Saturday, October 13, 2018

More Spearhead, notionally in France 1940

Our experiments in playing Spearhead with 20mm figures and models continues. In Spearhead everything should be based on bases 1.25" square. This creates more accurate combat frontages, and troop densities.  The issue is the size of vehicles. Vehicles in 1/72 obviously don't fit on bases 1.25" square. This means that individual models, representing troops of 3-5, vehicles occupy a disproportionately large area on the table surface.

In our last game we played with a scale multiplier of 1.5X. This meant that vehicles were closer to the right densities, although correspondingly infantry on the standard 1.25" bases occupied too small an area. Even though we played on a larger table area, it wasn't 1.5x the standard 6'x4' area that we usually use. Therefore troops moved further, action was joined much sooner, weapon ranges were longer and so more of the table area could be dominated by fire, and the opportunity to develop the game more fully with manoeuvre disappeared as you were on your enemy far too soon.

This time we played with the standard ground scale (this is what we do normally with our 20mm Great War Spearhead armies anyway).

The game was set in 1940, probably in France. Jim defended with a British infantry division defend list, two infantry battalions supported by A13s drawn from an Independent Armoured Brigade, and the divisional artillery. He also had a battery of the Corp 4.5" for counter battery work. Andy and I attacked with two Motorised infantry battalions from the Schutzen Brigade, and tanks from an armoured regiment, all from a Panzer Division. They were supported by divisional 105mm guns, with some 150mm for counter battery work.

The British left flank in defence.

The British right, with three A13s occupying a small piece of high ground
 Jim had taken the opportunity to keep three stands hidden (an option for the defender in the scenario generation system). What were they, and where did he have them deployed?

Andy opted for a heavy armoured thrust on the German right, with a Schutzen battalion in the centre

He gave me an infantry heavy battalion  with the medium tank company cross attached. I had to take the town on our right!!!

Ambush fire claimed one of the Pz IV platoons

The Schutzen battalion in the centre is engaged early by the British armour, supported by a battery of 25pdrs

I try to push the attack on the German right

The 2pdr AT platoon in support of the British left destroys a second Pz IV platoon

The 25pdrs come down hard on the Schutzen battalion in the centre, with lots of suppressions, but fortunately not too many losses
 There is a vicious counter battery battle going on too, with Royal Artillery, and German field artillery, all taking casualties.

The armour supporting the German right is completely neutralised, and the German attack stalled. I start to withdraw after heavy casualties.

Jim's hidden stands were three A13 troops, deployed behind the dominant ridge in the centre. They move forward and threaten both German flanks.

The battle in the centre continues

I continue the firefight on the right, using a battery of 105mm guns, and the battalion;'s 75mm IG to bring pressure to bear on the British

Jim pushes his previously hidden armour forward in support of a company of his centre infantry battalion

Andy manages to change orders for his armour heavy battalion (with a company of infantry cross attached) and swings them around into the flank of Jim's defence

The Panzers put pressure on the British defence with their threat to the British flank

More pressure

The action appears to pivot almost 180 degrees. My forces on the German right are too weak to threaten the British counter attack through the centre

Even with my losses I am still pressuring Jim's left, using my supporting artillery and the infantry gun section

The British counter attack reaches it's high tide. The German flanking movement has become too strong and the British have little choice but to withdraw
Another great game. We agreed that reverting to the standard ground scale allowed the game to develop. There was more tactical nuance for both sides.

Our conclusion is that despite the outsized vehicles, the standard ground scale gives a better game.

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