Saturday saw the first of a weekend of gaming at the Gauntlet Show, held at Deeside Defenders club based in Broughton, Chester. Owain and Ben had come up with a scenario based on a generic Omaha beach-style landing, with US paratroopers attempting to secure vital cross roads inland and meet up with the seaborne forces.
Ben and Mike defended the beaches, that Owain and his Dad landed on, while Ian and I took on Richard's reserves with our paratroopers. Each sector had 800 points for each side. Rules used were Battlegroup - Overlord supplement providing the forces.
I don't really have a coherent account of the overall game, being fully preoccupied with the doings on our end of the table. We used the recce screen scenario and rolled for 6 turns before either the paras or German defenders were able to reinforce. US recce consisted of a jeep recce team, a jeep recce command team and an infantry recce squad. German recce comprised 2 SdkFz 250/9s, a sniper team and a recce infantry squad in a 250/1. The US troops using their superior Jeep mobility on road, quickly secured the objective in the middle of the table and the infantry team secured the objective in the US deployment zone. German recce infantry did the same in their sector and then pushed their 250/9s forward. Despite lots of 105mm artillery and mortars to call on, the German recce systematically wiped out the 2 jeep recce teams and secured the central objective. While the rear area was pretty quiet, the beaches were very busy, with a lot of US infantry casualties, especially amongst the flamethrower teams.
On turn 7, the US troops started to arrive, pushing forwards along the hedgerows.
An artillery spotter raced forwards to try and get a good position before the German armour (S-35s) arrived.
The FHQ also takes up a good vantage point.
Paras scurry across open terrain, trying to beat the advancing German armour to the hedgerows.
One of the Somuas beats the Americans to it.
The vital gap in the hedgerows with burning recce jeep by the chateau.
A lucky deviation saw an 81mm mortar battery land a barrage right on top of some advancing Somuas, brewing up one and pinning the other - phew a delay.
More paras, this time engineers in the foreground and a platoon command beyond.
Another chateau, this one providing an excellent vantage point to the recce infantry squad, who called in mortar fire from this point throughout the game. A newly deployed 81mm mortar would soon be available for smaller fire missions.
A para LMG and bazooka team advance to support the infantry.
The bazooka went on reserve move and then closed with the Somua by the hedge, which was pinned by mortar fire.
More artillery and mortar strikes - lots of pins and a brewed up Pz III and another Somua.
The engineers advance to get in the fight.
The Somua gets brewed up by the plucky bazooka team. With the rest of the tank platoon brewed up or pinned, we expected more armour, but it had been directed towards the beaches, to contain a US armoured breakthrough, spearheaded by a Sherman dozer.
At this point the Germans on the beaches exceeded their break point and resistance ceased, allowing the US armour to push across the beach road and enter the town - they would be looking for some infantry support from reserves across the beach or pressing paras into service. With the German tanks in the rear areas whittled down, they too decided discretion was the better part of valour.
It was a great game, fortunes favoured the Germans initially in our area and the US recce was slaughtered, although the foot patrol managed to keep up withering mortar fire on the advancing German reserves. With the arrival of US reserves, an artillery spotter and the FHQ were able to call in 105mm fire, which swung the balance back in favour of the yanks. That and a couple of heroic bazooka team members.
I'd have been happy to try the scenario again the following day (maybe swopping sides), but sadly we had a pre-commitment to Joy of 6 in Sheffield on Sunday, so Richard, Ian and I went over for that, putting on a game based around 21st Panzer's attempts to push the British back into the sea inland of Sword beach in the late afternoon of D-day. More on that in a later post.
Thanks for looking.