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Down on the Farm II

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

2nd November 2006


Late war: German army v British Paras



Scenario:It is late 1944. A battle-weary German force is holed up in a couple of adjoining Belgian farms a few mile behind the front line. British military intelligence has identified this area as a potential forward staging post for the forthcoming offensive once the breakthrough has been achieved. A British Para force has been dropped behind enemy lines in the early hours of the morning to seize the farms before daybreak.


Set-up:Use a table as big as you’ve got [mine is 5.5ft x 4ft] – the two farms are in one corner of the table. A road runs across the short table edge to one of the farms. Use as much terrain as you can – lots of hills, wooded areas, hedges, scrub, ploughed fields, cornfields etc etc – the more the better.


Forces:1500 points per side


Deployment:Hidden deployment – shield the view of the farms from the British player or German commander marks his deployment onto a map – figures then placed once British are on-table.


German side deploys first into the two farms & surrounding fields. 60% of the battlegroup and *all* command stands must be deployed within the farm buildings / farmyards [to represent a force at rest].


British force: deployed up to 15 cms from baseline. Then scatter each unit 3d6cm in a random direction [including command stands, but excepting on-table artillery] to simulate the drop. Any stand that scatters off table is lost. Stands which scatter into impassable terrain: roll an equivalent number of d6 to the stands number of hits: hits are taken on a 4+ & the stand is suppressed [to represent the confusion of the drop]. Remove any casualties as normal.


Visibility:The Paras drop in the early hours using the cover of darkness. To simulate this, roll as follows for visibility in cms [note: each side rolls their own visibility at the start of each turn]


Turn 1: 4am: 4d10cm [or 7d6]

Turn 2: 5am: 5d10cm [or 8d6]

Turn 3: 6am: 6d10cm [or 10d6]

Turn 4: 7am: daybreak [normal visibility]



Game length:The game lasts a maximum 8 turns




German: maintain control of the farms, repel [break] paras

British: seize the farms: to control a farm, it must be occupied uncontested for 2 turns


British control 1 farm: minor victory

British control both farms: major victory


British always get first turn.

Germans become alerted on [d6]:

Turn 1: 5+

Turn 2: 4+

Turn 3: 3+


Or when fired upon if sooner ?


In their first turn, all German CVs are at -1 [to represent time taken to gain alert state]






Nebelwerfer artillery

Wespe artillery

8 infantry

1 mortar

2 MG [with trucks]

88mm & truck


3 x PZ IV

1 x Tiger


Breakpoint = 9



British Paras


CO / 2 x HQ / FAO

4 x Pack howitzers 75mm artillery

15 Para infantry

3 Para engineers

4 MG

2 Mortar

4 x 6pdr ATG & jeep transport

2 x 17pdr ATG & jeep transport


Breakpoint = 15



Turn 1: 4am

British [visibility 4d10cm = 28cm]Following the drop one of the MG units was scattered remotely out on the left flank, the infantry in the centre was fairly spread out and on the right flank most of the infantry was widely dispersed. Command units were also dropped in dispersed order and would suffer some penalties for trying to command units from afar. The good news was that nothing was lost to the drop.


Left flank: the 17pdr ATG moved up to skirt the edge of the hill and deployed in a firing position. The 6 pdrs crested the hill and deployed ready to fire upon the farm. One of the MG units moved up in support of the ATGs on the hillside. The rest of the infantry, clearly confused by their scattered and dispersed landing, struggled to understand their commanding officers and held positions where they had landed.


Centre: The infantry in the centre fared little better – advancing uncertainly in the general direction of the farms before stalling to regroup.


Right flank: Cutting to the chase and keen to press on the advance, two of the ATGs moved swiftly up the road and deployed in cover of the stone walls, securing decent fire arcs across the open ground towards the farms. The scattered infantry moved up and tried to consolidate into better coherency. The commanders moved into better positions rapidly to try and regain some combat effectiveness as quickly as possible.


German [visibility 4d10 = 22cm]The Paras had made too much noise during the drop and in their initial movement away from the dropzone and the alarm was raised by the sentries at the farms.


In this turn, with the awakened officers groggily rousing their troops [operating at CV -1] and rubbing the sleep out of their eyes [22cm visibility], the Germans struggled to get mobile – with both FAO & HQ failing to issue orders. The CO sent a PZIV to take up a firing position on the road to the west of the farm. He also sent an infantry unit through the ploughed field to dig in behind the hedge.


With the CO & HQ remaining in the farms to continue rousing the battlegroup, the FAO moved stealthily into a better OP on the hill to the west of the farms.


[Breakpoint tally: British 0 German 0]


Turn 2: 5am

British [visibility 5d10 = 23cm]

Left flank: Both MG units now gained fire positions on the hill alongside the ATGs which hold their positions and load the guns. They were joined by an engineer unit and the infantry units swarm up the hill.


Centre: Infantry make their way over the wooded hill in the centre – in two distinct waves.


Right flank: The infantry begin their advance in earnest, regaining some coherency, and moving up using the cover of the hill as much as possible.


German [visibility 5d10 = 33cm]

The Germans are now fully alert and with their FAO in an optimal OP they are able to concentrate their artillery fire [of both the Nebelwerfer & the Wespe] to destroy both ATGs on the road together with their Jeep transports.


The HQ ordered two of the STUG IIIs to fire on the MG units in range on the crest of the hill – with devastating accuracy their HE rounds destroyed both units leaving nothing but large smoking craters. The third STUG III manoeuvred and fired upon the ATG, suppressing it.


The CO moved a PZIV forward to join the Tiger and their combined fire knocked out an ATG, a unit of infantry and suppressed another.


[Breakpoint tally: British 5 German 0]


Turn 3: 6am

British [visibility 6d10 = 36cm]

The British attack starts to falter dramatically – with the initial losses causing uncertainty amongst the commanders – both HQs on the right flank and in the centre fail to issue any orders. The FAO manages to issue fire co-ordinates to the pack howitzers but their shelling, while accurately placed onto the Tiger & PZIVs, is ineffective against the German armour.


The CO only manages to move a MG unit up before he too becomes uncertain.


German [visibility 6d10 = 30cm]

On the right flank the German HQ orders the STUGs to advance at full pace – they move dramatically into the open but then stall, uncertain of what to target. The FAO, having remained in his OP on the hilltop, can now see no viable targets. The CO moves the PZIV further along the road and, following the example of his HQ, manages to strand the Tiger and the other PZIVs in the open.


[Breakpoint tally: British 5 German 0]


Turn 4: 7am – daybreak [normal visibility]


The FAO once more calls in artillery with accuracy but again the fire is largely ineffective, causing a couple hits on the PZIVs.


Left flank: The engineers and MG unit on the hill open up on the German MG unit behind the hedgerow and take them out in a hail of withering fire. The ATGs find their mark, managing to brew up two of the STUGs exposed in the open in an outstanding gunnery display – being both fast and deadly.


Centre: The infantry and the MGs continue their advance, opening fire on the other German MG unit and destroy it.


Right flank: The infantry continue their advance. The ATG re-limbers and redeploys, firing on the PZIV, knocking it out. The Para gunners are clearly keen to avenge their fallen comrades!



The remaining PZIVs & Tiger are close enough to the Para lines to fire on initiative and suppress a few units, the infantry and engineers diving for what cover they can find.


The HQ and FAO remain disconcerted and fail to issue any orders. The CO leads by example, getting the tanks to continue firing on available targets – they succeed in knocking out two infantry and two engineer units.


[Breakpoint tally: British 9/15 German 5/9]





Turn 5 - 8am


With the battle reaching a decisive point, the Para FAO successfully called in an artillery strike on the exposed PZIVs and Tiger – the strike deviated but still managed to score two hits on the PZIV adjacent to the Tiger, and a hit on the behemoth itself.


Overconfident with his success, the FAO tried to get the infantry on the hill to advance sweepingly towards the farm – but failed.


The HQ in the centre ordered a couple rounds of mortar fire which suppressed the German infantry dug in at the forward edge of the ploughed field. The infantry began their advance across the open ground to the front of the farm, exposing themselves to largely ineffective opportunity fire from the German armour as they did so. The MG units shifted position slightly to get a better view of the suppressed infantry & poured a rain of fire onto that unit, annihilating it.


Over on the right flank the HQ failed to command any units.


The CO meanwhile brought the 17pdr to bear on the remaining Stug III and in a withering display of skilful gunnery knocked it out. The CO then got a command bonus and was therefore able to limber up & redeploy the ATGs into better firing positions – bringing co-ordinated fire to bear on the rear and sides of the remaining German armour resulted in all three tanks being destroyed.


The CO then moved the engineers and MG unit off the hill to a more forward position threatening the farm on the German extreme right.


Break point tally:


British 9/15


German 9/9



With the destruction of the remaining armour in this turn the German CO decided that discretion was most definitely the better part of valour and, rolling a break test score of 11, legged it, taking the remnants of his battlegroup with him. The Paras consolidated forwards, securing the farm and digging-in in preparation for a counter attack.






A much closer fought battle – although the outcome was similar. The German armour suffered at the hands of some awesome gunnery from the Paras,. Having said that, it is clear that the German commander made the tactical mistake of abandoning well-defended positions to take the fight to the [perceived] weaker force – poor command rolls at critical points and a responsive manoeuvrability from the Paras contributed to the swift demise of the German big guns.


An enjoyable battle all in – and a bit disappointing that the German force not only reached its breakpoint quite so quickly, but then failed its very first break roll.

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