Did you know that there was a small invasion of Britain in 1941 by elements of the German Army and Air Force? Well neither did the Jackson Gamers till I ran this game on December 5, 2014. The Germans fielded five units (7-9 figures each) of Fallshirmjaegers and two units of infantry. There were also supporting units such as an 81mm. mortar and two tripod mounted machine guns.
Jay Stribling (your humble correspondent) set up the game, at his home, and wrote the rules, which are an unpublished variant for Larry Brom's The Sword and the Flame colonial rules. We call this variant Right in your face! after the old Spike Jones song.
The troops are 28mm figures from a variety of makers. They are owned and painted by Jim Pitts, Mark Stevens and Jay Stribling.
This shows part of Phil Young's command, German Paratroopers, behind a hedge while the British home guard under the command of Larry Cole rush the same hedge. Unfortunately Phil was able to fire before Larry (first fire card drawn was a German one) and cut down many of these sturdy older soldiers.
A long view from the North side of the table showing the bloody slaughter of the home guards (under Larry Cole's command) by the German Fallshirmjaeger led by Phil Young. Photo by Jim Pitts.
This shows "The Machine Shop" after Jim Pitts had moved British Infantry into it. The British had eight units similar in size to the German ones. Three were home guard, two were infantry, and three were pararoopers. There were also supporting weapons such as two 3-inch morars and two heavy machine guns.
The machine shop and the area around it, full of scrap metal and junk gave excellent cover. The open space just to the south of it looked like it would be a killing zone to both sides so Jim did not progress beyond the machine shop and his opponent in this area, Russ Schneider did not advance into it either.
The young lady on the bicycle is a "non-player character" that various gamers moved around the game table at their whim. She was apparently unaffected by the whizzing bullets as she cycled about! The figure is one of a set made by the Foundry some time past. We used a number of these in the game. They are owned by Mark Stevens and were painted years ago by the late Andrew Doyle.
Jim Pitts (left) and Larry Cole (right) discuss important matters, such as why Larry'forces, all home guard, were getting shot to pieces by the German paratroopers.
This image shows "The House" and the tiled roof of "The Villa". The German paratroopers behind the wall were part of Russ Schneider's command and they traded long distance fire with Jim Pitts' British infantry across the way in "The Foundry".
Each structure on the game table was a possible source of victory points, but the players did not know what the "value" of each one was. Here is the game-master's list:
- "The Bridge" is a lovely ancient thing, but it is not worth any victory points.
- "The Barn" hides a group of Luftwaffe aircrew, with weapons. They were shot down days ago and are spoiling for a fight. They can be added to the German order of battle. Occupation of the structure itself gives no victory points.
- "The Machine Shop" has been making prototypes of new Wonder-weapons. (If any of them work it will be a wonder!) Occupation of the Machine shop is worth 15 victory points.
- "The Ruined Church" has valuable documents hidden in the crypt. Occupation is worth 5 victory points.
- "The Villa" contains the Mistress of Major-General Bumpf, her little doggie Fritz, and the General’s papers. Occupation of the Villa is worth 10 victory points.
- "The House" has been used to billet technicians. Occupation of the house is worth 5 victory points.
- "The Apartment Building" has been used to billet troops. Various papers, possibly useful to military intelligence are there. It is worth 5 victory points.
- "The Tower" contains refugee nuns of the Order of The little sisters of 7.9mm. Mauser. They are armed and will fire on the first side to try to enter the tower. The tower itself contains weapons and ammunition and is worth 10 points.
- In addition, each dead or wounded enemy soldier is worth 1 victory point.
This shows the area around "The Machine Shop" occupied by British Infantry. From here they shot at long range at the Germans occupying the courtyard around "The House" and "The Villa" and received fire from their opponents. There was little effect on either side.
"The Ruined Church" has been occupied by a party of the home guard under Larry Cole. The vicar who appeared to them there is probably a ghostly presence, but that did not matter to Larry's men!
The pig sty of "the Keep" occupied by Alec Kirk's paratroopers. Apparently the armed Nuns in "The Keep" did not care if men occupied the pig pen. Alec's men fired at and were fired upon by German Paratroopers under the command of Sean Pitts. There were a number of casualties on both sides from this fire.
These are the positions occupied by Sean Pitts'German paratroopers firing at Alex across the way. "The Barn" can be seen in the background. Sean did not occupy "the Barn" so its German Luftwaffe occupants did not emerge to join the fight.
Alex in a pensive mood. This is after the armed nuns had rebuffed his attempted entry into the "tower". These were the "Little sisters of 7.9mm. Mauser" and as an armed sisterhood, would fire on any group of males attempting to enter the structure. When the leader of the unit was wounded, Alex withdrew, never testing the close combat ability of the armed women.
This photo by Jim Pitts is a better view of Alex's British Paras and their German Opponents. Again, "The Barn" is in the background.
Sean has moved German Paratroopers around to the west, in a successful attempt to outflank part of Alex's Paras. Alex responded by rushing forward to close the range. He suffered from the crossfire of the two units of Fallshirmjaegers but he also inflicted substantial casualties on the flanking force. Photo by Jim Pitts.
The figures shown lying down are wounded. The figure with the yellow ring is a leader. Figures with red rings are "pinned".
Here is one last photo of "The Machine Shop" taken by Jim Pitts, showing his forces in occupation. In the background, Jim has a 3-inch mortar in operation. Note that the female cyclist is heading for a (hopefully) quiet patch of woods.
So, who won this game? After totaling up the points for occupation of various structures and those for killed and wounded enemy troops, each side ended up with 27 points! A draw was declared and we watched part of Ian McKellen's Richard III and had hot dogs and chips for lunch, suitably polished off by a fine cake, baked by Larry Cole.