We organized a scratch game at short notice when my regular opponent was advised the ladies of the house would be out that evening. A WW2 game using our latest rules discovery, Iron Crosses, was agreed and I said I would bring along my own British force for a change, as they rarely get an outing.
We foregathered after work around five thirty and after the obligatory pre game beer, arranged a table of random scenery and then decided on forces, which were basically 4 tanks and 7 platoons of infantry each side, which we calculated gave us 13 command activations per side.
The initial set up was something like this map -
The picture below is looking at the table with the left hand side of the map above at the bottom of the picture and the woods on the right of the map at the top of the picture. The British advanced from the right hand side of the photo
As it turned out, we picked far too many troops for one player on each side to handle with only 13 command actions, so everything on the near side of the road in the centre of this picture was ignored and all the action took place around the wooded hill in the top of the picture
The following series of pictures just show various vehicles and units in their initial deployment positions
The four British Firefly's - as it was late war and my Box'ead mate had selected two Panthers and two Mark IV panzers, I decided I need the upgunned version to have any chance at all! These are all FoW models from when they first started up 15-20 years ago
Four British Infantry platoons with HMG support and M3 halftrack transport
The two Panthers in their initial starting point
The "point" of the confrontation - a German base or "something" in the centre of the German base line......
The two German MK IV's deployed on their left flank
The German OC in his Kubelwagon
A couple more views of the Sherman's prior to battle being joined
One of the British platoons advancing - mainly Peter Pig figures but also some Command Decision
The second map shows roughly where we deployed the forces - as mentioned, everything to the left of the road above just sat in place, with the exception of the Panthers that moved into the built up area then down the road to confront my Sherman's
Our initial move saw the Germans win initiative and their HMG in the centre of the table attempted to engage my HMG attached to my leading infantry platoon. However I successfully "interrupted" and fired first, causing two morale hits. The German gun then returned fire and did exactly the same damage to my HMG.
In the next activation, the Germans put down some smoke but my HMG engaged anyway, scored another morale hit and wiped out the German HMG crew.
The above map indicates how the game progressed from the initial deployment. The first German move was one of the MK IV's , which engaged in a fire fight with my leading Sherman and was successful in doing so (below). It also turned its gun on my HMG and wiped them out too - sweet revenge! Meanwhile my infantry had advanced into the woods on the hill and engaged in a see saw firefight with the occupying Germans that continued throughout most of the game.
In the next phase, my second Sherman got the drop on the MK IV and returned the compliment, brewing the German vehicle up.
The German player then expended a lot of effort and command points trying to get his Panthers moving - a succession of 1 2 and 3 rolls ensured neither vehicle would move and caused an enormous amount of frustration and Germanic blaspheming! Eventually, however, the pair of MK V's finally made it to the road on the centre of the table (above)
The leading Panther advanced and positioned itself in dead ground so that it was only visible to one of my Shermans. I successfully interrupted but failed to achieve anything - the Panther fire was deadly accurate and he only needed a 4 or higher on a 10 sided dice to destroy me - and rolled a 1! On my next shot, my Sherman gun with a 10 value rolled a 7 to equal the 17 front armour of the Panther and caused SIX morale hits - see all the "skull" tokens in the photo above. The tank beat a hasty retreat back to its colleague sheltering amongst the buildings in the German rear
The infantry firefight in the wood continued - I was firing twice as many weapons as the Germans but despite rolling two D10 each time only requiring 5 or 6 to hit, I had EIGHT attempts where both die rolls were 4 or less - now in was the Tommie's turning the air blue!
The second MK IV now advanced to the same position as its burning colleague but this time my Firefly gunners were ready and took him out with a well placed 17plb shell.
The second Panther advanced and had ANOTHER go at my Sherman, but with the same result - a simple hit and then only 4+ required to cause me considerable if not irreparable damage - and he rolled another 1! I was loving it at this stage :) I moved two of my remaining three Sherman's out of the dead ground and engaged the Panther - my first tank hit but did not cause any damage but my second gunner hit then rolled an 8 against the side armour and then a 6 on the 6 sided dice to reduce this masterpiece of German precision engineering to another blazing hulk!
We decided that the writing was on the wall at this stage - my infantry were very slowly winning the fire fight in the wooded hill, whilst I retained three of my initial four Sherman's, and the Germans were reduced to a single Panther that was carrying 4 morale hits. The map above indicates how the game developed and the situation when we finished. It was an enjoyable way to spend 3 or 4 hours on a Thursday evening and we learned a bit more about these rules which are honestly pretty intuitive and simple to remember and play without constant reference to play sheets, which is exactly how it should be!
Next time, more painted War of 1812 figures..............