Another one from the archives – played early this year.
Basically it was modelled around the actions of Highland Light Infantry - 3.Inf (Can) Div - during Charnwood.
So after the assault on Buron (North of Caen) the HLI elements, supported by a couple of Sherbrooke Fusiliers Shermans advance towards Saint Contest, just north of l’Abbaye d’Ardenne, pursuing elements from the 11./SS-PzG-Regt.25, 12.SS-Pz-Div.
As for references, I basically used a Historica Spécial (Editions Heimdal) on the actions of Buron, Authie and Ardenne, using the maps provided, to set my own.
We manage to played this scenario two times. On the first it was a quick one, as the germans disclose its positions too early and where nailed by the british infantry and their supporting armour.
Checking my sources, I also discover, that I’ve missed an orchard zone just forward of St. Contest, which I replicate on the 2nd attempt of it.
The tabletop (2,4x1,8m)
Basically a Mat ‘o War base, with lots of hedges (Bocage), some paved roads (Early War Minis), a home made town mat, with lots of houses in it, ranging from Rapid Fire, to Sentry Models and (now) Lancer Minis.
We used – as usual – Force on Force:WW2, by AmbushAlley Games/Osprey Pub., and the players on this one were: German – Pargana (helped later by Luis Reis); British – Artur and Filipe Martins.
Most scenic stuff and the German figures from my collection, British hardware, figures and german panzers from Artur’s collection.
Both sides have some conditions on setting their units, as on the historical situation, and the 12.SS elements were solidly dug-in on the ruins of St. Contest (so Hidden & Ambush – HiP in ASL parlance).
On first moves, saw British probing towards a big farm, on the main road to St. Contest. While the german infantry hold down its fire (in clear opposition to the reality of the first game), but as Artur prepare its armour to support the lads, Pargana revealed its first unit….
… A PaK40 on the main entrance of the village (perhaps too exposed) started a short duel with a UK Firefly, and others shermans….
…. Kapput!, not without damaging the optics of the Firefly (now down to half FP).
Now the dance starts, with the «crack babies» starting revealing their positions, and pouring fire. Now, Pargana (as always) wasn’t in his days, so soon, the British units were responding in lead, so the casualties mount – with a little help from the Shermans.
First line of houses, was soon clear of germans
With a stream of wounded going towards the their Aiding Station.
With the first line of houses cleared, the British players press on…
The British battle group commander giving instructions through the Bocage…… (or he’s doing some other body necessity?) ;-)
On the British side, while having the upper hand, things weren’t bright, as one Sherman was hit by a faust, on the main transmission (1/2 movement) and their Aiding Station also have some work on hand
Even so the British troops prepare to infiltrate on the village….
As soon as some german reinforcements where on the table….
Pargana decided to split them: using some of them on the village, while directing the rest on a flank counter-attack (as happened on the real operation)
The British, while slight apprehensive by these new comers, keep to the orders, and start the assault on the second line of houses…
Soon, to encounter, not only some HJ squads, but also some panzers in support.
So more casualties… for both sides.
On the other side, units advance towards the village church (one of the objectives in play)
These, also, detect some heavy clanking on their flank, right on the middle of an orchard..
… and another…
«Lady Luck» wasn’t really with Pargana, as one of the Shermans, positioned on a nearby field (the one with ½ movement) just spotted one of the panzers, through two bocage gates (a clear LoS), and…
On the village, business is as usual: germans trying to hold, managing some casualties on attacking British, but in the end, they were too few to hold the positions
A lucky PIAT round manage to KO the main gun of one of the Pz.IV (very unwise to use a panzer too close to enemy teams)
And the same for a Sherman that tried to get a hit on the remaining Pz.IV using a smoke screen for approximation…
A schreck just put an hole on the side…
Now the rest of the counter-attack, after putting half of his panzer forces on the village, and loosing a Pz.IV for a Sherman, Pargana attempt to go towards Buron with that single panzer,..
…just to bump on Artur reinforcements …
And the Pz.IV was hit, and the crew bail out.
The final assault into the church starts to mount…
….and soon Pargana, having only a couple of teams of his infantry on hand, a crippled Pz.IV, and another good panzer, but without direct infantry support, decided the best option was to retreat (perhaps towards the Abbaye d’Ardenne) leaving the village to the triumph British.
In all a very intense game, hard for the germans, as they have fewer forces than the British, and must use them wisely.
One day we will return to Saint Contest for another go….
Thanks for looking, comments welcome.