Friday, April 11, 2008

Vive la Resistance

I had so much fun last week using Savage Worlds for some Second World War skirmish action, I thought I’d do it again! I also happen to finish up some Germans (that was brought on by the excitement over having traded away my 15mm Fallshirmjagers for some 28mm WW2 Russians (not that they’re going to be here this week or anything…they’re coming from the Netherlands!?) …you know how it is though, right?

Occupied France, 1943


Tired of the incessant raids by resistance groups a local commander has decided to step up efforts to extinguish this threat through constant patrolling and sweeps through the nearby wooded regions.

On this particular morning the Germans are about to stumble on a resistance group’s regional HQ/Safe House. There is a lot of valuable equipment there, which can’t fall into the Germans hands! Luckily pickets have warned the HQ of the approaching Germans and steps are being taken to spirit away the weapons, ammo, communications equipment, codes books and whatnot but the Germans will need to be stalled!

Two cells of Resistance fighters that were close at hand have been sent out into the wood to try and stall the German’s advance!


The French must delay the Germans long enough for the truck to get loaded with all the weapons and equipment. There will be no figures representing those loading or driving the truck – at the end of the 6th turn (and each turn thereafter) the French player will roll a d12, if the sum of the roll and the turn number totals 18 or more they have loaded the truck and driven off – the game ends the remaining French resistance will fade into the woods and disappear!

The Germans will set up within 12” of the eastern edge of the table, the French HQ and truck are on the western edge of the table. The truck may be fired on and if disabled the Germans win. The Germans may also win if they physically get to the truck before the end of the game.

The French resistance delaying force will stat the game hidden and on hold. 8 hidden unit markers will be deployed on the table in any wooded area on the French half of the table. The Germans may try and spot and reveal the markers – an opposed roll vs the French stealth (d8). In addition to the regular cover modifiers the French may add an additional +2 for being very, very still…


The French

Marcus Andres – Resistance Leader (WC)
Ag d8, Sm d8, Sp d10, St d8, Vg d8
Pace 6, Parry 7, Toughness 6
Fighting d8, Shooting d8, Notice d8, Stealth d8, Throwing d8
Command, combat Reflexes, Dodge, Block, Level-headed, Harder to Kill
Pistol, Knife, Grenades

Fifi Laplotte – Resistance Leader (WC)
Ag d8, Sm d6, Sp d8, St d6, Vg d6
Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 5
Fighting d8, Shooting d6, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Taunt d8
Command, Strong Willed
Pistol, Knife,

2x French Resistance Fighters (5)
Ag d6, Sm d6, Sp d8, St d6, Vg d6
Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 5
Fighting d8, Shooting d6, Notice d8, Stealth d8, Throwing d6
1x Thompson SMG, 4x Rifles (one team has a Bren Gun instead of one of the rifles) , Grenades

The Germans

Feldwebel Johann Weinerschnitzel – Platoon Commander (wc)
Ag d8, Sm d6, Sp d8, St d8, Vg d8
Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 6
Fighting d8, Shooting d8, Notice d8, Stealth d6, Intimidate d8
Command, Combat Reflexes, Rock n Roll
MP 40, Luger,

3x German Squads each with:

Gefreiter - Squad leader (1)
Ag d8, Sm d6, Sp d8, St d8, Vg d8
Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness 6
Fighting d8, Shooting d8, Notice d8, Stealth d6, Intimidate d6
Combat Reflexes, Rock n Roll (One of them also had Command)
MP 40, Luger,

Rifle Section (6)
Ag d8, Sm d6, Sp d6, St d8, Vg d8
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 6
Fighting d6, Shooting d6, Notice d6, Stealth d6,
6x Kar98 Rifle, Grenades

LMG Section (3)
Ag d8, Sm d6, Sp d6, St d8, Vg d8
Pace 6, Parry 5, Toughness 6
Fighting d6, Shooting d6, Notice d6, Stealth d6,
1x MG-42, Kar98 Rifle, 2x Luger


Gary and Christian showed up to play this week and they decided they’d play the Germans and I could play the French. I deployed rather hastily and probably should have set up a little differently… ah well.. I also should have given the first team to fire “the drop” (+4 to hit, +4 to damage) assuming they hadn’t been spotted… might have evened out the odds a bit.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The Germans begin their advance through the woods.

Here are the French forces – not only was the location of these forces unknown to the Germans, the SIZE of the French force was also unknown and hidden in this box until I decided to deploy them.

The Germans advancing. You can see some of my brand new hidden unit markers sitting in the wooded areas in the foreground (the empty, square 30x30mm bases).

Gary and Christian were very clever in their maneuvering and made it very difficult for me to catch any great number of them in the open…

On turn three I revealed one units and K.O.ed two Germans in the ambush, but some swift action of one of the German LMG teams (and some pretty damn lucky dice rolling) saw one of my Frenchies to buy it as well!

On turn four I revealed the second unit and K.O.ed two more Germans. But I also lost a couple to the sheer volume of fire coming from the Germans. Marcus Andres shot and killed an LMG gunner.

Yeah once I had all my guys on the table and saw how many I had compared to how many they had I thought I probably could have done with another team… or better troops… or given them “the drop” on their first turn of firing… Ah well…

The firefight carried on for the next four turns. The Germans slowly whittled away my forces. In the background of this shot you can see the Resistance HQ and the truck being loaded.

Andres did shoot the MLG teams loader as he tried to take over the gun, and then shot the Ammo bearer as he tried to take it over. There was some grenade tossing back and forth between these guys above. I believe that’s what caused the two Germans to be shaken..

By turn six things were rapidly going south for the French. Both squads were down to one man, both Fifi and Andres were wounded…

Christian – who had never played Savage Worlds before – wanted to see how close combat worked and so charged in a pair of guys to attack the remaining Resistance fighter – one of them hit and caused 25 damage! (5 wounds, if one were counting!?) "Urk! Je suis mort!"

Germans swarming forward, Fifi making a run for it.

On Turn Seven Marcus Andres went down and that was it… we called it (after I rolled to see if the truck drove away that turn and didn’t). There was no one in their way and at least one LMG team with line of sight to the truck…

Truly this day was a disaster for the Resistance!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I really should get back on track with the stock taking and then get back on with the The Game Plan! Honestly, though, there’ll be a few more painting updates first as I’ve been painting British Paratroopers (in 20mm AND 28mm!?) the last couple nights….


  1. Christian here. For the record, this scenario was a great time, though I think for the next one Tim will have something nastier in store for Gary and I.
    I wonder if we would get more 'realistic' combat if we did a couple of changes. I think troops are way too easy to kill. I think about 3 wounds for a standard trooper would be about right. The key to this would be to make it harder to wound, but way easier to shake. Say that a hit that does not wound but comes close enough - within 2 or so - causes the guy to suffer to hit penalties, etc. The idea again being that it is fairly easy to shake / suppress / break, but harder to kill.
    The key would be that each unit would have to take morale checks when enough troops were shaken, not just dead. This would allow units to become suppressed way easier, and actually make firefights go faster. Morale becomes the determining factor, not necessarily numbers and total firepower.
    Just an idea.

  2. Of course - as a rule when ever I'm introducing some one to a new game I let them win - gets them pumped about the game and interested in coming back and trying it again. In game two I will utterly CRUSH you - just so you know were you really stand...

    Keeping track of wounds of individual soldiers?! Aye-yi-yi!? I think that would bog the game down considerably. I tend to think of "wounded" or "K.O.ed" a little abstractly - guys removed from teh table top aren't necessarily dead, or even seriously injured, but may have just been clipped - the sort of thing those made of sterner stuff (i.e. "Wildcards" in this game) would fight on through. I imagine it could also include those who are completely untouched but have had one to many close calls and have just given up and left!

    I've been thinking about making morale a bigger factor in the game (see previous notes on Retreat and Surrender) and a couple other things I was considering were we could have units take moral tests every time a unit member is K.O.ed... or have them take tests when 25% or more have been either K.O.ed OR shaken during a single initiative card....? perhaps after a failed morale test units could gain a level of fatigue (i.e. all members of the unit would be -1 to ALL of their actions for the rest of the game, a second failure would be -2, a third, if there was anyone left, would mean they're broken and leave the table....?).



  3. hmmmm - good point.

    Maybe what is needed is to make wounding harder, shaking easier, and put your idea about losses as well as shakes causing morale checks. I think that this would have two overall effects, one good, one bad. The good is that it would lead to less decisive firefights with morale being the critical factor, which IMHO would be a bit more "realistic". OTOH, it would make for some looooong games.

    Looking at it as a whole, however, perhaps I should ease off on trying to re-write the rules until I have played it at least, say, twice.

  4. Good idea...

    Yeah what's with you and Gary - play a game once and you both want to totally rewrite the rules....

  5. Thx for the writeup. I enjoy reading about your games.

    If you really want easier shaken but harder to take out, you could:

    * Lower the toughness so they become shaken more easily.

    * 1 raise becomes "surpressed" instead of the normal "Out of Fight". They must pass a morale test with a raise to return to the fight. Otherwise they stay where they are and will only engage in hand to hand combat if assaulted.

    * 2 raises means "Out of Fight"

    What do you think?