I have re-setup a1/2 a table tennis to continue playing a 7 game mini-campaign set over 2 days at the opening of Operation Goodwood. This is game 5. Game 1 and some more background, see this blog post. I set up and played Game 4 just after Christmas 2013 and then had to take it down so a friend had a place to sleep. The friend has found a place to live so the campaign is back on!
Scenario 5 - Capturing Le Poirer
The Guards armoured reconnaissance battalion is tasked to clear a large farm of German defenders.
|The campaign so far - British (orange) have won two, Germans (blue) have won two.|
1 Panzer Grenadier HQ
3 Panzer Grenadier squads
1 Dispatch rider (allows for one automatic successful radio call for artillery)
3 Marder IIH (Actually H-39s but the scenario suggests they are treated as Marders so I will use Marders. I have no H-39s.)
1 FAO in Kubelwagon
Dedicated Artillery - 1 x 105mm (scenario has 2 but that would equivalent to 1 in my rules)
Reinforced building (I will treat as bunker that in my rules reduces flame and HE effects)
1 Cromwell CS
(scenario calls for 3 Cromwells but I do not have 6 of them, but do have 4 and 2 CS tanks)
1 Infantry command
3 Infantry squads
1 PIAT team in Bren carrier
2 counter battery missions (I ignored this as my rules have no counter battery rules)
Game is supposed to be on a 6'x6' but I am playing on a 4.5'x5'. No changes to accommodate this, it will just be a little cramped!
The objective is the Chateau that starts in German hands. Germans are in a defensive position.
Germans deploy with Infantry unit and MMG in the Chateau. The Marders are setup around the centre with good LOS over the entire board. The other two infantry units are placed on the flanks. All German units are not spotted at the start of the game.
The British are hugging the centre and their left flank as a focus, rather than attack across the entire front. The British are in the open will be spotted the moment they move.
|British to the left, Germans the the right.|
So I set the game up and then realised that I did not have any painted Cromwells. The last time I had used Cromwells was in the early 90s and I used the time-honoured practice of simple substitution: a Airfix Churchill turret on a Matchbox Comet hull. But in the intervening years I had obtained 4 unpainted Cromwells, 1 badly painted Cromwell and 2 unpainted metal Cromwell CS (with the 95mm howitzer). Woo-hoo, if I paint them up I can make two squadrons of 2 Cromwells and a Cromwell CS. But the last time I painted a tank was...maybe 1988..could be 1994. And all I used to do was spray them a colour. I know a lot more, even if I have never practiced it. So, using paints I already had (I actually had British WW2 green in a spray can that still worked), I undercoated, top coated, dry brushed in a lighter green, washed in black and added some mud. I also had to paint tracks and three tanks had infantry torsos I had to paint them too. I think they came out OK for my first tank paint job in 20 years.
|Some of the the painted tanks. The red spot on the near tank is the previously badly painted tank colour that I missed covering up.|
British advance slowly as the infantry only move 6".
|A shot of all the infantry, with some of the supporting tanks, just before moving out.|
|The chateau from the British side. A Marder to the right, the Kubelwagen FAO to the left.|
Along the British right flank, they spot the MMG on the far side of the stone wall and the Cromwell tanks moving down that flank mow it down with their machine gun.
The rest of the early game was the Germans waiting until the British got within a decent range and the British madly trying to get into a decent range to spot the enemy.
|End of the early game with the British advancing down the open fiends. The infantry unit in the centre is the one cut down to 50% by artillery.|
|The (wrong camo) Marder in the woods on the German right. Unluckily it was spotted with its first fire and the Cromwell target returned fire and destroyed it.|
|The retreating infantry unit that routing with its next morale check.|
The German Chateau infantry forces were eventually routed by Cromwell MG fire. But no British infantry to take advantage of that fact. The German infantry unit on the right and in the woods crosses to road into the centre woods to assist with a possible counterattack. It lost a few units crossing the road from long range MG fire from Cromwells but otherwise OK.
|Crossing the road from the German point of view. Another Marder on the right.|
|One of my favourite tanks that I get out at every opportunity. This tank I acquired back in 1981 and was in use by that person for a few years before then. Still going strong after nearly 35 years. Esci (now Italeri) is my guess.|
And the last of the British infantry slooowly advance down the left side of the board, protected by the stone wall. They have a long way to go.
|Cromwells guarding the Chateau. Favourite Marder bottom right. Last of the British infantry can just be seen at the top of the picture.|
The Germans have passed there force morale check twice but fail it now and retreat off the board. A win for the British.
|End game. The British infantry have not made it to the chateau yet the the Germans are withdrawing so a win for the Brits.|
The game dragged a little bit when there was only one infantry unit left that hiked it on foot from one end of the board to the other. Other than that is was a very close game and I had no idea who would win it until the Germans failed their morale. This is the second game where poor die rolling has seen long range tank battles not inflict much damage. It happens. The rules (latest version from the my WW2 rules page) are working how I want them to and there are two more games to go to test them out.