November 2010 Game: Nuts! WW II

This month, Mark and I played another game of Nuts! We both really enjoy the Nuts! system. I think it is the best skirmish game I have ever played. It seems to work best with less than 40 figures per side (about a platoon). I would not recommend trying to play a larger game with 100+ figures per side as that would slow the game down to a near collapse.

This month Mark created our scenario and it was based on the German use of paratroopers to sieze Dutch bridges in the 1940 invasion of the Netherlands. The Germans had two squads of 12 men each with each squad having one light machinegun (one squad’s machinegun never made it to the battle, probably lost in some Dutch pond during the airborne drop!). The German Reps were 4 and 5. The Dutch had a 12 man infantry squad and two light machinegun sections of two men for a total of 16 men. The Dutch Reps were 3 and 4, which had a big impact on the last phase of the game. Both sides started with about half of their forces on the table, and the rest came in when the player rolled a 1 for initiative. There was also a 1/6 chance that each German figure would not arrive (incapacitated in the drop or just lost some where).

The Dutch milk cows seem oblivious to what is about to happen:

The Dutch defenders on their other flank:

The bridge from the German side:

The German paratroopers enter but take casualties from long range Dutch fire:

Further German attempts to get near the bridge resulted in failure:

Survivors of the first German squad take cover:

Then the second German squad arrived. The Germans rallied and decided to add more fire to their “fire and maneuver”. Using their 16+ men left, which included two light machineguns, they poured a great deal of fire on the Dutch, which rapidly killed or wounded a number of the Dutch soldiers, but the key impact was a near total Dutch morale failure which sent them cowering behind a wall.

Likewise, the Dutch soldier nearest the bridge became a casualty:

With the Dutch taking cover to escape the high volume of German fire, the Germans made a rush for the bridge:

As the Germans worked their way across the bridge, the Dutch remained cowering behind their wall.

As the Germans rushed the bridge, the one Dutch soldier whose morale held worked to rally his comrades, which was a lot of work considering that every other Dutch soldier was incapacitated or had their morale broken.

As the Germans raced across the bridge, the game became a race to see if the Dutch could rally before the Germans mopped them up.

By the time the Germans had reached the wall, several of the Dutch soldiers had rallied and were waiting for them. A deadly close range fight ensured and several Germans became casualties.

Sadly, the German numbers and quality prevailed. The remaining three Dutch soldiers opted to retreat voluntarily as they had no chance of holding off another dozen Germans who were still in the fight. Of the Dutch forces, three escaped, three were captured, two were killed, and eight were wounded. German casualties were about 50% with several of them killed.

In the end the Germans (played by Mark) prevailed and had taken the bridge.

We both had a lot of fun playing the game. It seemed that my Dutch would win with their early hammering of the first German squad, but the arrival of the second German squad put the battle back into doubt. In the end, it was the superior quality of the German troops that made the difference, especially their ability to continue under fire. The poor quality Dutch troops tended to go for cover after being shot at a couple of times.

Nuts! is a great system and one that doesn’t take a lot of resources. We used 28 25/28mm figures on a 4’x5′ table to play our game. The table size was about right for a game of Nuts! This was a bit larger game and we had to look up a few of the rules early on as we had not played for a couple of months. Overall, the actual time spent on the game was about 3 hours (discussion about non-game events excluded). That makes Nuts! a great game for club play when you only have a few hours on a week night.

All figures and terrain were provided by Mark.

Scheduled for December: Volley and Bayonet 2.

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