Sunday, 13 December 2015

Disposable Heroes - experimental 2.0

I figure I'd better get this down before my memory fades and the Advent/Christmas season lessens my chance for rational thought.

Rational thought... wargames... oxymoron? Never mind.

On Saturday (yesterday), the usual suspects played a game of Disposable Heroes at the Hamilton Road Games Group. Andy and I took the British and Martin and Bear too the Germans in an early war, Battle of France scenario. We also tried an experiment  and used the Advanced Squad Leader sequence of play with the Disposable Heroes mechanics. Originally I thought we might use Martin's French, but his schedule as a graduate student and teaching assistant at the University of Western Ontario proved too packed to allow him to finish some of the painting he deemed necessary. We did use one of his vehicles, though.

The German objective was to take a church building on the British side of the table. Both sides had about a full platoon with some support units (mortars, HMGs, Anti-tank rifles, sniper team, armour.)
The sequence of play when something like this:

  • Preparatory fire by side A
  • Defencive fire by side B
  • Movement and moving fire by side A (movement beyond "sneaking" cuts your range and rate of fire in half)
  • close combat
Martin and Bear advanced with the armour (a short gun Pz. IV and a 38t) coming up the road and two squads of infantry on either side of the road. The mortar stayed in the back but the HMG moved up with Bear's troops,

The German armour moves up.

The British armour hung back a bit to stay out of the initial line of fire -
Martin's Matilda -- quite a nice model

Andy's first squads LMG team at the wall with the Boys AT rifle in the church bell tower.
The stone walls and the church were heavy cover.

Bear's one squad clusters around the back of a hill before advancing.

My squadies - all of 3rd squad with the Bren gun of 4th squad in the foreground.
The wooded areas were medium cover.

Bear's right-hand squad supports the tanks from the hedge line. (Light cover)
Martin had more cover on his side of the road so Bear got shot up rather more quickly. However, he gave better than he got and his Wehrmacht boys cut my troops up. The HMG was rather effective, if I remember correctly. Martin's troops took fewer casualties, but they dealt less damage to Andy's squads since they were prevented from firing by the forest area that protected them.

Andy's 3-inch mortar and the command section behind the church.

Bear sets out some of his troops.

Here you can see Bear's rather sparse terrain. The hill blocked line of sight, but the hedges were just light cover
and things to shoot over.

Andy's squadies come up to the line.

My 4th squad's Bren gunner after the rest of his section "disappeared."
All the figures used were Andy's.

What do you think of Andy's new measuring device? It also doubles as a phone in some situations.
Or even an "OK" sign in Hawaii. ("Ain't no big t'ing, Bro'der!")
As the game went on, my squads were cut to pieces by Bear's very accurate LMG and rifle fire. He took damage - make no mistake - but I took more. The Matilda and the 38t exchanged some fire but both were less than effective. I got a few penetrating hits on the Czech titan, but I couldn't do any serious damage. And the 38t's cannon barely scratched the paint on the Matilda's hull. It wasn't a good day to be me, I suppose.

Martin's force spend a good bit of time sliding throughthe forest which allowed them to get closer to
Andy's position but kept them from firing and suppressing the British squads on that side of the road.

The titans square off - the 38t takes aim at the Matilda

Bear's HMG team with an LMG team in front.
The red bingo chip denotes that the team is pinned or suppressed.

Martin's on rifle section uses the Pz. IV for cover as they advance.

The boys in Feldgrau take a moment to form up while still in cover.
The experiment of using Advanced Squad Leader's sequence of play with DH's mechanics went OK. In my case, the jury is still out. I'm not one to monkey with rules for the most part. (Oh, I've done enough monkeying with rules but not too often.) Andy and Bear, both veterans, both agreed that the experiment felt right and allowed them to remember their infantry small unit tactics more that the usual DH unit-by-unit-activation-ping-pong. Not being a veteran, I have to leave it to them to do those things. I'd have to play the adjusted hybrid game again, but I'd also play the game "as written."
We'll have to see. I am glad that we didn't burden the table with multiple platoons and lots of support weapons. That would've bogged the game down 'way too much. A while back we discoverd that you can "break" the game by having too many units/activations.

Late in the game (third or fourth turn!), Martin ran his tanks up to the wall at the church.
Andy and I dropped mortar bombs on it and thought we had destroyed it, but...

Andy's one Bren section hunkers down with mortar smoke in front of their position.

We thought we had destroyed the Pz. IV, but two closer readings of the rules proved us wrong.
Next week is the Group's Christmas party with the Wings of War extravaganza including Die Rotte Baron and Snoopy. If you can't make it to London, ON., here are some cookies for you to taste... with your minds!

Beth, Katie, and I kept up our pre-Christmas tradition of helping an older member of my congregation with her Christmas baking. She makes Lebkuchen dough and we shape, bake, and decorate it. She often has lots of her extended family in at the holiday, but her health isn't what it used to be. So we help and get a healthy cut of the procedes.

Good stuff!


  1. Nice report with beautiful pictures...and Andy's measuring device is a clever idea!

  2. I'm a little late to this party - but adding the SL sequence of play to the DH/C7B mechanics is BRILLIANT!!! I have to try this, John!

    1. I hope it works for you. As I said, for me the jury is still out.

    2. The trick for me will be finding the time!