Friday, February 10, 2012

Disposable Heroes First Game!

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.
Germans advancing

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...

fighting back!

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...

STUG advancing!

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.


  1. This looked a good game Steven. Nice eye candy shots.

  2. Great looking game, terrain and figures. It sounds like the rule system you use is well thought out. Of course once you use it for a while, you should be able to modify it to fit your needs a little better. It is always nice seeing your games.

  3. Looks like you had a fun game. One thing is when you add a couple crew served weapons, most notably the german tripod mount MG42, it will make the game more deadly. Another thing is the more you play the better the rules flow. I find the DH/C7B system very intuitive once you get the rules down. The only problem is my local group will play several games in a short period of time and then not play again for several months. I think Iron Ivan hit one over the fence with the rules. The one complaint I hear from more detail minded players is the system is abstractred too much. I think it has a nice balance of abstraction for the sake of playability. I haven't used the Vietnam book but have used the Modern one many times. Lately I help put together a participation game for our local Historical gaming club based on Operation Barras from September of 2000 in Sierra Leone.
    You can look at it here from my blog


  4. @ Paul - thanks I was surprised to see how some of the pics turned out. I love the shot of the German squad emerging from the woods to cross the road. Unfortunately for them, half of the squad got hit shortly after the pic was taken!

  5. Thanks Ben! I love wargaming rules. I think part of the fun is buying them and seeing how others attempt to simulate or recreate combat problems. I think it's almost half of the fun.

    You're spot-on with altering it to fit my needs or perceptions. Once I'm comfortable with a rules set I usually add one or two modifications or special rules. The nice thing about Disposable Heroes is that there are lots of opportunities to customize the traits of individual Soldiers.

  6. Col KG,
    Very impressive stuff. I love your helo models as well. (I have a soft spot for Hinds).

    So far I'm figuring out small details here and there but there are some questions I have about the rules like a unit that already has casualties making a gut check after it's rallied. Do the original casualties still count as modifiers to the gut check? I just said yes and counted ALL the casualties the squad took during the course of the game. Essentially the unit broke almost every time it was fired at.
    I'm glad the forums on yahoo are so helpful.

    I am not sure if I was applying cover mods to gut checks either...

    That being said, I am looking forward to getting some crew served weapons into the game. As far as moderns go, I have a big collection of 1:72 modern insurgents, modern US and Brits. Should be fun gaming some battles in Baghdad against JAM fighters or Sunni insurgents in Fallujah using DH, as well as figures from Vietnam that I'm dying to get into a game with.

    1. The way we play guts checks from firing is you the subtract the morale modifier from the shooting weapon (if it has one), subtract the number of casualties from shooting from the unit that fired and add back any cover modifier the target unit has, then make your guts check. We only use the casualties from those inflicted by the shooting unit and if the shooters have more than one weapon with a morale modifier you only take the highest don't add them up.


  7. Our crew has the same problem -remembering all the small rules. So we've done a 6 week "boot camp" since we so often change games and rule systems week to week. Your game seems about the right size. When you add the crew-served weapons, it'll get better. Keep up the nice work!

  8. Darned fine looking table! DH/C7B looks like a good set of rules for the dining table offensives! :-)


  9. John,
    Boot camp sounds like a great idea. That way it ensures you stay sharp on the concepts. There is alot to digest and I'm not sure an entire platoon with tank support was the way to go for my first game!
    I am looking forward to adding a few crew served weapons into the mix but I am thinking I need a bigger table! Thanks for commenting - stay tuned for more DH / C7B AARs!

  10. Thanks Dave, the game was alot of fun and DH is absolutely perfect for space-challenged wargamers IMHO! Very unforgiving though - much like our Crossfire battles :)