Friday, October 23, 2015

One-Hour Wargames WWII AAR: #14 Static Defence

While hanging out at the local game store - 7th Dimension in Jenkintown - I decided to play out Scenario #14 Static Defense, and pair the WWII game against my playtest of the same with the medieval rules.  It is an interesting scenario with the defender forced to defend two different objectives with three Units each, two of which can't leave the defenses. 

Kobold said that he interprets it to mean that there must be ANY two defending Units within 12" of each objective at any given time, but that didn't work for me - I don't think troops would rotate like that during the battle.  My interpretation, anyway!  As WWII has more shooting - all Units shoot, actually - the restriction doesn't matter as much, anyway especially as my WWII rules give Tank and ATG Units a long 24" range at -2/d6. 

Below is the book's map, for your convenience:

Layout. Inverted below is my interpretation of it on the table - pretty close.  I couldn't get it to go right side up as I took the pic upside down with my phone.  Despite correcting it before saving it, BLOGGER insists on leaving it upside down.  Any help appreciated!

Italian Setup:
Italian defenders.  I put the ATGs in front of the hill objective dug in and Ready.  The Tanks are hull down on the hill.  To the front left is a Bersaglieri infantry platoon also Dug-in and Ready.  To their left defending the town [below] is another Bersaglieri Infantry platoon, with the Mortars behind and Tanks between.  Both the Infantry and Mortars are Dug-in and Ready. The scenario indicates a prepared defender, so I let them start Dug-in [half Hits] and Ready [can Fire in opposing Action Step, "overwatch" in essence].

Battle commences! 
British Turn 1.  Cruds race ahead.  Mortars at rear positioned to Fire upon town objective or ATGs. They cannot see anything else. Infantry in front getting trucked to the wood - Italians can't see them as there's a mutual 4" LoS between any two units through woods [or other terrain] so what they're doing isn't as suicidal as it looks!  Also, they are about 250m away [5"].  Four Crud platoons close rapidly upon the town.  They are just over 4" away so have no LoS to the Infantry who are within the town and vice-versa.  No shooting as all moved.  

Italian Turn 1 [below] has Mortars and Carri Tank platoon Firing to little effect as both are -2/d6 [Mortars v. Tanks, while Long Range for the Tanks].  Second Tank Platoon shifts over to help defend town.  Bersaglieri Infantry in wood realize they need to reposition to better defend the woods itself, turn around and angle themselves, losing both Dug-in and Ready status.  I felt it was worth it, however, not liking the possibility of the British Motor Infantry to sneak past out of LoS, then Dig-in on the other side of the woods in Fire support against the town.
 This pic is blurry - hard to stay still with my phone!

Turn 2-3.  British Cruds close into <4" of the Infantry garrison simultaneously, then Fire on Turn 3.  Not to much effect as altho Close Range is x2 Hits, Dug-in is 1/2 and being in the town is 1/2, for a net 1/2. Italian Infantry shoot at British in woods after both Dig-in for 1/4'd Hits [I forgot to 1/4 them, only did 1/2].  Brit Mortars fire upon Italian ATGs that are now on the move, repositioning.  I decided that they could at least dig in by the Mortars and remain within 12", and have a lot more effect on the battle.  Seemed reasonable, right? Unfortunately, with 1d6+2" move, which is -4" due to dug-in at start of move, they can't move out of LoS of Brit Mortars who hammer them for 4+2=6 Hits.  Meanwhile, Fire upon lead Cruds gets up to 8 Hits - at 10 they'll have a permanent 5 so I need to rally them. Got some good return Fire back on closest Italian Carri platoon that moved up, rolling a 5+2=7 Hits.

Turn 4.  Continuous Action and Fire exchanges.  Brits are slowly getting shot up, and Italians take a chance and Fire instead of Rally their closest Tank platoon.  This does result in the destruction of the lead Crud platoon, but leaves the Italians at 12 Hits, 5 Permanent [in red]. Overall, things look good for the Italians.  The Cruds aren't making much impact on the town, they've lost a platoon, and are taking Fire all around.  However, the ATGs get trashed by the Mortars again, putting them at 12 Hits, 5 Permanent [in red].  Position seems to favor Italians, but platoon damage has them almost losing two platoons while no surviving British platoons have high Hits.  British will need to eliminate these two Italian platoons to turn this around.

Turn 5.  Complete change of plan.  Yet another plan doesn't survive contact with the enemy!  I knocked out the Carri platoon that had 12 Hits in one shot.  With now only one Tank Unit, the vulnerable Mortars and a badly damaged ATG Unit standing in their way of the hill, I decide to use the Crusader's mobility to switch objectives as the Italian infantry in the town are too tough a nut to crack with nearby support Units.  Also, if the support Units are eliminated, both objectives are vulnerable. I also figured out how bad an idea it was to move the ATGs, who would still be a serious threat if they were alive and dug-in ON the hill, not in front of it.  

Accordingly, moved all three surviving Crud platoons northwest against the Mortars [who have no Close Range] and got out of LoS of the Infantry in the town [you need "two stands to two stands" LoS to be able to target a Unit].  The ruler shows that the second Italian Infantry stand cannot see the Crud platoon, limited to a 4" LoS by being within the town.  This may have been a deployment error on my part for the Italian infantry, but I don't think so.  

The proximity rule also showed itself to be robust - the British were able to "shield" the Cruds with six Hits with a fresh Unit that was closer to the Italian Tank Unit.  This did 5 Hits, which would've put the former at 11 with 5 permanent. Instead, both have an opportunity to rally off all their Hits in the future.

Turn 6.  British grind the Mortars and Carri down.  They also somehow took 5 Hits onto the Crud platoon with 5 - I may have forgotten the proximity rule when someone interrupted me to ask about the game.  With no targets, I repositioned the British Mortar Unit.  Return Fire was negligible and I may have needed to get more aggressive with the Italian Infantry in the town, but I doubt it'd have made a difference.  The Italian Infantry in the woods begins moving towards the hill to contest it.  A desperate measure for a desperate moment!

Turn 7.  Even with rolling well, the Italians weren't able to get to the hill and will now be shot up by the British force, and digging in would not bring victory since they aren't on the hill anyway.  British rallied off some of their Hits and are looking pretty solid.  With no Victory in sight and only two Infantry units left, I had to concede for the Italians.

Very interesting to me how just a couple of errors took the Italians from sitting pretty on Turn 4 to a total loss on Turn 7. I should have been more conservative with their armor but was worried that the mass of Cruds would take the town. This may have been a legit concern.  I should've dug-in the Italian ATGs ON the hill since it is an objective.  Maybe I should've dug-in the mortars on the Hill also, and left the two Tank Units in the center as the swing force.  Originally I was going to go for the Hill with the Brits since it is a softer target than the town, but the town was closer so I went for it despite the 1/4'ing of Hits against units dug-in inside the town.

Happy with how the rules played, which was the purpose of playing myself, anyway!  Didn't see any significant flaws with any particular rule, and the scenario is good - if different - from how it played out in my medieval rules here:

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