After stepping in at the last minute, Fraser saved the day by providing me with my 4th Overlord campaign game with my new improved D-Day British Armoured Company. This time instead of the usual mix of Tanks and scouts, I dropped the 2ic platoon (lost the HQ supernumerary Sherman tanks) and took a platoon of Heavy mortars instead. So I still had nine platoons.
Fraser had hastily picked up his box of Finns and so we used them as Germans for the purpose of the Overlord game. He had a pure infantry force with, rifle platoons, Pioneers, 2 platoons of PAK40s (!), scouts I think , mortars, heavy artillery and tank buster ‘faust teams. Eight platoons in all plus a Limited Air option.
We rolled the mission “Pincer”. Fraser as defender decided on the table end he wanted to deploy on. He put down the pioneers, a minefield, one PAK40 platoon and a rifle platoon. He spread his ‘schrecks out and kept his other PAK40 platoon in reserve. Everything else went in delayed reserve.
I just put down where I could to avoid the German air support. Damn those Stukas! My aim was to use carriers to try to remove GTG from the AT guns and then push in with tank assaults. The rifle platoon would move on my right flank to deal with the German Pioneers, i hoped.
Unfortunately for me, two turns of trying to remove GTG though some tight line-of-sight situations proved too much. On turn 3 I resolved to try to push in with an assault of the rifles and also to brazen it out with tank fire on the PAKs. Line of sight messed this up as I bunched up in the left of centre in the centre. My Mortars had no real effect and the PAK’s were elusive. In return, the PAKs held on to their GTG and finally ambushed from the centre. By this time, Germans had got all their reserves and were using artillery on me. Add to that I left a platoon of tanks in the open for the Air to get and the Brits were starting to lose tanks.
After 11 turns, finally the 1ic and 2ic were both caught by PAKs and the game was over with no more tanks left and 5 platoons destroyed. The only luck being the Sherman’s amazing survival v one of the PAK platoons and then taking out the ambushing PAK’s!
5-2 to the Germans.
A difficult table to negotiate, with hedges, walls, building and woods really giving the Germans an advantage in defense. It felt as if the Brits just couldn’t do anything. Some poor German dice rolls didn’t really matter as the Brit force managed to break itself on the terrain and with a lack of punchy plan…
I was lucky enough to play against Hammy last week against his vanilla Grenadier list. Basically a couple of platoons of grens with a couple of ‘schrecks, a pioneer platoon, scout platoon, machine guns, Panzer 4’s, nebelwerfer rocket battery, HMG platoon and a Marder platoon. We wanted to do an Overlord game but ended up on a Winter table. Deciding this was a flooded or marshy area of the Normandy countryside, we set up and cracked on! The going was all over rough making the scout carriers very slow. Damn this flooding…
From my nine platoon list (5 Sherman platoons inc. the 2ic HQ platoon, 3 U-carrier recon, 1 rifle platoon), my tanks set up slightly weighted to my right flank. The mission was Counterattack with the German infantry defending mainly on a hill to my right flank. My plan was to use scout carriers to remove GTG on the grenadiers and assault and push to the nearest objective. On my left flank I was going to push forward with a diversionary attack between a village and a couple of woods and also use this to cover the German reserve arrival area. The plan seemed simple, but as usual, turning theory into practise isn’t so easy.
Hammy soaked up what little punishment I could muster with me making some poor dice rolls. Marders appeared from Ambush in cover of the hill and let loose. I gradually broke my tank platoons on the infantry and Marders and left it too late to assault from my left flank. To add insult to injury, the only German reserves were a platoon of Panzer iV’s that first doubled out of LOS of my left hand tank platoons then came through the large wood and just made it into range/LOS and killed one of the platoons. I failed to get near either objective for the loss of barely three or four German teams.
The Marders managed to hold on and play a decisive part in the Allied defeat. My lack of a strong push on the right caused the delay to finish me off. With hindsight, a large push from the centre to the other objective would have been better IMO with hindsight, with just a token force to keep the German infantry on the hill in place. I had no planes or artillery to help. A good learning exercise for me in tank assault. Thanks Hammy!
German victory, 6-1.
I posted a short article on the Saga Hero, Artgal, on the sagatapestry.com website recently.
He could add a little flavour to your Strathclyde faction! Here is the link.
The ultimate Normandy Matchup…? somewhere near Caen, a British Tank company makes it way across the landscape…. suddenly… the glint of sun on gun barrels…. Tigers!
Yes, Wittman and 6 Tigers go head to head with 20 Shermans including 4 firefly’s. Would this be a triumph for Allied armour or another set of notches on the barrel of a certain Tiger Commander….?
Actually this game became one of “Where’s Wittman” as it remained to be seen where the Tank Ace would Ambush from.
Axis: (Earth and Steel, FV, SS Heavy Tanks)
Combat platoon 1: 3 x Tiger
Combat platoon 2: 2 x Tiger
Allies: (Fortress Europe, Tank, CT)
HQ: 1iC plus 2ic with 2 attached HQ Sherman V’s
Combat platoons 1 to 4: 3 x Sherman V’s, 1 x Firefly
Recon: 3 U-Carrier platoons
Rifle platoon (cmd, piat, mortar, 6 rifle/MG)
We set up some bocage, roads and fields and chose “Free-for-all” as the mission. Everything lined up. All 6 Tigers covering both objectives plus Wittman in Ambush(!) The Allies spread around to cover objectives and possible lines of advance.
The Allies got the jump and having pushed their recon elements forward, moved aggressively forward to force some kind of action from the Axis Tigers. This came in the form a mistake. The 1iC sherman V tank got too close to the bocage and was gunned at long distance by one of the 2iC platoon.
The Allied recon pushed almost to within capturing range for turn 2 – if they stood a change. Hopefully, Wittmann would be forced to keep back.
Apart from the loss of the boss, the Allies kept hidden as much as they could.
The Allies moved forward again, trying to get a bead on the Tigers. The Axis right side objective was contested by a hidden Recon universal carrier. The Axis left flank was similarly teased with an allied recon carrier unit. The Allied rifle/MG platoon tried to go forward to add a possible threat to the Axis left flank objective, but were hit hard over three turns.
The Tigers took advantage of their shoot and scoot abilities and moved to get shots on the allies then back off.
Wittmann took advantage of the Allied 2ic and his tanks coming up the allied far left flank. Despite the recon carriers, he arrived from a wood to kill one and bail one of the three-tank platoon. The u-carriers nearby were trapped between Wittman and 3 more Tigers.
After this, the Allies tried to get a bead on the Tigers on both objectives but very quickly, two then three of the Firefly’s were lost to gun tanking and ineffective firing. The Trained Sherman crews were no match for Wittman’s finest. The allied 2ic failed to run away and was point-blank assaulted by Wittmans huge gun barrel and blown up from within 6 inches of the Tiger Ace.
In the end, the allies switched tack and moved the tanks in the centre (two platoons with one firefly) to try and take the Axis right flank objective from two sides. That was to fail. Despite their being three Tigers and about 10 Shermans, the Axis forces just kept using the bocage to move up, shoot then back off to defend the objective. On the Axis left, one of the Tigers assaulted the allied rifle platoon remnants and failed to be hit by the PIAT. In return, the combat drew out as the tank just couldn’t get the decisive kill. The Rifles had enough and failed to motivate to counterassault then withdrew toward their own objective, being overtaken by three recon carriers lucky enough to have been ignored.
The allies decided to retreat toward their lines hoping to get back before Wittman could get a jump on an objective. Wittman decided to call the bluff and moved into the roadway to stop some of these tanks. He created a highway to hell of burning wrecks.
In the end, Wittman and his Tigers killed enough of everything to remove 4 platoons. With just one firefly left to guard the allied left flank objective, it came down to Wittman to roll up to the bocage edge, shove his gun barrel through and blow the firefly to scrap metal heaven. At this point the Allies were broken with just a few carriers and half a dozen infantry left on the board.
Wipeout – Axis 6, Allies 1. Wittman notched up 12 Shermans.
Conclusions. Completely the wrong strategy here I think. The only way I think this could have worked with the tanks I had would have been to push forward with most of the tanks and one recon patrol and from their use weight of numbers to take out the Tigers on one side of the table. That was the hindsight view from some of the spectators. That or tweak the list to have a platoon of Tank Destroyers. From my POV, with the Three Tigers on each objective and Wittman waiting in ambush to see where the thrust of an attack is going, even with a lot of shermans and all of the firefly’s on one attack, it would be hard to get past the Tiger armour before the axis notched up enough kills to break 3 or 4 platoons.
At least it felt like a Normandy battle!
Here’s a link to an article I posted on the Sagatapestry.com website…. link
I am really liking the quality and flexibility of these models. With 40 in a box you can get a 5 point Warriors based force of spearmen for the addition of just one more model – a Warlord! You even get square bases in 20mm x 20mm and upward in multiples of 20mm.