Sunday, 16 December 2012

Little Heroes

The Heroes
Last night I played a 20mm scale WW2 game with some regular gaming friends (Paul, Shaun and Tom). Myself and Shaun commanded a German infantry force against a Russian infantry force commanded by Tom and Paul. The objective of the battle was to take and hold a large church on part of a large island land mass. This involved a race to get to the objective (cut off by a wide river), and battling for key positions including 2 bridges and any building near those bridges. There were no tanks, but there was heavy artillery guided by forward line spotters.

The objective

To cut a long story short, the game took a bit of an unexpected turn. Basically, I raced a couple of German half tracks along the main road and managed to disembark the rifle squads and get them into a house near the main bridge. These guys should have been dealt with by the Russian heavy guns (with their concealed spotter well placed for targeting the house), and the subsequent follow-up assault of masses of Russian infantry. But one little squad of Germans had other ideas about how this should go.

Battle ground layout showing the house by the bridge
The Ruskies
The Germans
I used half-tracks to get to that house ASAP!
The Heroes in the house

Despite the Russians bombarding the hell out of the house, they never got any kills. They just kept getting pins and suppressions, which I then managed to shrug off (admitted my +1 dice roll modifier for being elite helped). Then, when the Russian troops assaulted with wave (including sub-machine armed troops who usually clear buildings in one go), this single German squad just inside the door of the house kept beating them back in close combat. This was incredible, considering that on some of the assaults they were pinned or suppressed, which inflicted negative dice modifiers on them.

At the end of the day, it was all down to me rolling sixes and the occasional five, consistently. The Russians had to take that building by the Bridge, and their commander (Paul) did the right thing sending waves of troops to take it. The fact is that German squad defied all (sensible) odds! Eventually, they (that 1 squad!) reduced the left flank Russian forces to about 50%. My remaining German squads then moved up to take on the remaining Russians on that flank. At this point Paul and Tom conceded, as the Germans would have dealt with them quickly, and then rushed the Russian artillery, which had been holding up Shaun's advance to the church across a second smaller footbridge. (I say "holding up" but it was more like decimating them!).

So impressed were we all with that little unit, that the models had the underside of their base "hero-marked". These little soldiers will now be sought after to use in future games for their morale or grudge invoking abilities!

Having their base "Hero-marked"

The lessons from this battle were:
  • Use transports on tarmac roads as they can travel fast/far.
  • Take key buildings ASAP.
  • A small number of elite infantry, in cover, in a key location like that house...can win the game.
  • Don't rely on odds, percentages and law of average. That German unit should never have survived.
  • Some days, your dice will just keep rolling sixes!


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