Monday 28 October 2019

Blitzkrieg comes to Perbais

It's been a while between games, but we managed to get one in at the club on Sunday. It was the first game in the Too Fat Lardies 'Pint-sized Campaign', Gembloux Gap.

Having seen a couple of players struggle to win this scenario, I thought it was going to be a major challenge. The forces are a standard French platoon, to which Steve's support choices added an R35 and a Sniper; and a standard German Schutzen platoon. I had 10 points of support available, and ummed and ahhed about it for a while - a Stuka attack was tempting, as the buildings could be a major obstacle. I knew armour was a French option, and I also considered an extra squad, so they could bear the brunt of the casualties.

In the end I took the IeG 18 75mm infantry gun, for AT, and also to deal with troops hiding in buildings, 4 support points, a tripod mounted MG34 for 3, a red dice for 2, and finally a Shabby Nazi Trick. I really wanted a pre-game barrage, but couldn't see how to get the points in, when I needed stuff on-table.   

Steve had picked up some second-hand railway track, and sourced some teddy bear fur, so the terrain was pretty much sorted. It's interesting to have seen the terrain versions of Rich and Nick, and the 20mm version used by 'The Tactical Painter'. I don't think ours was too far off.

To the game itself, and both sides started with a morale of 10, and the Jump Off points were fairly neutral, I had one well forward on each flank and a much deeper one in the middle, on my base edge. Steve's were in the village itself

The basic plan was to use my support options (tripod MG and infantry gun) to dominate the table, push one squad down each flank, and reinforce whichever one looked like being successful.

The terrain, wide open spaces. The bright sunshine made photography difficult.

German initial deployment, a squad each flank, and a MG34 in the middle.

Ready to advance tactically across the wheat fields.

IeG18 75mm gun. I was hoping it would be a trump card.

Who's that lurking next to the French JOP? A shabby Nazi for sure! He was brilliantly effective. (Even though we did get the rule wrong.) Steve had real difficulty getting troops deployed to this JOP

Le Tank appears... It is immediately engaged in a firefight with the infantry gin which eventually it loses, and the crew bail out due to excess shock..

German Left, advancing stealthily across the fields they seem unopposed!

The German right tries the same

Ok, what now...?

The French deploy a squad, and a firefight erupts, in which the French have much the best of it, the German corporal is wounded and his men pinned. 

The German Lieutenant is sent out to shore up the situation
A nasty surprise on the German right. Two squads, one behind entrenchments..  
The survivors, very sensibly pull back

But the French have showed their hand, so the third German squad deploys and replaces the shot up 1st squad, with the MG34 moving up in support. In response, the French deploy the rifle grenadier team on the German left, but their fire is not hugely effective before they ran out of rifle grenades.
(I probably should say in the middle of this, Steve rolled 3 sixes to end the turn and my SL had removed a fair bit of the shock on the first squad, so I was able to move them.)

A German double turn pours 22 dice into their French opponents, twice, and in the ensuing French turn I play an interrupt and shoot again.  

The French sniper covering the French left before he repositions, luckily for me he only got off about 3 shots, Only one hit causing 2 points of shock.. 

The French Senior Leader is hit and Steve obliges with a one on the effect dice, he's dead, and with the junior leader also taking a second hit in the previous phase, all over, French Morale falls to 0, and the Germans have taken Perbais.
The difference was that my support options were much more effective than Steve's and once he had deployed on his left, trying to run men across the open road to support his isolated squad was a hazardous exercise while I was holding CoC dice to interrupt, and gun his men down crossing the road. There was also a dreadful toll of leaders wounded on both sides, with Steve losing two leaders killed. German morale was, 5, and they lost 11 men. So they immediately get 5 back, and then half the remainder, (3) are lost for the campaign, 1 returns to duty, and 2 return after the next game.

Another cracking game, and it's on to the next game in the campaign.

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