This post follows on from the previous post on character creation.
Before beginning our first battle, we must roll to discover what kind of assignment it is. Rolling 1d10 we get:
- A chance encounter; figures that flee during this battle run the risk of getting lost in the wastes.
Next we must find out who we’re fighting against. Rolling another 1d10, we discover that:
- We’re fighting a band of regular Soviet infantrymen, obviously staked out in ambush to engage any Germans that should come along.
Using the Soviet force table in the Five Men in Normandy core book, we determine the exact composition of our ambushers by rolling 3d100.
- 1 model with a Tokarev pistol.
- 3 models with bolt action rifles.
- 1 model with a DP-28 LMG.
Finally, we must decide on the mission type by rolling a final d100.
- Scout; our unlikely protagonists are forging ahead of the main retreat column, trying to find a safe path through the snows. Now ambushed by the Bolsheviks, they must get the lay of the land and retreat before more Soviets close in.
Our battlefield is a windswept hilltop, ringed by thick pine trees and snarled with thickets of bramble. A cart track blazes a trail through the undergrowth, overlooked by a single rough-hewn observation post.
The choking terrain screens much of the early movement, as our heroes fan out through the wood while the Soviets dig in around the watchtower, sticking close to their machine gun’s devastating firepower.
With Hummel in tow, Bretz manages to get within spitting distance of one objective, before pitching a molotov cocktail into the watchtower and scuttling back into the undergrowth.
As the log tower catches like an autumn bonfire, Kraus riddles the fleeing Soviets with bullets, filling the air with the sound of tearing calico and the stink of cordite.
Specht and Saller lead the charge on the final objective, with our heroic oberleutnant catching a bullet for his trouble.
With the Soviets fleeing in disarray, the squad picks up its wounded, unsuccessfully scrounges for ammunition and quits the field in good order.
- Everyone gains +1 stress and exhaustion for participating in the battle.
- Saller gains +1 exhaustion for failing a search roll.
- Bretz and Hummel gain +1 stress for being under fire for 2 consecutive turns.
- Specht and Kraus lose -2 ammunition for firing their automatic weapons.
- Bretz, Hummel and Saller lose -1 ammunition for firing their rifles.
Next, Specht must roll 1d100 on the Injury table for going out of action during the battle. He suffers a light wound. He is critically injured for 2 hours and gains +1 exhaustion, pushing him over his constitution threshold.
If this cannot be reduced, he will collapse and be permanently removed from the campaign.
For successfully completing the mission we roll 3 positive morale dice, with two successful results, increasing our morale by 2 and reducing the stress of all characters by -2.
For taking a casualty, we roll 1 negative morale dice. The roll does not generate any additional effects.
Our campaign event is Scavenging Wildlife – while listlessly wandering in the wake of the party, Kraus is set upon by a pack of wild dogs who tear into his pack and devour the dried horse meat he had been saving for dinner. He loses 2 provisions, taking him to 1
Going into the barter phase, we need to take stock of our situation. The whole squad is dangerously low on ammunition and provisions, but flush with loot.
The squad pools their mismatched collections of watches, candlesticks and silverware and sends the dour Kraus down the line to trade for ammunition.
With their pouches and packs stuffed full of cartridges, the party settles down to consume the rest of their meagre rations, leaving with scant left for the rest of the journey.
Next, all characters must roll on the General Winter table; Specht, Bretz and Kraus all roll 2d10 and pick the best result because of their winter clothing.
- Specht is overcome by uncontrollable shivering – he gains +1 exhaustion and may only roll Shock dice in the next battle.
- Bretz’s fingers and toes begin to blacken – he is Critically Injured for the next 2 hours.
- Despite his heavy overcoat, Kraus is chilled to the bone and gains +1 exhaustion.
- Saller’s light field jacket and makeshift cardboard boots are no match for the insidious cold. He gains +1 exhaustion.
- Hummel is overcome by uncontrollable shivering – he gains +1 exhaustion and may only roll Shock dice in the next battle.
We don’t need to take any additional actions this turn – the squad is fully equipped and no-one is slowing the group down.
We’re not going to allow anyone to lay up this turn and take the full squad into the next battle.
The group advances 13km along the trail to Narva and 3 hours pass.
Pick up Blitzfreeze on WargameVault.