Monday, February 22, 2016

Operation Jupiter Batrep #3, Chateau de Fontaine


We are now upon the third fight in Operation Jupiter, the British assault on the Chateau de Fontaine.  This follows the successful assault on Les Duanes Farm complex by A Company, 5th Westchesterfords North Riding Rangers of the Highland Coldshire Guards (5th WNRRHCG).  This was followed by 2nd Company of the the 457th PanzerGrenadier Abteilung Sauer und Krauthammer denying the Brit attempt on the Horseshoe Wood, though ultimately the Germans were forced to fall back due to a pending assault by an overwhelmingly large British force.  Now we have C Company, 5th WNRRHCG, led by Major Lemmuel and Lt Boggler, facing off against 3rd Company, 457th PzGrenSuK, led by Captain Rolfbertsen and Lt Eichtoriel, as the Brits look to evict the Germans from the Chateau.

In real life it's 10 July 1944, and it's C Company, 5th Battalion, Dorset Regiment, 130th Brigade, 43rd Wessex Division, supported by tanks of B Squadron of 9th Royal Tank Regiment, vs 6th and 8th Companies, 2nd Battalion, 22nd SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment, 10th SS Panzer Division.  In real life the Brits were able to take the Chateau, but they took very heavy casualties and straggling Germans remained in the local area, harassing follow-on British troops, to the point some of them had to halt and deploy to deal with the German troops, which is actually the subject of the next fight.

Overview of map, north is left and is also the British baseline.  We've got an intersection for hardball roads running north-south and east-west.  Crop fields abound, with stone walls at top left and bottom left, and the Chateau is at top center right.  There are several hedgerows that interfere with movement and line of sight, notably on the west side of the north-south running road, on the south side of the eastern portion of the east-west running road, and a separate hedgerow running east-west on the west side of the Chateau.

The opposing forces, with Germans on the left and British on the right.  The scenario says use one British tank, OR the surviving tanks from scenario 1; I had three tanks left over from scenario 1 so I split the baby between the 1 minimum and the three I had left over, going with two.

Once again I'm using 10mm troops from Pendraken.  They are singly based, but I'm using them as element based (i.e., five guys represent a rifle squad).

The Brits: at far right is Major Lemmuel's command group, then four rifle squads, a 3" mortar team at far left (with ammo for six fire missions), and two Shermans with 75mm guns.

The Germans: Captain Rolfbertsen's command group at far right, two rifle squads, each with two panzerfausts, a tripod mounted MG-42 team, and a Panzerschreck team.

The table again, with all troops in their starting positions.

The Brit starting line, with 1st Section at far left, 2nd Section on the road, 3rd Section just to their right, and 4th Section at far right.  Behind and between 2nd and 3rd Sections is Major Lemmuel's command group, two M-4 Shermans (w/75mm guns), and a 3" mortar.

The Germans with their PzSchreck team at bottom left, 2nd Squad just to their right, Captain Rolfbertsen's Command Group behind them, the MG-42 upstairs just across the street, and 1st Squad in the hege ahead of them.  Both rifle squads have two Panzerfausts,

We roll to see who goes first, and I catch a lucky break.  I win and force the boy to go first, opening up at long range; if I had to go first, I would have moved everyone forward but have been unable to fire as the Germans weren't spotted.

The fight starts as I'm sure many did on the Western Front: the MG-42 in the house (foreground) fires on 1st Section (top right), putting heavy casualties on them.

Major Lemmuel leads his command group (top left) towards 1st Section (top center) to help them out, while 2nd Section pushes forward into the intersection (bottom center), where the German 1st Squad (far right) opens fire on them.

But the plucky Brits are unfazed and return fire, pinning the Germans (just visible behind the hedge at center left).

On the Brit right, 4th Section moves up to the wall (3rd Section is at far left, with 2nd Section above them in the crossroads) and fires on the German machine gun in the building, to no effect.

But with Brits to their front and now to their left flank, and no word from 2nd Squad or the Panzerschreck team (who have yet to open fire), the German MG team freaks out a little bit and falls back out of the house!  Captain Rolfbertsen is beside himself with rage!!!

**Game Note: the boy rolled a random event, Panic!  We diced to see which of his units would be effected, and it was the MG team.  My string of luck continues unabated.

With the German 2nd Squad holding position, hidden in the hedge at left, the German commander sprints across the road (center right, next to the building) hoping to reach his shaken machine gun team to rally them (they are just above the command group, with the red bead), but Rolfbertsen doesn't quite make it.

Though pinned (yellow bead), the German 1st Squad opens up a can of whoopass on the Brit 2nd Section, who was still hanging out in the intersection.

Which is not advisable (bottom left).  The German MG team tries to self rally, but only gets up to pinned.

Seeing Major Lemmuel having too many things to deal with, Lt Boggler sprints over to the stricken 1st Section and rallies them back into the fight.

**Game Note: I rolled a random event, Hero Emerges, so I got to place a hero figure and stuck him on my left flank to free the CO up.

Major Lemmuel (bottom left), having just watched his 2nd Section get cut to pieces in the intersection (top center left), signals the mortar (bottom center right; the purple beads are how many fire missions the mortar can fire) to fire on the German hedgerow containing the German 1st Squad (top left).

The mortar rounds fall on target (explosion at far right), forcing the German infantry to fall back (center, red bead, next to the pinned MG team with yellow bead, and Captain Rolfbertsen's command group).

Looking to strike while the iron is hot and press the advantage on his left flank, Major Lemmuel and Lt Boggler lead 1st Section forward in a sprint towards the wall, though neither makes it (far and center left).

**Game Note: both of us are experiencing terrible sprint rolls...

Captain Rolfbertsen's command group moves to the MG team and rallies them (top right), and they promptly move back into the 2nd floor of the building.  But while they're setting up the British 3rd Section (bottom left) spots them and fires...

Forcing them to fall back right to where they started.  Rolfbertsen looks on in disbelief as he has a hunkering MG team, that he just rallied, sitting right in front of him and a hunkered rifle team right next to them (top right).

Then the German 2nd Squad (bottom right) finally gets in the fight, opening fire on the British 3rd Section (center)...

But the fire has no effect on 3rd Section (center left), and 4th Section (bottom center) returns fire, pinning the German 2nd Squad!

Back on the Brit left, Major Lemmuel and Lt Boggler lead 1st Section up to the wall where they fire at the already hunkering German 1st Squad (center)...

The fire is so fierce it not only forces the German 1st Squad to fall back (bottom left), but they carry the German machine gun team with them, leaving Captain Rolfbertsen dumbfounded!  Inconceivable!!!

On the road in the center, Tank 1 (T1, bottom center) rumbles forward, machine guns chattering  in the general direction of the German 2nd Squad (top center, with the Panzerschreck team lying hidden at top right), though they suffer no further ill effects (they're already pinned).

Once again Captain Rolfbertsen rolls up his sleeves and begins convincing his men to get back in the fight: 1st Squad is good, but the MG team only gets up to pinned (yellow bead).

While the German 2nd Squad (far right, yellow bead) again fires on the Brit 3rd Section (top left), this time pinning them.

Back on the German right, having just rallied, 1st Squad fires on the British 1st Section (behind wall at top right)...

The fire has no effect, but the German 1st Squad (top center) moves forward, looking to get into the building, but Lt Boggler directs the fire of 1st Section (bottom left), and the Germans are pinned.

Incredible dice rolling.

Major Lemmuel (far left, behind wall, next to T1 on road) directs the mortar (bottom center) to fire on the German 2nd Squad (top center, behind hedgerow)...

2nd Squad (right) takes heavy casualties, while the still unspotted Panzerschreck team (left) is pinned.

T2 rumbles forward in the center (center), firing its machine guns in the general direction of the German 2nd Squad (top center), while 3rd Section (right behind T2) successfully rallies.

The German 2nd Squad successfully recovers from its casualties, while the Panzerschreck team looses a rocket at T2...

The round hits just short, but scares the hell out of T2's crew, who fall back (red bead at far left, from explosion at top center), while 3rd Section (next to explosion) is pinned.

On the German right, Captain Rolfbertsen successfully rallies the MG team (bottom left), while his 1st Squad (center left) fires ineffectually at the Brit 1st Section (top right).

T1 (center left) creeps up to the intersection, machine guns hammering at the German 2nd Squad (top center), to no effect.  Major Lemmuel (far left, behind the wall) signals the mortar (off camera to bottom right) to once again fire on the German 2nd Squad position...

The 3" mortar rounds pound the German riflemen into dust (far right, with pinned Panzerschreck team at bottom left).

While on the Brit far right, 4th Section (bottom center, with pinned 3rd Section at far left) fires on the Panzerschreck team (top center)...

And the Panzerschreck team (bottom left) joins 2nd Squad (top right).

Crazy dice.

On the Brit far left, Lt Boggler again has 1st Section (bottom left) pour fire into the German 1st Squad (center top left)...

And once again the rifle squad is forced to fall back (center, between the buildings), as is the MG-42 team (far left).  Captain Rolfbertsen (bottom center) is eating his hat, screaming obscenities at his merry band of cowards.

To illustrate how bad that tactical development is, here's a look up the road from south (German baseline) to north (British baseline).  Of particular relevance would be the British tank at top center, who is eyeing both the German MG team (bottom left) and 1st Squad (center), both of whom are fairly exposed...

And right on cue, the British Sherman rolls up the road (center), firing everything it's got at the German 1st Squad and MG team (top right)...

The German 1st Squad (top center) suffers heavy casualties, while the German MG team runs off the map (far right, from red bead at center top, with the casualties of the PzSchreck team at bottom left and 2nd Squad at far left).

Captain Rolfbertsen pulls his pistol and fires several 9mm rounds at his fleeing MG-42 team, then looks back to the north as British infantry swarm forward to take the Chateau and capture the survivors of 1st Squad.  "Leutnant Eichtoriel, grab your things and lets get out of here."  "Yes, Mein Hauptmann."

Wow, the Brits rack up another impressive victory.  I've got to admit that I've experienced quite a run of hot dice, and I know I'm destined for a fall, that this can't last forever.  He rolls a random event and it panics his MG team, I roll a random event and get a hero figure.  Two different times I roll a rifle section shooting at the German 1st Squad in the open, give my guys 1K 2S, and twice it forces both the rifle squad and the nearby MG team to fall back.  The MG team moves into a house, one of my rifle sections react fires with 1S and forces them to fall back.  He fires a PzSchreck at a Sherman with 2K 3S, manages only to push the Sherman back to hunker.  It's really been incredible.

Don't worry, the boy is in good spirits; he's oblivious to the campaign aspect of this, he's just having a good time rolling dice with his old man, and still not quite believing Daddy is letting him play with his toys ;)  We played another game Sunday (only one) and had another fun one, so I'm working on two batreps, the other from Saturday and the one from Sunday.

British: 10 KIA/WIA
German: 20 KIA/WIA, 5 POW

Two more batreps to come from this weekend, so stay tuned.



  1. You can really feel the bad lick the Germans were having. i feel for him, even if your son is not really aware of it. The British should have a bit of a tough time, but the dice were just making it a bit easy for them.

    Another great report. It has made me (gaming wise) flick from what I was doing (solo SF roleplaying - re-kickstarting my solo RPG blog with a vengeance by completely rewriting the RPG mechanics and story engine) to writing up my company WW2 rules in more detail than there are now (as these battreps have inspired me to play some more 6mm games). I may not be playing anything, but having lots of fun writing stuff!

    1. Shaun,

      Well, hurry up and play something, so we've got more batreps to read!

      Unfortunately the boy does realize he's having a rough time, but he's soldiering on. Hell, his luck has been so bad that I'm feeling bad for him!

      And quit messing around with Sci-Fi and get back to real gaming ;)


    2. The revising of the company ww2 rules are taking ages - I have about 30 pages of rules to redo and I am averaging one page a day and I am up to page 5 :-(

      And I have stopped SF for the moment - played Warhammer Quest with the children tonight. Ages since the last game and loads of fun.

    3. You and Panda and your complicated ruleset! Bah! 30 pages!!?? Inconceivable!!

      Good luck with the kiddos!


    4. 30 pages that will become about 20. I am adding some of the chrome that I liked in the rules mine are based on but stripped out. I am adding it back in as I miss it :-)

      And anyway, the rules you are using are 48 pages!

    5. For my rules, over half of that is not rules, it's how to generate a unit, a battle, campaign stuff, etc... The only thing I have to look up anymore are the random events!


  2. Great AAR. Looking forward to the next ones. That sure was some fancy shooting and some bad luck for your son. But then, those are the breaks, as they say. Played my boy at X-wing last night and felt a momentary pang of guilt as both my Tie Fighters got on his tail and blew him to bits. I'm sure he will return the complement next time.

    Cheers, Andy

    1. Andy,

      Thanks man, and beating up on your kid isn't as fun as it first seemed, is it ? ;)

      I'm sure things will turn their way. You're going to love the next batrep!