Saturday, May 17, 2014

WW2 20mm West Front Goodwood mini-Campaign Game 5

Introduction
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.
Troops
Germans
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)

British
2 Squadrons
    1 Cromwell CS
    2 Cromwells
(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
1 Wasp
2 counter battery missions (I ignored this as my rules have no counter battery rules)

Scenario changes
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.

Deployment
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.
Painting sidenote
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.
Game
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.
One Cromwell squadron does not move and keeps pumping HE shells into the Chateau, causing a few casualties. To the dismay of the Marders, this squadron is just out of range of the their guns.

The chateau from the British side.  A Marder to the right, the Kubelwagen FAO to the left.
The German 105mm offboard artillery cuts one infantry unit by 50% over a few turns. The unit valiantly carries on (passed all required morale checks).

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.
A Marder III opens fire on a Cronwell in range but is destroyed by return fire.

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.
Mid game the German artillery and fire from the Chateau managed to rout the depleted advancing British unit, then they caused another unit to retreat and then subsequently rout.

The retreating infantry unit that routing with its next morale check.
Only one British infantry unit left of the British left flank.  At least it is well protected by the stone wall and being far away from the action.

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.
The Cromwells at the rear finally advanced and one is destroyed by a Marder III.  There was a lot of long range fire between the 2 remaining Marders and the Cromwells with lots of ricochets but no pinning or destruction (a run of poor die rolls on both sides).

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 PIAT carrier advances next to the woods adjacent to the chateau and the PIAT team gets out to scout the wood.  German HQ fires at it from across the road for no effect.  The Wasp then advances and flames the Battalion HQ causing it to routs.  The FAO in the woods enters into melee with the PIAT crew and kills them.

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.
Verdict
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.

6 comments:

  1. Good stuff as always Shaun. Who were you playing against? When you mentioned being out of infantry, it seemed the scenario was a little light on infantry, especially having to cross all that open ground. But they pulled it off!

    V/R,
    Jack

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    1. Playing against me, I tend to play both sides to the best of my ability and not tihnk abut what orders/plans the other side has.

      It seemed light on infantry as well - a British barrage after deployment would have balanced it out a bit.

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  2. Very enjoyable Shaun...you should get some kind of award for World's Best Best Friend" big sacrifice you made for your pal! Well done on both accounts

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    1. Thanks John. He is my best friend, so I guess I had to :-)

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  3. Very nice, Shaun. Love this as a campaign idea.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Aaron. I have another WW2 mini-campaign coming up and then I hope to gt back to ancients. Of course, if I have the campaign bug, I have Bill Banks' Imperator ready to go to help drive an ancient campaign.

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