This game was put on by Daren and was using a new ruleset for me called Battle Ground. They are very detailed WW2 skirmish rules which gave a quite enjoyable game. I took command of a small British Para force on the outskirts of Oosterbeek, I had a 17pdr, a rifle section, a 2′ mortar and a couple of PIAT teams so I was going to be spread thin but was confident that I could handle any tank nuisance that might come my way. I was up against a Heer and a SS section supported by a Panther and a mortar with maybe more to arrive later.
As I have been ridiculously slack in getting this posted I am a bit fuzzy on the details (sorry Daren!) so I’m going to give a rough outline of what happened. Actually not much happened for the first part of the game as the Germans – Matthew in charge of the Heer section and Mike with the SS and Panther – advanced down either side of the road trying to spot the plucky Paras (you have to test to spot people in these rules) waiting to ambush them. In fact I only had one PIAT team in front of my main line of defence which was along the road in front of the buildings and in the churchyard. I did have a go with the mortar as the Germans came round the first bend in the road but all this did was make the German tank commander look for any activity in the church tower and then take out my FOO team with some 75mm fire – dashed unsporting of him.
I was hoping that the Jerries would be kind and drive the Panther along the road so that I could have a go with the 17pdr and for a while I thought they would but they swung it of to my right along that road and then round the wood. The infantry advanced with the Heer section going through the wood on the left which caused me to decamp the PIAT team there pulling them out across the dirt road to wait for the Germans to pass so that they could sneak back in behind. The SS were advancing along the road with one team and through the wood on the right with another. I finally opened up on the ones on the road with my Bren team that was on the roof of the house, this didn’t end well for me as I lost that firefight and my lads copped it.
As I was worried about the Panther crawling round on the right flank I started to move my other PIAT team across to behind the house to give some AT capability over there. The SS in the woods had advanced to the road and my lads in front of the house now started up a firefight with the Germans but their MG42’s slowly gained the advantage. The Panther then started to add it’s fire to the contest and soon there was no Para’s left along the hedge and the tank started to move forwards to take on the guys along the churchyard wall. These boys were having a far better time of their own firefight which had started with the Heer section which was soon virtually wiped out.
However the battle then swung round again to my advantage as the PIAT team I had move across to behind the house managed to sneak up to the hedge across from the Panther without being seen (the Germans were firmly focused on the church by now) and got ready to have a pop at the mighty beast. To be honest I was only half convinced that it would work but it was really close range and it was a flank shot so maybe, I had also moved the other PIAT team undetected round to the bend in the road behind the advanced Germans so had at least another shot at the tank. However I didn’t need the extra chance as the PIAT by the hedge earned himself a gong by not only hitting the Panther but brewing it up! (the rules have you roll for where you hit and I managed to hit a weak spot that cooked off the ammo!).
The game ended about here and Daren said that it was a winning draw for the Brits as the Germans had failed to take the junction by the church but they had caused some serious casualties. It was a near run thing, if the Panther had managed to get firing on the lads in the churchyard it would have left me with 2 PIAT teams, the mortar team and a 17pdr – maybe ok for taking out the tank but the infantry would be alright.
All in all it was a good game, a little slow at first but once the action started quite good fun with the highlight of the game having to be the taking out of the Panther. All the figures are Daren’s lovely AB’s which are painted fantastically. The Panther was his as well as was the cracking glider model. Here’s the rest of the pics….