sunnuntai 27. joulukuuta 2009

Near bloodbath in Lappland

At GeMiGaBoK's traditional pre-christmas party, Mr. V ran us a Battleground WWII scenario that was situated in the Lappland War in 1944, when Finns were driving the former allies, Germans, out of the country. Some rare appearances of club members were also performed by Eero and Andy, although the latter soon got a call and swiftly obeyed his mistress' voice and vacated the premisis.

This evening's scenario started with a squad of Janne's Finns operating behind enemy lines returning from their scouting mission which had kinda ended bad -on a swamp snow/ice had broken under two squad members had been soaked and needed help from other guys. The squad was led by a veteran Ensign but the remainder of the men were green conscripts. They were in a hurry to get back to own lines and thus were not using the cover of the forest even though it was broad daylight outside.

The squad trampled onward right next to a track, which they didn't use since as Germans had vast amounts of explosives in Lappland which they were unable to carry with them to Norway they used these extremely liberally to mine all tracks and roads. After a short while the side of the frozen lake revealed a small hut with few pair of skis propped along its back and smoke coming from the chimney. Soon more observant squad members could notice the smell of fish soup as well as the sound of German music coming from the hut. More curiously, someone was singing on top the music, in Russian...

Ensign however decided to nick the skis, even though it was found that one pair hand broken bindings. The soaked men were put to the skis and started off along a ski track that started off from the cabin. On the other side of the hut a lone Eero's Russian came out of the door and found himself staring at the Ensign's Suomi SMG as well as a rifle of one trooper. Luckily the Ensign knew some Russian and could deduct that the man was a war prisoner of Germans who were somewhere in the forest.

Almost immediately the first skier ran (skied?) across a mine which stopped him cold. At the same time a voice boomed from the forest and said that he was Oberleutenant something and the Finns should surrender and audible cocking of a machine gun was also heard. The moving Finns kept on marching onward and the Ensign and his assistant trooper decided to call the German bluff by trying to flank the German voices, which tuned out to be no bluff at all as the wooded ridge held a squad of Mr. H's Germans armed with a captured Russian MMG as well as rifles all of which were pointed at them at point blank range.

The Ensign saw little chance of winning and decided to surrender. This totally changed the tone of the Germans who wished Merry X-mas, apologized for wounding the one trooper with the mine and offered a medic to tend to his wounds. Everybody was invited to the hut and got a helping of the fish soup as well as generous helping of schnapps. Not to mention dry clothing to those that needed some. After the hearty supper, being an enthusiast, he suggested a little game of Fußball -the loser would have to leave the hut and head up toward their own lines.

Which lead to us playing a follow-up game of Soccer!! on the frozen lake with the same figures and make shift goals (the two pairs of skis). The oberleutenant decided that it would be unsportsmanlike if he as a keen player would participate and thus let his underlings play while the Finnish Ensign who in his youth had dabbled football a bit didn't have any such qualms. During the exciting match's first inning Ensign managed to score twice and almost did so once again in the second inning but the actions of the alert German goalie hampered this. On the final moments of the 2nd inning the Germans managed to score their first goal but the Finns still won 2-1.

Mr V had been inspired by the German-English Christmas truce of 1914 and he based the scenario on the events of First World War. Everyone was quite impressed how well the Soccer!! rules worked even if we used more or less a quarter size field and half sized teams -you clearly couldn't rely just on brawn to get yourself through the opposing team. Perhaps when the quality of players is more varied and there are more of the better quality team members around the game plays a bit differently (now both sides had one +2 player and the remainder were +1s). I certainly wouldn't mind trying the game with regular field and teams even if I've played soccer the last time some 25+ years ago...

Merry Yuletide & Happy New Year to each and everybody!

torstai 10. joulukuuta 2009

Finished the Battleground WWII bridge scenario

This Monday we finished the second scenario from the last time. Flow was very good and both players seemed to be streched for resources and struggling to fulfill their objectives, although I guess that for the Russian player this is quite a stationary a scenario...

Cleaning up the last of the dazed Ruskies form the German side took few turns. Funnily enough, from his own trench a German NCO started cleaning the nearby trench by throwing grenades, only to fumble and have one bounce back and explode in his own feet. This, however, was a German ploy as the effect was a morale check that resulted in making the Jerry an elite hero!

As planned previously, the Germans put the captured MGs into use and peppered the Russian MG pit with continuous suppressing fire from two LMGs, and on the other side of the bridge the fire to the trench and the AA gunpit came from a LMG and MMG.

Luckily, after the initial pile of casualties it managed to cause, the MGs finally were able to keep the AA gun crew suppressed, but if there had been just one gun doing it this wouldn't have been possible. This effectively settled the game and gave the Jerries a fighting chance by keeping he Russians mainly prone and causing an occasional wound.

This didn't leave that many Jerries on the bridge to continue the assault to the Russian side. The fact that the house directly looking towards the bridge also housed some Ruskies didn't actually help. The Jerries set up their last LMG on the bridge and proceeded to give the Ruskies lead in abundance. However the stubborn Russian resistance soon resulted in continuous flow of German casualties and the last MG was almost immediately operating with partially wounded crew which meant that it could't lay suppressing fire.

The Jerries still stubborny threw whatever guys they could towards the Russian side and despite the heroic and effective efforts of the MG pit's squad leader as well as the Russian officer against the charging Jerries (the officer shot at least one German with his pistol even though he was wounded) these managed to gain a foothold on the trench.

This trench was effectively cleaned by one furious Jerry whom we named Sven. Yeah, most of the Russians were kept prone by the suppressing fire from the MGs, but nevertheless this one rifle armed guy finished off the whole trench with the use of grenades, close combat (against multiple opponents) and rifle shots! At one point Ruskies managed score a solid hit against him with a grenade but the effect was just a morale check which made him a minor hero just like the NCO during the start of this session. Lesson learned: don't use grenades on Germans -they'll just shrug of the shrapnel, sprout some hair to their chest and become heroes which is kinda bad for you... !

When the turns ran out, Germans had managed to get a noticeable foothold on the Russian side of the river, and the few remaining Russians in the gunpits or trench were either wounder and prone, dead, or running away wounded (their officer). The house did have few guys in OK confition. Then again the Germans had like 4-6 guys in good order on the bridge or the Russian side, the remainder were either wounded or dead. The suppressing fire from the MGs was wery effective (and lucky as during 6 or so turns only one jammed) but it did tie up a dozen Jerries and I did think that I'd run out of soldier before I could gain foothold on the Russian side... Luckily I just barely didn't.

A thoroughly enjoyable game!