Michael at the NWA and I have been attempting to have a game of IABSM for ages, and at last on Friday there was room on our dance cards.

We played the first scenario in the rulebook: North of Caen. Michael has a number of Crossfire armies, so it wasn’t much of an effort to glean the figures we needed for the two forces. Michael had the Germans, with two rifle platoons and a section of tripod mounted MG 42 medium machine guns. Facing him I had a British rifle company, with three platoons (let's say that I had A Company in a Regiment, so 7, 8, and 9 Platoons).

The table while we were setting up. Michael's 2 Zug was in the enclosed orchard in the centre

We started off by misreading the ‘pre-game stonk’ rule, but I found out later that the area I chose to use the stonk on turned out to just have a dummy blind on it anyway.

I put Capt Jones, the company commander, with 8 Platoon, in the centre of my line, and my dummy blind on the right flank.

Michael spotted 8 Platoon fairly quickly, with his 2 Zug, which were deployed in an enclosed orchard. They came off their blinds, and the two platoons exchanged fire at fairly long range without much harm being done to either side.

My other blinds proved very difficult to spot, and I got a fair way down the table with them.

I moved my dummy right up to the blind that was on my right, and it proved to be the German machine gun section. Not wanting to get in a firefight with them I charged 9 Platoon, still on their blind, right up to close combat. At this point we realised that that was going to be costly for me. Each of Michael’s MMG crews ended up with nineteen dice (dug in, MMG attacked from the front, etc), against the nine dice that my assaulting sections could muster. The two MMGs held, just, and put one of my sections to rout. I did manage to cause one of the German MMGs to fall back, and the other was down to two men.

Meanwhile Lt Watson had led 7 Platoon into a good position to enfilade the Germans in the orchard, and with the combined firing of two platoons the Germans started to become weakened.

On the right flank I finally put paid to one of the Spandaus, but 9 Platoon was down to one section.

At this point Michael and I called it an evening. We had spent a long time discussing a few rules that we either couldn’t decipher or couldn’t find on the night, so the game went a little slowly. We plan to play the same scenario again to see just how fast we can play the game. I feel that we should be able to play the game pretty quickly the second time around. I’d definitely like to play some of the more advanced scenarios to see how tanks and artillery support feel because I enjoyed that little session.

Small Sagas