After last week's game, I set-up the second scenario in the series with the beleaguered Germans trying to break-out of the pocket. A small American force deployed in the centre of the table, basically occupying a wood and fields near the village of Bordelle-de-Roi. On one side of the table was a small German force of armour and infantry (about half of the total German strength). On the other side was a German relief force, exclusively infantry, coming to help their comrades escape.
I reflected the minor victory for the Americans in the first game by giving them additional troops (the scenario in the rules recommends a ratio of 2:1 for the German player) and by causing the German player problems with fuel supply - on the grounds that they were caught in a pocket with little fuel available. To simulate this each of the 5 German armour pieces (a Panther, 2 Pz IV, a STuG 3 and a Puma) had to avoid rolling a 1 on a D6 each turn. Failure meant immobilisation for that vehicle.
I also gave the players four events each that they could play at any stage, and as it turned out these had a dramatic impact on the game.
How did the game go? Well, I won't give a blow-by-blow account but I think it was our most interesting BKC game yet. A huge scrap developed around a sunken road near the village with charge and counter-charge by both sides, with funny results. It resembled more a Roman-Barbarian slugging match than a WW2 firefight. In the end, the Americans drove off the Germans in the village, but I'm sure even Filip (our brave yankee hero), who played boldly and well, would acknowledge that Bart didn't have much luck with command rolls. For two turns the armour was stuck, the panther never got into action for example and the Pz IVs got blow-up by a Sherman. To cap it all, at a crucial moment Bart rolled three command blunders in two turns. Not good.
Here we can see the different positions, with the Germans in the village and the Americans in the nearby wood:
BKC bordelle de roi 010
And here we can see Germans have advanced to the sunken road to counter the sneaky American advance.
BKC bordelle de roi 013
One of the events that I gave to Filip was 'torrential rain' leading to poor visibility and difficulty to get hits (all attempts more difficult though a '6' was still always a hit). The rain could stop at any time but in the event lasted three turns and the Germans found it impossible to score hits on the enemy.
By game end, poor Bart was very despondent and we called it a day after six turns - a fine victory for the American player.
Conclusions? A fine tactical game, with Filip rewarded for bold play ( a clever assault on the village by his outnumbered troops, luring the Germans into counter-attack and eventual defeat). We played with fewer points this time, 1500 for the attacker. This means more room on the table and a more interesting game. Somehow it was more interesting to have two or three tanks per side than eight or nine. I think for the future we will reserve bigger games for multi player contests.