Wednesday 29 November 2017

Late WW2 Eastern Front Playtest AAR

I was invited to Wargaming chum Steve Shann's tonight along with chum Mark to try out Steves new WW2 rule set. Its an amalgamation of a number of rules taking what Steve feels is the best of each into a new set.

Steve had already laid out the commands in inital deployments, Mark took the Russians and I took the Germans.

I had 5 Stug's in two companies, 2 with the 105 support HE guns and 3 the more powerful AT guns, I also had  Jagdpanther, two companies of infantry, a mortar and a Raupenschlepper PAK40 anti tank gun on a truck bed. 

My foot were dug in around two villages and my tanks coming on move 1 in support. The Germans were mainly veteran.

Mark had 9 T34 85's in 3 companies of 3, an infantry battalion, 2 IS122 tank hunters and a recce battalion with 2 T34 76's attached. The Russians were mainly regulars.

The forces were in-balanced in favour of the Russians but at the same time the requirement to capture both villages in one night, especially with new rules was a very big ask.

We use card activation and diced for initiative. Initially I threw a 5 and Mark a 2 so I went first, I pulled 3 cards off the top of my deck as this was the difference between our die rolls and so did Mark.

Stug airbrush painted by Steve Shann

Steves excellent Germans

T34 85's again painted by Steve

My first card was  Firepower card allowing me to fire and reload with all weapons. Unfortunately only the Jagdpanther and mortar could see anything, these duly fired. Most anti tank weapons role two D10 to hit, at long range I was needing 8, 9 or 10. Once you score a hit you then check for damage. Take the armour score of the target away from the gun class. In this case the T34 was an armour class of 8 and the Jagdpanther gun class of 16, that gives me a difference of 6. That means 6 D6 to throw, normally needing a 5 or 6 to penetrate, but a 6 in this case as its long range. I roll one 6 and have therefore penetrated. Each armoured vehicle can take 4 hits before being destroyed. Interestingly the rules allow you to target a group of tanks. So I could have chosen to target all of the tanks, if I had got a lucky roll of 3 sixes all three tanks would have taken a hit. As a hit causes a morale check  and reduced the effectiveness of the targets gun when they fire this can be really useful. I also fired the mortar, being long range I rolled dice for the deviation from aiming point and managed to land my rounds completely off table. Never mind.

Next I drew a move card, all my units can now move, I only wanted to move the armour so a roll a D10 for each unit. the higher I roll the more moves a vehicle can make, on a 10 I get 4 moves ( 8 inch off road and 12 inch on road) on a 1 or 2 I dont move at all. I get three moves and deploy my Stugs around the village and move the Jagdpanther to the far side of the wood to lay in wait for the Russian's to drive out of their village.

My last card is a morale card which I cant use at this stage. Over to Mark for his three cards..

o I wont take you through the game card by card but wanted to give you a feel of how it works. its perhaps easier if I take it trun by turn to give you an idea of how the game played out.

Marks T34 85's had mixed fortunes with the two outer units pressing forward and the centre one refusing to budge, unfortunately most of his off table recce also refused to move. He has only no targets visible in his turn so back to me.

This time two of the stugs fire along with the mortar. A hit one of the T34's sees a suppression on the infantry and one tank fail its morale and rout off table.

In response Mark now gets his forces pressing forward, dropping one company of foot into a wood next to my right hand village and taking one T34 unit to the left of my other village to isolate the Stugs at that side. The cards and the dice are favouring me for the first few moves here. I am able to score hits on 4 of the T34's and the mortar begins to cause damage to the recce company in the jeeps.

However the cards catch up with me eventually and several hits o the stugs see's one rout off table and another so heavily damaged I am forced to hide it behind the village.

Marks infantry from the Recce unit now try to close casualty the first buildings in the right hand village, the extra two command figures in there and a lucky shot in closing fire are enough to tip the balance and force the recce troops to retreat with casualties. All three platoons pick up supressions forcing them to remain in the woods for now.

Further mortar fire takes it toll on the jeep mounted platoons too, they are close enough to the village that we automatically hit and so its straight onto saving throws.

In response Mark swings his T34's around the village, my closing fire damages his tanks and one is suppressed but his retuRn fire causes 3 damage points, only one left now and I am firing on a minus 3.

Marks IS122 is now in the sites of the Jagdpanther and 5 hits from 6 dice sees it firmly destroyed. Firs vehicle destRoyed in the game at this point.
Marks T34's get to fire again and this time they finish off the Pak40 with little trouble.

My left most Stug hits a T34 85's and it fails its morale retreating to long range. Mark moves the other two and along with three platoons close aussaults the first building in the village, my defenders leg it as soon as they see the tanks haing failed a morale and the first building is in Russian hands.

In response I fire at the T34 85 which has retreated and get lucky destroying it.

Two of Marks remaining T34 85's drive past the Jagdpanther, a side armoutr shot on one of them see's another T34 destroyed.
Having taken the first house two of Marks T34's go back for a second shot at the lefthand Stug which manages to destoy its second T34 in return for one damage point.
Mark removes the suppressions from the majority of his force and the T34's from the recce begin the flank my position. A lucky shot from a panzer faust puts two damage points on the first one around the back of the village. In return it fires at and destroys the Jagdpanther which is a serious blow at this point.
Driving past the burning Jagdpanther the last IS122 destroys the next Stug at close range.

Yhings are looking fairly desperate for the Germans, another firepower card see;s the IS122 destroy its second Stug of the night.
To add insult to injury the remaining T34 85 on the left destroys the valient Stug holding my extreme flank.

Clutching at straws my infantry close assault the IS122 and destroy it, another lucky shot from the right hand village from a panzer faust and the flanking T34 is also destroyed.

Deciding that with only one vehicle left and 5 minutes to go I should at least try to hang on to both villages I throw a platoon and my last remaining damaged Stug ath the building Mark has captured, my last card being close assault. We throw the Russians out with casualties. Mark now truns his last card over, you guessed it close assault as well. He throws three platoons and three tnaks into close assaulting the building and takes it straight back.

We end the game there. I hold all but one building, but Mark really didnt have time to take much more. With only one damaged armoured vehicle left it was pretty inevitable with a little more time he would have won (but dont tell him). On the below you can see I have 5 burning vehicles and Mark has 7. That actually feels about right for the ratio in forces and quality of  vehicles and troops.
Overall I thought the game flowed really well, I enjoyed the rules and found them flexible and good fun. I look forward to trying them again, thank you Steve. Both Mark and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

You can see more of Steves figures on the League of Augsburg blog if you are interested or see his blog

Thanks for reading.


  1. That all seemed to go rather well (and on a lovely table). I am generally hesitant about card driven games, but Steve's limitations to just a few card types seems to bring just enough uncertainty into play, without one going for several turns for example without a fire card, as I have seen happen I a tactical boardgame that is heavily card driven.

    1. I think you are right Norm, Cards are OK if they introduce an element of uncertainty rather than taking over the game entirely. I would like a couple more games to be sure but so far so good.

  2. Great report of a very enjoyable game. Thanks Roj. Agree with the comment above (Norm), there has to be a core of "activity cards" to keep the game moving. Very early stages of play testing yet, but looks promising.

    1. Thanks for the hospitality Steve. look forward to another game soon.

  3. Great account - love how the FoB cards drive the game liek this.