Operation Warboard (David MacKay Company, 1976) was the first wargaming book that I purchased and was one of the books that influenced, along with those by Donald Featherstone, my neophyte wargaming career. We quickly incorporated many of the Operation Warboard rules to our own rules which were up to that point were mainly a combination of Donald Featherstone's and Lionel Tar’s rules.
Operation Warboard began with an account of a wargame.
Late August, 1944. The Allied armies have broken out of the Normandy bridgehead and are rampaging eastwards through France. Paris is about to be liberated, and, further south, General Patton’s 3rd Army has passed through Orleans heading for Troyes. To cover his open right flank, Patton- who doesn’t much care about his flanks- has sent off a few small battlegroups, barely more than armoured patrols, like quills sprouting from a hasty hedgehog.
One of them winds south on country roads towards the village (fictional but typical) of Pont-de-la-Croix, which lies across a bridge over a tributary of the river Loire. The American group consists of a platoon of infantry in trucks, three jeeps (one the command vehicle) and a troop of three Shermans- their objective to take and hold the bridge, and if possible the village beyond.
Defending the village is an even smaller element of the Hentzau brigade- two platoons of infantry, one panzershrek (bazooka) team and a company HQ unit including a few riflemen- backed up by a lone panther tank. There’s no way of blowing up the bridge; no explosives, let alone engineers, have arrived. The commander’s objective is to hold the bridge- which he doesn’t think is likely- or at least try to block it, and hold enough of the village (by wearing down the American strength) so that reinforcements can start a counter-attack from there- if such reinforcements ever arrive...
For some time now I’ve wanted to refight Pont-de-la-Croix in 28mm using Bolt Action rules. The engagement itself lends itself to Bolt Action and should make for an enjoyable afternoon or evenings gaming. I’ve started the project in that I already have purchased the Shermans and will finish them in the next week or so.
Kent is keen to do a multiplayer game in the next few weeks and so I think a refight of Pont-de-la-Croix may be in order using the forces we can assemble.
Below is the original map and a photo from the book
I think we'll run with something like this:
· 1x Reg 1st lieutenant + NCO
· 3x Reg Shermans
· 3x Reg Jeeps (one of the commander, 2x HMG jeeps)
· 3x 10 man (Reg) infantry squads
· 1x M3A1 scout car
· 1x 2 ½ ton truck
· 1x Vet 1st lieutenant + NCO
· 2x 10 men vet squads
· 1x vet panzershrek
· 1x reg tiger (I don’t have a 28mm panther and tigers are cooler!)
· 2x MMG teams
· 1x 81mm mortar
Reinforcements: From turn 4 onwards we will roll for some German reinforcements (5+ on 1d6)
· 1x 251/1 hanomag half track
· 1x 10 man Vet infantry squad
· 1x 222 armoured car