Thursday, July 17, 2014

All Americans, Part 12 (Near Arnone, 8 Oct 1943)


Let the rules tinkering begin!  I changed the activations to activating between 2 and 5 troops, depending on the die roll (as opposed to the 'straight' activate 2 men on a 2-5 die roll), and I changed the morale system.  Normally, on a '1' the soldier is pinned (can't move but can shoot), and on a '6' he flees 12", and then 'hunkers' (no move or shoot).  The problem (for me) is, this keeps carrying troops off the field of battle, straightaway.  That is, there's no build-up to him running away, it could literally be the first time he was fired at, and 'poof,' he's gone.  I'm not saying this never happened in real life, and I've already stated part of the problem is with me playing on a board only 24 inches by 24 inches (he's fleeing half my table), but I'm not satisfied with how this is going.  So the way I'm playing it is, the first '1' is a 'hit the deck,' the 2nd a 'pin,' the third (or a '6') is a suppression, and subsequent 1's and 6's move the guy up the chain to suppression, or move him back out of LOS to the enemy, or, if that's not possible, he runs away.

I can tell you the former made the game much quicker (about 20 minutes, which is right up my alley), and the morale seemed a bit better, but the problem with the former mechanic change is that it's much easier for troops to shake off knock-downs and morale issues.

So, the regiment is on its way to Arnone, and has been in heavy fighting, though so far 1st Battalion has been in reserve.  The regiment has broken through the roadblock and now 1st Battalion has assumed the point, with 1st Platoon leading the way up the road, when contact is made with an enemy patrol sort of loitering about the area.  The Plt Sgt, SSgt Ford, is with Sgt Glenn's 3rd Squad at the head of the column, and surges into action.

The table, 2' x 2' in 10mm (Pendraken) once again.  The Germans will be at the top, the US in column on the road, coming on from the bottom (South).

The US forces, from right to left: SSgt Ford, Sgt Glenn, Cpl Timmons (w/BAR), then riflemen Pvt Johnson, PFC Leshore, and Pvt Anders.  The German (once again somehow) have a Lt, a SMG gunner, and two riflemen.

Initial dispositions.  The Germans are all North of the East-West road, with three East and one West of the North-South road.  The US troops are moving up the North-South road...

 In the following order: Johnson, SSgt Ford, Cpl Timmons, Anders, Sgt Glenn, and Leshore.

A German rifleman at far left, with their Lt in the middle and the SMG behind the building.

The last rifleman at far right, with SMG visible at left behind building.

I let the Germans go first this time, and they promptly roll a '1' (scurry).  This pic is looking West to East, where the far left German rifleman (bottom right) sprinted across the road to flank the US troops on the North-South road.  The German officer also moved up (far left) to peer around the building.

This pic looks East to West, where the far right German rifleman moved across the road and the SMG gunner crossed the North-South road and took up position behind the wall at far right.

This pic is looking East to West; Johnson moved left off the road to engage the flanking German rifleman, firing and causing the German to hit the deck (green bead).

SSgt Ford dashed ahead, jumped in a crater, and fired at the SMG gunner behind the wall, suppressing him (red bead), while Cpl Timmons joined him, firing at the German rifleman at far right, to no effect.

This pic is looking North to South, with the far left German rifleman at left center and Johnson at top right.  Sgt Glenn (bottom left) sprinted left and opened up with his Tommy Gun, suppressing the German rifleman.  Then the Germans rolled another scurry.  They won't be able to fire, but they're two men that are suppressed will be able to attempt to rally.

The German rifleman on the far right moved back to the suppressed SMG gunner at the wall and helped him unpin.  The SMG gunner can't act this turn, but he'll be able to perform reactive fire during the US turn.  That's SSgt Ford at bottom center.

On the left, the German Lt sprinted to the suppressed rifleman and helped him rally.  Again, he can't act, but he'll be able to perform reactive fire.  That's Sgt Glenn at bottom center.

Johnson sat tight and fired at the German Lt and rifleman at far left, missing, while Leshore (bottom right) moved over and fired, also missing.  Sgt Glenn cut loose a torrent of SMG fire, suppressing both Germans.  This should have been a decisive advantage, but because I changed the activation system both Germans would be able to rally rather easily.  Maybe I need to change how easy it is to rally?  But then I mess with the rules' patented '1 and 6' system (things are 'normal' on a 2-5, with 'different' stuff happening on 1 and 6).

The BAR moved up to take cover next to SSgt Ford and clear his lane of fire, intending on lighting up the SMG.  But the German SMG had not acted last turn, so was able to perform reactive fire, which suppressed the BAR gunner.  SSgt Ford fired, to no effect...

On the left (not pictured), the German Lt and rifleman both shook off their suppressions, while on the right, the SMG gunner fired at SSgt Ford, causing him to hit the ground, so the German rifleman hopped the wall and moved up (top center, behind bushes).

On the left, Sgt Glenn fires, forcing the German rifleman to hit the deck, while Johnson (top right) fired and hit nothing, followed by Leshore rushing up (center), firing, and also hitting nothing...

Meanwhile, SSgt Ford (center, in crater) pops up and fires at the German rifleman (top right) missing, while Anders (bottom left) moved up and fired at the German SMG (top left), missing.  The BAR gunner (far right, with red bead) remains suppressed (not because of a bad roll, but because I chose to use the activations on other guys).

Both Germans on the left fired (at Sgt Glenn and Leshore), missing everything.

While both Germans on the right did the same...

Sgt Glenn (bottom center) sprayed again, missing again, but Leshore (center) fired and put the German rifleman down (top left), while Johnson (top right) moved up and fired, suppressing the German Lieutenant (red bead at top left).

SSgt Ford left his crater, running over to Cpl Timmons and helping him rally, then firing at the German rifleman on this side, knocking him down (black bead at top right).  Then Anders (bottom left) opened up on the German SMG (behind the wall), putting him down!  Things are looking up.  However, the German rifleman managed to get back up, though he couldn't act (eligible for reactive fire during US turn).

But on the left the German Lt failed his rally attempt, so I played it that Sgt Glenn, Johnson, and Leshore moved in and captured his cowering ass.  And just when I thought I could finish this up, the US rolled a 'scurry,' so no shooting this turn...

Leaving Leshore to guard the German Lieutenant, Sgt Glenn and Johnson (bottom left) moved east down the road towards the sole remaining German (top right), while Anders hopped the wall at bottom center, charged across the intersection, and took up station behind the wall.

And SSgt Ford and Cpl Timmons fell back to cover.

The hilarious thing is that the German then rolled a 'scurry,' so he can't shoot either.  With his options severely limited, he makes a run for the border (top right), and escapes the Americans' grasp.

However, the mission is a success!  The light German opposition is brushed back, with no losses of our own, and so the advance continues.  The game was smooth and quick, easily the most enjoyable of the three I played today (and not just because I won!).

I think these rules will suffice to give a fun campaign, I just want to play a few more test games, adding in vehicles.  Hopefully I'll get them in this coming weekend.  Stay tuned, and let me know what you think of these games/rules/my campaign concept.



  1. Can you never decide on rules? Your own BKC derivative; Some Corner of a Foreign Field (modified), Five men in Normandy (modified). You are easily distracted by rules :-)

    I like it that no one died or badly wounded in this one. Makes a change from your Vietnam campaign.

    You will be happy to know my streamlined NUTS uses card activation. I lasted one game of NUTS! without it and added it in for my second game. How are you surviving without cards?

  2. Shaun,

    Don't forget the KR-16 WWII mod I used for the Sicilian run of "All-Americans." And the modified "NUTS!" I used for Blennevills or Bust. Hey, don't try to act like you're not a rules addict! I like trying different stuff. I've been working on modifying Chain of Command for my modern USMC campaign (still in the embryonic stage).

    Yes, 5MIN is definitely is less bloody than SCoAFF. I like not having to make up half a dozen new names every game ;) That's not a knock on SCoAFF, just pointing out that I like rules that do different things at different times.

    As a matter of fact, I was sort of daydreaming last night about going back to SCoAFF for another campaign: Bleier was MEDEVAC'ed back to the States, and spends a couple/three years there recuperating and retraining, and joins the Rangers. Then he again deploys to Vietnam as a Ranger team leader (for those that haven't read Leonard B. Scott's Ranger novels, "Charlie Mike," and "The Last Run," I highly recommend them).

    5MIN has a pretty clever little activation system, so I'm not missing the cards. Though they are the reliable old standby, aren't they?

    So many games, so little time!

    1. I know I seem to be commenting across various posts, but I now have 5MiN in the cart at Wargame Vault. So I can see into my future and see me hit the checkout button within the week.

    2. Yes, you're killing me trying to keep track and reply to everything ;)

      You'll like the rules, nice and simple with a pretty cool '1 and 6' mechanism for activation, combat, and morale.


  3. Cards are very cool, though I think "Chain of Command" turned me from cards to dice.

    Which is funny, since 'Troops, Weapons&Tactics", also from TFL turned me from dice to cards :)

    1. IABSM turned me to cards about 10 years ago. Although I still use dice driven control for some homegrown rules, and do really like reaction type games for control. I am torn between cards and not-cards for my WW2 rules, although the few battalion level books I have read really lend themselves to card based control.

    2. I like cards and dice, with Chain of Command having probably the most innovative activation system I've ever seen. In any case, like I said, I like both, anything that jumbles it up a bit and doesn't allow you to do everything you want to do, so long as it doesn't carry it too far and you feel totally helpless.


    3. yeah, a bit of chaos makes the game much more enjoyable. Just gotta balance it out a bit. Ideally, the player can always do /something/ even if it's not the thing they wanted to do.