IABSM AAR: The Second Battle of Tomaszow Lubelski

The last week of September 1939 saw a combined “Northern Front” Polish army join the attack towards Tomaszow Lubelski. Due to bad communications between the different Polish divisions, the result was a series of largely uncoordinated attacks by Polish unis arriving from the north-east, launched in the direction of the city only to be shattered wave-by-wave by the German defenders.

This scenario would represent one such attack: with Polish and German forces brawling for control of the centre of the table. Four objectives would be placed there, with each side entering the table and attempting to take and hold them. The game would end after ten appearances of the Turn Card, at which point victory would go to the side that held the most objectives. If, however, one side managed to hold at any point three of the four objectives, then the game would end immediately, with that side wining the battle.

Click on the picture below to see the extraordinary events that followed…

IABSM AAR: Push Towards Lowicz

As part of a counter-attack that had already thrown the Germans back some twenty kilometres, the Polish 16th and 26th Infantry Divisions crossed the Bzura river near Lowicz on the morning of 14th September 1939, and the Polish 4th Infantry Division reached the road linking Lowicz and Glowno.

At this point, however, the retreating Germans were reinforced by the 4th Panzer Division, which had been withdrawn from the fighting in the outskirts of Warsaw, and launched a counter-attack of their own against the advancing Poles. This battle would recreate the encounter battle that followed.

A cracking game of IABSM in which a bold coup de main won the day. Click on the pic below to see all:

IABSM AAR: The Narew Crossing

It was back to Poland for our latest game of I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum and an extraordinarily exciting encounter that went right down to the wire.

On September 7th 1939, reconnaissance units from one of the Panzer Divisions of General Nikolaus von Falkenhorst’s XXI Army Corps captured Wizna after Polish mounted reconnaissance squads abandoned the village after a short fight and retreated to the southern bank of the Narew. When German tanks tried to cross the bridge, it was blown up by Polish engineers. This game would recreate the German attempt to force the Narew Crossing.

Click on the pic below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Grudziadz

Our last game of IABSM was set in the Tuchole Forest in Poland, right at the beginning of the war. Today’s battle would directly follow on from that encounter, and represent the stalwart Polish defense of Grudziadz. Both scenarios were taken from The September War, Part One, one of the TooFatLardies scenario packs that I have written for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum!

Grudziadz was a strategically important town as it housed an officer academy, a cavalry school and the several army staffs directing Polish forces in the Polish Corridor region. It was, however, only lightly defended, with its garrison made up of infantry and border protection corps (KOP) along with supporting artillery. The German attack was launched from East Prussia by 21st Corps, mainly infantry and the reserve 10th Panzer regiment (mainly Panzer I and II).

Click on the pic below to see what happened.

IABSM AAR: The Tuchole Forest

Played a great game of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! at the weekend: scenario #08 from the first September War scenario pack covering the invasion of Poland in 1939, The Tuchole Forest.

The battle, set in the Polish Corridor, was all about territory and objectives, and proved a very different kettle of fish from the usual head-on clash.

Click on the picture below to see who held onto what to win the game:

IABSM AAR: Anzio #13: Aprilia

Cracking game of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum fought this weekend just gone.

We used scenario #13 from the Anzio: Wildcat to Whale scenario pack featuring the action on 8th/9th February 1944 as the Germans advanced on Aprilia (the Factory).

Click on the picture below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Operation Compass #11: Bardia/One

Some great desert action from Tony Cane, as he and friends play the eleventh scenario from the Operation Compass scenario pack: Bardia/One.

The scenario covers one of the Australian assaults on the Italian-held town of Bardia as Compass turns from raid to army-beating campaign.

Click on the picture below to see what happens when you underestimate the opposition...

IABSM AAR: Blenneville or Bust! #5M: Chemont

Another great battle report from the excellent blog of Sergeant Steiner. 

Here, he and his friends play scenario #5M: Chemont from the Blenneville or Bust! scenario pack: involving a clash between Fallschirmjaeger and US armour.

My enjoyment comes as much from working out which BoB scenario the game is taken from as reading the report itself! Blenneville or Bust!  is a pyramid campaign involving five levels, so there are thirty-one possibilities in all. There's no mention of the name of the village in the report, but only the village of Chemont has a layout like that shown in the picture below. That means it's one of #5B, #5F or #5M. Only #5M involves German Fallschirmjaegers, so scenario #5M it is!

Click on the pic below to see all:

IABSM AAR: Bashnya or Bust! #4A: Holm

Another great I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! AAR from Sergeant Steiner's marvellous blog, this time also supported by the comments of the Duc de Gobin, author of the epic Warfare in the Age of Cynics blog.

This time, The Sergeant and the Dice Demon, Steve, are playing one of the scenarios from the Bashnya or Bust! scenario pack for IABSM: scenario #4A Holm.

What's quite fun for me, as the author of Bashnya or Bust!, is working out which exact scenario they're playing from the photos. On this occasion, I knew it was Holm immediately (distinctive terrain!), but which one. Well the only one with that exact number of T-34/85s and that exact number of Panthers is 4A...so hopefully that's it!

Anyhow, click on the pic below to see all. Recommended...along with a quick visit to the two blogs this comes from as well. Excellent stuff.

 

As usual, I hope that neither of the gentleman mentioned above objects to me re-posting their text and pictures. It is genuinely intended as a way to spread awareness of both IABSM and their excellent blogs rather than anything else.

IABSM AAR: Piotrkow Trybunalski

Just written up an AAR from the game we played yesterday using scenario #45 from the second September War scenario pack: the battle of Piotrkow Trybunalski.

A big game covering the actions of 5th September 1939 as the Germans drive down from the Borowska Heights.

Each side fielded a company of infantry and tanks, with the game taking about 3½ hours.

Click on the pic below for more:

Blitzkrieg in the West: Germany Now Available

Blitzkrieg in the West: Germany is the fourth in my series of early war handbooks for I Ain’t Been Shot, Mum. The handbook is a massive 185 pages long (over double the size of either the French, BEF or Low Countries books) and covers the whole of the German army that invaded France and the Low Countries on 10th May 1940, seventy-eight years ago today.

The book begins with the humble infantry: not one, homogenous, grey-clad mass, but actually eleven different types of infantry division, each with their own set of core and support troops.

Next, after a quick look at the infantry that doesn't fit into the above (e.g. the Gebirgsjaeger), the book moves on to the ten panzer divisions: with each panzer division given its own section and set of lists. There are, for example, five different lists that relate to 9th Panzer Division alone.

After the Panzertruppen, the book covers the cavalry, the SS and the army level support troops (that's where you'll find the StuGs!) before finishing off with the Fallschirmjaegers and Air Landing troops that dropped into Belgium and the Netherlands. Finally, we have the usual ratings and armoury sections, and a note on air support.

Although designed for IABSM, Blitzkrieg in the West: Germany contains a vast amount of information useful to gamers of other systems, and is really a must-buy for anyone interested in the early war period.

Available now from the TooFatLardies website, we've kept the price at £8.40: the same as the other three handbooks, despite its much larger pagination. That should make the set of four books - France, the BEF, the Low Countries, Germany - absolutely affordable for all.

Blitzkrieg in the West: The Germans: Cover Revealed

Just to give my latest handbook for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum a little pre-publicity, I got the cover through from Rich today.

The handbook will be available from the TooFatLardies website on May 10th (next Thursday) and weighs in at over 180 pages!

The good news is that despite its huge size (over twice as big as the other handbooks in the series) we're not making it more expensive than the other books: it will be the same price as the French, the BEF and the Dutch/Belgians.

The handbook will cover the German army that invaded France and the Low Countries in May 1940. It will contain lists for each of the ten different types of infantry division, each of the ten different Panzer Divisions, the cavalry, the SS, the Fallies, the army troops...you name it, it's in there!

IABSM AAR: Operation Compass #18: Siret el Chrieba

Tony Cane has been working his way through the Operation Compass scenario pack for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum. His last post featured the tank battle at Mechili, this one covers the Australian attack on the Italian aerodrome at Siret el Chrieba.

Here, the Australians are faced by a huge expanse of open ground (“flat as a table and devoid of cover” as the official history puts it) dotted with the occasional hanger or building. Their target is to take the hangar and buildings on the other side of the open ground.

Click on the picture below to see how they do...

 Loving the aircraft hanger and the dust-covered Blinds!

Loving the aircraft hanger and the dust-covered Blinds!

Blitzkrieg in the West: The Low Countries now available

I'm very pleased to announce that the third in the series of early war handbooks for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum, Blitzkrieg in the West: the Low Countries, is now available from the TFL website.

The handbook is 88 pages long (bigger than either the French or BEF books) and contains two separate sections: one on the Belgian army of 1940, and one on the Dutch army of 1940.

The Belgian section contains sixteen separate lists covering everything from the Active divisions through to the Cavalry and then on to the Chasseurs Ardennais and Border Guards. There's also a section on the forts and bunkers positioned along the Belgian border.

The Dutch section contains seventeen separate lists covering everything from the First Line divisions through to the Light and Peel divisions through to the three independent brigades, the cavalry and the various territorial commands. There's also a short section on the defence of the main airfields and another on the defence of Rotterdam.

Both the Belgian and Dutch sections contain a lot of background information, so the handbook should be very useful for players of other game systems as well.

And don't forget the other two handbooks that are already available:

As one review on the TFL website says about the BEF handbook: 

Picked this up this morning – I got the French one last month. Absolutely brilliant resource that I really look forward to using. Can’t wait for the German one. *****

Jonathan

Coming Next Tuesday: Blitzkrieg in the West: The Low Countries

Just in case people were wondering why it's all still been a bit quiet on here lately, it's because I'm still working hard on the series of Blitzkrieg in the West theatre books for I Ain't Been Shot, Mum.

The French and BEF handbooks are already available from the TooFatLardies website, and I'm pleased to announce that the handbook covering the Low Countries - Belgium and the Netherlands - should be available to buy right after the Easter Bank Holiday weekend i.e. Tuesday next week, 3rd April.

The handbook is 88 pages long (bigger than either the French or BEF books) and contains two separate sections: one on the Belgian army of 1940, and one on the Dutch army of 1940.

The Belgian section contains 16 separate lists covering everything from the Active divisions through to the Cavalry and then on to the Chasseurs Ardennais and Border Guards. There's also a section on the forts and bunkers positioned along the Belgian border.

 
 

The Dutch section contains 17 separate lists covering everything from the First Line divisions through to the Light and Peel divisions through to the three independent brigades, the cavalry and the various territorial commands. There's also a short section on defending the airfields and another on the defence of Rotterdam.

Both the Belgian and Dutch sections contain a lot of background information, so the handbook should be useful for players of other game systems as well.

So don't buy that extra Easter egg: save your money for Tuesday morning and a trip to the Low Countries!

Blitzkrieg in the West: The BEF Now Available

I'm very happy to announce that Blitzkrieg in the West: The BEF, the second of the series of theatre handbooks covering the early war in the West is now available.  It covers the British Expeditionary Force from 1939 to the fall of France in 1940. Designed primarily for use with IABSM v3, the handbook will still prove useful to all players of WW2 company-sized wargames.

This incredibly detailed guide to British forces, written by me, is 75 pages in size and is packed with data, including the following British forces:

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  • From the Infantry Division
    • The Infantry Company
    • The Infantry Battalion Carrier Platoon
  • From the Motor Infantry Division
    • The Motor Infantry Company
    • The Motor Infantry Scout Car Platoon
    • The Motor Infantry Motorcycle Company
  • From the Line of Communication Troops
    • The Line of Communication Infantry Company
    • The Pioneer Infantry Company
    • The Searchlight Infantry Troop
  • From the Reconnaissance Troops
    • The Divisional Cavalry Squadron
    • The Armoured Car Squadron
  • From the Detached Element of the BEF
    • An Infantry Company from Saar Force
  • From 1st Tank Brigade
    • A Tank Squadron from 4RTR
    • A Tank Squadron from 7RTR
    • Parkes Force
  • From 1st Armoured Division
    • A Paper-Strength Armoured Squadron from 1st Armoured Division
    • A Tank Squadron from the Queen's Bays
    • A Tank Squadron from 10th Royal Hussars
    • A Tank Squadron from 2RTR
    • A Tank Squadron from 5RTR
  • From Calais & Boulogne
    • A Best Guess Tank Squadron from 3RTR
    • A Motor Infantry Company at Calais
    • A QVR Motorcycle Company at Calais
    • The Guards at Boulogne
  • From the Beauman Division
    • An Infantry Company from A Brigade
    • An Infantry Company from B Brigade
    • An Infantry Company from C Brigade

With additional sections on the Second British Expeditionary Force, other British independent formations, fielding British forces, rating your forces and a comprehensive armoury. 

The handbook is available in PDF format only from the TooFatLardies website. Click here to go straight to that page.