Principles of WWII Play Tests July 2022

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Game 4 - Play Test 6th July 2022

Tonight’s play testing involved an attack defence game. The Germans have two battalions of infantry supported by two 50mm A/T gun batteries, 3 PS Panzerjaeger batteries and two two Sturmgeschütz batteries. They are allowed to deploy anywhere on their own side of the table.

The Russians are attacking with an armoured brigade with one light tank battalion (6 coys), one medium tank battalion (3 coys) plus attached tank riders and a mounted infantry battalion (6 coys) with a 47mm gun battery. Supporting these was an infantry battalion (3 coys) plus light and heavy mortars.

The two players take turns placing the 4 objective markers then write orders and allocate points to their terrain objectives (they may each allocate up to 50 points on objectives).

The Germans choose to deploy their four commands occupying the three objectives placed on the hills to the right, next to their line of communication. The Russians then deploy onto the table with their light tank battalion in the centre of the table advancing to threaten the German positions on the hill in the centre. Meanwhile' the rest of the Russian forces concentrate on their right to attack the unoccupied objective on the German left

Over the next few moves the Germans move their Panzerjaeger from reserve in support of their forces in the centre, finally beating off the Russian light tank battalion. But on the left their C-in-C and two companies of infantry occupying the woods come under heavy concentrated fire from almost all the Russian army and eventually break, allowing the Russian tanks to continue their advance.

At the end of the game the Germans were still holding all three of their chosen objectives worth 50 points and the Russians have taken their one chosen objective worth 20 points. With casualties being about even then the Germans take the game by 30 points.

Now time to review the action to see where the rules need to be tidied up,

Game 5 - Play Test 27th July 2022

After a break last week due to the hot weather we are back to play testing Principles of World War Two.

This week we had a ‘Hold the Line’ game where both battle groups can start the game with foot units deployed up to 12” onto the table and ‘mobile’ formations moving onto the table turn 1. The players each place three objective markers on the opponent's side of the table and roll a dice to determine their army's line of communication. The players then draw up a deployment map and deploy blinds to represent the units on table at the beginning of the game. The players then write unit orders and allocate up to 50 objective points (max 10 points per objective in their first third of the table 20 points for objectives in the second third of the table and 50 points to an objective in the farthest third of the table.

The Germans start the game with two infantry battalions on table with the battle group commander with infantry gun batteries and 50mm A/T gun Bty. They have a Panzer battalion arriving first turn to support their attack. The Russians have one Infantry battalion deployed on table with a battle group commander with 120mm mortars and a mobile AA HMG battery. Their mobile units were made up of one medium tank battalion with tank riders, one light tank battalion and one mounted infantry battalion.

The German plan is to hold objective 4 on their left flank with one infantry battalion and the battle group commander. Their second infantry battalion is deployed on their right to attack objective 1 in the village on the Russian side of the half way line. Their armoured battalion was to enter the table and move between the two infantry battalions to threaten objective 3 on the Russian side of the half way line.

The Russians deploy their one infantry battalion and battle group commander on their left to cover objectives 1,3 and 5 on their own side of the table. They deploy their dummy blind and their recon units on their right hand flank to threaten the objectives on the German left. All their mobile units were to enter in support of their infantry unit then for the medium tank battalion to break through to attack the German line of communication.

As the game developed, the German infantry on the right with support from available off table artillery and air support make a steady advance against the village on the Russian left which was quickly occupied by a Russian infantry company, with a second in support while the 3rd company remained behind with the light mortar batteries holding the rearmost objective. The Russian armoured brigade enters the table and ends up in a close range fire fight with the German panzer battalion, managing to force one Coy of German tanks to flee but not managing a breakthrough.

The end of the game comes with one company of Russian infantry defending the village on the right on the point of routing and the German infantry about to close assault and take the objective. On the German left the battle group commander moves forward and changes the orders for the 2nd infantry battalion telling them move them forward to attack the Russian light tank battalion in the flank.

The new rules for recon units worked well as did the scenario setup. The main issue we have to look into is to simplify the firing calculations as firing groups with the multiple weapon types are proving over complex. To simplify things we are looking at individual unit firing and to have a separate ‘morale’ phase at the end of all firing.