US Support Teams take up positions in Chain of Command Wargame

Friday, December 23, 2011


The Japanese Hvy cruiser, Chokai, was damaged in the recent action and has escaped to a complex of islands where it is hiding in the hope of escaping to the Japanese base at Bendova to the North east. The extent of the damage is unknown, only that it was slowed by several knots. That damage may have been repaired. The Chokai is accompanied by destroyers. It is night and there is no moon.

Your mission is to enter the Archipelego and seek and destroy the Chokai.

Your Force:
USS Nashville CL (Flag) Commodore Bud Tocks
USS Richmond (CL) Captain Ty Kune
Your force enters as a unit from the western edge of the table.
NOTE: The islands can cause sighting problems visually and with RADAR. The Umpire will decide.

Your ship, the Chokai, was damaged in the recent action and you have escaped into a complex of islands where you made the necessary repairs to attempt a dash to the Japanese base at Bendova wish is off the Northeast corner of the table. You and your escorts have hidden all day and are about to make the dash at dusk. You can guess that the enemy has forces in the vicinity attempting to find and destroy you.

IJN Chokai CA (Flag ) Captain Mefune Wakahomo
IJN Uranami DD

NOTE: Chokai damage has slowed her to 24 knots. Each turn you can try to repair damage(severity 65)as follows:
No Damage Control applied Roll above severity +20 01-07 makes damage permanent
Damage Control applied Roll above severity 01-02 makes damage permanent

Your force is hidden between islands 5 and 13 on the map.
NOTE: The islands can cause sighting problems visually and with RADAR. The Umpire will decide.

The American forces searching for you are to the West.

G.O.D.* NOTE: The Americans were given a map with 3 possible areas the Japanese may be lurking in. They had to deploy to try to best cover all three.
*G.O.D refers to Game Operations Director


Map of the Battle

The US entered from the west in line abreast and within a few minutes had a radar fix on the Japanese force at 0400. They immediately changed course to close but a Japanese destroyer interposed herself between the US force and the Chokai(Dick White). The Nashville (Dick Bryant) edged to the North East to avoid torpedos and take the Japanese Destroyer under attack with her secondaries. The Richmond (Jack Breen)continued East. The Richmond made the first hit on the Chokai at 0406 that barely chipped paint(35points). At 0408 a torpedo hit the Richmond but, luckily was a dud, and failed to go explode. After several hits by both American ships causing minor damage, the Chokai managed one hit on the Richmond starting a small fire that was soon put out. At 0412 the Nashville opened up on the Uranami(Dick White) and landed six 6” hits, sinking her. Though the Americans “counted coup” the Chokai got away and so it was a Japanese victory.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Overall view of the ame board. Set-on is indicated by brown and blue "pipe cleaners"

Dick White developed a Cross Fire scenario on short notice, thus the name of the battle. The Forces and missions were as follows:

The Americans are trying to take the road exit beyond the town of Weisse. You must hold at all costs.
Your Force
9TH Infantry Co (Veteran)
1 Coy CO (+2)
1 FO 81 MM mortars w/ 12 FM (3Smoke)

1/9 inf platoon
1 PC(+2)
3 Rifle sqds (one w/panzerfaust)

2/9 inf platoon
1 PC(+1)
3 Rifle sqds(one w/panzerfaust)
3/9 inf platoon
1 PC(+1)
3 Rifle sqds(one w/panzerfaust)

3 Mk IV Tanks

Germans win if they control the road exit at game end. Control equals no unsuppressed American unit within 12” of Road edge.

Moving Clock is in use. Game begins at 0600 hours and ends at 1800 hours. The clock advances 30 Min on a roll of 4+ when the Germans loose initiative.
Place first, start dug-in and hidden anywhere south of the indicated line on the map. The tanks are able to use camouflage nets to hide them until they move.
Americans can hold any number of troops off board at their option for later entry.
Buildings hold 2 combat squads plus one commander and one FO.
The blue oval is a swamp which does not block LOS and is impassible.
Fields: Vehicles BOG DOWN on a 3- Un Bog on a 4+*
Woods: Vehicles BOG DOWN on a 3- Un Bog on a 3+*
* Un-Bog result of 1 means that you are permanently bogged

You must occupy the road exit south of Weiss. This is accomplished by having a least one unsuppressed stand within 12” of the exit at game end.

1 BC(0)
1 SMG Sqd
1 FO for 105mm Howitzer (8Fm, 5 Smoke)
4 Sherman Tanks (Commanded by Rich Bryant)

Engineer Platoon Veteran) (Commanded by Rich Bryant)
1 PC(+2)
4 Inf Sqds

A Company (Regulars) (Commanded by Rick Bryant)
1 CC(+1)
1 60mm Mortar*
3 Rifle Platoons ea. w/
1 PC(+1)
2 Rifle Sqds
1 Bazooka Sqd

C Company(Regulars) (Commanded by Jack Breen)
1 CC(+1)
1 60mm Mortar*
3 Rifle Platoons ea. w/
1 PC(+1)
2 Rifle Sqds
1 Bazooka Sqd

*60mm Mortars loose initiative if fail a smoke attempt.

Fields: Vehicles BOG DOWN on a 3- Un Bog on a 4+*
Woods: Vehicles BOG DOWN on a 3- Un Bog on a 3+*
* Un-Bog result of 1 means that you are permanently bogged

Moving Clock is in use. Game begins at 0600 hours and ends at 1800 hours. The clock advances 30 Min on a roll of 4+ when the Germans loose initiative.

Place second North of the indicated line.

The writer, Dick Bryant, was the German commander and as such, I wrote up an Operational Order for my subordinate for this game, Dick Messier. I did this in the interest of starting a game sooner by having all the players briefed BEFORE they come to the game. I also gave him a small map showing the German dispositions as shown in the Battle Report Map.

The Operational Order
TO Dick Messier
FROM Dick Bryant, Commanding

The enemy is trying to take and occupy the road exit to the South of the swamp. We must prevent him from coming within 1 ft. of the exit.

Expect between 1 reinforced Company (5 platoons) to two companies with armor support. His main effort is expected to be on our left as he has more covered approaches in that area, though he may try an armor attack from our right.

2/9 Platoon
1 PC (+1)
2 Rifle Sqds
1 Panzerfaust Sqd (also acts as rifle sqd)

3/9 Platoon
1 PC (+1)
2 Rifle Sqds
1 Panzerfaust Sqd (also acts as rifle sqd)

In addition a FO reporting directly to the Company Commander with 2/9

1/9 is on your left rear and holds the left flank.
3 Mk IV tanks are in immediate support to the rear near the road exit.

Occupy the positions as shown on the map. You will dig in and remain hidden until detected by the enemy or forced to fire.
Hold your position (the center and right) as long as possible, causing casualties to the enemy as much as possible. If heavily pressed fall back to positions in the town, but maintain your zones of fire. If falling back, wood “A” must be held. Be prepared to reinforce the left by pulling straight back into the town on my order.

Bring all possible fire to bear on enemy when he shows himself except to keep one sqd from going “no fire”.

NOTE: You kill the enemy by firing on him – do so!
If you pull straight back out of a defensive position you cannot be fired upon until you exit the terrain feature!
You do not have to place the units in the positions they are indicated on the map. When you have to reveal them put them in the MOST ADVANTAGOUS position for the situation at the time of placement.

The 1/9, the armor and the Off Board Artillery were commanded by Dick Bryant

The overall map showing th German defense and the American attacks

The Americans opened by moving on to the table rather than setting on at the indicated line on the map. While this gave the Germans no advantage as they did not have a LOS to the table edge, the Germans did get a better idea of what the American plan was. After smoking the north-most house, the Americans moved to both flanks while a Sherman came down the road toward the town. The Sherman was knocked out by a MK IV shooting down the road. The American Engineers entered at the center near the road, in position to assault the German defenses once they had been suppressed. On the German initiative, the 60mm of the left-most American column was suppressed (at position 1) by the German off board 81mm, then the right hand American column was pinned. On the U.S. initiative another Sherman came down the road to meet the same fate as the first. Two Mk IV went to the right to take that U.S. column under fire and essentially destroyed the lead platoon with HE and MG Fire. These two tanks pinned the Right hand U.S. column in place the rest of the game, especially after several missed bazooka shots and the loss of the bazooka team. On the German left the Americans slowly advanced slowly by “Recon by Fire” and occupied the 1st of 2 houses just past the field. When the Germans moved a tank toward the left, that advance halted.
Sherman brews up

After a few initiatives of indecisive firing, The German tank on the left moved back to cover the road just as the Americans sent another tank down the road toward Weiss. It met the same fate as the first two.
Germans move to cover the right - note remains of US platoon in cener woods -yellow marker indicates "pinned"

The Americans were down 3 of their 4 tanks and the Germans had lost none. The American Company on the German Right was bogged down, one platoon wiped out, with little chance of advance against the two German tanks and had no counter with the loss of so much armor. The Germans had lost one Panzerfaust stand. The Americans decided to withdraw to fight another day.

Had the Americans set-on on the line as given in the player briefs and been more careful of their armor assets, a much different outcome may have been the result.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

PLEASANT VALLEY - A Regimental Fire and Fury Game

A Regimental Fire and Fury Game

Jack Breen has moderated several “what-if” battles based on the Union trying to force the passes through Stone Mountain which eventually will culminate in the battle of Antietam. The troops available as reinforcements in each game are a function of the result of the previous game in the series. In the original battle at Turner’s Gap, the Union was able to capture the gap and moved up troops to pass through it into Pleasant Valley. It’s this action that results in the present battle. The previous games were all played with Brigade Fire and Fury, this one was fought with Regimental.

The overall map and first moves

You have successfully pushed through Turner’s Gap. Reconnaissance confirms at least 1 Division of Longstreet’s Corps in the valley beyond supported by rebel cavalry. You are to push into the valley and hold the crossroads leading to Sharpsburg and Boonsboro.

Gen Hooker (able) Corps Commander

1st PA Light Btry
Section “A” 2 Hvy Smoothbores (veteran)
Section “B” 2 Light Rifles (veteran)
Section “C” 2 Hvy Smoothbores (veteran)

From 2nd US Horse Arty.
Section “A” 3 Hvy Smoothbores (veteran)
Gen. Doubleday (poor) Division Commander

Gen Phelps (able) Bde
22nd NY (green) 7/6/5
24nd NY (green) 7/6/5
30nd NY (green) 7/6/5
54nd NY (green) 7/6/5
2nd US Sharpshooters (crack) 6/4/2

Gen Pleasanton(able) Cavalry
Col Farnsworth (brave) Rgt. 17/13/9 (trained) enters turn 6
Btry B 3 Light Rifles (trained) Horse Arty.

We have held all but Turner’s Gap on South Mountain. The enemy has broken through with at least 1 Division and is near Pleasant Valley. You are to intercept him and push him back. Hold the crossroads to Sharpsburg and Boonsboro. Gen Stuart is in the valley, south. Kershaw and Cobb are on Fox road. Semmes and Barksdale are on Harper’s Ferry road. Use all haste.

Gen. Longstreet(gallant) Corps Commander
Gen. McLaws (able) Division Commander

Manley’s Artillery: LR – LR – LH (crack)
Pulaski’s Artillery: HR – LR - LR (trained)

Gen. Stuart (gallant) Cavalry Commander
Col Hampton (brave) Rgt. (veteran) 13/9/6
Horse Artillery
Pelham’s Horse (veteran) 2-LR
Virginia Howitzers (veteran) 2-LH


The game started with Seymour(Union) marching through Turner’s gap with the brigades of Magliton, Anderson and General Doubleday’s Division (Rich Bryant) in column behind him. (See map at beginning of report). Hooker’s Division guns were between Seymour(Dick White) and Magliton (Rick Bryant). Pleasanton’s Btry A of 3 Heavy Smoothbores had been attached to Hookers artillery. A faulty survey of the field by the Union engineering staff suggested that the wet area to the left of the Turner’s Gap road was impassible when it only would have slowed the movement of the troops. Also the area on the mountain to the immediate left of the road exit into the valley could not take an artillery position as first supposed.

Moves 3-7
The Confederate cavalry under Stuart (Spencer Clough)was moving quickly along the road toward Turner’s Knoll and Kershaw (Dick Messier) moved to flank the Union position in the field before Turner’s Farm. Seymour properly decided to drop Gen Hooker’s (Dick Bryant) plan to provide a strong position on the left flank while Magliton attacked the farm and the knoll and instead provided a weak flank guard and assaulted the Farm driving the rebels off the hill. He was helped by Sections A and B of the artillery (Dick Bryant) who silenced all the Confederate guns in the vicinity of the knoll.
Union Infantry moves through Turner's Gap toward Turner's Gap. Note onfederate Cavalry and Horse Artillery racing for the other side
Union holds desperately to Turner's Farm and Knoll

Seymour was sorely pressed on his left as the Rebels brought up several guns but Magliton could make little progress to help as the entry roads were blocked, not by terrain or troops or rough ground, but by the Union engineers misreading of the ground to the right!
Rebel guns and infantry assail the Union Left.

Magliton pushed on down Turner’s Gap road with one Rgt and worked to get the rest of his units up. The rebel Brigades under Cobb (Messier) and those of Semmes and Barksdale under Clough) were all pressing the left flank of the Union army, struggling to get more troops through the gap. The Bdes under Semmes and Barksdale moved to support what was left of Stuart on the knoll while Cobb and Kershaw and all the Confederate guns moved to attack Seymour’s left.

Union Reinforcements Await Their Turn - Rich Bryant
The old saying “ here comes the cavalry” is no more a-propos than it was at this battle. When things looked bleakest for the Union, Col Farnsworth’s (Dick Bryant) Cavalry Rgt with 3 Light Rifle Horse guns appeared on the Rebel rear having managed to ride from Harper’s Ferry without the enemy detecting them – of course, Stuart was attacking the knoll!
Union Cavalry and Guns arrive into a "Target Rich Environment"

The Union cavalry immediately caused havoc in the long columns of Confederate infantry on the road towards Seymour’s flank. With the loss of the 3 artillery, the Union Cavalry rolled up Cobb’s Brigade and some of Kershaw’s. This put them in position to the rear of the Rebel guns without infantry support. One more turn would have destroyed those guns – but a Union victory (1 Bgde and 1 Rgt against the Rebels' 3 Bde’s and 1 Rgt) was called and the game ended.