Encounter #1: British Paratroopers advance on a farmhouse near Wolfheze
British Paratroopers, led by Platoon Sergeant Jennings, move along the dead-end road that leads to a large fire-damaged farmhouse. They are seeking to extend the perimeter north of LZ ‘S’. The whir of an MG42 shatters the morning peace and Sergeant Tompkins, who was seeking to cross the road in order to push up the right flank, falls. The rest of his team return to the squad and they all push towards the building. The Bren team loose shots into the window of the farmhouse where the German MG was firing from. A commotion from within the house signalled a hasty retreat by the occupants. When the paratroopers recced the building they saw that the Bren fire had taken out the German MG team. Their sudden loss must have unnerved the rest of their squad.
Encounter #2: The Germans regroup and attempt to retake the farmhouse
Jennings set up the Bren Team against the solid stone wall surrounding the house’s garden. He also set a two man outpost to observe a blind approach. The Germans took most of the afternoon to reorganise, but they attacked with a weakened platoon in the early evening. The Bren team and Jenning’s half squad moved quickly to the hedge to hit the enemy as they moved across the open fields. A German squad pushed hard, but Sten fire followed by accurate shooting from the Bren dissuaded them and they fell back, leaving several injured comrades where they went down. The Bren team needed to reload, but there was more than enough covering fire to keep the enemy’s heads down. Privates Hoey and Duncan pushed towards the enemy with the intention of sending grenades towards a MG team that was setting up. A stray shot hit the German leader, severely injuring him. This the attack falling into disarray the German attackers gathered the wounded they could and retreated.
Encounter #3: The Germans call up armoured support
Unterfeldwebel Müller was livid at the lack of progress that his platoon was making. They needed to retake the farmhouse and to start to push towards the Paratrooper and Glider troops LZs. He successfully petitioned for support from his company commander and from the commander of an assault gun battery. For the attack on the farmhouse his platoon would have a Pak38 and StuG III aiding them. During the night the British had received a small bit of extra support in the form of a 6-pounder.
At first light the Germans began a concerted push back towards the farmhouse. Sgt Jennings reacted by running to join the 6-pounder, his first orders being to reposition it to face the oncoming tank. The StuG III surged through the hedge, rapidly followed by a squad of infantry. With the Bren gun out of position, covering another field, and his other troopers still moving into position, Jennings ordered the anti tank gun to focus on the biggest threat. The light was poor and low mist hugged the ground, but the artillerymen shot remarkable accuracy and punched a hole through the enemy assault gun. It ground to a halt and two crew abandoned it, just as smoke began to rise from the stricken vehicle. Jennings ordered the artillerymen to focus their aim on the incoming infantry and again, they showed great skill, a HE shell exploding in the midst of the enemy.
The Bren rang our across the opposite field, clipping Müller and pinning his squad of attackers before they cleared a small copse of trees. A dense plume of black smoke was now rising from the StuG, signalling to all of the attackers that their most significant advantage was disabled. Shouts could be heard across the fields and the Germans began to retreat.
Revisiting the rules
So, I was less than impressed the last time I tried Nuts! as a solo play experience. for that game I had individual Reps (Reputation stat; a general measure of quality and fighting spirit) for each model, but I found it to be very cumbersome. I simplified things a bit this time:
- Each squad had two Reps: one for the Leader and one for the rest of the troops. The Leader wasn’t necessarily the man with the highest Rep.
- This worked well and streamlined the impact of different tests on the models. It meant they reacted as a squad. This is less granular, but that was okay, as it was much more efficient.
- I was inspired by the PEF chart, rather than being driven by it. I tried to stick to fixed forces (with some randomness as to when they’d appear). This constrained things, but at least it meant I had all of the models ready to go.
- I also gave the British very little in the way of Reinforcements.
All told, I enjoyed these games. I’ve also played some small scale Battlegroup games and they certainly seem to be a little more fluid, albeit not quite as granular. Battlegroup doesn’t have solo play rules, so you have to very much play both sides.
In summary, I’ll certainly look to Nuts! again for some small scale solo or co-op games. It allows for a nice narrative to unfold.
Until next time,