Friday, July 12, 2013

June 12, 1944, the Attack on Carpiquet

A Headless Body Production
Location: Phil's Basement
Players: Phil Gardocki, Canadian Armored Squadron (attacker)
              Ed Bernhard Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie(defender)

Game: Flames of War, Late War
The Forces:
Canadian Armored Squadron (Confident, Trained), "Monty's Pythons", 22nd Armored Regiment "Canadian Grenadier Guards", 4th Canadian Armored Division, 2nd Canadian Corps.
          3 Troops of Shermans, 
          1 Recce Patrol of Stuarts, 
          1 Recce Patrol of Armoured Cars,
          1 Motor Platoon 
          1 Battery of Sextons
          1 Auster AOP
German (Confident, Veteran) 2nd Panzer Division's Gepanzerte Panzergrenadierkompanie supported by the 503 Schwere Panzerabteilung..
           2 Tigers
           3 Sturmgeschutz IIIg's
           3 PaK 40's
           5 Platoons of Panzergrenadiers, each with 10 teams.
           3 Puma's
           Sporadic Air Support

Mission: Cauldron,  both sides start with half forces.  Attacker has random deployment.  Defender has delayed reserves.
The Board:
4 by 6 feet.   A crossroads leading to the village of Carpiquet.  A few farms, light woods, and gentle knolls.
Picture of the board from the north edge.  The streams are shallow (bog checks), the fields are slow going, the hills are just small rises, and visibility impairments only.

North half of the board, taken from the west edge.
South half of the board, taken from the west edge.

This scenario was set up to support WWPD's Operation Overlord Campaign and represents the Commonwealth assaults in lower Normandy region.

July 27th, the third day of "Operation Spring"  The allies have bypassed and cut off Verrières and were now on the road to Carpiquet, a small village of minimal importance.  On the way, Monty's Pythons accidentally encounters the previously unseen defenders of Verrières as they attempted to rejoin their parent units, the 2nd Panzer Division and the 503 Schwere Panzerabteilung (Heavy tank battalion).

There was the stereophonic sound of zippers and the flow of water.  "Amazing", thought Captain Palen, "Its like a marathon for Those with Extremely Weak Bladders."  He scanned the trees lined with the backs of his command staff, "Not a tight sphincter in sight. Ready to embark, nevertheless, on the race across France and they're just aching to go!"

LSD-1021 delivers much needed supplies of tea to the Juno beachhead.
Defender placed two Tigers ("Every shot counts") and the Pumas on the board.  The PaK 40's in immediate ambush.

The Sextons rolled a 1 with random deployment, the northwest corner, and  just on the other side of that hedge from a pair of Tigers.  They were then joined by the Armoured Car Platoon.

The Stuarts rolled a 4, and were on the southwest quarter of the board, just out of site of the Pumas.  Near the woods are the command team Shermans, representing some of the weakest bladders ever to represent their country.
Reconnaissance Move:
With the Pumas just on the other side of the knoll, the Stuarts just adjust their position a little.  The Armoured Car Platoon, arched around the nearby knoll, 2 of them getting under cover.

Stuarts edge close to the objective.
Turn 1:
The Tigers pull back a little.  But they start off the fight by flaming a Staghound armoured car.  The Pumas leap out from behind the knoll, bailing a Stuart.

Canadian reserves arrive, a troop of Shermans, in the southwest corner of the board.  4 shots on the Panzerspah's platoon, and one Puma is destroyed.  The command team comes around the corner and destroyed a PaK 40.

First blood to the Germans.

The Tigers stormtrooper back.

Knowing the Germans have planes, the Canadians spread their artillery out a little.  But they have to be careful as there are Tigers in France.
Pumas get the first shot, bailing a Stuart.

Lieutenant Cleese arrives with Troop 'A'

And pops a Puma.

Turn 2:
Tiger lines up a couple of shots on the Canadian command team, killing one Sherman, and bailing the 2iC.  The Luftwaffe dive bombs the Sexton battery destroying one as well.  The Pumas race behind Troop 'A', bailing a Sherman, but failed their stormtrooper away behind the knoll.

Canadian reserves arrive.  The motorized infantry platoon.  Thinking the Tiger would have better things to do than shoot at half tracks, they boldly double timed down the road.

It was a bad turn for the Germans, as Sherman Troop 'A' took out the Panzerspahs, The Lieutenent Idle's Stuarts captured objective, bailed the German 1iC, and killed a PaK 40.  While Sergeant Dennis Moore's armoured cars contested the northern objective.

One 250kg bomb well aimed.

Two 88mm rounds expended.

Like 4 Daleks, the tanks of Troop 'A' rotate their turrets as one, firing 8 rounds, 4 hits, killing 3 of the remaining 2 Pumas.

The Lieutenant Idle's Minstrels bail the German 1iC half-track and capture the southern objective.

Dennis Moore in his Jeep contest the northern objective, which I expect to secure with the motor infantry in the halftracks.

Turn 3:
German reserves arrive.  3 Sturmgeschutz's.   It is not looking good for the Germans as both objectives are contested, and only 4 teams in the area of them to contest them, albeit 2 of them are Tigers.

The northern Tiger killed a killed two half-tracks, and the passengers of one. The STG's killed a Sexton.  The southern Tiger whiffed its shot, but contested the southern objective.

Canadian reserves arrive, the Sherman Troop 'B' arrive in the northwest corner, backing up the Motor Infantry Platoon.  My thought at this time is to keep the Tigers split up.  They can't get more than 8 inches from each other, and while that is enough to contest both objectives, the Canadians only one set of lucky dice from capturing an objective.

The Motor Infantry Platoon disembark and approach the fence line to assault the PaK 40.  But they shoot to well, and kill it instead, giving them a free consolidation move around the objective.  The Tiger is still there, but it is virtually surrounded by teams.

Lieutenant Idle took a novel position.  placing himself right next to the Tiger.  With an AT7 gun, the Tiger would have to roll a minus 1 to be bailed.  But from this position, the Stuarts still contested the objective.  Meanwhile, the Firefly from Troop 'A' took a position on the knoll, daring the Tiger to trade shots with it.  If the Firefly was killed, then there would be 5 Shermans on the flank of the Tiger on Turn 4.
Tigers kill another Sexton, and a half-track and its passengers.

The southern Tiger contests the objective.

Two half tracks destroyed, but one of the passengers gets out in time.

German STG's arrive from reserves.

Canadian Infantry line up to assault the PaK 40, but it was instead killed by a lucky .50cal shot, so they get to consolidate around the objective under the "Shot to Well" rule.

Sir Robin and a Minstrel hide in the shadow of the Tiger.  The Sherman Firefly takes position on the knoll.

Troop 'B' arrive from reserves.
Turn 4:
German reserves arrive, a Panzergrenadier platoon.  They advance carefully under the cover of the nearby knolls.  The southern Tiger would have none of this hiding in his shadow business and turns it's gun slowly, blowing away "Sir Robin".  We instituted a new rule, called "Close Shave."  A light tank that is within the turn radius of turret of a heavy tank will have the light tank's turret sheared off by the barrel of the heavy tank.  Two Stuarts were killed, one panicked.

The other Tiger Machinegunned the infantry, killing the mortar team.  The STG killed a artillery battery Rifle MG team, taking the Sextons to half strength. 

Canadian reserves arrive.  Troop 'C', (not shown here), double timed around the southern woods and would be shooting in the flank of the Tiger, while threatening the arriving panzergrenadiers. 

The Troop 'A' Firefly took two shots which bounced off of the Tiger.  Another Sherman took a side shot which also bounced.  The 2iC finished the round by smoking the Tiger.

In the north, the Motor Platoon lined up for an assault on the Tiger.  Betting a lot on their single PIAT.  But win lose or draw, the armoured cars still contested the objective, and the Shermans of Troop 'B' were closing in.

The Troop 'B' Firefly took a single shot at the concealed Tiger, which penetrated, flaming the Tiger, and once the measuring was done, secured the game for the Canadians, a 5-2.
This seemed like a good idea at the time.

Panzergrenadiers arrive, STG's advance.

Tiger sprays the infantry with MG fire, killing the mortar team.

STG's advance, taking out a rifle/mg team.  The Artillery Battery is at half.

Canadians shoot both front and side to no effect.

The Firefly takes one shot from the front, the PIAT one shot on the flank.

One lucky shot kills the Tiger.  The infantry consolidates around the objective, and the STG's are just over 16 inches away and cannot contest it.  A Canadian 5-2 win.


  1. Well done. Nice to see the Pythons secure a victory!

    A little harsh perhaps on the turret turn wrecking a Stuart... I always recall the scene from Kellys Heroes where a small tree trunk stops a Tiger turret turning...

  2. Truth be told, the Tiger actually scored two hits, and made two successful firepower checks, legitimizing the two kills. The too close rule was funnier though.