Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Battle Report - 28 Nov 2011

A bit of a departure here - I refereed/acted as rules consultant on a club game of Operation: Squad, to introduce five new folks (AndyH, Carl, Grahame, Dewi and Rob) to the system.

No photos, as I was having way too much fun :D Basic set up was a slightly stretched version of the "Take The Town" scenario, with six buildings either side of the main road across a 6'x4' board, and two British squads (Paras and regular) controlled by Andy, Dewi and Carl (to whom full marks for also managing a speed painting job on his Brits) facing a squad of Fallschirmjäger and regular Heer controlled by Grahame and Rob.

Lessons learned - as I think we figured out last time, things get a bit slow with two squads a side - it's not impossible, but it's generally easier if they wind up split squad vs squad, which they did this time.

The short summary: in the opening rounds, Grahame's Wehrmacht advanced through the wood to take one of the buildings. Andy's Para half squad opposing him spotted the sniper he'd left on a corner of the wood, and thoroughly suppressed him with Bren and rifle fire - a very convincing demonstration of Op: Squad's system, I thought. Dewi's half squad of the Paras came across the MG34 from the German squad, and took a fair hammering, losing their corporal and getting a couple of others pinned behind a hedge.

Meanwhile, Rob's Fallschirmjäger and Carl's British engaged in a firefight between buildings, resulting, largely, in a lot of chipped stonework, except for the British medic who got caught in the open and wounded.

About then, Grahame asked, idly, about the grenade rules. And, as I recounted to AndyM afterwards, "It was all going so well until they discovered grenades." In Grahame's defence, though, Carl started it.

Grenades in Op: Squad are refreshingly lethal, since they're 4d6 + VT and largely ignore cover. Over on the left flank, several grenades got tossed, wounding Rob's MG34 gunner and loader, and killing another, and taking out a couple on Carl's side. Back with the Paras, they unloaded on and managed to pin that damn MG34, just after it ran out of ammo. One of the Germans tossed a grenade towards the hedge the Paras were hiding behind, and it fell just short enough to afford them its cover, pinning one but otherwise largely ineffectually showering them with dirt and foliage.

Next round, the now-unpinned Para, clearly motivated by the fact that it was nearly closing time, retaliated by jumping the hedge and heading for the building containing the Jerries, pitching a grenade through a window as he came. The German at the window was sufficiently surprised at this reckless attempt to gain a posthumous mention in despatches that he failed to react in time, and got pinned by the resulting grenade blast. However, his comrade two windows down put paid to any thoughts the Para may have had of surviving to read his own commendation.

Over on the other flank, Rob's squad managed (with another grenade or two) to clear out the building on the British side of the road and occupy it, just in time for the end of the game, it being 10:30. Result, a German win, occupying 3/6 buildings to the British 2/6, with Grahame's Obergefreiter having made it across a gap covered by the Para's Bren and being only a move short of making it 4/6 for the Germans.

All in all, a cracking good time was had by all - several mutterings of 'must buy a box of....' and 'where can I get the rules?' I loved it, and I wasn't even playing!

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