10 November 2019

Bloody Bucket Resurrected!

Yesterday myself and Tom finally got together after more than 10 months to carry on our Bloody Bucket campaign. I look at this as the most intricate CoC campaign available. A lot of decisions have to be made by the American player at the start of the campaign about supports and as the campaign progresses about movement of those supports. The German player has unlimited platoons but he has to move them about the combat area to support multiple attacks in the smae campaign turn. The campaign is set during the early stages of Ardennes campaign in the winter of 1944 when the Germans are attempting to take Bastogne. Although it had not snowed yet, we are playing out the campaign on my winter terrain, mostly because I like winter terrain! I should also note that in each campaign turn the Germans can make 2 attacks on 2 different battlefields and blitzkreig a 3rd if they take a table. This a challenge for game set up for sure.

Campaign Tracker Post Turn 2B

Germans
Commander's Opinion (not tracked in this campaign)
Men's Opinion 4 (+1FM)
Overall Outlook Affable (+1FM)
Americans
Commander's Opinion +2
Men's Opinion 0
Platoon Leaders's Outlook Relaxed

Campaign Turn 2B (Day 1, 0800h)


After the failed attack of a Volksgrenadier platoon in turn 2a, Tom decided to  attack Table 2 with the Sturm Platoon he had moved to assembly area B. He also diced up another VG platoon at point A at the beginning of turn 2.
Sturm Platoon
CD 5 Green FM 9
1 SL w/3 man rifle grenade team
2 Sturm Squads w/JL
1 LMG Squad w/JL Supports (12)
Pregame Barrage
MMG Team
SL
Medical Orderly
Sniper

Rifle Platoon
CD 5 Regular FM 8
2 SL's w/ Bazooka Team
3 Rifle Squads w/JL and extra BAR
Supports
Entrenched 0.3 MMG team
M16 (Quad HMG)
Barbed Wire
 
So on to the game, these are going to be extremely brief reports as the tracking of the campaign is a major project in itself.
Germans attack from B
I got a pretty narrow Patrol Phase deployment
Germans to left and Americans to right
JOP's
The first game was less than an hour, you can see it Tom deployed in the forest line but I brought out the meatchopper and Tom decided to withdraw. He was initially relieved that I had not brought out a 50 cal, I am not sure if he had appreciated that the M16 Quad HMG was on my support list. The highlight of the game was Tom's first CD throw, he threw 3x6's, Turn 2 Tom's pregame barrage support choice turned out to be useless!
The Summing Up Game 2B

Americans lost no troops (table 2, all supports intact)
Germans lost 2 dead and 2 wounded ( Sturm platoon 1-point B)

Campaign Tracker
Germans
Commander's Opinion (not tracked in this campaign)
Men's Opinion +4 (+1FM)
Overall Commander Outlook Affable (+1 FM)
Americans
Commander's Opinion +3 (+1 Support)
Men's Opinion+1
Platoon Leaders's Outlook Cheerful

Campaign Turn 3A (Day 1, 1100h)
So on to turn 3, the Germans first 2 attacks have failed. We applied the post game process as above (we made a couple of mistakes, as we were in a bit of a rush to get to the next game, time is always pressing). I moved some troops about and added 8 supports to tables 4,5 and 6, which will of course remain secret. I will have to get Tom to roll a dice to see if he adds a Sturm platoon or a VG platoon to assembly point A. He also has the opportunity to move one of the VG platoons at A to B. What he decided to do in Turn 3 was to make 2 attacks, starting with the Sturm platoon #1 at assembly B back into The Road to Holtzthum board and one of the VG platoons to reattack the Skyline Drive board. For ease of play he started with the Sturm Platoon attack. As this was his 2nd attack his supports increased to 15.

Sturm Platoon
CD 5 Green FM10
1 SL w/3 man rifle grenade team
2 Sturm Squads w/JL-(minus 2 men each)
1 LMG Squad w/JL
Supports (15)
PShk Tm
SL
Sniper
LMG Squad w/JL
MMG Team

Rifle Platoon (unchanged)
CD 5 Regular FM10
2 SL's w/ Bazooka Team
3 Rifle Squads w/JL and extra BAR
Supports
Entrenched 0.3 MMG team
M16 (Quad HMG)
Barbed Wire
As you can see I got completely flummoxed by Tom in the Patrol Phase despite having 3 free moves, he got around my left flank and as we were playing this game as the Probe scenario (get 1 team off the enemy's edge and win) I felt I was done!
Forgot to take a photo of the JOP's before the battle started but they are marked above. Of course Tom laid down a Sturm Squad 6-8" from my edge in the first phase and then subsequently but 2 LMG squads and a 2nd Sturm squad in the tree line. My only chance was to pin the them as they deployed. Tom made this hard as he threw a smoke grenade down to protect them from the centre field of fire, I had no choice but to lay down a 2nd rifle squad in the open who had an unimpeded LOS. The Sturm squad was a small one with only 6 men, so luckily I was able to pin it very quickly.
As you can see the US rifle squad got chopped up by the Germans in thetree line but I was able to sustain fire from the troops in the hedge and added a 30 cal MMG team in this area. Despite bringing in a SL Tom was unable to protect the squad and they broke. The SL escaped by hiding behind the house in the forground. It was not long before the US squad in the open also broke.
I brought the meat chopper up the road,  he was now covering the tree line and the road with the largely intact rifle squad behind the hedge with the 30 cal MMG team. Tom brought in a Panzerschrek team, but they missed. Now the M16 was tearing into the troops in the treeline Tom's morale dropped to 3 while mine was still 5. He decided to withdraw.


The Summing Up Game 3A

Americans lost 3 dead and 2 wounded (table 2, all supports intact)-Ending FM 5
Germans lost 5 more dead and 3 wounded ( Sturm platoon #1)-Ending FM3

Campaign Tracker
Germans
Commander's Opinion (not tracked in this campaign)
Men's Opinion +1
Overall Commander Outlook Energetic (+1 FM)
Americans
Commander's Opinion +4 (+1 Support)
Men's Opinion +2
Platoon Leaders's Outlook Secure

Wow, this is a lot of work to keep track of , but it is a great campaign. We are hoping to have our next game in about 3 weeks. I am very happy that we got this campaign re-started and I appreciate Tom driving all the way to Salem for the game. It will be, as noted, a VG attack on to The Skyline Drive.

Present Manpower involved in the Battle
Germans
Assemby A
VG #1 Platoon (minus 2 men)
VG #2 Platoon
? Tom needs to roll
Assembly B
Sturm Platoon (minus 9 men)
Americans
Table 1 Rifle Platoon
Table 2 Rifle Platoon (3 dead, 2 wounded)

4 comments:

  1. Wow, what a fabulous looking table and a terrific (if complex) campaign. Glad to see you both revisiting it. Makes me want to get another chapter done of our Ortona mini-campaign. Looking forward to the next instalment.

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  2. That looks really good, I might have to get this but fight it with my British rather then the Yanks, I need another army like I need a hole in the head :)

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  3. Great stuff! This campaign has a real seat of the pants feel.

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  4. That's a fantastic table John, well done.

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