I really enjoyed the Chain of Command campaign I recently played: Breaking Through to Frost at Arnhem, and my opponent Phil seemed to enjoy beating me, so I thought I’d give him another go at it. Our next campaign is Kampfgruppe von Luck, one of Too Fat Lardies’ “Pint Sized Campaigns”. They’re not pint-sized in content though, they’re called that because they cost the same as a pint at the author’s local!
As with the Arnhem campaign we’ll be using At The Sharp End to run the campaign. It’s a nice lightweight campaign system that adds a bit of flavour to the game without getting bogged down in book-keeping.
The forces are similar too: British Paras vs the Germans, but this time the setting has been rewound to D-Day, with 12 Para dropping in to capture the bridges over the Orne and going toe-to-toe with 21 Panzer Division. The Paras are on the defensive, and have to hold out for 24 hours until their heavy equipment (including the anti-tank guns and light tanks) land by glider. The campaign will last 4-8 games, and to win the Brits have to still be holding the last of the five objectives by the end of turn 8. If they fail then the road is open for the German panzers to cross Pegasus bridge and upset history by defeating the only attack that captured all its D-Day objectives.
The Paras have taken or destroyed several key bridges in the area and are holding the town of Ranville until reinforcements arrive. The Germans are attacking across the flat farmland to the south and into the town.
The five battlefields range from open wheat fields to cluttered street fighting. Some of the terrain is brutal, ranging from no cover at all to high walls that troops will struggle to cross.
The five scenarios are:
- Patrol (“Patrol on the Ring Contour”)
- Probe (“Probe Amongst the Hedgerows”)
- Attack and defend (“Attacking the Corridor of Death”)
- Attack and defend (“The Church on the Flank”)
- Delaying action (“Delaying Action at the Chateau”)
If the Germans fail to win any scenario they can take another crack at it, but only have eight campaign turns to take the last objective.
The Germans start the campaign with the initiative, but if they lose it the British can launch local counter-attacks and put the Germans on the back foot.
Scenario 4 is a bit of an odd one, as the Germans are actually attacking into the adjacent 13 Para, so the British get a whole fresh platoon for just that scenario.
The Germans have a mixed Panzergrenadier company formed from elements of 7&8 Kompanie, 2nd Batallion, 125th Regiment. They have three platoons to use, and must rotate the lead platoon after each attack. There are no reinforcements available, but they can amalgamate platoons.
21st Panzer Div had an eclectic mix of captured French kit, such as the Unic P107(f) halftrack and guns mounted on French vehicle chassis. We don’t have the exact models for that, so we’ll be proxying in some less bizarre ones.
The Red Devils generally have to keep using the same platoon each game, although scenario 4 is fought by a fresh platoon, and they can also swap their main platoon for a fresh one once during the campaign.
Additionally they start a bit nerfed by their wonky drop. They only have five command dice instead of their usual six, and in the first game anything up to 2/3rds of their platoon could be missing. The rest will straggle in over the first few games. This means there are a couple of crucial dice rolls, and the British player won’t know until the first game if the dice gods decide he’s starting with a full-strength platoon, a single section plus some of the platoon HQ, or something in between.