Return to Pont de la Croix at The Other Partizan

Hi all

After a slight hiatus in blogging and other Wargaming activity I thought I’d pop in a post about the game I staged yesterday at The Other Partizan in Newark, Nottinghamshire. Apologies for any screwy formatting as I’m posting via an iPad and running the blogger editor is neither smooth nor enjoyable!

This was a small, tactical game set in Normandy at the start of August 1944. I did prepare some display material so I’ll reproduce some of that below and add a few pictures. On the day the game played well and we even reached a conclusion with the German rearguard holding out mostly thanks to the presence of the Panther that the US tanks couldn’t flank because of the river. My bolted on rules for resource assets worked well and I might write more about those soon.

Lastly, before moving on to the scenario, in a bizarre coincidence the Fireball Forward rules have just become available in print again. Mine dropped through the letterbox today courtesy of Amazon. 

The Scenario

On 1st August 1944 the US 90th Infantry Division passed from 1st Army/VIII Corps into 3rd Army/XV Corps and received orders to move out of the Cherbourg Peninsula to St Hilaire-du-Harcouet to seize the bridges over the Selune River, protect dams along the river and block enemy movements. 


Our scenario is a fictional encounter based around this advance. A fresh company of infantry is ordered to seize the bridge across the Selune at Pont-de-la-Croix. A platoon of medium tanks of the 214th Tank Battalion has been assigned from the divisional reserve to provide support along with a pair of M8 armoured cars from the 90th Reconnaissance Troop. Off table support in the form of battalion mortars and divisional artillery is available. 

Holding the crossing and village is a battle-weary and under strength company of infantry from the German 77th Infanterie Division. Also in the area are tanks from the 2nd SS Panzer Division and it is photo reconnaissance reports of these that has prompted the presence of the US armour. Should the German commander feel additional antitank firepower is required then Marders can be requested but this is likely to be a trade-off against access to mortar and artillery support. The force is very much a rearguard so any towed antitank guns have already been withdrawn and the overall supply situation for the Germans is poor. These are however reasonably experienced soldiers whose morale is holding firm for now. 



Elements of 358th Infantry Regiment, 712th Tank Battalion and 90th Reconnaissance Troop:

Infantry Company HQ

  • Officer (3+)
  • 2 x .30cal MMG teams 
  • 2 x 60mm mortar teams

Infantry Platoon x 3


  • Officer
  • Bazooka team
  • 3 x Infantry squads

Medium Tank Platoon

  • M4A1 Sherman, Officer (3+)
  • 2-4x M4A1 Sherman

Reconnaissance Platoon

  • M8 Greyhound, Officer (3+)
  • M8 Greyhound

Start with 2 Asset Dice

Plentiful Supply

Morale 4+ unless otherwise listed


Elements of 77 Infanterie Division and 2nd SS Panzer Division:

Infantry Company HQ

  • Officer (3+)
  • 2 x MG42 MMG teams 
  • 1 x Sniper
  • 1 x Panzerschreck team

Infantry Platoon x 3


  • Officer
  • 2-3 x Infantry squads

Panzer Platoon

  • Pz V, Officer (3+)


  • 2 x Pz IV H

Panzerjäger Platoon (Asset)

  • Marder III, Officer
  • 0-1 Marder III

Start with 2 Asset Dice

Poor Supply

Morale 4+ unless otherwise listed

Panzerfaust availability 5+

In the force lists above there are a couple of additions to FireballForward rules as written. Asset dice are used in place of initiative chits and artillery fire missions. They can be built up via a die roll each turn which is easier for armies who have plentiful supply and quite hard if you have poor supply. It’s a bit like CoC dice in Chain of Command. Panzerfaust availability is lifted from Advanced Squad Leader; essentially any German squad potentially has a Panzerfaust at any time, but must roll a d6 to use it. Failure means it wasn’t in the right place this time but doesn’t stop the squad trying again if there is another opportunity. 

The Rules 

Fireball Forward is a set of World War Two miniatures rules written by Mark Fastoso and Jonathan Miller. Originally published in hard copy they continue to be available as a purchasable download from Wargames Vault. A small selection of scenario books are also available including a recently released volume covering the German invasion of Crete. 

In the game forces are fielded as units, typically representing a platoon. Units are composed of elements such as infantry squads, weapons teams or individual vehicles. Players activate one or more units at a time. Infantry can rally, shoot and/or move in any order. Vehicles can move and either shoot or rally, leaders can move, spot and/or rally. Elements that move can trigger reaction shooting by the enemy, keeping both players engaged throughout the game turns. 

Shooting uses a neat mechanism involving a “to hit” die rollmodified by a “range” die/dice that gives an advantage to weapons with longer ranges. Hits on armour then require the target to roll a number of dice determined by armour thickness, needing a number of successes determined by the shooter’s penetration value. Hits on infantry cause morale tests. A failed test causes a rout and two failed tests cause a unit to be destroyed. 

There’s obviously more to things than that simple overview and the rules cover most of what you may expect, but the core game plays very quickly and allows players to focus on their tactics rather than wrestling with the rules. 

If you are interested then there is a small playlist of tutorials on YouTube covering movement, shooting, reactions, morale and so forth.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Ray! Hope the trip to Newark was worth your while!

  2. Well you’ve convinced me ! Rules ordered, would like to know more about your asset dice rather than the chit system and as always an excellent looking game

    1. Hi Graham. Blog post now up that describes my approach so far...

  3. Agreed, game looked great.

  4. Great to see someone else playing Fireball. Really good set of rules which seem to have been overlooked by the vast majority. There are a couple of game reports on the Devon Wargames Group blog if you’re interested. Your figures and terrain are a real credit.

    1. Thanks. I've found your Stonne report so far. Great stuff. I think FF really is an overlooked gem. I suspect it was drowned out by Flames of War when initially released.


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