27 August 2012

Flames of War

Wow. Big game weekend for me. Two, count-em TWO major game events on successive days! MSH Saturday then FoW on Sunday afternoon. I dragged my Rangers up to Morningstar for a game with whatever random opponent showed up. The random opponent happened to be Mike, who I've met and spoken with many times before but never gamed with. He has a Hell's Highway Irish Guards tank list, so it sort of turned into a pre-D-Day training exercise. We set up terrain and ended up with "Counterattack" as a mission.
My List:
HQ + 2 bazooka
2-platoon company
1-platoon company w/ 60mm mortar
1-platoon company w/ 60mm mortar
Corps Cavalry patrol
TD platoon (2 M10s)
Tank Platoon (4 Sherman M4s)
FAB (towed 105s)
Full AFAB (6 Priest)
Limited P-38s
1735 points

Mike's list (mostly guesswork):
2 HQ Shermans
3 Shermans w/ FF
3 Shermans w/ FF
4 Sexton Battery
3 UC Recce Patrol
1 Infantry Platoon
1 Infantry Platoon
2 AA trucks
One of those tank platoons may have had 4 vehicles...

I deployed most of my stuff in the woods around the objective I placed. My FAB was out in the open and the TDs were hidden back, ready to run for the far objective.

I just realized I made a big mistake. I was so focused on the "mobile" part of the reserves that I forgot to keep the right number of platoons in reserve. I kept 3 off, should have been 4. Dammit!

Not what the battery was hoping to see. Fortunately the gunners were cold and the battery survived to fire back.

The Air Corps makes its first appearance, destroying a Sexton and a tank-riding PIAT.

And the artillery gets a kill right before the tanks kill one of the guns! Things are going well.
One of my Ranger platoons Truscott-Trotted towards the woods by the second objective, accompanied by the M10s.

A beautiful reserves roll! Two platoons early in the game. The Shermans and Priests set up camp around objective B and the Rangers snuggle in a bit too. Operation "Tough Nut" has begun in earnest.

The Brits creep forward while their tanks take out another 105. Bah, a stupid 2-tube battery... the FAB did try to smoke the OP tank on the hill on the picture but failed to range-in. Grrr..

The Guards break out of their encampment and begin their push to the second objective.

The damned Sextons managed to range in a smack the observer for the Priest battery, pretty-well neutering it. At least its ranged-in marker was in a useful spot to hamper the British advance on that side of the field.

The US Army digs in around objective B while the British tanks set up on a hill to start taking shots.

The Field Artillery is run off.

And an American Sherman live up to its reputation.

The British tanks get off the hill since their lines of sight were pretty-well gone. I re-aligned my surviving tanks and scooted a Priest out a bit to give the AFAB better LOS. They weren't going to fire anyway. 

Two UCs move into the gap

And the Cavalry makes them regret the decision with its .50 cal.

There's a lot going on in this blurry picture. What happened was this...The British tanks moved up to the edge of the tree and bailed two of my M4s. British infantry also moved into the woods to the right of the objective. On my turn, an M10 brewed up one British tank. The other M10 spun its turret and machine-gunned the infantry coming through the woods killing a stand. The AFAB got ranged in on the tanks in the woods and bailed one.

Return fire was pretty nasty, finishing off my Shermans and killing an M7s. You can see I moved my M10s through the woods to machinegun the infantry some more. Mike had been terribly fortunate with his difficult-terrain rolls all game, but managed to get a "1" while trying to back his Firefly in the woods out from under the Ranged-In marker. The 2IC did manage to move back. The bailed tank remained bailed.
One more bombardment later... The bailed one flubbed his motivation test.

My M10s set their sights on the tanks on the hill, destroying one. The return fire blew up an M10.

Just before we called the game, I got these two pictures. My M10 died noisily. I'm pretty sure the British 2IC survived.

We had been playing for 3 1/2 hours or so and were both kind of beat. It was a very enjoyable meat-grinder of a battle. I lost four platoons, my Shermans, FAB, Cavalry and TDs. Mike had lost a tank platoon, Recce and an infantry platoon. Since non-Ranger losses don't affect my breakpoint, I really wasn't close to a company morale test. We decided it was a draw.

His AA trucks were extremely useful  and certainly points well spent.

Mike, if you read this, sorry I fouled up the Reserves thing. I'm really looking forward to our next game of whatever.

Good Gaming!

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