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Hammerhead 2017 - Zero Hour 
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Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Posts: 262
Location: Quedgeley, Gloucester
Post Hammerhead 2017 - Zero Hour
This weekend Rob and I took Zero Hour up north to Newark, to run the Somme battle as a Participation game. We played the now familiar battle of 3 allied battalions (2 British, one French) attacking a German battalion with a Storm Pioneer Battalion in reserve (the predecessors to Storm troops)
The rules are fairly complete now, and it was good to run it past a few volunteer participant players. One new tweak we play tested, with success, was a change to the turn sequence. Up until now, we have played the traditional you go – I go throughout the game Turn, with the War and Conquest style Strategic Role to determine who goes first each turn. Acting on a suggestion from Bristol Big ‘Uns Alan, I mixed this up a bit – we now had “You go – I go” each game phase. So, each player now completes their moves in turn, then their combats in turn and finally their shooting in turn. It worked very well, and streamlined game play very nicely, and looks like it will be making it into the next draft of rules.

01 the Battlefield.jpg
01 the Battlefield.jpg [ 509.99 KiB | Viewed 1359 times ]
File comment: The German held village and trenches, with Two Battalions of British advancing. The British centre Battalion has a lumbering Mark 1 Tank in support. Off Table, the British have one more company in reserve – The Deccan Horse, ready to exploit any breakthroughs…
02 - The Village and Trenches.jpg
02 - The Village and Trenches.jpg [ 585.05 KiB | Viewed 1360 times ]
File comment: A the other end of the table – a river and wood, with an attacking French Battalion. The French have two Companies of regular troops in Horizon Blue, and are accompanied by a veteran Colonial Compnay, in mustard uniform. The Veterans have a more robust morale thatn the regulars, making all leadership tests on 3 D6, choosing the lowest two.
03 The Wood.jpg
03 The Wood.jpg [ 654.4 KiB | Viewed 1359 times ]
File comment: And they’re off – the French regulars advance along the lane, the Colonial troops towards the river, threatening the woods. The Germans counter this move, sending the Jaegers into the wood, with a Jaeger HMG crew covering the flank. The Jaegers have the “scout” ability, allowing them to undertake any movement action Under Their Own Inititive, without the need of Orders. This allows them a quick advance in to the wood, saving the Orders for later in the Game Turn.
04 Jaegers advance.jpg
04 Jaegers advance.jpg [ 697.43 KiB | Viewed 1359 times ]
File comment: As the Game progressed, the French have driven deep into the wood. Although their attack was slightly hampered when a British Off Table artillery barrage fell short, catching a French Colonial platoon in the open. A slight but of family rivalry between the Participant players – or maybe just unlucky dice. Despite his uncle’s efforts, the French Player advanced his tropps into the Wood - the first French Platoon are victorious, but the Jaegers hold their own, although they do become Disordered having lost the Combat. A second French platoon charges in, but even though the Jaegers are still Disordered from the first attack, the French still manage to lose the combat, becoming Disordered themselves.
05- Battle for the wood.jpg
05- Battle for the wood.jpg [ 143.55 KiB | Viewed 1358 times ]
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:42 pm

Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:45 pm
Posts: 262
Location: Quedgeley, Gloucester
Post Re: Hammerhead 2017 - Zero Hour
Overall, a balanced game, with several hard fought engagements across the board. The new approach of you go-I go within each Phase, rather than between Player Turns certainly sped things up and ensured both sides had more interaction throughout the game.
My thanks to Rob for arranging the table, Hammerhead for the opportunity to play the demo game, and all of the participants who joined or observed during the day.

File comment: The British Advance in the centre is less successful. The Tank suffers several Breakdowns and the Infantry advance leaving it behind. With 4 relatively unscathed platoons holding the trench, the Germans use their Orders to fire Aimed Shots into the advancing British. The toll on the British is high, in particular they lose several Junior Officers, leaving the surviving Platoons without Orders. To make matters worse, a British Company Commander is caught in a German Artillery strike, leaving him Disordered – robbing the British of another much needed Order marker. Acting under their Own Initiative, the survivors advance slowly, firing as they go, but this is not the rapid charge the British centre needed!
06 - Holding the Centre.jpg
06 - Holding the Centre.jpg [ 581.36 KiB | Viewed 1356 times ]
File comment: The British attack on the Village is much more successful. Even though the Germans have Garrisoned the houses, the British attack them one by one, and over several rounds of combat take control. But the Germans also have a strong reserve. The next Game Turn begins with the High Command phase, allowing the Germans to choose between Off Table Support or Reserves. And with the Village under threat – on come the Reserves – a company of Storm Pioneers, complete with flamethrowers. The Village battel continues for the rest of the game, with ownership of houses swapping back and for between the sides, as each side gains then loses the upper hand.
07 - Battle for the village.jpg
07 - Battle for the village.jpg [ 570.92 KiB | Viewed 1356 times ]
File comment: The British also have their reserve, and in the dying turns of the game, the Deccan horse arrive to exploit the French gains on the Left Flank, as the Jaegers finally succumb to the French Colonial pressure.
08 - The Deccan Horse.jpg
08 - The Deccan Horse.jpg [ 641.87 KiB | Viewed 1356 times ]
File comment: One last Reserve from the Germans saw another Company of Storm Pioneers arrive, this time to attempt to retake the Woods. But by now time was against us and we called the game to a close. The Woods were wholly within Allied Control (12” area around the centre clear of the enemy), the Village still had some Germans present denying the British of full control. A platoon each from the British and French had entered either end of the trenches, but the Germans still had three platoons holding the centre. It was time to reveal the Objectives held by each Battalion.
09 - Final Push.jpg
09 - Final Push.jpg [ 165.7 KiB | Viewed 1355 times ]
File comment: The British Commanders had to Capture the Village and the Trench, whereas the French had a Brigade Order – to destroy 75% of enemy units. With the Village and Trench still holding a couple of German platoons, neither Objective had been captured. And with 6 German platoons remaining, the Allies had only destroyed just over 50%. The Germans fared no better -
with two Allied platoons in the Trenches, the Germans failed their “None Shall Pass” objective of having no enemy units in their trench. They had caused a lot more damage the British units, but still were short of the 75% mark. So overall, a hard fought draw. With a bit more time, I think the Brits would have cleared the Village, but the rate of attrition against the Allies was high, so another turn would have seen the Germans achieve their objective too.

10 - Objectives.jpg
10 - Objectives.jpg [ 481.14 KiB | Viewed 1356 times ]
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:46 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:02 pm
Posts: 3452
Post Re: Hammerhead 2017 - Zero Hour
We will be running an Italian zero hour game at salute. See you there

Kind regards

Mon Mar 20, 2017 1:19 pm
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