“Champagne! In victory one deserves it, in defeat one needs it” - Napoleon
Wargaming in 28mm
I am never going to play this game but I did enjoy painting the figures of which I painted all but 5 from the Core Box. Included in the sale is the Core Box, The Dark Tales Expansion, The Ghost Miniature Pack and the recent Farmer Upgrade for edition 2 of the game. You can see the details here as well as the pricing. By my calculation these 4 boxes would cost around $250 without shipping. Please note that the Farmer Bundle has just shipped so is not yet available for retail. The game has been played twice, some of the counters from the core box have been punched but nothing is missing and everything is in excellent shape.
I would be happy to sell this for $220 including shipping so around a 20% reduction from retail and you get the painting for free. Close ups of the painted figures can be found here.
As usual we played at the Hobby Bunker, and got set up and started by about 1030h and finished at around 1730h with a brief break for lunch, making this the longest gaming session I have ever played. We got in 2 campaign turns and although we did not finish the campaign completely we came to what I believe was a fair conclusion.
The scenario pits an American infantry platoon against a German platoon that has occupied two WWI era bunkers in the Hürtgenwald. The scenario is played as a mini-campaign as it would be quite difficult for the Americans to take both bunkers in one go. Each time the American re-set the game they suffer a -1 to their Force Morale. You can purchase the scenario here for the price of a pint! I have taken the liberty of taking the terrain image from the booklet as follows.Tom did a great job with the terrain as you can see.The German Edge
The American ApproachFirst Game
German Forces (Starting FM 10)CoreSL w/ MP40Two 8 man infantry squads w/ 3 man LMG team, 4 riflemen and JL w/StG44SupportsMMG TeamPzSck Team5 Minefields4 Barbed Wire Fences? 5 points
American Forces (Starting FM 8)CoreSL x2 w/ Carbine & SMGBazooka Team3 Infantry squads w/SMG armed JL, BAR Team w/ 2 M1 riflemen and a 8 man M1 Rifle TeamSupportsFOPregame BarrageSniper1 Wire Cutting Team2 Mine Clearing TeamsI felt I was pretty successful in the Patrol Phase as I got 2 JOP's far up my left flank were I felt would be my best approach of attack. I used the JOP in the farground to deploy the diversionary force coming up the centre.The Diversionary Attack up the centre w/ the FO and a SL. The FO throws a HE barrage in the centre of the German lines allowing the left flanking American unit to have some cover as they approach the first minefield.The Main Attack up the American left flank under cover of a HE barrage over the centre blocking the LOS of the German troops in the Bunker on their left flank.Second Infantry Team added as well as a Mine Clearing Team and a SL to direct operations.The American unit in the centre who is not shielded by the barrage starts to take casualties. and decided to withdraw, I am not really sure why I did not order a general withdrawal at this time as I was about to take out or had taken out the first minefield as planned. I could have easily teleported from the JOP rather than making a run for the perimeter.Mission accomplished: First minefield removed, the American unit retreats.Summary of First GameOnce the first minefield was removed, I felt it best to withdraw in order to re-assemble my forces. I had started to suffer significant casualties (13 men and a JL) and my FM had dropped to 3 and I had only 3 Command Dice. My plan for the 2nd attack was to quickly take out the second minefield and than outflank the Germans on their right, thus gaining access to the smaller bunker and so on.
I had taken a pregame barrage as one of my supports in the first game but unfortunately threw a treble6 very early on thus making this of no use. I also had not got to deploy my wire cutting team. The Americans have only 12 supports to the Germans 20, I felt I had not enough heavy firepower down the centre, so as you can see I had to reconsider my support options as reflected below for the 2nd game. I had also permanently lost 7 men and had 4 not to return for the 2nd game. The Germans has essentially lost no men.
German Forces (Starting FM 8)
SL w/ MP40
Two 8 man infantry squads w/ 3 man LMG team, 4 riflemen and JL w/StG44
4 Barbed Wire Fences
? 5 points
American Forces (Starting FM 8)
SL x2 w/ Carbine & SMG
Infantry squad 1 w/SMG armed JL, BAR Team w/ 2 M1 riflemen and a 8 man M1 Rifle Team
Infantry squad 2 w/SMG armed JL, BAR Team w/ 2 M1 riflemen and a 4 man M1 Rifle Team
BAR Team 3 w/SMG armed JL (CI 1), BAR Team w/ 3 M1 riflemen
1 Mine Clearing Team
3 Satchel Charges
Of course now the battle became quite heated, so I forgot to take many photos and I missed taking any at the end of the game. We had now been playing for 5 hours so I hope to be forgiven! I should also note that according to the scenario rules the same JOP's were used, so there was no Patrol Phase.
In this campaign turn the pregame barrage was much more successful and as you can see I was able to advance my intact Rifle squad with a mine clearing team quite rapidly to the 2nd minefield. The mine clearing team did take significant casualties once the Germans were able to deploy. They had put their MMG team in the trench system which did chop up both the Engineers and the Rifle Squad but close range return fire forced them into the bunker with only 2 men remaining. The German SL had deployed to remove shock but had to skedaddle out of their once the MMG team had bolted to the bunker. The SL started to run unsupported toward the far bunker trough the trench system. The Sherman has deployed in the American centre, the tank JL first lays down some smoke to block the LOS from the German left flank bunker but then advances to rain HE and MG fire on the bunker and then spots the fleeing German SL.....................The 2nd minefield has been cleared by the last remaining engineer! The Americans advance to take out the bunker. No further photos, I am afraid but I will describe what happened. The American squad advances and enters the trench system at its far right as above. The American SL who is accompanying the squads orders one rifleman to advance with a Satchel charge to the back door and place it. He is successful but gets blown up in his retreat, a 2nd infantryman has also been ordered to place a 2nd Satchel charge on the main forward looking port, he is also successful but escapes unscathed. The JL then commands the BAR team to occupy the bunker while sending the Rifle team along the trench system to take the 2nd JOP in the German centre. They end up just short but close enough to deny the Germans the ability to deploy to it. I use a CoC Dice to end the turn. The German morale is now plummeting. They have only 2 Command Dice, their is little they can do and their SL gets caught by the Sherman's MMG and dies, FM 1.......time to end the game.
Summary of Second GameThe Americans end up with a partial victory having taken 1 bunker, but by now almost 6 hours had passed and I think we were pretty done. The American plan had gone pretty well and I think if we had played a 3rd turn, I might have been able to take the second bunker.
If I had my time back I would have taken different supports in the 1st game. I should have take an engineering squad rather than 3 Engineering teams. The sniper although deployed really did not help and by serendipity the choice of a pregame barrage was of no value.
I believe I made the good choices in the 2nd game but again an Engineering squad with mine clearing and demolition teams would have been more valuable as the demolition team comes supplied with Satchel charges. The Sherman was quite useful as was the pregame barrage.
All in all, though it was enormous fun. Tom is a lot of fun to play with it and he supplied a great terrain and game.
We essentially set up a very simple table with a few trees, wrote our initial brigade dispositions on a sheet of paper, then laid out our troops and started the game. We actually got in 8 turns in 3 hours which I felt was quite good. I have found that careful referral to the excellent QRS that comes with the game is all that is needed. I have probably played 5-6 games now so the game flowed well. We tried out several different rule mechanisms in the game and got in everything but Melee but this is not unusual in this game as it seldom happens. The Charge process was a little labourious the first time but after that it seemed to go well. Still am a little shaky on skirmishers but otherwise the game went without a lot of referral to the rulebook.
We did not come to nay real resolution as I have to say both our dicing for Brigade Initiation was poor and in each turn we each had multiple Hesitant brigades. Mike did take out my RHA battery and we both we able to force a couple of battalions into Retreat, so we had quite a nice introductory game. I believe Mike quite enjoyed it. We both took a few photos which I will display, but I will not bother with a formal AR.Both sides advancingThe British left falnkThe centreIn SquareFrench Infantry AssaultThe Infantry Assault from the British viewOverall a fun night and a terrific ruleset.