Last time my son and I were at Guardian Games (http://www.ggportland.com/) in Portland, we picked up the starter set for Wings of Glory (World War One). I had played it once before with Mark so I knew that I liked it. After two months of lots of work, I was finally able to open up the game and read the rules. My son and I played three games of it in less than an hour. We just used the basic rules. We had a lot of fun and hope to keep playing it with the more advanced rules. If that works, we’ll buy some more planes the next time we are at Guardian Games. It is a great set of rules for a quick, but interesting game, plus I don’t have to paint any figures to play it.
A day or two after I was able to play the first mission in my Nuts! campaign (the second try), I was able to play the second mission, this time an attack mission. The attack was made in daylight with clear weather. The terrain was wooded (see map below). I give the attacker his squad and two rolls on the reinforcement table. My two rolls were another squad & bazooka team and another squad, so basically I had my full platoon minus any casualties in the 1st Squad from the first mission. For the map, I used 2′ x 2′ terrain sectors (rather than the standard 1′ x 1′ sectors), and it worked very well. I also used a ruler reduced to 2/3rds normal size with my 15mm figures to provide a true ground scale; the overall table area was then 4′ x 4′. Both sides had an investment level of 4 (3 + 1 for attack mission). To represent some intelligence, I also rolled out 6 possible enemy PEFs, and then I rolled for which one to use when a PEF is revealed. Three were enemy infantry squads in defensive positions, one was a machinegun squad with two MG42s, one was the rest of the platoon, and one was a StuG IIIG.
Here is the map I used (at the top of the map are sectors 1, 2, and 3):
I allowed the Americans to enter in waves as long as half of their force entered on the first turn and I predesignated where the rest would enter and on what turn.
On the left is the 1st Squad, to be followed by the 3rd Squad with the platoon bazooka team and the platoon leader. On the right is the 2nd Squad with the platoon sergeant (click on any photo for a larger view).
Here is the 1st Squad:
Here is the 2nd Squad and platoon sergeant:
The PEFs turned out to be in one in sector 1 and 2 in sector 2 (the dice mark PEFs):
2nd Squad moved forward and spotted the PEFs in sector 2 first; one was nothing, but the other was a German infantry squad in defensive positions:
That looked like a formidable obstacle, then the Americans got 2 Sherman (M4/75s) as reinforcements:
1st Squad moved forward on the left to the edge of the woods and spotted the PEF in sector 1, a StuG IIIG:
There was then an armored stand-off as the Shermans did not want to move forward to engage the StuG IIIG as that would put them in range of a panzerfaust at the bridge. The American plan was to move the bazooka team forward before the StuG IIIG could move up. With some failed German activation rolls, this happened.
The bazooka team won the insight check and fired first:
Hit! One destroyed StuG IIIG:
Then a random event, a soldier in 2nd Squad had stepped on a land mine (4 WIA – OOF, 3 down and 1 walking wounded):
The remainder of the 2nd Squad tried to move forward to engage the German infantry at the bridge; another random event and a second land mine, again stepped on by a member of 2nd Squad (2 KIA & 1 WIA -OOF, all down):
Finally, the rest of 2nd Squad and elements of the 3rd Squad were able to engage the German infantry and got decisive results:
One of the German survivors was the panzerfaust soldier who failed his morale badly:
The American tanks then advanced up the center towards the bridge, as did 1st Squad on the left, the remaining German was taken out:
The mission was a success for the Americans. American casualties were mostly in the 2nd Squad and mostly due to mines: 2 KIA, 4 WIA – OOF, 1 WIA – walking wounded, and 1 soldier ran. The 3rd Squad suffered the only other American casualty: 1 WIA – OOF. The Germans lost the entire crew of the StuG IIIG and the infantry squad lost all six: 3 KIA, 2 WIA – OOF and 1 run away.
After the mission, the 1st Squad got two replacements (11 soldiers total) and the 2nd and 3rd each got one replacement bringing them both to 9 men each. The German Campaign Morale and Investment level both went down by one to 2 for each.
Overall, with my modifications, I felt the Nuts! system worked well. I was not sure about using the Random Events rolls, but I think they worked well into simulating the 2nd Squad stumbling into some old land mines. The reinforcement rules also worked well, especially for the Americans. Had they not gotten their two Sherman tanks, the infantry platoon would have had a harder time defeating the Germans with a StuG IIIG assault gun.
I took what I learned from playing my first Nuts! campaign and restarted a second campaign. Again my basic unit is an American infantry squad that is part of an American infantry division, a division that had not been part of D-Day, but was in the break out force. I started in week 2 of June, 1944. The first mission was a patrol mission. I had my squad (full strength with 12 men). The enemy PEFs were in areas 1, 3, and 5.
Here is the map that I made for the game:
As per my house rules (see the revised ones here: house-rules-for-nuts-1-3) each area is 2′ x 2′. Since I used a reduced ruler (2/3rds scale), that produced a 4′ x 4′ actual table size.
Here is the table set up, note that I’m using two dimensional buildings as per my earlier posts about my first Nuts! campaign.
You can see my squad entering at the lower right of the picture. Here’s them a bit closer:
Then the PEFs were assigned to the sectors 1, 3, and 5 (each die is a PEF):
Only the PEF in sector 1 (the lower right above) was real, and it was a weak German infantry squad:
With only 6 men, the Germans detached the LMG team and assistant squad leader to the woods to provide a base of fire. The squad leader and two other men rushed to get into the nearest house (he passed both rolls on the NPC reaction table):
The American squad (my campaign squad) failed a few initiative rolls, so they were trying to do the same, but having to catch-up in the race to the house. The five other men were under the assistant squad leader and trying to establish a supporting base of fire.
The game then became a battle for the house with the three Germans cautiously waiting inside and part of the American squad directly outside. The Americans won an initiative roll and threw hand grenades and fired into the building through the windows. The rest was pretty quick and bloody. The Americans had 2 KIA and 4 WIA (out of the fight). One soldier, Private Van Meter, ran away! The Germans lost 1 KIA, 2 WIA (out of the fight) and 1 WIA (walking wounded – see the Italy After Normandy supplement for how that works). The last German opted to beat a hasty retreat along with the walking wounded German.
Here is Private Van Meter’s less than glorious departure from the battlefield:
In the end, it was a successful, but costly mission. Two of the WIA (out of the fight) squad members returned immediately to the squad, while two ended up in the hospital. Private Van Meter came back, but I decided to see if his REP went down, and it did to REP 2! The German Campaign Morale also decreased from 3 to 2. The next mission would be an Attack mission. I only got 1 REP 3 replacement, so my squad would enter the next mission with only 9 men (3 short).
Sorry to be absent for some time. The obligations of real life were filling up my time over the last six weeks, some of them quite expensive, like having a broken water pipe under your house fixed! Last weekend I tried to play the campaign game of Nuts! Final Version. It sort of worked, but there were some parts that just didn’t work that well. I found that the number of buildings in a sector in the terrain generation rules didn’t work at all. Also the troop density with even a 4′ x 4′ square board was just too high. I’ve compiled the changes I will use when I try the campaign game again in this file: house-rules-for-nuts-1-2. I also purchased the Nuts! Italy After Normandy supplement, which has a lot of great new rule ideas (sadly my copy suffered rain damage while in the outdoor mail box – sorry Oregon rain!). I highly recommend the Nuts! Italy After Normandy supplement. It has a lot of great ideas you can add to your game.
Here are some photos from the four missions I tried:
My squad on its 1st Mission (a patrol):
Mission 2: Attack
Mission 3: Attack (again)
Mission 4: Attack (again)
I didn’t have the right buildings so I made some floor plans with Word and they worked pretty well. I need to reprint them as my color printer cartridge was about out of ink:
About 30 years ago I went through the United States Army school for infantry lieutenants (Infantry Officer Basic Course). In that course, we read a book titled, The Defence of Duffer’s Drift (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Defence_of_Duffer%27s_Drift). From what I remember of the book, the author took the reader through the planning of a defensive position. Each time he would point out flaws in the plan and fix them. The book was effective in teaching lieutenants how to think about all aspects of the military planning, including looking for flaws that could be corrected. As my game of Camden was still set up, I decided to give it another go based on what I had learned from the two games of it I had played recently.
For both sides, I realized that firing at enemy troops in open order in light woods (Class II terrain in Piquet) as not that effective as both the open order and Class II terrain were a Down 1 fire modifier. That reduced a d10 fire value to d6. Even worse, many of the American militia units started with a d8 fire value, which reduced them to d4 when firing at British in open order in the woods at normal range. That showed me that the British could and should move to melee combat as soon as possible, especially given the higher quality of many British units and the masses of low quality American militia present. For the Americans, I realized that it was best to use Armand’s command as a second or third line force given the small size of the units; they were good for skirmishing, but didn’t last long in the line of battle. In my second game, Armand’s command was in the front line, and was quickly destroyed by larger British units, which was costly in Army morale chips and units lost.
The American set up on the right and center was three lines: two of militia and one of Continentals. The extreme left was Armand’s command, which was designed to guard the American flank and threaten the British right if they broke through the American center.
The American Right Wing: (click on the pictures for larger images)
The American Center:
Armand’s Command on the American Left:
The British set up with their regular brigade and reserve brigade on their left:
Rawdon’s loyalist and militia brigade was on the British Right:
Here is a picture of the overall British set-up:
In the game, the British advanced on both flanks, and were able to defeat the American militia with only minimal casualties. Rather quickly, the Americans ran out of Army morale chips. This was a disaster for the Americans as the lost units put a Major Morale Check card in their deck. By turn 4, the Americans were out of Army morale chips and forced to take a Major Morale Check. With no Army morale chips to spend, each American unit had to check morale. Some of the militia and even one of the Continental units failed and retreat. Likewise, the previously unengaged American cavalry started to fall back. Three Continental units and a single militia unit fought a rearguard, but it was ineffective due to the addition of Dress Lines cards in their deck for each unit lost (up to 11 Dress Lines cards were added by turn 5). By the end of Turn 5, the Americans had clearly lost and the game was over.
Again, Piquet worked exceptionally well in terms of command and army morale. The better quality overall commander of the British (Cornwallis) was able to make good use of his two Brilliant Commander cards, while the Americans suffered several times from losing key initiative when Gates’ Command Indecision card came up. I also really liked how the game represented the collapse of the American Army, it almost mirrored the actual events. I still need to review the rules before I play Piquet again to check a few issues, but it was a great game. Piquet works exceptionally well for solo games. I had an overall plan for each side, but the cards dictated when I could implement those plans far better than a you-go, I-go rule system.
Here are some more photos from the game (I was too involved and interested in the game to take many mid-game photos):
American Artillery that dominated the main road through the woods:
American Militia await the British attack:
The British 71st Highland Regiment advances:
British Legion Infantry and militia of Rawdon’s Command:
The British Legion Dragoons in reserve (behind Rawdon’s Brigade):
At the end of the game, the British Legion Dragoons swept the American flank:
The American rearguard:
The American “dead” pile:
Another victory for Cornwallis:
The game was played with 15mm figures (from Blue Moon, Minifigs, Old Glory and Polly Oliver). I use 3/4ths size stands and rulers, so the normal 5′ x 8′ map fit on a 4′ x 6′ table.