Sunday, June 30, 2013

Race for Vader Rock: Wampus Country Under the Tree Challenge

This is my The Wampus Country Under the Tree Challenge  game. I was able to use a good number of the gifts pictured in this post. The rules used were Featherstone's WWII rules from his Wargames, which was under my tree this year. Both sides were Christmas gifts as well, and, although not very creative,  the hill in the middle table is a pile of the books and a DVD I got as gifts. Vader Rock, well, that should be obvious.

October 1944
The Nazi's have discovered the location of an alleged ancient occult power source - the Death's Head - located in a secluded location known only as Vader Rock. Two platoons of German infantry have been moving quietly towards Vader Rock with orders to locate and return with the Death's Head.

Fortunately, for the Allies, a spy was able to report this just prior to his being discovered and subsequent execution. Lt. Grimlock and Lt. Slag have been sent with a platoon each to recover the artifact if it exists, and barring that, stop the Germans if they get there first.

Lt. Grimlock has orders to move directly to Vader Rock and avoid a protracted engagement with the enemy.

Lt. Slag has been tasked with providing support for Grimlock's platoon. They are to engage the enemy and harass and eliminate the Germans above all else.

The race is on.

Lt. Slag arrives on the scene. Grimlock orders his men towards the objective.

The 2nd German Platoon arrives in a favorable position to reach Vader Rock.

German 2nd Platoon reaches Vader Rock first. When they exit, a shoot out ensues.

The bullets fly. Men engage in Hand to Hand. The German officer has the Death's Head!

The Germans try to flee, but they drop the Death's Head as they disappear into the forest In the foreground, Slag's platoon cuts down the German 1st platoon.
Lt. Grimlock poses with the Death's Head.
The rules are quite simple and I found them quite fun to play, 

I used Featherstone's suggested variable movement for the US, which found my platoons bogged down, unable to move, several turns in a row. I adjusted the German's variable move to use 1 - No Move, 2-4 - Normal, 5-6 Double Move, to give them a slight advantage.

Featherstone, judging by the scenario he presents in his book, used 10 figures for a company. That wouldn't work for me, given I only have 16 figures for each side, without resorting to non-Christmas purchases. I opted to use 6 figures total per unit, and 1 for the leader. I really didn't think 2 companies would be sent on a mission like this, so I decided the units were, in fact, platoons.

In my opinion, the game would have looked better if the figures had been mounted 2 to a base for each section, but that wouldn't have been true to Featherstone.

I used the ranges as given - 6" infantry move, 12-24" rifle range. Due to having fewer figures on the table per unit, I halved the casualties for all fire results. 

I enjoyed the morale mechanism. Slag's platoon failed morale in a fire fight early on, but recovered. The 2nd German Platoon failed, and the failed on subsequent turns as well, leading to their leaving the table.

The game took about 1.5 hours to play, which includes time for pictures and note taking.

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