Wednesday, 16 May 2012

FoW: Operation Sea Lion - Free for All

I'm making this post on Wednesday night instead of Thursday morning as usual so I can use the url in my report to WWPD.

Monday night saw our first game for WWPD's Operation Sea Lion campaign. My US Rifle Co was taking on ArmyDave's German Grenadierkompanie. The breakdown of forces was as follows:

U.S. Rifle Company, Confident Veteran
Co HQ
Rifle Platoon x 2
HMG Plt
Mortar Plt
Cannon Plt (105mm)
Tank Plt - 3 Shermans
Tank Destroyer Plt - 2 M10's
Priority Air Support - P-47s

German Grenadierkompanie, Confident Veteran
Co HQ
Grenadier Platoon x 3
Grenadier Infantry Gun Plt - 2 15cm sIG33
Assault Gun Plt - 4 Stug's
Heavy Tank Plt - 2 Tiger's

We rolled for mission and got Free-for-All and Dave ended up as the defender. We decided that the fight was taking place near Fordingbridge in Hampshire, close to the border with Dorset. The layout of the board can be seen below. I placed my both my objectives on Dave's left flank, while Dave placed his either side of the village. (I used Panthers minus turrets as my objectives while Dave used Pumas. I really must paint up my objective markers!)


I put both my Rifle Plts on my right flank to take advantage of the cover provided by the woods and fields and supported them with my Mortar plt.

My Right Flank

On my left flank I had an HMG plt in the small woods, my 105's and the security section for the TD's. The Shermans I positioned behind the village.

My Left Flank

Dave put his Stugs out on his right flank. His centre comprised a Grenadier Plt, his artillery and Tigers.

Dave's Right Flank/Centre

Guarding the objectives on his left flank Dave had his remaining two Grenadier plts.

Dave's Left Flank

I won the roll for initiative and decided to go first. I moved my infantry forward aiming to get to the objectives as soon as possible. The Shermans moved into the village hoping for targets of opportunity next turn. My P-47's arrived and removed a base from the infantry but my 105's couldn't range in and my mortars were ineffectual. Dave did a general advance with his troops and became the only Nazi treehugger in history as he tried to avoid exposing his troops to air attack next turn by staying close to the woods. The situation at the end of turn one is shown below.

My left flank after the first turn
My right flank after the first turn

Turn two saw me go on the offensive. The Shermans in the village moved up to get flank shots on the Stugs while my TD's popped up on the other side of the Stugs hoping that the crossfire would see them destroyed. Meanwhile on my right flank the infantry continued their advance. Fire from my mortars, artillery and planes was ineffectual due to a combination of bad dice from me and some good rolling from Dave. I'd taken a risk with the Shermans as they were exposed to his Tigers now and to assault from his Grenadiers. But I was hoping the destruction of his Stugs would be worth it and at least it would pull troops away from the objectives making things easier for my infantry. However all the Shermans and TD's could manage from their shots into his side armour was to bail one Stug. Things were not looking good for my armour now.

Dave move his Tigers to get shots on the Shermans and moved his Stugs over to tackle the TD's. His infantry moved up ready to assault what was left of the Shermans after the Tigers had finished with them. On his left flank his Grenadiers moved up to get into position to assault my troops in the wood. In the shooting phase his Tigers opened up destroying one of the Shermans, the the Stugs killed one TD and bailed the other. He then assaulted the Shermans with his Grenadiers bailing one and winning the melee meaning the bailed tank was lost and of course I failed the morale roll so scratch one platoon. But I got some revenge on my right flank where my defensive fire inflicted heavy casualties on the assaulting Grenadiers in the wood, halting their assault. The situation at the end of tum two is shown below.



A close-up of the destruction of my armour.

The situation on my right after Dave's failed assault

With my left flank open after the destruction of my armour I had little option but to push my advance on the objectives. I also started to move the HMG's over to my right flank but doubted they'd get there in time. Again the mortars, artillery and planes did little damage. My infantry did open fire on the Grenadiers in the wood again causing enough casualties to force a check which they failed. Now it was two units of mine vs one unit of grenadiers.

Dave's Tigers started to make their way back to the objectives, while his infantry regrouped into cover. On his right flank the Stugs started to move forward to threaten his objectives and my artillery, Shrugging off bazooka shots with ease as they advanced.

My right flank at the end of turn three

The left flank at the end of turn three

I decided to take a risk and did a Truscott Trot double move with one infantry platoon to get them as close to the objective as possible. I also advanced the other platoon ready to assault the Grenadiers in the copse of trees. I thought this possible threat to the flanks of his Tigers might make Dave think twice about advancing any further with them. My infantry opened fire clearing out a few bases of Grenadiers but that now meant that I was out of assault range of the remainder. My artillery & mortars tried to damage his Tigers but to no effect and my Air Support failed to arrive.

Dave continued to advance his Stugs and took out two of my 105's with his main guns. On my right Dave decided to move up and mg the platoon that had At the Doubled doing enough casualties to cause a morale check which I made. It was at this point that I conceded as I had nothing left that could really threaten the Tigers and the Stugs were about to finish off my 105's and take their objective. The battle for Britain has a long way to go and no point throwing men away for no good reason. Like MacArthur 'We Shall Return!'


Final positions on the right flank

Final positions on the left flank

We had both lost two platoons but as Dave won the score was 4-3 to the Axis.

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