Sunday, 19 February 2017

Platoon Commanders War hexed

WD Display Team (North) are thinking of taking a game to the Joy of Six show in July. Clearly it needs to be a 6mm game and look nice, so Tim and John came up with the bright idea of converting Platoon Commanders War to use Hexon terrain. In 6mm PCW is a 1:1:1 game (each figure represents a man, and the ground scale is also 1/300th, so each 4" hex represents 33 yards). Using the hexes also allowed me to address my favourite WW2 bugbear, bunching up, so fire from an element hits everything in the hex. A Rifle section firing in enfilade is potentially capable of suppressing an area 100 yards by 33 yards (as the MG beaten zone is two hexes), which is in line with War Office Operations Reports which estimated a rifle section could suppress 100 yards of front.

The scenario was set out as a training exercise, taken from a contemporary training manual, of a platoon assault. This wasn't the very familiar 1944 manual, but the earlier 1940-43 one, so used two sections up instead of one. The attack is carefully scripted, with phase lines indicated on the exercise map reproduced on the table, and designed for the platoon to become used to working as a group.

Above is a view from the British end, with the white scrabble counters showing the various points of interest.


View from the German end. The Germans are holding the ridge, and a machinegun team has been identified somewhere to the left of the building (invisible at present). The platoon objective is the building and the small copse is the objective of a neighbouring platoon.

Our brave chaps line up for the O group. Three rifle sections each of a rifle group and bren team, platoon HQ in the middle, with a very dubious looking 2" mortar man in tow.

I took 1 section, Tim took 2 section, Jerry lugged the mortar and Tom ran the platoon with 3 section in reserve.

Start line was the farm track, two sections up. 1 section is nearest the camera.

As we crossed line B, things got a bit sticky and 2 section was pinned by the German MG. 1 section managed to work forward using fire and movement, but as we began to outflank the gun, more Germans opened fire from the building and pinned my rifle team. What a shabby trick.

My plucky Bren team however managed to pin both the German teams, which allowed all the pinned British troops to sort themselves out.  We kept the Germans heads down with covering fire and advanced by bounds over line C. At this point Platoon HQ and 3 section were coming up from the rear to assist.

2 Section managed to get their rifle group into close combat with the pinned MG team, while 1 section advanced on the building.

The 2" mortar laid a smoke screen bang on the ridge, so my rifle group went left flanking under the cover of the smoke covered by the bren, and as the Germans in the building were still pinned, it was all over bar the shouting.

This went really well, and the platoon attack took about 45 minutes. What I really like about these rules is that Battle Drill actually works. You need to win the firefight, you need to use fire and movement to advance, and you clear the enemy position by assault (ideally from a flank, and ideally with the bren positioned to cut the enemy line of retreat). So hopefully some learning points for people too. 

1 comment:

  1. Great, I like the hexes. Agree about the bunching up etc. I have some home brew rules in which if there is more than 1section in a hex, it becomes target rich (modifier).