Friday, November 4, 2011

From the Archives

Digging through some old files I found the following.  Some years ago we played through Omaha book from Skirmish Campaigns and for the first scenario I tried to have a go at writing some orders in the form of a Tactical Appreciation.  Actually, it's in British style culled from an Indian Army publication but it seemed to work OK for American troops - we won the game!

Sadly, I no longer have the map with the locations of the code-named features but I think it's an interesting read anyway.  The rules were Arc of Fire.

The enemy is probably below platoon strength and is thought to be composed largely of regular German infantry.  They are likely to be at least as good as our troops in TAC and Morale terms.  We have the advantage of superior firepower at 10” to 20” range due to our self-loading rifles but their LMGs are superior at longer ranges and they tend to have a high proportion of SMGs giving superior firepower close-to.  Large enemy tank forces are not anticipated but armoured carriers and/or self-propelled guns may be encountered.
My assessment is that the enemy will seek to defend as many of possible of the positions Doc, Minnie, Bashful and Grumpy.
2nd/116th Infantry landed this morning on Omaha Beach and after taking some casualties is now moving out to extend the beachhead.  Own force is in approximately platoon strength (three squads, MMG team and flamethrower team) and is made up of elements of F and G companies.  Our orders are to secure exit (by 15 men) from at least two of the four sunken dirt roads leading away from the beach in the general direction of St Laurent.   Speed of advance is important but should not be allowed to lead to unnecessary casualties.
The open terrain around the beach quickly gives way to farmland broken up by high, embanked hedgerows.  These provide Cover (-1) to fire at troops immediately behind them and block line of sight to/from troops further back.  They take one whole card’s worth of movement to cross.
The crops are approximately waist high.  They make it harder (automatic to 10”, Tac roll required to 20”) to spot troops moving carefully (3” per card or less) but provide no cover.   If shot at while moving cautiously in crops, keep moving unless the fire is absolutely overwhelming.
The platoon will move quickly forward to positions from which it will determine enemy deployments, engage the enemy by fire and probably close assault and will then move through the enemy position to exit the battle area on two of the four identified exit roads.
The enemy is unlikely to have sufficient forces to adequately guard all four exit roads.  On the other hand they cannot afford to not contest any of the exits.   We will establish a strong central position with a view to (1) identifying the centre of enemy resistance and (2) destroying by fire and manoeuvre as many as possible of the enemy’s forces. 
The platoon will move forward to hedgelines Droopy (two squads) and Bugs (one squad).  One squad and the flamethrower team will move forward to position Daffy with a view to destroying enemy forces in the vicinity of position Minnie.   Taking Minnie will provide a base for fire and manoeuvre in either on easterly or westerly direction as enemy deployments permit. 
The squad at Bugs will engage by fire enemy troops at Bashful and/or Grumpy.  It may be necessary for them to use manoeuvre in order to prevent the enemy laterally reinforcing the Minnie position.  Given the likelihood that they will have to operate in relative isolation from the rest of the platoon it is proposed that this role be given to the larger 1st Squad.
The remaining squad and the MMG team will manoeuvre along hedgeline Droopy Green with a view to taking up firing positions around the junction of Mickey and Droopy Green.  It may be necessary for part of the squad to advance on the eastern side of Droopy Green so as to provide fire support to the assault team heading for Daffy.  On arrival in suitable positions, the team will engage by fire enemy positions in and around features Doc and Minnie.
Anti-armor plan – enemy tanks are not anticipated but any supporting armoured vehicles (even tracked carriers) could pose a threat.  Troops facing them in the open should find cover and stalk the enemy vehicles aggressively.
Troops behind Mickey intending to exit roads Matthew and/or Mark should move across the hedgeline on GT5 at the latest.
Troops behind Droopy cannot exit from Mark unless they move off no later than GT4.
Troops at Daffy must start moving on turn 5 if they are to exit at Mark or Luke. 
My own HQ will advance with the central squad.
Remember that verbal and handsignal communication range is 6” but you can use a chain of figures to achieve this.
The full list of codenames is as per the map. 

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