I played a quick game of Disposable Heroes / Coffin for Seven Brothers this evening on Game Night. It was the first time I got to take my 1:72 WWII guys out for a spin and I have to admit I had fun.
While I am still a little choppy with the DH rules, I will say one thing – playing a skirmish game is altogether different than playing a platoon-based game.
Right off the bat, I’ll warn the faint of heart – Disposable Heroes is not a game for those with weak constitutions. Bad tactics are paid for in blood and plastic. Good tactics are rewarded with a modicum of battlefield success. What a bloody mess this was!
Scenario pitted a German platoon with an attached Stug III tasked with seizing a road junction occupied by a very understrength American platoon. The Americans occupied the houses around the junction and hoped for the best. There were no crew-served weapons save for the on-board MG on the Stug and an American BAR team with a gorgeous field of fire in a stone house.
|Waiting for Jerry...|
|BAR Gunner scans his field of fire|
|Platoon Command Group waits in the woods|
Outrageously, the American platoon leader SHOT THE GERMAN PLATOON LEADER on the second turn…. This didn’t bode well for the Germans. It was poetic justice for the entire command group almost being waxed in their command post next to the junction. I need a bigger table…
The BAR team also scored impressive hits on the Germans right as they crossed their own line of departure and began the attack.
|Attempting to flank the American left...crossing a linear danger area. the yellow bead indicates their movement is complete.|
|Americans making short work of the moving Germans...|
Once the STUG finally acquired the team in the house though, they were toast. Those MGs really hurt.
The Germans attempted to flank the American left and were thrown back with 4 casualties. Back to the drawing board for Fritz.
|Germans taking cover.|
|platoon leader is killed - one of the first casualties of the battle...|
|Americans firing shortly before close-assaulting the STUG|
|Germans throw an all-out gamble to flank the American position|
|But the STUG is blown up after a successful close assault. Game over Jerry!|
Meanwhile the American platoon leader dashed across the road and took up position in the house to direct the battle from there, comfortably ensconced behind the -4 ACC cover! (meaning it takes rolling a 1 on a D10 to hit him!) The American squad guarding the left occupied the woods to their front to try and take out that Stug as it passed by. Fat chance – the Stug took 3 turns to acquire the Americans in the house, it wasn’t moving! Long story short, the Americans assaulted the Stug and not only immobilized it, but the “sticky bomb” placed on the hull resulted in a catastrophic kill for the Stug and it brewed up.
Game over for the Germans. The Americans held the junction with the loss of their BAR team and most of the platoon HQs (platoon sergeant, radio man, and a rifleman runner).
I have some thoughts on Disposable Heroes so far. I like it. I found out towards the end of the match that good tactics are rewarded.
FLANK THEM! Flanking the enemy should be accomplished wherever and whenever possible.
SUPPORT SYSTEMS: I completely understand why we have SAWs in our modern forces (squad automatic weapons) and I completely understand why we have light machine guns in our platoons. If only I would have had them painted up for tonight! The advances would have been a lot easier going against suppressed troops.
COVERING FIRE! Moving forward with out the cover of smoke or a belt-fed or crew served weapon to suppress the enemy is a bad idea. Advancing up to the enemy’s kill zone ends badly in this game.
ANTI TANK: You should spend the extra points for AT weapons if you know you’ll be facing tanks.
Okay time for some critiques – there are lots of “little” rules in DH that I learned as I was playing. Too many to remember for the first time (like using a semi auto weapon system – it allows you to move 6” and not pay a penalty when firing) the rules made the game choppy but I imagine that corrects itself with time.
I’m not sure I’m getting the acquisition rules for guns on vehicles completely. I understand it’s hard to hit infantry in cover and concealment but is it really that hard to hit a house with a tank gun? Am I missing the point?
All in all I had a fun time. I am looking forward to doing a few more games and then moving up to the Vietnam and Modern Supplements I purchased.