Monday, 24 September 2012

War of All Against All

Date:       22 September, 2012
Place:      Crouch Library, Hamilton Road, London, ON
Rules:      Disposable Heroes / Coffin for Seven Brothers
               (World War II small unit skirmish)
Sides:      Free-for-all!
Players:   Andy, Martin, Rob, and myself

Andy came up with a scenario of each player preparing a roughly 1000pt. army list of infantry, infantry support weapons, and one AFV. Each player would set up and fight ALL THE OTHER PLAYERS, no matter what nation. The objective was to be the last man standing. Oy vey! So Martin took his Sikhs with a Chuchill, a 6# AT gun with Bren to tow it, AND a 17# AT gun with a Bren as prime mover. Robby took British paras with a Cromwell. Andy had Russians, a KV-1 and a 76mm AT gun. I took my SS reinforced platoon (HQ section with a Panzerschreck attached, 3 2-section squads, an MG-42 HMG team, and an 8cm mortar team) with a Tiger I.

The initial set-up -- Andy called the scenario "Berlingrad" and he is seen taking photos of the set-up. I'm sitting by my deployment area. Andy is standing by Martin's deployment space. Andy set up in the corner, left foreground and Rob was set up in the right foreground. The objective: "Get 'em!"
Andy's Soviets. I think he had three mortars, maybe four. Of course, I demanded he use the flag! The playing card was a way to randomise deployment. Cards were set on the table and cards from a second deck were drawn by the players. You set up where your card matched. Originally we were set for 6 players, but two of the fellows couldn't make it at the last minute.
My SS abteilung - the Tiger I is out of the photo on the far right. You can just see the fender. At the far left, carrying their own wheat sheaves, is my sniper team... who actually survived the game! That's a knocked out Pz. 38t in the woods beyond the grain field. It made a good place to hide an LMG team.
Martin's Sikhs - he paints the turbans of each squad in a different colour, which makes sense game-wise and really detracts nothing from the look of those very business-like troops. 2-inch and 3-inch mortar teams skulk in the rear of his deployment.
Rob's Paras with their Cromwell. The troops reached the church as curfew fell. The Cromwell used it's speed to pop in and out of cover, keeping it out of the Tiger's sights... for which referred to my son as a "sneaky weasel." He continues in the great tradition of the games at the Ritz BBQ in Allentown, PA - one player shall always be the "Mentula Mustellae." (Latin - in polite English, "the genitals of the weasel." Impolitely, "weasel d**k") 
 The initiative changed every full turn and I was almost always last. ("Such is life.") Andy cautiously rounded the corner to face my Tiger with his KV-1 while his infantry made a dash for the houses on the street that separated our forces. I also ran for the housed and got into one on his side of the road. I held it for a while but was wiped out a short while later.
One of my squads when left to face the Sikhs, who hammered the squad's LMG team. Martin slowly worked his way around my left flank, through the woods. His 6-pounder and my sniper and LMG team exchanged fire for most of the game.
Rob dashed toward Martin to take some of the Socialist Realism Housing Development (cinder block semi-cubes) to face off Martin. They were heading toward each other but were separated for most of the game. Andy and I were closest due to the luck of the cards.

The centre of the table - I have a section in the big building, the HQ section and another rifle section are poised to make a run for the houses to the left of the big building. The Tiger is gingerly advancing. The Kubelwagen the the halftrack in the photo are usable, the pz. 38t and the Pzkwgn. IV are knocked out and serve as terrain. You can also see Soviet infantry advancing toward the housed in the bottom of the photo.

Not much later - the KV-1 and the 76mm AT gun are advancing. Andy's line of mortars is setting up to throw smoke to help Rob, who had made a temporary alliance with Andy and who had no mortars. There were lots and lots of Russians. One might say "Oodles" of Russians.
Andy's aerial view of the battle - Martin's Sikhs are advancing toward Rob's positions. They're also starting to creep around my left. By this time, my Tiger had taken a "penetrating hit" but no serious damage. Each penetrating hit adds to the seriousness and the danger of each hit that follows. I couldn't "acquire" (that is, see, find, and target) the KV-1 and Andy had trouble hitting me although he acquired my tank easily. (AFV's must acquire their targets before they can shoot at them. Something to do with trying to sight through a narrow vison block.)
As it ended up, we couldn't complete the game since the library closes at 5 and Rob and I had a hot supper waiting at home. (My wife was working on Saturday, so Katie cooked a simple and good meal for a chill Fall afternoon.) Martin had the most casualties, I was second (SS troops die like anyone else, just mine seem to "die" more often.), followed by Andy and Rob. None of us cared who won. We all did since we had fun!

Rob's troop are occupying the Socialist Realism Housing Development at the top left of the photo, while his squad of Partisans made their way along the church-yard wall. Soon Rob and Andy exchanged fire. Andy's troops are in one of the housed off the square... at least until the SS's HMG chased them out.
My section in the big building have been required to fall back to a more protected place in the building. Martin's Sikhs continue their flanking manoeuvre. At the top centre, Rob's Paras take more of the SRHD. The white cotton blobs are mortar-launched smoke shells.
Geez, there's a lot of clutter on the table!

Rob and his chocolate bar contemplate the game. I had suggested a game on the Italian front with lots of terrain, but Andy had this scenario in mind. There was plenty of terrain. The smaller, sloped roof house come from a lucky purchase at the dollar store. Wooden houses for $1.25 a piece! You can hardly beat that! Martin picked up a few too; his have the dark grey roofing.

Look at that! Amost dead centre on the table! The Churchill passes the Bren carrier Wasp and waddles into the battle!
I don't remember what it did, except bounce a few AT hits.
By the end of the game, I sit stunned by the carnage. Martin's Sikhs have taken it on the chin as they tried to advance toward the SRHD. The survivors can be seen in the woods in the foreground. The Cromwell is still skulking behind the buildings. (Mentula Mustellae!) Andy's standing on the chair, taking a photo.
 My thanks to Andy and Martin who took all the photographs. (I forgot my camera.) After this we discussed our next steps - a small reenacting event, the "Imagi-nations" campaign plans, and when we'll play at the club again.


  1. Replies
    1. Probably so, Ray. Still I'm not quite ready to be rendered down for glue and my basic elements. There's more games to play!

  2. It looks and sounds demented and good fun for all that. What a great find with those houses!

    1. Needless to say, I was pleased and I check the dollar stores every time. Alas, the wood stuff appears to be gone. Yes, the game was demented and that's what made it fun.