Monday, 12 January 2015

Test for WWII gaming

 Two weeks ago, the Hamilton Road Gaming Group of London, ON ran a split-table set of games using Iron Ivan's Disposable Heroes WWII small unit skirmish rules. Both sides of the table used German troops vs. Canadian troops. Andy games-mastered one side of the table while I handled the other. My side saw the Canadians under Rob and DJ defending against an attack by SS troops under Bear and Tyler. Andy's side had Mark and Kevin pushing the Canadians while two young friends of Mark's handled the German Wehrmacht.
Actually I had expected a one-large-table game with the Canadians attacking the Germans, but that was not to be. Since I'm not sure what was going on on the other side of the table and the game on my side is pretty much a blur, I'm just going to post photos and comments. (For the record, I've had what my physician thinks is a little bit of pneumonia. No fun there.)

Andy's side of the board. The "fields" are cut up door mats which look a lot like standing grain. Mark is preparing to measure something at a bit of a distance. The troops in the woods (the light green felt) are in foxholes or slit trenches (represented by short lengths of dark brown felt.)

Rob grins idiotically while the troops are set up. (It's okay; he's my son; I can say that.)

Panther (Warlord Games Bolt action range) and a Hetzer (plastic model.)

Tyler lines up a shot with his PaK gun. Ya gotta get down to eye level to set up the shot!

Panther, Hetzer, and the front of a Tiger I with SS troops advancing.

DJ's vehicle park. M3 halftracks, an armoured car, a Churchill tank and an M4 Sherman.
DJ has set up a Canadian armoured/motorized platoon.
The 3-inch mortar in the foreground is considered to be in a weapon's pit
since it sits on a chunk of charcoal coloured felt.

This beast is DJ's as well and it was leant to the SS...

... for a while.

The Canadian larger mortar in weapons pits. Mortars are usable for smoke in DH, but little else. There is little chance of hitting anything with the thing, unless you run up and club somebody with it.

DJ's favourite. I call it the "Chicago Piano" even though I know it's not correct.
Quad .50 calibre heavy machine guns on a halftrack platform can ruin your day.

DJ's Humber A/C - his latest addition. He finds these Dinky Toys at local flea markets and second-hand stores.

On of the halftracks is down and out, but it now becomes cover and a line-of-sight blocker.

Bear's SS sniper team lurking in the field. Plastic models painted in the "Pea pattern" cammo by your humble blogger.

Measuring for either the Hetzer or the HMG. In the game, the MG42 HMG (tripod mounted) has a range of 75 inches and a rate of fire of 8 shot per turn! That's hard to beat and hard to stand up to.

Canadians entrenched along the wood line.

Meanwhile at the other end of the table...
A Canadian PIAT team in a foxhole. I don't think the PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank) gets the respect it deserves. The thing is spring-launched with a rocket motor kicking in after the spring kicked it out. It's probably the only late-war anti-tank weapon that could be fired in an enclosed space; the blow-back from the bazooka, Panzerfaust, or Panzerschreck would really mess up a room. The Russian anti-tank rifle was too bulky and long to use without a stadium.
Mark and Kevin's Canadians hold the bridge with the assistance of a Sherman 75.

A German squad takes cover in a wooded area. The two red bingo chips indicate that the unit has failed morale ("guts") twice and has had to fall back. A third failure caused the unit to bolt, although it can be rallied.
A few more photos to close:

The Tiger I assists the SS advance through the grain field. Rob painted the tank and I painted the figs for Bear... except for the Panzerschreck team, which is part of my collection.

A stubby Pz. IV and a PaK 40 use the smoke to hide out or maybe the smoke was laid down by the Canadian to keep the two things from firing. Take a guess; you'll probably be right.
Canadian sniper team in a foxhole. As you can see, they vibrate so fast, they're hard to see.

Speaking of Tigers, I got to see the movie "Fury" not too long ago - not a movie for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. In my opinion, the real star was the Bovington Tank Museum's Tiger I - the last running Tiger tank in the world. It is an impressive piece of equipment, although further reading shows that the series of tanks like most German vehicles were powerful and dangerous, although over-engineered, finicky, hard to repair, and not as well supplied as they might have been. Still wouldn't want to face any of them.

Rob and DJ's squads occupy the houses in the centre of their side of the board. One of the squads were commando figures in the green berets, a second was in shirt-sleeve order for Italy, and the third in standard battle dress.
I'll use whatever figures I have.

All in all a fun game. I just need to be sure of the table conditions before setting things out from now on.


  1. Ouch! Quad 50s on a Half Track!!! I remember in 1 Vietnam game we played, just 1 .50 cal on a M113 was enough to literally halt an attack by 2 NVA squads. Nice report!

    1. Indeed! It slices! It dices! It turns squads into hamburger! The only thing worse is the miniguns on the helicopters in the modern version of DH. My son is enamoured with the tandem minigus on the "Little Bird" 'copter... rate of fire: 20 rounds a turn per gun.

    2. Of course, I meant "Miniguns".