Bocage Country

This week at the Minehead Wargames Club I put on a game of Fireteam:WWII. The game was set in Normandy a few days after the D-Day landings. The mission involved a British platoon attempting top capture a small village from German Defenders.

The infantry miniatures are from Warlord Games’ Bolt Action series while the vehicles are 1/48 scale models by Tamiya.

British Force

  • Command Group
  • PIAT team
  • OP Team
  • 2 x Infantry Sections
  • Vickers MG Team
  • Universal Carrier
  • Sherman Firefly
  • 1 x 25pdr Field Gun (off-table)

German Force

  • Command Group
  • 2 x Infantry Sections
  • MG-42 Team
  • Tiger Tank

The Battlefield

One half of the table was covered with farmland with dense bocage hedgerows (seriously restricting lines of sight) while the opposite end was occupied by a small village.

TheĀ terrain was built and provided by club member and terrain guru Paul Davies who has also published an excellent book on producing wargaming terrain that can be purchased on Amazon.

The Game

The opening turns of the game saw the Germans taking up defensive positions in the village including positioning their MG-42 team on the top floor of one of the buildings. The British cautiously advanced sending their Tank, and MG team directly ahead while the two infantry sections moved around the flank.

The dense bocage terrain prevented any long range firing so the first few turns were light on casualties. Once the British reached the edge of the village the action really began.

The Sherman Firefly edged out of one of the fields and hit the side armour of the Tiger with a lucky shot, knocking it out before it could even engage a target. Meanwhile the Germans defending the edge of the village engaged in fire fights with the British positioned in the hedgerows. Due to some awful dice rolling from myself combined with excellent dice from my opponent Mark the Germans came off much worse.

This hammering on the edge of the village sent the defenders into disarray with one section surrendering and the others forced to fall back. To add to the German misfortune, Mark managed to bring an artillery strike down on the building housing the MG-42, killing most of the team. All of this allowed the British to enter the village while the rest of their force could carry out their attack on the German flank and secure the victory.

Overall it was a fun game with plenty of tension and excitement. Once the firefights began the effects of the close quarter gunfire was brutal. If I were to play the battle again I would make more use of the buildings and probably dig most of the defenders in before the game (and roll better dice of course).

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