Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Operation Overlord Campaign Battle Report 2

Operation Overlord grinds on and Panzer Lehr is sent to dig elements of the 6th airborne out of a swamp, a decision German strategic planners would come to regret.

The choice of board was dictated mostly by what was available. It was the swamp board or the desert board. Aiming for verisimilitude, we decided to go for the swamp, deciding it was a shelled out area after some heavy rain. Unfortunately, the full implications of a complete board of slow going for Alex's mechanised infantry didn't sink in until after we'd started.

The one change we did make, even before kickoff was to increase the length of the game by a turn, meaning that I'd roll for delayed reserves a turn later and Alex would have another turn before I could claim the 'no enemy troops on my side of the board' victory condition.

The first losses of the game came when Alex's magic nebelwerfers (srsly, those guys manage to range in every time, despite often needing 6's to do so) wiped out half of red platoon.

Right after the armoured column encountered the remains of the crossroads...

The centre was where all the real action happened. The semi-dismounted Panzer Grenadier platoon on my right flank got a bit knocked about by my 8-gun 75mm battery and the Tigers on my left remained largely irrelevant, no doubt wary of my reserves turning up from the side and assaulting straight away, given that we were playing Pincer (an oddly named mission as it is the defender who gets the reserves coming on from the sides...).

After crawling across the big central crater, getting pounded by my ambushing 6pdrs and the ineffectual yet persistent RAF, the grenadiers dismounted and proceeded on foot, to support the Jagdpanzers. The 6pdrs and the Jagdpanzers then engaged in something of slap fight, both failing to do anything to the other. This continued until the Grenadiers got into range and killed two of the guns, in one turn, with small arms...

Things get dicey
With the remnant of the 6pdr platoon pinned Alex was in an excellent position to assault my guns. However, the two shots I had at my disposal hit home, driving the Jagdpanzers back with one destroyed and one bailed.

Red platoon made itself scarce after taking some concentrated fire.

Both my reserves turned up in turn 5 but played no significant part in the game, other than to block the - now fully mounted - grenadier platoon on the right. The 6pounders failed to unpin but still managed to rout the remaining tank hunters.

Then the RAF decided to be effective and blew up both of the trailing Flame halftracks.

With his force thinly spread, and half of mine still to turn up, Alex conceded.

I'm still glad I played this board 'properly' but I can understand Alex's frustration at having his mechanised moving slower, and having less troops per cost than an an equivalent infantry company. In any case, I've promised to be the attacker next time.

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