I had an urge to get my 54mm Britain's out but fresh from reading Bob Kettle's 1/72nd Cold War battle report, and the Archduke's 1/72 Western Desert Portable Wargame Sittingbad, it was on my mind that I had yet to try the Advanced Mid-20thC PW. I decided to grab One Hour Wargaming and my 1/72 Cold War forces and have a quick game.
An hour later I had my table cleared of the various bits of junk that seem to creep on it if left alone. An hour after that I had a scenario and forces selected and the game laid out. Finally I drew a card, looked at the table and thought "Nope! Not enough tiny little guys to get me interested."
Hmmm. "More troops?" Not what I had in mind.
"AHA!" Its been over 4 years since they've been out but I still have a box of Khaki 54's and a few tanks and guns in the back of the cupboard! Big enough to see and mid-20thC. Done!
|The Red Patch Rebels clash with the Royal Green Helmets.|
I had had an urge to do Sawmill Village but wanted something less familiar so I flipped open OHW Wargaming to a random page and got: #16 Advance Guard. OK inspired by a PanzerBlitz scenario but essentially Not Quite Sawmill Village. Call it fate.
I didn't have a background for this conflict so I sorted out my Airfix and Atlantic WWII Canadians from the various Herald and Crescent figures, rolled up forces then divided the equipment. By the end of the game I had identified the Not-Canadians with their Red 1st Div Patches as some sort of Socialist Republican rebels leaving the 1950's guys to be the loyal defenders of the Duke of Somewhere's Commonwealth.
The Green Helmets had a CO, 3 infantry companies supported by a mortar, a Sherman and an SP Recoilless Rifle. The Red Patches had a CO, 4 infantry companies, a B.A.T and a Sherman. To claim victory one side would have to have sole possession of the town at the end of 15 turns. Both sides had an Exhaustion Point of 9.
|The fighting rages near the 1/2 way point.|
|Things look grim for the Socialists.|
Finally, as the clock started to wind down, every Ducal unit that wasn't pinned or destroyed was sent forward to try to get a line of fire on the last houseful of Red Patches. The BAT soon took care of that though and the Ducal losses also brought them to Exhaustion. Only one Red Patch remained in town and only one turn to remove him by fire alone from the mortar and one battered company of infantry.
|So close to a draw! With the last die roll of the game a 6 cut down the last Red Patch in town, leaving the town in the hands of the remnants of one pinned Green Helmet company.|
I was surprised to finally notice mid-game that the rule for infantry fire at tanks says they cannot "destroy" them, not that they can't inflict any hits at all. Given the 1950's setting allowing them some AT defence at 2 squares seems reasonable.
The other main thing I need to double check, then make my mind up on, is the effect of a retreat result on a pinned unit. I understand that a pinned unit cannot move voluntarily although it seems odd that tanks can't withdraw under fire even though they are not exactly "hitting the dirt!" Part way through the game I decided to double check the rule saying that pinned units can't be pushed by a retreat result but suddenly couldn't find it. I'll need to look again more carefully (Update: found it! Its up front not in the 20thC rules themselves) but am leaning towards adopting a house rule saying that a Pinned unit may not move voluntarily but will obey a retreat result if otherwise able to. This will avoid the several situations I encountered where adjacent opposing units were both pinned meaning neither could retreat or rally until one of them was destroyed. It doesn't sit right with me that retreat, even under cover, would never be an option once you take a hit when close to the enemy so allowing an involuntary retreat seems like a good compromise. In addition, this rule makes Elite troops no better than Militia once they are pinned while adjacent. If I keep to the no retreat rule I'll have to borrow the basic game option of asjusting SP's up 1 for Elite's and down 1 for Militia.
In any event, I think I need to tidy these lads and their friends up and see about some new equipment and a proper back story. To paraphrase MacArthur: "They shall return!".