Having recently fought through Scenario 1 from the IABSM rulebook (a game by Too Fat Lardies), I thought I’d give it another bash and see if I could do any better with the British. Having had a disastrous attack in the previous game, I suppose I couldn’t really do much worse.
I am going to do this in more abridged fashion, mostly because I want to replay the battle to see what happens and to make sure I have grasped the rules firmly.
So, here are the forces again: the British have a full infantry company of three platoons; the Germans have two infantry platoons supported by a couple of MG-42s.
Given the success of mounting a forward defence in the last game, I set up the German blinds in cover, ready to move around the map. I'm also going to use just four blinds (rather than six) to make things easier and to stick with what's laid down in the rule book.
After that I position the British pre-game stonks and roll for effect.
The results were as follows:
- Blind 1
- Infantry: 3 dead, 6 shock
- Crewed Weapon: 12 shock
- Blind 2
- Infantry: 2 dead, 4 shock
- Crewed weapon: unaffected by stonk
- Blind 3
- Infantry: 3 shock
- Crewed weapon: unaffected by stink
- Blind 4
- Infantry: 2 dead, 6 shock
- Crewed Weapon: 9 shock
That has some pretty heavy duty effects. Now I need to make sure I take advantage of it as much as possible. Remember, I have rolled for both infantry and crew weapon effects on each blind as I don’t know which blind contains the MMGs. When the German blind is revealed, I will apply the appropriate effect.
The British Blinds are placed (Blind 4 is the British dummy blind) on the table but don’t move as their card does not come up. Axis blinds all recover one shock.
So now, the Germans are as follows:
- Blind 1
- Infantry: 3 dead, 5 shock
- Crewed Weapon: 11 shock
- Blind 2
- Infantry: 2 dead, 3 shock
- Crewed weapon: unaffected by stonk
- Blind 3
- Infantry: 2 shock
- Crewed weapon: unaffected by stink
- Blind 4
- Infantry: 2 dead, 5 shock
- Crewed Weapon: 8 shock
This time the Allied Blinds move as quick as they can towards the German lines, burning all actions in movement. The Axis Blinds do not activate before the Tea Break is drawn.
Nothing happens this turn – the Tea Break card is drawn first.
Like Turn 3, nothing happens as the Tea Break card is drawn.
The British Blinds activate first and move up, albeit slowly because of poor dice rolls. German Blind 3 then spots British Blind 3, causing the British 3rd Platoon to deploy. I place the British platoon two up and one back, with the veteran Sergeant McAlpine attached to 3rd Section.
German Blind 1 spots British Blind 1 and it is revealed as a dummy blind and removed. German Blind 2 also spots British Blind 2, and I deploy 2nd Platoon on the table, with Lieutenant Scott attached to 1st Section. German Blind 2 fails to spot British Blind 1, which is just as well as the Germans were having enough lucky rolls.
German Blinds is the first card out. German Blind 3 resolves as the Company HQ, including the MMGs. They immediately open fire on British Platoon 3, doubling shock as this counts as an ambush. When the dust clears, four British are dead, 1st Section has 4 shock and 3rd section has 6 shock. Both British sections are suppressed. However, one of those British casualties is Sergeant McAlpine himself!
We need to take out those guns!
German Blind 4 resolves as the German 1st Platoon. The troops immediately take up firing positions and lay in to the British 3rd Section of 2nd Platoon. The Section suffers one dead and 2 shock – surprisingly light casualties.
German Blind 1 attempts to outflank the British 3rd Platoon, but has a miserable roll on movement dice. Jerry seems to be reluctant to engage. German Blind 1 spots British Blind 1 and I deploy British 1st Platoon on the table.
Based on what is happening so far I make a new plan. The blue arrows show my intended plan to outflank and destroy the Germans. Only, I know there is still another platoon hiding in there!
British Platoon 3 activates next. The mortar and 2nd Section open fire. They manage to cause one kill and a point of shock.
British Platoon 2 come next. They fire at one of the German sections, hoping to keep heads down while they advance. 2nd Section does a leap frog, allowing its mates to fire, then advances forward and lays down its own fire. That takes the heat off of 3rd Section. The Germans suffer one casualty and 4 points of shock.Wargaming World War Two
I just realised I completely forgot all about the pre-game stonks! What an idiot I am. Right then, I’ll apply the stuff now and keep the German firing results.
Well that changes things. Both the German MMGs lost their bottle and the British firing made them retreat. Otherwise there is a little shock spread around. I can’t believe that in the excitement of the game I forgot something so fundamental!
Oh well, it happens I guess.
Well that changes things up a bit. I can probably push through those MMGs now and get them out of the way. And my two platoons should break through the single German platoon. It feels like a fair fight now.
The Tea Break Card then ends the turn.
Leutnant Kemp is the first card out of the deck. He rallies two points of shock on MMG 1 and has it fire on the British 3rd Section of 3rd Platoon. As 1st Section is close, they get pulled in to the fire. The result is a kill on 3rd Section and a point of shock on 1st Section.
British 1st Platoon acts next and they lay down fire in to the German 1st Section, 1st Platoon, causing two kills and a point of shock.
A German MG Bonus card sees German MMG 1 lay down more fire, killing another British soldier. Gefreiter Bayer is next and rallies a point of shock on MMG 2.
Then the Tea Break Card ends the turn.
The Axis Machinegun Bonus card sees MMG 1 open fire on the British 3rd Platoon, but fail to cause any damage or shock.
British Platoon 1 acts next and keeps up its leapfrogging advance, firing in to German Platoon 1 and causing two kills and one point of shock on the 1st Section.
British Platoon 2 acts next and opens fire on 3rd Section of German 1st Platoon, causing 2 kills and a point of shock. The German section loses its bottle and retreats 4″. They also advance a section to get closer to the hedge line.
[Eagle-eyed readers might notice I have changed up some of the components. I have created micro-dice to use for shock and casualties, and have changed the pinned/suppressed/lost bottle markers too.]
German Platoon 1 is drawn next. 1st Section fires with no effect as they are down to half strength and loaded with shock. 3rd Section is smothered in shock and can also do nothing. 2nd Section in the house opens fire on 1st Section of British 2nd Platoon, causing a single kill and pinning the British troops.
[Yes, I have now switched Big Men bases to a different colour – blue for British and red for German. It makes it much easier to see where commanders are.]
The Tea Break then ends the turn. Pinned statuses are removed. And all units within 9″ of the enemy can fire. That allows MMG 1 to fire and cause a single point of shock on the British 1st Section of 3rd Platoon, resulting in that section retreating due to excessive shock. However, the British fire simultaneously and also cause a point of shock on the German MMG team, causing it to likewise retreat.
The passage is now open.
Leutnant Klemp is first to act. He rallies a point of shock on MMG Team 1, activates them, but they only move 1″. He also activates MMG 2, but they fail to move because of their excessive shock.
The German Blind card is next. At this point I need to know which Blind is a dummy. So I roll for Blind 1 and discover it is the dummy. That means the German defence is faltering. I deploy the last German Blind as Platoon 2 and send a section scurrying off to harass the British while the rest hole up on overwatch to catch and advancing Tommies.
Captain Jones is next and he scurries across the table, removing two shock from Section 3 of 2nd Platoon.
Lieutenant Watson is next. He activates 1st and 2nd Section, getting them to fire at the German section cowering in the hedge. The men open fire, causing a kill and three shock that sends the Germans scurrying backwards.
The Tea Break Card ends the turn.
Gefreiter Bayer reduces shock on MMG 2 by 1 point. Captain Jones is next and he runs towards the beleaguered 3rd Platoon, activating a couple of 2nd Platoon units along the way.
Feldwebel Adler activates both sections in the large manor and puts them on overwatch. British 1st Platoon advances, and Adler’s men open fire but fail to score any hits. The British fire at the retreating German Section, causing another casualty and making that Section useless.
The Tea Break Card falls again.
You can now see the British outflanking the German position. It will be hard for them to dislodge the troops inside buildings as the cover makes them hard to hit. However, the British now are beginning to have their weight of numbers tell and it won’t be long before they roll up the German troops. However, the pre-game stonks have caused damage to the fresh troops (I forgot to note them again and have adjusted – there were 2 casualties on each section). So the Germans won’t last long.
The image to the left also notes my plan to break through the German lines. It should work…
Lieutenant Watson is first out the deck and he activates the British 1st Platoon (with the exception of the mortar that is out of his command radius). Two sections fire at the German 3rd Section, causing it to break and run, while the remaining British section advances and takes cover.
German 1st Platoon (or what is left of it) is next. The sole unbroken squad fires at 3rd Section of 1st Platoon, scoring two hits. They then roll a double six, causing two kills. Sigh…
Lieutenant Scott is next. He activates two sections using his command initiatives and they both let the last squad of German 1st Platoon have it. The Germans suffer two dead. Tit for tat I suppose.
British 3rd Platoon is next and I move up the undamaged section, while the other two take cover and go on overwatch. Gefreiter Bayer removes a point of shock on the MMG team he is with. They are getting close to recovering. That would be disastrous for the British. Leutnenat Klemp is next and he rallies some shock from MMG 1, while activating it and moving it to cover. The British better do something soon.
Captain Jones activates next. He uses a command initiative to get 2nd Platoon’s mortar to fire, and then moves towards 3rd Platoon.
Feldwebel Adler activates next and has his men fire at the advancing British, but his men have no effect. The British 2nd Platoon then open fire, causing 2 kills and a point of shock on the Germans in the house. That leaves that section with just 4 men, and 1 action – meaning they are barely combat capable.
The German Company HQ activate next and MMG 1 moves backwards, intending to reposition in one of the houses, while MMG 2 holds its position (its shock levels mean it is unlikely to move).
The Tea Break then ends the turn.
Beyer reduces a point of shock from MMG Team 2. British Platoon 2 acts next and again pours fire in to the house, this time killing OberGefreiter Mitter and another German. The squad is finished as a combat unit.
The Axis Compnay HQ act next and MMG 1 sprints along towards the German line of resistance building in the centre of the village. Captain Jones is next. He reaches 3rd Platoon and starts removing shock. Leutnant Klemp does the same with MMG 1. Lieutenant Watson gets 1st Platoon moving, closing the gap with the German defenders.
Platoon 3 start to move, with men taking the first house and the mortar shelling the German troops that are rushing to form a new line of defence. German Platoon 1 cannot act on its card as it has been destroyed. The MG Bonus card allows the German MMG 2 to fire at close range on the British team in the house, but only causes a point of shock.
And the Tea Break ends the turn.
Lieutenant Watson’s boys open fire, causing a couple of kills, then using their remaining actions to take cover. The MG bonus card sees MMG 2 open fire again, but fail to cause any damage. And Captain Jones continues reducing shock on Platoon 3.
Allied Platoon 2 moves up, getting a section to flank the German MMG in the orchard, while 1st Platoon pours fire in to the Germans in the house, causing another casualty.
German MMG 1 fires at the British squad in front of it, causing a casualty., while MMG 2 relocates to a house. Then Feldwebel Adler activates what’s left of his platoon to fire at the British, but the shots have no effect.
British Platoon 3 starts pulling itself together and kills 2 of the MMG team, while the German CO removes any remaining shock from MMG Team 1.
The Tea Break Card ends the turn.
End Of The Game
It is at this point that I decide to call the game.
The Germans have lost 29 men from their starting 58 – so they have suffered 50% casualties. They have an entire platoon that is no longer combat capable (all sections have been reduced to 0 actions, and the platoon leader is dead). The second platoon has all of its sections reduced to either two or one actions, and the MMGs have both suffered lost crew.
The British have lost 10 men from their starting 78 – so about 13% casualties. 3rd Platoon has taken the most casualties, while 1st and 2nd Platoon are still relatively intact.
Given the German’s state I decided that they will now withdraw from the field, leaving the village in the hands of the British.
In IABSM there is no force morale. You decide when your men will pull back, although as a section’s actions are reduced from casualties your force’s ability to fight is greatly reduced. Eventually, you just end up with pockets on men hugging the dirt.
So what did I learn form this battle?
Take your time. That’s a theme that comes up often. Don’t be in a hurry to rush across the table and die in a hail of bullets. Wear down the enemy with superior firepower and advance slowly. Make sure you have two friendly squads shooting at one enemy squad.
Also, use cover and take cover. Bumping up your men’s cover by using an action is the difference between a butchered squad and suffering only a point of shock. Firefights are generally deadly within 9″, so close the range before letting your opponent have it. Shooting when you are beyond 18″ is rarely effective (unless you have an MMG or HMG).
Right then, I reckon I’m ready for some tanks now…
The Wargaming Addict