Monday, 10 September 2018

Battle in the Bocage - FoW v4 umpired game

Hi folks,

On Sunday I managed to get over to Dave's for a few hours to get some game time in before I had to dash off to a family meal. We set up a generic bocage board for Normandy. The basic premise was an early attempt by American armour to attack into the bocage. Limited infantry was available, as we were going with what Dave had painted, and I umpired/controlled the hidden Germans while Dave and Scottie battled the terrain. It also gave us a bit of a chance to look at some of the issues this terrain causes armoured forces. I took the opportunity to mess about a bit with the spotting concept I use when umpiring.

Good fun was had, I think. Lovely looking table although we all agree more hedges are required.

As mentioned above, I messed about a bit with the 'skill test for spotting' concept, which saw these green Americans 'misidentifying' everything as Tigers or 88's if they did not roll highly on their skill checks. This caused an interesting amount of confusion I think! There were actually no Tigers or 88's used - StuGs, 5cm A/T guns, a Pak40 and some Panzer IV's only, along with German infantry which while present never actually had to be deployed. So where you see the wrong stuff burning, it's because that's what the Americans THOUGHT they had engaged and killed.

The results of this confusion included Dave's force believing that there was a Tiger and a Panzer IV in a field opposing him, because they were _positive_ that there was a Tiger there, and another unit reported seeing a Panzer IV, so there must be one of each... Definitely something to play with a bit more in the future!

On to the pics:

Green counters to trigger random events and be collected to spend on air and artillery support by the allies. The large counters are worth d6 little ones. 

The American armour probes forward. The infantry must be held up somewhere...

StuGs via Stuarts - I mi-applied the 'rolling 7's' rule, so the shot bounced off the Stuarts (Scottie rolled two 6's) - lesson learnt for next time!

Somethings shooting at us, must be a Tiger! American armoured infantry learning that if you don't man the hedgeline, someone else might. 

Somethings shooting at us! Must be an 88! (Actually one of a pair of Panzer IV's). There were also German infantry behind the hedgeline. 

Hidden Nebs firing in the centre (smoke puffs) were subjected to repeated counter battery bombardments!

If in doubt, call in air support - aircraft are for 'Wings of Glory'. The 2nd StuG failed morale and drove off, but the Yanks didn't have 'eyes on' so didn't see it go. 

The Pak40 had been unspotted and was waiting on a bigger target. Unfortunately the recon chaps came round the back of the house...

Tigers, Tigers everywhere? One Bazooka team will be forever boasting about killing a Tiger (actually a Panzer IV)

Shermans struggle to breach the Bocage - and worry about the single StuG up ahead!

Terrain also constrains their movement, causing a bit of bunching, before they move forward en-mass to attempt and deal with the StuG. I think this is where the bases on the tanks shines, as there is still decent spacing. 

The pesky StuG had already failed it's morale and left the table.. But with no LoS to it, the allies didn't know this till they advanced. 

The game ended with the objectives still under German control, but another few turns and the Yanks would have been contesting them I think! Although they would have struggled to clear the buildings I think. 
We're hoping to get some regular games in over the next year, and perhaps work towards a Normandy campaign. Scottie also has a large number of Russkies and Germans, so there is a possibility of some games on the Eastern Front at some point!


  1. Lovely board. I especially like the use of what is essentially a gimmick - leaving bogus models on the board to bamboozle the players. It's a great way of getting the fog of war onto the tabletop.

  2. Great game .. yes my lads saw lots of Tigers! .. mind roll more than a 2 on skill might have helped, definitely worth doing that on one of our bigger games too

  3. Wow, that table looks fab!

    Good batrep too mate.

  4. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It is the little changes that make the biggest changes.
    Thanks for sharing!


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