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Saga: an AAR and a Review of Gripping Beast Houses

Here are two articles I recently posted on the website for the SAGA wargame. Enjoy.

AAR: SAGA – Irish v Vikings 6 points.

Review of GB Houses and Hovels.


DZC – photo AAR – PHR v Shaltari in Encroachment – 1500pt

My third game of DZC saw Dan’s Shaltari versus my PHR. Dan setup wild and rocky table with a few woods. No buildings. I selected the “Encroachment” mission. Basically it involves getting as much of your force into the enemy half of the table for the end of Turn 6 as you can.  At the same time you need to kill as much of the enemy’s force as you can. I expected it would be bloody!

The armies… red Shaltari…

DZC g3 (1)

and the part-painted blue PHR…

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The table:

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Turn 1:

The PHR took the initiative (i think) and started moving in the Command and Janus scouts….

I had not experienced a Fighter until the Shaltari sent one screaming in and shooting down one Janus scout. As there was no AA on the table to counter it, it died.

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The rest of the Shaltari kept back…

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The two Phobos were flown in low to go up the hill.

The Four Hyperions were flown in low to the far right to keep away from lucky shots.

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The rest of the PHR kept to the left of the table and in as much cover as they could.

The two Phobos on the left pretty much kept covering that area and warding off air strikes.

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End of turn…

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Turn 2:

Shaltari get the edge and their fighter screams in – now I know why you need to push some ground based AA forward at the start of the game!

PHR infantry on the far left head to the big hill with the crater (the crater was deemed smooth but giving cover for its height).

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and … “phoom”! the PHR Neptune crashes and BOTH Phobos are destroyed. The AA for the right side of the table is gone.

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PHR infantry are dropped into a position behind the hill to the right of centre of the table. The dropships are all flying low to avoid the obvious problems from ground based AA units.

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The Shaltari Dragon doo-dad is activated, moved and then chews up the PHR infantry with one of its terrifying weapons…

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Aaagh – ten PHR infantrymen are wiped out – microwaved I think!

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Turn 3:

Shaltari infantry are dropped on the rocks – the second PHR infantry group make it onto the hill on the left middle, just an inch across the halfway line.

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A ranged gun battle ensues. The PHR lose a few men, the Shaltari more (the Juno’s add their gunfire)…

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PHR lose more infantry to the “Dragon”….

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PHR Juno’s take out one Shaltari skimmer…

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The Shaltari fighter takes full advantage of the lack of AA firepower on the PHR right and scream in. The Neptune is destroyed and one Hyperion with it….

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The Shaltari commander lands some more damage on the left-side PHR – one Juno is killed…

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Shaltari try and take out the Juno’s – and fail…

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Shaltari position at the end of the turn….

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Turn 4:

Shaltari fighter goes for a Taranis MLRs …. it kills one, passes within range of a Janus scout AA system…. but survives with its ECM package of tricks.

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The PHR pull the remaining Juno’s and infantry off the little hill as they Shaltari are about to advance into their faces.

The PHR Hyperion has a slim chance of a kill but fails….

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The Shaltari commander puts a point of damage onto the Juno…

The Shaltari infantry at the back have already been pulled off to live to fight another day….

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Turn 5:

Shaltari big boys(heavies)  push forward – they didn’t seem to do much in this game…

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The infantry Neptune is hit by some AA fire but survives with 1 point left….

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This is short-lived as the fighter roars over and finishes it off…

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The two Hyperion’s have been working their way over to the left flank in a Neptune. They are dropped in Turn 4 and now fire on a Shaltari AA unit. They both roll 6’s to hit and do 4 points of damage from their highly accurate weapons systems. A real ‘Death Star’ moment – shame it wasn’t on the Commander! Probably the highlight of the PHR game.

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The other Hyperion is hit and wounded…. despite it’s shields….

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That damned ‘Dragon’ again – rushes in and finishes off the Hyperion….

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Turn 6:

The Shaltari creep across the centre line.

They have a lot of kills and now are getting VP’s for being in the PHR table half…..

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The PHR are pretty much just what you see above. The last Janus scout was destroyed by a Shaltari ‘heavy’… overkill?

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Shaltari infantry “beam” to the far side of the table – damn Gates! They are over the halfway line as well!

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Shaltari move away from the Hyperion reach!

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End positions….

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Here are the Shaltari kills…

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And here the PHR kills….

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A clear win to the Shaltari! Thanks and well done to Dan. I am learning though! Get an AA “bubble” onto the table to protect your men at the start!


DZC – photo AAR – PHR v UCM in Recon – 1500 points

I fought my second battle of DZC this time at 1500 points versus the UCM.

We played the Recon mission – each building had a potential objective to find.

Here are some of the pictures from the game… unfortunately I only had my phone camera but did get the “highlights”.





Most buildings had an Intel marker. The UCM had a thicker mass of buildings near their baseline, the PHR less so. The UCM side had less to make up for the larger number of buildings.


The PHR had a greater CV rating of 5 and won most turn activation rolls. The PHR stayed back near the baseline and opted to take on the nearer buildings (to some degree). The Zeus went to the left of the board and the MLRs to the right. Infantry and AA Walkers more central.

The UCM pushed tanks up their left flank and Heavy tanks more centrally. Their infantry was in strike type drop ships and hung back. Their Commander stayed well back out of sight.




UCM found it harder to search buildings at first.

After 2 turns the PHR had 3 VP’s.

UCM were killing infantry and the odd vehicle. PHR struggled to kill one UCM recon element. Ouch.


The UCM had fire lanes on their left and in the centre. They also got lucky and found an ungerground monorail to the central building and their VPs shot up to 6 at the end of turn 4 I think it was.


The PHR were really hiding after losing so much infantry. Their infantry in reserve (they took the first found Objective off-table) struggled to get back into the game.

Stupidly, I had been putting two squads into each building when i should have just gone for maximum search power.

I guess that is a newbie mistake.

DZC AAR (10)

The UCM really had control of the table on this game. The tanks kept my forces at bay while their infantry mopped up ‘unmolested’.

The game fizzled out at 6-3 on Turn 5 as it was getting late and looking bad for the PHR. Thanks to Dan for another good game. I am learning a lot.


A not very optimal list from me for PHR (two Zeus and no heavy walker antitank assets) meant I couldn’t face down the UCM tanks. Where i came into the open i tended to suffer. I lost one Zeus to the Kodiak orbital strike as they were moving in the open and were spotted by UCM recon for a few turns. Even a save of 3+ can be failed sometimes!

Lots of newbie errors. Next time I will have some decent Anti-tanks assets in my list as well as infantry and AA. The extra Zeus and the points spent on a commander and sub-commander reduced the fire in my list (150 points on commanders).

The UCM was a joy to play against – the models looked great and I learned a lot about playing DZC.

Flames of War AAR: LW 1500 points British Trained Tanks v German Infantry

It has been a while since I last played Flames of War –

Local gamer Andy agreed to play on Friday and we chose Late War 1500 points.



(11 armoured, Normandy, Confident Trained)

3 x HQ Sherman V (making a 2iC platoon with two tanks)

3 x Combat Platoon (3 x Sherman V, 1 x Firefly w. AT14 gun)

2 x Rifle platoon (cmd rifle/mg, 6 x rifle/mg, piat, mortar)

1 x Heavy Mortar (4 bases) plus observer

1 x recon (3 x Universal carriers)

(8 platoons) – Attacking



(KG Arnhem from Bridge by Bridge, Fearless Veteran)


2 x Panzerfaust SMG, 2 x Panzerschreck (135 points)

Combat Platoon:

SS-Panzergrenadier platoon – 1 x cmd SMG Panzerfaust, 6 x Panzerfaust MG (290 points)

Pioneer Platoon (CV) – cmd Panzerfaust SMG, 9 x Pioneer rifle (245 points)


SS Heavy platoon – cmd SMG, 2 x HMG, 2 x 8cm mortars, observer (145 points)


Hummel Tigers (CT) x 3 (435 points)

Light Panzerspah patrol (3 x kfz 222) (120 points)

SS AT guns – cmd SMG, 2 x PAK 40 (120 points)



Breakthrough (2.5 hours) – defender wins if out of time, attacker has to seize an objective on or after turn 6.



AAR (2)


AAR (4)

Defender choose the two quarters to defend from. I choose to run from the river end to the opposite quarter. I have to get some tanks across the river (slow and bog test except at the ford).


Turn 1:

Brits go first and move forward – tanks to the left, straight on and mainly to the right to cross the river.

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British Mortars try to pin the Axis infantry in the middle of the table.

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Axis Tigers move up toward the big red building on the left of the British position.

The left most platoon of tanks hides to the left of the wood, with the red building in front of them.

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Tanks pile over the river, recon gets to a good distance on the right flank to use eyes and ears next turn…

The platoon in the river bogs a tank.


Turn 2:

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The right flank sees the Sherman’s go for the Axis Pioneers platoon.

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Allied Recon carriers use Eyes and Ears to remove Gone to Ground on the Axis Pioneers.

The 2ic platoon moves up behind cover of the buildings in the centre.

The left most platoon moves up to the red building, keeping the firefly back to deal with any peeping Tigers!

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The Allied 1ic has bogged down on the River somewhere.

The Tigers move back to cover the middle.

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Turn 3:

The ‘river’ tank platoon makes it but the bogged tank stays fast on the river bank.

the 2ic platoon help the right most tanks to attack the pioneers.

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The Axis pioneers are shot and assaulted and whittled down….

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The left most platoon move to the other end of the red building – the Tigers have moved back toward the objectives.

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The Tigers moved to get a bead on the bogged Sherman.

Sadly, the Allied 1ic tank is bogged just a few inches. The Tigers get 2 hits, force the 1ic to join the other tank and so get 1 shot a piece. Boom for both.

AAR (19)


Turn 4:

British infantry arrive from reserve. The Axis have already moved their MG/HMG teams up to cover the entry area.

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Axis still command the centre of the board.

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British tanks move up the far right, avoiding the Tiger way back in the wheat field.

In the centre, a few Axis Grenadiers are removed along the way.

The Axis observer is taken down as a mortar round lands on his head.

AAR (29)

The other British tanks on the left were going to make the long haul, but time is running out and they think what to do.

AAR (30)

The two Tigers move up to the village and command the road. The Allied advance on the road and tight is stalled. two platoons can’t move that way!

AAR (33)


Turn 5:

The second British infantry platoon arrives. The first platoon has been damaged by Axis fire in turn 4.

AAR (34)


Turn 6:

The Allied tanks on the far right shoot the lone Axis team – I think this killed off the  pioneer platoon.

AAR (36)

The Allied 2ic “goes for broke” and shoots/assaults the Axis 1 and 2 ic in the centre. They do 7 hits and kill the 1iC – the Axis 2iC escapes.

In return, a ‘faust or two take down the 2ic tank platoon….

AAR (37)

Giving an either/or to the PAK40’s…. they can shoot the big tank platoon or turn and shoot the 2ic platoon…. they stay and wait…. the allied tanks kill the PAK40 command team.

AAR (38)


Turn 7:

The Allied tanks on the left turn and “go for it”. They move and shoot 4 shots at the back ends of the Tigers. They kill one and bail one!

AAR (40)

Flaming Tiger…. a high point for the allies….

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The Allied infantry assault the defenders on the objective and take it. I think this may have been the end of the Axis heavies – 2 platoons down now.

AAR (43)

Axis shooting kills more British rifles – bad 222’s!

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The Tiger un-bails…

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The last three Axis infantry near the objectives assault the British infantry. They destroy the British platoon and take the objective back. The Axis Recon help their infantry.

AAR (47)

The Allies have now lost 3 platoons I think (infantry and two tanks).  The Axis have lost two platoons and a fair whack of the Grenadiers. But their 2ic survived(!)


Turn 8:

At this point we had reached time. The Allies narrowly failed to keep the objective. The remaining infantry platoon could not un-pin so the game ended there, with the Axis Tigers, PAK40’s, recon cars and a few infantry teams left to win the game, 4-3 to Axis, well done Andy.



The Mortars did do some damage but the Axis made just about every unpin test as I recall. The combination of mortar and tank shoot/assault killed off a couple of Axis infantry platoons, but in the end the Tigers did for the Sherman tanks and the attack ground to a halt.

It was an enjoyable game and it was fun to be attacking for a change. Deciding a strategy is always hard for me. I should really have pushed hard on one flank, but dealing with those Tigers and AT guns with just 4 Firefly tanks in the army seems hard to me regardless of how I came in!




Saga: AAR 6 points Clash of Warlords – Scots v Byzantines

Here’s a link to a post I made on

Battle report.

It covers a clash of two very different factions! Thanks to Dan for the game – always fun and educational!

AAR: Flames of War: Italy – 1500 point Fighting Withdrawal – RTR Amour v HG Panzergrenadiers

Well here is another in the Tanks v. ‘grens grudge matches as part of the WWPD Italy Campaign.

This time the German Herman Goring Panzergrenadiers were tweaked a little more:


Eight platoons and  Stuka support!

HQ: 2 x SMG Panzerknackers, 3 x Panzerschrecks (2 go to one infantry platoon, 1 to the other).

2 x Panzergrenadier infantry (Command SMG Panzerknackers)

1 x PAK40 (x3)

1 x StugG (x3) – I left my Stugs behind so used my PanzerIIIM’s as a stand in this game).

1 x Recon (8-Rad x2) (substituted 232/233 for these as the models are on order)

2 x 20mm mobile AA (x2 trucks)

1 x 15cm Nebelwerfer artillery.

Sporadic StukaD support.

Allies: B’ Squadron 46th RTR (Liverpool Welsh)

Allied force 1500 points (6 platoons): HQ (3 shermans), 2 x 3 sherman platoons, 1 x 3 Stuart Recon tanks, Rifle platoon, 1 x 4 M10 Tank destroyers, Limited air (Kittyhawks). Several tanks /TDs with .50 cal MGs.


The Axis put the permanent objective on the road between the buildings and protect it with one Panzergrenadier platoon with a panzerschreck and some Recon 8-rads close to the halfway line on the road.

View from the Allied edge…. their objectives are in the top right of the picture…

AAR It4 (2)


The axis right flank, the axis placed objective is firmly positioned in the village!

AAR It4 (9)

The StuGs are kept in Ambush. The rest of the Axis are placed to protect the other two objectives – Panzergrenadiers with two panzerschrecks and 3 PAK 40’s, plus two AA platoons. the Nebelwerfers are hard to place so go in the right corner. The Observer is placed centrally and the 1iC is between the commanders of the two infantry platoons to help both(!)

The axis left flank with the two Allied placed objectives (covered by destroyed tanks) to the top centre of the picture….

AAR It4 (11)

The Allies put all their force barring the 2iC platoon (2 tanks) on the left and decide to go for the permanent objective. They have 8 turns to get to it.

AAR It4 (7) AAR It4 (8)

Turn 1:

Axis Recon finds itself facing a platoon of Sherman and retreats. Bit of a mistake, they should have moved to the gap between the two building on the right to prevent the Allied recon moving up so far.  Allied Recon Stuart tanks got a Recon move with nothing to stop them. They get up close to the Axis right flank where only a couple of MG teams wait nervously.

The rest of the Allies move forward toward the Axis right flank, but keeping in cover. The Rifle platoon goes into a wood…

On the Allied elf,t the 2iC and his single buddy move to oppose the Axis left flank with all those goodies. They go hull down on the hill.

The Axis play their Ambush and put the three StuGs at the backline on the right to slow down the Allied advance.

AAR It4 (14)

The Axis see only one Allied platoon on the left and feel confident enough to keep the PAK40 AT guns in place and let the Panzergrenadiers with their two ‘schreck teams move to the right flank. These guys spend a few turns moving to the big house in front of the objective….

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View from the front…..

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Turn 2:

Allies advance cautiously again and the Recon tanks use Eyes and Ears to remove Gone to Ground from the Panzergrenadiers on the right. Other tanks now open fire on the Axis MG teams out on the Axis right flank. Shot and bullets bounce from walls….

The Axis get a couple of Stuka’s to come in but Allied air bounces this in a hail of fire….

AAR It4 (19)

AAR It4 (22)

Axis infantry continue their move to defend the right flank….

AAR It4 (21)

Axis StuGs move out of sight of oncoming Tank Destroyers ….  and one gets a bail on a Recon Stuart on the far right…

AAR It4 (20)

Turn 3:

Allied rifle platoon launches an attack from the backyard!

AAR It4 (24)

One dead Axis MG team!

Axis counterattack and lose another team. They then break off.

Allies consolidate back over the wall into the garden for cover. AAR It4 (32)

Axis withdraw the 8-Rad platoon.   Axis move over to the right again….

AAR It4 (28)

Turn 4:

Axis enter the house to reinforce….

AAR It4 (34)

Allies move in…. Axis gunfire can’t do anything….

AAR It4 (37)

The Axis left flank is all quiet…. so the furthest PAKs move forward. The Allies move their 2Ic platoon back over to the other flank.

AAR It4 (36)

Allies move into the next garden…. then take the house….

AAR It4 (35)

Turn 5:

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Now, two forces face off – the end walls have no windows or doors…..

AAR It4 (44)

The Allied TD’s move and use their combined firepower to kill a StuG….

AAR It4 (42)

Allied air finds a new target as the Axis AA had to withdraw…..

  AAR It4 (41)

The command team is killed….

AAR It4 (43)

The Axis withdraw the PAKs.

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Turn 6:

The Allied air goes after a PAK40….

AAR It4 (46)

A StuG finally kills the (Still!) bailed Stuart recon tank.

AAR It4 (50)

Allies use Recon to remove gone to ground then tanks move in on the house…. they lose a tank and get one bailed….

AAR It4 (49) AAR It4 (48)

Turn 7:

PAK40s now withdraw…  The Axis StuGs are pretty trapped….

AAR It4 (54)

The Allies move in – even of they can’t win they go all out on the AA platoon and kill it from tow sides….. AAR It4 (55)

Turn 8:

Allies go all out and use everything to fire on the house… two Axis MG teams are lost….

AAR It4 (57)

The Allied rifle platoon assaults. They drop one Panzergrenadier platoon to below half but it stands!

The Axis counterattack and kill 7 of 8 Rifle teams… The Brits are forced to fall back….

The Axis turn…. no Allies near the objective… end of game now…..

AAR It4 (58)


5-2 to the Axis…

This was a close games, as the Fighting Withdrawal mission tends to be IMHO.

The Axis were lucky to keep their platoons at or around the break point and keep their act together long enough to deny the objective to the enemy.

The Allied player couldn’t do enough damage to break the Axis and take the day.

If the Axis could not have reinforced the right side with the second infantry platoon then I think the Allies would have taken the objective and won 6-1.  The way to stop the infantry moving across would be IMO to have put another tank platoon on the Allied right flank instead of just the 2iC platoon. As it was, the Axis felt the PAK40’s were enough threat to deal with the 2iC tanks, which freed the infantry to move laterally to help the threatened axis right flank.

Keeping the StuGs in Ambush was i think the right move (not the PAKs) as they kept moving behind the wood on the axis right flank to keep themselves alive and the Allies tanks at bay.

Possibly the Allies could have moved in a little quicker to the objective…? They seemed to stall as they had one rifle platoon versus two MG platoons from about turn 5.

The bulletproof cover of the building really helped the axis troops. Lucky the axis took that side of the board and that the objective placement area was bounded by two large houses!

A really good game, thanks to Dan.

AAR: Flames of War: Italy – 1500 point Pincer – Brit Amour v HG Panzergrenadiers

This was a grudge match, the same forces as last game, but on a new map, moving up a road to a village. The mission was Pincer and the Axis infantry were, of course, defending the road and village.

The layout was as seen:

FoW Italy3 AAR (3)

FoW Italy3 AAR (4)

The forces were deployed as follows:


Seven platoons, one Panzergrenadier unit with panzserschrecks to the left, one to the right and a unit of  StuGs in Ambush. Four platoons (Panzer IIIs, 2 x mobile AA and 1 x infantry gun).

FoW Italy3 AAR (7) FoW Italy3 AAR (8) FoW Italy3 AAR (9)


FoW Italy3 AAR (10) FoW Italy3 AAR (11) FoW Italy3 AAR (12) FoW Italy3 AAR (13)

Recce Move:

The Allies move their Stuart up the far left flank. There is nothing to stop them getting deep into Axis territory…

FoW Italy3 AAR (15)

Turn 1:

Allies move up with little to threaten them, the Recce Stuarts hold position…

The M10s move ver the central hill, to keep their right flank pinning the Axis left flank to the other objective…

FoW Italy3 AAR (17)

FoW Italy3 AAR (18)

Air doesn’t get the Axis team in the building, lucky as it’s a Schreck and its also within defending range of the objective…

FoW Italy3 AAR (19)

The StuGs pop out of Ambush and spread around the back of the objective that is coming under great scrutiny by the Allies!

FoW Italy3 AAR (20)

Turn 2:

As the Allies are getting close, the air has less targets to attack!

Allied air fails to get the StuGs.

The Allies recon removes the Axis infantry gone to ground. The other Allied assets in LoS and range do what they can to pin the Axis.

FoW Italy3 AAR (22)


FoW Italy3 AAR (23)

Turn 3:

The Allies really lay into the Axis infantry platoon. Axis casualties mount up.

FoW Italy3 AAR (27)

The Allies mount an all out Assault on the Axis in the wood. The Defenders can only muster two points of defensive hits from their pinned MG teams. Ouch, the Assault goes through…

FoW Italy3 AAR (29)

The Allies can now concentrate on getting up the road and hill to deal with the StuGs…

The StuGs can only push out one team to hold the objective as the Allies now have teams within 4 inches of victory!

FoW Italy3 AAR (34)

Turn 4:

The Allies have consolidated their defeat of the Axis on their left flank and move to take the objective. They have to destroy the StuGs as best they can. And they do using all their available tank and M10 TD fire. Three StuGs are burning.

Somewhere round here the Axis 1iC buys the farm as well. Ouch indeed.

The Axis cannot counter the objective this turn and will therefore lose next turn….

FoW Italy3 AAR (37)

Axis reserves arrive in the shape of 4 panzer III’s that shoot up the Recon Stuart tanks. their four shots manage to kill just one Allied tank. Groans from the revenge squad!

FoW Italy3 AAR (38) FoW Italy3 AAR (39)

Turn 5:

FoW Italy3 AAR(40)

At which the game was effectively over at the top of Turn 5. The Axis had no units close to the objective on the road, the Allies won 6-1.


What can I say. It was textbook combined arms assault from the Allies. They used planes and tanks to push forward, Recon to make it easier to hit the defenders then sent in infantry to assault the remaining defending teams. The Axis didn’t have enough assets protecting the objective that came under fire.

The Axis failed to use their assets to best effect. They allowed the Allies to get their Recon tanks well up the field of battle before turn 1. If they had deployed infantry further forward up to the edge of their deployment and also had some AT assets covering the allied advance they could have slowed or altered the line of approach.  Any time bought would allow the reserves to arrive and for the other infantry platoon to move across if needed. As it was, the 2nd Axis infantry platoon was left to guard the other objective just in case the Allied TD’s swung across to take it.

A good textbook win for the Allies.