Monday 17 December 2012

Caen 0.1 AAR

Ian and Grahams Position end of turn 2
The Caen Campaign has started. The first battle was always to be a learning experience as there were 7 people playing the one game and only tow of them had played the rules before, although another one had managed to read them prior to the game. The first battle was a very simple affair of 2 Canadian squads advancing across the Normandy Countryside to make contact with the Germans. I split each squad down so that each person had a single fire team with either a Sergeant or Corporal in charge. These were to be very similar squads to the ones each player will get but as a campaign pre-game it was disclosed that they would get fresh squads for the campaign and as such this was a learning game.

The Canadian players were (in proximity to my seat):
  • Ian
  • Graham
  • Kevin
  • Dave
While the Germans were:
  • Tim
  • Relf.
The Germans were allowed to set up 40cm from the table edge while the Canadians (who were advancing were allowed a 10cm start zone. The top picture shows Ian and Grahams Canadians at the end of the first turn. taking the left flank they were advancing on Tim's 1/2 squad. The small yellow dice was the first shot of the game (by Ian) and having thrown 3 of a kind on the dice the gun was out of ammo much to the mirth of the Germans (and many of the Canadian players as well). Ian was trying out al the rule options as he wanted to learn the rules as swiftly as possible.

Tim's position end of turn 2
Tim's Germans were always intent on occupying this building but as it was outside of his deployment zone he could not start in position and had to spend a couple of turns moving troops before he was ready for the Canadians. Unfortunately I had deliberately left this building with Very restricted fields of fire with a small wood directly across the other side of the road from it.  A better place for Tim to have started was about a foot to his left but the building was just too tempting a location. I can't fault Tim too much I am sure I would not have spotted it and concentrated on the building as well. By the time Tim was in position the Canadians (Graham and Ian) had also moved into positions which gave them the optimum cover bonuses. Tim did manage to wound one of Ian's chaps with a rifle shot at extreme range which left that figure crawling around for the whole game.
The long range shooting between German and Canadian riflemen lasted for a while which gave Ian's section time to get to the other side of the woods ready for some close in work. Graham managed to pin the German LMG which gave Ian the chance to rush the building. A lone runner with a grenade skirted the woods and was about to throw the grenade when Tim snatched the order priority and let rip with the corporal and the MP40. The grenadier was cut down in the middle of the road in front of the house. But knowing that the corporal could not fire again in that turn Ian sent another chap with a ready grenade out into the open. Hurling the grenade through the window it exploded inside and took the Machine gun and crew out of the game. Tim's Corporal was also shot down by Ian's sergeant's sten gun and pinned. Tim got the corporal out the back of the house but his rifleman by the parked car was picked of by Grahams rifles. At this stage Tim was down to just 2 figures. Seeing that Ian could mop them up Graham wheeled to bring fire on Relfies section. In a desperate last ditch attack Tim tried to lull a similar grenade trick on Grahams troops. If it had been successful the Canadians would have been on a morale check so it was one of the last moves of the game on this flank. Fortunately for Graham his Sten carrying Corporal won order priority moved and fired and killed the German before he could throw the grenade.
Kev to the right Dave to the left Turn 2.
Across the other side of the Battlefield Rolf's Germans were all set up and hiding from Kev and Dave's Squad. Moving through some woods to the edge of the treeline these Canadians used the rule that you can always target a support weapon (in this case the Light Machine gun of Ralf's) to try to keep it pinned with long range rifle fire. The tactic worked quite well for a short time but eventually the belt fed MG was able to lay down a hail of fire into Kev's 1/2 squad that tipped the balance. The LMG can fire 6 times in a turn as opposed to a single rifle shot. Dave was managing to stay out of the line of fire and snipe at the German riflemen that were protecting the MG34. One of these players did manage to kill the Mg34 gunner, but the assistant took over. The Mg34 did it's work and killed enough Canadians to put them on an immediate morale check before Dave could shoot back. Very bad dice rolls that one normally attributes to either myself or Tim forced the Majority of Kev and Dave's troops off of the board as they either retreated or hunkered down unwilling to fight. By this Time Graham was starting to lay down some fire on Relfies bullet ridden abode. However the Germans snatched initiative and Relfie turned the MG 34 on the line of Graham troops.

Relfs starting position from which he hardly moved.
 Mg Team upstairs in the building
 and the purple dice indicating
which troops were hidden.

Unfortunately Relfie did not realise that Graham had a Bren Gun and therefore did not target it. But the MG did well and killed one (by inflicting 2 wounds) and pinned another. The Bren gunner returned fire and with 4 shots as a rate of fire was able to kill the MG gunner on the top floor. As time was now pressing Kev sent his NCO out from the woods into the open, but was not close enough to fire his Sten. As Relfie won initative the next turn he charged forward with his Sergeant and an MP40 Kev Relf and Graham all rolled of order priority (Relfie even had a re-roll due to veteran status). Graham won and the Bren barked again and the sergeant fell grasping his chest where he had hoped a medal would have been pinned. This put the Germans below the Break point and the took a morale check for each figure still active and conceded the game.

Conclusion: Over all the rules worked well and players seem to appreciate both the simplicity and the feel of the rules. We did make a few mistakes, but not too many I think. (Until Graham emails me and tells me all the things I got wrong). The Main criticism seems to be that it is no harder to throw a grenade through a window from across a street as it is to throw it just on a random section of ground. a simple house rule can fix this though. Overall not a bad start and now most of the players have tried a game they should be able to play mostly just from a crib sheet. So all in all I count it as a success.

Thanks for reading this report. I hope to post again on Wednesday, til then all the best Clint.


  1. As a learning experience it sounds like it went well, as for the grenade thing, try it with a tennis ball and simulated window frame, you'll be surprised at the results.

    1. I may have to get a "Normal" person to do the throwing and then I'd have to convince the other players as well. But I DO take your point!


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