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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 Pz III’s crash into the wood.
My left flank platoon safely retreat to the hedge and spy the encroaching Germans.
German advance down the road relentlessly carries on. Drawing MG and mortar fire.
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!
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:
3 rifle squads
I had 2nd Platoon of:
2 rifle squads
Martin took the HQ Platoon of:
2 Lt Mortars
1 rifle squad
So I rolled for our entry points plus a couple of dummy blinds and we got to it.
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!
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!!
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.
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!