After a month away from gaming (families, holidays and other equally tiresome distractions), life was back to normal last night with a game of BKC. I decided to set-up a mini-campaign, with three linked scenarios. To start with, Filip’s Americans would try to encircle a small and disparate force of Germans who were holed up near the strategically important village of Bordelle-de-Roi and the Hill know locally as Mont Mouton.
The American forces were standard, two battalions of infantry and a battalion of Shermans. The Germans had a Tiger, three companies of infantry, including one crack SS company, with the special rule that they never retreat. In addition, Bart rolled on a little table I set-up to get supporting armour. He could have rolled some useful heavy armour, but no, he ended up with a Pz III, a Pz IV, a self propelled AA gun and an infantry gun. Oh dear, he wasn’t happy about this.
The table was quite small, about 4’ by 4’. We used Bart’s beautiful new terrain boards, covered with woods and fields. A further sign of normality returning was the confusion caused when the scenario I set-up contained ‘incorrect’ instructions about set-up. So after Bart spent 25 minutes deploying (and so brilliantly) we discovered I had mixed up scenarios so he had to start again. In the end he deployed in the centre of the table, with a game objective of exiting the far end of the table. Filip placed two commands of troops, basically two armour and two infantry forces on each side of the table, planning to envelop the escaping Jerries.
A further twist was the chance events I gave to the players. They each had three events (eg ‘snipers hold up enemy company’, ‘enemy tanks run out of fuel’, ‘heroic company commander over rules lack of command initiative’). They could use one during the game. When Bart used his sniper option but failed to realise that he couldn’t then use his other events, I was generous and allowed each player to use two events. I think these events added some colour and some chaos, though inevitably they are not always balanced in effect. Next game I will give the players 4 events and they can use them all.
The game itself was interesting, with Bart making a dash for the table edge with some trops while being indecisive with others. Filip, despite bad command rolls, managed to block the exit and finally broke Bart’s army, but not before eight units escaped the pocket.
For the next game, the surviving Germans and some reinforcements will try to break out of the pocket. We will play on a smaller scale, 1500 and 750 points, as 2000 points is a bit too much for an evening. Also it may give more room for manouevre.
Our feeling about the encirclement scenario was that it is very difficult for the defender to escape, but it may be that that different tactics have to be employed, for example a hell-for-leather dash by some units and maybe sacrificial actions by others. Perhaps we can see what others on the BKC forum think about this.
Update: (Robartes butting in) pictures of this game have now been published