My second game at this year’s Operation Market Larden (the Evesham Lardy day) was a rather exciting game of I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum. The scenario, written and umpired by Mike Whitaker, involved a clash between British and German reconnaissance forces somewhere in Italy in around 1943.
Tim Whitworth and friends recently played scenario #06 from the Operation Sealion scenario pack: The Raod Inland.
It is day S2 of the German invasion and the reconnaissance battalion of the Wehrmacht 26 Infantry Division is heading towards the sleepy village of Herstmonceaux. The reconnaissance unit is light in vehicles and most of the troops are mounted on bicycles ‘liberated’ from a sports shop in Pevensey.
So far British resistance has been patchy comprising of pockets of home guard and the occasional unit of regulars but the British are now frantically attempting to form a solid defensive line to the north of the landing beaches.
What will this day hold in store for Hauptmann Ralph Sturmer and his company? Click on the picture below to see all…
The first game that I played at this year’s Operation Market Larden was a game of Chain of Command set in Malaya 1941 put on in 28mm by Mark Backhouse.
The British, played by Matt Slade and I, were represented by a platoon of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. We were defending: our mission was to prevent any Japanese troops exiting the table on our side: Mark, in the picture above, is standing behind the British baseline. A sub-plot also involved us getting a senior officer to the knocked out ambulance to rescue certain vital supplies.
As mentioned, we had a full platoon of Scottish infantry at our disposal: three sections, a light mortar team and a Boys anti-tank rifle team led by lots of officers. In support, we chose a Lanchester armoured car (mainly because this theatre is about the only place you can use one) and a roadblock, which we used to prevent the Japanese bringing any tanks on from the side road on our right flank.
The Japs, played by Jeff Davis and Ian Gilbraith, had the opposite idea. Their aim was to capture two thirds of the table (horizontally) allowing them to exit troops off the British baseline. They also had a secondary mission: explore the two huts in search of rice supplies.
The Japanese also had a full platoon to field, but their sections were enormous: fourteen strong IIRC. In addition to their three regular rifle sections, they also had a grenade launcher squad with three Mk89 teams. In support, they had a Chi Ha tank: something we were not looking forward to facing.
The Patrol Phase happened quickly, with the Japanese ending up with their Jump Off Points largely on their left side of the table. We had two of our JOPs on that side of the table too, but as we’d had to protect out entire front instead of being able to schwerepunkt along one road, we had another behind the hut on our left hand side of the table.
The Main Game Begins
The dice really fell for the Japanese in the early stages of the game. I’m not quite sure of the mechanic, but something about them rolling lots of 6’s on their Command Dice twice in a row meant that they shot up the battlefield until there was a section in the jungle to our right, the grenade launchers behind the hut just in front of our positions, and another section right in front of us in front of the hut.
The Japanese opened fire, promising huge amounts of devastation on our lead section. Fortunately (me rolling lots and lots of very low dice) the potential for large numbers of deaths was never realised. In fact, our only casualty was a junior officer knocked down…who promptly got back up again. This did, however, cost us two Force Morale points: the officer was obviously deeply unpopular!
Now the dice swung our way, and we had the chance to pour fire into the Japanese squad out in the open: which we did, knocking their strength down by half. At the same time, our Lanchester appeared, and promptly shot up the Japanese squad to the right.
It was all going so well…then this happened:
The Chi Ha took a shot at the Lanchester, hit it, and almost knocked it right back off the table. One more of them and we’d have no Lanchester left, and a dwindling number of Force Morale points.
Our light mortar popped some smoke down on the road between the Chi Ha and our armoured car, which gave us a little time to breathe…but what to do? There were still lots of Japs on the table, albeit half of them were pretty bashed up, but we needed to do something quickly and decisively if we weren’t going to spend the next four years building railways!
There was nothing for it: we would have to go forward and take the fight to the Japanese!
Bursting from the undergrowth, one of our sections rushed across the road to the right shouting strange Scottish epithets as they closed with the enemy. There were more Japanese there than we expected (the figures were hiding in the scenery!) and we lost the first round of close combat. This boded ill, but then Mark reminded us that as we were Scottish, we could ignore a loss by a mere one man, and carry on fighting until we were properly wiped out!
Back in went the Argylls, and in another two rounds of fighting (the Japs weren’t giving up the ghost easily either) we killed every enemy solider except one senior leader, who fled the field not to be seen again until 1966, when he finally emerged from the jungle not knowing the war had ended in ‘45!
The loss of so many of their men was too much for the already battered Japanese to survive. With a Force Morale of zero, they melted away back the way they’d come. Another successful Argyll ambush: time to fall back and do it all again tomorrow!
A cracking game of CoC, and one after which I am actually starting to remember the rules. I don’t think I’m switching from gaming companies in 15mm (IABSM, CDS, Q13) but I shall definitely play CoC again when I can.
Thanks to mark, Matt, Jeff and Ian for making it such a great game. Here are a few more piccies:
This year is the 75th anniversary of the successful assault on Pegasus Bridge by glider infantry of the 2nd Battalion, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, British 6th Airborne Division, commanded by Major John Howard. The successful taking of the bridges played an important role in limiting the effectiveness of a German counter-attack in the days and weeks following the Normandy invasion.
The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (SOFO) is putting on an exhibition to celebrate the anniversary, and it looks as if a few of us might be able to run a demo game of IABSM one weekend at the museum to help bring the event to life for the general public.
All the running for this is being done by friend Dave, so all I had to do recently was to take part in a playtest of the game to be run. Click on the picture below to see all…
Another superb AAR from Desmondo Darkin based on his D-Day St. Aubin scenario.
This time, he and the South London Warlords are using a bigger piece of coast and a sandy beach instead of shingle. For rules, they used I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum! with Desmondo’s Chain of Command-modified activation system.
Desmondo and friends play a slight variant of IABSM where dice rather than cards/chips are used to govern unit activation. Now whilst we don’t countenance such heresy here at VL, if it helps spread the Lard, then go, Desmondo, go!
Another great Sealion AAR, but not this time from Karim and friends at the Stipsicz Hussars. No, this time it’s Tim Whitworth and his friends at the “Like a Stonewall” wargames group who are playing out the action.
Click on the pic below to see whether the Hyde Home Guard Platoon, under the watchful eye of their daring commander Major fforbes-Cole MC (retired) can defend Paddlesworth against the Fallschirmjaeger Hun.
Another great AAR from Karim Van Overmeire and friends at the Stipsicz Hussars, again from the Operation Sealion scenario pack for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum!
This battle report features Scenario #03: Capture the Port, in which elements of the London Irish Rifles defend the small sea side village of Seabrook against the German 21st Infantry Regiment. The Germans had to capture this position on their way to Folkestone: securing the port of Folkestone was necessary to allow German armour to be brought ashore.
Click on the picture below to see if Seabrook will fall under the Nazi jackboot!
Those of you who have the The Defence of Calais scenario pack for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum, and those who have read the Blitzkrieg: The BEF theatre supplement, will know that during the fall of France campaign the British were often forced to use Searchlight Infantry (i.e. line of communication troops whose purpose was to help anti-aircraft units hit enemy ‘planes by shining big searchlights into the sky) in the front line.
Up to now, unfortunately, there’s been no way to differentiate Searchlight Infantry from normal, run-of-the-mill types: after all, they wore the same basic uniform. Now, however, at least in 28mm, Sarissa Precision Ltd has produced a portable searchlight and generator.
Now the model is actually not quite right for the Searchlight Regiments (they used the searchlights either mounted on trucks, or carried on lorries with a slightly different stand) but is the closest thing I have seen so far.
Credit where credit is due: I didn’t see this on the Sarissa site, but on the Bad Squiddo games site, where Annie has created a Home Front female crew for the spotlight, and is selling the Sarissa model for them to, er, man.
Apologies if you’ve seen this before (the model is not marked as a new release on the Sarissa site) but I thought it worth mentioning. You never know, Sarissa might produce a 15mm version as a result or, equally good, Annie might start doing some of her Soviet female infantry in 15mm!
Here’s a collection of great pictures from the “Like A Stone Wall” wargamers latest game of I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum.
Set during Operation Epsom, there are some lovely 20mm figures on show. Click on the pic below to see all.
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a not-for-profit website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.