Monday, 7 March 2016

Hell Hath No Fury - First Games

I have been printing tanks to supplement those in the Memoir '44 box, just to add a bit of variety. But it occurred to me that those same tanks, along with the ones in the game itself, could also be used for other games. I have been looking at 'Hell Hath No Fury' by Two Hour Wargames for a little while now, and enjoyed reading various reports of games on other blogs, so yesterday I bought it, downloaded it, read it, asked the author a few questions and then, this evening, played some games.

Hell Hath No Fury is basically derived from their Nuts! WWII squad-level game, and just covers tanks. Specifically it covers German and American tanks in 1944-45, although stats and charts for other nationalities can be found elsewhere. Each model represents one tank, and it assumed that you will play with a platoon or, at most, a company of tanks on each side.

Like all Two Hour Wargames products it's suited to solo play, and contains a number of missions. I started with the first one, a dawn patrol.

I decided to keep things simple and use just three tanks. I ignored the Star rules (which make the tank you personally command a Hollywood combat-monster) and also generated one Rep for each crew rather than assign values to the individual crew-members. Rep is a number from 3 (the worse) to 5 (the best) which covers a crew or crewman's experience and training. I also didn't bother with skills. I reasoned I'd have enough to keep track of.

I ran a group of three basic Shermans on my patrol. They had to cross to the other side of the table, then reconnoitre the far edge for a few turns before heading home. I ran them with Reps of 5, 4 and 3, mostly so I could see how the different values affected their performance.

Here they are, starting their patrol. I moved into the more open area of the board, hoping to use the hill as cover from any enemy tanks which might be lurking around.

The grey pieces of card are Potential Enemy Forces (PEFs). These are randomly placed after my first move, and are resolved when they are in line of sight to see what they are. They could be nothing, they could be the premonition of enemy troops elsewhere or they could, indeed, be enemy troops.

PEFs move. One entered a field, and became visible. It turned out to be nothing, but increased the likelihood that the next one would be something.

The next one moved onto the crest of the hill. If it was an enemy tank I would be in trouble. It wasn't. It was just another false alarm.

The third PEF was over the other side of the board, so I pressed forward to complete as much of my mission as I could before it was resolved.

I sent one tank to cover my flank.

The platoon commander and the novice (Rep 3) crew continued the patrol.

The lone Sherman moved into a defensive position on the central hill. The last PEF can be seen lurking in the distance.

My patrolling brought me closer to the enemy, whatever it was.

The PEF moved into view ...

... a was resolved as a lone Panzer III. Not only that, but it had a novice crew. It was, however, the gaming debut of one of my 3D prints.

The platoon commander's tank took it out with one quick reaction shot, disabling it and causing the crew to run for the cover of the woods.

With no other enemy to be found, the patrol returned home, their mission successful.

Well, I had a chance to try some of the basic mechanics of the game, but really that wasn't much of a game. So I set it up again. I adopted the same plan as before.

One PEF was lurking behind a hill to my left, whilst the other two were beyond the crest of the big hill I was heading towards.

With hindsight I should have moved all of my platoon to just behind the crest before peeping over, instead of sending the platoon commander on his own. The two PEFs resolved into two platoons of Panzer IVs - seven vehicles in total.

At this point my phone battery ran out. I couldn't be bothered to get my proper camera, so I plugged the phone in to charge whilst I resolved the battery of tests and checks my movement had caused. 

My platoon commander failed to react quicker than the Germans. Three vehicles scored near hits, with only my hull-down position saving me. A fourth German tank put a round through my turret, destroying the tank. 

Before the rest of my platoon could get their act together the Germans topped the crest of the hill, and worked one vehicle round the side. A second tank was destroyed before it could react. This left my novice crew, who wisely decided to retreat, but a shot took the tracks off on one side, and they were forced to abandon their vehicle.

All in all a bit of a disaster, but that's how the random enemy forces work. I got extremes in both games, one in my favour and the other very much not in my favour.

I tried a third game, but by that stage I was getting too tired to keep track of the various tests and checks you have to make in this game. I'm still not convinced that I'm playing all of it correctly, and I'm still not sure how some things are resolved at all, especially around the issue of firing and movement as the result of an in-sight test, a key part of the game. A few examples here would really help. 

I have to say that I didn't enjoy the game as much as I thought I would, but there's a lot to keep track of and I'm sure with experience it gets easier and more intuitive. It's very much one of those games that you need to have taught you by someone who 'gets' it, as I never find any of the Two Hour Wargames rules that easy to read or follow. I think there will be more questions to the author.

The second and third games only featured the Shermans and Panzer IVs from Memoir '44, but I hope you will all scroll back up to appreciate that lovely 3D-printed Panzer III in the first game. Sadly the Stugs and Tigers didn't get to see any action. I'm printing some Panthers as I write this ...

Note: If you are reading this post on then you are reading a stolen version. Please go to 'The Stronghold Rebuilt for the original posts. Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. Printing your own tanks? Very impressive! Must say, I I'm a TV fan and as you say, I it takes a little to get used to, but but once done, and the games flow intuitively and fairly realistically; you can adapt the PEFs to suit your games if you wish. Looking forward to more AARs in future. Nice one!


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