Bolt Action was the game of choice, so on arrival Mark and I set-up a larger table to allow a couple of games to get underway.
Phil soon joined us and we waited patiently for Rob until we heard that a "flat battery" meant he wasn't going to make it.
Suddenly I found myself under instructions to organise a 2000pt list of Germany's finest to face 2000pts of combined British & USMC forces.
So, that meant basically fielding everything that I have split over 2 platoons....
2x 2nd Lt
4x 10 Man infantry squads
Light artillery gun
Sd Kfz 251/1
Panzer IV H
Sd Kfz 222
Sd Kfz 234/2 "Puma"
All rated as Regular except for the sniper team who were Veteran and the Kubelwagon/Trucks who were Inexperienced.
Mark's Brits were all Veteran and I think consisted of...
4x 10 Man infantry squads
Artillery Obs Team
Phil had loads of stuff in his 14 order dice force of USMC. I have no idea what, but it was all regular and all infantry/infantry weapons teams.
This wasn't looking good.... I think I was going to need more infantry....
Anyway. The table:
My deployment area was on the right hand side of the picture. With facing such a large force, I decided I'd be best to concentrate on one part of the table rather than spreading thin and being picked off piecemeal.
To that end, I started deploying some units around the Chateau as a blocking force (infantry team, MMG, nebelwerfer, sniper team, StuH 42). The idea was that they would hold against anyone trying to cross the river. The only unit deployed on the other side of the river was my Sd Kfz 222. A unit that generally does well through being an annoyance.
At which it started doing straight away.... the 222 advanced onto the table and opened fire with it's 20mm canon at the USMC sniper team. A string of 6's meant the sniper was killed and the spotter fled! A good start.
The rest of my forces were deploying into the village area to try and either capture the buildings (the Allies didn't have much HE) or utilise my preponderance of HE weapons to knock off any enemy units sheltering inside (if they got there first).
Now I also had some transports. I've never used transports, so decided to give them a go...
With grenadiers and an Officer using them to advance quickly.
My medic manned the MG on the 251... this was going to be my dirty trick... :-)
Now that everything was on the table, the game really got underway.
British infantry advancing at the double...
Only for some hastily ordered rounds to be lobbed at them by my heavy mortar. Luckily (for me anyway) they found their mark and obliterated the infantry unit.
My infantry head straight for the key buildings on the left flank as my Panzer moves up towards the crossroads...
The race to reach the buildings was now on... who would get there first!?
Things were still looking good and I had Mark & Phil worried.
Until Mark placed this...
The ranging point for Mark's artillery obs.
Ah crap. I could lose a lot here.
Not that it really mattered. Anywhere he placed it meant it was going to hurt. All I could hope for was a roll of 1.
My Panzer is the first to be destroyed quickly followed by 2 of the buildings where one of my observers is squished in the rubble. The Puma, 251, panzershreck team and an infantry squad all take a number of pins. Still, there is one bright spot.... Mark's sniper also gets pinned.
But it's about to get worse.... Mark decides to see how good Veteran infantry squads are in assault...
The fighting would be simultaneous, but Mark only needs 4's... I need 5's. The first squad he sends in wins their assault, so a second is sent in to assault my squad in the next building. I loose again, meaning my 2 squads are wiped out. Mark has lost 50% of his unit strength in both squads due to the assault , but not that it matters.
From here it pretty much just goes downhill as I can't stem the tide. My mortar units and nebelwerfer prove their worth (especially against the USMC units), but the units pinned by the artillery barrage spend the rest of the game trying to unpin, but just can't keep up with the number of pins being added each turn and the noose tightens. I'm suddenly very restricted on options.
What I do have left just can't put out enough pins to slow the Allies down. Weight of return fire just whittles down my forces across the entire line.
|"See all that stuff over there... I blew it up"|
And they are vapourised by a large HE shell.
There ends the game.
I'm honestly not sure there is much I could have done differently. My plan seemed reasonable and it did mean a decent chunk of Phil's army had no real impact on the game being on the far side of the river.
Perhaps I was a little gung ho in racing up to the buildings, but I knew I'd be hard to dislodge if I got there. I wasn't expecting to be assaulted though, so fair play to Mark. That was probably the key turning point and good use of the veteran status.
I don't think I'll rush out and upgrade everything to Vet's though :-) ,but I have bought that very nice looking new boxed set of PzGren models that Warlord has just released...
I do wonder if more infantry squads and less support weapons is the way to go?
The transports were interesting and I can see the benefits, definitely some units I'm keen to try out further.
Otherwise, it was a bit of karma I guess from last week I guess. I really hate being on the receiving end of those artillery barrages.
All good fun though.
Until next time. Thanks for reading.