Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

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pmskaar
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by pmskaar »

I enjoyed both your AARs, Begemot! I never actually played Dunn-Kempf but your write-up was very interesting and explained a lot about the two rules sets.

Nayr
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by Nayr »

Interesting about the TOW kill rates. Are you also familiar with Contact! (1980) the Canadian army training rules? These rules are also derived from WRG and clearly follow the Dunn Kempf model. One of the changes in Contact! Is that to-hit and to-kill are abstracted into a single die roll, but a quick look at the TOW datacard shows a base 50% probability to hit and kill or 70% to suppress a T-62 at 1000m. This is closer to DK than TacForce. The Contact! probabilities are also easier to read, having switched a to percentile vs the D66 mechanic I believe was used in the original Dunn Kempf.

I don't have a copy of the WRG rules but I'm curious now if these numbers come from WRG or from American and Canadian military data. I'd presume armour officers had a better idea of realistic performance and were more likely to account for fickle real world friction than game designers at GDW and would lean towards those numbers. The armour, penetration, and damage model in these rules is very abstract and the focus is more on qualitative effect than on technical number crunching. A failure to kill could include dozens of events like malfunctions, suppressed firers, intervening obstacles, deflections, superficial damage, etc.

Nayr
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by Nayr »

Okay so I was curious and realized I did have a copy of WRG 1950-2000 kicking around. Been awhile since I read these charts and there's a bit of tedious flipping back and forth involved, but I believe the following is correct:

SACLOs ATGM in WRG have a base to-hit of 2+ at 1000m with a +1 for a moving target and the M class HEAT warhead of a TOW I kills a T-62 (Armour Class VII) on a 2+. So I guess you need to roll 3+ to-hit and then 2+ to kill on a D6. It seems TOWs are much deadlier in the base WRG rules than the military versions. Curious if they were toned down because of military experience and data, or simply to prevent the trainee players from getting too cocky about their equipment. After all, the purpose of these training games was to teach tactics and maneuver not brag up the quality of the weaponry.

Begemot
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by Begemot »

I recovered this AAR, which had been posted on the old Galerie, and decided to repost as a little fun for this Fourth of July of 2021.


AAR - Sergeants’ War: The Outpost

(An experiment in narrative.)
Scene – a French barn interior: Saunders, Kirby, Caje, Little John and the rest of Hanley’s platoon.
Enter Lt. HANLEY.
Image

HANLEY: OK, listen up. At 0530 tomorrow the company is going to attack Hill 202. There’s a Kraut OP up there and regiment wants it gone.

KIRBY: Not us again! We never get a break.

SAUNDERS: What’s the plan, Lieutenant?

HANLEY: Here’s a picture of the ground.

Image

The Kraut OP is on the hill on the right We’ll be coming in from the left. The LD [line of departure] is the road. The company’s platoons will be deployed in line, 2nd platoon …

LITTLE JOHN: That’s us, Kirby.

KIRBY: A comedian. Thanks.
.
HANLEY: ... will be the left flank. 1st platoon will be in the center and 3rd platoon will be on the right. The mortars and machine guns will be grouped together under Cpt. Lather’s control. Because 3rd platoon has so much open ground to cross, battalion has assigned two tanks to their support. We don’t have any artillery or air to help us with this.

KIRBY: That’s OK. They usually drop it on us anyway.

HANLEY: We’re going up against a new German unit, the 631st. S2 thinks their cadre are Russian front veterans with the rest fairly fresh guys. So we don’t know what kind of reception we’ll be getting, but expect the worst. Any questions? OK. We’ll move out to the LD at 0430.

SAUNDERS (to the squad): OK, inspection in one hour. Full combat load. Make sure your weapons are clean. Then get some chow and some sleep.

LITTLE JOHN: OK Sarge.

KIRBY: Hey, Caje, Little John! How ‘bout some cards after inspection?

CAJE: How about some sleep?

KIRBY: You can sleep anytime. I got some new cards. I know you guys got some money that wants a new home.

CAJE: You’re on.

(Exeunt all)
Image

Steiner looked across the fields to his front in the gray dawn light. The recon patrol had come in and reported: They’re coming. Company had been informed and the CO, Oberleutnant Werner, had reminded Steiner to delay the Amis, but to give up the position if the Amis were determined to take it.

Steiner looked around him. He was ready. The OP was up behind him on the hill, snugly dug in. The initial defense line was three squads, a heavy MG and a panzerschrek team dug in and camouflaged along the hedges at the base of the hill. The company mortars were on call. Alternate positions had been dug back on the hill. Some of the new men hadn’t liked the digging, but the old hands pushed them and they would learn soon enough to appreciate the value of sweat in saving blood.

Image

Today would be Steiner’s first go at the Amis. Russia is a hard school and made for hard soldiers. “Aus der Kriegsschule des Lebens. — Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker (Out of life’s school of war — What does not kill me makes me stronger).” So Nietzsche said, but he died in bed. Not in Russia. How hard were the Americans? The Amis have lots of artillery and air. A luxury of everything. But luxury doesn’t tend to temper the will. The Americans are coming. He’d been listening to their clatter for some time now. We’re ready. We’ll see what lessons we can teach the Americans today.

Image
[The Americans prepare to cross their Line of Departure. The left side of the deployment. 2nd platoon on the left flank, 1st platoon in the center, mortars on the right.]

Image
[The American 3rd platoon and their tank support on the US right flank.]
Scene – a wooded area: Saunders, Kirby, Caje, Little John and the rest of Saunder’s squad.

Enter Lt HANLEY.

Image

SAUNDERS: LT, we’re at the LD. Everyone’s in position.

HANLEY: Good. The platoon will guide on you, Saunders. Keep 1st platoon in sight as we move forward.

SAUNDERS: Yes sir.

HANLEY: (on radio) White King, this is White Rook, over. White Rook in position. Out

KIRBY: (to Caje) Can you believe the noise these guys are making? And those tanks? No surprise on this little adventure.

CAJE: You’re right there. But the sarge will get us through. Always does.

KIRBY: Yeah. You can always count on Saunders.

CAJE: At least we don’t have to cross that big field on the right. 3rd Platoon really got the short stick today.

KIRBY: Yeah. Whose brilliant idea was that?

HANLEY: This is White Rook, over. Roger that. Out. OK people ... Move out!

KIRBY: Here we go. Good luck to us.

(Exeunt all.)
Image
[The American left advances cautiously through the trees and brush to the green field.]

“Steiner, this is OP”, squawked the phone.

“Steiner here.”

“Amis observed on edge of green field and along the farm edge of the yellow field.” Steiner knew that the best approach for the enemy infantry was from his right, through the green field. The big yellow field was so open it could be covered by small arms fire at twice the distance than on the right.

“Put mortar fire on the green field. That should slow them down.” said Steiner into the phone.

“Ja.” A pause. “Mortars, los!”

Scene – a hedge along the edge of a field: Saunders, Kirby, Caje, Little John and the rest of Saunder’s squad.

CAJE: Incoming!

(Everyone hits the ground.)

Enter Lt HANLEY.

HANLEY: Saunders, how does it look?

SAUNDERS: Nobody’s moving through that barrage, sir. But it looks like we may have room on the left to move around it.

HANLEY: Looks like your right. I’ll get the other squads moving up to the far edge of the green field. Your squad will bring up the rear.

SAUNDERS: Yes sir!
Image
[German FO spots the Americans and brings down 8 cm mortars into the green field. The US advances squads around the flanks of the tight barrage.]

Meanwhile….

The Tale of Third Platoon, or It Doesn’t Pay To Be In The Right

3rd Platoon, with their accompanying tanks, crosses the LD and moves through the farm towards the edge of the big yellow field. Nobody is happy about their assignment. They’ll be sitting ducks in that vast open space. Whose damned idea was this?

Image

The platoon notes the numerous chickens squawking and scurrying about. Mental note is made. The chickens will be dealt with later. The chickens have seen armies come and go and each army has killed not only each other, but the chickens as well. Now the chickens will doubtless be killed by the Americans. Liberation. It doesn’t look so good to the chickens.

Image

Taking deep breathes 3rd Platoon steps out into the wide open spaces, the tanks leading.

Image

The German heavy machine gun on the far right spots the Americans in the yellow field and fires...

Image

... suppressing the left squad of 3rd Platoon. This damn field!

“Come on! Keep moving!” shouts the platoon leader. The squad scrabbles forward, as best they can to keep up with the rest of the platoon.

The phone squawked again.

“Steiner. OP.”

“Steiner.”

“Amis infantry platoon and two tanks now in the big field.”

“Shift your fires to the big field. Don’t fire until I tell you to. Let me know when you’re ready.”

“Jawohl.”

“Kreski. Steiner.” Kreski was the senior squad leader on the left, his men entrenched along the hedgerow.

“Kreski.”

“Hold your fire until I give the command. We’ll be putting mortars on those infantry in the open.”

“Jawohl.”

“Steiner, OP. Mortars ready.”

Steiner watched the Americans as they closed. A little further. Closer... Closer.... Closer…. Now!

“Mortars, Kreski! Feuer!”


As the Americans approach the hedgerow, it erupts, with ripping and snapping furies tearing through the Americans in a gale of small arms fire and a shattering crash as mortar bombs fall down from the sky in their midst. Blood, screams and moans engulf the shattered ranks.

Image

In a moment it’s over. 3rd Platoon’s worst fears have been realized. Two squads are eliminated. The stunned survivors fall back to the farm. Their war is done for this day. The Germans let them go, unmolested.

Image

Back at the farm the survivors rally and curse their luck, the war and the damned brass. The GIs note the chickens are still there. Well, for a little while longer, anyway.

After a time the tanks come to the realization they are alone. They won’t attempt the hedge themselves. There could be unpleasant surprises waiting for them. So they fire at the hedges without effect, but it makes the tankers feel better.

After the 3rd Platoon leader reports his status to Cpt. Lather, Lather calls the tanks back into action, this time on the left.

Steiner watches the surviving Amis falling back in the yellow field and smiles with satisfaction. The Landsers along the hedge did well and the mortars were effective. That threat is eliminated. A lesson to the Amis about providing inadequate support for troops foolishly put into a kill zone.

Now to deal with the Americans coming up on his right.


Image
[The American machine guns take up position between 2nd and 1st Platoons along the hedge line, as Saunders’ squad comes up along the bottom edge of the green field.]
Scene – a hedge along the edge of a field: Soldiers of Hanley’s platoon are firing at the enemy.

HANLEY: Pour it into them men!

(Two 30 caliber machine gun teams enter.)

HANLEY: MGs, take up position to the right! The Germans are in the hedges across the field! Suppressive fire!

(The two machine gun teams do as instructed and begin to fire.)

1st GI: Medic! Medic!

2nd GI: Damn! They’ve got both MGs!

(Saunders’ squad enters.)

HANLEY: Saunders! Take your position on the right! The Krauts got both the machine guns. Take them over and get them back into the fight.

SAUNDERS: Yes sir! Caje, Kirby, Little John, the rest of you – follow me!

Image
[Saunders’ squad moves up to the MGs’ position .]

(Saunders squad moves into the machine gun positions as the wounded MG team members are carried off.)

KIRBY: Little John! I got the gun – you feed me!

LITTLE JOHN: Gotcha!

SAUNDERS: There’s a Kraut squad straight across the field. That’s your target!

(The sound of battle intensifies.)

CAJE: Medic! I’m hit!

LITTLE JOHN: Medic! Kirby’s hit!

1st GI: Damn! Saunders’ squad … they’re all down!

2nd GI: What do we do?

(Hanley rushes to Saunders’ position.)

HANLEY: Saunders …

SAUNDERS: Looks like we’re out of this fight, sir. Everybody in the squad is hit.

KIRBY: Owwwwwww! My arm! (To medic working on him) Watch what you’re doin’, OK? Man, this should get me Stateside. What do you say, doc?

MEDIC: Not my call GI. (To other medics.) OK, let’s get them out of here
Steiner has been watching the fight on his right. So far his men have been holding the Americans at bay. Movement to the left catches his attention. The American tanks, which have been futilely shooting at hedges from the yellow field, have begun moving toward the hedge gap between the yellow and brown fields. Looks like the Amis are getting ready for a push across the brown field.

“Kreski. Steiner.”

“Kreski.”

“Move your people to the right. Looks like the enemy is concentrating for a push against our right. Bring everyone, including the ‘schrek.”

“I see the tanks moving. On our way.”

Suddenly explosions from American mortars erupt on the left side of the brown field, into the area of the dug-in squad position.


Image
[After Saunders’ squad is taken out, the US company mortars come up and begin to barrage the right corner of the brown field.]
Scene – a hedge along the edge of a field: Soldiers of Hanley’s platoon are firing at the enemy.

(Enter Captain Lather, Kilo Company commander.)

Cpt. LATHER: Hanley, what’s the situation?

Lt. HANLEY: We’ve lost the machine guns and Saunders’ squad. That Kraut fire has been murder. We need some help if we’re going to cross this field.

Cpt. LATHER: Help is on the way. 3rd Platoon is out of the fight so I’m bringing the tanks over here. The company mortars will suppress the Krauts on the right side of the hedge and the tanks will work on the left. When the moment comes, then I’ll order the assault. Any questions?

Lt. HANLEY: No, sir.

Cpt. LATHER: Keep up the fire and wait for my command.

Lt. HANLEY: Yes, sir.

(Exit Cpt. Lather.)
Image
[The tanks come into the brown field and begin working on the German MG position. The American mortars fall on the German right squad position.]

Kreski, followed by two squads and the panzerschrek team, comes up on Steiner’s left.

“Steiner, wie gehts?” says Kreski.

“Kreski. Leave one squad with me. You and the other squad and the ‘schrek move to alternate positions back up on the hill to back us up if the Amis should push through. Klar?”

“Klar”, said Kreski, and smiled. He enjoyed a fight.

“Get moving.”, said Steiner and waved Kreski off.

Steiner directed the squad left with him into their positions as Kreski and his remaining men worked their way back up the hill.

The phone squawked.

“Steiner, this is Werner.”

“Steiner here, Herr Oberleutnant.”

“Steiner, how is your situation?”

“We are holding. The enemy is getting set for an assault on our right. We should be able to hold them.”

“Steiner, battalion is ordering the outposts back. Get your people out of there.”

Steiner grimaced. “Jawohl, Herr Oberleutnant.”

Steiner cranked the phone. “All units, this is Steiner. We’re pulling out. Now. Acknowledge.” The positions with phones acknowledged. Steiner shouted to the squad Kreski had left with him, “Get ready to fall back. On my order.”

Scene – a hedge along the edge of a field: Soldiers of Hanley’s platoon are firing at the enemy.

Lt. HANLEY (on the radio): This is White Rook, over. Acknowledge attack now. White Rook, out. (Hanley stands up.) 2nd Platoon! Let’s go! Follow me!

(The platoon exits, in the attack.)
Image
[A general assault across the brown field.]

Steiner noticed the drop in fire volume. “Now! Move out!”, Steiner shouted to the squad. “Los, los, los!” As the men began their move to the rear and up the wooded slope, Steiner saw American infantry emerge from the far hedges of the brown field. One last act of defiance: Steiner turns and fires his MP 40 at the advancing enemy.

Image

And Steiner is off, disappearing into the trees.
Scene – a wooded area: Soldiers of Hanley’s platoon are firing into the trees.

Lt. HANLEY (on the radio): White King, this is White Rook, over. On objective. White Rook, out. 2nd Platoon! Keep moving through the objective! Let’s go! Follow me!

(Exeunt the platoon.)
Image
[Hanley takes the MG position while 1st Platoon takes the German infantry position on the right of the brown field.]



Later that day Steiner entered the company command dugout and saluted Leutnant Werner.

“Good job, Steiner.”, said Werner. “Sit down. Cigarette?”

“Thank you.” Werner offered him American cigarettes. Not bad. Not as rough as Russian mahorka. That American luxury again.

“So, Steiner … how do you rate these Amis?”

“It’s still early, but I would say that the men have heart, but their leaders are not so good. They have a lot to learn. They lost a platoon for no good reason. We are lucky their artillery and air was not playing today. Then it would be a different story.”

“Not like Russia?” asked Werner.

“No, sir. Not close.”

“We’ll see how it goes the next time. Your action has delayed the American’s expected attack by a day or so. That gives us more time to prepare. Again … good work.”



Image
Scene – A French village street: Saunders with his squad.

SAUNDERS: Glad to see everyone is out of the hospital. How’s the arm, Kirby?

KIRBY: Aw, the arm’s OK. No complaints there. What I’d like to know is, why I’m fit for duty so soon instead of on a transport back to the States? Those rookies we had in the squad before the attack … they’re going home. What gives, Sarge?

SAUNDERS: How many times do I need to explain it? You’re part of the regular cast. The only way you’re getting home is if we’re canceled or the writers decide you’re too much of a pain.

LITTLE JOHN: You’re in a TV show, Kirby. You can’t die, it’s always summer ‘44, and we’re always in France.

KIRBY: TV show, huh? What’s it called? The Twilight Zone?

SAUNDERS: Come on, let’s get some chow.

CAJE: Hey Kirby. Time for another card game. I want my money back.

KIRBY: I was hopin’ you’d say that. You’re on, pigeon.

(Exeunt all.)
The End.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes

The rule set used for this game was ‘Mein Panzer’.

I wanted to take a US infantry company for a tryout using basically its’ own resources. The tanks were added just to give the platoon crossing the big field some chance. I didn’t want any supporting artillery to mask any issues with the US company’s capabilities.

I settled on the outpost scenario because the U.S. War Department ‘Handbook On German Military Forces’ indicated that the Germans would put outposts of platoon to company strength forward of their main line of resistance out to 2,000 to 5,000 yards. This seemed a good way to isolate the German defenders from nearby supporting positions, except for supporting indirect fires. A German platoon would be big enough for a company to engage.

I also wanted to further work the infantry rules of ‘Mein Panzer’.

The narrative style is just an experiment and just for fun. And introducing ‘Combat!’ and ‘Cross of Iron’ characters, Saunders and Steiner, is part of the whimsy. Some of you may like it, others not. It turned out to be more work than a simple descriptive narrative. If there is a positive response, I may consider doing more in future.

As far as the narrative itself, I let the game action and die roll results determine how it played out. The US machine guns and Saunders’ squad did get wiped out very quickly by the German small arms fire and was a surprise to me. I was expecting Saunders and his men to take a more prominent role in the action. It didn’t turn out that way.

However, it did get me to considering if the ‘Mein Panzer’ system was too lethal at extended ranges for infantry. I worked out some house modifications and I’m trying them out with bigger East Front scenario, a Soviet infantry battalion attack set in summer 1944. That AAR will becoming later.

As for how the US infantry company did on its own? They could use outside support. But don’t we all?


Begemot
The summer grasses.
For many brave warriors
The aftermath of dreams.
--- Basho

Visit the "Lair of the Begemot" website: (https://lairbegemot.blogspot.com)

chrisswim
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by chrisswim »

Very nice work. I really like the MERDC.
Chris

Begemot
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by Begemot »

Chris - Thanks. Glad you like it. I hope to do some more MERDC soon.



Begemot
The summer grasses.
For many brave warriors
The aftermath of dreams.
--- Basho

Visit the "Lair of the Begemot" website: (https://lairbegemot.blogspot.com)

redleg
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by redleg »

Awesome AAR and storyline!
Redleg's Website: micropope.webstarts.com

Begemot
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by Begemot »

Redleg - Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.



Begemot
The summer grasses.
For many brave warriors
The aftermath of dreams.
--- Basho

Visit the "Lair of the Begemot" website: (https://lairbegemot.blogspot.com)

pmskaar
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by pmskaar »

Great AAR, Begemot! A nice fairly simple scenario to illustrate the basics. Good show!

BurtWolf
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by BurtWolf »

Excellent AAR, very entertaining and interesting game! Thanks for going through the effort to post!

Begemot
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by Begemot »

Resurrecting old photos that disappeared in the crash of the old Galerie thread. This is the Takao (IJN11), one of the WW2 Japanese ships I completed. I like her looks, serious and business-like.

Takao
Image

Image
The summer grasses.
For many brave warriors
The aftermath of dreams.
--- Basho

Visit the "Lair of the Begemot" website: (https://lairbegemot.blogspot.com)

pmskaar
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by pmskaar »

That is a most excellent rendering of the Takao, Begemot! I love the look of Japanese WWII ships in general. One of these days, I need to get back to painting more of mine.

Beagle
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by Beagle »

Excellent job! I love the wash and dry brushing, well done!

redleg
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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by redleg »

That's awesome Begemot! Keep resurrecting those photos - that's an amazing ship!
Redleg's Website: micropope.webstarts.com

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Re: Galerie de la Begemot - 2nd Edition

Post by Begemot »

Gentlemen - Thank you all for your most kind comments. Much appreciated.


Begemot
The summer grasses.
For many brave warriors
The aftermath of dreams.
--- Basho

Visit the "Lair of the Begemot" website: (https://lairbegemot.blogspot.com)

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