Last Saturday, Mark and I were able to play a bigger game of Piquet Field of Battle WW2. We had tried a regiment per side before, but this is the first time we were able to play with a complete German panzer division against a reinforced British armoured brigade. I played the Germans and Mark played the British. The scenario was based on the early battles of the 1942 Gazala campaign.
I have included the scenario and unit cards we used below. Bascially we play with some significant changes. First, we play 1 turn = 2 hours rather than the rules as written 1 turn = 8 hours. We also include engineer and antiaircraft companies. Finally, we determine our combat and defense dice differently with a unique die for each company modified by a die roll determined change of Down 1 to Up 2 to the basic dice. We also use unique ranges for all companies rather than the generic 10/20″. I think the 10/20″ would work for vehicles, especially later war, but 20″ (2000 yards) is well beyond the ranges for many weapons, such as machineguns and small arms. Even though some infantry companies included 60-81mm mortars, they were so few in number that I determined their firepower insignificant at this scale.
Here is scenario and the data cards we used:
This picture shows the basic set up with the British on the hill (the brown part):
Here I am wondering what the hell I will do with my panzer division:
The game started with a German advance, well sort of, I rolled a 1 for my leadership die on a couple of my Move cards and my division sat around for awhile. Once I got moving Mark skillfully used his armored car battalions to attack my flanks, destroying an entire antitank battalion and capturing my division headquarters!
The Germans advance (that is the antitank battalion in trucks that got wiped out):
British armored car battalion hits the poorly protected German rear (the German artillery regiment is in the rear of the photo):
The rest of the German division advances:
Finally, I deal with one of the British armored car battalions with my recon battalion:
The German tank regiment leads the attack:
And they are met by three battalions of Grants and Stuarts:
The German infantry slowly advanced, protecting the division flanks with their integral antitank guns:
Finally, the British took enough casualties to take a morale check, but the Morale card would not turn up! In the end, the first card played in turn 3 was the British morale card and they failed and retreated away. The Germans were supposed to break the British by the end of turn 2, so it was a marginal British victory.
All in all, it was a very fun game to play and the results seemed historical to me. Infantry is good at holding terrain but not so good at attacking, especially against tank companies. Artillery was effective against static targets, but hard to get to land on moving targets. Tank combat was more lethal, but Mark skillfully used the benefit for being up hill to reduce my ability to inflict casualties on his forces. The use of cm instead of inches worked fine as well, we had plenty of movement in the game.
The game clearly has excellent campaign potentials. I just need to work out a few campaign ideas and then we can try either a North African campaign (Gazala or Crusader) or the southern half of the Battle of the Bulge (which will require more rebasing of my later war figures). To my surprise, I found it fairly easy to run a 40+ unit division and Mark had no problems at all running a 25+ unit reinforced brigade. Like the other Piquet Field of Battle products, this is clearly a great set of rules and a major improvement from the older Piquet system.
Photos and game room/table provided by Mark, figures and scenario provided by me.