You play the defender. You must defend four objectives from the enemy. If you retain three or four at the game's end, you have won. If you retain two, it is a draw. Anything else is a loss. The objectives are:
1. The building B1 and the hill H1.
2. The hill H3 and the rough ground R4 on it.
3. The stone walled area encompassing S4, F4, S5, and F5.
4. The hedged-in fields G2, G3 and G4, together with the river crossing and W4.
Your forces are:
2-Infantry Companies, each with:
Company Heavy Weapons:
1-3"/81mm mortar with 12 Fire Missions
3-Rifle Platoons; each with:
You use British/American style command and control. If you are playing Germans, then clearly these are not the most highly experienced Germans. You have 32 stands in total. Keep count of those you lose during the game, as well as the number of enemy stands you destroy.
You deploy in any part of the map north of the line co-ordinates 0010 to 6010. You may not deploy in any terrain feature intersected by this line, but may deploy immediately behind the north edge of the hedged field G1. Your attackers will enter from the southern edge (0000 to 6000). The enemy forces will arrive piecemeal, and you will not be given a full listing of them in advance. I hope that the awkwardness this brings in coming up with adequate figures for the job is more than matched in the greater enjoyment from ignorance of the foe's forces. Since you do not know what attackers to expect, you should choose the nationality of attacker for which you have the most troops. Unless otherwise stated, all troops will be regulars, all PCs and BCs will be +1, and all CCs +2.
If you find the battle too easy, try again with just one mortar and no HMGs.
Codes: B = building, C = crest, D = depression, F = field, G = hedged enclosure, H = hill, R = rough ground, S = stone walled enclosure, W = wood.
The continuous lines encompassing hills mark their extent, and not the radial lines coming from them, which merely serve to identify the hills as hills.
R1 is a farmyard, with machinery, haystacks and other such cover, justifying its classification as rough ground.
C1 and C2 are "crests" as defined in Hit the Dirt. These provide cover from direct fire when the target is immediately adjacent to the far side of the crest, and they block LOS to stands not adjacent.
Note that the fields bounded by walls and hedges have the occasional gap (gate or whatever). Hedges block LOS for all troops except those immediately next to them, who may fire, and be fired at, through the hedge.
Note that some features are contiguous. W15, W16 and W17 are three wood sections that make up a large three-section wood, without open ground between. W16 blocks LOS from W15 to W17. There are two different colours for woods just to make the boundaries between contiguous woods sections clear.
The stream has banks that count as rough ground. Troops either side of the stream ignore this, but troops in the stream count as in rough ground to all except firing troops from dry ground at the edge of the stream. The stream is therefore a source of cover for troops moving along it.
Enemy stands each need a unique identifying code. The commander of the first company will be "CC1". An HMG from the first company will be "HMG1". A platoon commander from the second company, commanding the third platoon will be "PC 2-3". The three squads under his command will be identified with lower case letters: 2-3a, 2-3b, and 2-3c. Battalion commander is simply "BC", and his SMG stand is "BC SMG". The attacking forces all have German-like command and control, even if the figures used are not for German soldiers.
Your enemy will act like a lot of robots, slavishly following orders and these policies. It is your job to see that your enemy sticks to his policies.
Your attackers will always reactive fire when they can, unless:
1. There is a greater number of your unsuppressed non-officer stands within LOS and nearer than the potential target(s) than there are of his unsuppressed stands within contiguous base distance of each other. So, imagine that he has three rifle stands each within a base distance of one of the others, plus a PC. You make a move that he can see. He will fire reactively unless his men can between them see four or more of your combat stands (non-officer) that are not suppressed and are all nearer to his men than the men you are moving. Exception (optional): to keep the game a little less predictable, the enemy WILL fire even when this general policy forbids, if a 6 on 1d6 is rolled.
2. You make a move action that starts out of LOS, and finishes within LOS and within cover, where open ground exists between your units and the potential reacting enemy stands. In this circumstance, the enemy will always fire if he has more than one fire action that can see the enemy, but if not, roll 1d6 and he fires at you on 4+. Example: you move from north of W20 into W20. Enemy has troops in R19 that catch sight of you. Between W20 and R19 is open ground. If enemy is only enemy able to fire at W20, then 4+ and he reacts to the move. If enemy also has troops from different platoon (therefore separate fire action) in W25, then those nearer, in R19, will fire.
3. You manoeuvre within a terrain feature, within LOS. The same policy as 2. above.
Your enemy will fire with the largest firegroup/crossfire he can. If a single fire action can be enlarged by moving members of the same platoon without risk of reactive fire, then this will always be done before firing.
If your fire is hampering the enemy's ability to carry out instructions to fire at you, he may try to rally. If he has more stands that can fire at you as a single fire action than you have that can return fire, he will fire at you. If not, due to suppressions, he will try to rally first.
Your enemy will fire at the nearest non-suppressed stand, if you are playing the house rule that permits this (see below).
If your enemy's deployment means that only one of a firegroup/crossfire can fire at you, and redeployment might mean that three or more could fire, he will try to redeploy first, before firing.
The enemy will charge to close combat when he has forces that (1) can move and that out-number your stands able to see the charge and react to it by at least 3:1, and (2) outnumber your unsuppressed non-officer stands 2:1 or better. Note that the dropping of smoke may make this set of circumstances possible. Unless his orders are to take the position, he will always pull back to his start position after the assault.
The enemy will always charge with a combat stand as the lead stand of a movement, and officer last. The officer will then lend his combat support to the stand in contact with the enemy. If, during the charge, Pin results alter the odds so that the charge no longer meets the conditions (1) and (2) above, then the best local officer will attempt rallies until enough stands are able to move and meet the conditions again.
The CCs will only accompany charges where a single stand of yours can fire in reaction. The BC will only personally accompany where there will be no reaction to the charge. His SMG squad will be attached to any charge within a base distance of wherever it happens to be.
FOOs: general policy
FOOs will never move alone. They will always attach themselves to other troops and group move with them, being the last man to move. If they can use smoke to achieve their aims (making a move from A-B without reactive fire possible) they will, otherwise they will employ HE. Your enemy's mortars have infinite ammunition, but may only fire once per initiative as normal. This might seem unfair, but because of the way the instructions work, they will not all get to call in fire every initiative, because often the instructions for them to fire will not come up in an initiative. FOOs will always if possible drop smoke to protect enemy troops in the open who are trying to retreat, as their top priority.
A common instruction will be for enemy troops to fire at your troops. A FOO may support this by first firing HE if possible. Often, orders are to fire against forces to prevent them from reacting to a movement from A to B. In this circumstance, a FOO may drop smoke if this would achieve the aim. Either way, he does this before the phasing direct fire.
Unless otherwise specified, if enemy orders are to fire to suppress/kill enemy troops, then a FOO will support this action by first firing HE, unless smoke will be more effective.
Officer replacement: general policy
The enemy has German-like command and control, and will not replace its PCs.
The enemy will always try to rally an officer first, and then the stands under him, starting with pinned stands. A CC entering a terrain feature with stands in need of rallying will always try to rally at least one stand.
Unless expressly instructed otherwise, all movement will be in individual moves, one stand at a time, and not in groups. Rifle and SMG stands will move first, then PCs, HMGs, CCs, FOOs. However, if you adopt the policy of holding fire until a juicier later target moves up, then moves will be group moves in these circumstances. Either you fire at the first enemy stand to move, or he group moves.
If a terrain feature is occupied by your stands, then your enemy will not move to join them, unless he can meet the conditions for a charge (see above).
If a unit is instructed to move, but over half its non-officer strength needs to rally to make the move, it will start rallying first, otherwise, it leaves the stragglers behind. When it cannot continue because it is too strung out, it rallies officers first, then units next to officers, then units out of sight of enemy, then units furthest from its intended destination. If an officer can return to stragglers without risk of reactive fire, he will do this.
The enemy with three contiguous stands will always try to place the centre stand half a base depth further forward than the flanking stands. Behind the centre stand, the PC will try to position himself, within base distance of all. If an HMG is attached to a platoon, it will try to position itself in the front central position, not protruding, and with a little room for pivoting. If deployment is awkward and troops are in danger of blocking each other's line of fire unnecessarily, then you are trusted to be sensible and deploy them to avoid this.
All troops pinned in the open will ground hug when they can. All troops deployed on bare hills and crests will ground hug when they can.
Recommended house rule
It is very strongly recommended that you play this game (and others) with the following simple house rule: "Suppressed stands are not compulsory target priority. Phasing fire may be directed at a non-suppressed stand even if it is further away than an enemy suppressed stand. A player may chose to shoot at the suppressed stand if he wishes, however."
Your enemy starts with the initiative. Though your enemy is attacking following "blind" orders, your forces are not considered to be "hidden" in the sense of the rules, and so may be fired upon even if they have not fired or moved.
Enemy orders are numbered in sequence. Each has a number from 2 to 6 in brackets after the sequence number. If this number or higher is rolled on 1d6, the instruction is skipped. Keep rolling for each order in sequence until you roll lower than the bracketed number for an order, at which point you make one attempt to carry out that order. If you still have the initiative, then you roll again for the same order, perhaps skipping to the next order, or perhaps giving that order a second go. So, if your orders are to fire at a certain position, and you fire one action and retain the initiative, then you might repeat the order and fire again.
If an instruction is completed, cross it off (a print-out of the orders would help). Keep going until initiative is lost. When initiative is regained, go back to the first uncompleted instruction and roll to see if that instruction is to be carried out.
Naturally, if an instruction is impossible, skip to the next.
When you have constructed the terrain and deployed forces, then and only then do you click HERE to discover what you are up against. Alternatively, you can download Part One of the instructions (better for printing) as a Rich Text Format file. I also here give you the opportunity to download Part Two as a Rich Text File, but be extra careful to read none of it. If you can't trust yourself, and will have access to this website during the game, leave Part Two until later.