Well the weekend has arrived, and I have spent a couple of hours in the past few days putting together components for a game of I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum by the TooFat Lardies.

This is their company level WW2 wargaming rules set, which is a bit of a first for me. Not because I haven’t played Too Fat Lardies’ games before – because I have played both Chain of Command and Sharp Practice - rather, it represents me stepping out of my normal sphere of skirmish wargames and in to something bigger. Will my tactics hold up? Will I make a fool of myself, as I did in my Sharp Practice game when I couldn’t take the beach?

However, I am a firm believer that you should stretch your wargaming muscles, so company level battles it is. I shall do my best to guide you through the rules as well.

I’ve set the game up in Battleground's Gaming Engine. This is quite possibly the best piece of virtual tabletop software I have found for wargaming and I recommend it. However, do be ready to put in some effort with it as it is quite detailed. You should also be a bit familiar with image creation software as it comes with no components.

As usual, I have used Junior General (that awesome site!) for my minis, and created the map straight from the IABSM rulebook. I did that by copying the image from the pdf, creating a canvas that was 72 inches long x 60 inches wide (6 ft. x 5 ft.) and then tracing over it using textures. So far so simple.

The Scenario

The scenario is titled “North of Caen” and can be found on page 96 of the IABSM rulebook. It is designed to be simple to play and covers a pure infantry combat, with a British company attempting to capture a small village from a weakened company of German defenders. Simple is good as I am still learning the IABSM rules.

Summary of the British Briefing

Recent  patrols  inform  us  that  the  small  hamlet of  Le  Moulin  has  been  occupied  by  German troops,  probably  forming  an  outpost  ahead  of their main line of defences.

In  view  of  the  forthcoming  offensive  it  is important that we seize the road junction as the fields  immediately  to  the  north  have  been designated  as  an  assembly  point  for  our  armour prior  to  their  advance  on  Caen.  To  accomplish this you have an infantry company consisting of three infantry platoons. 

Your  advance  will  be  preceded  by  an  artillery bombardment  in  the  form  of  a  Stonk  on  three 12” square sections of the table.

Your  force  will  begin  the  game on  Blinds  on  the northern  table  edge.  You  must  advance southwards  and  clear  the  table  of  any  enemy forces.  

Summary of the German Briefing

In  the  last  few  days  it  became  clear  that  the enemy  had  not  occupied  the  hamlet  of  Le Moulin  so  your  Company,  or  what  remains  of  it, has  been  pushed  forward  to  fortify  it.  You  have been  able  to  make  some progress  towards digging  your  force  in. However,  Tommy  patrols have  certainly  discovered  your  presence.  You can  expect  to  get  some  unpleasant  visitors  very soon!

You must defend your position and drive off any British  attack.  To  achieve  this, you have two platoons of infantry supported by a couple of MG42s.

You  may  deploy  your  force  on  the  table  on Blinds  (or  hidden  amongst  the  terrain  features) anywhere  within  12”  of  any  building.  Additionally five Gruppe or weapons teams may be  dug  in  with  foxholes.  These provide  good cover  from  fire  and  spotting.  You  may  keep your  MG42  teams  together as  part  of  the Kompanie  headquarters  or  may  cascade  them down to the rifle Zugs.

Summary of Game Notes

For  this  tutorial  scenario  both  the  British  and the Germans are Good Regulars.  To keep things simple  both  sides  have  had  their  infantry  anti‐tank  weapons  removed  from  their  organisation.

This  scenario  has  no  time  constraints.  It  should become  obvious  that  one  side  or  the  other  will fail  to  achieve  its  objectives.  If  the  British manage  to  take  four  of  the  five  buildings  the Germans  will  be  obliged  to  withdraw, abandoning their positions.  

The table represents the flat open terrain to the north  of  Caen  where  the  small  hamlets  and villages  are  the  only  features,  clusters  of buildings  surrounded  by  their  apple  orchards.  The  wheat  on  the  northern  part  of  the  table  is high,  standing  at  around  5’,  so  provides  good cover  from  spotting.  All  of  the  areas  of  trees are  apple  orchards  and  have  no  undergrowth.  The  hedges  are  scrappy  affairs  with  only  small banks  so  provide  only  light  cover.  The  buildings are  well  built  of  Norman  stone  and  provide good  cover.  The  ground  is  firm  apart  from  in the freshly ploughed field  at bottom right which has a -1 pip per dice on any movement.

I will add that the houses are 2 storey affairs.

Playing An IABSM Scenario As a Solo Wargame

I am going to play this IABSM scenario as a solo wargame, so I need to set up some ground rules to help me do that. The primary problem seems to be the pre-game stonk. I should not know where the Germans are deployed – or at least retain some mystery – however, I need to know the effect of the Stonk.

So I came up with a solution.

I would give the Germans three dummy blinds, plus the three they start with (good regulars would normally only get one dummy blind for three units on the table). I will then place these, fire the stonks, record the damage to each blind, and then reveal them as the game goes. In that manner, I won’t know where the German forces are, nor which ones I have damaged, until they actually appear on the table.

When a blind is spotted, to determine if it is a real blind or a dummy blind, I’ll roll a D6 on the following table:

  • 1-3    Dummy Blind
  • 4        Infantry Platoon 1
  • 5        Infantry Platoon 2
  • 6        Company HQ

That way I won’t know where the Germans are deployed. Obviously, as a platoon or HQ is revealed, its number is added to the dummy blinds results. So, if I reveal infantry platoon 1, then the next time I roll on the table, a dummy blind is generated on a roll of 1-4, rather than 1-3.

Finally, once I generate three dummy blinds, the rest will be units. I cannot generate more dummy blinds than there are units.

German Deployment

Being as the strongest positions in the game are the houses, I place a blind in each of them. I then place a blind out in the field. If that is revealed to be troops, they will be in foxholes.

This gives the Germans some strong defences. Also, troops can be deployed up to 2″ from a blind (and blind markers are 6″ x 4″) so there is a fair area to deploy in.

I could deploy blinds further forwards, as the scenario states they must be within 12″ of a house. However, a blind on its own will quickly be overwhelmed, and provide minimum benefit. I would rather concentrate the German forces in the village to spot down the road.







British Stonks and Deployment

Having deployed the German Blinds, it is time to fire the British Stonks. These represent pre-game artillery barrages, which is just as well as the British are attacking without any artillery support.

The first thing I have to do is position the Stonk templates on the map. Each is a 12″ square. I prepared these in Adobe Fireworks (which is an great image program – like Photoshop, but without the many confusing bells and whistles).

Next I rolled for both the infantry and crew served weapon effects of the Stonks on each blind. Why? Because I don’t know if there is going to be infantry or MMGs there until the blind is revealed, so I need to know the effect on both.

The results were as follows:

  • Blind 1
    • Infantry:  unaffected by stonk
    • Crewed Weapon: unaffected by stonk
  • Blind 2
    • Infantry:  3 shock
    • Crewed Weapon:  3 shock
  • Blind 3
    • Infantry:  1 dead, 3 shock
    • Crewed weapon:  6 shock
  • Blind 4
    • Infantry:  2 dead, 4 shock
    • Crewed Weapon:  weapon KO’d
  • Blind 5
    • Infantry:  2 dead, 4 shock
    • Crewed Weapon:  6 shock
  • Blind 6
    • Infantry:  3 shock
    • Crewed Weapon:  1 dead, 3 shock

Now I could have concentrated the stonks for cumulative effect. But seeing as half of these German blinds are dummies, I thought spreading them out would be better. We shall see if I was right. However, my feeling is I have made an error by not concentrating the fire.

Next, I place the British blinds on the table. They can deploy along the northern edge, and do so.

Now, I have no intention of splitting up my force and engaging in lost of equal fire fights. My intention is to concentrate in one mass and punch through German defences and defeat Jerry in detail. No messing around around. The good, old, “squash Jerry in detail” trick. Why would I consider massing them on one side? Because the Germans have no artillery. If they did, I’d be a lot more concerned.

So I stick all my troops on the west flank, with a dummy blind thrown on the other side for good measure and to scout out.







The Game

Turn 1

I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum has a turn sequence whereby units are activated by cards drawn from a deck. So let’s activate the Battlegrounds Gaming Engine card table.


Oh yeah – BGE’s got it’s own card table


Because everyone is on blinds, the only cards applicable are the blinds cards and the Tea Break card. So these turns may be a bit short until we get troops on the table.

Axis blinds is drawn first. Now they get 4 actions each blind. Yes, this is more than most units get, but reflects that while troops are unspotted and not being shot at, they act much more efficiently.

The Axis Blinds card allows all of the German blinds to remove a point of shock. So I update the table as follows:

  • Blind 1
    • Infantry:  unaffected by stonk
    • Crewed Weapon: unaffected by stonk
  • Blind 2
    • Infantry:  2 shock
    • Crewed Weapon:  2 shock
  • Blind 3
    • Infantry:  1 dead, 2 shock
    • Crewed weapon:  5 shock
  • Blind 4
    • Infantry:  2 dead, 3 shock
    • Crewed Weapon:  weapon KO’d
  • Blind 5
    • Infantry:  2 dead, 3 shock
    • Crewed Weapon:  5 shock
  • Blind 6
    • Infantry:  2 shock
    • Crewed Weapon:  1 dead, 2 shock

I’ve been quite lucky with my stonk rolls and that will make my life much, much easier. But I still have a niggling feeling I should have concentrated fire.

Now, some of the German Blinds can have a go at spotting my British blinds. That will make my movement slower, and allow the Germans to fire on my troops as I move in.

I’ll start with German Blind 4.

The British blinds are well over 24″ away (they are around 45″ distant), and badly obscured by the 5′ high wheat. That gives a base target of 14 for the Germans to spot. The Germans can use all four actions to spot (troops on blinds all get four actions, irrespective of quality) and occupy the upper stories of the houses to gain a height advantage. That gives them a +4 modifier (+3 for actions and +1 for the height) so they need to roll a 10.


Yes, I am showing off what BGE can do!


Blinds 1, 6 and 2 cannot spot. There is just too much in the way.

Blinds 3 and 5 have a bunch of trees in the way, in addition to the wheat. That means they can only spot British troops if those troops move within 9″. That means the Germans may need to send out some patrols to delay the British.

British Blinds Advance Rapidly

The Allied Blinds card comes out next.

Aggression is key here. We need to get up to the town as quick as possible and knock out the Germans while they still have shock from the pre-game bombardments. All dice will be used for movement.

The British Blinds have advanced around 15″ on average, closing the distance quickly. I’ll need to be a little careful in subsequent turns so one does not pull well clear of the rest. I will also want to spot the Germans. So, as I get closer, it will be a little bit of a juggling act with actions.








Turn 2

The Tea Break card is the first one out of the deck. So we move to Turn 3.

I could deploy troops from blinds on the Tea Break, but don’t want to yet.

Turn 3

Axis Blinds is drawn. All German blinds recover a point of shock. German Blind 5 attempts to spot British Blind 4, but fails. German Blind 4 also attempts to spot British Blind 3, but also fails. The Tea Break then ends the turn.

Hmmm… it would seem getting my men on the table will help me move them faster as with just three cards in the deck, I am struggling to get men across the table. Next time I activate we deploy!

German Blinds advance and spot

Turn 4

The Axis Blinds card comes out first and all German blinds recover one shock. Blinds 2 and 3 move up. Time to catch the Tommies in the field!

Blind 4 fails to spot British Blind 3, but Blind 5 spots British Blind 4 as a dummy.

Out comes the Tea Break card, ending the turn.








Turn 5

An Axis Blinds again. All German blinds recover one shock – most are almost recovered completely now. Blinds 2 and 3 move up in to cover, while Blind 6 starts a flanking manoeuvre now that the Germans know they have the British penned in one flank.

The Germans stand as follows:

German Blinds form a firing line

  • Blind 1
    • Infantry:  unaffected by stonk
    • Crewed Weapon: unaffected by stonk
  • Blind 2
    • Infantry:  unaffected by stonk
    • Crewed Weapon:  unaffected by stonk
  • Blind 3
    • Infantry:  1 dead
    • Crewed weapon:  2 shock
  • Blind 4
    • Infantry:  2 dead
    • Crewed Weapon:  weapon KO’d
  • Blind 5
    • Infantry:  2 dead
    • Crewed Weapon:  2 shock
  • Blind 6
    • Infantry:  unaffected by stonk
    • Crewed Weapon:  1 dead

Spotting occurs, but no British are spotted.







British troops get on the table

An Allied Blinds card allows me to move and deploy.

The Blind uses two dice to move, and then deploys. It uses its remaining two dice to spot German Blind 3, but fails. Blind 3 moves and deploys, while Blind 1 moves up.

That means I now have platoons 2 and 3 deployed, while Platoon 1 is still on blinds in reserve. I will attack “2 up and 1 back” to see how that goes. The British Cards “Platoon 2″, “Platoon 3″, and the two big men get added to the deck.



Turn 6

First card out is the Allied Blinds. I really need to spot some Germans so I can shoot at them, and so use all four actions of British Blind 1 to spot. But I fail.

British Platoon 3 is the next card out. Section 3, being the closest to German Blind 3, roll to spot and succeed. The Blind turns out to be the German Company HQ. The German MMGs and commanders are deployed, with markers for the two shock each MMG team has as a result of the British pre-game stonks. Now to overwhelm those MMGs before they can fire!

We fire the mortar at MMG 1, causing a point of shock. We then fire section 1 at MMG 1, rolling a miserable 5 on 3d6 which causes a single hit. However that hit is a kill. I mark the kill with a white number token to differentiate it from the red shock ones. Section 2 I move 2d6 and use their final action to take cover.

The next card out is the Axis Machinegun Bonus card (which went in to the deck when the blind was revealed). That allows one MG squad a free activation. MMG 2 activates and fires on British Section 3 of 3rd Platoon. They roll a total of 7, which as the British are in the open being fired at by an MMG, causes 7 hits. those hits translate in to two shock and twohree kills, and the section is automatically pinned. I remove two men and mark the men pinned. The pinned status will not have any effect on the British troops as they have already moved and fired this turn and the pinned status will be removed at the Tea Break card.

The next card out is the Axis HQ card. It is a dark day for the British. MMG 1 fires first at Section 2 of 3rd Platoon, scoring 15. However, as the MMG has three shock, that is reduced to 12. The British have taken cover and so count as being in light cover, but still suffer five hits, which translates as two kills and two shock. I adjust the British section accordingly.

MMG 2 fires again at British Section 3, causing a massive five kills and three shock. That leaves just a single man with a Bren gun, with five shock. The British unit falls back 8″ (2″ for every point of excess shock).

Things are not going well for my attack.

Sergeant Mick McAlpine, the Level 3 sergeant in charge of 3rd Platoon, activates next. He runs forward to the second section and rallies their two shock.

The Tea Break card then ends the turn and removes any pinned statuses.

The British fall in a hail of MG42 fire

The view of the whole battlefield at Turn 6

Turn 7

The Axis Blinds card is first out of the deck. Both Blind 1 and 6 immediately begin to move in to flanking positions.  Blind 4 deploys as German Platoon 1 (I diced for it), which means out of the four remaining blinds, only one is a German platoon. Section 1 opens fire on the British Section 2 of 3rd Platoon, causing two kills.

The Axis Machinegun Bonus card comes out next. I hold my breath, but MMG1 firing at close range still only causes two points of shock to 3rd Section of 3rd platoon.

Allied Platoon 3 comes out next. I decide to pile on some fire to the Germans to get my men moving forward, hoping to stick to my original plan (which is rapidly falling apart and turning in to a pile of dead English bodies). The British troops open fire, but only manage to cause two points of shock to MMG 2, and one point of shock to MMG 1. The British 2nd Section now only has four men remaining, meaning it only has one action per turn, so can’t fire with more than a single d6. That means it is pretty ineffective. An entire British platoon has been mostly neutralised. Finally, the British mortar adds another point of shock on German MMG 1, which causes it to fall back 2″ as its shock now exceeds the number of men in the team.

The German machineguns are losing their bottle. If I can keep that up, I can bring up more men and get a foothold on the village.

Sergeant McAlpine activates next and removes the shock on 2nd Section.

The British Blind card is next and the British troops advance and deploy, ready to take over from 3rd platoon that has been mauled. The lead section fires at German MMG 2, causing a casualty. The MMGs are suffering. As the British troops have come within 4″ of German Blind 6, the blind is automatically spotted. It turns out to be the remaining German platoon (a 1 in 5 chance) and I now have to contend with being surrounded and outflanked.

I fire on the newly revealed German troops, but with no effect. The platoon mortar adds another point of shock to MMG 2, making that weapon fall back. At least there is some mercy for me.

The Tea Break card then ends the turn. I removed the other German blinds as they are dummies and there is no further spotting for them to do.

The British fall in to the trap!

The overview of how the battle has developed. The German lines are in green.

Turn 8

British Platoon 3 are the first to be activated. I can see a window of opportunity here. The German CO is still in the front line, while his MMG teams have pulled back. So I move forward a section and shoot at him, hitting and killing him. The other, mauled section shuffles forward, while the mortar misses.

The next card out is Feldwebel Adler, the Level 3 commander of the German 2nd Platoon. He uses all three initiatives to activate his three squads. German Section 1 fires on Section 2 of the British 1st Platoon, gaining a bonus +2 to firing due to the proximity of the platoon mortar team to their target. They wipe out the mortar team, and cause two shock and two kills on the British Section. The British Section is also suppressed (marked with red base markers).

Not good.

Section 3 of the German 2nd Platoon moves up to the hedge and fires in to the massed British. They cause two kills and four shock which are spread between two British sections. Finally, the German 2nd Section moves out on a flanking manoeuvre. Both British sections are pinned. (marked with yellow base markers).

The British decide it is time to withdraw

So far the British have lost seventeen men, while the Germans have lost three. Worse, the British have a platoon pinned and suppressed, one mauled one, and one out of the main action.

The German HQ activates next and the MMGs fall back towards the houses. There they will be able to recover shock and keep up the fire.

The British Lieutenant Watson activates next. As the leader of 1st Platoon, he moves forward and removes the pinned status on both sections in his platoon.

Lieutenant Toby Scott of 2nd Platoon is next. He activates two sections and sends then running forwards.

Obergefreiter Mittel of the German 1st Platoon is next. He moves in to contact with 1st Section and directs their fire against the advancing British. The fire catches 1st and 2nd sections of the battered British 3rd platoon, leaving four dead and a bundle of shock. The British troops are suppressed.

Next card is Axis Platoon 1. They move a section and gun down more British, pinning them too. A second section takes up position in the vegetable patch to act as a reserve and to hold the flank.

Allied Platoon 1 comes out next and the British move up another section in to the meat grinder. Gefreiter Beyer comes out next and moves back with the MMGs.

Finally the Tea Break Card ends the game.

A Review Of The Battle

Firstly, let me say Battlegrounds was fantastic. It did everything I needed it to do and more. It was easy to use and a joy to game with. This is definitely my “go to software” for wargaming.

The battle itself did not go anywhere near as planned. The Germans were able to organise an aggressive defence and took the fight to the British, catching them in the open field and turning the stiff upper lip to quivering jelly. By enveloping the British, the Germans could pour fire from everywhere. I stopped the game as the British had lost about a platoon of men and had little chance of breaking through the German line. The British squads were rapidly becoming pinned and suppressed from the close range firefight, and to play on would have simply resulted in their utter destruction.

The scenario is designed to help you learn the game. It certainly did that. I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum is a hugely fun game, that really does offer some deep tactical choices.

This just became my new favourite set of rules.

And I really enjoyed the company scale too. I am definitely looking forward to my next game. Hopefully, I can handle the Brits a bit better in that one!

The Wargaming Addict