Monday, August 26, 2013

Battlegroup Overlord 15mm game Yanks vs Krauts

Had a fling with Battlegroup Overlord (the BG Kursk expansion and replacement tome for KG Normandy) today at Stephens.
We choose an attack (US Inf Divn- Stephen) versus defence (Fallschirmjager - moi) 'Defence Line' scenario from rulebook.
Based on 600 pts as chosen by each player. Stephen set up the table and I choose end to defend.
I had a FJ Platoon upgraded to Elite with 1 PzFaust each section and  support of 2 x 120mm Mortars off-board with an on board dug-in FOO (of which more later) an MG42 HMG a Sniper (of which more later) a PzShk team and a 75mm Pak40 in a dug-out.
I also had a Troop of 3 StugIIIG and 1 Stuh42 plus some trenches and a Minefield.
Stephen turned out to have fielded 2 Inexperienced Infantry Platoons with 81mm off-board support and a M8 Scout a Scout Squad 3 M10 Wolverines and 3 Sherman one of which had 76mm.
The way this system works everything is placed on table ie no hidden units so I got to set up the defences (in middle third of table) and 6 units (a unit is a Inf team or single AFV/Gun) so not much at start.
The attackers set-up 10" in with all 'bought' Recce units plus in this case 3 Units so again not much to begin.
However we soon discovered a bug-bear with rules as written as Snipers are way too effective in our humble opinions.
A Sniper can shot 30" (to 40" if assisted by a Spotter) and since everthing is potentially seen (though you must roll a spotting roll each shot) Stephens Sniper was able to select my dug-in FOO stand and promptly KO the poor buggers with couple of good shots as they count as in Open if hit (ie only save on a 6 compared to normal 3+ for dug-out !!)
We found this way too good and a tad unrealistic as FOO dont really draw attention to themselves by firing etc.
My Sniper was also very effective against Yanks more so than firing of whole Sections.
So our first house rule is either to ban Snipers altogether (harsh) or simply make them subject to same cover saves as other units but with ability to select individual teams as targets.
In Scenario Attacking Yanks got to roll for rest of force arrival from turn 3 (I had to wait to turn 5) and so the Yank AFVs arrived virtually enmass overwhelming my single in-table Stug and the Pak40.
They were also able to set up to ping away at my entrenched Infantry and to await my other Stugs arrival.
Nice orders system in rules of counting number of Officers in force with roll of 2D6 (for Platoon sized game) and several options for units using orders such as, Double Move, Fire Twice and Move & Fire or Fire & Move.
Couple of key orders are to go on Ambush Fire or Reserve Move (allowing you to shoot or move respectively in enemy turn).
Pinning is a big deal in system as a Pinned unit cant be given any Orders and to Rally units you must take one of the Morale chits at turn end in order to roll a D6 worth of Pins off units. The Morale chits are a slick and fun aspect as each has a number 1 - 5 which reduces your overall force morale by that amount or they are sort of 'Random Event' chits.
I drew numerous chits but was lucky early on to draw a Mine Check (vs enemy vehicle) 2 Air Attacks (neither generated any aircraft) and a Confusion chit (extra Morale check vs enemy unit).
We found all the spotting, shooting and morale easy to pick up (Sniper issue aside) and Artillery is easy to handle as well with large Impact area by can drift quite a bit.
Took a while to get used to lack of hidden units but can see how this is intergrated into game and does have nice advatage of 'all your toys on table'.
Only other issue we came upon was that a PzFaust has same range (10") as a PzShreck/Bazoooka.
Whilst we understand how it works in game and is only a one shot weapon we again felt that a 5" range 'felt' better for them.
To be honest all these hand held AT weapons seem too easy to hit with in game but hard to tweak with D6 to hit system.
I lost all my Stugs to Yank AFVs but did kill a Sherman and an M10 with my lone PzShreck team (left precariously in Open Ground after a heroic Move & Fire order to kill M10).
As we called time I was at 29 accumulated Moral Points out of 39 needed but the Yanks were about to overwhelm my dwindling units totally as they still had 4 functioning AFVs (couple low on ammo) and a full fresh Infantry Platoon so I conceeded.
Overall a fun game with a very playable ruleset (comparable to Blitzkrieg Commander in complexity).   
















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