Thursday, 18 August 2016

A one sided WW2 campaign game

Today I played out a very one-sided campaign game. The Commonwealth forces had just secured a victory in their last limited attack in the campaign were on the verge of surrounding a German occupied zone. The Germans now quickly put in a limited attack to counter any encirclement.

The game being played is the counterattack on advancing Commonwealth forces (red arrow)
The dice generated terrain was going to be somewhat problematic for the defending Commonwealth forces with terrain points even split 10 points on either half of the table. The defending forces selected the table edge with terrain features essentially split on either flank, but close to their base edge for re-enforcements. A couple of units were pushed up close to the fields in the centre and were to fallback to the woods after attempting to delay the advancing German forces.

Game set up
The make up on the each force had not been kind to the Commonwealth. They rolled a 2 and 3 with two average dice added this total to the standard 6 units the defender gets. The German roll was 3 and 4 added to 12 for limited attacking forces. So I had a game of 19 attacking units starting their attack at 10am against 11 defending.

It was going to be one of those campaign games where the game result was going to be a forgone conclusion. The only highlight for the defenders was the attack was starting late in the day and a delay in re-enforcements for the attacker could mean some of their forces would not participate in the game other than to secure terrain close to their base edge.

Attacking motorised and mechanised German forces push through the centre splitting the defending force.
The initial deployment for the Germans had all there motorised infantry, armoured infantry and tank units starting on the table. These units quickly swept away defending Commonwealth units in the table centre. Sending them in a hurried retreat to the woods. The few defenders were desperate for re-enforcements, which were delayed in arriving and allowed the attacking forces to concentrate their attacks eliminating a unit almost every turn.
Game end an easy win to the attackers
While re-enforcements were delayed for both sides, the delay impacted the defenders most, and by 5pm the Germans had won convincingly.

After this game I am having some thoughts for future campaign rule adjustments. Particularly for a game like this where Commonwealth forces had very little hope of a victory against the attacking Germans. At the moment games are decided by points for terrain occupied or controlled. It's a simple win or lose outcome.

I am now considering having a win and outright win. An outright win would be where one side has double the terrain points of the other. In this event the loser would lose campaign supply points. So had that rule been in place for this game, the Commonwealth forces would have been be prepared to sacrifice some terrain in an attempt to hand on to key terrain to avoid an outright loss. Hopefully making for a game which both sides had something they could get out of the game.


  1. The Commonwealth initial deployment looks very thin almost
    handing the Germans the positional win. Next week I'm invited to a WW2 Battle at my friends home- US vs German (late war)...the Scenario is based on an actual Battle where the Americans did win- involving taking a German held town. Enjoying reading about your Campaign Peter. Regards. KEV.

    1. Thanks KEV. With 6 defending units on the table and 5 in reserve the defensive line was thin. The rules have both forces start with half of their units in reserve. Anyway, it has given me pause to think about how to deal with these games. Regards, Peter

  2. These kind of unbalanced games are essential to the dynamic of a campaign.

    in my own system, I would want to see the defenders of an untenable situation be able to withdraw and preserve their force ...... But I have a brake rule on this and that is, if the defender retreats of the table before 35 minutes of game clock time has elapsed, then those troops are considered routed and will not be available for the next battle - that does tend to focus the mind of the defender somewhat.

    1. Hi Norm, I agree with you on the need for these types of games. I had not really factored in a way of dealing with them in my campaign rules. Other than just accepting that they occur from time to time. I do like your approach of bringing in the clock into play for these situations, a very neat idea and creates a rear guard action game for the defending player. Regards, Peter

  3. Sorry, that should read 'OFF the table" :-)

  4. Hi Peter,
    Even the good guys get crunched once in a while. Ouch.
    One of the reasons I play East Front is there aren't any good guys. :)
    One of the things missing from Thomas' Wargaming: an Introduction WWII scenarios is the concept of a delaying action -- it's all objective-based. It also doesn't cover the case where an attacker just wants to get off the other side of the table, for a breakthrough attack, or a breakout attack by a surrounded force. As Norm points out, the time element has to be the key, but balancing it is the issue. The standard in most such scenarios with which I am familiar is the attacker must exit within 1.5 times the number of moves required to cross the board. So maybe something like 1 point for every attacker to exit before that turn and 1/2 point for each attacker to exit after that turn (non-breakout attackers must be able to trace a supply route to the exit point at end of game to score), and give the defender 1 point for each unit to exit a supply edge after that turn or still be on-table and in supply at game end. Probably needs adjustment after experimentation.
    Thanks for getting the juices going once again.

    1. Hi John,
      Thank you for your ideas. I need to throw them into the mix with Norm's ideas and think about how to update the campaign rules for the next campaign. As you said a few experiments along the way.
      Trust you are progressing well with your rebasing.
      Regards, Peter