Sunday, June 22, 2014

WW2 20mm West Front Goodwood mini-Campaign Game 7

Introduction
I have setup a 1/2 a table tennis to play a 7 game mini-campaign set over 2 days at the opening of Operation Goodwood. This is the last game, game 7.  Game 1 and some more background, see this blog post.

Scenario 6 - Assault on Chateau St Pierre D'Oursin
Elements of the 12th SS Panzer are defending the Chateau Pierre D'Oursin.  The Irish Guards need to clear Chateau of forces to protect their divisions left flank.

Overview of the battlefield.  The British on the left have to cross the large open fiend to the woods on the right.
Troops
Germans
1 Veteran Panzer Grenadier HQ
3 Veteran Panzer Grenadier squads (each 6 figures + MMG)
1 JangpanzerIV/L48

Reinforcements:
1 Veteran Panzer Grenadier HQ + Sdkfz 250/10
3 Veteran Panzer Grenadier squads (each 6 figures + MMG +Sdkfz 251/1)

British
1 Squadron
    2 Shermans
    1 Firefly
2 Infantry units
   1 Infantry command (5 figures)
   3 Infantry squads (each 10 figures)
   1 PIAT team in Bren carrier
1 Bren Carrier with HMG team.
1 FAC in Sherman tank
2 Daimler Armoured Car

Overview of the British troops.
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.

The campaign so far - Germans have won three (blue) and the British 3 (orange).

Deployment
The British setup behind the hedge.  The Germans are spread out along the tree line with a central vantage point for the JadgpanzerIV.

Where the units are at deployment
Game
A open field to cross.  Slow and steady it is. The Shermans have been advancing with the infantry following behind them in shelter.

The British tentatively advance.  the infantry hid behind the advancing tanks and the Daimlers are out in front. 
The Daimlers advance and manage to spot some units.  The Panzerfausts (I allowed 2 as per the scenario) all missed.

A Daimler makes it to the woods and spots some infantry.  Panzerfausts all miss and they are 
But return fire from Sherman HE manages to pin the squad. In the rules, a recce unit may contact the closest unit and tell them where a spotted unit is.  In this case the Shermans were closest and fired at the Germans in the woods.

The Other Daimler spots some infantry behind the hedge in front of the chateau.

The other Daimler spots units in front of the Chateau.
Time to call in the aircraft, Success and 6d6 of bomb damage sees them reduced heavily.  Some other Britsih infantry are advancing, further back than the tanks, and also the sole MMG dismounts but within range of the woods.

While an earlier image than previous, the units are still steadily advancing and the dismounted MMG and carrier can be seen at the back left.  

The Germans begin to fire back with the MMGs and pin some advancing infantry. The Germans in the woods are routed eventually by quite a bit of HE fire from the Shermans.

The Chateau and the objective for the British.  MMG fire from here was lethal but aircraft bombing and strafing managed to clear out any troops in it.
The building is bombed a few more times until the aircraft missions ran out.  it did cause the MMG to go, and also the HQ unit in the building.  And one of the units hiding behind the hedge in fron tof the chateau.

The Jagdpanzer decides to open up now and manages to KO a Sherman.  It was easily spotted but the Sherman return fire is ineffectual.

Jadgpanzer in the woods. I only have the L70 model, and it is standing in for the L48 version.
Still slow going - the British are getting closer to the wood line and chateau.  Half the tanks gone, the infantry that is advancing is half gone.  But there is another load of infantry ready to take advantage of the situation as soon as a foothold can be made.

Mid game - lots of losses for the advancing units, but the Germans are reduced quite a bit as well.  The British still have a lot of troops in reserve behind the hedge on the left.
And then I bring on the German reinforcements.  In fact, I only bring on half of them as I have an idea what is going to happen.  I bring on three MMGs rather than 3 MMG and associated infantry (15 figures in all).

The MMGs are brought in on the German right and advance, without being seen,to the edge of the wood.
The MMGs setup on the edge of the wood near the road and are not spotted.  They open up.  4 dice each, 5+ required to hit the closest units.  10 hits from 12 dice!  2 units are gone.  End of turn. First card for activation on the new turn is German.  The three MMGs fire again on the next unit.  12 dice but now need a 6+ as it is long range.  5 hits!  Another unit gone.  The Jagdpanzer then takes out a second Sherman and the last remaining Sherman decides it has had enough (failed morale test).

At the end.  While the British have a lot of infantry left behind the hedge, they have nothing else.  and the Germans command the field with the MMGs.
So the British now have no tanks, no aircraft, one MMG and lots of open ground to traverse - taking about 4-5 turns.  The Germans have 3 MMGs, in cover, that can reach the entire table.  The British retreat.

Verdict
Another open ground battle went as expected. I believe I played the British the best I could do, but it is hard to attack over an open field against hidden forces.  But I did enjoy trying it out.  I believe I will not be trying out open field battles like this again!  It also likely has something to do with playing the scenario based for one set of rules and using another.

This is the last battle in the campaign and the table has been put away.  I started work on some company level rules and realised I am not entirely happy with Advancing Battalions as a ruleset.  They are good, but not great (and I wrote them!).  Playtesting them in these 7 battles has been useful.  I think infantry to hit is too easy and am changing the base to hit from 4+ to 5+.  Also, I would go back to the original way I did morale and add back in suppression.  So while the rules as there were for these rules were a leap forward in mechanisms, I have toned it back a little to what I am more comfortable with.  I have updated the rules (but are untested) and they will be the final version for a while until I get back into battalion sized battles. 

Campaign result



The rulebook has a method to calculate who won the campaign based on a weighted score for winning battles and cross referencing each sides' totals on a small table:

Centre Battles
Game 1 - German win
Game 3 - British win
Game 6 - German win
2- 1 German victory gives 1 campaign point to the Germans
Right Flank Battles
Game 2 - German win
Game 7 - German win
2-0 German victory gives 1 campaign point to the Germans
Left Flank Battles
Game 4 - British win
Game 5 - British win
2-0 British victory gives 1 campaign point to the British

Final result
Cross referencing this on the table gives a narrow German victory.

Final word
With the table away, I am back to 2'x2' table battles for foreseeable future.

2 comments:

  1. Congrats on finishing the campaign.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks. It was my first WW2 campaign. Hopefully not the last!

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