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.

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Kampfgruppe Heller: Battle 10, Poland

Next up in my refight of Just Jack's classic Kampfgruppe von Klink campaign is actually the eleventh scenario of Jack's rather than the tenth: there were a couple of scenario translation issues that make that one a little harder to figure out properly: if or when I do, I will assign that mission to a different group of German invaders! It is all to do with what dense urban terrain should look like in this scenario, there are possibly more groundscale issues the more urban it is. After all, my board in Gummipanzergreandier represents 1.2km x 1.2km. That isn't huge in the countryside, but it is quite a dense bit of a city or major town, potentially. I am not really sure how that interacted with the rules in Jack's original game.

 Anyway, this scenario that I am actually playing is a slightly unusual scenario - which I really like! - where two small forces are about to engage each other, and both sides are due to be reinforced from slightly different directions. 

The Forces:

The Germans:
Company Command: 1 x Command section, 1 x Armoured car
Grenadier Platoon: 3 x sections (bolt-action rifles and belt-fed LMG, including a command section), 1 x ATR, 1 x 50mm mortar, 1 x 80mm mortar 
Motorcycle Platoon:  3 x sections (bolt-action rifles and belt-fed LMG, including a command section)
Panzer Platoon: PzIVB, SdKfz 221
The Poles:
Company Command: 1 x Truck, 1 x Command section, 1 x 7TP
1 Platoon: 3 x sections (bolt-action rifles and BAR, including a command section), 1 x ATR, 1 x 46mm mortar
2 Platoon: 2 x sections (bolt-action rifles and BAR, including a command section), 1 x ATR, 1 x 46mm mortar
The Poles are trying to take the outpost defended by the Grenadier platoon, whilst the remainder of the German force is the relief force coming to assist the Grenadiers and maintain it.

 The Set-Up:

It really was a lovely sunny day when I played this and the previous game! Great for my spirits, not great for photos...

In any case, you can make out the Polish platoon at the top-left on the road, advancing towards the outpost by the wooded hill. The remainder of the Poles are crossing the stream (bottom-left). The German relief force is following the road towards the outpost (bottom-right)

A closer look at the Poles on the road (bottom) and the Germans defending the outpost - i.e. the farm. The Polish company command group can just be seen at the edge of the woods at the bottom. You can just see some German infantry in the woods at the top, observing the road.

The 7TP and the (smaller) Polish 2 Platoon

The German relief force, with a mixture of motorcycles, a PzIV and an SdKfz221.

The Battle:

The Polish platoon sends a section down the road, hugging the wall to avoid being spotted. Meanwhile, the tank and the other platoon are moving up (bottom-right/centre)

The 7TP spots the moving relief force and opens fire - doesn't hit much though!

The relief force has mostly reached the junction; the Polish 2 Platoon is moving up by the hill (centre)

By now, the 7TP has pulled back - the relief force has again come into view...

This time there is no mistake: the Panzer IV brews up.

Firing begins everywhere: the Polish section by the wall opens up on the motorbikes, and is in turn shot at by German infantry in the woods and buildings; note the Polish 2 Platoon has reached the woods (centre-right)

The Polish infantry engage the tail end of the relief force; meanwhile, the rest of the motorcyclists have dismounted (left) and are firing at the elusive Polish riflemen...

The Germans on the hill come under mortar fire

German motorcyclists and Polish infantry let fly at each other at close range!

With mortar bombs falling down, the Polish 1 Platoon begins its left flanking movement (left)

However, the 7TP gets knocked out by the German ATR!

The German motorcyclists are fighting back with some ferocity around the junction; I think the SdKfz221 has been knocked out in the background too, just by the buildings

The German M/C platoon commander advances, covered by the wall..

And attacks! some of the Poles give up

The Polish lead section has cleared the woods and is firing into the compound; the Polish mortar is firing on it too.

The fight between the remnants of the German motorcyclists and the Polish 1 Platoon continues...

...the Germans emerge victorious!

However, the Germans have been cleared out fo the farmhouses..

Position at the end of the battle


A good fun game - very intense this one! It gave quite a good work out to the infantry mechanics, since there was a lot of close range fighting. In particular, the mechanics tend to require either advancing to close or employ HE or big direct fire weapons to eliminate infantry; standing off with rifle-calibre weapons won't cut it. So there were a few work-outs for this (a platoon attack by each of the Polish rifle platoons, and one by the dismounted German motorcyclists). Everything seemed believable and it was all pretty tense.


  1. Yes, it is the believable aspect that really comes across.

    I find that even on dull days, as soon as the camera comes out ….. so does the sun :-)

  2. I know, seems to work nearly every time :-)

    I have been really enjoying this series of games. There are a couple of things to iron out still, and as a mainly solo player I can't test some of the systems in a really competitive way, but it does work really well. The observation, firing and artillery mechanics are great. And it is all - minus a couple of wrinkles, although every chance John has worked throught these by now - pretty simple.

  3. Another fien game there and love the narrative of these games and seeing them progress. As Norm, says, the moment the camera comes our, so does the sun and all those damned shadows!

    1. Yes it does!
      Of course for this campaign, Just Jack did all the hard design work, with is just a tribute...but also helping me to see how it might be enriched in future.