No, not the lobby in a closey.. But the'pint-size' campaign from Too Fat Lardies depicting the actions of elements of the 15th Scottish Division in Normandy in June 1944, under counter-attack from Kampfgruppe from both the Leibstandarte and Der Fuhrer Divisions.
So I managed to get a game in on Sunday, and myself and Steve played out the scenario for game 1 in the campaign. Each side had a fresh platoon, with 16 points of support. The Brits took a sniper, a Sherman 75 and a Firefly.
Because I was supplying the troops there weren't any real surprises, and the Germans took a Panther, a medic and a second senior officer. The German troops are graded as 'Regular Elite' so a single 6 on their command dice converts to a 5. This is likely to see them accumulate Chain of Command dice almost twice as fast as the Scots.
|Peaceful enough, German troops will be approaching from the right |
A quiet day, somewhere in Normandy, those of you who saw pics of the last game will I hope realise that all the buildings, walls etc have been upgraded. And I have even sourced some of the fabled rubberised horsehair to make my own trees and hedges with...
|View from the Scottish end of the table. A jump off point is just visible behind the Chateau.|
The patrol phase was fairly unremarkable, but the Scots got slightly the better of it, pushing up towards the buildings. We actually did it right this time (I think). In previous games, buildings have been a troop magnet, but as we both knew there was going to be high explosive getting flung around, the buildings started to look marginally less attractive.
The Scots elected to bring on a single squad, and with a barrage of 1's on the command dice, I also brought on the 2" mortar team (here being proxied as the 2" team didn't return from their last outing, and have disappeared entirely..). the sniper, AND in the Chateau, a PIAT team is anxiously eyeing off the road where the Panzer will doubtless arrive.
|What's that.. 4 sixes?|
Having then got two Shermans onto the table, I proceeded to roll 4 sixes, triggering a random event, which saw a mortar barrage arrive squarely on my firefly, damaging the optics.. I then got no 3's in the extra phase, and had to watch as the Germans deployed and fired their Panzerschreck, and the Panther, both of which took shots against my Firefly, and fortunately for me, missing..
It says something for the quality of Steve's shooting dice, that throughout the game, the 'Schreck' team returned twice to their jump off point to restock on rockets.. having I think a total of seven shots, and hitting with only one, which someone I managed to shrug off with some engine damage.
|Germans having no luck|
That pretty much set the pattern for the game, the sniper and mortar did sterling work, whittling down the German squad on the left (above), and with smoke being deployed, the Panther was left with little to shoot at while I pushed the other Sherman down my right flank, supported by infantry moving tactically. The sniper was in good form, targetting leaders and causing rolls on the 'Bad Things' table, whittling away the German Force Morale.
|The Sherman's 6 HE dice causing major pain to Panzergrenadiers behind a hedge.. the Panther is looking to respond.|
Unfortunately for Steve, the infantry squad facing my rampaging Sherman was no more successful with their three Panzerfaust than the Schreck team were. (I think it's safe to say that I really rode my luck in this one.)
The British sniper is performing magnificently, and now takes out the second man from the Schreck team, and a Bad Things Happens roll.. German morale is really not good, not helped by wounded squad leaders on both the left and right hand squads.
|Peek a Boo|
The Sherman ducks back as the Panther starts nosing about, and the PIAT team have squirmed their way forward into the last building in the row, with the Schreck team gone, they can capture a German Jump-Off point, and take out the Panther in a blaze of glory.. needless to say, the PIAT shell is completely ineffective against the Panther, which does however back up, not wishing to tempt fate.
The PIAT team see their chance and charge forward to capture the Jump-Off point, which is defended only by a single German Officer.. who does happen to be armed with a machine pistol, and is better quality and so find themselves rolling four dice to the German fourteen? Not a problem, we will happily trade a single casualty on the PIAT team, for a German Senior Leader killed, German force morale drops again.
So his Panther had to respond.. what's that in the distance, shrugging off the ineffective and inconsequential Panzerfausts of the third German squad? Oh yes, the Firefly, lining up a shot on the flank of the Panther, and meanwhile brassing the place up with the Co-ax.
Scratch one Big Cat
And with that, the Germans lost their last AT capability, and had no answer to the rampaging Sherman shelling them out of the hedges and fields. Steve pulled back what was left of his battered platoon, and it was all over.
In hindsight, I simply couldn't have been luckier with my armour. They were the targets of 9 shots from the Fausts, 7 from the Schreck, and several shots from the Panther till smoke was used to blind the monster. The real clincher was that none of the shots were from close enough.
So we are now waiting for Steve to finish painting up his US infantry, so we can have a crack at some of the other scenarios. I wonder if I can persuade some other club member to do the setup and so on?
Again a cracking game, unfortunately, with all the luck on my side. The German threshing machine never really got going, and we were so focused on the armour that it sucked all the attention away from the rest of the action. Looking forward to the next one.