Spanish Civil War Battle Report. Using BAIT rules. By Kevin Lowth June 2003
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Just played my sixth game of BAIT and thought that I’d describe the
PCE 351 pts All AVERAGE;
Coy HQ; CC Pistol, SMG, Rifle (Flag), ‘Bomber’.
The table featured a village in the centre consisting of 5 squares. Twoenclosures, each of two squares of crops (partial) were found at the NE and SW corners of the village. Two squares of low hills were situated on the extreme E and W table edges. The extreme N edge had a small copse. SE of the village was another 2 squares of low hill. Due E of the village was an orchard of 3 squares. Finally a road ran NS providing partial cover in places from dry stone walls.
We used our own rules for the recce phase of BAIT. These are basedupon ideas that were found on the Humberside Wargames Society website.The Legion the attacker and won by eight successes so were permitted 350 pts and one platoon to come onto the table as a flank attack. The PCE were allowed 140 pts and deployed first. After placing the objectives OB1 and OB2, NW and E of village, OB3 extreme NE end of orchard, and dicing three times for table challenges, the PCE were forced into defending the North of the table facing the Legion who entered from the South.
PCE deployed their Artillery piece on the hill in the E, 2nd Platoon inthe village on and around OB2 and their Company Command on OB1. The Legion rolled 2 D6 to attempt to intimidate the militia into retiring one square, but failed. In addition they were also denied the use of a barrage when the score difference between themselves and the PCE was only one.
The Legion now deployed its Support on the S road exit to providecovering fire for the 1st Platoons advance on the SW corner of the village.
The Legion 2nd Platoon were to arrive in the W on the hill. Companycommand appeared in the SW corner of the table.
What follows is a, somewhat fuzzy, account of the fight, which was verychaotic, enjoyable and memorable, for a couple of incidents. The rest of the fight has passed into the recesses of my memory. Anyhow turn one saw the Legion 1st Platoon advance and enter the village only to suffer their first casualty due to PCE Commands, free opportunity fire. However, OB1 was taken. The Legion 2nd Platoon advanced rapidly from the hill across open ground and skirted just to the north of the village to end up in the field to the NE. However they suffered a base killed again from opportunity fire. Legion Coy HQ advanced and entered the field to the SW of the village, whilst the Support HMG to the S poured pinning fire into the PCE platoon in the SE corner of the village, on OB2.
Things looked gloomy for my PCE as the legions quick advance had caughtme napping somewhat. There was much firing in my turn as I unpinned my Platoon and poured rifle fire into the Legion occupying OB1, but failed to pin. I moved a rifle section to the north of the village however, and caused a rifle base to be killed from the Legion troops occupying the field. In turn I suffered a casualty though from opportunity fire. The Field gun failed to motivate. I cursed my luck and rolled a six for game countdown.
Move two saw the Legion consolidate and pour a withering fire into myplatoon occupying the SE of the village, pinning it. My PCE Coy Command suffered a casualty as they were fired upon from Legion troops in the village. The Legion support HMG continued to launch an extensive amount of fire into my clustered and pinned platoon causing no casualties (luckily). The Legion 2nd Platoon entered the middle of the village but suffered another casualty from opportunity fire. My field gun failed to motivate again, but my troops in the N of the town caused another casualty on the Legion troops who were now perilously close to a break test. I failed to unpin the remainder of my platoon as they ducked the onslaught fired upon them. My Coy command fired weakly at the enemy in the SW of the town to no result. I rolled for my reinforcements, got a tank and 5 bases of infantry then rolled a 5 for countdown.
Move three saw the Legion 1st Platoon pin my Coy command, then an assault hit me from the 2nd Platoon. The fighting was indeed savage. My brave ‘reds’ despatched three of the enemy, but were wiped out. The Legion Coy CO collecting his casualties and then captured mine! (the impertinence…). Lots of ineffectual firing occurred in the village to no purpose whatsoever. In my turn my gun failed to motivate yet again! The platoon in the SE of the town managed to unpin-just. I rolled and received a few reinforcements but decided to bring on a tank and leave the other behind (things were looking a trifle desperate for me). This arrived on the road in the N. I rolled a four for Game countdown, total 15 so far (ouch!).
Move four saw the Legion 2nd Platoon survive a break test as out of their 8 bases only three were left alive. Their PC legged it across the table from the village to the field in the NE. The rest of the platoon took OB3. The Legion Coy CO advanced and captured the flag of my brave PCE boys, which had been dropped in their fatal attempt to fight off the assault in the previous turn. 1st Platoon continued to pour fire into my Platoon and caused yet another casualty. In my turn, I motivated my gun but then scored a 1 and couldn’t do anything anyway. However, I unpinned my Platoon and reinforced the N of the village, making myself unflustered. I then caused another casualty on the Legion 1st Platoon (lucky or what). My tank advanced and with 1 AP of MG fire scored 2 sixes on the bases in OB3. Next, I threw two ones killing both (hurrah!) Things were going better. Lots of firing saw no result other than throbbing eardrums! I managed to throw sixes for the rest of my reinforcements and brought them on along the N edge but threw a four for my countdown. Move five saw the Legion 2nd Platoon flee as their failed their test. Their 1st Platoon unpinned itself and fired upon my troops still clinging to the village. The Legion Coy Command prepared to fire if required on my reinforcements, next turn.
My tank continued its advance, managing to pin the Legion Coy Command, as my gun failed to motivate once more. My other forces pinned the remainder of the Legion now if I could just throw low enough for another turn. Ooops, another six. Game over! The Legion scored 55 pts after taking both low scoring objectives and a flag, I scored an unbelievable 46 pts after killing so many Veteran troops. A very fast paced game with lots of action. I hope that was a little interesting even if it turned out to be a little long.
I have played half a dozen games of BAIT and so far have discovered the following.
Militia are fun but a real b****r to use. Even average ones are difficult to move, as their officer must be adjacent to them to motivate. If PBI raw troops prove difficult to use, try them in BAIT, you’ll either love or hate them. I find them a sod to move and motivate but they are very, very cheap if you have enough of them and will charge bravely if led. I love ‘em. Much of the fighting was of a very amateur nature.
The volume of fire feels really low in BAIT. Not surprisingly there is a noted absence of SMGs and LMGs (how I miss my MG42s!). However, assaulting occurs more frequently, than in PBI2, dependent upon force type. It is often the only way to kill the enemy effectively. The downside is of course the casualty rate, which at times is huge and very thought provoking. This is all indicative of the nature of the SCW particularly early on.
Nice little scraps over flags occur as players home in on VPs leading to very memorable games, where they can change hands several times. Indeed, there seems to be a real kudos attached to flags. Player’s hate having theirs captured and try all sorts of desperate things to get their hands on the enemy’s. There is real prestige and face saving value.
Objectives seem to play second fiddle to flags.
If you think artillery fire is a little inaccurate in PBI try BAIT. We are talking real blind firing! However, you can target a BUA or road or terrain feature that you cannot see (I guess they must have had maps then!)
All in all BAIT is in a similar vein to PBI2 but I think much more fun and more of a personal nature. By this I mean you need to throttle him with your hands rather than shoot him from a distance, and slap him and nick his flag. It feels much more of a skirmish game. BAIT is not better than PBI2 but it is tactically very different and has a real period feel. Anyway off now to buy some more dead markers.