Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Fight For Montesano sulla Marcellana

A Headless Body Production
Location: Ice House, Newark Delaware.
Players: Phil Gardocki, American Armored Company (attacker)
              Jesse Sheaffer, Battaglione Fucilieri

Game: Flames of War, Mid War, 1750 points
The Forces:
Monty’s Pythons: (Confident, Trained) "Monty’s Pythons", the 2nd Squadron, 12th "Three Rivers” Regiment, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade, Currently TAD, Temporarily Assigned Duty, to the American 4th Armored Division.
7 Sherman’s, 2 with command and 5 in a single Platoon. 1 Recon Platoon of 3 Stuarts, 1 section of 2 M-10 Tank Destroyers, one Recon Platoon of 4 teams. 2 Batteries of 3 Priests.   Led by Major General Harmon.

Italian (mostly confident, trained) Battaglione Fucilieri
2 Fucillieri Companies, 1 Machine-Gun Platoon, 1 Mortar Platoon, 1 Carri Platoon of 5 M-14’s, 4 PAK-40’s in one Platoon, sporadic air support, + 3 platoons that never made it on the board.
Mission: Pincer. Italians are receiving.  3 objectives are placed, one is removed by the attacker after deployment.  Attacker wins if the objective is taken, defender wins after turn 6 if there are no attackers on the defensive side of the board.

The Board:
4 by 6 feet.   Woods and fields and rivers and hills all over the place.  Piece is dominated by a burned out church on a large hill.

The right side of the board from the base of the short edge from where the Americans will be attacking.
Both objectives are on the right side of the board.  Jesse questioned my judgement after the game, and considering the outcome he was right.  I didn't want to have to fight for the ruined church to get to the objective.
Two Batteries of Priests hiding in the vineyards.  Recon and Tank Destroyers by the river.
Two companies of Italians guarding the objectives.

All Tanks ready to attack.

Captain Palin began the briefing, "Men, as you know we have been temporarily assigned to the American Army, to show them how we do things in Canada.  Since then, they have removed our tank supply wagons, placed these gyro thingies in our turrets, issued a bunch of jeeps and M-10's and have promised greater artillery support."
He continued, "We have been assigned the job giving the Fish-Slapping Dance to an Italian Battalion near Montesano sulla Marcellana that had refused their country's orders to surrender." 
Reconnaissance Move:
The Stuarts didn't get far.

But the other two recon teams did.

Turn 1:
Since the Italians did not seem to have any serious antitank assets, I went for the a couple of bombardments and a generous amount of direct fire.  Followed up with some direct fire smoke for their mortars.
Captain Palin debarked his tank and shouted to the Italians, "I have come to ask for your surrender, so that no good Italians need die this day.  Go and tell your captain that we have been charged by his government with a sacred trust to preserve your lives. If he will give give up this pointless fight, he can join us in our holy quest to eradicate the Nazi's."
A black helmeted head peaked from the trenches, "You don't frighten us, Canadian pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, son of a silly person! Ah blow my nose at you, so-called "Captain Palinnnnn"! You and all your silly American Tanks!!!"
"What a strange person," commented Sergeant Galahad.
Captain Palin turned several shades of red, "Now look here, my good ma--"
 But was interrupted by the shout from the trenches, "Ah don' wanna talk to you no more, you empty-headed animal food-trough wiper! Ah fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries!"
Sergent Galahad gave it one last try, "Is there someone else up there we can talk to?"
"No. Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time."
"Right," Captain Palin mounting his tank, "CHARGE!"

The Tank Destroyers are going to run up the left flank.  Not so much to accomplish anything but as a distraction.

General advance by the Amercans.
Turn 2:
I continued to bombard the Italian front lines, killing a few teams.  Then an assault with the Shermans plus the Company Commander.  The Italians held and counterattacked, losing one team to rolling a 1 with improvised antitank weapons.  But also causing a bail.  The Shermans failed their motivation and retreated, leaving a Sherman to be captured.
"Run Away, Run Away," ordered Captain Palin.
From the Italian lines was heard cat calls and jeering.

With about the same result as King Arthurs on the French Fort.  The Shermans have failed, the Stuarts are next.
 I then ordered the Lieutenant Idle, (mounted on "Sir Robin") and is Minstrel's into the fray. 
"Bravely bold Sir Robin rode forth from Camelot. He was not afraid to die, oh brave Sir Robin. He was not at all afraid to be killed in nasty ways, brave, brave, brave, brave Sir Robin. He was not in the least bit scared to be mashed into a pulp, or to have his eyes gouged out, and his elbows broken. To have his kneecaps split, and his body burned away, and his limbs all hacked and mangled, brave Sir Robin. His head smashed in and heart cut out, and his liver removed, and his bowels unplugged, and his nostrils raped and his bottom burned off and his penis..."
 Sir Robin: That's, uh, that's enough music for now, lads... looks like there's dirty work afoot.
Though the Stuarts were repulsed, the Italian Company also fled the field

Turn 3:
The Italian unveiled his ambush, His choices of location were limited due to all the Recon I had on the board.  It was a unit of 4, German manned, PAK 40's.  They managed to kill one Sherman on arrival. I responded by dropping artillery on them, and direct fire smoking.

In the midst of this fight, an single Italian airplane showed up, he lined up 3 under the template, scored one, and another Sherman went up in flames.
One PAK 40 down, two smoked, all pinned.

Turn 4:
I don't have the forces for another assault, so I am staying in the rear and using my artillery to work him over.  Unfilmed was the tank destroyers running around to the rear, to be stopped by infantry holding the bridge.  The tank destroyers were then taken in the rear by the Italian Carris arriving from reserves.  One TD managed to escape the trap.

Two PAK -40's down, and the remaining Infantry Company is taking hits, but so are the Shermans.

Turn 5
Another turn of bombardments on the PAK-40's which in turn took out another Sherman.  The Italians brought in a unit of mortars.  I gave them a bombardment before they could dig in, killing a couple.  But time was running out, so with a few minutes left on the clock I conceded.
"Perhaps if we build a large wooden badger?"



  1. Ok, just to head one issue off. I have to apologize to Jessie, because as I wrote this, I realized I had cheated him. My second assault with the Stuarts couldn't have happened as they are Recon units, and Recon doesn't assault. Sorry Jessie.

  2. Well, I was corrected on another forum. American Stuarts are not Recon units. But when I played this company as Canadians they were.

  3. Just to clarify. Recon can assault. However, they can be driven back by 5 hits regardless of whether they are fully armored or not.