Friday, May 2, 2014

Playtest 3 for "Some Corner of a Foreign Field"


Here's the other game I got in today.  I couldn't spend a bunch of time,  but I had some to spare, so I simply flipped the board around a bit, reset the forces, and went at it again.

The Brit squad is scattered across the top.  They're clearly expecting trouble as they've already assumed skirmish line, and they're moving right into the teeth of the German defenses, which is an MG-42 set up in the building at bottom center, with two pickets thrown out on the south side of the road on both the left and right sides.

The German left (the violet beads mean they are not spotted yet).

The German center.

The German right.

The game begins I'd imagine so many real fights started in WWII: a Brit, Soviet, or US patrol is moving forward when an MG-42 opens up.  No one is hit, but the Bren Group Corporal, the Bren gunner, and the 2" mortar all receive some combat stress.

The Bren (second from right, behind shrubbery with red dice next to him) takes his morale test and drops prone, screaming for his momma, while the left-hand German rifleman opens up and puts down the far left Brit rifleman.  He then turns his attention to the 2" mortar (2nd from left) and the Corporal (3rd from left), missing both but adding to their stress (5 for the mortar and 3 for the Cpl).  The right-hand German rifleman opens up, putting two more stress on the Cpl and one more on the Bren gunner.

The only guy in the Bren Group still combat ready is the Bren assistant, and he springs into action, rushing forward into a thicket of trees, firing twice at the right-hand German rifleman and missing both times.  This very minor victory, such that it is, is short-lived as the Bren Group Corporal tests morale and remembered he left some clothes in the laundry last night and needs to check on them, and the 2" mortar decides he should check on his skivvies too!

For those keeping score, the Bren Group has its rifleman down, its leader and mortar (attachment) have left the field of battle as cowards), its Bren gun is pinned down, and so the Bren assistant is the only one that's even gotten into the fight so far.

The German Corporal (bottom center, in building), spots some Brits north of the orchard and opens up, getting some stress on the far right rifleman and putting down his buddy (2nd from right), out of the fight.  The MG loader fires three times at the Brit Sergeant, three misses but three stresses!

The Rifle Group Sten gunner sprints up to the wall, hops over, and creeps forward, unspotted.  He's quickly followed by the Engineer (attachment) and a rifleman, though the German SMG gunner (bottom center, right-hand man) spots the Engineer and fires at him, missing.

The German rifleman on their far left flank (bottom left) lines up a shot on the remaining Brit rifleman in the field (top left).  First shot misses, second shot puts him out of the fight!  

The German rifleman then sprints across the road into the bushes at bottom left.

Meanwhile, the Sergeant and a rifleman from the Rifle Group are still lying in the field under the sights of the German machine gun.  The rifleman tests and decides he'll hand out and see how far below ground he can get the buttons of his shirt, while the Sergeant says hell with it and runs (you can see him at top right, right before he bolted)!  If you're wondering, yes, I'm pretty pissed at this point...  It's the end of the turn and I've got three men down (out of the fight) and three have ran, while I've also accrued quite a bit of stress on my Bren gunner and Engineer, while the Germans haven't really had to sweat about anything.

In real life I would have hoped that the remaining ranking Brit would have popped smoke in front of the German MG, rounded up the wounded and stragglers, and led them out of there, but this is a game, so let's get it on!

The Sten gunner hops the wall and runs up to the hedge opposite the German SMG gunner, then unloads into him, giving him a serious wound.

The German MG continues to play its role as a destroyer of morale: one burst at the Engineer (center left in orchard), one burst at the rifleman in the field (top center), and one burst at the Bren gunner on the hill (top right).  Every burst missed, but each added +2 to each guy's stress, and morale tests were not my friend this game.

Sorry for the crap picture...  The Bren assistant (top right) activates: he pops a round at the right hand guy, missing, but adding a fifth stress to him.  Hell, might as well fire at the other (bottom left); first shot misses, second puts him out of the fight!  Maybe things are looking up as one German rifleman is down and there's no way that other guy is gonna pass his morale test, right?

But immediately the Krauts get back in the game: the German rifleman on the far left flank moves up to the wall, spots the Brit rifleman standing there, then shoots him (serious wound, red bead).

The German Corporal sprints left out of the building (bottom right), fires at the Sten gunner (center, in the street), putting him out of action.  Then the German Corporal turns and fires on the Engineer, hitting him too!  It's only a light wound, but now the Engineer is carrying 12 stress!

The rifleman in the field finally passes a morale test, moves up to the wall, and hops over it (top right).

The German MG assistant (off camera to bottom) fires at the Brit Bren assistant (center): three misses, but three stress, so when he takes his morale test he fails and goes prone...  And then the remaining German rifleman on their right flank (bottom right) manages to pass his morale test.  His first shot puts a serious wound on the Bren assistant, and he fires twice more at the Bren gunner (top left), missing twice but running up more stress.

The Engineer tests, fails, and drops prone (center), while the rifleman (just above him) drags his seriously wounded ass towards the orchard gate.  The German SMG gunner (bottom left) drags himself away from the fight also.

The Engineer passes his next morale test, runs over to the SW corner and takes a shot at the German rifleman.  The shot misses, but the German fails his morale test and runs for the hills (rolled a 1)!

The Brit rifleman moves up (center, with Engineer at bottom right) and takes a shot at the German Corporal (bottom right), hitting him but only managing a light wound.  The Brit fires again but misses, and the German Corporal fails his test and drops prone while a seriously wounded Brit crawls out of the orchard (top center) and the German SMG gunner gets off the table to safety.

The MG-42 (bottom left) open up on the Bren gunner (top right) with all three activations, missing but adding six stress (for a total of eight).  I was pretty surprised when the Bren gunner only dropped prone, rather than running off table...

The Bren gunner has just passed a morale test, removing all stress, but then the German MG assistant and rifleman on the right open up on him.  They miss him six times, but each rifle shot adds a stress.  So all that's left of the Bren Group is the assistant (right), who's seriously wounded and can only drag himself to the rear, and the Bren gunner who is either going to get killed or run off due to the volume of fire being directed his way.

The Engineer (far left) fires at the German Corporal (bottom right), but misses twice.  It takes a couple tries, but the German MG (off camera to bottom right) finally spots the Brit rifleman at the wall (center right) and opens up, missing but adding stress.  The Brit tests and fails, drops prone.  YOU ARE KILLING ME!!!  (the test wasn't that tough, but he rolled a 2).  Then the German Corporal passes his morale test with a 20, then throws a grenade and gets a 20.  The Brit has already acted and can't do anything but watch it (let's say the German cooked it a bit); in any case, it lands right on top of the Brit and goes off, making him one seriously wounded individual...

The German rifleman on the right rushes forward to capture the Bren gunner and his seriously wounded assistant (top right, his red bead is obscured by the tree).

The game was fun, despite getting my ass severely kicked.  But let's be honest, it's been awhile since I've gotten a real ass-kickin.'  I'll be okay.  The game worked fine: the Germans (MG in particular, but the rifles did their part, too) kept up a goodly amount of fire on the Brits to force lots of morale tests, and lots of Brits decided to head for the hills.  If I was playing a campaign I'd have withdrawn the force rather than hang around and lose the whole damned squad, but hey, it was fun.

Hope you enjoyed it.



  1. If I come and play at your house I know I will be playing the Germans. Which will be fine based on this game! Great report and it was fun reading it/them (as I am catching up but have read the other two in this series).

  2. Brother, if you make it to Dallas/Fort Worth, you can be anyone you like! I will say that I've been your way three times in the past. All three trips were to Shoalwater Bay Training Area, with liberty in Townsville, Rockhampton, and Bribane (Gold Coast/Surfer's Paradise).

    And don't you sound too bold, you've been getting beat by a kid! ') Luckily my kid isn't old enough, or I'd likely be in the same situation...


    1. I have the USA high on the list of places I really want to visit, but it will not be for a long time, at least until the children are older.

      I live in Brisbane and have for the last 44 years, so you have an idea where I am. It is a long story but I immigrated here with my parents from England when I was 5.

      Townsville - only 24 hours drive north from here! My sister-in-law lived there for many years. Rocky is the beef capital of Queensland - I did meet a vegetarian there once but she was very thin :-) The Gold Coast would have been (and still is) a Marine's playground - methinks it may fall into one of your previous hobbies you mention in your "about me"...

      Your "beat by a kid" is my in denial "I am letting him win...somehow".

  3. Shaun,

    I understand about travel plans being on hold, trust me! And if you make it to Dallas, TX, we'll certainly have to get a game in, albeit with much smaller and much uglier miniatures than you're used to!

    Gold Coast/Surfer's Paradise... All three times I went, we took a bus from Rockhampton and stayed a few nights. I even had a pretty good time on liberty in Rockhampton, though I must confess I don't remember much of Townsville: we had been on ship for 6 months, out in the field for two weeks, severely dehydrated, then an Aussie Captain introduced me to Malibu and Coke... God Bless, this is gonna bring a tear to my eye ;)

    I should dig up some photos from my time in Oz, got a good one in Brisbane of me in front of "Hungry Jack's" (for those not aware, it's the Aussie version of "Burger King"). My wife got rid of all my good pics...

    I'm looking forward to the day when I can "let" my boys win. Take care.


    1. The Brisbane Hungry Jacks in the centre of town was revealed to be the most recognisable place in Brisbane. It has been there for over thirty years. i remember when I was a lot younger it was always with friends: "where will I meet you?" "see you outside Hungry Jacks." In fact my wife and I recently went into the city to meet her sister and we arranged to meet in front of...Hungry Jacks.

      I am playing some Warhammer Quest and HeroScape (with very simplified rules) with my children (I have never actually played these before - I got these recently for next to nothing from a friend). Sometimes I win! Last night my hero died in Warhammer Quest :-( so I did not win that one.

  4. I'll have to find that photo of me at Hungry Jack's and post it.

    "Sometimes I win!" Well, I hope you'r proud of yourself, Shaun, beating up on little kids! You should be ashamed of yourself! ;)