Monday, June 16, 2014

NUTS Comic WW2 battle report - Cheux Normandy Game 01

Introduction
I was going to do a company based 6mm ww2 Normandy mini-campaign on a 2'x2' board. I am likely to still do so.  But I have been distracted by an idea to use my 20mm figures on the 2'x2' table and play skirmish instead.  I have always wanted to have a go with Two Hour Wargame NUTS! as it is very solo friendly and will use that, although the terrain generation is from Platoon Forward and the wound effects and random events are from Patrol:WW2.  Lastly, comic style AARs are all the rage at the moment, so I used Comic Life (for the first time) to do the report.

Background
I have recently acquired the history of the British 7th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment of the 43rd (Wessex) Division.  I am loosely basing the campaign on their journey.  28-30 June 1944 saw many patrols and a few German stragglers captures. 

It is my first game with NUTS! so I am going with only 5 soldiers. I expect I will normally run with an entire section.   With the small 2'x2' table, I am halving all distances.

The Game
Note: images can be clicked on to show a larger version.











Commentary
I rolled randomly for 5 British soldiers.  I chose not to use any Stars:

Corporal Box, REP 5, Stealth
Private Harrison, REP 5, Tough
Private Jones, REP 4, Hard as Nails
Private Killan, REP 5, Nerves of Steel
Private Trimmer, REP 3, Runt.

Campaign Morale: 4
British Investment Level: 3 (on Patrol)
German Investment Level: 3 (Brits are on Patrol)

I made a mistake with the first German fire when I rolled for all the 5 Germans firing and then started applying damage to the different figures.  I should have done it one by one.  But I did remember half way through, and even remembered the Man Down tests.
There was a time when Killan and a German traded shots - three times each - without hitting as both in cover.  That was frustrating but part of the game.
There were three random event in a row near the end of the the game.  I used Patrol:WW2 and the third one was the artillery strike (the other events were less exciting such as finding a PIAT).
I could not believe it when I rolled German replacements as Box and Jones were returning back to the line.  And even more unbelievable when the entry location was so close! It was a squad so I rolled a d6 for the number of soldiers that turned up.
Lastly, I should have picked up the wounded soldiers.  I forgot and only remembered when I got to the end.  If real life, they would not have forgotten so assumed they made it back.

Using Patrol: WW2 I determined the Out of the Fight effects::
Harrison:  Light wound Arm; out for 8 days.
Killan: Light wound Arm; Completely healed within the day.

Verdict
Well, that was fun. Comic Life runs a little slow on my under-powered machine but it was so easy to use and I really enjoyed putting it altogether.  I also really like Nuts! for its solo suitability and also the campaign detail.  The whole game took 2 hours from taking out the board, filling it with terrain and playing the game.  I did not use any paper and referred to the rules on a Windows 7 notebook.  The bookmarks are fantastic and I found the rules fine to work with.  I think the game with 5 soldiers would be over in under an hour in a game or two.
But of course, and I had a feeling this would happen, there are a lot of dice rolls in the game. I did think about switching to something similar with less dice and Gut Check! looks good.  However, as an incessant rules writer,  I am already nearly finished writing a simpler set (infantry only so far) borrowing some of the reaction concepts but with less dice rolls. 

8 comments:

  1. Saw this on TMP and came here. Loved it, thanks.

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  2. Nice one Shaun...loved it! Now we need to see lots more of this campaign ;)

    Thanks for posting

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    1. While they do take a while to do, I am hoping to get one in a week for the next few weeks. But who knows how slow I will really be?

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  3. Great work Shaun! Most enjoyable.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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    1. Thanks Aaron. It was fun to play and writeup.

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  4. Shaun,
    If you want to eliminate some die rolls, instead of rolling the Recover from Knock Down, just treat it as auto pass 2d6. Makes it a bit more vanilla as the tougher characters will behave like the weaker ones. Thanks for the write up!

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    1. Ed,

      thanks for dropping by. Playing solo, I like to roll for many of the test as once, so roll to hit, impact and possible tests (crisis and even man down for other close soldiers) all at once. With 2d6 or more for each, it is a bit hard to speed up the game. All I was really going to do is go to 1d6 for the test with a 2d6 pass being based on REP; failing by 2 or more is 0d6; failing by less than 2 is 1d6; +1 if suitable for a leader die. If does change the probabilities a little, but not too much.e.g. REP 4 character: Pass 2d6 requires a roll of 4 or more; pass 1d6 is a roll of 2-3, pass 0d6 is 1; I think better in "higher rolls are better" but would work just as well reversing. I can then quickly read a number of differently coloured dice. I lie awake at night (tragically) running these probabilities through my head so I am aware of a lot of the tradeoffs and is does remove some uncertainties, especially with REP 5. But it is faster! I do like the auto recover from knockdown.

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