Thursday, October 8, 2015

WWII Fast-Play, Scenario 6 Batrep, p.1

So after much work, I finally felt like I have a set of rules worth posting about.  I thought up a lot of ideas that were interesting, but in the end only a dozen were worth keeping in a fast-play one-hour set!  That's a lesson worth learning...

The scenario played was #6, Flank Attack:
This features a Red defender with a blocking force hastily deployed to stop Blue enemy moving along a road as a Red flanking force closes in.  I therefore didn't allow the blocking force to deploy Dug-in or "Ready".  The Blue attacker Force must break through and exit three Units off the road, or half his Units.  Seems like a tall order - you have to both defeat the enemy force before you and survive with enough Units to achieve a breakthrough.  Not sure the Cruds are up to it!


Forces used for this were my WWII Desert Rats and Italians. I had 4 Crud Tank Units, 1 Crud Mortar Unit, and one motor Infantry for the Brits.  The Italians had two Bersaglieri Infantry, two Carri Tank, one Mortar and one ATG Unit. These were deployed as follows:

Overview of battlefield.  It is 3'x3' and the red markers show the grid intersection points.  Brits are on the road with motor infantry in front and mortar tanks in rear.  For the sake of the models, I decided that the Crusader CS tanks fired as mortars while moving / targeted as Tanks - simple.  The trucks are just for show - there's no mounting / dismounting rule.  The rulers and FoW objective markers mark the right edge of the board.  I play on a 36x56" Ikea folding table.

Blocking force of Bersaglieri and their ATGs on the road.  Brits are mounted up and discovering the enemy at 8" [400m by my understanding], which is set by the scenario and seems about right.  The Italians could be "Ready" - this would allow them a single Fire during the British Action Step [overwatch].  I chose not to let them assuming that they only just got settled in when the Brits showed up!  Note that there is one different base/vehicle per unit for game convenience - it is used as a measuring point for Range and such.

Italian flanking force.  Two Tank Units, one Infantry Unit, with a Mortar Unit behind.  None are Dug-in or "Ready" as they've been on the move and hastily deployed.

British column moving on / along the road.  Infantry in front, CS "Mortars" at the rear, with four Crud platoons between.  I tried to stay in the spirit of the scenario while giving both sides a realistic chance.  Previous playing revealed that it is very easy for the Italian tank units to get shot up quickly if they deploy too close to the British.  The present deployment represents several previous plays of the scenario.  It forces the Brits to select a frontal attack on the blocking force, a shift right to take on the flanking force, or dividing and doing both.  Decisions, decisions...what a good game is all about!

Turn 1.  The British drop mortar fire upon the ATGs, causing 5 Hits [they now shoot at -1, a good start].  During the Action Step, they shift two Crud platoons forward and left to take on the blocking force, Fire tanks at long range against the closest Carri platoon [2 Hits], and shift tanks right to take up hull-down positions on the low ridge.  The end by digging in their Motor Platoon front and center, allowing them to continually engage the blocking force with Mortar and Infantry Fire.  This and the ridge gives them protection to their right flank where the Italian Tank Units are.

The Italians Fire Mortars on the lead tank unit [1 Hit], both tank Units against the stationary Cruds at long range [6 Hits], advance their flank infantry to block the road and end the turn digging in their ATGs and Infantry already on the road [they didn't shoot or move].  I figured they had to dig-in or they'd be destroyed very quickly.

Turn 2.  More of the same.  Brits somehow miss that there's an Italian infantry unit NOT dug-in, and continue to bang up the ATGs.  Probably a mistake as the dug-in ATGs take half Hits.  Brit shooting inflicts 8 Hits on ATGs and 5 Hits on close Carri Unit, taking 8 on center Cruds from Italian return Fire. Certainly some progress but not a breakthrough! 

Turn 3 - 4.  Didn't see a reason to move anyone.  Did realize the Italian infantry was vulnerable and dumped 11 hits onto it. Unfortunately, it survived and Dug-in.  ATGs and tank units did some rallying off of Hits, representing ammo replenishment, organizing shirkers, fixing a tank, etc.

Turn 5.  Some back and forth of shooting and rallying results in no Units destroyed.  Hard to decide where to concentrate fire at times.  Still learning the game.  Obviously destroying Units is best since they cannot rally and make it back into the game. I like the effect of fire and rally, it gives the battle "sway" and character.

Turn 6-7.  Casualties mount on lead Crud Unit and it brews up.  Motor infantry, and closest Carri Unit also looking bad. Being a Move or Fire sequence makes it hard to decide when it is worth sacrificing Fire to re-position.  On the other hand, facing destruction makes it a bit easier to decide when to attempt a rally and hope you roll high!  Worried about the British advance with the loss of a Tank Unit, however.

Turn 8.  Brits say "Tally-Ho" and dash off the ridge against the flank force who have lost a Carri Unit.  Despite dangerous amounts of Hits along the road for both sides, I've decided that the Italian flank support must be destroyed if any breakthough is to succeed.  In this case, opportunity came about by good Fire rolls and poor rallying by the Italian Carri unit that left it just able to be finished off with 15 Hits. No brainer to advance off the ridge and get those Cruds into a flanking position against the other carri platoon!  The hard choice is now with the Italians - re-position their Tank unit or not...?

Turn 9.  Brits advance center Crud Unit forward to keep up the pressure along the road as another Crud unit crumbles.  I figure the breakthrough isn't possible, but I'm going to keep at it for the sake of playtesting.  There's a ray of hope in that the Italian ATG Unit which presented a large threat to the roadway finally was knocked out.  While it spent a lot of time not firing - surviving and rallying - this "suppression" of the Unit let it suck up a lot of Brit firepower.  Right flank cruds bang up carri unit with a 3 +2 for Tank v. Tank +2 for flank. Mortars and Infantry of both sides are plugging away all around with modest results unsurprisingly.

What happens next?  Tune in very soon to find out!

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