Saturday, 12 September 2020

A WW2 game using a scenario from Scenarios for Wargamers

During the week I was able to squeeze in a WW2 North West Europe game. The game used the scenario Holding Actions (1) from the book "Scenarios for Wargames". One of the reasons for playing this game was to see how my WW2 D3 dice rules would work on the hex grid I had marked out a good few weeks ago (see here). The hexes are quite large being 8 inches diameter to accommodate based units and scenery.

Holding Actions (1) from Scenarios for Wargames

One of the challenges of using scenarios from this book is they appear to be for use with larger tables, 8 x 6 foot table is my guess. Using my large hex grid adds to this challenge were I have a table top of 6 x 9 hexes. That said, a number of the One-Hour Wargames scenarios are inspired from scenarios in this book, and they are geared to a 3 x 3 foot tabletop. So it should be possible to adjust (or is it scale down) the scenario from a space and unit numbers.

I thought I would try a layout using Google Slides to workout the best tabletop arrangement. The defending Germans in my version of the scenario are deployed North-West of the red line A-B, and Allied forces arrive randomly on the roads in the South-Eastern corner. The Allied aim is to push along the road and exit the road at point C.

Hex map of the tabletop layout

The order of battle...

German defenders:
  • 1 x Tank unit (Panther)
  • 1 x AT gun unit (75mm)
  • 3 x Infantry units
  • 1 x Mortar unit (Nebelwerfer)
Allied attackers:
  • 4 x Infantry units (3 Half-Tracks and 1 Bren Gun Carrier)
  • 3 x Tant units (Shermans)
  • 1 x Armoured Car unit
  • 1 x Mortar unit
The Allies quickly appear and push their reconnaissance unit towards the northern wooded area. They were soon engaged by infantry and AT fire and quickly retire. The Allied commander had been expecting an encounter with enemy forces and quickly pushed forward his infantry to engage the enemy in the woods, while his tanks took up position on the road.

Allied units arrive

The armoured car unit comes under fire from the woods

Allied unit push into the woods and prepare to attack along the road

Having moved into the woods and set up their mortars in the town, the Allies started pushing forward along the road. At this point the Panther positioned hull down on the other hill fired at the advancing tanks. With a combination of infantry and tanks the attacking Allies were able to eliminate the Panther unit, but took heavy casualties in doing so.  

With only a few weakened infantry units to push on the Allied commander called off the attack. The two remaining German units remained until dusk before retiring. They had done their job in holding up the Allied advance.

The attack is in full swing

A weakened Allied attack decides to retire

An enjoyable game which was not decided until the last few turns. From a rules point of view they worked well using the hex-grid. One thing I allowed during the game was to permit two units to occupy a hex providing it contained no terrain and tank wrecks. Both units receive an activation playing card and can opt to use one or the other card if they move together or shoot at the same target. I have updated the rules (see top of blog).

A messy tabletop when the action cards are allocated


  1. I thought that worked pretty well - I do like the way you can overcome German tanks is you put enough effort into it and accept the losses. I find rules that make such tanks invulnerable if you don't have the right weapon a bit frustrating unless you're gaming down at the skirmish level.

    1. It certainly provided an enjoyable game. The simple rules do not differentiate between tanks but the Panther was well located in a hull down position for this game. When I do differentiate between tanks I generally allow heavier tank units a few more its before being being eliminated.

  2. A nice little scenario and it seemed to work OK with a grid. Card based activation does look messy but is easy to play, more so than counters IMHO.

    1. It is certainly a scenario I will play again. As for the cards I have considered getting smaller cards, but have not got around to it.