IABSM AAR: Operation Compass #11: Bardia 1

Another great battle report resurrected from the archives of the A Wargamer in Cyprus blog.

This time, the scenario is #11 from the Operation Compass scenario pack: the first of the three games focusing on the Australian attack on the Italian-held fortress of Bardia.

Click on the picture below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Benghazi Handicap #01

I do so like it when I stumble across a source of material for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum or one of the other Lardy company-sized games: it does take the pressure off a little…as anyone who runs a blog knows, keeping it fresh and updated is a serious, long-term commitment!

Anyhow, latest discovery is the excellent A Wargamer in Cyprus blog, which contains a plethora of quality wargaming material. I haven’t been able to get hold of the blog’s owner to ask permission (I’m no Tango!), so I hope he doesn’t mind me reproducing some of its content here as part of efforts to support TFL and IABSM etc.

Here’s an AAR taken from the site featuring the German attack at Agheila that formed the first proper German vs Commonwealth encounter in the Western Desert. Just as an aside, I actually have a half-written scenario pack for Sonnenblaum which features this action…and am now feeling all inspired to dig it out and finish it.

Click on the pic below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Up From Asnelles

It’s been a few months since we’ve had one of these, but here’s another great WW2 After Action Report from Mark Luther.

Here’s his introduction:

I just got back from France and Normandy so I was in the mood for a D-Day game. I also wanted something basic and that would allow for both sides to do some manoeuvring, so a straight out assault on dug in stationery troops was out.

I came up with the move in from Asnelles by the B Company 2 Devons and the counterattack by the 916 Grenadier Regiment later in the day on June 6. The two German grenadier companies had two three-section Zugs. I rated them as poor troops. This company had two attached MMG teams. The German orders were to get off the north edge of the table. A pair of StuG IIIs would show later.

For the Brits, B Company of the 2 Devons had all three platoons, but I also rated them as poor troops for this game. Between being seasick and inexperienced they were not fully up to their game. A troop from the Sherwood Rangers were assigned as support but were running late. Their orders were to advance south and get off the table.They began on the north board edge.

Click on the picture below to see all…

IABSM AAR: Villa Santa Anna

Another great AAR from Mike Whitaker, using a set of terrain boards with which, after Market Larden, I am very familiar!

Set in Italy '44 again. The British (Carl, Rod) are tasked with taking the farm of Santa Anna, a German (Colin) strongpoint. They have a troop of Churchill NA75s, a carrier section and two infantry platoon, as well as a Vickers. Ranged against them are two understrength German platoons, a couple of MG42s, a StuG, and their CO's new pride and joy, an SdKfz 251/10.

Click on the picture of the Villa, below, to see what happened:

You can see more great content on Mike’s blog: Trouble at T’Mill

AAR OML7 Game 2: IABSM: Recce vs Recce

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.

Click on the picture below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Sealion #06: The Road Inland

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…

AAR OML7 Game 1: Chain of Command in Malaya

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.

Patrol Phase

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!

Aftermath

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:

IABSM AAR: Pegasus Bridge Playtest

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…

IABSM AAR: Return to St Aubin (again, again)

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.

Click on the picture below to see all:

IABSM AAR: St Aubin

A lovely and impressive set of photographs from Desmondo Darkin that first appeared on the I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum Facebook group.

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!

Click on the picture below to see the action:

IABSM AAR: Operation Sealion #04: Take the Heights

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.

IABSM AAR: Operation Sealion #03: Capture the Port

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!

IABSM AAR: Operation Sealion #02: Rearguard at Pevensy

Karim van Overmeire and the Stipsicz Hussars are continuing to play through the Operation Sealion scenario pack, this time they fight scenario #02: Rearguard at Pevensy.

Will the British hold the bridges, or will the fearsome Hun get in amongst them? Click on the picture below to find out all…

Searchlights (literally) in 28mm

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!

IABSM AAR: Return to San Marco

Tim Whitworth and the Like a Stonewall Wargames Group had a second go at the “Attack on San Marco” scenario from the “Cymru Am Byth” scenario pack.

Rather than start a new AAR, I’ve added the words and pics to the bottom of their first attempt.

Click on the picture below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Sidi Ahmed

Another great battle report by Carojon and the Devon Wargames Group.

This time they have ventured into the Western Desert, with a version of the battle for Longstop Hill: the encounter that opened the way for the final Allied advance on Tunis.

What’s great about this AAR is that the forces are detailed as well: so it will be easy for you to replay this encounter yourselves should you want to.

Click on the picture below to see all: