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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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Saint-Martin-de-Sallen, 1944

The Second World War, Battlegroup Panzergrenadier, 15mm

Edinburgh in August is a little crazy, what with the Edinburgh Festival, the Fringe and the Book Festival all taking place at the same time. Strange things happen. For a start, I didn’t have a proper game to play, so I was reduced to playing one with 15mm figures. The aim of this small game was to try out the new edition of Battlegroup Panzergrenadier, but one look at the German player and we knew this wasn’t going to happen. Dougie Trail had enjoyed a little too much Festival hospitality, and was too drunk to play with any degree of effectiveness. He was barely able to roll dice, let alone figure out new rules mechanisms. Of course, as his main opponent, Derek Hodge just saw the word “victim” tattooed on his forehead! ww2-aug-09-03We reverted to the tried and tested 1st edition. The scenario involved a British reconnaissance probe towards a road junction somewhere near Caumont, spearheaded by Cromwell tanks of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, part of the British 11th Armoured Division. ww2-aug-09-06Derek Hodge and I took the British, and split our forces to attack on two sides of our main axis, a road which led to an important “T” Junction. That was our objective. It began badly, when a Cromwell was brewed by a hidden Marder. However, good shooting forced the German tank destroyer to retire, and once out in the open (on the road junction itself) it was hit and destroyed. The advance continued, with British infantry on Derek’s wing clearing the Germans from a wood at point of bayonet. By this time the German commander was on a rapid slide to oblivion (likened to a diving Stuka with an elephant hanging on its tail), and despite the efforts of his co-commander Mikowai Staszek it was all going horribly wrong…ww2-aug-09-09My infantry had an easier time of it, and reached the lateral road, capturing a bombed-out building before driving off a small German counter-attack from infantry, supported by another Marder. Meanwhile Derek’s tanks saw off another threat, spearheaded by a Jagdpanzer IV, which was left smoking in a cornfield. Actually, the German collapse was so spectacular that we didn’t even use our air missions, as we’d effectively run out of suitable targets.ww2-aug-09-10Victory was awarded to the British, leaving the German commander (the Amy Winehouse of wargaming) .. er .. shell-shocked by the experience. Minutes later he was poured into a cab and sent home. All in all it was an enjoyable little game, and a bit like watching a good film in subtitles, after a while you forgot you were playing with tiny 15mm figures and 1/100 scale vehicles, rather than bigger ones!



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