26/06/2016 at 13:48 #43840
Last year (maybe two years ago?) I played a few games of a campaign I was calling “The Last Fifty Yards,” using Ivan Sorensen’s rules, “Five Men in Normandy.” I was having a pretty a good time, but I wasn’t all that happy with two things: 1) I love 10mm for company and battalion sized actions, but not as much for skirmish; and 2) I kinda pitched it too high. That is, I wanted to play a series of skirmish games, but following a whole rifle company. A bit too ambitious it would seem. So, despite the fact I seem to have a hundred different projects going simultaneously, I wanted to get this thing restarted. On the one hand, I’m playing “Rock and a Hard Place,” i.e., Sgt Rock, which is intentionally very comic-bookish, so for the other hand I wanted something also in WII, but a bit more true to life. So now I’m looking at following a single, generic rifle section of the Canadian 3rd Infantry Division through some travails around Caen in July 1944. I’m not even really looking to try to match this up with real events, just a series of squad/section-sized actions in Normandy. For campaign purposes (mostly tracking wounded), I’m going to call today July 15, 1944.
If you care to look, the post before this outlines a Canadian rifle section of ten characters (complete with some background info on each, and a German rifle squad of ten characters. The idea is that, while some of the individual characters may have some combat experience, it came with different units, and they were transferred into their current units, which are seeing action for the first time here in Normandy. I’m playing the Canadians and the boy is playing the Germans; we’re using 5MIN pretty much straight out of the box, and we’re playing on a 3′ x 3′ table. I wanted to start the campaign off on equal footing, so this first fight is the dreaded meeting engagement between two exactly equal forces, somewhere in Normandy.
Overview of the map, north is up. The Allies in Normandy are attacking north to south, so those are the baselines for our antagonists. I usually get beat up on using carpet for hills; sure it looks pretty crappy, but at least you can see the contours! Trying to have a better looking table (even though it doesn’t show up here!), I placed the carpet under my terrain mat; again, it doesn’t show up here so well, but I’m very happy with how it looks in real life. At bottom left is a substantial rise with a bombed out farm atop, some rolling ground at bottom right with a wooden fence running along the ridge, and another decent-sized rise in at top left. There is a river running south-north; it’s fordable by troops, but a substantial impediment to movement, except at the bridge of course (center), which links an east-west running hardball road. There’s a lot of foliage, but it’s not heavy bocage, just hedges, as well as some fields (they’re low fields, not blocking line of sight or conferring cover), some stone walls that don’t block LOS but provide heavy cover, and some haystacks that block LOS but are no cover.
Though the Germans are the first to spot the Canadians, and they fan out into a hasty ambush, the actual fight starts with the Canadian Bren team (bottom center) opening fire, hammering the German MG-42 team (top center). To see the whole fight, please check the blog at:
Good Lord! Technically a draw, but he was putting a hurtin’ on me again. I liked the idea of playing more spread out on a bigger table, but it made it really difficult to get to grips with the enemy or to support your own troops suffering negative morale effects. And I was surprised how bloody it was even with us throwing 1K 1S most of the time (for all the bolt-action rifles at battle range). Maneuver was really rough in sheer movement distance on the large table, and with so many possibilities for reaction fire it was treated quite roughly. I’m not saying that’s not realistic, just saying it was rough.
So there was the first fight; please tell me what you thought of the fight and the table. I’m thinking the next fight will be on a 2′ x 2′ table, with less troops (and probably unequal, too), though I’d love to hear what you guys thought of how it played out.
In any case, it probably won’t happen this weekend (or, by the time I post this, probably didn’t happen this past weekend). Doing my best to see the silver lining, our baseball season is officially over; having not done very well in the tournament, I should now have more time for wargaming. I did already play a pretty cool solo game of Royal Marines vs Taliban in Helmand Province, and I’d like to get some more of that in, it was a lot of fun, and maybe the boy and I can get something in soon. Stay tuned.
Jack26/06/2016 at 16:46 #43846Rod RobertsonParticipant
This looks to be quite interesting. It’s far better than that 19th Century silliness in which you have been dabbling. I went to your blog but could not find the preamble which describes the ten men on each side. I clicked on the 15mm tab and the Last Fifty Yards tab but could not find the specific thread to which you alluded. This is no doubt due to my inability and unwillingness to manage uncooperative digital technology.
A good report but I must admit I only had the time to skim it and did not give it a thorough reading yet. It’s nice to see thar Gruppenleiter Kleinejack is whooping your arse!
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.27/06/2016 at 16:32 #43877
Thanks for taking a look. And the roster for these guys (Germans and Canadians are in the same post) is literally the post before this batrep; go to the very bottom and click on “Older Posts,” and it’ll be right there. And don’t worry, we’ll soon get back to the 19th Century silliness, though we didn’t play any this weekend. Having said that, I got in a total of five games this past weekend! Two against the boy, and another three solo games, which seem to be the only ones I can win anymore, and even then the last one was seriously in doubt… The three solo games were totally unexpected; I wanted to try out something different with Ivan’s rules, and I had so much fun I just kept playing. So they are in a different era and theater, with different units than you are expecting (that’s right, my 541st separate project), but I really think you guys are going to love them.
Now where’s that Kyote…
Jack28/06/2016 at 03:33 #43892
Thanks Tim! I’ll see what I can do about closeups, and I’m kind of using the orange pipe cleaner like tracer fire, to show who’s shooting at what.
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