Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Battlegroup a Normandy scenario (Ludemanns Hunting Panthers) played

Played a scenario from latest Battlegroup core rule book entitled 'Ludemanns Hunting Panthers' versus Stephen using 15mm kit.

Scenario set 7th June 1944 in Normandy with 12th SS against 3rd Canadian Divisions.
Been a wee while since we played the rules so decided to play them as is (ie no house rules) including recording ammo usage for tanks (we did not differentiate between HE and AP just an overall total used), which worked fine.

I set up the scenario from the book (actually part of a campaign but fine as a stand alone game).
We then rolled for sides and I ended up with attacking Huns against the dug-in Cannucks.

Huns had an Battle Rating (ie Morale level) of 24 compared to Cannuck 34 so a really tough proposition to attack dug in troops on open pasture land/cornfields, especially as Huns had no artillery support relying on their Panthers (6 in total) to push their weak Grenadiers (2 squads only) forward.
They are also hampered by a reduced Command dice roll due to off-table events.
The Cannucks start with a Troop of 2 Shermans and a Firefly (with a duplicate Troop appearing on fifth turn) supporting a full Infantry Platoon in Foxholes with 2 x 6 Pdr anti-tank guns and and off-table pre-registered aiming point for 2 x 105mm guns (no on board spotters available to adjust or call fire).
They also get an off-table 17 pdr shot (reduced effect compared to on table versions) each turn once Panthers get within a 50" range.

Game played really well despite the 'Hunting' Panthers ending up the 'Hunted' !
Rules are very slick and with every aimed shot requiring a spotting roll and with no hidden units (nice to have all our kit on table) we used a lot more Suppressing Fire (renamed from Area Fire) to try to cause Pins.
The Ammo rules meant our Tanks had to be a lot more circumspect at selecting targets than simply banging away without restriction.
Panthers advanced into a deluge of fire and once their Infantry came up they too suffered from dug-in volleys.
Hun Morale failed first (ie they reached they BR rating) and they withdrew leaving 3 brewed Panthers and one abandoned (crew failed a Morale check whilst Pinned) with their Infantry wiped out.
Cannucks lost a Firefly and a Sherman with another Firefly immobilised but their Infantry and ATGs virtually intact as their foxholes and dug-outs proved effective (3+ saving roll when hit)

Am still not a fan of the Hun squads requiring 2 orders (1 for squad as such and a 2nd for MG Team) as it meant my 2 squads (ie 4 teams) required 4 orders per turn to act in comparison to the 3 squads (1 x single 10 man team) and HQ squad of the Cannuck Infantry Platoon which also used 4 orders (although they did require separate orders for a PIAT Team and a 2" Mortar team).
Seems a bit odd/jarring to require 2 orders just to advance across a field compared to comparative British squad and then when fired upon the MG teams are singled out for attention and if destroyed cause a BR chit to be pulled so therefore 2 per Hun squad vis 1 per Cannuck squad.
But that said they do have some advantages in flexibility (Orders permitting) when it comes to firing (MG pins enemy then squad can kill/assault them at least in theory) but not sure it offsets the perceived disadvantages ?
However ultimately we felt in the round that it all works within the rules framework/structure and probably not worth house ruling/complicating (allowing them to move in concert for 1 order or similar ?).

The table set-up prior to the fray (the 'black' road is a railway line)

The battle................

In other news I acquired a couple more rule sets :-)

And a painting project for the year (he says hopefully !!) of a 15mm ACW Confederate force (I bought an Army Pack in the Lancashire Games sale)

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