I have still been swamped with work and family obligations, but along the way I thought about doing some sort of Market Garden Campaign (1944). I looked at all of the 1 stand = 1 company rules, but I’m not so sure that they are at the level I am most interested in. Instead, I’ve been thinking about trying Command Decision: Text of Battle. In the past I have played a lot of games using the first and second editions of Command Decision and a few games with the third edition, but not many with the Test of Battle edition. Here is the Allied Order of Battle for the Market Garden Campaign in terms of Command Decision: TOB organizations. I have roughed out the German Order of Battle, but that still requires a lot of work given how chaotic the German organizations were. This is a big file (50+ pages), so you can see where my little free time has gone over the last couple of months.
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.
Sam Mustafa is working on a new World War Two rule set, Rommel. It is designed to fight really big battles, like division and corps. You can learn more about it via Sam’s podcast at: http://www.sammustafa.com/honour/2017/01/honor-podcast-9-rommel/. It sounds very interesting and what I’ve been looking for. Here is one of the Ops Files he mentions in the podcast:
Sam will post more at his Honour Games website: http://www.sammustafa.com/honour/.
The game will be available later this year in September, and I plan on buying a copy (I still haven’t had a chance to play Blucher yet, but maybe soon).
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).