Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Operation Jupiter Batrep #4, Wicked Wyverns


We are now upon the fourth fight in Operation Jupiter, as the Chateau de Fontaine has fallen and British follow-on troops are streaming by to get to the front.  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.  Then C Company, 5th WNRRHCG, led by Major Lemmuel and Lt Boggler, faced off against 3rd Company, 457th PzGrenSuK, led by Captain Rolfbertsen and Lt Eichtoriel, and the Brits easily took  the Chateau.

Now Major Phillips' D Company is moving past the Chateau on its way to the front, but it is suffering at the hands of stragglers from Captain Rolfbertsen's 3rd Company.  When Major Phillips' adjutant is hit by a sniper in mid-sentence, Phillips turns to his 2iC, Lt Canham, and directs him to grab a detachment of infantry and have them sweep back through the area around the Chateau, where Captain Rolfbertsen's 2iC, Lt Eichtoriel, is in directing the resistance of the stay behind troops.  Additionally, Lt Eichtoriel has gotten into contact with a nearby 88mm FlaK, who promised to support his troops as much as possible.

In real life it's 10 July 1944, and it's members of the 6th Battalion, 7th Somerset Light Infantry Regiment, 129th Brigade, 43rd Wessex Division vs 6th and 8th Companies, 2nd Battalion, 22nd SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment, 10th SS Panzer Division.  In real life, a British Colonel was killed by an '88' shell, and snipers were making life very difficult, so 7th/Somerset LI dispatched a group of riflemen and snipers to clear the area, which they promptly did.

Overview, north is left and is the British baseline.  For the eagle-eyed among you, yes, this is the same exact map as last fight.  But that's kind of the point: in real life, 5/Dorsets took the Chateau (top right), and 7th/Somersets were following in trace and had to deal with an '88' and bunch of German stragglers.  So that's what we're doing, and a big difference for this game, since it's really just a skirmish game, is I'm using 15mm singly-based figures, rather than 10mm unit-based figures.

The opposing forces, with Germans on the left and Brits on the right.

The Brits have a total of 14 men, led by Lt Canham (with pistol).  They've got a Bren, several Stens, and a bunch of Enfields.

The mighty German force, consisting of three men.  But they have several advantages:
1.  They will be treated as snipers, so will be rolling 3K 2S each time they fire.
2.  As the Brits I will roll normal 5Core activation dice each turn, the Germans won't.  The Germans will simply declare when they want to react, then do so.  They will fire with full dice (listed above) and can move before or after.
3.  The Germans start hidden.  I cannot roll to spot them until they shoot, and cannot shoot at them until they are spotted.
4.  The German snipers will be able to move via crawling, to try to keep from being spotted.
5.  The Germans have an '88' off table that will fire two HE rounds whenever the German commander wishes.

The Brits come on the table in the north, fanned out in skirmish line, pressing ahead to find and eliminate the German snipers, who can be anywhere south (right) of the east-west (top-bottom) running road.

German deployment: the boy kind of surprised me by staying out of the buildings.  You've got to look close, but there's one at bottom left behind the hedgerow, one at center right (group of three trees along same hedgerow), and one at top right (across road, behind hedgerow next to road).

Again, looking at the whole set up.  Brits are across the top, snipers at bottom left, bottom center (three trees), and center right (corner of hedgerow on bottom right side of intersection).

Game time.

On the far Brit left an NCO with Sten moves up (top right), and the nearest sniper (bottom right) fires, putting him 'man down.'

"Where is he!!!???"  "I dunno!!!"

Looking west to east, the sniper crawls south (right) towards the building (far right, from far left clump of trees).

In the center, a British rifleman (top right) moves forward.  The German sniper in the center (bottom center) squeezes off a round...

The Brit riflemen is KIA, with another rifleman (bottom right) and Lt Canham (top left) looking on.  They briefly spot a blur of movement...

But the sniper is down, crawling away from his firing position (top right, from bottom left).

On the Brit right, a rifleman moves to the wall, and the far left German sniper (bottom left) fires.  But the round misses, and the target (top center) sees exactly where it came from!

Looking north to south, a second British rifleman (bottom center) joins the target (bottom left), and they both fire on the German, hitting him and putting him 'man down!'

But then there's a vicious crack...

And an 88mm High Explosive shell zooms in and explodes on the British right...

One man is hit, and so his buddy picks him up and carries him back to the battalion aid station.

**Game Note: Actually, I just received two fall backs which took the guys off the map, but the above sounded better than 'they crapped their pants and ran off the table.'

On the Brit left, a rifleman rushes forward and checks on the NCO that was man down (top left); he's bloody, but it's superficial and he's back on his feet and in the fight.

With the guy that just got back on his feet at far left, in the center, Lt Canham sprints up the road (top right, between wall and trees).

While on the Brit right, one of the guys that shot the far right German sniper hops the wall and sprints ahead (center right, just below road, near telephone pole).  He's determined to find out if the guy they shot is dead or just playing possum (the German is behind the trees at top right).

The German sniper at bottom left is bleeding, but he exercises some iron will and gets himself back in the fight, knowing the Tommies will be coming for him.  The German sniper at top right crawls into the house, while the German center sniper crawls to the south (far bottom right, next to tree at edge of hedgerow).

On the British right: while his buddy hopped the wall and moved up (far right), the rifleman at the wall (bottom left) can't believe his luck!  The German they shot just sat back up!  He fires again...

Forcing the German to fall back (red bead at center right, from explosion at far left).

The shooter hops the wall and sprints up to the road (bottom center), while his buddy moves forward (center right, in field), spots the German (top right), and fires again (the explosion at far right is from the Brit at bottom center).

But he misses.

And then another crack!

The second '88' HE shell lands not far from the first.

One man goes down, full of shrapnel (white bead; he's man down, not out of the fight), while another Brit is badly injured and carried off by a mate (yeah, two more fallbacks that took them off the map).

But the '88' is done at least.

Lt Canham, ever the daredevil, continues to press forward up the road (bottom left).

Sniper number 1 is in the house at left, though not yet in a firing position, while sniper number 2 is at top right (you can see the light green bead indicating he's crawling).  Lt Eichtoriel is getting very concerned with this crazy Brit charging straight up the middle, straight up the street, and signals Sniper #2 to do something about it.

But Sniper #2 (top right) has to stand up to clear the foliage for a good shot, and when he does he is spotted by a Brit rifleman at bottom left.  The Brit fires, but he rushed the shot and missed.

So Sniper #2 (bottom center) takes his shot at Lt Canham, but the line of fire isn't clear and he, too, misses!

In the Chateau, Sniper #1 had gotten himself into a firing position.  He can't get a bead on Lt Canham (on the road but behind the three trees at center right), so he looks west (left) at the two Tommies threatening his buddy, Sniper #3 (off camera to top left), and fires...

Another Brit down.

But the Brits are alert now...

And the guys on the far left spot Sniper #1 and take a shot, and they put him 'man down!'

Wow, my dice are still incredibly hot.

Back on the right, a Brit rifleman (bottom center) just watched his buddy get popped.  He takes a shot at Sniper #3 (top right)...

And the sharpshooting Brit has eliminated our first German.

But now it's the German Sniper #2's turn to act on his hate (Sniper #3 was just shot off camera to left).  He (bottom center) takes aim and looses several rounds at the British center (top center, with Lt Canham on the road at far right)...

Two Brits fall to the German's bullets, while a third is pinned (yellow bead).

He's had to watch his men be torn to pieces by the German snipers and field piece, and with hot tears burning furrows down his red cheeks, Leftenant "Mad Andy" Canham (bottom center) pulls his Webley Service Revolver, dashes forward, and fires all six shots at Sniper #2 (top center)...

Dropping him like a sack of potatoes!

On the British far left, the NCO opens fire with his Sten, while his mate fires with his rifle (bottom left), at Sniper #1, who's flat on his back in the Chateau.  The rounds have no effect, and the German sniper checks his wounds and gets back into the fight.

But so does the British NCO who suffered shrapnel wounds from the second '88' shell (bottom center).  He gets to his feet just in time to see Sniper #1's head pop above the window frame; he raises his Sten and looses a long burst, bullets hitting the hedge in front of the Chateau then climbing up its walls...

Dropping Sniper #1!

No way, my dice are incredible, and at this point I'm thanking my lucky stars the boy is only 6 and can't yet kick my ass ;)  Don't take that the wrong way, I'm serious when I say he's just having a great time; he's very cool, doesn't get frazzled, doesn't sweat it, just hits me with "Daddy, are we going to play another game?"

So Lt Canham's detachment cleared the way for the rest of D Company to move past the Chateau and into the next stage of the fight in Operation Jupiter, on to Eterville.  So far the campaign is matching up with history, the Brits were able to bludgeon their way forward, so everything is on track.

British: 6 KIA/WIA
German: 3 KIA/WIA

Citations: Lt Canham was decorated for valor for his inspired leadership in clearing the Chateau de Fontaine.

Still one more batrep to get written up from this past weekend, and looking to get three or four more in this weekend.



  1. Hey, Jack, great AAR, that Mad Andy is a bit of a firebrand. You should model a Claymore (the sword) in his other hand for when he can see the whites of their eyes. He's done his bit now though, time for him to ride out the war until demob by getting canny. Interesting how a "heroic" (or barking mad) action makes all the difference in the real world and in the rules system - suggests an excellent set of rules!

    If you want a bit of cultural flavour, the soldiers who ran wouldn't have cr**ped their pants but got into a bit of a funk or had a sudden attack of LMF (lack of moral fibre). As the original actions involved the Somerset LI, they wouldn't have been able to say "s" so Somerset would be "Zumerzet" and they drink "zider" down that way - I think Lt Canham would have needed a flagon all to himself (or maybe he'd already partaken).

    Great fun and glad your son still enjoys it. When he wins one though, be prepared for bragging rights to be exercised.

    Cheers, Andy

    1. I heard the good Lieutenant was spotted stumbling out of a Norman wine cellar before the fight, then stumbling back to it after! ;)

      I'm actually starting to feel bad, I want him to win one (another, actually).


  2. When you want something done, bring a Webley.

    1. A well oiled sten can come in handy too!

    2. Both were put to good use in this fight!


  3. You should have lost.

    I have no further comment :-)

    1. There will be no trophies for participation here!!!