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THE NEWS LETTER OF EASY EIGHT ENTERPRISES© W elcome to the new Battle-Wire. We have
THE NEWS LETTER OF EASY EIGHT ENTERPRISES© W elcome to the new Battle-Wire. We have
THE NEWS LETTER OF EASY EIGHT ENTERPRISES© W elcome to the new Battle-Wire. We have

THE NEWS LETTER OF EASY EIGHT ENTERPRISES©

W elcome to the new Battle-Wire. We have put together a new

W elcome to the new Battle-Wire. We have put together a new format to bring to

format to bring to you the latest in World War II gaming. The feature article in this issue is written by Harold

Coyle, author of Team Yankee. The article is focused on fire principles that are directly related to the Battleground game system. Our staff artist, Jim Bland, has put together a new cartoon for your enjoyment. The cartoon will have a continuing story line that will appear in every issue of Battle-Wire. As usual we will also continue to give you reports on conventions and new products Easy Eight is publishing. The staff at Easy Eight has been working hard to expand the product line. Tanker’s Challenge is due out at the begining of December. Tanker’s Challenge is packed with 36 tank charts, covering the Russian, American and German armored forces. Along with the wide variety of tank charts, the rules for the Mini-Game Tanker’s Challenge is included. Tanker’s Challenge is an armored combat-fest of tank action. The next Scenario Pack due out at the first of the year is St. Lô. Centered around the ancient city of St Lô surrounded by bocage farm country, the Americans proceed with the Liberation of Europe. The Scenario Pack will highlight American armor and equipment in addi- tion to German late-war Fallschirmjagers. Look for even more exciting products as Easy Eight grows into

Happy Gaming, Brad Sanders President, Easy Eight Enterprises

1998.

debated, and around our small group, they are on a frequent basis, the simple truth is that both approaches demonstrate the impor-

tance of using fire power to establish a base of fire before launch- ing any attack, no matter how minor. Ewin Rommel, in his early years as the commander of assault troops, knew this. In his book, ‘Infantry Attacks,’ he advocated attacking only after you had established an effective base of fire. In Italy, he would use his troops in a ratio of up to 12 - 1 in the number of troops employed to provide supporting f i r e versus the number of men actually sent forward to conduct the assault. As a task force operations officer, I used the same principles when planning for and con- ducting offensive operations at Fort Hood, Texas and the Nation Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. And guess what? Rommel’s solution to the problem of overcoming defensive fire, first used by him in The Great War, still works. For you, the gamer using Battleground rules, application of this tried and true technique is simple. First, you must decide, as quickly as possible, where you are going to make your main effort. This is important. It is against this point in the enemy’s line, or on the gaming table, where all of your efforts will be focused. If possible, it should be a weak point in your opponent’s line. If there is no apparent weak point, then you must select a place where your attacking

force can approach under the security of cover and concealment, safe from direct enemy fire, for as long as possible. When you are ready, you must then use everything you can to create a hole in the enemy lines.

You must also select a point that can be brought under fire by supporting automatic weapons, both those organic to your squad and attached to it. In the case of an American infantry pla- toon, this would be a Cal. 30 from the platoon’s weapons squad or even an Cal .50 machine-gun from the company’s weapons pla- toon.

Cal .50 machine-gun from the company’s weapons pla- toon. Sarge Says Tactics and Tips on Battleground

Sarge Says

Tactics and Tips on Battleground World War II

By

Harold Coyle

F ire power kills. This nasty little truism probably reared its ugly

head not long after you sent your squad tromping across an open field against an MG 42 for the first time. Of course, you say to yourself, “I had no choice! I had to do something or else I would

have never made it to the objective.” But alas, letting your squads go out and get themselves shredded by devastating defensive fires also tends to make it difficult to reach one’s objectives. Now I do not mean to denigrate the

power of the defense. Dug in troops, backed up by one o r more machine-guns are defi- nitely a force to be reckoned with, especially if you do not have tanks, mortars, or any other heavy support weapons available to ‘take

out’ the nasty little cusses. Lack of heavy weapons, however, does not provide you with an excuse for doing nothing, or worse, doing something dumb, like charging out into the open. Like Sean Connery said in the movie, ‘The Rock’; “Losers make excuses. The winner gets to take the prom queen home.” By the beginning of WW II, every major military power had squads that were built around a light machine-gun or some sort of heavy, automatic weapon. Britain had it’s Bren, the US had the BAR, the Germans its famed MG 34, and the Russian, their DP. Even the Poles adopted the BAR and the Dutch, the Lewis gun. How these weapons figured into each nation’s squad tactics, of course, varied. The Germans, for instance, centered their tac- tics at squad level around their organic machine-gun. The ‘Landsers’ of the machine-gun section were the squad’s killers. Everyone else were there to support the killers. The Americans, on the other hand, saw their BAR as a support weapon. It was the task of the BAR gunner to suppress the enemy while the squad leader, with the bulk of the squad, maneuvered to outflank the enemy or gain favorable ground from which they could force the enemy to give way. While the relative merit of these two approaches can be

“Ideally, the

best places

to site supporting

weapons are to either

side of your

planned axis

of attack.”

are to either side of your planned axis of attack.” A Russian DP LMG gives covering

A Russian DP LMG gives covering fire while the rest of the squad advances.

A Russian DP LMG gives covering fire while the rest of the squad advances. 1-800-335-2977 ©
A Russian DP LMG gives covering fire while the rest of the squad advances. 1-800-335-2977 ©
A Russian DP LMG gives covering fire while the rest of the squad advances. 1-800-335-2977 ©

1-800-335-2977

© www.battlegroundwwii.com

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Once you have determined where you are going to make your ‘break in’, you must take your time and move your support- ing elements forward, into good firing positions. These should be locations where the supporting weapons can place fire on known or likely enemy machine-gun positions throughout the attack by the maneuver element. Ideally, the best places to site supporting weapons are to either side of your planned axis of attack. After all, there is nothing worse than having your own troops move forward and, in the process, mask the machine-guns you placed to support their attack. Once you have your supporting weapons in place, you have a couple of options. First, you can hold your fire, send your troops out, into the open, and wait for the enemy to fire on them and reveal their positions. This tactic is, quite natural, rough on the maneuver force, and pre-supposes that the enemy will go that turn before your supporting weapons do. If, however, the card or chit for your supporting weapons is drawn before that of the enemy machine-gun, then the sacrifice of your infantry will have been in vain. A second option is to place your supporting weapons on “OP Fire”. In this case, regardless of card or chit play, your sup- porting weapons will be able, if you placed them correctly, to fire on the enemy after he has fired on his first action, but before he

ALL-OUT! by jim bland

has the chance to take his second action. While your infantry will still, in all likelihood, suck up a few casualties, at least you are assured that you will be able to take a whack at you opponent. A third option is to fire blindly at known or suspected enemy locations. Also known as recon by fire, this method is, quite literally, a shot in the dark. But, it can produce effects, pro- vided your favorite Deity smiles down upon your die rolls. Of course, if the enemy positions are known to you, then, by all means, hammer them until you kill or scatter your opponent before you like so many dead, autumn leaves. To cover your preparation, and confuse the enemy as to the exact location of your intended ‘break in’, it will be necessary to conduct supporting attacks or demonstrations. These attacks can be simple demonstrations consisting of part of your force parading about where your opponent can see them, but is unable to bring effective fire upon them. You can also use fire to deceive your enemy as to where your main effort will be. Ideally, you will be in a position to do both. By using demonstrations, you will force your opponent to keep his forces thinly spread, allowing you an opportunity to mass the bulk of your combat power against the single, decisive point that you selected. Forces used as part of the demonstrations do not have to be wasted. They can provide the reserve or follow up forces used in the exploitation of your break-

reserve or follow up forces used in the exploitation of your break- 1-800-335-2977 © www.battlegroundwwii.com 3

through elsewhere. While such a role may not be as glamorous as that given to the assault force, just think, you may be the one who gets to take the prom queen home. The key to all of this, as in any military operation, is a bit of fore thought and a little planning. While it is true most plans do not play out as originally envisioned, either on the gaming table or in real life, a plan does provide you with a scheme of maneu- ver that permits all the elements on your side to effectively coor- dinate and orchestrate their efforts toward a single, well defined goal. A key portion of that must be fire support. In the Army, under the ‘Execution’ paragraph of an operations orders, there is one sub pare for maneuver, and one, equally important sub pare for fire support. Players who stumble onto the gaming table with- out taking the time to plan or coordinate their efforts with their fellow war gamers will, and normally do, play the price.

So, good hunting, have fun, and may the Dice be with you!

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Introducing Easy Eight's newest scenario pack for Battleground World War II. Panthers East covers the development of the Panther tank on the Eastern Front. Loaded with information and 10 action packed scenarios. All Panther variants appear in the scenarios slugging it out with the best the Russians had to offer.

Panthers East Includes:

8 New Tank Sheets Panther D, A and G Panther F Flak Panther Jagdpanther Bergepanther

T34/85

10 Scenarios New Rules for Mud, Snow and Rain Rules for Night Vision Gear

F Flak Panther Jagdpanther Bergepanther T34/85 10 Scenarios New Rules for Mud, Snow and Rain Rules
10 Scenarios New Rules for Mud, Snow and Rain Rules for Night Vision Gear 4 1-800-335-2977
10 Scenarios New Rules for Mud, Snow and Rain Rules for Night Vision Gear 4 1-800-335-2977
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10 Scenarios New Rules for Mud, Snow and Rain Rules for Night Vision Gear 4 1-800-335-2977
10 Scenarios New Rules for Mud, Snow and Rain Rules for Night Vision Gear 4 1-800-335-2977

1-800-335-2977

© www.battlegroundwwii.com

The “Souped Up” Jagdpanther As early as 1943, German weapons engineers experimented with a recoilless,

The “Souped Up” Jagdpanther

As early as 1943, German weapons engineers experimented with a recoilless, or fixed, gun barrel mounted on a tank. Earlier German successes with recoilless guns resulted in the 75mm L.G. 40 and the larger 105mm version, which were designed to be air- dropped and utilized by German Fallschirmjagers (Paratroops). These weapons eliminated the gun’s recoil when it fired by “blowing” the gun’s propellent gases (created when the gun fires) outward through a tube situated to the rear of the gun mount. A vehicle mounted version, however, would utilize a different method. Instead of discharging gasses, a gun mounted on a vehicle would actually be fixed to the chassis so that recoil would be absorbed and the barrel not blown back into the crew compartment. Simply put, this “fixed” gun would not recoil but also would not dis-

charge propellent gases normally associated with recoilless rifles. Such a creation would simplify manu- facture, use less materials, increase crew space within the vehicle, and make the gun more accurate (the lack of recoil keeping the gun on target). In October, 1944 it was decided to mount a fixed gun on the Jagdpanther for testing. The 88mm gun was lengthened and the front plate of the tank moved forward providing a counterbalance. Tie rods connected to a Cardan frame would then direct recoil from the front plate deep to the frame within the chas- sis. Essentially, the tank would disperse and absorb the gun’s recoil instead of the gun recoiling back into the crew compartment. A blowback opener on the breech would allow the gun to then be reloaded. Tests results were excellent, the Jagdpanther only moving back- wards from recoil an amazing 65mm! Plans called for installation of the fixed gun on the Jagdpanther, but these never were acted upon. In Panthers East! the Jadpanther can use the fixed gun if desired. This will give the Jagdpanther -2/-4 Acquired Target bonus instead of the standard -1/-2. Also, the autoloader rules found for the Panther ausf. F can also be used as both guns were planned to utilize similar autoloaders. Unfortunately though, the Panther ausf. F cannot have a fixed gun because of its turret. Try the fixed gun and autoloader together for a “souped-up” Jagdpanther that was planned to actually go into the field. Hit It Again and Steinau Bridgehead from Panthers East! would be excellent scenarios to test these special yet deadly Jagdpanther additions. --Devin Cooley

special yet deadly Jagdpanther additions. --Devin Cooley Happy Holidays to everyone from all of us at

Happy Holidays

to everyone from all of us at

Easy Eight Enterprises

Thanks for helping us make our first year a success!

Bob’s Convention Report

ARcon 21

We never cease to be amazed by the dedication and effort that go into making a successful convention. Archon 21 was no excep- tion. Primarily a sci-fi/fantasy con, we were pleased to find a cadre of hard core gamers around the Battle-Table at all times. Our players were a mix of 40k gamers, Battleground fans, and historical gamers new to Battleground. Every one had a great time, Brad, Devin and I most of all. We played two traditional scenarios, and two not so traditional. Guns to the Sky, taken directly from Red Devils in the Night, was the epitome of Double Blind night time chaos. Karl, as the German flak battery, ate my little brother and Jean (of Battlewire 2 fame) for lunch. It was fierce. Add in a small group of Maquis that accidentally fire on the Paras, and the Red Devils had a bad night. Bloody Bocage was looking like the US hands down in the beginning, but by the end the Germans had two Tigers back to back blasting away and pulled their chestnuts out of the fire just in time. Peenumude was a hit with the Archon Crowd. This late war com- mando raid was as wild as always. The commandos actually tried to stop a IS II tank by ramming it with a kubelwagon. Every time “the pilot” found a plane that could carry the load, another com- mando would blow it up. The raiders had a time of it that’s for sure. Lastly was Escape from Berlin, yet another scenario the his- tory books won’t tell you about. Although most of this scenario is classified, we can tell you that the Germans were VERY surprised when they spotted the Russian forces. The battle was a bloody slug fest, characterized by the extensive use of flame throwers and infantry AT weapons. The scenario climaxed with a Tiger II ram- ming a captured Sdkf 251. Despite valiant effort by all sides, the only victor was death.

Border wars

Still exhausted from our trip to Archon 21, we returned to St. Louis for Border Wars. Another fabulous con, thanks to all the organizers. The best part of Border Wars is seeing all of our old friends who attend all the HAHMGS events. We ran three games at Border Wars, and had the chance to game ourselves for once! Devin’s Red Line scenario was another exciting dash by Italian armor and motorized infantry against a British position, this time just outside Tobruk. The Italians pierced the wire with seeming ease and over ran the Brits, despite the arrival of British armor. Pete was the star of the show though, when he droped his L3 tan- kette IN the British trench and took off firing and ramming at the hapless victims. He literally couldn’t miss. Oh, that’s why trench- es zig zag!! Our surprise game for Border Wars was Brad’s Kursk scenario. This scenario featured a German armor company from

the Grossdeutchland assaulting a Russian pak front and support- ing trenches full on. Although it was bloody, and a couple of Tigers died early, (one to a side hit, and another to an automatic penetration) the mass of armor was too much. Russian infantry scampered for their lives instead of throwing molotovs, and the opening move of Zitadelle was a success. Our evening game was Bloody Bocage. Mike placed Barkman and the Panther on the extreme front line and just couldn’t miss. The Americans bogged down in a traffic jam in full view of Barkman’s lethal gun. The Tiger commanders were demanding targets be saved for them as they maneuvered against the US flank. Fires raged as the Americans were stopped cold. Despite the one sided out come, the scenario was one of the most fun I’ve ever run because of the fun and mature attitudes of gamers on both sides. I would have expected nothing less. As I said, the real joy for us was playing other peoples games. We enjoyed Blue Max, Crossfire, Three Musketeers, and SUTIC. The experience of playing and not running was very rejuvenating for all of us. It was inspirational to see all these excellent scenarios and insightful gamemasters.

Skirmishes 97

Although it seems an age ago, we can’t forget the con that started this season off for us. Skirmishes ‘97, in early July, was our warm-up to Historicon and the fall season. We ran a number of fun games Including our Escape from Berlin - which won Best of Show. Skirmishes is held in Grandview (near KC MO) each year. Skirmishes is a great con to go to, it has a very wide variety of games and is one of the best run cons we’ve ever attended.

Hurricon 97

I took a nice long trip to the South for Hurricon ‘97. Although the logistics were burdensome, having to ship terrain down and back, arrange airfare, airport pickup et. al, the m con was a blast and well run. Especially appreciate Bill, Craig, and Henk for all there help with the logistics. I only ran two different games. Guns to the Sky went well. Although the Germans won, the Paras did very well and almost pulled it out of the fire by using the 2” mortar. I also shipped the 3D Bocage terrain down, and ran several scenar- ios. We played the Bloody Bocage 3 times, and all three were hard fought. Although there were a variety of epic moments two stand out. In one game an American bazooka loader went “Medal of Honor” after his gunner received Gory Death. The Hero grabbed the tube and went cat hunting. Sadly when he finally found a Panther, he missed with a 19 and was gunned down like a dog. In another game the German mortar actually struck the top of a Sherman and knocked out the main gun! The crew then quit the field in the tank. Thanks again to everyone who helped me out during the Hurricon trip and especially to all who gamed with me.