Unternehmen Launenhaft – interlude


I fought the first two hours of this German raid on the Dorset coast in July 1940 using my own gaming rules. I was not content with the tank vs tank combat, which clearly made hitting the enemy too difficult.

I decided to investigate the “Flames of War” system, adapting it for 6mm models on 10cm hexagon tiles. I have the first edition rulebook.

I wanted to make everything “hex-compatible”, avoiding measurements, and so I spent two days writing a converted rule set. I think that I have a usable version, but the continuing battle will show, one way or the other.

The first job was to analyse the game figure, ground and time scales. The only one claimed by the writers is that one model is one real-life counterpart. I will mention in passing that the result in their own photo’s of 15mm battles is a “phalanx” of wheel-to-wheel tanks.

Even reducing the scale to 6mm/1:300 one 10cm hexagon would be only 30 yards/metres.

After converting the rules from 15mm to 6mm by a simple “inches to centimetres” method I investigated movement rates.

From the infantry move rate, allowing marching men to move at 3MPH/5KPH it appeared that the game move was a time period of only 12-13 seconds, and that, comparatively, a jeep at full “at the double” speed on road could only achieve 26 KPH/16MPH.

So we are dealing with an abstract concept and the 1:1 ratio may as well also be abandoned.

With this in mind I decided to divide all forces by 4, and to make each rule for a platoon apply to a company. A company would become a battalion, or more likely a “Kampfgruppe” or “Battle Group”.

Movement rules were adapted to hexagons by using the inches measurement as centimetres and then adjusting to hexagons by rounding. With many moves close to the “half-hex” I worked this method:

3-7cm = 0 hexes*, 8-12cm = 1 hex, 13-17cm = 1 hex*, 18-22cm = 2 hexes, etc. * indicates that a die roll of 4,5 or 6 allows 1 more hex (2 rather than 1, etc.) Road moves were rounded up by default.

For firing ranges I simply divided the stated range in cm. by 2. for hexagons. In retrospect I could have done the same for movement but the numbers worked out better the way I have done it.

I then investigated the FoW “Blitzkrieg” book for orders of battle and reconstructed each of my units at 1/4 scale by adding all the men/weapons in a company and dividing them by 4. I similarly allocated weapons.

Thus a British Infantry company becomes:

1 HQ element of 3 figures (assumed to include the platoon AT Rifles and 2” mortars as needed) and 3 Platoons each of 1 x Rifle element (4 figures) and 1 x rifle/MG element (4 figures).

A German infantry company is an HQ element and 3 platoons of 2 x 4 rifles and 1 x MG element. I could have made it 3 platoons of 3 rifle/MG elements but decided on the organisation as listed for more interesting battlefield tactics. (Also I have many distinct rifle or MG bases available).

Surprisingly, most tank units were reduced from 3 to 2 tanks, but the British acquired some MkVI light tanks.

And so the battle resumes at 07:00 with these forces (British at the rear, Germans in front)

The Germans also have artillery support from an offshore destroyer (9 x 150mm guns = 2 guns in game terms)

After this revision the Germans have a better chance of expanding their bridgehead. Both sides are waiting for reinforcements.

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General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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