N. Koreans stumble into barbed wire in recent Cross Fire game

Saturday, November 19, 2011

DAY OF BATTLE: BREEN'S FARM

THE BATTLE OF BREEN’S FARM

We had our second try at the new Day of Battle IV. The two sides were French Feudal (Dick Bryant and Dick Messier) and English Feudal (Dick White and Jack Breen). Dick White (Baron Foley) and Dick Bryant(Baron Maldemer) chose their armies as below and decided the terrain placement earlier in the day of the game. Go to Chris Parker’s website and follow the demo game and a synopsis of the rules. We find these rules to be an excellent re-creation of the period and a fun game can be had in 1.5- 3 hours. See: http://www.dayofbattle.com/

THE ENGLISH ARMY
Great Baron Foley




Baron Breen
SR=3

THE FRENCH ARMY

Great Baron Maldemer(Dick Bryant)

FUEDAL FRENCH
SR =4 Esteem=3 Household = 7
MOTIVATION = RAID
4 CARDS: Ace, 10, 9, 8 = 25+7(HH) = 32
32/3 = 10 2/3 = 11
SUMMONS
      1 Retinue                           1 Noble Knight            C/H/E                Free Upgrade to E
      5 Mounted                        1 Noble Knight            C/H/V
                                               1 Feudal Knight           C/H/V                Free Upgrade per Domain
                                               1 Feudal Knight           C/H/A
                                               1 Feudal Knight           C/H/A
                                               1 Feudal Knight           C/H/A

         3 Missile                         1 Crossbow                L/H/A     Upgrades 1 and 2; (P-A) and M-H
                                               1 Crossbow                O/L/A     Upgrade 3
                                               1 Breton Javlin            O/L/A

       3 Foot                              1 Militia Spears(Tr)    C/M/A    Upgrade 4
                                               1 Men at Arms           C/H/A
                                               1 Feudal Foot, Sp      L/M/A



Baron Messier
SR=3

The Coats of Arms pictured are the actual family Coat of Arms of the participants. We research these for all the new players. – Dick Bryant

THE GAME
overall view of game at the start

As there were two players to a side, each side was allowed an additional leader of one social rank lower than the side commander. Thus, Dick Messier and Jack Breen were each SR3 level Barons able to have 3 command cards ea. Dick White and Dick Bryant drew cards to determine the random terrain. Bryant had a wood and a field, while White had a hill and a field. The placement is shown on the map. Both armies choose terrain, by card draw, from the “mixed” list of terrain which can result in pieces ranging from a marsh to a buildt-up area(small town, castle keep, etc) with a variety of woods, rivers, and fields as well.

Initial Placement and First Moves

The sides were each divided into two “Battles”, the strength of which is discernable from the map. Great Baron Maldemer (Dick Bryant), won the initiative and though the attacker decided to advamce toward the hill to try to seize it as a better defensive position than the open terrain in which he found himself. Baron Messier’s Battle kept up on the left, except for his feudal foot which had tough going in the wood. This move was too cautious and, arguably, cost Great Baron Maldemer a win. Maldemer could have advanced a double rate (16”), being reduced to 12” as he crossed into the “near” range band of the enmy. He chose to advance only 8”, which had a cost later in the game. Maldemer’s opening bow fire was ineffective.
The advance. Maldemer's unit retreats

Great Baron Foley’s bow fire, from 2 units, was effective, however, causing enough hits to force Maldemer’s left most knight to fall back, slowing the advance to the hill even further. Baron Messier’s troops were able to continue on into the English line on the French left, While Maldemer was again halted and discombobulated by the English fire, with more retreats among the Knights. Maldemer recovered somewhat, having to use his prized Joker card to reorganize his 3 Knight units and his 3 retainer cards to continue the advance. The Militia spears moved through the ineffective crossbows, took the hill and drove the English archers away, finally opening the English for an attack by the French knights. The French left was locked in indecisive combat with the English right . But with several hits on his Knights and no retainer cards left, Maldemer decided that the possibility of a major defeat loomed large and decided to save his army for another day.
The Final Moves

Had Maldemer moved more aggressively would he have pushed the English bowmen away sooner? Would he have been in charge reach with fewer casualties? One can never know – he vows to do better next time.

The French Right
Note the unit on the left has turned around in retreat
The red markers indicate 2 hits on the Elite Kinghtly unit - getting close to breaking!


 





Saturday, November 12, 2011

THE ISLAND

THE ISLAND

We have been having problems with finishing games in the allotted 2.5-3 hours. We have to bring them to a conclusion by the game master extrapolating the situation to determine the victor.
Part of the problem is the time it takes for the gamers to make a plan and determine how they will proceed. Another is that games tend to be long if one wants to have scenarios with interesting situations.
I decided to try running duplicate small games where the attack plan and the defense plan were already planned out before the game. The two most experienced players were asked to develop both an attack and a defense plan. They were told that they could play either side, but not against their own plan. Further they were told that they had to write an operational order for their subordinates (troops under their command, start position, and objective). Our first try worked quite well.
Jack Breen controlled the Marines against the North Koreans with Dick White’s plan of defense, Rich Bryant controlled the NK forces with the help of Dick Messier. Dick White played against Jack Breen’s Defense run by Rick Bryant.
My arrival at the game was delayed and I found that the two sets of terrain were skewed from the original layout. I believe that this made the game harder for the attacker and so it proved to be. At the end of the report I will show the original map , so the reader may judge. The report is based on the map as laid out on the table.



THE GAME
The Sides
American Marines (VETERAN)

The Germans are developing a new secret weapon on a small island off the coast of Denmark. You r force will invade the island, capture the plans and destroy the labs (Bldg. X on the map).

You set on second behind the beach ridges as shown by the blue dotted line and have the initiative. The first 4 American initiatives are at night. To win you must destroy the lab (Any stand near the lab, un-suppressed for 2 enemy initiatives destroys the lab and is a minor victory, getting that stand back to the beach after the destruction is a major victory).

NOTE: The ridges to either side of the beach are impassible and block LOS. The “Night Fighting Rulesof “Hit The Dirt” are in effect.
                                                                                                          POINTS
CC(+1)                                                                                                 4                                     
1 60mm Mortar w/12 rounds (attach to a unit)                                       4
1 HMG                                                                                                 6                  
      
Assault Platoon (labeled Rangers)

1 PC (+1)                                                                                             2
3 Assault rifle Sqds(+2)                                                                      16.5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
2nd platoon**
1 PC(+1)                                                                                              2
3 Rifle Sqds (1 w/bazooka)                                                                15.5

3rd platoon**
1 PC(+1)                                                                                            2
Rifle Sqds (1 w/ bazooka)                                                                 15.5

NAVAL SUPPORT
Heavy Arty 5FM with FO                                                                 10

TOTAL                                                                                            72.5
* Assault sqds. are +2 in melee. ** PCs fight as Squads like CCs with PC bonuses.

Germans (REGULAR)


Your mission is to guard the secret lab (Bldg. X). in the small town of Shiessehauer. You place troops first behind the red line. The only hidden troops are those in buildings and in the bunker. Each Bldg and the bunker hold 2 stands(not including observers and leaders). The Stug can only come on during daylight. The first 4 American initiatives constitute night. You must protect the lab at all costs, driving any enemy attempt at it into the sea. Any US stand near the lab, un-suppressed for 2 enemy initiatives destroys the lab and is a US minor victory, getting that stand back to the beach after the destruction is a US major victory.

NOTE: The ridges to either side of the beach are impassible and block LOS.

Panzergrenadiers Co. 59
1 CC (+2)
81 mm Mortar w/FO 12FM
75 mm IG w/FO 12FM
1 HMG

3 Inf platoons ea. with:
1 PC(+1)
2 Rifle Sqds
1 SMG Sqd.

1 Stug (starts off table)
1 Bunker and 1 barbed wire

TOTAL 72 points



The 2nd game was identical except that, since I had only one company of Germans, North Koreans were used and had a KV-76 rather than the Stug IV. The maps and conditions were identical. My battle report is based on the German/marine game but the actions and results were essentially the same.

The Marines moved up to the contour line with the intent of moving into the tree line under cover of darkness. The Germans could have caught them at a disadvantage if they held fire, but opened up as soon as they saw movement and gave the marines targets to shoot at. The marines were able to use their off board support (naval guns off shore) to stomp the tree line and were soon moving into it against suppressed units who had no chance in hand-to-hand combat.

Marines advancing from the beach
Once the sun had risen, Germans in the houses started to cause problems, pinning one platoon of marines and essentially suppressing another. The Marines laid down a base of fire and moved the Assault Platoon into the wood near the enemy lab, where it was promptly suppressed. The judicious use of smoke from off shore enabled Dick White to rally the suppressed Marines while a bazooka took out the Stug. The Marines assaulted the lab through a smoke screen, but were thrown out in hand-to-hand combat and started retreating to the beach. Dick didn’t feel he had enough forces left to continue the assault much to Rick’s relief as he was down to one platoon and no mortar ammo!
Stug get fried by Marine Bazooka in small house at top of photo

The North Korean version of the game was essentially the same with the NK forces giving away their night time advantage, the marines moving to the wood line and destroying at least one platoon of North Koreans. Once again the troops in the buildings held up the marine advance and the KV-76 was used to better advantage, killing some Marine Sqds. before they could prepare for the assault on the lab. Jack had lost too much strength to continue and also pulled back to the beach.

Since the defender won in both instances, one might think that the scenario was unbalanced, it was, because of the skewing of the map as described above. The map as played had several open lanes of fire right to the beach and some of the buildings and woods were moved to where the assault could not lay down an effective suppressing fire, if they could have moved into position.


The map as drawn by the Gamemaster

The map as laid out and played