Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Battle for Hill 413 (redux)

A Headless Body Production

Location: Phil’s Basement
Players: Phil Gardocki, Canadian Armored Company (attacker)
Ed Bernhard, American 2nd Armored (defender)
Game: Flames of War 1600 points
Mission: Big Push, no Breakthrough.

The Forces:
Monty’s Pythons: (Confident, Trained)
19 Shermans, 4 Fireflies in 4 Troops of 4 tanks each. 1 ARV, 1 recon Troop of 3 Stuarts.
American (Confident, Veteran)
11 Shermans in two Platoons, including Sergeant Pool, 6 Priests in 1 Battery, 1 platoon of armored rifles.

Mission: Breakthrough. Delayed Reserves, Winner is declared on or after turn 6 depending on who is holding the objectives.

The Board:
4 by 6 feet. Major points are an intersection of a rail, road, and stream. Dominant features include two hills and two trees. Some scattered buildings and farms.
Viewed from the West.  Hill 413 a very prominent feature.  American Priest Battery to the right (South), American Infantry Platoon at the west edge.  Canadian Troops 'B', and 'C' along the rail on the north edge.  Troop ' A' is way up on the east edge crossing the stream.  

We initially rolled “The Big Push”, but looked at all the fortification rules and went “yuck”, and rerolled.  I still have a question on “tank pits.”  They seem to cost nothing. But do you get them?  They are not listed on the menu of items purchasable. 

Since the mission is Breakthrough, the defender was allowed only 1 unit of vehicles on the board.  Ed opted for the Priest Battery, and a dismounted infantry platoon of armored rifles. The attacker was required to have one Platoon off board, making a flank march.  I opted for one of my Tank Troops, but forgot to deploy the Stuarts, so they wound up on the flank as well.

Canadian Troop 'A' deployed to attack the Priest Battery behind the woods.  A Cromwell Armored Recovery Vehicle ready to help with any that bog. 

Troops 'B' and 'C' deployed along the rails in line to capture the objective.

Priest Battery deployed behind the woods, but can be seen.  Observer Sherman forward in the woods.

American Armored Rifles dug in on the west edge.
 Turn 1:

Captain Palin started the briefing, “Right, now since our last fight was such a disaster, the high command has arraigned this training exercise against our hated enemies, the Americans!”

“Lieutenant Cleese!”
Ah! I will not buy this tobacconist, it is scratched,” monotoned Lieutenant Cleese.
“What was that?”
“Just practicing my American.”
“I want you to take Troop ‘A’ and swing around the woods, and take their Priests from the left.”
My nipples explode with delight,” continued Lieutenant Cleese.
“And put that Hungarian phrase book away”, barked Captain Palin, “Lieutenant Idle!”
 “Nudge, Nudge.”
“You are our eyes and ears, make sure you cannot be seen”, ordered Captain Palin.
“Say no more,” replied Lieutenant Idle!
“Lieutenant Jones, you will be with me, and we will take the Priests from the right flank.”
“Tell me ... what do we do with, the Priests?”
“Burn them!”
“So why do Priests burn?”
“Because they're made of wood...?”
I sent Troop ‘A’ around the woods to engage the Priests.  The Troop ‘B’, ‘C’, and the command teams went straight up the middle towards the objective.  On the way they would get to shoot at the Priests, and engage the dug in infantry that was contesting the objective.  Troop ‘D’ and the Recon Troop would go around the flank in the form of delayed reserves.  The shots from Troop ‘A’ did well, destroying one Priest and bailing another.

The Americans responded by barraging a concentration of the Shermans, getting 3 under the template, but to no avail.  The infantry platoon held fast, staying in their trenches.

Troop 'B' fired on the Priest Batteries left flank, but only bailed them.  The command teams then smoked them.

Troops 'B' and 'C' advance around hill 413.

Troop 'A' Destroys two Priests
Turn 2:
Troop ‘A’ continued advancing on the Priests, destroying another one.  Troop ‘B’ shot at the Priests from the right flank, bailing 2.  My thought was to deal with the Infantry Platoon fast, while I still had the armor advantage.  Shooting them with MG’s is good in theory, but when dug in, killing a veteran infantry  team is a 1 in 108 proposition for normal MG’s to kill, and 1 in 54 for the 50 cal’s.  I wasn’t going to shoot them out in a hurry, so I decided to assault them with Troop ‘C’ as soon as possible.

“Lieutenant Chapman, tell those Americans to go away”, ordered Captain Palin.
“Right”, replied Lieutenant Chapman.  And to his men he ordered, “Ready the killer joke.”
And to the Americans the men of Troop ‘C’ shouted, “Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja! Beiherhund das Oder die Flipperwaldt gersput!”
“Has anyone seen the Recon Troop”, asked Captain Palin?
“They are not being seen sir!”
What I found out was American Infantry like being assaulted by tanks.  With no less than 5 bazooka teams in the mix, when it was all said and done, the Shermans of Troop ‘C’ were all in flames.
The assault by Troop 'C' on the Armored Rifles starts badly.

And gets worse.
Turn 3:
I rolled successfully for reserves and brought on the Recon Troop of 3 Stuarts.  Taking advantage of their high speed, I raced around the objective, and engaged the American Infantry Platoon.  Now wary of the Bazookas, I stayed at maximum range.  Some of the Infantry had moved forward, and so were out of their trenches and easier to kill. 

Lieutenant Chapman, gazed at the clouds of flour and paint strewn remains of his Troop ‘C’, over the jeering and laughter of the nearby Americans was heard to say, “Well, that went pear shaped fast.”
The radio squelched.  “CHAPMAN, YOU SNOTTY-FACED HEAP OF PARROT DROPPINGS!  You do realize that the Yankees don’t understand German”, chortled Captain Palin.

The Recon Troop can now be seen.

Troop 'A' moves in to burn the Priests.

The Recon Troop demonstrates the value of not being seen.
American Reserve Shermans, including Sergeant Pool, arrive.
Turn 4:
Another successful roll for reserves, and the Sherman Troop ‘D’ was on the board, reinforcing the Stuarts in the control of the objective. Moving forward, the Stuarts continued to strafe the American infantry positions.  Between the Stuarts, Troop ‘B’ and the fact that some had left their entrenchments, they were attiring down considerably

The Americans received reserves as well, a platoon of Shermans with a special warrior.  Moving full speed and running with stabilizers, they lit up one of the Stuarts, which then opted to withdraw.

This demonstrates the value of not being seen."
Turn 5:
Troop ‘B’ took up positions at the rail crossing, and acting as a break against any Americans heading for the objective.  Troop ‘A’ opted to take the long way, widdershins around the woods, so as to avoid a possible ambush from yet unarrived American Reserves.  Troop ‘D’ stayed close to the objective, but adjusted positions for better firing on the American Infantry.

The Americans received their last reserves as well.  This time they arrived amongst the wreckage of their Priest Battery.  Firing on Troop ‘B’ from both front and back, they focused their firepower, and wiped out Troop ‘B’.
Lieutenant Jones slid down from his paint smeared tank and called over the Troop tank commanders. 
“Um, l-look, if we built this large wooden badger.”
Troop 'B', in a decisive move, points both northwest and southeast.  A fair amount of the American Armored Rifles have been eliminated.

More American Shermans arrive, working their way through the Priest Battery.

American Shermans approaching Troop 'B' and the Command Teams from the rear.

Troop A redeploying.

Troop 'B', shot both forward and aft, is obliterated in one turn.  But unseen off of the top edge of the photo, the Recon Troop hold the other objective.
Turn 6:
The beginning of turn 6 had Monty’s Pythons Recon Troop sitting next to the objective, which fulfilled the victory conditions.  The eclectic Canadians win 4-3.

Captain Palin, dropped from his tank.
“Victory is mine!”
He kneeled.
“We thank Thee Lord, that in Thy mer—“

<roll credits>

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