EXERT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Friday, December 6, 2013

Somewhere in Tunisia


Today's game was Scenario 4 from CS Grant's  programmed scenarios using our adaptation of Memoir. I found myself commanding an American Battlegroup in Tunisia, tasked with clearing a pass.  From available resources I chose a Light Tank platoon with Stuarts, 4 Medium platoons with Grants or Shermans, 2 batteries of 105mm towed howitzers, 1 platoon of Rangers and 6 platoons of infantry including 2 mortars, 2 hmg and 2 bazookas. ( A "platoon" being 1 tank/gun model or 4 infantry.)

Ron's hidden defenders comprised 1 platoon of MkIV tanks, 1 of half tracks, 1 of panzer grenadiers, 2 batteries of 81mm mortars and 8 platoons of infantry.  

This was the second game we played with doubled movement and shooting ranges and once again it really helped to make the scenario work, both terrain wise and objective wise. and made for an intense fast moving game lasting 4 hours. It was also the 2nd time we used our current light/medium/heavy tank rules and the the first time we used any Big Guns.

My advanced force and flank guards (1 Stuart, 2 Grant and 2 infantry platoons arrived 6 turns before my main body arrived on the road. I switched them all to my left and probed forward towards the objective, bypassing the town in the middle. To prevent me from  cresting the hill on the left and seeing the 1/2 of his force laid out there, Ron counter attacked with his armour and opened up on my infantry with his mortars. I suffered heavily to my infantry and tanks but they all managed to pull back and survive and the Pzr IV was left in flames. (or rather was removed from the table). 

With my left shot up, I brought up my main body, sent the tanks left and sent the infantry straight down the road towards the town supported by the artillery. This touched off a counter attack which drove me back out of the town but the 105's pounded the town and as losses mounted, he pulled out. 

The village is clear of the enemy, press on!

I switched back to my now reinforced left and headed back towards the ridge only to be  hit by yet another infantry counter attack! My remaining infantry and tanks on the left  were driven back almost off the table (to Ron's frustration, he wanted kills not retreats!)`Once again I took advantage of the mobility of my armoured force and the range of my Big Guns to switch my attack, this time to the center hill. I managed to drive the last unit to the far right hand corned of the table where it cowered till the end of the game, serving by staying alive!

Regrouping, I threw most of my armour up over the central hill, around the far town and wood while the remaining tanks, infantry and guns provided as much support fire as they could while trying to stay alive.  The Germans, as always, kept throwing in counter attacks to throw me off balance and the fighting was intense. With my lead Sherman on the point of over running the objective, one final counter attack came uncomfortably close to breaking my force's morale. With luck on my side, the boys hung in there and I called up the off table heavy guns for a Bombardment and then followed up with a barrage of 105 mm fire. Jerry had had enough and pulled back. 

30 turns (60 cards) played in slightly less than 4 hours without breaks and it still came down to the wire with both sides spending the last few turns with victory in their grasp. That's my kind of game.



14 comments:

  1. My kind of game, too! The Commands & Colors system is really quite elegant. While I have yet to try Memoir '44, I have played Ancients, Napoleonics, and Samurai Battles many times. Games often produce nail biting finishes and replay value is high. Great system!

    Enjoyable BatRep, Ross.

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    1. Thanks. We're going to try adapting the Ancients game this wintr.

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    2. We play CC Ancients straight out of the box with miniatures and a hex mat. No changes required.

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    3. Agreed, we have played Memoir on the table using the rules straight out of the box as well and had good games, however, we have found the zone system doesn't work well in some situations, such as encounters where sides are entering at right angles or from the corners etc.

      There were some other situations around things like multiple contour hills, with slopes, that cover 10 or 12 hexes with outcrops etc that required some special rules to get the right 'feel'.
      The table size has not been an issue with our Colonial Battlecry games but has given scenario issues in the Memoir games.

      Our one play test with the ancient rules using blocks and the map suggested that for the game we enjoy, we were not completely comfortable with some of the complexities and some aspects of the rules. One game is not enough to judge the matter but after a few decades of gaming we are pretty comfy in our ways even though we do change and experiment :)

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  2. That sounds just the sort of action that attracts us to war gaming. This one's to-and-fro action is of the kind in which the outcome, whatever it is, satisfies both sides that they achieved something.
    Great!

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  3. Ross Mac,

    A very interesting battle report, and your alterations to be original MEMOIR '44 rules seem to improve the game no end.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. The doubling was done to match the bigger board and rolling terrain but it made a difference in the look and feel.

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  4. Great looking game! Hexon terrain really is attractive and Memoir always gives a satisfying time.

    What are the Light/Med/Hvy tank rules you mentioned?

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    1. Ron has enough hexon to make some really nice rolling countryside. I suspect its to lure me into always driving to his place :) Tank rule post to follow.

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  5. Great game report and great board! Memoir 44 has really grown on me. I'd be keen to check out your rule modifications. Are they on your blog? Cheers Andrew

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    1. They will be posted. Seasonal domestic affairs have been intruding :) and once finish I want to pass them by Ron to see if what I have said agrees with what he thinks we are doing. So, sometime this week.

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    2. Great report, Ross.
      Have I ever mentioned that you're my hero?
      Regards,
      John

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