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Thursday, April 22, 2010

I Ain't Been Shot Mum!

The setting is spring of 1940. A small town in Belgium, where a railroad, a highway and a canal all meet. The Third Reich wants this important road network. The Belgians and the British are desperate to hold it from the German blitzkrieg, but are woefully undermanned and virtually without effective anti-tank weapons. Thankfully, the British have managed to send a company of Scots and a few tanks (Matilda Is and Mk VIs).

The photos are from a game of "I Ain't Been Shot, Mum!" played on April 17th. We played at UH-Clear Lake, our usual third Saturday of the month.

Belgian Marines hold the Town

I wish I had taken photos of the Stugs shelling the buildings of the town and driving the Belgians out by collapsing the stone houses on top of them. I think if the German player had continued to do that, shelling the village, he could have turned that entire flank. As it was, he split the Stugs off to deal with some British infantry.

A Stuka divebomber prepares to strike British infantry

The German player had some astonishing luck with his divebomber. Three times he hit right on target. Blew the heart out of an entire platoon of Scots, and slowed the only real anti-tank weapon (a 25-pdr) to a crawl.

British Motorized Platoon pulls up to defend the Canal

This flank is now safe from the Stuka, with all those Bren guns pointing skywards. But the damage was done. The platoon pounded by the Stuka was half dead, and all discouraged. Other than the Boys AT Rifle team (which banged away gamely at the Stugs), the platoon was done for the day.

Miraculously, at the end of the alloted game time, the German player had not reached the village. I think this was more due to a few tactical mistakes on his part than any particular genius on the defenders' parts. You do not want to leave your infantry out in the open in front of a weapons platoon's worth of medium machine guns! Very bloody.

Also, the card driven system, with random turn ends did not help. Finally, I got a bit of luck with my aircover as well, with the Rare As Fairies showing up twice to strafe the German ATG crews. I have experienced a great deal of frustration while trying to get an attack under way using this system myself, so I can empathize with the German commander.

IABSM! is not my favorite set of rules, though it is pretty simple once you get used to it. My biggest gripe is that random turn end (the Tea Break card). You have to be super careful to get that deck of cards well shuffled so that the Tea Break doesn't happen too early in the turn every time. It is incredibly frustrating when you move the same unit over and over and the rest of your troops are glued in place.


Eli Arndt said...

See, this is why it is awesome that you have a general hobby blog now. We would never have seen this report from you when it was just VBIR. To be honest, as much as I love VBIR and Warhemorhage, I'd be happy if everything just got piled into this blog alone.

I have never played any early WW2 games but I can see the appeal.

J Womack, Esq. said...

It's fun. I am thinking about an 8th Army army for it, if I ever get around to it. For now, I play with the other guy's minis. Between two or three of the guys in our club (Clear Lake Area Wargamers), they have it pretty well covered. Same with Napoleonics, which is why I let that one go. No point right now in spending the time and effort on it when there are guys with literally thousands of figs already painted based and ready to play.