Thursday, 19 November 2015

Operation Squad - British versus Germans

Last night I braved the swirling aftermath of Hurricane Barney (presumably Typhoon Wilma, Whirlwind Betty and Stiff Breeze Fred will be along shortly) to journey to the badlands of Derbyshire and the Ilko Gaming Hut for a game of Operation Squad with General Ballroom.
This was to be an outing for my Yanks, but the ongoing disruption to Tom's Toy Soldiers Towers means I wasn't able to locate them. Fortunately the good General is well supplied with both plucky Tommies and Beastly Hun so we were all set.

I've never heard of played these rules before and nor indeed had Gen. B. Though he had at least read them. However he's been building a few 4Ground Normandy type houses, so a small skirmish (which is what these rules aim at) seemed like a good plan.

We each took 500 points and the objective was to occupy the three buildings in the centre of the little village of Tromnée-sur-Balle shortly after D-Day.
I ended up with Sergeant "Knocker" Norton, Corporal Reg Cunk, six rifelemen and a bren gun with loader. Opposing me were eight germans, including a sergeant and two (!) MG42s.

Sergeant Norton and three riflemen set up in woods to the south of the village. Whilst Private "Sterlo" Sterling waited with Bren gun in hand to cover the left flank. Corporal Cunk lead three further riflemen straight up the road toward the centre of the village

 "Knocker" gets the lads in position

 Pvt Sterling, shooting from the hip!

All stared quietly and Cunk's advance went smoothly

 The main street through Tromnée from the German side

Cunk's column

As the 7th East Yorkshiremen moved toward the building field grey shapes appeared on both flanks

 Forward lads

 The column hugs the wall

On the left "Sterlo" began to blaze away with the Bren and Panzergrenadiers started to hit the dirt behind the hedge. On the right germans emerged from behind a hill, but were met with Enfield fire from Cunk and his men.

 Covering fire!

Get down!

Corporal Cunk demonstreted his renowned leadership skills by legging it into the nearest building and hiding whilst his lads drove the Germans off. On the left hand side Pvt. Sterling was briefly forced to take cover, but with supporting rifle fire soon had the German infantrymen dead or fleeing.
Meanwhile Sergeant Norton and a rifleman were making their way behind Cunk's hideaway to head for the larger building.
At this point the German left flank threw in the towel and fled. The right flank, seeing the game was up similarly withdrew and Tromnée was in british hands!

This was a good fun little game. The rules were pretty easy to grasp the basics of - though I think we need to get a bit clearer on the whole activation order thing. Also it turns out we played cover a bit wrong, but I really enjoyed it.
To be fair to General B I was very lucky with my dice rolls and he was very unlucky.

It had a quite claustrophobic feel for me and it's quite unforgiving (General B never really recovered from his poor deployment) which is probably as things should be at this scale in this period. I described it as being a bit like those bits in Band of Brothers when single bullets are whistling by and cracking into buildings - rather than the bigger epic battle scenes of some movies.
It certainly felt more "authentic" than Bolt Action. But then again it's doing a different thing and aimed at a smaller scale than BA, so that's not an entirely fair comparison.
It did feel a bit "fussy" at first, with quite a few tokens and makers needed, but some of that may be down to  learning the rules. Certainly the core mechanics were very quick to work out and the combat was soon rattling along.

You can download the Operation Squad Rules from Wargames Vault

Now, if only I could actually get some paints out I could finish off my Yanks for a Chain of Command game...


  1. Great stuff...and a great-looking table. Love those 4Ground WWII buildings!

  2. Nice looking game of a very underrated rule system. I think it gives the impression of a blow by blow action game without actually becoming too detailed if that makes sense. Markers can get a bit much, but it works and if you get creative they can add to the look.


    1. Excellent summary, that's very much how it felt to me as well.
      Looking forward to giving it another go.

  3. Love the vintage photo!

  4. Great story telling as ever Sir!

  5. Great story telling as ever Sir!

  6. Nicely done, love the photos...