Saturday, April 25, 2015

Operation Jupiter Game 05 - The Ridge

Introduction
This is game 5 is replaying the scenarios from the Briton Publishers Operation Jupiter skirmish scenario book (Lulu PDF link).  I am replaying them on a 4.5'x5' table using 20mm, my own Advance to Cover rules and a figure scale of 1 figure = 1 section.  Background on why I am playing these is at the start of the first game post.

Scenario
Germans are dug in on a ridgeline.  The British start in a nearby walled wheatfield and have 6 turns to dislodge them.

The empty table from the British wheatfield deployment area.  The German ridgeline is in front of the trees. You will have to imagine a slope from the trees to the wheatfield.
Troops
British
The British units.  I have no Crocodiles, even though the tanks are Airfix, I cannot find their fuel trailers - I must have mislaid them sometime in the last 34 years!    So the grey ones will be the flame tanks.
1 Battalion HQ
     6 figures
2 Companies, each:
      1 CO, 1 2" mortar, 1 PIAT and 9 figures
2 Churchill VII
2 Chruchill Crocodiles (flame)

German
The Germans.  One day I will base the second Pak 40!
1 Battalion HQ
   4 figures
1 Company
   1 CO and 9 figures
2 Pak-40
1 MMG
1 fire mission of 80mm mortars

Deployment
The Germans are in foxholes on the ridge.  In the actual battle, the Germans were behind the ridge and the British simply overran them.  So I setup the foxholes on the ridge.

A simple setuip - AT guns and MMG and platoons each in their own foxholes.
The British start in the wheatfield.  The only way out is via the opening, or for the infantry they can jump the wall.

The British - tanks will lead the way out the opening, infantry will follow.
Game
The tanks move out while some infantry follow.  Other infantry race for the wall.

The British move out.
The Germans open up with their anti-tank guns.  good range, good chance...both miss.  And both are spotted (a 4+ was required to spot them).  The tanks continue movement, as does the infantry (when the activation card  actually happens - the joke came out a few times to end the turn before the British infantry could move).

More movement by the British.
The anti-tanks guns get to fire again and pin one and KO another.  This makes up for their earlier  poor performance.   A platoon (3 figures) opens up on the infantry to cause a casualty but is spotted and routed the next turn but some good dice rolling.

Two tanks out of action (one temporary).  The empty foxhole was a German platoon
The remaining Churchill crocodiles open up with HE and via some amazing dice rolls KO the two anti-tank guns.  The British brought their good luck with them on this game.

The two empty large foxholes used to have Pak 40s/
The German mortar is called in, the Germans open up with everything they have and pin one of the two companies.

The pinned British company in the foreground. 
The British then open up with the Churchill HE and the other British company pours fire into the foxholes.  The Germans have had enough and retreat into the woods.

End game.  The British still have a a full company, half the tanks and a pinned company that could rally/ 
Verdict
It may not read like a close game but it actually was.  If one more tank had gone, or the British were less lucky in knocking out the Pak40s, it could have easily gone the other way.  The British must have been using some good luck dice for this battle.

It was a fast game (always good) and I felt it could have easily gone either way.  As with these "vignette" battles, a few lucky dice rolls can determine the game.  

6 comments:

  1. Excellent Shaun, I'm loving it!

    V/R,
    Jack

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    1. Thanks Jack. Although I have no idea when I will get to play the next one.

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  2. Shaun, interesting to see that an advance over such open ground could come down to such a tight result.

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    1. Although open, units in foxholes are not readily seen until about 18" away, unless they fire (the scale is 1:900). So the anti-tank guns can wait until a shorter range to fire. Of course, with poor dice rolling, it would not have mattered if it was point blank range!

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  3. Nice report, not an easy scenario!

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    Replies
    1. thanks Phil, yep, a few good dice rolls for the Germans and it would have been all over for the Brits.

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