Saturday, December 7, 2013

Charles Grant's "BATTLE!"

I played a game of Charles Grant's "Battle" last night and it was a cracking good time.  Soldier represents a Soldier and a tank/gun represents a tank/gun.

Game had a very "toy soldier" and skirmish feel to it which is what I was looking for.
American view through the field glasses - looks like a Jagdpanther!  Prognosis: not good!  In battle, a sherman's gun will have no chance of penetrating the front armor.

German HQs section at the farmhouse

German Platoon Command team.

Stug III protecting the flank approach.

German hedgerow defense.  No AT guns but "in panzershreck we trust!"

American squad leader view through field glasses.  Germans are barely visible

Squads advancing!

Sherman scans for targets

The mighty M4A1

GIs advancing through hedgerows

pushing on towards contact

GIs taking cover behind a burning Sherman.  The 'schrek team knocked it out before being pushed back by small arms fire 

Running under fire!  It doesn't get more exciting than this.  At the other side of that hedgerow to their front is a trench full of pissed off krauts.

The squad breaks from cover

German counterattack

GIs overwhelm the defenders at the farmhouse

The company command is KO'd and the German platoon commander is now in charge.
Lessons Learned:
Battle delivered!  Great time.  I was not constrained by an activation procedure so I got to move my troops, and then shoot with my troops.  There were no artillery or mortars so the action moved fast.  HMGs took a turn to set up if they moved.  The concept of fire and movement is just as important as in real war, except instead of suppressing the enemy, the goal is to "soften" up the objective prior to your own troops moving in so there are less guys to fight.  In this instance, the Germans were mostly killed by heavy fire before the squad moved, with the only "hand to hand" occurring by a fast moving GI team and a Panzerschrek team.

Flank the tanks:  Grant gives a Panther a defense factor of "18" from the front.  So even if you roll a 12 on 2 x D6, the highest number you can achieve at range is a 17 or so at range, giving you no chance of knocking out a powerful Jagdpanther at 20 or more inches from the front.  Your best chance is to flank the enemy armor as you can reduce his armor by 1 or 2 giving you a more fighting chance.

HMG / SMG Fire is deadly:  In Battle, you get a cone of fire so everyone under the cone can be hit.  Remember that when you're bunching up your troops.

Use historical organization tables!:  The squad and platoon tables of organization and equipment are built for a reason.  That's what the Army says you need to carry out your mission.  My US Army 10 man squads with their BAR could successfully attack and still absorb a few casualties to remain mission effective.  German MG teams were a little less able to absorb punishment - remember that!  If you have to have Germans, try a rifle team with 6 or 7 troops and an MG team of 3 or 4 to supplement them.

 All in all, I wish I had made a quick reference sheet of sorts.  So next time I play battle (or write my own quick skirmish rules) I think I will!


  1. Great looking game and also great to see people still making use of the old rules. So many wonderful memories!

  2. Rodger,
    They sure are some simple rules and are so much like the Toy Soldier rules I played as a kid! I love them! They are now part of my normal retinue of games. Thanks for commenting,


  3. Looks like we need a reprint - the only copies I can find - $85-99 USD.

    1. Itinerant:

      Merry Christmas!

      Some kind soul put the entire book on Flickr. If you google it, you can also read the entire thing for free in Meccano Magazine.

      I picked up a used copy on Amazon for 25 dollars.

    2. No problem - I hope they work for you. The Flickr pages are easier to read than the Meccano magazine.

  4. A most enjoyable game by the look of it Steven. You can really tell you had fun!

    1. Paul,
      It was a great time - very enjoyable and it reminded me of playing toy soldiers when I was a kid!

  5. Nice report with beautiful pics!

    1. Thanks, Phil! I keep them coming back with the pictures!

  6. Great looking game and I'm gad to hear it was fun. I have Battle lurking around here somewhere.

    1. Sean, it was ton of fun. If you have Battle, break it out and play a quick game. No points accounting or endless rules researching breaking up the speed of your game.