Friday, 2 October 2015

One Hour Wargame Machine Age Battle Report

This battle report is of a WW1 break through situation where a British force is trying to capture two towns before German reserves arrive. In this game I'm trying out supply and aircraft rule additions to Neil Thomas' Machine Age war-game rules (One Hour Wargaming book). See rule link for the house rules (top right of page).

German Deployment
Around the town of St. Jean and the nearby hill 3 infantry units and 1 artillery unit are deployed. 3 infantry units occupy Daville town and surrounding trenches. Between the two towns are deployed 2 howitzer, 1 infantry and 1 cavalry units as support.

Reserves are expected to arrive on turn 5 or 6 and consist of 1 infantry, 1 Sturmtruppen, 1 cavalry and 1 artillery units.

British Deployment
Arriving on the left flank on the road to Daville are 1 heavy tank and medium tank units, supported by 3 infantry and 1 howitzer units. The rest of the first wave are on the right flank consisting of 3 infantry, 1 artillery and 1 cavalry units.

The second wave arrives on turn 4 and is made up on 3 infantry, 1 howitzer, 1 artillery and 1 cavalry units. They can arrive on either the Daville or St. Jean roads. On a dice roll of 3+ they will arrive on the road of the player's preference, otherwise they turn up on the other road.

At the start of the game
Turn 1
The game begun with an off-table artillery bombardment of St. Jean town and overlooking hill. 4 shots were allowed, 1 for each set of field works the Germans had. In addition the British won the roll for "control of the skies" and strafed the entrenched unit outside St. Jean without success.

On the left flank the British quickly advanced on Daville town led by the two tank units. German shooting was aimed at the tank units which started accumulating a few hits.

On the left flank, artillery took up position on the hill providing a good view of St Jean (and hill terrain rules allow units the ability to roll 2 dice and select the highest score when shooting). The remaining units moved up under cover of a nearby wood.
British left flank move up under cover of woods
Turns 2 and 3
The British advance on Daville continued with the medium tank unit flanking the town and infantry moving into the centre wood.

On the left flank the advance continued through the wood in readiness to assault the hill. The aircraft continued with its strafing mission without any hits this time.

German shooting continued to focus on the heavy tank unit. Two units threw 6's which meant while they got a swag of hits, they could not shoot again until resupplied (see the new supply rule).

After 3 turns of strafing by the RFC they left the scene and "control of the skies" passed to the Germans. (New aircraft rule being tried out this game.)

Turn 4
The assault on Daville town saw success and failure for the British. The medium tank unit successfully assaulting flank units, while the heavy tank unit was eliminated. The German occupation of the town was looking rather shaky at this point.
Tanks flank the town and the heavy tank unit is about to be eliminated
Meanwhile on the right flank the second wave successfully arrived with a 3+ roll on the St. Jean road.

British second wave arrives

Turn 5
Daville town was cleared of Germans while the medium tank (Whippet) unit circled around the back to deter and attempts by the Germans to reenter the town. So instead they had regrouped in the woods behind the town.
Daville town is cleared while the tank deters any attempt to reoccupy the town

On the British left flank troops started their assault on the hill overlooking St. Jean town, and the second wave proceeded down the road to the town itself.

Turn 6
The British occupy Daville town and continue to advance slowly down the St. Jean road. Too many 2's and 3's were rolled for the variable movement rule. (A helpful rules when you war-game solo and are trying to introduce a level of unpredictability.)

The German defence was soon to be bolstered with the arrival of their reserves. This included a Sturmtruppen unit mounted in a truck to give them a cavalry move until engaged in combat when they revert to infantry moves for the remainder of the game (the truck model gets removed.)
German reserves arrive while in the foreground the overlooking hill is being assaulted by British right flank
Turn 7
While German reserves started to move up, the British right flank successfully stormed the hill overlooking St Jean town and their artillery started to pound the town and any visible reserves.

On the British left flank Deville town was occupied and the medium tank unit was going on the rampage (able to ignore the zone of control affects on movement as tanks can). For the present the Germans fired upon the occupying troops in the town and the Sturmtruppen moved swiftly to the centre woods.
The Whippet rampages around delaying attempts to recapture town

Turn 8
A German aircraft appears after a 5+ was finally rolled. It will not get another mention in this battle report as for three moves it flew around, waggled its wings, and not one hit!

The fighting was now starting to merge into one battle as the German reserves moved into the centre and the British right flank started to move on St. Jean town. The battle appeared to be going in favour of the British.

In the pictures you will see a lot of dice. I use them to track hits on units. In the rule changes I allow 18 hits before a unit is eliminated. The green triangles show units out of supply from rolling a 6 in combat.

Turn 9
The British continued their bombardment and push on towards St. Jean while sending an infantry unit to support the defence of the centre wood and nearby Daville town.

The Germans eliminated the remaining (whippet) tank unit which had delayed their attempt to retake Daville town.
View from the British right flank as they push on the town of St. Jean

Turn 10
The British advance was bringing to stall as units accumulated hits. Movement was minimal with mainly shooting, particularly around Daville as the Germans prepared for an assault to retake the town.

One highlight for the British was the reappearance of the RFC on another sortie and added to a couple of hits on infantry advancing on Daville.
Things hotting up around Daville town as the RFC chip in with a couple of hits and a tally ho

Turn 11
The desperate fighting around Daville town saw the British defenders having to retreat after an German assault. Fortunately a well positioned support unit was able to move in and hold on to the town. While close by the Germans were forced out of the centre wood.

The British attack continues on the German units in and around St Jean town, but while threatening it was looking unlikely that they would be successful in taking the town.

Turn 12 and 13
The two German Howitzer units shelling Daville were taking a toll on the defending units (while Howitzers have a D6-2 throw they can ignore cover saves). Another assault by the Germans proved to be successful and they took back the town.

Around St Jean town the hard pressed defenders hung on. They were to lose an artillery unit to the British cavalry, but not before the last British infantry unit available on this flank was eliminated.
St Jean Town remained in German control despite the loss of some artillery to British cavalry

End of Game
The British assault came close to taking one, if not both towns, only to see the one town taken reoccupied by the German counter assault. The remaining British units, particularly the infantry, had all taken a good number of hit and were too exhausted and unable to successfully assault again.

From a rule point of view the supply and aircraft rule amendments worked by being a hinderance for each side at times without being a total game changer, which is what I wanted.

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