Andy Brown and myself set down to play a game a while back. We rolled “Breakthrough”. Andy ran a Brit Guard list, Shermans, scout carriers, mobile artillery some infantry, Stuart tanks and JOE Vandeleur. I ran HG Panzergrenadiers from Dogs and Devils. The mission meant Andy had to set up in one table quarter and move to the opposite one and take one of two objectives. His reserves (infantry) would come on from the opposite quarter to try to snatch an objectives. My job as defender was to stop this.
The Axis set up with Pioneers ready to move onto the rear objective in the enemy reserve area. Hopefully I could try to dig in and stop the oncoming storm. I put one of the PAK40 platoons, the nebelwerfers and a Panzergrenadier platoon in the quarter near the objectives to try to stop the Brits from just moving away from my main force and then taking the objectives. The rest of my force set up covering the other quarter and the nearer objective to deter the Brits from a frontal attack. One thing in my favour was that I had a kill zone across the centre of the table across the front of the nearer objective by having two PAK 40 platoons facing each other. Any shermans trying to run this gauntlet would get short shrift.
Looking at the objectives, terrain and the Axis deployment, Andy did what I would have done with my own British tank company, set up behind the cover of woods and try to get across to my weaker force rather than head into the gunfire of my main force. My scout cars only managed to force the enemy recon move to stay back a few inches. After that they were daft enough to try to shoot at one point. As a result they lost their Gone to Ground and were picked off quickly by shermans.
Andy did try to get to the near objective at one point but realised the combined PAKs and mass of infantry in the centre (with Panzerschrecks) was just too much. He swung all of his attack toward my weaker force and worked on that.
Andy kept the pressure on my centre so I could not easily move the troops in the centre to the left. I did get some AA guns and HMG fire toward the Brit reserve infantry, but it was very ineffective after they dug in away from any assault from my centre! I had been happy that my kill zone actually worked but then realised my weaker force were being trounced. The Brits came in from the far side of the hill in the centre and surrounded my pioneers.
The Axis pioneers had a bad time of it – they just couldn’t do anything to the Brit infantry reserve that had finally appeared and were even silly enough to try and assault them at one point and take some casualties. All Andy had to do was wait while his tanks swung around and the Axis were toasted after being pushed back onto the hill. The rear objective fell to the Brits!
British Victory, (can’t be sure how many Brit platoons were killed so points are not given).
With hindsight, a little more thought as to how to stop the rear objective being taken would have been good. Just moving more troops onto the rear objective would have been good. I certainly had time before the enemy reserves arrived! The table quarter with the weaker part of my force (artillery/PAKs/smaller infantry platoon) was not defended with enough infantry. When the Brits came in to attack this quarter with tanks my AT2 troops could not deal with them. If I had the Pioneers at this point they might have stopped up the attack at least for longer. As it was, the weaker German force was picked apart by Andy’s well-timed attacks (remove GtG and use artillery prior to assault on each weakened platoon one at a time. Once the infantry were killed, the PAKs and then the nebelwerfers were taken out. This left my pioneers on their own defending the rear objective in the face of overwhelming odds. Inevitably Andy got a win by pushing hard when needed. A good win!