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First Contact

A scenario for Hell by Daylight

The scene is somewhere perhaps ten miles from the coast of SE England in September 1940. The threatened invasion has happened. In one small town the Home Guard have been called out and have deployed to defend their community.

The ‘problem’ with 1940 is that the Home Guard don’t have any of the fascinating stuff that they got issued with later, no Smith Guns, no Blacker Bombards, no Northover Projectors. Indeed whilst sticky bombs were certainly made in considerable numbers in 1940, it seems that bureaucratic inertia meant they never got into the hands of troops until 1941. I’m going to assume that with the invasion on, a lot of stuff was rushed to the Home Guard because it’s doing no good sitting in store.

The Scenario is that we have a force of German Reconnaissance troops advancing from the beaches. Faced by a plethora of small roads and poor maps the recce units have been told to keep splitting up and pushing on. The aim is to expand the bridgehead as quickly as possible before the inevitable counter-attack.

The map

I think it’s reasonably obvious. For scale, it’s 200 meters from the sandbags to the corner the armoured car will come round. That’s 20 inches. In reality it’s only a small table, it will be easy to expand it to include the edge of the village and the rest of the terrain.

The Attackers

Thus in our case we have a German force consisting of

One SdKFZ 221 which has a machine gun in the turret, boasts armour of up to 8mm (so ‘bullet proof’) and more importantly has a radio. It has a crew of two, a driver and a commander who also fires the machinegun. The vehicle has an open turret but still has the anti-grenade mesh that can be closed if the commander drops down into cover.

Commander Normal 2   He has d3 leader points to motivate the driver if he needs to.

(Just to explain, troops are Green, Normal, or Veteran and their motivation is either 1 (lowest), 2 and 3. 2 is the norm, but leaders can use their points to lift the motivation of men in their command.

Driver Normal 2

They are accompanied by a section of bicyclists.

NCO.  Veteran 2. Army with SMG  As squad leader he gets d6 leader points a turn

Infantryman with the machinegun. Veteran 2

Loader           Green 2 with rifle

Infantryman Normal 2 with rifle

Infantryman Normal 2 with rifle

Infantryman Normal 2 with rifle

Infantryman Green 2 with rifle

Infantryman Green 2 with rifle

Infantryman Green 2 with rifle

The unit has been made up to strength for the invasion.

This force is moving along the road at a reasonable pace, they are ordered to cover the ground rather than display excessive caution.

The Defenders

The defenders are a section of the Home Guard. The problem with Home Guard is how to depict them. A lot of them weren’t ‘green’, they’d fought in the previous war. So I’ve gone for making a lot of them ‘Normal’ because they’ve done it before. But I’ve given some of them motivation 1. Not because they’re unwilling, but because they’re getting a bit old for this sort of thing. Obviously there are some who are Green as well.

There are two small groups. The first group is at A on the map.

One Corporal, Normal 2, rifle. D6 leader points.

Lewis gunner. With Lewis gun. Normal 2

Loader.  Rifle.  Normal 1

Infantryman. Rifle. Normal 1

Infantryman. Rifle. Normal 1

Infantryman. Rifle. Green 2

Infantryman. Rifle. Green 2

Boy Scout messenger. Green 3

There is another group, well hidden, at B on the map. The idea being that when the Lewis gun opens up, they with throw their sticky bombs or other grenades over the low hedge at anybody in the road. They have their trench to shelter in.

Lance Corporal. Normal 2 Thompson submachine gun d6 leader points

Infantryman. Rifle. Normal 2 Sticky bomb

Infantryman. Rifle. Normal 1 Sticky bomb

Infantryman. Rifle. Green 2 Sticky bomb

Infantryman. Rifle. Green 2 Sticky bomb

Trenches

A lot of these men are veterans of the Great War who know the value of a good trench and how to dig one. So the trenches are dug into the hedge with nicely concealed firing positions through the hedge.

Move 1

The Home Guard have all reserved fire. The Lewis gun, snugly dug in at the crossroads, is on covering fire down the length of the narrow lane. The corporal is next to the gun keeping the team fully motivated.

The Germans, the armoured car in the lead, move along the road at a sensible twelve inches a move. Nothing happens until they turn the corner at which point this triggers the Lewis gun.

The Lewis gunner, a Normal 2, motivated to Normal 3, in position, not under fire, rolls his percentage dice. He rolls 93. He was obviously nodding, as he fires but only just and without aiming.

I’m assuming he’s aiming at the commander standing out of the turret, so at 200m he has a 20% chance of a hit, if he’d aimed. Having not aimed this drops to 6%. He rolls 66% so has expressed his displeasure but not in a manner that might be taken personally.

The German player continues his move. The first thing to happen is the armoured car crew have to test. First the commander (because if he passes he can motivate the driver.)
He has a 15% chance of panicking because he’s normal, but it drops to 10% because he’s motivation 2. He gets +5% because he’s under fire. Then he gets +15 because he is “Inside a vehicle that was hit but saved by armour this turn”.
If he was in a proper tank, this wouldn’t count. But a very light recce vehicle like this is entitled to be more nervous. So he has a 30% chance of panicking. He doesn’t. He motivates the driver so the driver doesn’t either. But the commander wants to get out of this fire and report what he’s found. He sees the gate and has the driver taken the vehicle off the road into the field. They can always turn round there and leave next turn. He also drops into the turret, letting the anti-grenade mesh close above him and looks out of the vision slits as he tries to find the radio.

The cyclists have to test, some of them are probably at the corner and automatic weapons fire has been sprayed around. There’s no danger of them being hit but they don’t necessarily realise this. It happens that there’s a normal 2 and a Green 2 in the lead. The Normal has a 15% chance of panicking. He rolls 66% and shrugs it off. The Green with him has a 25% chance after all the modifiers. He rolls 07 and panics. Roll a d6 to see what he does (I treat cyclists as being on foot as it’s easy to abandon the bike. I can do it with my eyes shut) He’s off his bike, lying in the road, firing wildly down the road at where he heard the noise coming from. He’s not going to hit anything there but it keeps him out of trouble. The others dismount more decorously and take what cover they can in the hedgerows on both sides of the lane.

Turn 2

The Home Guard leader at B rolls a d6 for leader points. He gets a 1. He uses it to motivate the Normal 1 to Normal 2. He has them throw their sticky bombs at the armoured car which has ground to a halt near them. The two green chaps are told to fire at the road. He cannot do anything himself as that would use all the motivation points.

Normal 2 in cover, not under fire, have a 95% chance of firing, a 30% chance of aiming. One throws wildly with 77, but the other gets a 12, he’s taken care and aimed.

The aimed grenade hits. The armoured car, a light armoured vehicle rolls 3d6. (If the commander had stayed standing up, I’d have called it 2d6 for having an open top, but the grenade screens are there for this very purpose.) The anti-tank grenade gets 4d6.The grenade gets 18, biggest number a 6. The armoured car gets 13, biggest number a 5.

So the grenade has beaten the armour and penetrated. Because the grenade got the biggest number on the dice, the crew drop one level of motivation, they’re now motivation 1.

Check to see what the penetration has done. It’s jammed the turret. Also the commander is in the turret, he’s a 50% chance of being a casualty. He is seriously wounded and drops back down into the body of the armoured car.

The second grenade, thrown wildly has to be accounted for. There is a wild and unaimed fire table (I really really dislike it when rules have explosives that miss just spontaneously vaporise and never do anything). According to this table the grenade veers 20% left which means it explodes in front of the armoured car. This does no further damage.
The two Green riflemen fire through the hedge into the road. (Remember they have a prepared position so can see.)
Green 2, in position and not under fire, have a 85% chance of firing and a 20% chance of aiming. Both fire unaimed. But the cyclists in the road have something else to worry about.

We now have panic tests. First the armoured car where the driver tests as Normal 1, under fire, and in a penetrated vehicle with an untreated wounded friend. He has a 55% chance of panicking. He doesn’t.

Of the cyclists, the NCO has managed to keep them cool.

The Home Guard commander has the Lewis gun open fire down the lane to discourage anybody else coming down it. He despatches the Boy Scout back to HQ. They can pass a message to the regular Brigade that is already starting to deploy in the area.

It’s now the German turn. The driver spins the armoured car round in the field and is still accelerating as he leaves the field. He’s heading for base to get his commander to a medic

The sergeant gets everybody on their bikes and pulls back. He hoses the hedge with his submachine gun, just to keep heads down. The recce have found the enemy, that’s their part of the job done.

Funnily enough the Home Guard Corporal feels that they’ve done their job as well.

And then?
Well at this point the German commander somewhere off table can make his plan. He can send up an infantry platoon, avoiding the lane, with mortars firing on the ambush site.

And the Home Guard. Well the party at B can scamper back to A as it is obvious B is going to become unhealthy soon. Back at A, they move the Lewis gun team to one of the trenches and everybody hunkers down waiting for the inevitable artillery. The next phase of the game would be hoping they can delay things long enough for the regulars to take up positions behind them for them to fall back on.

♥♥♥♥

Hell by Daylight rules are now available

From Wargame Vault as a pdf for £4

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/380527/Hell-by-Daylight

From Amazon as a paperback for £9.50 or on Kindle for £4

2 thoughts on “First Contact

    1. I wanted something simple which could guide people into the rules, but that would be intriguing and perhaps the start of something bigger 🙂
      We don’t do recce much but it’s important

      Like

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