Sunday, January 11, 2015

Operation Jupiter Game 02 - Horseshoe wood

Introduction
This is game 2 is replaying the scenarios from the Briton Publishers Operation Jupiter skirmish scenario book (Lulu PDF link).  I am replaying them on a 4.5'x5' table using 20mm, my own Advance to Cover rules and a figure scale of 1 figure = 1 section.  Background on why I am playing these is at the start of the first game post.

These games are like vignettes of larger battles.  The report is not long nor very detailed...and I took no notes during the game as it was so much fun!

Scenario
Germans are dug-in within a horseshoe shaped wood.  The British have 12 turns to dislodge them.

The Germans setup in foxholes about 12" (300 metres) from the woodline - far enough away to not be spotted too easily, but close enough to fire rifles (18" range). Battalion HQ is in the centre rear foxholes.

Germans in the foxhole.  British enter from bottom right (you can just see the front of a Churchill there).
Troops
British
The British force
1 Battalion HQ
     4 figures + 1 PIAT
1 Company:
      1 CO, 1 2" mortar and 9 figures
2 Churchill VII

Note: I only realised when writing this up there should have been two companies.  One was enough.

German

The Germans - Battlaion HQ and one company + foxholes.
1 Battalion HQ
   3 figures + 1 radio
1 Company
   1 CO and 9 figures
2 2x80mm mortar fire missions

Game
British plan: Advance with a Churchill and a platoon to draw fire and so spot the positions.  Then open up with everything that should be at the edge of the woods.
German plan: Fire at will - the range between the foxholes and the woods is only a few hundred metres.

The British advance to edge of wood.  This takes 4 turns (due to the fall of the activation cards) of the 12 total in the scenario.

British travelling through the woods.
The British advance a platoon and a Churchill out of the wood line and towards the foxholes.

The Germans spot the British moving in the woods and radio in mortar fire that causes 3 casualties to the British Battalion HQ that is pinned and does not do much the rest of the game. Receiving mortar fire in the woods is not recommended.

Not wanting to stay in the woods, another platoon exits the woods behind the first one.

The platoon advances, followed by another one.  The Churchill follows soon after.
British still fail to spot anything after 2 turns of spotting. Finally after another turn, the company spots someone in a foxhole and open fire with everything they have.  One foxhole down.

The Germans have lost half of their battalion HQ (the foxhole centre right)
Fire continues back and forth for a few more turns.  Time is on the Germans side and they are only losing about 1-2 figures a turn.

Some of the defenders, already down a figure in the foxhole.  The Battalion commander and radioman can be seen at the back.
The German mortars suppress a platoon in the open.  4 dice but only one casualty.

The German mortars suppress (green bush markers) a platoon. 
Another foxhole is emptied.

A defending foxhole is lost (centre left).  There are six defenders left - 2 are the remainder of the battalion HQ in the centre.
The German company is reduced to 4 sections and routs. The required overall force morale test fails and German retreat.   This was at game turn 10 so it was a close game.

Routing German company (3 to the top left and one top right, hard to make out).  Battalion HQ left in centre pulls back.
Verdict
Another great game.  Short and fun.  I am enjoying the scenarios and my rules.  The scenario calls for another 10 figures but I think the game would have been much more one sided to the British.

10 comments:

  1. Initial response to the scenario is that the German commander should be shot at dawn. 'OK, there's a wood, let's not take advantage of cover, etc - we'll set up right in the open, in the middle of a clearing, so once we're spotted the enemy can just wipe us out with a couple of well-placed artillery rounds.'

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    1. Yes it does seem strange and i only set up there as the scenario dictated in the clearing.. Although I have looked at the text that the scenario is based on and there was lots of hand to hand fighting, so in hindsight the foxholes should have been up against the wood themselves. The clearing is 1/2 km wide, so it probably has undulations etc we cannot see - without being there it may have made sense "on the day". We may never know. Ah well. Thanks for looking!

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    2. Woods are the bane of infantry once the explosive ordinance starts to fly. That is likely what the German commander had in mind when he opted out of the woods.

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    3. True, but in hindsight I think I should have put the foxholes next to to the woods (still not in them because, as you point out, woods is not a great place to be to shelter from artillery).

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    4. I did notice that the holes were kind of far forward of the wood line. Have her Oberst stripped of his rank...assuming he is still among the living. ;)

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  3. Shaun,

    Sorry for the delayed response, I'm on travel, but finally managed to get to this. Good stuff, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the book, so you'd better not quit!

    I don't have the book handy, but:
    1) if I recall correctly, the defenders were 12th SS, who'd just come from the Steppes, so they dug in, but they were more along the lines of spider holes (with overhead cover) than normal 'foxholes.'

    2) I think in the book the Germans have something like 1D6 Panzerfausts for dealing with the Brit tanks, though I could be wrong, or maybe Shaun actually had the Grtmans with Panzerfausts but he gets too excited and forgets to write everything down ;)

    V/R,
    Jack

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    1. Jack,

      And I apologise for my late response; for the last week I have been at the beach on a island in the bay with poor internet connectivity. And reason for not writing up the next game. I do not think I will give up on Operation Jupiter, it may just take a while to play them out!

      Re 1) Yep, they were SS. I bought the book the scenarios were based on and there was a lot of fierce hand to hand fighting. So I think making the foxholes tougher to spot and/or also providing better cover would be the way to go (or put the foxholes next to the woods - definitely force hand to hand fighting then).

      Re: 2) The Germans do have panzerfausts but no Allies got close enough for them to be used, so I did not mention them. If the foxholes were next to the wood line, I think the panzerfausts would have made a difference.

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  4. A beach on an island, eh? I'm severely jealous, ya bastid! And I understand about stuff taking a long time; there's no way I can get done everything I wish to get done...

    Gotcha on 12th SS and the panzerfausts. But I know you really just got too excited to take notes again ;)

    V/R,
    Jack

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