The forces should look familiar because I've been using them in a similar scenario over and over again, trying various rules sets that I like and trying to find things that I dislike. I am finding as I get older that I dislike 2 things: bullsh*t and gimmicky rules features...
This scenario was beefed up a little to also include an under strength company of Soviet T-34/76 and a small platoon of Panther tanks in addition to the infantry. According to Neil Thomas (NT), units of 8 troops are squads but I kind of changed that around so a stand was more or less equal to a squad, thus changing the figure scale a little and making the game much "bigger" in terms of units involved. It actually worked pretty well. Stands were eliminated when they lost all their figures.
In the case of my 15mm basing scheme that was either 3 troops for LMG equipped units or 5 troops for rifle sections. The Soviets were much different with 4 troops per stand and a healthy mix of Submachine gun armed squads in there for good measure.
|Small Company of T-34s racing to close with the Germans|
|Soviet infantry horde moving up. Red dice are casualties.|
|Germans entrenched in the rubble|
|Soviet tanks take up firing positions and pour fire into the infantry in their foxholes. I really, really love how anti-infantry fire is covered from tanks! NT has done a great job here.|
|Urrah! Urrah! Urrah! Soviets crossing open ground to quickly close with the fascist vipers!|
|Meanwhile German panthers probe ahead looking for Ivan's infantry.|
|Panther on the prowl. In NT's WWII game, tanks are powerful, but they don't control the board. And don't go anywhere without infantry support!|
|Soviet infantry approach the farm complex|
|Meanwhile the Germans in the cornfield start to take a beating as the Soviet infantry appear on their left. They move a squad over to refuse the flank but unless they get some help, this flank is going to fold!|
You fire and your To-Hit is based on the enemy's cover. He gets to save from your fire. The beginning of his next turn, if he took casualties, he rolls a save and this determines his morale state.
I'm still a little unclear how units recover from that status unless they are shot at again. So, potentially, you could render a unit pinned or neutralized (my terminology, not NT's) and he doesn't get to attempt to recover until he's shot at again? I might be doing that incorrectly.
|here comes Ivan! blut und schweiß!|
So NT has, in effect, given you a tool to effectively suppress the enemy prior to assaulting. You need to force a morale check and cause some casualties prior to your assault or the enemy will be able to fight you at full strength. This is absolutely the right way to go about things and many rules sets play this the same way; rewarding attackers for suppressing the enemy prior to the assault. This is the first rules set I've played that truly gets this concept right.
|T-34s pour fire into the Germans!|
|meanwhile the big cats creep up the flank, taking out Russian squads as they come on.|
|Leutnant Stahl ordering the Panzerfaust team to engage the hostile tanks!|
|Soviet infantry occupy the farm complex across from the large building, keeping pace with the tanks to their right. Meanwhile an AT gun to their rear is helping keep those German heads down.|
|Situation at the farm!|
|The Soviets win their first close combat of the day and pour forward, reaching the cornfield.|
|Soviet platoon leader is urging his men forward!|
|On the road, the Soviets follow their tanks into the breach!|
|Soviet HMG supporting the advance.|
|Desperate German AT measures - the gamble pays off!|
|German counter attack in the cornfield! They KO 2 Soviet T-34s!|
|meanwhile the Soviets reach the building and enter close combat with the German squads inside. The HMG is knocked out as a consequence of their kamaraden being knocked out.|
|Ivan making a move against the next objective!|
|The German platoon on the right not doing quite as bad. They are in a good position to counter attack.|
|The Panthers gave a disappointing performance this game.|
|German landers holding on by their fingernails.|
|Carnage! Perfect for a short afternoon game!|
In these rules, you maximize play time and minimize thumbing through rules. Always a plus for folks who like "2 brain cell" rules. Once I get a few more British units painted up, I will give his Napoleonics rules a go again. And remember my first preference - no bullsh*t and no gimmicks!
I do think I should have played with the "recommended" number of units per side as this game had both sides with overwhelming resources. NT's force suggestions have lists you can build with usually about 4 to 8 infantry squads or units on a side, about 3 to 4 tanks, and some supporting arms. In this game, I used large scale TOEs with team-sized bases pretending to be squads. Still though, a very fun game and these rules handled the extra forces with ease.
Here are some tactical recommendations to make your attacks or defenses go a little easier if you're playing these rules:
Suppress the enemy! Shoot at him with HE fire and force casualties and subsequent morale checks. Also, don't assault an enemy who is "fresh" ie no casualties or morale changes.
If you have tanks, you can use them as mobile fire support but dont get too close to the infantry! They'll make you wish you hadn't! NT gives his infantry much staying power and while they can't reach out and kill you, they can assault you if you're at 10cm's or less. So be careful. The Soviets lost 4 tanks in 1 turn.
|These rules get the Sound Officers Call 5 Star Rating (whatever that means) and this blogger's seal of approval.|