Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Invasion of Morschauserland: Play-test 2 – The Combined Arms Assault

This short battle was fought to test the latest version of my adaptation of Joseph Morschauser’s ‘Modern’ period wargames rules for use on a 3-inch square gridded battlefield. I decided that in this battle Infantry, Artillery, and Tanks would be used so that I could gain a clearer understanding of the rules relating to the use of Armour. The latter have been the cause of much email discussion between myself and Jim Wright, and we both think that the rules – as written – need greater clarification, especially when Tanks come to grips with Infantry and Artillery at Close Combat range.


The Eastlanders were smarting as a result of the defeat they suffered when the punitive force they sent across the border into Morschauserland was – to all intents and purposes – wiped out. They decided that national honour demanded that they send a more powerful force across the border to destroy the Morschauserland units that were there.

The Morschauserlanders were not unaware of the Eastlanders desire for revenge, and rearranged their border defences. They also sent one of their Tank units up to the border to reinforce the units that were already there.

Forces Deployed
    • 4th Grenadiers: 1 x Rifle Unit; 1 x Machine Gun Unit
    • 5th Grenadiers: 1 x Rifle Unit, 1 x Machine Gun Unit
    • 6th Grenadiers: 1 x Rifle Unit; 1 x Mortar Unit
    • 1st Artillery: 1 x Howitzer Unit
    • 1st Tanks (The Morschauser Bays): 2 x Tank Units
    • 103rd Rifles: 3 x Rifle Units
    • 104th Rifles: 3 x Rifle Units
    • 102nd Machine Guns: 1 x Machine Gun Unit
    • 102nd Mortars: 1 x Mortar Unit
    • 101st Artillery: 1 x Howitzer Unit
    • 101st Antitank Artillery: 1 x Antitank Gun Unit
    • 101st Tanks: 2 x Tank Units
Initial Positions

The following map shows the initial positions held by the Morschauserlanders and the main axes of attack used by the Eastlanders. The 103rd Rifles and 102nd Mortars were ordered to follow behind the 101st Tanks, and the 102nd Machine Guns and 101st Antitank Artillery were to advance behind the 104th Rifles. The 101st Artillery was to remain just off the battlefield and only move forward once the 104th Rifles had engaged any enemy unit on their axis of advance.

Turn 1

Both sides threw a die to see which side would move first; the Morschauserlanders threw a 1 and the Eastlanders threw a 3; therefore the Eastlanders moved first.

With the 101st Tanks in the lead, the northernmost Eastland troops advanced into Morschauserland. The 101st Tanks opened fire on the 5th Grenadiers directly to their front. The southernmost Tank Unit threw a 6, which destroyed the 5th Grenadier’s Machine Gun Unit, and the northernmost Tank Unit threw a 2, which meant that the Tank’s fire had missed its target.

First blood to the Eastlanders! The Machine Gun Unit of the 5th Grenadiers is destroyed.
The 104th Rifles then moved across the border in line, closely followed by 102nd Machine Guns and 101st Antitank Artillery. The 104th Rifles reached the edge of the woods, but as the 4th Grenadiers were in cover a simple 50:50 dice throw was used to determine if the 104th Rifles would see the 4th Grenadiers. Because the 104th Rifles were judged to have seen the 4th Grenadiers, they opened fire on them. Starting with the northernmost Unit, the 104th Rifles threw a 6, a 1, and a 2. As a result, the Rifle Unit of the 4th Grenadiers was destroyed.

The 4th Grenadiers are reduced to 50% of their original strength.
The 101st Artillery then crossed the border just south of the main road. It then opened fire on the Machine Gun Unit of 4th Grenadiers. The Eastlanders threw a 2, which meant that the Artillery had missed their target.

The 101st Artillery opens fire … and misses!
It was then the turn of the Morschauserlanders to move. The Machine Gun Unit of the 5th Grenadiers opened fire on the left-hand Rifle Unit of the 104th Rifles. They threw a 4, and the Rifle Unit was destroyed.

The Morschauserlanders strike back! A Unit of the 104th Rifles is destroyed by machine gun fire.
The 1st Artillery then opened fire on the right-hand Rifle Unit of the 104th Rifles, which was just in range. They threw a 5, which destroyed the Rifle Unit.

The 1st Artillery open fire with devastating effect on the enemy.
The 1st Tanks now moved forward to engage the 101st Tanks. Moving from their position behind the village, they advanced so that they straddled the road between the village and the remaining Unit of the 5th Grenadiers. They then opened fire on the advancing enemy tanks.

The northernmost Tank Unit threw a 1 … and missed its target! The right-hand Tank Unit threw a 2 … and also missed its target!

The two Units of the 1st Tanks open fire … and both miss their targets!
Turn 2

Both sides threw a die to see which side would move first; the Morschauserlanders threw a 4 and the Eastlanders threw a 5; therefore the Eastlanders moved first again.

The 101st Tanks moved forward, the right-hand Tank Unit running down the remaining Rifle Unit of the 5th Grenadiers. Both Tank Units then opened fire on the Tank Units of the 1st Tanks. The right-hand Tank Unit threw a 5 and destroyed the enemy Tank Unit that it was alongside. The other Eastlander Tank Unit threw a 6 … and destroyed the Morschauserlander’s last Tank Unit.

Short-range Tank vs. Tank engagements tend to be fast, furious, and deadly, and this one proved no exception to the rule.
The remaining Rifle Unit of 104th Rifles charged into the wood to its front and engaged the Machine Gun Unit of the 4th Grenadiers in Close Combat. The Eastlander’s threw two dice; a red one for themselves and a black one for the enemy Unit. The red dice score was 6 (which is great than its Close Combat Power) and the black dice score was 2 (which is less than the enemy Unit’s Close Combat Power). The Machine Gun Unit was destroyed!

The Machine Gun Unit of the 4th Grenadiers fights to the death against the remaining Rifle Unit of 104th Rifles.
The rest of the Eastland forces now continued their advance. The 101st Artillery opened fire on the concealed 1st Artillery, They threw a 5, which destroyed the 1st Artillery before it could reply.

The 101st Artillery firing at the opposing Artillery … with devastating results!
At this point it was apparent that the Eastlanders were going to prevail, and the 6th Grenadiers began to withdraw. All the Morschauserlanders could hope for was that reinforcements could be mobilised quickly and sent forward to stem the Eastland invasion.


As before this battle was fast and furious. The tanks did have an effect on the speed and decisiveness of the Eastland victory, as did the apparently one-sided dice scores! The melee rules (now renamed the Close Combat rules) worked well on the one occasion that they were used, and were much easier to understand now that they have been re-written.


  1. "this battle was fast and furious"

    I'll say! I eagerly await the Morschauserland counter-attack.

    Hopefully tank movement in and around infantry or artillery will occur. Don't force it. Just play the game.

    Perhaps the Eastlanders will let their armored spearhead forge ahead to take advantage of their success on the day.

    Thanks for the write-up and pictures.


  2. Nice! I like all the maps and illustrations. Thanks for posting your efforts!


  3. Hi Bob, Looks great fun and, dare I say it, a refreshing tonic for a jaded palate!

    I really like the look of the table as well, simple and effective - I am firmly in the school of thought that prefers functional terrain rather than model railway standard.

    Any thoughts on aircraft?


  4. Great report and very nicely done reformatting of the rules. 3 questions:

    re woods and buildings:

    Are you allowing all units to move through them freely?

    Am I correct in understanding that you are having them block sight if the wood square is inbetween 2 units but not if one of the units is in the square and that the rill to see the defending unit was a special rule to reflect that they started the game concealed in an ambush position?

    On the troop capability chart, have you missed inverting the close combat potential of anti-tank rockets? It was origianlly 2, like MG's but still says 2 instead of 5?

    Well done, now that you've done the hard work of reformatting and clarifying, I have every intention of taking advantage of it!


  5. Jim,

    Thanks for the comments. The play-test has given me much food for thought ... especially the tank 'run down' rules.

    The next scenario is going to involve quite a few Eastland Tanks breaking out into the wide open spaces of Morschauserland. Their opposition will be the last remaining Morshauserland Tank Unit (2nd Tanks [The Morshauserland Greys]) and some scratch Infantry Units (possibly dug in and with some Artillery support).

    Keep reading!

    All the best,


  6. Ross Mac,

    I am still working on the layout, but thanks for the encouraging comments.

    I assumed that woods were able to block line-of-sight between units, and that if a unit was in a wood it could wait unseen and then ambush opposing units. I did, howeber, allow units to recce woods, with a 50:50 chance of success, working on the 'Let the dice decide' principle laid down by Joseph Morschauser.

    Thnaks for spotting the error regarding Antitank Rockets. That somehow slipped through the proof reading net.

    I am pleased to hear that you might be using this development of the original rules. They are not everyone's cup oif tea, but I like them very much! Battles are quick to fight, reach an outcome, and I don't have to spend time looking for this factor or that in pages and pages of rules!

    The KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principle works for me!

    All the best,


  7. Ogrefencer,

    It was great fun, and once I get the rules as I want them it will enable me to fight whole campaigns in a day.

    The simple terrain helps; it is easy to set up and/or change, it is cheap, it is effective, and to me it looks like a 3D map.

    As to aircraft ... well that will be something for the future.

    All the best,


  8. CWT,

    The more of these reports I write, the easier they are becoming to do!

    The map is a very simple one drawn using MS Visio, and then transferred to MS Paint to be cleaned up. It now takes me less than 30 minutes to go from a blank screen to a completed battle map.

    The photos are taken with a very simple digital camera. Again I use MS software (Office Picture Manager) to resize and crop them, and them MS Paint to add the lines. I added the latter to make it easier for readers to follow the action.

    Keep reading ... there is more to come!

    All the best,



Thank you for leaving a comment. Please note that any comments that are spam or contain phishing messages or that come from Google Accounts that are 'Unknown' will be deleted.