Friday, May 24, 2019

A Method Tried and Abandoned

Among the many things I have tried with the WWII-on-a-grid rules I'm working on (and really they are probably only nominally WWII, more like "modern" in the old school sense) is a mechanism stolen from the Powered by the Apocalypse RPGs.

I have more ideas than time, so I set up a a simple grid and counter play-test area next to my laptop, to let me test ideas while still getting work done. This is actually a later play-testing for a different approach to the rules than discussed here.

The method in brief: roll 2d6. On a 10+ you succeed (in the RPGs in question, the player narrates their success). On a 7-9, you partially succeed (the player narrates their partial success. I may be remembering this incorrectly, and it may be that the GM does a "Yes, but"). On a 6 or less, the GM makes a "move" - some kind of failure result. There are modifiers up or down in the rules as well.

So, for example, you declare you will attack an enemy unit. If you roll an 11, you destroy that unit. On an 8, you succeed in pinning the enemy, on a 4, you miss and that unit returns fire.  Modifiers it should be noted are not narrated and are part of the game rules themselves. For example, in a war game, cover modifiers would be pre-assigned just as they usually are.

In a war game, as opposed to an RPG focused on story-telling and not combat, you also probably want to keep your successes more limited - destroying all of the enemy units on a single roll of 2d6, while a victory for your side is a loss for war gamers everywhere.

If you're familiar with Featherstone's simplified rules for modern war games from his War Games: Battles and Manoeuvres with Model Soldiers, you may notice a similarity to his method for determining vehicle damage.

I think the key to using the system without a GM, but when playing another player, is to assign results ahead of time, much like Featherstone's method, in order to avoid disputes.

Solo, as I now think about it, could work with a more free form narrative method where the results are narrated by the player as determined by the situation at hand, and I may have hampered my own play testing by approaching it as if I was writing rules for two players. I also played with degrees of success (7-9, 10-11, 12+ ) which required multiple markers to track and I've already mentioned how found that unappealing.

In any case, while I've moved away from this method for my rules (at this time), it is still quite useful for special scenario situations that aren't covered by the game rules.

For example: You need to blow up a bridge. Your rules have no demolition rules. Roll 2d6. On a 10+, the bridge is completely destroyed, 7-9 the bridge blows, but unfortunately it doesn't collapse entirely, leaving a way for the enemy to cross albeit at a reduced rate, and finally on a 6 or less, something has gone wrong- perhaps the ignition wire has a break in it somewhere and good luck finding it.

I gave up on this approach for combat resolution - perhaps too hastily - and I think I may have to revisit it at some point, but in the more narrative manner of the original RPG, and less as a traditional war game with all results assigned prior to rolling.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Madness Continues

I know I said I had some plans for Army Green (Imperial Russians) and Army Khaki (Highlanders) but would, that I could, I cannot stop messing around with my WWII on a grid idea. After 6 or so test games, and making adjustments to everything here and there, I am no closer, and may in fact be farther away from any finish point than I was when I started. However, I find the whole process of rules writing and tinkering quite enjoyable.

The biggest change is conceptual : treating each grid-space as somewhere around 50m^2 rather than 100m^2. This came about for two main reasons:

The first is that, even with the negative effects I added for multiple units in a space, 100m across is roughly a platoon in attack, so spreading squads out to cover 100m each in attack while it looked good, was out of scale (not that I'm a huge stickler for scale, clearly). 50m spaces resolve this dilemma, while still allowing more than one unit in a space (50m^2 is a lot of space). 

The second reason is that this scale, or close to it, is used by more than a few hex-and-counter tactical wargames where chits equal squads, half squads, weapons crews and the like. In my case, I have a copy of Lock n Load Tactical that I am referring to (since it's free) and it uses 50m. This obviously changes the number of squares a given weapon type can cover but that's not a problem.

Rules have been added/tried/adjusted/removed/added again for platoon leaders, engineer squads, snipers, FOOs and their associated artillery strikes - including smoke, and finally, mine fields. The purpose is to allow me to play the 2 x 2 Crossfire scenarios with the same OOBs, but on a grid.

One success is that I may have made "stacking" suitably beneficial but also suitably dangerous.

One obvious problem is too many markers. Two per stand really adds up fast.

I'm trying to decide how I will handle this. I may steal from Company Command and have a single status that applies to the stand, rather than tracking hits or pins and the like separately. I have also been finding ways to reduce the number of die rolls generally - but in some cases I'm not so sure it's the best idea.

As the rules stand, actually, across iterations, the 2x2 scenarios work well. Although I haven't really just played a game to enjoy it lately as I am focused on the mechanisms and results.

The One Hour Wargame Scenarios I tried varied in their success  depending on the conditions specified in the scenario- such as in one game where the Soviets had to keep two units within 12" of the hill. This made for a very lopsided game with so few numbers (the original scenario in OHW calls for 6 units per side, and this was not balanced in that way - I used the 2x2 forces. Perhaps changing the defender's unit count to match the attacker's, per OHW would yield a better result.).

Then again, even removing that condition, they still got steam rolled by the German juggernaut.

Finally, this is my 100th post on this blog. It was a bit slow getting here, but hopefully the posting pace will continue as in addition to enjoying wargaming, I like to write. I just don't do it often enough.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Fortress of War : Movie

Continuing my journey into Russian WWII films, I recently watched Fortress of War.  The focus of the film is on the defense of Brest Fortress - several of the defenders would be named Heroes of the Soviet Union.

From the wikipedia entry on the event:
The defence of Brest Fortress was the first major battle of Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union launched on 22 June 1941. The defenders had received no warning of the attack, and the German Heer (army) expected to take Brest on the first day using only infantry and artillery. The defence of the fortress by the Red Army lasted for 32 days; the defenders lost more than 2000 men, with 6800 captured, while attackers lost 430 men. German ground forces took the fortress only after two bombardments by the Luftwaffe.
The movie is a tense affair as the Soviet situation is desperate to say the least. I enjoyed it quite a bit, although something about the end didn't really do it for me. Overall though, definitely worth the watch.

[As a completely random aside, for a brief period of time, I used my commute to work through some Pimsleur CDs for Russian. I am constantly surprised by how much I remember (I only made it maybe 12 or so CDs into Russian I) and don't need the closed captioning for. I am fairly well convinced Pimsleur works.]

As I tend to do when I watch war movies, I consider whether any part of it might be game-able. It's a disease really. In any case, this one is filled with ideas for the wargamer for multiple small-unit engagements in a relatively small geographic area across an entire month. I imagine you could play a campaign based solely on the events and try to see if the Soviets can hold out nearly as long as the real-life defenders.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Tiny Tanks

As I fiddle with the rules that I am working on, I was struck by the idea of attempting yet again to use a grid to play higher level battles - a battalion or more per side. While I am happy with my limited selection of 1/48 - 1/50 scale tanks for games where 1 model = 1 tank, I can even buy it for a platoon, but using 1 tank to represent a company, or more looks . . . underwhelming to my eyes.

Unfortunately, given their cost, at least here in the US, acquiring multiples of the Solido and like tanks is too rich for my blood. Not to mention, there's a limited selection of vehicle models available.

As I mentioned the other day, I was intrigued by a post I read over at the Duchy of Tradgardland:

I *love* how the 1/72 vehicle looks with the 54mm figures on a grid. Grids, I think, more than a grid-less table, emphasize their "game-ness" and the 1/72 scale vehicles with the larger figures go one further in this direction than even the playing-with-toys look of using 1/50 with 54s.

Still, it helps to see this sort of thing in-person.

Lo and behold, I have a 1/72 Churchill purchased on a whim at Wal-mart long ago, when I first started wargaming. The Churchill is a longer tank (I have a Corgi in 1/50 as well and it too is longer than most of the others) so that didn't seem a fair test. Conveniently, I also have an Italeri fast-build kit of two Sherman M4A2s acquired for my 1/72 PTO WWII collection some years back and never assembled.

I decided to dry fit one of those Shermans  and see for myself:

Three figure "squad" protect the small tank's flank as the 1/50 big brother looks on.

1/50 in the back, 1/72 in the front.

A two figure "squad" with a 1/72 Sherman.
I probably should get out the grid cloth, for one final test, but for less than 1/3 of what the metal 1/50 tanks cost, I can get two plastic 1/72 tanks, and build units of 3 or more tanks fairly inexpensively while covering a wider range of armor options.

If I want to do the scale model thing, as opposed to fast build, there are many more options - but those are a bit fiddly for my taste. Still, particularly for early on the Eastern Front where acquiring Solido et al. for that theater is quite pricey, if the models even exist, this is a viable alternative.

The biggest down-side that I can think of, besides owning Shermans, Panzer IVs, and Tigers in three scales, and T-34s in two, is the plastic models need assembly and paint. Or do they? (paint I mean. I"m not sure if that's laziness talking or the game-piece like look of the things is that appealing).

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Grid Madness Continues

A comment by Ross Mac on my last post got me itching to try some new ideas for my WWII grid rules experiment, while looking over the Dutchy of Tragdardland's inter-war postings had me reconsidering basing/figure counts  (again!) as well as vehicle scale (more on that in another post). Finally, I had done some very minimal research into effective ranges for various weapons. Thus, setting up a test game Friday night was inevitable and fueled by caffeine and watermelon, I gave in to the onrushing tide of fate.

The new basing (3 inches x 2 inches, instead of 3 inches by 3 inches) is visible below. Two figures per squad stand looks good to me on a grid, but off-grid, three figures looks better (for say, Company Command). An order of steel rectangles of this dimension is in my immediate future.

I opted to use a scenario #4, Take the High Ground, from One Hour Wargames as the basis for the action. Two 3-squad German platoons, one with a 50mm mortar in support are attacking a single Soviet platoon, with MMG and light mortar in support.

Unlike the scenario setup in One Hour Wargames, I put a single squad on the hill, and the MG in the woods to the East as that made more sense to me.
The suggestion Ross made pertained to multiple-stands in a grid-space and that it should have some sort of negative, in addition to the positive, to prevent horde tactics. I opted to try a few things. For MG fire, they could try for each stand (up until a maximum of two hits), and all units in the space not hit would test for suppression/disorder. Mortars would apply test suppression on all units in a grid-space.

This Soviet MG team would serve the Motherland well by hampering the German assault on the hill.
This seemed to work well and made the MG a bit of a beast.

Another change was for close combat - I added an assault option which takes place as a move action, not a fire action. Each side rolls one d6. The attacker gets +1 for attacking, and +1 if there are 2 units attacking from the same space. MG teams cannot initiate close assault, but in defense gain +1. Cover applies a -1 to the roll. High score wins - loser takes a hit and is suppressed/disordered. If a defending unit is destroyed and the grid space is empty, the attacking units may move into the grid space.

The Soviets kept the Germans pinned and were able to hold out far longer than I expected on the hill with 4:1 odds.
I think it needs to be deadlier than it was - but with a chance to regroup and attack/defend. Still, it worked for me for the most part.

But eventually the Germans captured the hill. The Soviets did not have support available to mount a suitable counter-attack, but Mother Russia's children do not retreat (they could try, but they'd be shot).

One unintended side effect of the rules for attacking a square with more than one unit in it is that it changed my approach to taking out the MG. I kept the squads pretty far (each in its own grid-space) to lessen the effect of MG fire. This felt right even if it spread out the squads a bit further than doctrine might suggest (based on my six minutes of Internet research).

And with their bonus when close-assaulted - plus cover - it made it a risky affair to dislodge the MG - which again, felt right. Unfortunately for the Germans, while the mortar consistently managed to force the MG team to take a suppression result, they weren't able add a second or third, and so the weapon's team was able to clear it away the next turn without issue.

This MG team would prove very difficult to eliminate - indeed it never would be eliminated - and it repelled multiple attempts to dislodge it from the woods, until eventually it fell back and melted into the trees when ordered to do so.

Although the Germans won by capturing and holding the hill, little remains of the platoon on the German right, thanks to the machine gun and some really poor dice rolling.
I like how things are going with this experiment and may get around to writing up the in-progress rules at some point, but I will put away the WWII toys for a minute as I'm itching to get Army Green and Army Khaki back on the table.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Mucking about with WWII on a Grid

I hadn't intended to go back to this soon so soon, but a cancelled rehearsal left open a bit of time Monday evening, and painting didn't seem super appealing (in fact it hasn't very much lately).

It began innocently enough with playing with configurations of figures on and off bases, in 6" and 4" grid spaces - there are lot of ideas spinning about in my head - and before I knew it, I'd setup a small test game on a 6 x 6 grid. No rules were determined in advance. I was intent on playing to see what came out of it.

The scenario was simple : two German platoons (3-squads each) with 5cm mortar in support were to attack and capture a hill occupied by the Soviets. The Soviets had a single platoon (3-squad), an HMG - represented by an LMG team, and a mortar.

Units are single squads or heavy weapons teams, grids spaces are 100 meters on a side, up to 4 units from the same side can occupy (may be "stacked" in) a single grid-space.

What follows essentially amounts to notes to my future self, but I present them for your amusement. They are not at all refined nor a complete set of rules:

The "game" already under way.
I prefer cards for initiative, so that was an easy decision. That is, until I got the cards out and then I had to choose exactly which card method. In the event, I assigned red to the Soviets, black to the Germans. Odd cards allowed all units for that side to move, evens to attack, and face cards allowed all of that sides units to move and attack as needed.

I'm not at all sure as to why I came up with that, but I figured I might as well roll with it.

The resulting "friction", aka "frustration" worked mostly - except when successive card draws resulted in no action of any kind. On the other hand, it's not like a lot of time was lost that way. If Jokers mean the end of a turn, then that has the potential to change how much gets done per turn - something I like.

When the first attack card came up, I was struck by the realization that allowing multiple units per grid space had to be meaningful in some way or there was no point in doing it.

A Soviet platoon moves out to meet the German advance.
+1 to the result for each additional unit also attacking the same target simultaneously seemed OK. At first, I allowed units from multiple spaces to count towards the total - my thought was to encourage focused attacks rather than scattering efforts across targets - and therefore the bonus. I dropped this later in the game and only give the bonus from those in the same space  as it was getting a little silly.

I rolled 1d6 for each infantry unit attacking, but in retrospect, I'm thinking maybe one for the attacking space - with the modifiers for each attacking unit in that space.

On the Soviet left a German platoon fires from cover with mortar support in hopes of suppressing the MG.

Mortars were limited to suppression results only - an idea stolen from Company Command I think. While infantry attacks could cause hits and/or suppression. What suppression meant I never really quite decided - other than that a unit had to remove the suppression results before they could do anything else

The German assault on the hill. Note the suppression on the MG team - this allowed the Germans to advance to close range (1 grid space) and greatly improved their chances for clearing out the MG.

I found myself being sucked into the game, which is always a good sign except that I was trying to hash out some rules ideas. There are clearly areas where more thought is needed - and possibly more than a few things that are missing (oh, like off board artillery, armor, anti-tank rules, etc.) but as I've noted elsewhere, even if these rules eventually amount to nothing, it is an enjoyable exercise.

Here are the "complete" combat rules, more or less as they were used:

All units have 4 HP (for convenience - this is just a brain storm of a game after all)

Each infantry unit rolled 1d6
Each mortar unit rolled 1d6
Each MG unit rolled 2d6

+1 to the result for each additional unit also attacking the same target simultaneously [later changed to attacking from the same square]

To hit:
For infantry and MG:

Target in Open:
range 3 spaces: 6+
range 2 spaces: 5+
range 1 space: 4+

Target in Cover (nebulous description to be sure):
range 3 spaces: 7+
range 2 spaces:  6+
range 1 space: 5+

If the target is hit, it loses 1 HP and automatically acquires a suppression marker.

If the target is missed, re-roll. If the score on the dice hits this time, add a suppression marker for each hit (but no loss of HP).

[I was trying to do something like I vaguely remember from playing BKC (a game I enjoy). Need to read those rules out again.]

Mortars must have direct LOS to target, or be within 2 spaces of an infantry unit that does, for indirect fire. They have a range of 6 spaces (600 meters, which, after a very brief internet search, looks to have in fact, been too far for these small mortars) and always hit on a 4+, regardless of cover or range, but they only score suppression results.

At 0 HP a unit is removed.

A suppressed unit can take no actions (except to remove suppression) until all suppression markers are removed.

To remove suppression: Roll 1d6, a 4+ removes 1 suppression markers and can be attempted on any card drawn for that side.A unit may keep removing suppression markers until a failure or all are removed.  It can then act as normal on that card.

Night Witches, Night Swallows

Recently, Kaptain Kobold posted about the Night Witches role-playing game by Bully Pulpit Games - a game centered around the Soviet all-female 588th Night Bomber Regiment. I found the idea of the game very intriguing and plan to pick it up.

Then, as luck would have it, Amazon, being omniscient, suggested the Russian television series, Night Swallows, which I continuously incorrectly refer to as Night Sparrows, focused on members of the all-female 46th "Taman" Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regimente.

Night Swallows closely ties the action of the flyers to an army commando unit, with the requisite TV romantic complications (the historical accuracy of any of this bit isn't anything I've looked into).  In addition to the Germans, there is at least one Russian "bad guy" - you know the one, the one who reports every infraction as a violation against the Motherland and Stalin.

Some of the situations seem contrived - like because they are a night bombing regiment, the Germans seem to decide to do everything at night. Regardless, there are plenty of small-scale scenario ideas here for both air and land wargamers.

Given the number of movies / TV shows I've watched featuring all-female Soviet units, it's becoming increasingly difficult to avoid contemplating acquiring figures for gaming (28mm is more promising on this front than 1/32 or 1/35 even. I wonder if anyone at the "local" game shop would balk if I show up with an all-female platoon for Bolt Action?)

Friday, May 3, 2019

Friday Night Musings on a Game on a Grid

I've been inspired, by my re-readings of The Portable Wargame books and by following along with Ross Mac's rules developments, as well as my recent foray into board wargames, to look again at playing grid-based games with miniatures.

One thing I have struggled with continuously is the aesthetics.

I don't mean the squares themselves - I rather like them. However, one base in too large a grid space looks lonely but in too small a gird space and there isn't room for terrain and figures, or worse, for tanks or guns. I gridded a cloth years ago with a 6" space and it worked well enough for the tanks (at the time CTS) but  it always seemed weird to me that a second or third base couldn't enter the square.

However, it occurred to me only last night that if I borrow from hex-and-counter games and allow "stacking", the large grid space might possibly work well as a hybrid board/miniatures game (I realize I'm reinventing the wheel - Command & Colors players do this kind of thing all of the time, and Worthington did this already for their own game, Hold the Line!).

So, using my preferred scale of 1 base = 1 squad and fielding up to a company per side, I decided that because a platoon in the attack (with 2 squads up, 1 back) was somewhere around 100 meters give or take, and I use 3" bases, a  6" grid space represents approximately 100 meters on a side. I can deploy 3 bases in a 2 up, 1 back if I want to represent the entire platoon, but I'm not sure the depth is right on that (can't say I'll lose any sleep over it either). A single squad covering that width, let alone depth, in the defense is a bit of a stretch but these are all compromises that I'm OK with.

The next question from my perspective is how many figures per base. It's weird, to me at least, that certain combinations of figure counts on bases or in a grid space convey different impressions to my brain about what the unit represents, when in all cases, these are just abstractions. Finding the right look then is important. But what looks right in this case? I threw down my gridded cloth and some bases and fiddled about to see what worked for me.

For the most of my recent gaming past, I've used 3-figure bases. But with two bases side-by-side in the same grid space, I felt this conveyed a larger unit than a platoon:

3 platoons - 2 up 1 back - with support attack a single platoon (also with support). But is that what it looks like?

To my eyes, and horse for courses, two 3-figure bases in the same square looks like a company. Note to self: If I want to play battalion grid games, this is the way.

A few years ago when I first experimented with based figures for WWII gaming, I settled on 2-figure bases as a practical matter (less figures to paint). I'm sure I changed because of something I read about the number of figures per base in other games. As it turns out, 2-figure bases works pretty well for this particular idea (I think I might still prefer 3-figure bases without a grid):

Better. 2-figure bases coveys the idea of squads and platoons.

The only issue is if I look at a heavy weapon crew - it's not immediately obvious by figure count that it's a heavy weapon and not a squad of infantry. The individual figures (ignore the lone crew member with the anti-tank gun) are an idea borrowed from Company Command - they are attachments to a given squad that can be detached to move away from their parent squad. I'm thinking they can move 1 to 2 spaces away maybe?

I'm not sure if, like some board wargames, I want to consider all bases in a square for attack and defense or choose which base is attacking and which is the target. And does position, front to back in the grid space matter? I'm thinking it could - front half vs/ back half maybe? Not for ranged attacks, but for close assault.

This is an idea I'm just playing with right now. Regardless, the next thing I need to do is paint those steel bases and the wooden ones for the Soviets!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

1:1 WWII Vehicles and Kit

This past weekend was the annual WWII Heritage Days celebration in Peachtree City, GA, not far from Atlanta. I've taken my son three years running - each year is better than the last. What I found most interesting this year was the increase in female participants doing historical impressions - homefront and service. I didn't take many pictures of people - I'm there for the hardware - so you'll have to take my word for it.

The event includes plenty of WWII vehicles and weapons on display (or driving/flying around as the case may be), historical impressions, ceremonies for WWII vets, seminars, reenactments, etc.  and runs over two days, plus a Friday night dance.

If you're in the area, I highly recommend checking it out - and if you have the money, you can even ride as a passenger in vintage aircraft (including, a rather out of place Vietnam-era helicopter).

More info about the event can be found here:

Friday, April 26, 2019


I'm traveling this week for a work conference, but wisely (it happens sometimes, don't roll your eyes at me!) I packed a game with me that I have had for some time but never played:

pictured: a square black chit with a white silhouette labeled MARK III OGRE on an off-white map with a hex-grid and a portion of the OGRE logo.

I'm not going to really review the game - after all, this is the Ziplock pocket edition of Ogre that came out a few years ago from Steve Jackson games as part of a Kickstarter, and later for retail sale (I acquired my copy at a DragonCon several years back). But I do want to mention that the components are rather nice - and while the map may not match the Burning Mountains map for paper quality, the counters are thick and easy to handle. Helpfully, the rules are straightforward, mostly, and are presented in a slim staple-bound volume.

Here's the setup I came up with for the first scenario - Basic (Mark III) Scenario. The  defender set up a defensive line with a mix of Ground Effects Vehicles (GEVs) and heavy tanks. The idea being that the GEVs, with their two moves per turn, could race up, fire and fall back, while the heavy's could pummel the Ogre with their attack strength of 4.

The Ogre set about destroying the opposition from the get go - launching a missile to instantly blow up a GEV as a sort of warning about what was to come if the defenders insisted on standing in its way. Even when it appeared to be at an extreme disadvantage, it proved surprisingly difficult to damage. In retrospect, the defenders should have concentrated on taking out the treads, not the weapons systems.

The defenders think they have this all figured out.

Time and again a wall of defenders set up perfectly, only to be destroyed, disabled, or overrun.

The Ogre took several turns to systematically eliminate all enemy armor and then proceeded to steam away from the remaining infantry, past the lonely howitzer, towards the command post.

A showdown between the howitzer and the Ogre. The howitzer's immobility would be its downfall.

The howitzer managed a little damage before being rammed out of existence. The CP fell shortly after.
The Ogre stands upon the broken ruins of the command post.

I called the game at this point. The Ogre still had a secondary battery remaining and all but one anti-personnel weapon. So, while they might not have been able to overrun all of the infantry, the odds seem high that it would have,

Victory to the Ogre.

Verdict:  A fast, fun game that I am looking to playing again.

Monday, April 22, 2019

One Hour Skirmish Wargame: The Patrol

Saturday night, after the plastic eggs were hidden for the Sunday morning hunt, I cut up a coconut fiber doormat for use as fields in my games. Combined with an itch to field my British paratroopers was all of the motivation I needed to set up a game.

The rules were One Hour Skirmish Wargames, the scenario was "Scenario J" (the patrol) from Platoon Forward.

Paratroopers enter the table in heavy woods.

The lighting is much better in this shot.

I stole the idea for using farm animals as blind markers from someone online - I can't remember who, but they are a genius. Much less obtrusive and kind of comical even. In this case, the cow was not the real force.

The firefight does not go well for the paratroopers who had split up to enter the fields. I was playing that the fields were fully grown and limited visibility (this is not part of the OHSW rules). I'm not sure I liked it. One high point for the Brits - the Deetail PIAT trooper made his debut by taking out two Germans with a single HE round.

Germans fall back to a defensive position at the farm. The paras, their numbers slightly reduced, opted to try to further engage the Germans - to their detriment.

Black and white because the new light bulb in the kitchen really washed out the ground cloth in this one.
The Brits were beaten soundly. In large part, the Germans benefited from having three leader figures on the table (generated by the tables in Platoon Forward) - a squad NCO, jr. NCO, and the Platoon Leader. Lot's of extra cards for attacks.

Maybe it was the scenario, but something just didn't work for me for this one. It was fun, to a point, but I ended up feeling like there were too many grey areas and question marks. I suspect, ultimately, the OHSW rules work best when there is a clear objective or turn limit. A patrol with a sort of vague objective (scout this terrain but give the enemy a bloodier nose than they give you) isn't really ideal. 

Also, as this is the second time I've played scenario J this year, I've decided that the way the blinds appear doesn't work for me. I think maybe Nuts! (at least the older versions, I can't speak for the newest) provides a better system for randomly generating the location and composition of the enemy in a patrol scenario.I probably won't go back to using the Nuts! rules mind you (too much dice rolling), but their Possible-Enemy-Force (PEF) system is pretty great in my opinion.