British vs Germans in WWII - 'O' Group

After a long break caused by Covid-19 regulations, Tom and Graham got together in the third week of July 2021 to play a game of 'O' Group. I am grateful to Tom for the following account: -

Graham took me through a game of ‘O’Group which he has been playing over zoom during the lockdown. I had previously downloaded a PDF copy of the rules and gotten a serious headache trying to read through them. Graham showed a great deal of patience taking me through basic scenario in the rules and trying to explain how the rules worked.

Graham took the British and I took the German defenders, After laying out my two on table Company HQ’s I seemed to break the system by rolling six ambushes in the setup phase meaning that almost all my units not in reserve were in ambush. Graham's initial roll wiped out one German platoon, cutting the Germans down to seven platoons.

The British took the first turn and ran forward shutting down two of the three German Combat Patrols in the first turn and occupying Central wood which was his consolidation point where he could start to deploy his reserves. In the initial rush two British platoons were ambushed one by a German HMG in the farm on the right flank and a second by a German platoon in the farm on the left flank

When the British brought in the 1st Troop of Shermans they were ambushed by a German 50mm A/T gun causing two shock on the Firefly section. A German artillery barrage was then called down on the Central Wood, causing shock on the infantry platoon and the company commander deployed there forcing both to retire. The Sherman Firefly section was at the back of the wood and was finished off by the bombardment.

The British brought down an artillery barrage on the German troops occupying the objective causing shock on the infantry platoon and the company HQ. While on the right the British company forced the German platoon out from the farm with fire from one platoon and a close assault by the other two platoons leaving the Germans down to two sections.

On the other side of the table a German platoon and HMG section was keeping two platoons of the British 2nd Company pinned down. When the 2nd troop of Shermans opened fire on the German HMG in the farm they were ambushed by a Panzerfaust and destroyed. The Panzerfaust team came under fire next turn and beat a hasty retreat back to the village.

At the end of the game despite Graham’s patience I was still extremely confused as to how things worked and unsure what exactly what was going on. It seems to me that these like so many of the publications in the Two Fat Lardies catalogue these rules have plenty of innovative ideas but are let down by confusing, poorly written and laid out rules.