Saturday, January 19, 2013

A River Too Wide - FoW

On the 13th the group gathered at Gnome Games in Green Bay for a Flames of War game.  With nine players we opted for a 4000 points per side game, Germans vs. British.  An unfordable river cut diagonally across the table.  In the center was a village and stone bridge,  on each side was a ford.

The British started with an infantry company on table, concealed in tall fields.  Attached to them but not yet on table was a recon troop of armored/scout cars and four Achilles tank destroyers.  The half of the village on their side of the river was unoccupied.

The Germans started with a grenadier company on their side of the river with some HMGs and infantry guns.

Turn One the British had the first move and drove a mass of armor (armour) on table.  On the left a troop of Stuarts, a recon troop, and two troops of Shermans with a company HQ element.  On the right were two Sherman companies and a recon troop.  Two platoons of infantry made for the buildings in a normal move as the 2" mortars attempted to smoke German strong points.  We were told that we had outrun our artillery and the airfields were all socked in.

On the German half of the turn a Jerry platoon double-timed across the bridge to occupy some of "our" buildings!  At first I (as the infantry commander) thought this folly but given the "bullet proof cover" it worked out fine.  On our left a company of StuGIII self-propelled guns arrived and opened fire, while on our right a company of Panthers AND MkIVs AND a Tiger rolled in.  (Caps applied for dramatic effect.)  Oh, and some Marders arrived to support the center.  Right way, Shermans started burning. 

On the left the StuGs came under effective fire and several were knocked out.  Things appeared to be going well there, though as an unfortunate precursor to later events, the Achilles couldn't hit anything.  On the right uncoordinated tank attacks allowed the Germans to exact a heavy toll, even if a number of MKIVs were knocked out.  In the center a duel of ineffectiveness started with the British giving as good as they took only because of massively superior numbers.  The smoke from the mortars helped a great deal.

Time and again the British maneuvered for flank shots or to optimize their chances but they either missed, or the Germans made their armor saves, or all we could get was a "bailed out" result.  Meanwhile the StuGs were playing hide and seek using their "Stormtrooper" move on our left, picking off a tank or two each turn.  In the center the bold platoon that rushed to our side of the river had to take a platoon test and failed, giving us our token victory of the day.  Emboldened, and seeing how bad it was going elsewhere, the infantry rushed the bridge with some armored cars in support.

But, surveying the ruin on our right where 21 of 24 AFVs were destroyed....

A group of Panthers moved to our left where only the company command survived of the Shermans.

With the Achilles occupied elsewhere or destroyed (they never killed anything), the Panthers were free to roll through the ford and claim victory on the last turn.

One ford was clearly German, the village was contested and the other ford was German, if for no other reason than no force existed to stop the Panthers or Tiger.

The result was rather lop-sided, especially in terms of destroyed AFVs, but with better luck (or any luck) the British could have fared much better.  The bold move to seize both sides of the village, while it eventually cost a platoon, was well invested and deprived the British of the central position to be able to deal with either flank.  Well done Jerries, we'll do better next time.


1 comment:

  1. Nice report and pictures...Panthers and Tigers are impressive!