Chuckadice: Band of Brothers

Friday, March 17, 2006

Zobski's Band of Brothers campaign

World War Two (WWII) skirmish campaign using a mixture of rules, mostly Death by Schmeisser.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

After Action Report 10: 27th June 1944 - Cherbourg

After a week of intense fighting and the day after General von Schlieben, the German commander was captured, the French port of Cherbourg falls to the Allies.

German forces in Fortress Cherbourg were well aware of the desperateness of their position as early as the morning of 24 June. By that time VII Corps had broken through the main defense line although it had not yet captured all of the principal strong points. In an intercepted message to higher headquarters General von Schlieben stated: "...communications to several battalions no longer available. Phosphorus shells have put eight batteries out of action. Tomorrow heavier enemy attacks expected. ... Completely crushed by artillery fires." Other captured documents revealed that losses of unit leaders were heavy and that morale was low. Although the conglomerate German force continued to resist with determination and delayed the American advance, US VII Corps’ progress was steady after the penetration of 22-23 June and in the final phase the three infantry divisions reduced the remaining strong points one by one, seized the last ground commanding the port, and closed in on the beleaguered city.

In a special operation designed to prevent destruction of the valuable docks by the Germans, Edge Company was landed from a captured torpedo boat directly into the center of the docks area. Their orders were to capture the docks, locate & disable demolition equipment, capture technical & intel documents from the dock buildings and hold until relieved.

The approach was uneventful and the German defenders were unaware of the attack until American troops began deploying from the torpedo boat onto the dock side where despite coming under increasingly heavy fire, the assault squads managed to cross the open ground to their objectives.

With support from the boat cannons and accurate mortar fire the assault was pressed home. A security HQ provided unexpected resistance but was overcome and provided a useful fire point covering the main gate to the dockyard as well as providing valuable reinforcements when captured US personnel were released from the cells.

Barracks, office & workshop buildings were also cleared and a hitherto unknown entrance to underground submarine pens discovered. Considerable quantities of technical, research & prototype intel was captured.

The Germans mounted several local counterattacks from the town but these were unco-ordinated and lacking in armour support so were driven off at heavy cost to the attackers until eventually leading elements of VII Corps broke through to relieve the defenders and assume control of the objective.

Lt Edge who led the operation has been recommended for a Bronze Star to recognise its outstanding execution & success.

Sgt Murphy has been awarded a second Purple Heart and rotated back to the States.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Briefing 10: 26th June 1944 - Western Europe

The Allies have invaded and from the beaches of Normandy their forces are advancing, pushing the Germans back into France. Reinforcements are pouring in over the invasion beaches but the Allies still don’t command a suitable port. The situation was worsened last week when a 4 day storm curtailed the operation and destroyed one of the vital Mulberry harbours so it is now even more important that port facilities are captured.

There has been hard fighting up the Cherbourg peninsular and American forces are closing in on the port from all directions. It is expected to fall in the next few days however there is concern at SHAEF that the Germans will destroy the port facilities before they can be captured so an operation has been mounted to prevent this happening.

The US 14th Infantry division has been pulled out of Italy and is preparing to join the battle for France. Edge company has been earmarked for a special operation aimed at securing the port facilities at Cherbourg.


Using a captured German PT boat you are to enter the port from the sea and locate & disable all demolition devices. Any German stores, supplies, forces & support equipment are to be destroyed unless this results in major structural damage. The offices & workshops are to be searched for intel. especially with regard to the location of German forces, technical specs, maps and other military documents.

Despite efforts to the contrary, the Germans have been receiving supplies & reinforcements by PT and U boats so it is expected that you should be able to approach the docks successfully. The operation will be conducted under cover of a bombing raid and continuing ground attacks.

It is expected that the town will fall within 48 hrs so you are to hold until relieved if at all possible. If the situation becomes untenable, you may evacuate the port and return to Allied lines although only after ensuring that the German capacity for demolition has been removed.

The PT boat is large enough to accommodate 25 men out of sight.


On entry roll 1d6- on a 1, the nearest sentry sees something suspicious and shouts a warning- everyone within 650 increases by 1 initiative.

The action starts when the first hidden troops deploy. Those coming out into the open first time may not fire on first turn.

Sentries have 50% chance of replying on their first turn, otherwise they will react next turn.

Others only respond as firing breaks out on 5 or 6.

Civilians will run for cover.
Troops will 50% for or run for cover/weapon.

After all hell breaks out, a siren will start and on the next turn, reinforcements will deploy from the Barracks and Security Offices. Germans have only side arms and machine guns.

A bombing raid is underway so there is a lot of noise & excitement.

Spotting demo charges.
These are marked on the map. Those on the wall of the main dock will be spotted on a 3+ as the boat comes in (2 may test). They appear as blocks removed from the wall and the gaps packed with drums. Wires are looped along the dock wall about ½ metre below the top.
If looking in the area, charges will be spotted as wires lead to them. These may be cut.
Against the walls of buildings, charges will be packed behind sandbags. Charges may be detonated from the Security Office or the Port Masters office. Wires run to timers on a switchboard but for safety are not yet connected.

The situation will be confused by civilian dock workers running around. Vehicles may start up & attempt to escape.

Large hangar-like building. Inside are steam & diesel engines under repair. Also compressors, pumps and deck guns. A supervisors office is in one corner and contains filing cabinets with assorted engineering plans. Nearly everyone here is a civilian.

Security Office.
Offices, cells, barracks & canteen for security personnel, interrogation rooms. Some US personnel in cells. Files mostly contain dock personnel files but also some demolition plans.
A few security personnel but well armed. Will engage from windows.

Port Masters Block.
High alertness as they overlook dock operations. Offices. Files contain shipping & stores/cargo information. Also demolition plans.
A couple of good sentries with clear lines of fire and a machine gun.

Admin offices.
Port admin. block containing drawing & design offices, stores & production control, some development labs with technical prototypes, test & research workshops including some related to submarines.
A lot of technical files here- blueprints and hardware.

An internal staircase at the rear corner leads down to a passage linking to the ‘Engine shed’.

Mostly civilians here although a few military support personnel may put up a fight.

Engine shed.
Actually a ramp down into a large underground chamber with railway sidings. Heavy blast doors seal the entrance but a side door for personnel leads to a gantry running the length of one side. Below are offices and opposite at low level are stores & engineering workshops. Freight wagons are being loaded/unloaded. A large door in the far rear corner is the entrance to a long large passage which in turn leads to submarine pens.
The offices & workshops contain technical files & plans and the blast door control. Most of the workers are civilian but some armed guards will engage.

Gate House.
Standard gate house for main entrance. The other entrance has 1 sentry & drop-down bar.

Destroyed by bombing, these lie in ruins.

Submarine pens.
A-La Medal of Honor. 2 Concrete pens open to the sea. Each has room for 2 subs but only 1 is present. All of concrete, storage, fuel & supply rooms lie along the back wall. The pens are linked by a blast door which is open. In the second pen is a stairwell marked as a fire exit which leads up into a garage in the town.
There are a lot of military personnel here as well as some dock workers.
Other than that which is on the sub, no files are present.

Tied up at dock, naval personnel are working to load/unload & reprovision the sub. They are armed with smgs and the deck gun is operational although use at short range is out of the question.
If entered, the sub is narrow & claustrophobic with pipes & machinery all along the passage. Essentially 1 space, divided by watertight doors (open) runs the length of the sub. The conning tower hatch opens into the bridge/control room with the periscope & command stations. Aft is the engine room with the diesels & batteries and forward is the
crew & storage section leading to the torpedo room at the bows. The captains cabin is directly in front of the bridge and contains the safe which in turn contains code books & maps. Hatches exit the engine & torpedo rooms onto the deck.
Once the sub is boarded, fire will come from fore & aft but crew will surrender as first casualty (in each direction) is taken.

German reinforcements.
On the occasional roll of a 1, reinforcements may arrive at either gate. These will deploy from a halftrack or truck.

On a roll of a 1, a stray stick of bombs will hit the docks. Randomise 1 or 2 hits locations.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

After Action Report 9: 4th June 1944 - Be my Vallentin

Allied 5th Army enters Rome.

Kesselrings 10th Army is retreating north as the Allies enter the Italian capital city.

Moving ahead of the advance, Lt Edges company advanced to the town of Vallentin where they accepted the surrender of the German garrison and freed a number of POWs. When the division came up they found not only a bag of Wehrmacht troops but 3 trucks loaded with loot stolen by & liberated from the SS.

Sgt Murphy has been recommended for a promotion.

It is rumoured that the 14th Division may be pulled out of Italy to take part in the planned invasion of Western Europe.


Monday, May 23, 2005

Briefing 9: 2nd June 1944 - S of Rome

The Germans south of Rome are falling back and many are surrendering to the advancing Allies. It is a confused & chaotic situation.

The German garrison of nearby Vallentin has communicated that it is ready to surrender however its barracks in the middle of the town is surrounded by a mob of angry Italian civilians. Naturally they wish to surrender to Allied forces rather than fall into the hands of the mob. Your mission is to push on to Vallentin and accept the surrender.

Phase 1 Journey to Vallentin.

The road winds through rolling fields & orchards. Occasionally civilians will pass or look up and wave excitedly to the convoy.

German patrol.
Moving north. When they see the convoy they will
1-2 Run away
3-4 Come forward to surrender
5-6 Take positions & Open fire

Tiger tank.

Spotted stationary on the road ahead. Hatch open & appears abandoned.
The tank has been hit by air attack & its engine & main gun are disabled however the coax & bow mgs are functional. The SS crew have spotted the convoys approach and are lying in wait. 1 crewmember is out of action and one other is inside the tank on the bow mg. The other 3 have taken positions outside with smgs & pistols.

Aircraft may be spotted overhead- if unlucky they will attack regardless of nationality.


The town is undamaged & spreads across a ridge. The approach is uphill. All is quiet on approach although the church bells can be heard pealing. Civilians wave & blow kisses and will gather around the convoy if it stops.
Close to the town square the crowd is thicker & more ugly. Partisans wave rifles but all are glad to see the Americans. The German barracks is situated adjacent the town square. The square itself is deserted but the angry mob is only in cover and are baying for blood & occasionally potting shots towards the building which still bears the Nazi flag. There is no sign of life from the building, the garrison has locked & barricaded themselves inside & are keeping low. Blood marks the square, it is clear that people have been shot but their bodies removed- they are in the hospital.
Despite translation difficulties it becomes apparent that since the initial surrender, a column of Germans passed through the town & temporarily reinforced the barracks however they left after a while and it was at this time that they opened fire on the civilians outside before speeding away. Some Germans are left however and the mob wants vengeance on them.

With a white flag the Lt will be able to approach the barracks. Indeed, the Germans inside do still want to surrender but only if their safety from the mob is ensured.
To placate the mob the Lt will have to-
1. Remove the Nazi flag from the building.
2. Talk to the partisan leader- take him on board.
3. Make a speech declaring the surrender of the Germans and the freeing of the town.
4. Make clear that the Germans will not be harmed as they are now POWs.

After this the mood of the crown will change to one of celebration.

When interrogated, the German CO will reveal that the column which lately came through was SS retreating north. The Commander demanded men to accompany him on a mission which he would not reveal the nature of. They almost came to blows until the Whermacht CO suggested he take the POWs which he duly did ordering 8 of them into the trucks outside and driving off with them leaving 10 others with the garrison.

The SS squad is removing stolen loot & art treasures and intends to hide it in caves in nearby hills. They need manpower to carry the loot & secure the cave but in order to maintain security they will kill the persons who know of its location ie the POWs.
They were spotted by locals leaving the road up a track which leads to the Goldbach Falls.

If the squad pursue they will encounter 3 trucks and a kubelwagon parked up near the mountain slopes. There are 2 guards. Tracks can be seen heading up the slopes and shooting will alert the SS up the hill. There is a large sloping pasture leading up to a crest & a tree line then a quarter mile of woods ending in rocky slopes. The trail is hard to follow here but the group may get fired upon from the rocks.
There are 7 SS including an officer + 11 POWs. The SS recover suppression with +1 mod.

A small cave is being used to stash the loot. Raised about 15 ft from the ground it is only about 3 ft high but opens up inside and goes back 20-25 ft. Stacked up at the far end and to one side are ammo boxes & sacks. These contain silver & gold items- candlesticks, religious icons, cutlery, art objects, jewellery boxes, watches & statuettes. Some boxes are stuffed with bank notes & coins including gold. There are paintings well wrapped in sacks & paper. The prisoners are in the process of blocking up the cave with cement & rocks.

The SS squad has a m/gun trained on the POWs which will be used to attack Edges squad. Having been warned by the sound of firing they will be in good positions in the rocks including on the flanks and will open fire when the time is most advantageous. If a lucky roll is achieved, surprise may be lost by the SS by a shouted warning. If the squad distract the SS enough, the POWs may attack their guards.

It is known that Allied POWs are kept in the town therefore you are to locate & liberate them also.

You are then to hold the town until relieved.

Available to you are a jeep, a halftrack & 4 trucks.


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Briefing 8: 5th Jan 1944 - S Italy

It is a new year and the Allies continue their hard slog up the Italian peninsular.

13:30 hrs
At Mondragone, a small town on the coast north of the Volturno river, Lt Edge & his battered Sergeant are summoned to a briefing.

Another attack is due to go in on the German line at Formia in 48 hrs time. Part of the plan was to destroy a bridge in the Germans rear by air attack however due to the filthy weather & forecast of low cloud for at least the next 3 days another method has to be employed.

A squad of 12 men is to travel up the coast by boat, come ashore near Terracina, travel the 5 miles to the bridge & destroy it using demolition charges not later than dawn of the 7th. Extraction will be by the same route.

The Lt is to pick his squad which is to include Italian speakers, demolition engineers and a radio and report to the harbour at 22:00 hrs tonight.

A local fishing boat has been requisitioned and crewed with naval personnel. The plan is to head out for about 10 miles to clear the coast, northwest for 30 miles then turn in to the coast and approach it at sunup from the NW. Coming from this direction & coinciding with the return of the local fishing fleet it is hoped to escape detection by the Germans.
The landing will be made at a small harbour called San Caprero just a few miles down the coast from Terracina.

On clearing the town, the route to the target rises into hills which are well covered with woods, orchards & fields.

The road should be avoided as it is the main route between Formia & Rome.

The bridge itself spans a deep gorge and the approach is mountainous & more open than the lower slopes.

The target is guarded by infantry and an AA position overlooks & defends the bridge. Moderate amounts of traffic use the road and it is likely that the squad will have to employ watchers on the flanks during the operation to warn of approaching traffic.

Upon completion, extraction will be by the same route.


Monday, March 17, 2003

Briefing 7: 4 Nov 1943 - S Italy

The Americans have established a foothold across the River Volturno and 2nd Company has been ordered to reinforce it. Edge platoon, being nearest to the crossing is the first to arrive.
The crossing has been taken after heavy fighting and the effects of battle are all around.
The situation is worst than you feared. Barely a dozen men have survived the ferocious fighting and these are exhausted and short on ammo. You are to take command of the situation & hold the crossing until reinforcements arrive.