Des’ Shed Game 1: WW2 IABSM

Back in December I was invited to Des’ inaugural big game in his new shed-o-war, that I haven’t posted about it yet has been bugging me so I’ll try and remember what happened to get something down at last. The game was a WW2 Normandy bash using I Ain’t Been Shot Mum by the Lardies and Des’ lovely 20mm collection.

I was in charge of the Canadian forces (the first mistake made by our side!) and I was ably assisted by Andy and Daren. We were tasked with advancing and clearing the immediate area to our front of some nasty Boshce that were led by Des and Ian. After a quick ‘O’ group with the chaps we decided that Andy would take the dismounted infantry company through the fields along the left flank supported by the flail tank. I would be in charge of the Recce detachments and would barrel up the road in the centre and scout the right flank, I was also in charge of the reserve of a tank Squadron. Daren would take another tank Squadron with a Kangaroo mounted infantry platoon along the right and would react to what the scouts found. The idea was to keep things as simple as possible and hold on to the reserve until either one of the two flanking groups were in dire trouble or to exploit any success that they had.

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12 feet of Norman countryside.

We got lucky with our 3 pre-game stonks setting fire to 2 of the buildings that we targeted, one of which being the church thus negating the use of its steeple to any Fritzy FOO’s, and Andy started things off by advancing down the left while the scouts cars nosed along the road in the centre and the right. Andy’s lads were quickly engaged after running into some enemy infantry and a fierce fight swiftly ensued and pretty soon it looked like it was time for an assault to go in to clear some of the Germans out. As the reserve Sherman’s were not being let go from the reserve (their card was not coming up) to support the impending attack Andy chucked his attached Sherman Flail into the fray and mighty impressive looking it was too as it churned its way through the hedgerow where the enemy lay. Unfortunately the attack faltered due to some heroic defending by the Landser (absolutely jammiest of jammy dice throw!) although they didn’t hang on too long afterwards and withdrew to the rear just as a couple of StuG’s opened up and dispatched the Flail.

While this attack was going on Andy was keeping more infantry located by the burning farmhouse pinned down in a firefight with one of his platoons which let the Daimlers work their way gingerly down the road onto the flank of the dug-in defenders. Unfortunately one of the cars was taken out by a German anti-tank weapon fired by the infantry but the survivor managed to get round the flank and revenge was served by brassing them up. The Jerries didn’t like this much and they soon broke and the left flank was looking open for the reserve tanks to start moving through with only the StuG’s seemingly in the way. However, things weren’t going so well over on the right.

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The Daimlers creeping down the lanes spent quite a while nosing gingerly forwards expecting any moment to be on the receiving end of general German nastiness in the shape of a Panzerfaust or ‘schreck. When it did come it was more of a massive clang as one of the cars was hit by some high velocity 75mm from a Panther hiding in a stand of trees. The surviving car was in somewhat of a pickle as it was immobilised with the next shot so decided to have a go back with its 2pdr and a seemingly one sided duel ensued. What seemed like a futile gesture on behalf of the recce types ended up being one of those great gaming moments as the German gunner couldn’t land a hit whilst the Armoured Car kept on hitting the target eventually causing enough shock to the Panther crew that it had to withdraw! The cheers of the watching Canadians were quickly silenced however when another Panther opened up knocking out the gallant Daimler, just not cricket really but medals all round.

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Panther ambush!
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Take that Jerry!
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Panther about to pull out.

While this was going on Daren had moved his armoured infantry up and they were cruelly ambushed by another German infantry platoon and pretty soon most of the Kangaroo’s were burning due to attention from the remaining Panther and Panzerfaustings although some of the infantry survived to fight on. A terrific close range firefight then ensued across the hedgerow which the Allies finally won thanks to the HMG’s on the surviving APC’s which tipped the balance and finally saw the German footsloggers break. Unfortunately we still hadn’t managed to get any of our Sherman’s into action yet and were unable to as we had to stop due to time getting on.

So at the end of play we had managed to break the initial line of resistance and force the German infantry to bug out but at no small loss to our own infantry and Armoured Cars, we still had 2 units of tanks that were uncommitted but still had a couple of Panthers and a couple of StuG’s to worry about and as we found out that the Germans also had a couple of Tigers lurking around the church we were sort of  glad that we didn’t carry on as we didn’t fancy our chances much! We reckoned a draw was a fair result, we broke into their position but sort of got stuck doing so.

It was a great days gaming and a cracking way to christen Des’ shed. Big thanks to him for putting the game on and a keeping us fed and watered all day and a massive thanks to Mrs D. for the fantastic lunch too. As usual cheers to the chaps for making a great day’s gaming better by being their usual fun selves, a pleasure as always gents. Stay tuned for the next instalment from chez Darkin as we grind our way through Dennewitz in 15mm.

 

IABSM, Eastern Front, Winter ’41

This game was a great laugh to play in and had everything. Monster tanks, heroic last stands, futile human wave attacks and a cavalry charge! And snow, lots of snow.

The scenario was quite simple: Andy, Ian and I had to liberate some of mother Russia from the evil clutches of Des and Daren’s Germans. To do so we had the always fun T-35 and T-28 tanks, a T-26 company, an infantry company and a Cossack company. The filthy fascist, imperialist invaders had a well dug in force liberally equipped with HMG’s, AT guns and a few tanks in reserve.

Our plan was nice and straightforward in a Stavka approved way. Andy’s Cossacks and the T-26’s would advance quickly on the left and engage the Germans to cause them to reveal their positions whilst our heavy tanks rolled forward down the middle to take them out. My infantry company was to work along the right flank, move one platoon through a wood to take out an advanced German position in the flank and use this as a jumping off point to roll up the rest of the position whilst the other two kept them busy – this flanking had to be done by the infantry as the deep snow present there made it impossible for the cavalry or tanks to do it. Obviously if Andy’s T-26’s could do the same over on the other flank so much the better.

Things didn’t go well from the off for either myself or Ian. Ian started to receive fire early on and his tanks suffered straight away without managing to do much harm themselves, I recall turrets being taken out and a terribly glacial rate of advance which wasn’t helping the cause much. I did start to advance well but once I come off my blinds after being fired at I seemed to just sit there for ages without my cards coming up. It took a few rounds before I asked our glorious leader if they had actually added my cards to the deck, no was the answer and thus I could get moving once more. Andy was not having any such trouble and had leapt forwards and was soon trading shots with the Germans but was beginning to suffer from doing so whilst our remaining tanks got more involved in the fight but not in a really effective manner, indeed some dead eye shooting from the German PAK gunners and intervention from a Panzer 38 soon put paid to Andy’s tank force.

I eventually managed to get my chaps moving but came a cropper when executing my flank attack when an Iron Cross winning display from the battered German defenders put paid to my glorious charge and held on! It was about this time when Andy decided that some drastic action was needed if we were to carry out our mission and went all Dr Zhivago, mounting up his remaining lads and led them in an all or nothing charge on the German line. Surprisingly this didn’t end well either, the few remaining survivors limping back to cover and the battle was over for us as we decided we couldn’t break through.

Bags of fun to take part in and great to see something different played, hopefully we will do some more sometime this year.

6mm IABSM

Whilst I was getting my arse handed to me on one table, Des and Ian were trying out IABSM in 6mm. By all accounts it worked really well and will be pursued further in the near future. Figures were from Des’ and Ian’s collections – Des was the Canadians and Ian the Jerries. I left before the end of the evening so don’t know the outcome but it was in the balance when I left with the Cannucks looking like they were just gaining the upper hand.

Trees are from the same place in China where Des got the ones used in the big ACW game a while back and looked great, mat is from Hotmatz and, again, looked great for this scale. And, yes there are decals on those Shermans!

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Club Night 18/01/16: IABSM Normandy ’44

As you might have gathered if you have been reading this blog, I have been getting heavily into Chain of Command of late and painting up my force, writing up the campaign posts and playing through the campaign games with Mike has taken up a bit of time. Also Football Manager ’16 is out so that is getting a hefty look in too! All this combined has meant that I have been slow in getting this post done, 2 weeks is not on though and I will attempt to return to normal service asap.

Ian was putting this game on and it was a follow on game from the one we played before Christmas (see here: https://tracksandthreads.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/club-night-301115-iabsm-normandy-1944/  ). I was in charge of the US Airborne again and had been reinforced with a 57mm AT gun so was expecting to tackle some armour. I had also been informed that the Germans had dug a line of entrenchments when they had controlled the area and that they were still ok to use, which was nice.

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The battlefield. I held the side nearest the camera.

The entrenchments ran from the copse on the right (by the rulebook in the photo) to near the road so I placed one platoon in there as a forward line. The other two platoons were placed in the wood by the crossroads and along the hedgeline in front of the building facing towards the Y-junction. My HMG was in the building with the mortar in the ‘garden’. My ATG was placed on my right facing towards the gap between the copse and the Y-junction hoping that any armour would come that way. In case it didn’t I put the Bazooka team in a reserve by the crossroads opposite the building.

Mike and Daren were taking the Germans and they had a force comprising some Fallshirmjager (or maybe Luftwaffe FeldDivision – I can’t remember, sorry) and a platoon of armour. My plan was simple, wait for the Germans to get close and let fly once they get into close range – Mike and I had been playing the first 3 games of the campaign over the weekend and I think I was all gamed out to be honest!

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I spot the Jerries as they cross from the road.

I managed to spot a German platoon early as they crossed from the road to the field in front of my entrenchment, although they failed to spot me back. I let this unit creep along the hedge popping some ineffective mortar fire at them until they got close enough and let fly with the guys in the trench.

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Pour it on boys! My guys in the trenches let themselves known to the encroaching Germans.

This surprise fusillade did some damage to one section but brought down a heavy weight of return fire and I lost the firefight quite quickly with the surviving members hot footing it along the trench to the safety of the copse on the right. The action then settled down to a gradual German advance with me waiting on overwatch for the time to fire. In fact all I did was to swing my 57mm round to point up the road to cover the crossroads as the armoured support had been spotted and they weren’t coming the way I’d hoped but over on the left.

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German armour spotted on the left flank. Lovely Pz III models (PSC I think?).
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Watch out, Tigers!

I also decided to withdraw the chaps in the wood to the left as the PzIII’s were headed straight for them and they had an uncovered blind moving along with them too, didn’t fancy taking them on with smelly socks and swearing so thought discretion and all that.

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German return fire clears the trenches, and the advance continues.

I think I must’ve got a bit bored waiting for the Germans to get a move on because I opened up on the them in the road with my HMG when they weren’t quite in close range. I failed to do any damage apart from to myself as the Germans let fly in return and the weight of fire put paid to the MG team. My mortar had been plonking rounds on the road troops too but to no real effect.

The panzers and their accompanying blind hit the wood but I had managed to withdraw the lads there across the road and that is when we ran out of time. All in all a nice enjoyable game, and many thanks to Ian for putting it on – even though I had to put up with a bit of stick due to the drubbing I had suffered at the weekend from Mike – so it was nice that I managed to not technically lose this game, I may have lost a few casualties but had slowed the Germans down enough that they had failed to take the crossroads. It might not have ended like that if we had more time mind you!

Also at the club that night was this 7YW game that caught my eye – Alan, Phil and Paul were trying out the new Osprey rules. Very pretty figures as one would expect from the period I believe it was a French vs. Imaginations set up with some very dashing gunners in a lovely claret and light blue combo!

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Club Night 30/11/15: IABSM Normandy, 1944

I had a great, fun game of I Aint Been Shot Mum down at the Warlords on Monday night. Unfortunately as it was a ‘training’ game and there was a lot of action in a confined space I only managed to take a few photo’s!

Des and Ian had devised the scenario and were running the game as they were the old hands at the rules and so they left the actual dice rolling and decision making to the rest of us which made for a well run game as they could devote more time to answering our newbie questions.

So the scenario was this. We (myself, Martin and Daren) were a force from the 82nd Airborne who had to secure a crossroads from Mike’s Nazis. We were told that there are ‘some infantry and non-horse drawn vehicles’ in the vicinity to make things difficult for us to do so, our entry points would be randomised to add to the fun too.

I split the force out thus:

Daren took 1st Platoon of:

  • Big Man
  • 3 rifle squads
  • Bazooka team

I had 2nd Platoon of:

  • Big Man
  • 2 rifle squads
  • MMG team
Martin took the HQ Platoon of:
  • Big Man
  • 2 Lt Mortars
  • 1 rifle squad
 So I rolled for our entry points plus a couple of dummy blinds and we got to it.
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The crossroads, our objective. 1st Platoon entered along the road and next to the wood ‘above’ the building. 2nd Platoon with HQ behind to the right of the wood along the road heading right from the crossroads.
So the first card was drawn and it was a ‘Teabreak’ card meaning that the turn was over and any unactivated units could fire on any units within 9″. Unfortunately both of our platoons had entered the table at just those precise positions!
1st Platoon was directly in front of one of Mike’s platoons, whilst 2nd Platoon took fire from the wood to their front. This was going to hurt!
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Surprise for 1st Platoon!

After taking casualties and, unsurprisingly, quite a bit of shock Darren and I took two completely different approaches to the problem. I elected to stay where I was and pour fire onto the Bosche position that had opened up on me with one section and the MMG whilst the other one had taken a lot of hits so went to ground, this caused a few casualties and put on some shock. Darren took the ‘proper’ Airborne approach and piled in straight away close assaulting with 2 sections whilst pushing the 3rd section (with Bazooka attached) up the road. This managed to push the Germans back and caused them a lot of casualties and piled on the shock – Geronimo!!

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Ze Germans – the survivors of Darrens assault on the wood, shaken AND stirred!!

In the next move the US cards came up first and Darren’s guys charged in again and after another close assault they managed to remove their opposition from the game completely, first blood to the Amis! I was still going down the fire supremacy route and that paid off too as my opposition was forced back due to losses and the shock accumulated. Darren’s squad moving along the road then came under fire from Mike’s remaining section located along the wall by the house which luckily did little harm at all. The section that was still on the edge of the wood being reorganised by his Big Man (taking shock off) did take some casualties from a MG42 opening up from the house.

True to form, Darren decided to assault the Bosche along the wall which, again went very well causing casualties and lots of shock so that the Germans decamped into the house. Over on my flank Martin brought the HQ platoon on, set up the mortars and sent the reserve rifle section hurtling through my position into the middle of the wood and caught the retreating Germans forcing them back into the crossroads with a bucketful of shock! I moved my intact section with the MMG around the wood towards the road between the crossroads and the Y-junction whilst de-shocking my shot up section.

By now  we were in position to see the ‘non-horse drawn vehicle’ – it was a StuG. The one good thing was that it was facing away from where the Bazooka team was so if we were lucky they could get their shot away before it got a chance to turn round and shoot it up the jacksey.

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StuG makes an appearance. Darren’s section with the Bazooka is directly behind it forcing a section from the wall into the house.

However, war is a cruel thing and Mike lucked out activating the StuG first and managing to turn and unleash MG fire on the section in the road. This fire was devastating, causing the complete destruction of the section AND the Bazooka team! Darren then moved his remaining men deeper into the wood to prevent any more casualties from the MG42 in the house and to try and get some shock off before the next round of combat. Martin’s rifle section took out the remnants of the German platoon that they had chased into the crossroads with a withering volley so now the score stood at 2 sections to 1 removed from play in our favour, with the last German section badly shot up and cowering in the house along with the MG42. The big, noisy, lethal problem we did have though was the StuG and what to do with it as we now had no AT assets.

Mike helped us out somewhat as he decided to drive the beast along the road through the woods towards the position of the HQ platoon, I think to take out our chaps in the open. This uncovered the crossroads so Martin elected to assault the house with his rifle section, obviously flushed with success from their drive through the woods and they duly steamed in. This is where we learned that trying to take a house with a unsuppressed Spandau in it is a bad idea, a very bad idea – scratch one rifle section. With the StuG now sitting with its arse facing Darren’s lads in the wood it was duly close assaulted by one of his squads which unfortunately did no damage. I also moved my reduced strength squad up to near the edge of the wood to have a go at the StuG in the next move and managed to reach the hedge by the road and bring the house under fire.

We had sadly run out of time by now and so had to end it there, we all had a really great time. The Amis had failed to take the crossroads but we had gutted the infantry force defending it, although the continued presence of the StuG  swung things in the Jerrie’s favour, so a slight victory for the Germans would be a fair result. The rules are immense fun whilst having a great flow to them and quite a few lessons were learned for the next one. Many thanks to Ian and Des for putting the game on and apparently there will be a continuation game in the new year so looking forwards to that!

Again, apologies for the lack of pictures, but I was having too much fun!