Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Second Skirmish Along the Via Giardini

With this posting I will hit my 3,000 page view on this blog.  Of course I owe this volume by tapping an insignificant percentage of the billions of page views from the WWPD site.  But considering my other Blogs have no more than 110 page views, this is a heady number.

I have a favor to ask.  If you really like these missives, the format, humor, or lack thereof, the attempt at historical references, let me know once in a while.  It's easier to stay motivated to write knowing someone appreciates it.  Of course, if you are tired of Monty Python quotes taken out of context, mispelled german words, or I mix up which is Troop 'A' and 'B' in the missives, let me know also.  I reedit these things all the time.

A Headless Body production.

Location: Phils Basement
Players: Phil Gardocki, Canadian Armored Squadron (attacker)
Ed Bernhardt German Schewere Panzer Kompanie (defender)
Game: Flames of War Mid War 1750 points
Mission: Surrounded

The Forces:
Monty’s Pythons: (Confident, Trained) "Monty’s Pythons", the 2nd Squadron, 12th "Three Rivers” Regiment, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade
13 Shermans, in 3 Troops of 3 tanks each. 1 recon Troop of 3 Stuarts, lead by Brigadier “Pip” Roberts.

German (Confident, Veteran) 1st Kompanie, 501st Schewere Panzerabteilung. 
3 Tigers, 2 Panzer III(n)’s in two Platoons, 1 Platoon 5 of Fallschirmjagers (Fearless Veteran), air Support.

Mission: Surrounded, German is defending.  Canadian places two objectives.  Winner is declared when the objective is taken by the Canadians. (or proven impossible) 

The Board:
4 by 6 feet. Representing the scenic road Via Giardini, The four corners each have hills with vineyards and orchards.  A stream bisects the left and right flanks.  Scattered crop fields and buildings litter the landscape.  Overall, good tank country (if you are a Tiger) as most of the middle of the board is effectively “clear.”
For this round, we will be playing from the narrow edges of the board.

The 1st Canadian is supporting Operation Slapstick, a quick run from the toe of the boot of Italy to the heel port of Taranto, which was offered to the Allies and invested by a sea landing by the 1st British Airborne Division. 

In their first encounter, the Canadians suckered the Germans out of position, and double timed their Reconnaissance Troop to the far objective, gaining a cheap win.  Now the problems start, as the undefeated Germans are now surrounded with clear visibility all round.

Both sides started with all their platoons on board.  The Germans occupied the area around the bridge of Via Giardini.  The Canadians started with one Sherman Troop on right, the remaining forces on the left.

For those who are not into the story, you could skip about a 1 page down to get to the proper Batrep. 

Brigadier General Pip Roberts took the podium.
“Be seated.”
“Yesterday, we soundly thumped Jerry and today, we have him exactly where he wants us.”
<Confused looks all round>
“His forces have been reduced and he is trapped in an area with minimal cover.  Troop ‘A’ will distract him into covering the first objective. While Troops ‘B’, ‘C’, and ‘D’, using the cover of the vineyards, will charge, then swing left and secure the second objective.  Is that understood?”

“Sir, Troop ‘D’ is absent, sir!” reported Captain Palin.
“WHAT, Why?” roared Brigadier General Pip Roberts.
“They sent a note sir!” continued Captain Palin.  “It reads.  Germans have captured Subaltern Galahad and is holding him captive at the Anthrax wine bottling plant, using own initiative, we will face the peril and rescue him.  Message ends”

Lieutenant Jones added, “It’s a good thing Bicycle Repair Man came last night and fixed the damaged tanks of Troop ‘A’, or we would be much worse off!”

The collected officers swooned, “Our Hero.”
“Captain Palen, how is it going with the air support?”
“Not even a clever sheep is available, sir!”

Limited Air Support (5 dice)  50 points
Sporadic Air Support (3 dice) 30 points

Clever Sheep     
Aircraft                 Weapon               To-Hit    Anti-Tank            Firepower           Notes
Bovine IId            Patty                     5+           1+                        7+                      Teams hit make Motivation check or must exit the template.


Troop 'A' took up the right flank hiding in an orchard.  Visibility 16"
Turn 1
Troops 'B', 'C', and the Reconnaissance Troop started spread out over the left flank.  Liberally applying smoke to all Germans in range.

Troop 'C' is in the foreground, Troop 'B' in the distance.  The command staff and reconnaissance troop are in the center.

Turn 1 German deployment.  Units on the left are smoked, not on fire.

The Germans stand pat with no return fire.
Orchards are not woods, so Troop 'A' is clearly visible to the Luftwaffe, which nails one Sherman.

Turn 2 
Monty's Pythons continue to advance, smoking the Germans as they go.  The near objective is defended by a 5 team Fallschirmjager platoon.  That is where the hammer is going to fall.

The Command staff and Recon troop continue to approach.  The Fallschirmjagers, are in the upper left side.  Not being seen is Troop 'B' in the vineyard. 

Troop 'C' is having issues, as one Sherman bogs, and the another bails from aircraft.

The Command Staff loses their expendable tank to an 88.

 Turn 3

Pounce!  The Stuarts leap on a single team of the Fallschirmjagers, killing it, and forcing them to retreat, and securing the objective.

The Luftwaffe returns to Troop 'A', but with only one plane which rerolls hits, fail to score.

But the Tigers are dynamite, and Lieutenant Idle riding "Sir Robin" did not get to "Bravely run away" this time.  The objective is contested again.  But Troop 'B' is now available to try again next turn.

The Luftwaffe returns to Troop 'A' and picks off another Sherman.  Being "Woodsman", the remaining tank perseveres and remains in place.

Troop 'B' shoots, killing 1, then assaults the Fallschirmjagers , killing another.  The Fallschirmjagers pass motivation and counterattack.  Having no antitank weapons, they score a hit, but fail to penetrate the armor of the Shermans.  But it was enough, as Troop 'B' failed its motivation check, and retreats undamaged.

The Fallschirmjagers expand their position, contesting the objective again.

Troop 'B' shoots and assaults again.  One Sherman bogs.  Once again, despite having no viable antitank weapons, the Fallschrimjagers pass motivation, while Troop 'B' fails.  This time the last Fallschrimjager team captures a Sherman.

Troop 'C' is not fairing much better.  One Sherman bogged and remained so the rest of the game.  (Its harvest time, and she looked so lonely stomping on those grapes by herself.)  The Luftwaffe, in their 4th appearance, nails another Sherman.

All the while, the Germans were advancing their Tigers, till they were now sitting on the objective.  At this time, the Tiger to Sherman ratio was 3 - 4, and we called it a German win. 

1 comment:

  1. Tough audience, not one comment about the Clever Sheep air support.