad 1: 1 x Rifle group, 2 x LMG groups
Squad 2: 1 x Rifle group, 1 x LMG groups
Squad 3: 2 x LMG groups
Possible attachments:
1 x Rifle Comd group (the Company Commander); 1 x Car; 1 x Panzerschrek team; 1 x Unix P107(f) SPW half-track; 1 x Sniper team; 1 x Forward Observer, controlling 81mm mortar battery; 1 x MG42 HMG team; 1 x Werfer strike; 1 x Panzer Grenadier squad; 1 x Pak 40 auf S307(f); 1 x 15cm sFH13 auf Lorraine Schlepper (f)
This is the 1st Platoon of the combined 8th-7th Kompanie force.

 The Set-Up:

The Para platoon is really down to the bare bones now: the Platoon HQ and 2" mortar are positioned in and around the white building (bottom-right); the PIAT team is by the wall (right); the sniper is at the top-right of the ploughed field; 1 Section is in the woods with one Bren gun team in the grey square house (centre) and the other hidden in the woods (bet you can't see it!); 2 Section is in the two stone buildings by the crossroads

A closer look at the woods - there are now only 4 Paras defending it, supported by a Bren gun in the building.  Eek!

A Panzer Grenadier squad moves up, accompanied by a Panzerschrek team

They are in the open, quite a way away from the defenders

A further squad arrives, accompanied by a FOO (top-right) and the 15cm sFH13 auf Lorraine Schlepper (f)

A closer look

And again.  Surely the Germans are going to deliver that concentrated blow to knock out the Para defences now?

The Germans progress slowly through wood and field towards the defenders

At this point, a huge werfer strike hit the wood and the buildings!  My pictures don't really do justice to the event, except in this small way by showing a bit of green grass where the 2" mortar team had been...but suffice to say that only the sniper by the edge of the ploughed field wasn't neutralized or suppressed by the fire.

A Unix P107(f) SPWhalf-track comes up to aid the German advance (top)

The Panzer Grenadiers edge towards the edge of the orchard area

The sound of .303 and 7.92mm machine guns again rends the silence around the edge of Le Bas de Ranville; the MG42 (left) and the Bren duel (right, in woods); the rest of the Panzer Grenadiers go left flanking (top, by junction)

The Bren team secreted in the house note movement at the edge of the woods, but hold their fire for the present...

A closer look: the SP gun can just be seen in the trees; however the Bren team open up and kill the FOO just as he was moving into position by the edge of the orchard

More German light armour arrives, this time it is a Pak 40 auf S307(f)

The Panzer Grenadiers have won the firefight at the edge of the wood; the Bren gun team have become casualties

The 150mm SP Gun is pumping its HE shells into the grey building: the Bren team was very lucky to escape alive!  They scuttle around to the back of the barn

The German Kompanie Commander turns up to motivate his grenadiers and make sure there are no more delays

Panzer Grenadiers advance into the wood (centre-left) advance into the woods, blissfully unaware that there are Paras shooting at them!  Probably the poor accuracy of the shooting has convinced them it is happening elsewhere on the battlefield...

Believing that the buildings have been cleared by the 150mm fire, the other Panzer Grenadier squad resumes its advance.

And in the blink of an eye, six Grenadiers go down as the hidden Paras open up from the buildings around the crossroads!!

The British sniper team is spotted and killed by MG42 fire

Again, the surviving MG42 team from the other squad cannot determine where the fire has come from!!!!

The Panzer Grenadiers and Paras reach bayonet range...

On this occasion, the Paras prove the more fierce, and all the Grenadiers are killed or captured in short order

The German armour advances, firing at the buildings from which the rifle and machinegun fire came from; the PIAT team pops up by the wall and fires at the SP gun - very predictably, missing

More Paras have lucky escapes as the buildings to the left are pummelled with 150mm and 75mm HE shells, although one Bren team was destroyed in the attacks

The German MG42 teams try to pin down the surviving Paras in the woods

There are basically only Germans firing now, as the PIAT team has been gunned down and all of the other surviving Paras have scuttled off into cover

The surviving Paras regroup behind the white building before bugging out

Outgunned and outflanked, the surviving Paras in the woods start creeping back

The outskirts of Le Bas de Ranville have been cleared by the Panzer Grenadiers

Game Results:

The Germans suffered 13 casualties in the action (10 Panzer Grenadiers, 3 Artillerymen), whilst the British suffered 10 casualties.  But the Germans successfully cleared the area, so a definite victory on their part.

Game Notes:

The rules used are an unpublished set, with strong inspiration from the WRG 1950-1985 Modern Rules 2nd edition - see the discussion here and on this post for more details.

I somehow feel that I need to make some markers to show things like the Werfer strike: it covered an area 300m x 350m and wreaked havoc on the defence (in addition to killing the mortar team, it neutralized a couple of key Para elements allowing the advance to get quite close).   The rules don't actually cover salvo mortars, so I used salvo rockets; it seemed the closest fit.  The artillery rules are pretty simple, but also have a lot of period detail (you can call in several different types of strikes, all with different vices and virtues).  In Chain of Command this kind of thing would be carried out as a pre-game activity, but I felt comfortable with it as an in-game event prior to the Panzer Grenadiers getting really close.  I thought that a target area centred on the British positions used in the prior two games would be likely and fair as a target and the British suffered accordingly.  From a game point of view, I am only sorry that the German FOO team got eliminated so quickly in the battle, I was looking forward to calling in some 81mm mortars too! Visually, I could use some ruins to indicate which buildings the 150mm had reduced to rubble too.  Perhaps a couple of rubble markers to butt against such buildings.  The Paras were actually pretty lucky to not lose more troops to the 150mm systematically destroying them inside.

Apart from the German squad tactics, which I won't cover again since I discussed them in the last post, there is definitely a slightly different feel to the infantry combat in this game, compared to the WRG 1925-50 first edition rules I would normally use for a game such as this, related to the use of dice for acquisition and the ability of suppressed elements to fire back.  In first edition, suppression is a one-way street, since suppressed elements can't fire back ormove; whereas in this game, mutual suppression by LMG teams is a very likely outcome if the shooting goes into the second bound; this is because the 'to hit' number is very low at 250m range and under, so even with the penalty, targets are more likely to be hit and suppressed than not.  Conversely, actually eliminating elements is much harder and requires a lot of luck.  Acquiring targets in cover on the other hand is very difficult, so in this game it often makes sense to move rifle teams back out of sight if they are acquired by and fired at by machine guns.  Machine guns also get to fire twice in a turn potentially if they remain static, making machine guns very much the 'Queens of the Battlefield'.   Veteran players will note that two elements came into base-to-base contact in this game: this cannot really happen in WRG 1925-50 1st edition, but can in other WRG rules if an element fails to acquire enough times!  But rules-wise, it was just counted as shooting at 0-50m.

Figures as ever by Baccus 6mm, vehicles by Heroics and Ros.  I think these buildings are mainly Leven.


  1. Another good game and nice to read the post game thoughts as always. I too keep thinking I should get some destroyed houses to show ones hits by artillery etc, but frankly have too many other projects ahead in the queue. Some rubble piles next to them is a good idea though as a stop gap measure.

    1. Thanks Steve. Just working out how best to do it now.

  2. That's a marvellous looking table. The scale works perfectly to give an expansive area and 'sensible' looking distances/ranges.
    Regards, James

    1. Thanks James. It works quite well for these infantry-focused games. Ground scale is 1cm = 5m (true scale would be c.1cm = 3m of course), so the 'look' is pretty close.