After his first game the other week, Paul was keen to get another game in so we arranged a game for last Monday. This was going to be a first for me as I haven’t faced an American force before so it would be a learning experience for both of us. We set the table up and diced for a scenario from the rulebook resulting in ‘attack on an objective’. We the flipped for who would be attacking and Paul ‘won’. He managed to roll up a whopping 10 points of support and I was quite worried but as he was using an Armoured Infantry platoon I managed to swag an extra 5 points of support due to the difference in Force Rating so we ended up with 10 a piece which was nice for me but not for him! I opted for a HMG MG42, an 81mm FOO and the obligatory Adjutant and Paul went for a Half Track, another HMG team and a Sniper I think which was a surprise as I was expecting a Sherman. (I did initially want to go for a HMG and a PAK38 but had forgotten my AT gunners! So I took the FOO instead). Morale wise I got an 8, which seems to be par for the course lately and it’s beginning to be a tad annoying, and Paul would be starting on a 9. Apologies for the lack of photo’s but as it was a training game I was busy helping Paul out so missed some bits of the action
The patrol phase went well for Paul I think, he used his 3 free goes to advance his 3 markers quickly down the table and we ended up twisting round so that he was coming on more from the long edge of the table with one at the table edge, and the other 2 quite close to the road. Mine were nicely grouped together, one behind the house, one in the copse (which was the objective) and one next to the copse along the hedge facing the house. Paul’s JOP’s being on the table edge in front of the hose, in the middle of the ‘wheat’ field and one by the road. Paul kicked off and started by deploying his Sniper by the road covering the house and one section advancing through the field. I replied with a double 6 so tried to get a section into the house, but came up short and ended up at the back waiting to go in. Paul then countered this move by deploying his MMG section across the road and put one team on overwatch, this completely stymied me taking possession of the house as I didn’t fancy taking 10 dice of doom once I hit the windows on the other side followed by 20 the next time the MG’s were activated, oh yeah there was the sniper too. Well played Paul.
The Amis then brought on their second squad and started to move them off towards my right flank whilst I deployed my FOO to try and call in a risky ‘danger close’ mission to target the MG’s, Sniper and first Yankee section that were lining the hedges opposite the house. I also deployed a second section along the hedge facing the house to prevent any attempts by Paul’s rifle section there advancing too close to the objective, and my 2 JOP’s. I did take some ineffectual sniper fire during this period (before realising that I was actually out of LOS!) and not much else happened. My FOO did manage to call in the mortars but he could only call it in at one point due to his own rubbish LOS and his calculations were out of whack too bringing in the spotting round short and very near to some of his comrades! I decided that it was too risky and needed to relocate the FOO before trying again so binned the barrage for now. Paul’s first section was moving along the hedges lining the road but I managed to have a good go at them with the MG42 from the section covering objective, wounding their JL , Paul couldn’t put any effective fire back so covered the gap with a smoke grenade, which admittedly helped me too as it covered my open flank.
Paul then decided to advance his MG’s by the road as they didn’t have a target and so one team dutifully legged it to the next hedgeline whilst his mates wisely stayed put on overwatch to keep my back-door lurkers where they were. Unfortunately the advancing gun team were met a with volley from my section facing the front of the house who put some shock on them and caused a casualty. Paul’s squad that had been moving on the right were now nearing the hedge opposite the copse so it was time to feed in my last section.
In the next phase saw the action really hot up. My section that had just fired retreated from the hedge to allow my HMG to deploy there, whose fire wasn’t as good as I hoped and the Ami gun was still in place which meant a brutally short range HMG duel was on the cards! I also deployed my final section to take on Paul’s flanking squad, these boys were at it from the off causing casualties and shock straight away which stopped the advance cold. The HMG duel got under way and surprisingly we both survived one round of firing before my lads triumphed wiping out the whole team, the Yank section over on the right also had their NCO killed – Paul did have good luck on the Bad things happen table though and only lost 2 from his morale.
The yanks then deployed their halftrack but didn’t move it again which was a slight relief to me, although I was confident my Panzerschreck and ‘fausts would have easily dealt with it, and moved the last HMG team forwards across the road to engage my HMG again. At the same time their initial section was tear arsing along the hedge to come to the aid of their mates who were learning the lesson of not taking a MG42 on across a road – being slowly whittled down and pinned to boot. Paul was desperately running a SL over to take this squad in hand as their lack of JL was a real problem – I think I managed to pin them just before he was going to pull them back. I then moved my lads from behind the house along the side of the building hoping to grenade the advanced HMG team to help out my gun team in their fight (I should have gone the other way round though to take them in the flank in a charge – dummkopf!)
The HMG firefight was surprisingly ineffective, both of our teams suffering casualties and shock with my chaps eventually becoming pinned, my newly deployed SL started rallying shock off like billy-o though and soon had them rallied sufficiently. The American pinned squad soon broke due to relentless close range fire and I played my CoC dice to end the turn which routed them off the table, the loss of morale this caused (down to 3 dice) caused Paul to wisely call it a day. I think this was wise as my HMG was now unpinned and a good burst of fire from it on his gun might have seen that off too leaving my gun free to take on his surviving squad, add in the fact that I’d only suffered a few casualties from my gun team to boot so had 3 full strength sections made Paul’s decision a good one.
It was a good game and even though it didn’t go too well for Paul he said he still enjoyed it and learned some things (MG42’s at short range hurt being the main point here I think!). We had a good discussion about the game afterwards, I said I would have brought some armour as his half track and other HMG team didn’t get into play and the sniper was useless in the close terrain. He could have sat off with the Sherman and HE’d my lads, firing his infantry onto the objective and with the 2 HMG’s already in the platoon the extra one was a bit unnecessary I think. Having said that, I would have used the half track and the rifle team in it to get round the back of my position, granted it might have come a ‘cropper from a Panzerfaust or ‘schreck but it would have forced me to worry about it splitting my force in the end it was just wasted points. Taking on this American platoon was unusual, their lack of squad MG is a bit strange (and puts you at a strict disadvantage if trying to take on German’s) and only having the two manoeuvre squads was a hindrance too I think. I can see it being good on the defensive with the 2 HMG’s but I’d personally prefer a Rifle platoon for an attack myself as that 3rd squad gives you more flexibility. Hopefully we can get another game in soon, and good to see another person digging these excellent rules.