Battlegroup Overlord: first impressions/ and AAR part I

I have been away from the blog for a few weeks because I have been working on finals, and wrapping up my internship at the hospital.  I have been extremely busy with all this hoopla before graduation on 5/22.  However, this week I was lucky that BGO arrived right after I was completely finished with my academic obligations, (otherwise it would have been hard not to be distracted by the long-awaited ruleset from Ironfist publishing).

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When my pre-ordered copy (along with a free sprue of PSC US late war infantry) arrived I was ecstatic.  I studied the ruleset and supplement, and found that this is an excellent and very suitable game for my style of skirmish or 1:1 gaming!  I love the play, it takes a little while to get used to the mechanics if you are used to an overly-simplistic house set of rules.  However, I get a much better feel that I am fighting a historical battle, rather than just pushing plastic pieces about my board.  I also learned more about points, realistic scenarios, and board setup from the rulebook.  I was thrilled to have a better understanding of the flow of a wargame than from my outclassed homegrown rules that I have been working on since I was 12.  Although these home rules are fine, I am glad to have more structure and solutions to problems of indirect fire, and communications, supply etc.  I will probably continue to update my own rules, but I am sure I will be obsessed with BGO for a good long time.

The learning curve is fairly gentle as well, and I taught my Girlfriend Lauren how to play and she has really taken to the better organization and realism of play.  She also likes the balance of forces, as she is always the Allies or Russians, and sometimes the forces are a little unfair without purchasing armies from points.  After reading and learning the rules over the course of a few days, and also painting up the sprue of PSC troops (sorry no shots of them at this point, but will be added in a later post), we decided to make a Sunday game of it.  We decided on a large platoon-sized game of around 740 points.  Below is the basic layout of the board with the Germans defending the village on the south side of the board, and the US probing forces starting at the top of the board along with the mainstay.  This is recreation of a fight in the bocage country of Normandy with no precise historical implications.  The objectives are the road intersection, the inn on the main road towards the US side, and the last building on the right at the bottom of the board (the grey building where the German Snipers is scanning the horizon for kills).

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Here is the breakdown of the forces:

note: I am still understanding the values of my choices and after playing for a little have picked up on some mistaken selections….

US (from the Armored Division list and elements of the 82nd airborne)

probing force deployed 10″ from top of board on turn 1:

-Airborne Division Forward HQ- 24 pts/3BR

-Veteran Airborne Infantry Platoon- 137 pts/13BR (extra rifle squad subbed for Mortars which I do not have Airborne Models of) all squads have BARS

Mainforce:

-Armored Division Forward HQ- 21/3 ( felt that 2 forward HQs were definitely redundant)

-M4 76mm Platoon 3 Tanks- 152/9

-2xM36 (subbed for M10)- 34/2 each

-Supply Column of 2 medium trucks- 12/1

-Armored Infantry Platoon Regular- 155/15 (bazookas/BARs and M3 halftracks for each squad+ no light mortar but two medium mortars 1 MMG, 1HMG)

-Sniper+ Spotter- 15/1

-2 M4 105mm howitzers- 44/3 each

there were a few substitutes that reflect my growing (lacking) US forces especially in the MG and heavy weaponry but the point totaled at:

720 points, 59 BR, 5 Officers

 

The Germans from a combined Panzer Lehr/Paratrooper kampfgruppe are as follows:

-Forward HQ- 28/3 in a SdKfz. 250/3

-2 Panther A- 90/3 each

-1 Tiger- 85/4

-1 Marder III M- 28/1

-Heavy AA 88mm Flak 36- 48/3

-SdKfz 234/2 Puma 28/1

-Sniper Team + Spotter 15/1

-Supply Column with 2 medium trucks- 12/1

-Armored Pz Gren Squad w/bipod MG34 in a SdKfz 251/1- 42/3

-Panzer Grenadier Platoon Veteran- 130/15 w/ 2MG42, 1 MG34, panzerschreck Team, medium mortar team, PAK 40 w/3 man loader team

-1 Elite Fallschirmjaeger Squad with 2 Panzer Fausts, MG42- 66/4

points totals= 745, 46BR, 2 Officers

 

I started snapping shots two turns after the US mainforce showed up on the 5th turn so we missed some of the early action.

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2 US medium mortar teams from the ESCI kits

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1 Sherman 76mm is knocked out as the rest of the column advances up the main road

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two Airborne Squads take cover from German Mortars and MG fire from across the field, the first squad has taken casualties and is currently pinned

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The German Forward HQ in a improvised SdKfz 250/3 (converted 1/76 SdKfz 251 with aerial antenna from a Roden SdKfz 232 kit), stone walls are from the Italeri Kit

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The Puma is Knocked out by a Sherman next to the Inn on the main road (this objective has yet to be taken by the allies.  Also is a pinned squad of airborne troops.

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Marder III M destroyed easily by the Advancing Shermans

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German Supply Truck from Pegasus advancing gingerly behind the cover of the panthers (hopefully it will come in handy once they run out of ammo!)

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The two Forward HQs chill in the rear of the board… I think there must be a power/command struggle going on at the moment!

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The Panther is firing on the pinned airborne squad next to the Inn on the main road.

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Two Airborne MMG teams are laying down some area fire on a German MG42 and PAK they have pinned the MG

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Another Shot of the rear US forces and the HMG team Guarding the HQ positions

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The view across the field to the town…it is heavily defended by a murderous group

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The armor column on the right flank is advancing through the bocage to support the left flank of M4s

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The Panthers move up to check the US armor advancing

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The Tiger has yet to activate and awaits orders in the town while it guards the final objective

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Pinned MG42 team

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PAK 40 w loader team keeps pressure on the advancing armor knocking out an M36 tank destroyer

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The Armored Panzer Grenadier Squad joins the fight double-timing it to reach the assaulting Airborne Squads

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The farm and stable with the wreckage of a burning M36 in the left side of the picture

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The HMG team is waiting for the Grenadiers to arrive protecting the officers

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The 88 is on Ambush- if the US armor reaches its killzone, it will be a bad day for some tankmen!

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US Armor- A little closer…. maybe next turn?

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A nice shot of the 88 protecting the town along with a platoon command squad, and medium mortar

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The German Sniper awaits the onslaught!

 

Because of the complexity/learning curve we were not able to finish the game by bedtime, but Lauren and I decided to keep the board up and finish Today after work.  So far the game has been a blast, really exciting with a feel for realism and history.  Couldn’t be any happier with BGO!  Way to go Warwick and Team for putting out such a great supplement to some very exciting rules!  Also you really can’t go wrong with the amazing level of detail in the pictures.  They (Warwick Kinrade and Piers Brand) really have a knack for terrain, models, and photography….keep em coming boys!

 

Cheers,

 

Ted

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