Saturday, August 25, 2012

FOW Dust Up

After a bit of a break for ancient & renaissance obsessions (and holidays) it's time to do some practice for the upcoming Operation Cromwell III.  This FOW tournament is to be on 13-14 October and will have the same format as Operation Cromwell II (repeated by popular demand) - a doubles tournament of 4 rounds with 2 coys a side totalling 2,500 points played on 8x6 tables.  Tonight's battle was to check the necessity of modifications to the Dust Up mission rules to compensate for the big table.

Jim's Hungarians v. Rick's Canadians

The two armies were similar - the Canadians had a mech coy and a tank coy, the Hungarians a Gepkocsizo Lovez coy and a Rohhamagyus coy.  Both deployed most of their infantry coy on the table with their armoured coy and left-overs from the infantry coy as reserves.
The Hungarians deployed in the near left quarter, the Canadians in the far right quarter.  The Hungarians moved infantry and Paks into defensive positions covering both objectives..  The Canadians deployed their 6pdrs to face the expected Hungarian armour and attacked the centre with their bugs & wasps.

The bugs & wasps reduced the Hungarian infantry to half strength, but were destroyed before they could break them - mainly by the heavy artillery.

The real action started when the reserves started to come on.  On the far flank the Hungarians brought their mortars on first and tried to soften up the 6pdrs with mortar and artillery fire before the armour arrived.  They got some of them, but the Turans, the first armour platoon brought on was still wiped out in one turn.  Next turn the Stugs came on and with help from mortars & artillery the 6pdrs were destroyed.

On the near flank, Shermans and armoured infantry attacked the Paks.  The Paks died but took a Sherman platoon with them.  At this stage both flanks had similar results, but while the Hungarians had a second line of defense in a village full of infantry, the Canadian objective was protected only by 2 HQ Shermans plus air and naval bombardement.  They had little chance of stopping the swarm of Hungarian armour that had now come on the table.
As the mission is symmetrical, there is no serious play balance issue with the big table.   The only issue we see is that the big table means that reserves have a lot further to go if they are to be used defensively - potentially changing the options available to both sides.   Increasing the reserve entry zone to 60cm (from 40) on the long table edge addresses this.  There is less reason to increase the zone on the short edge as the reserves are still too close to the enemy objectives for comfort.

According to the standard morale rules the Hungarians should have lost this battle when the Turans were destroyed as they were the only platoon of the Rohamagus platoon on the table at the time.  I am thinking that the rule that platoons in reserve are not included in morale tests should not be used in Operation Cromwell - the rule is fine for normal single coy forces, but forces of two platoons are highly vulnerable to unlucky defeat if this rule is applied - not a desirable situation.

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