Saturday, 3 January 2009

WW II Skirmish

We played a small WW II skirmish game this afternoon. Used a set of rules called "Achtung, Achtung" that I picked up at Salute in 2004. They fit onto 6 sides of A4.

The rules use a card activation system that removes the usual IGOUGO sequence. Each unit (Squad/vehicle) has two cards, each side has a "wild card" and a joker is added to the pack. Units are activated as cards are exposed, the joker causes a reshuffle of the deck.

The game was US vs German - 1944. Started off with 2 US armoured infantry squads in M3 half tracks tasked to check out a ruined house. The house contained an MG42 and a nearby wood held a german infantry squad. As the half tracks moved towards the house a tank appeared. I placed a Tiger model on the table. At its first activation my son rolled a dice to determine what actual tank type it was (all German tanks are Tigers !). He actually got a Panther. It rolled forward and promptly broke down (dice roll per move for Tigeras and Panthers, break down on a 1 - house rule). The closest half track went rapidly in reverse and then a Stug III appeared. The crew of the half track jumped out only to be sprayed by the MG42 in the house and suppressed. The Americans were reinforced by an M5 Stuart, a Sherman and an M10. The M10 took out the Stug only to be blown apart by the Panther. A Panzershrek and the Panther took pot shots at the Sherman, eventually disabling it and cuasing the crew to bale out. The first US infantry squad was wiped out and the second squad piled out of their half track and into another ruined house.

The panzershrek was killed by the Stuart and the MG's on the half tracks suppressed the MG42 in the ruin. With their infantry support failing - the squad in the wood rashly charged the Stuart and got machine gunned - the Panther crew bailed out and headed for home. An American victory but a costly one.

The game was immense fun, mainly because the card activation mechanism gives a narrative feel to the game which is hard to achieve with turn based systems. We have tried a more complex card based system before (Operation Overlord) but that led to a very slow game. This system is very quick, our game lasted about 90 minutes.

I think that I will use these rules as the basis for a home grown set. We will also try the same unit activation method for Warhammer 40K (5th ed) as I find the fixed turn sequence in those rules tends to rather predictable games.

I took a few pictures of this game. The figures are Valiant plastics, the Stug, Sherman and M10 are HAT, the Panther is Dragon Armor (lovely model).