Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Baraque de Fraiture

"So do you think they will come again Major Parker?" asked Capt. Alaniz.*  "Why wouldn't they?  Just some scared glider infantry, a few tanks and the remnants of our battalion." came the expected reply.  "Well, we've established the perimeter, aimed one of the 105s down each road and made an educated guess where to put the armor.  Now we wait and hope they don't lay down another barrage like the last one.  Cost us a third of our infantry."  The wait was not long....

All Americans started dug in and gone to ground

Emerging from the woods, somewhat where expected, came two companies of German infantry with eight MkIVj panzer in support.  Happily the artillery had been shifted to other targets so they only had HMG platoons in support.  The entrenched paratroopers hunkered down in their foxholes and waited for them to get closer.

Everything behind the lichen was very difficult going

The German HMGs rushed forward to get within normal range and unleashed a torrent of fire on the foxholes, but the troopers were lucky and between their own MGs and some mortars the Germans quickly disappeared.  Showing survivability in the open was going to be tough.

A tank duel developed as the five 76mm Shermans decided they had a chance to survive a hit while their shells would go right through the Panzer armor.  Casualties were quick for both sides.

Sensing a need as well as an opportunity the two M-10 tank destroyers who had evaded capture earlier moved into action and took out a panzer.

Just in time to greet the arrival of a pair of Panthers on their flank.  They were not long for this world, though one of the Panthers bogged in the snow trying to maneuver for a shot.  He remained bogged till the very end.

Now, if the situation wasn't desperate enough, a full company of panzergrenadiers in halftracks arrived on an otherwise quiet sector.  Brushing aside some American recon elements, though not without cost, they surged forward towards the town.

By now all the American armor was out of action.  While about half of the MkIV panzer had been killed, some still remained and the halftracks looked to over-run everything in sight.  Germans in snow suits began to close as the 105s fired over open sights.

A corner of the village fell to the snow suit Germans.  The road into town became choked with the wrecks of halftracks, and little infantry remained on that side of town.  The only bazooka team had been eliminated.  On the other side of town two German platoons attempted to rush the American foxholes but in the face of intact MGs and rifle fire faltered, pinned and faded away into the forest.

Looking at two bogged Panthers with no infantry in sight the paratroopers rushed out of their foxholes and captured one

At this point, with darkness coming on (or whatever reason was ending the game), most of the tanks either destroyed or bogged, and very little infantry left, the Germans conceded.

A tense game where the advantage swung to and fro and each side thought they were winning at some point(s).  Show Flames of War can be good as a scenario driven game as well as points.  Five players and one ref, held at "Fire for Effect Games" in Oshkosh, WI.

*Paul Alaniz was the American commander in our game, not a historic figure.


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