Tuesday, 2 August 2011

BGC: The 7th Armoured Division Rides Again (Part I)

I had the very enjoyable experience of being invited to a tutorial scenario for a WWII land set of rules called Battle Group Commander (BGC) with a fellow rookie player. This is a set of rules influenced by Spearhead, Command Decision, many others WWII sets and a unique operational zone concept (not just the infamous Spearhead arrow that gets HQ's into all sorts of trouble). It has benefited from many large games and many years of rule discussions, holding together as a very nice simulation/game.

This starter/tutorial game was set in 1944 Normandy breakout, by-passing a German held village (strong point), trying to seize a bridge over an important river. The players (two of us) were given identical British 7th Armoured Division forces/battle-groups (a armoured infantry battalion in half-tracks supported by a Cromwell Regiment + divisional artillery) that raced down the left and right flank respectfully.

This is my story of the left-flank.

Above: Forming up for the attack on the reverse slope of a hill, the mostly dismounted infantry battalion supported by a block of Cromwells. My frontage left to right was "Wood1", "Gap1" then "Wood2" before the "Village/Town" we were under strict umpire orders to avoid messing with at all costs (as we were not play-testing Stalingrad). Plans are drawn up after reconnaissance but before the toys were placed on the table (a general rules in BGC is that there is no hidden deployment post the planning stage).

I plan to go through "Wood1" with my infantry, capture a hill behind it, then move my armour through "Gap1", reorganise then push on to the final objective "the vital bridge". My compatriot would be doing something similar on the other flank.

Above: Reconnaissance revealed a platoon from the two Germans infantry companies (enough information to plot an opening artillery barrage that should "sting") in "Wood1".

Above: "Gap1" was covered by a nasty anti-tank company of Pak 40's. Not spotted by the pre-planning reconnaissance (and I am glad I am not charging through there on turn one).

Above: "Wood2", in the lee of the Town/Village that never shall be entered, was held by another German infantry company, a platoon and the HQ unit being revealed in the reconnaissance phase. I did not intend to toy with this feature as it was potentially supported by fire from the town and would over extend my attacking frontage.

Famous Wargaming Maxim: Don't fight where you don't have to.

Two battalions attacking to one battalion defending in cover are not what you would consider overwhelming odds but on the upside I had mixed armour and infantry force facing infantry, plus the greatest 1944 British asset (no not Churchill's speeches) but a mighty big umpf in the form of a battery of nasty 5.5 inch howitzers, plus three batteries of twenty five pounders (with two on table FOOs calling in fire - aka the white counters in my initial dispositions - see top photo).

Next: Over the top

1 comment:

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Sometimes small is beautiful ;)