Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Battle for the Yarnton Rail Line.

A Headless Body production.

Location: Phil’s Basement
Players: Phil Gardocki, Canadian Armored Company (attacker)
Ed Bernhard, German Panzer Kompanie (defender)
Game: Flames of War 1945 points
Mission: Dust Up
Scenario: This game was done to support "Operation Sea Lion", an alternate event where the Germans were more successful than they were historically, and invade England in 1944.

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, 8 Sexton’s.
German (Confident, Veteran)
3 Jagdpanthers, 2 Tigers in two Platoons, 2 platoons of Panzer Pioneers.

Mission: Dust Up. Delayed Reserves, Each side places two objectives.  Winner is declared when any objective is held by the opposing side.

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.

Supporting England against the Germans in Operation Sealion, the Canadian Armored Company was assigned to attack north of Yarnton, a suburb of Oxford, to reestablish the supplies to that beleaguered city.

Both sides started with half their platoons on board.  The Germans picked a Pioneer Infantry, defending one objective, and the Jagdpanthers defending the other.
The Canadians started with 2 tank troops and an 8 Sexton’s.  Fearing the open spaces in the center of the board, and the long range of the Jagdpanthers, Troop ‘A’ started in the woods, behind a hedge, covering the road, while Troop ‘B’ started close to the centerline, in an effort to flank attack the Germans, along with the expected reserves that would be arriving in that quadrant.
Over all view of the field from the German side of the board.

German Deployment.  Middle Jagdpanther is by one objective, right side Jagdpanther is by the second objective.

Troop ‘A’ is in the woods, supported by the ARV, and a Sherman observer team.  Sexton’s deployed behind the woods, Troop ‘B’ set up to race around the flank.

Captain Palin started the briefing, “Right, now that the Hun has invaded Old Blighty, the official threat level has been raised from “Calm Reticence” to “Annoyed”.  We have been assigned to support the commuter traffic to Oxford by opening the rail line from Yarnton.  Lieutenant Cleese, you will hold the road approaches to the rail line.”

Lieutenant Cleese’s reply was dripping with sarcasm, “Will there be anything else?  Some tea and crumpets?  Perhaps a mint on your pillow?”

“Lieutenant Jones, you will swing round the flank, cross 2 miles of open terrain under the watchful eyes of the Jagdpanthers, join the rest of the Squadron, and take the objective!”

“Perhaps if we built a large wooden badger?” replied Lieutenant Jones.

“Idle, Chapman, Gilliam, you will circle around Tadfield, through Croydon, and them join up with Jones at the mouth of a narrow ravine where along.”  He paused to look down at the map, “Three sheep wide road.”

“Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink.” Replied Lieutenant Idle.
“It’s just a model.” Replied Lieutenant Gilliam.
“Wenn ist das Nunstück git und Slotermeyer? Ja!” enthused Lieutenant Chapman.

“Chapman!  Put the killer joke away!”

“But Sir!  I have been studying my German, me and my men, so we can understand the joke better.”
“And is that why half your men have been in hospital last week?”

Turn 1:
Monty’s Pythons start the fight with a Smoke Barrage, obscuring the over watching Jagdpanther and one other.
While Lieutenant Jones’s Troop ‘B’ starts its flank attack, with only one Sherman bogging.
The Germans call in an air strike, 

bailing a Firefly, and destroying a Sherman.


The Germans take a commanding position on the hill with two Jagdpanthers, but both are smoked in.
The Troop ‘B’ abandons their bogged compatriot and continue the charge.

The Germans further reinforce the objective on the hill.  Now there is no way to smoke them all.

Turn 3

Troop ‘C’ arrives, much to their grief!

No German reserves in sight, but the Jagdpanthers seem to be enough!

Turn 4

“Right, time to move out, Attack!” orders Captain Palin. 
Half of Troop ‘A’ Immediately bogs.  But the ARV is there to tow them out.

While the remains of Troops ‘B’, and ‘C’ swing around for flank shots on the Jagdpanthers.

The Germans airstrike on the Sextants and burn two of them.

But Troops ‘B’ and ‘C’ manage to destroy one Jagdpanther, and bail two. 

Turn 5:
Troop ‘D’ arrives, upper left.  German Kompanie Kommander (3 man infantry stand) tries to make his way to his halftrack.

Matched by a pair of Tigers.  (Cottage to scale.)

And they have friends!

A German airstrike gets 5 under the template, and picks up all of Troop ‘D’, plus one more!

Because such a shot deserves more than one photo.

Turn 6:
Troops ‘B’ and ‘C’ pick off another Jagdpanther.

While Troop ‘A’ charges, or rather trundles, into the teeth of a Tiger.  One of the newly arrived Recon Stuarts is in the upper left of the shot.

"Right", observed Captain Palin, "I designate the Tigers as White Rabbit 1 and White Rabbit 2."

“Now Run away!”

Troops ‘B’ and ‘C’ surround the last Jagdpanther, but all miss.  But still manage to capture the German Kompanie Kommander.

Turn 7:

Forgot to take some pictures here.  So here is a summation.  Troop ‘B’ and ‘C’ kill the last Jagdpanther.  But are reduced to just 1 tank each.  Both pass motivation.   German Pioneers attempt an assault on Troop ‘B’, but fail motivation on their tank terror check.  Lieutenant Idle, mounted on "Sir Robin", and 2 Stuarts arrive and take the objective on the hill, only to be picked off by the Tigers at long range. (off frame, to the left) .  The “Sir Robin” survives, but fails motivation and, bravely, bravely ran away.

Turn 8:

Troops ‘B’ and ‘C’, with only 1 tank each, take the objective, on the lee of the hill away from the Tigers.  (still off screen)  The Pioneers again try to assault them, but fail “tank terror” and the Pythons manage to pull a very lucky win.


  1. Your welcome. I am looking forward to supporting the Operation Sea Lion campaign. I am not sure if I published it properly there.