David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Turning the Tide...

...or not! A brief photo montage report of a recent Rapid Fire!2 game here in GHQ between Jon and myself. As is usual by now, Jon took command of the British forces while I commanded the Germans. The game is set in July 1944 and sees a retreating German force attempting to stave off an overwhelming Allied assault as it covers the main body's retreat. The game was played down the length of the table and was set at ten moves. After Turn 3 the Allies' plane can arrive on the table, while after turn 5 the Germans can try to mobilise a counter attack ~ their initial force consisting of two Stugs, an 88mm Anti Aircraft gun in anti tank mode, and one Company of  Infantry with an 80mm mortar and MMG support. {The small delaying force faces overwhelming odds in its task but can call on off table artillery strikes on two predetermined coordinates at the German player's will, assuming he can make radio contact that is!}
The table in Turn 3. The 88mm has knocked out one armoured car, while one of the Stugs has failed to hit its target. {The plane is not yet in action}

As you can see in the first picture, the Germans are withdrawing to the second defencive line in order to preserve their small forces integrity and effectiveness. As the Allied force does n't know that it enjoys overwhelming superiority on the table the lines of hedges and he ruined buildings in their mind can become strong defencive positions to be approached with caution.

The first Stug and the 88mm withdraw through the ruins of the town to avoid the oncoming barrage of fire and the predeclared aircraft attack.
The Allies' 25ld battery lays down fire on the ruins, just after the Germans withdrew their force there!
The Stug and the 88 struggle to move to their second position and are in danger of being caught in the open!
The Allies' Churchill tanks bear down on the lone Stug!
The Germans struggle to deploy the 88 to support the unequal struggle of the lone Stug and are bombed by the Allied aircraft!
A second Stug, until now without a target, comes into action from the German right flank and takes out an Allied Churchill!
Finally, at the third attempt, the 88 is destroyed in a bombing run by Pilot Officer Whyte DFC & Bar!
Now, at this point, you may be asking yourself what happened to the German's Counter Attack, as well you might. Three Panzer IVs were available to attack across the Allied line of advance from Turn 5 on a throw of 5 or 6 on a D6. My best effort in five turns was a 2! So, no Counter Attack materialised and when my force's Morale broke the force was in headlong retreat in Turn 9!
The game reminded us both of how much we enjoy Rapid Fire! as a wargame's system for fast and furious WWII games here in GHQ. While its true that I've enjoyed in recent months several games of Battlegroup Kursk with Phil and Jon on tables large and small, I do feel more comfortable here in GHQ with Rapid Fire! for my games. I've bought a copy of Battlegroup Overlord and I expect we'll try it out here in 2014 in due course, but I think it will struggle in my mind to supplant the system I've grown so used to over the years.
It only remains now to wish my loyal reader, where ever he or she may be


  1. Nice write up and images as per usual, see you Monday, perhaps you can increase this months victory tally and end the year on a high :-)

  2. Excellent report as usual David. I came to Rapid Fire after BGK. I enjoy both but find like you that I prefer the older system more.

    1. I think that for me it is mostly a problem of detail in BGK which I don't really want, plus only having a 6'6" x 4' table...