Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Operation Jupiter 08 - Counterattack

Introduction
This is game 8 in replaying the scenarios from the Briton Publishers Operation Jupiter skirmish scenario book (Lulu PDF link).  I playing them on a 4.5'x5' table using 20mm; Games 1 to 5 used my own Advance to Cover rules (1 figure = 1 section).  After the last few games, I felt 1:10 was too abstract to me and so have gone to a 1:3ish figure ratio (so 3 figures = 1 section).  The rules are largely unchanged – all I have done is doubled the ranges to account for the fact is it is now company level and not battalion level; the deployed frontage of companies are different to battalions leading to the distance scale needs to be different.   Background on why I am playing these is at the start of the first game post.

Scenario
The British have managed to get into Eterville and the Germans launch as counterattack before the British can dig-in. The Germans have 6 turns to take the main building on this side of the town.

View from the German entry looking at the town of Eterville.

The view from the British side looking to the German entry (top of picture).

Lastly, a picutre of this side of the town, looking from the Germans.  The objective is the building in the centre with the red roof. 
Troops
Note that although I am playing with 1:3 ratio and the scenario is at 1:1, I fielded the same number of figures and vehicles as the scenario.

British



1 Company HQ
     4 figures
1 Platoons, each:
      1 CO
      3 sections (3 figures each)
      1 PIAT team
      1 2' mortar team
2 Churchill VII
German



1 Company HQ
   5 figures
2 Zugs
      1 CO
      3 Gruppe (3 figures each)
      1 251/1 halftrack
2 PanzerIVG
2 Stug IIIG
2 fire missions of 80mm mortar battery

(the scenario called for 3 halftracks, I forgot about the third one.)

Deployment

The British focus on the two large buildings facing the German entry point.  A PIAT team is set up behind the hedge in front of the objective building (the one with the red roof).  The Churchills are deployed to be able to cover the approach to the town, with one Churchill also well positioned to assist in defending the buildings. 

British defense.

Game
Like the previous game, after deployment I dictated the game as I was playing using a voice recorder on the PC rather than typing notes as I went along. It worked well, and I know the game took 37 minutes to play from deployment to the end.

The Germans are on a very short time limit.  One half track rushes up the field to the right of the main road and drives right next to the hidden PIAT team.  Bang!   A 6 die roll to hit sees the half track destroyed.  Most of the passengers make it out - 3 of 10 figures killed - and are suppressed.

Halftrack driving past the hedge with the hidden PIAT team

The result of the PIAT fire.
The other halftrack goes down the field to the left of the road and the passengers unload behind the hedge facing the closest building of the village.

This halftrack does ok and makes to the hedge in front of the town. 
The tanks come on ad planned - Stugs down the right flank and PanzerIVs down the left.  The Company HQ move down the woods on the far left of the table.

The German tanks arrive in support
The white house closest to the second Zug is subject to mortar fire and suppresses the building occupants -  one section (3 figures in defense). The Germans jump over the hedge and assault the building.   The British, being suppressed and attacked by superior numbers, are overwhelmed.

Two Gruppe assault the closest building defended by one section that was suppressed by mortar fire. 
Meanwhile, the Germans that escaped the destroyed halftrack rally and  charge at the PIAT team that is easily destroyed.
The other Zug assault the PIAT team.
The Churchill could fire on a PanzerIV but the white house being occupied is a much bigger threat - the Germans are only one building fromthe objective.  Both Churchills fire on the building and cause a few casualties.  The PanzerIVs fire at the Churchill but no damage is inflicted.

PanzeriVs move around the hedge while Churchills fire on the white house.

The Germans in the white building spot the unit in the objective and fire, causing one casualty. The mortar fire on the objective building but is ineffective.  The Germans mount a large assault on the objective building using figures from the Zugs that recently destroyed the PIAT team.

The Germans crossing the road to assault the objective building (the Brits on the right are the defenders).

The Germans lose three figures from fire when crossing the road and the assault results in equal losses on both sides and the figures are locked in melee.  The figures remain in melee for another turn as well.

Germans and Brits locked in melee.
More units from the first Zug are bought up into the white building

Germans move more units into the white building.
The British shore up the defense of the objective building but the resulting melee is still a tie!

View from the British side of the building with the defenders visible.
The Brits win the melee in the building and the Germans lose a few figures, retreat and the whole Zug takes a morale check and rout.

The remains of a Zug retreating before they rout.
The Germans in the white building, the only infantry left on the table, make a last ditch attempt to assault the building.

Germans make one last attempt to take the building.  Note the Brits I moved from the other side for visual effect.
 They fail, lose two figures and also rout.

The Germans lose, retreat and rout.

The Germans withdraw.  The British win, having held the town against the German counter-attack.

Table at game end from the British edge.

Verdict
The rules seem to work well and the melee rolls were very tense!. The objective building I treated as one large building and sometimes had quite a few figures (7-8) on a side. I must think about whether I should split them up into a couple of rooms and only allow 4 or so figures to a room. The game would go slower but it would capture the deadly nature of building fighting. I think I will leave it as an option - fast games can use one building, slower games can have a couple of "rooms" to fight over.

This was the last game I played while I had time and space in January, not sure when I will have the space or time to setup a 20mm game again to continue the campaign.

10 comments:

  1. Shaun,

    Great stuff once again, and I look forward to when you can get back to this campaign. I plan on restarting with the boy once I get back home.

    I can't believe you fought the Germans off in this one. Congrats to you and your magic dice ;) and you managed without even getting your tanks much involved!

    V/R,
    Jack

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    1. I was too keen to get the Germans into action. I should have used to tanks to suppress the buildings more before assaulting them. While there is the 6 turn limit, I am using card activation with a Joker, so 6 turns is really 12 turns. But I was tired and forgot, hence the rush to get to the objective in 6 turns. The Germans activated the infantry before the tanks and so the tanks only got in a couple of fires as the Joker was often drawn before they had a chance to activate.

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  3. Hi, very very nice!!! I'm interested in your idea of a "drawer wargame". I'm looking for a Skirmish WWII ruleset I can play on a small surface. Any suggestions? Thanks

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    1. The "game in a drawer" came about as I had small children and needed somewhere to setup games I could play over several weeks and not get damaged. Clearing a few drawers in an antique map drawer in the lounge was the solution and then I started gaming on 2'x2' as that is all that would fit in a drawer!

      WW2 Skirmish for small surfaces for 10mm-20mm figures that come to mind and would recommend (in my priority order) are:

      5 Men at Kursk (Nordic Weasal games). Similar to his 5 men in Normandy bu a little different on activation.
      NUTS!
      Some Corner of a Foreign Field
      USEME WW2
      FUBAR (but requires a few more figures than the above to really shine)
      Flying Lead (based on the Song of Blade and Heroes rules)

      There are others but I am not familiar with them so do not know if they work well or not.

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  4. Replies
    1. I have just checked out your blog (google translate is my friend here) and see you have already checked out FUBAR and also that you are a member of the small game table club!

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  5. I'm just restarting solo play after many years when I lacked time to do what was needed. I am at the stage of struggling with the troop scale for WW2. I can't decide if it's better to scale right down and play at as near to real numbers or at least company level or reduce squads to a single figure and play battalion level. It looks like you've had the same thoughts. Would love to chat by email if you have time, sometime. Al
    You should have my contact details as we are in two google circles.

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  6. Looks like classic wargames fun!

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    1. It certainly was - playing with plastic 20mm forces and terrain from the 80s!

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