Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Grenadier Kompanie (Rick) Vs. US Parachute Company (Luke) Vs. British Infantry Company (Aidan).

Grenadier Kompanie (Rick) Vs. US Parachute Company (Luke) Vs. British Infantry Company (Aidan).

With an uneven number of FOW players at the RGMB yesterday we plumed for a mission of our own creation so that all three could get a game in. This is how we got on. Forgot the camera again, bugger.

The Rules:
A 1,500pts three-way battle. The rules were simple; highest roller picks a side/corner, then take it in turns to deploy a platoon up to 18“ on to the table. Once deployment was complete we rolled to decide who would have first turn. Victory could only be gained by capturing the single objective in the dead-centre of the battlefield on or after turn 6. The mobile battle special rule was also used, no recon moves were allowed.

The Opponents:
The Germans - I had hoped to go easy on the Yanks in their first battle, but hadn’t managed to finish painting the Panzer III’s so was forced (forced I tell you!) to take the StuG’s. They were joined by the usual three grenadier platoons, one of which was pioneers, as well as mortars, HMG’s spread around the grenadiers, and a couple of PaK40’s.

The Brits - An unusual force appeared; Aidan had gone all 8th Army on us! Several infantry platoons (in shorts!) were backed up by mortars, two universal carrier patrols, 6pdrs pulled by jeeps, and the compulsory Matilda’s and Valentines combo in their new desert camouflage colours.

The Yanks - A totally new army never seen before at the RGMB; the American’s were mostly Para’s, and had a platoon of four Shermans to help. Two infantry platoons were also supported by 75mm light howitzers, engineers, and more bazookas than grains of sand on the battlefield!

The Battlefield:
Making good use of the new desert club scenery we placed a village to the left-centre of the 6 by 4 ft desert board, and surrounded it with small and large sand dunes and some rocky outcrops. The objective sat just beyond the edge of the village in an open area of land.

The Battle:
Aidan rolled highest for the Brits and we were off, with British infantry and tanks spreading out in a general wave towards the village in the centre of the board. My Germans went next, and having boasted that I would claim the first ever American Sherman kill I sent my StuG’s off towards them. They StuG’s managed to bail one of the four out, and then turned to deal with a more immediate problem as a trio of universal carriers crashed my party in the village and threatened to do horrible damage to my infantry.

Having roundly failed to save the situation the StuG’s then forgot how to storm-trooper and were promptly caught in the flank by the three other Shermans, ably assisted by a British advisor! With two destroyed the third fled, and with large-scale infantry casualties as well the Germans were generally considered to be out of the running.

The Brits turned their attention to the Para’s, who, having just got off the boat from New York should have realised they were supposed to duck. They didn’t, and many Americans met many English (and some Scottish) bullets very hard. The Brits infantry tanks; 3 Valentines and 3 Matilda’s skirted around the village to the American side, casually machine-gunning their ’allies’ as they did so (ironic? Most definitely), and settled near the objective with victory looking to be at hand.

With their infantry either dead, or hiding in foxholes, the Shermans moved more centrally and started a duel with the Brit tanks in an effect at forestalling defeat. Meanwhile the remains of the Germans plucked up some courage and started to move cautiously into the village, using their mortars to good effect on the Brit infantry and their PaK40’s to wipe out the original troublesome Universal carrier patrol.

The Brit tanks position meant that the Shermans had to advance to very close range to contest the objective, and before they knew it the Brits had gone all Royal Navy on them and broadsides were the order of the day. The Brit infantry, having been stalled by the German and American bombardments now moved up to the village, where they initial success and destroyed the remains of the German pioneers, however the final Grenadier platoon launched itself in and wiped out the Brits at the same time as their mortars struck gold and scared off the Brits 6pdr battery and Company Commander.

The Americans came off worse in the naval battle, losing three Shermans including their platoon CO to the Brits three Matilda’s, however these losses took the Brits to a company morale check, and being bereft of a commander they retreated from the field of battle. The Americans then looked up and discovered that in the confusion the German infantry had managed to sneak up to the edge of the village and into range of the objective. With nothing that could reach them in time the Para’s were unable to contest, and victory went to the Germans!

I am definitely too paranoid about Universal Carriers, and the combination of this, and my inability to storm-trooper cost me a third of my force early on in the StuG’s. At that point I thought the Brits had it all wrapped up with Yanks going down like 9-pins everywhere, however there was definitely complacency in their attack, and by the time their infantry had worked out it should help the tanks they had been whittled down by German mortars and American 75mm guns. The loss of the Brit CO to panic was the perfect example of this. The Yanks did well for their first battle, and their Shermans were aggressive and difficult to deal with even if the infantry went a bit rabbit-in-the-head-lights early on and didn’t recover.

Nice to see some Americans join the fray, and their Fearless Veteran abilities, along with their bazookas, should give a few armies a fright, and the paint job was fairly good as well! Hopefully some pictures next time.

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