Having printed a positive fleet of US trucks (both WC63s and deuce-and-a-half's), I figured it was time to get them onto the table.
Sadly, I've failed to find my partial sheet of Allied stars, and the new delivery from Dom's Decals is still in the post, so they had to go on the table merely painted without decals, but hey....
Okay...so...this was always going to be a bit one-sided, but we figured it would be fun...
Allies (TomG & I)
- One American infantry company in trucks in convoy, plus two deuce-and-a-halfs carrying Budweiser, Coke and cigarettes :D
- A troop of 5 M4 Shermans for convoy defence
Germans (AndyMac and Carl)
- One understrength infantry company
- Four AFVs: one Panther; one Panzer IV; two Stug III's
- Six Blinds (three for the platoons, two for the company support, one for the AFVs) and four dummy Blinds
- Woods by Woodland Scenics and I
- Roads by S & A Scenics
- Hedges/bocage by...I forget
- Mat by Deepcut Studios
The deployment rules were:
The convoy enters bottom left. It moves on the Allied Blinds card, and may do nothing but use all its dice to advance at full speed down the road until such time as any part of the convoy successfully spots a non-dummy German Blind (or obviously gets hit by something by surprise!).
At this point, the unit in question, plus the units either side, get their cards in the deck.
On subsequent Tea Breaks, the next units down and up the convoy get their cards added (plus anything else that spots anything as before) [see note 1].
The Germans get to choose from the top left or bottom right corners to deploy. They may bring Blinds on anywhere on the edge of the table within 2' of the corner they choose.
And Off We Went
I make that about four feet of convoy...
The Germans went with the top left corner deployment option, allowing them to take advantage of a couple of woods for cover. They also had the considerable advantage of several goes through the (minimal) deck where only the Axis Blinds card came out. [see note 2]
Eventually, at the point the whole convoy was on the table, a Panther appeared down the side road to the left of the convoy, and all hell broke loose.
Two shots, two trucks destroyed, most of the HQ section of the company spilling out onto the road. Fortunately? Well perhaps, as this included the HQ section's bazookas.
[Explosion markers by someone off eBay :D]
Unfortunately, one of them didn't survive the attack, and the remaining one couldn't shoot for toffee. That, and the fact that the one round that hit clanged off the front armour of the Panther.
Cards start being added to the deck, infantry start spilling out of the trucks and finding cover. Usefully (again), this included the 2 Platoon's bazooka.
It got a shot at the Stug which had immobilised one of 1 Platoon's trucks further back down the convoy, and again there was a resounding clang of bazooka round off Schürzen.
About this point the Shermans managed to spot some German infantry (actually the 81mm mortar section) in the woods at the top end of the road, and began to do something useful. Sadly the Sherman in the middle of the convoy cops a point blank flank shot from the other Stug, and brews up. Cue cries of 'Ronson' round the table!
Slowly but surely, the US start to mount a fightback.
More infantry deploys off the trucks, and a firefight ensues at the head of the convoy between 3 Platoon and the German mortars, while the two lead M4s breach the bocage (and avoid getting stuck) and exchange fire with one of the Stug's and machine gun fire with an infantry section. The Stug gets a lucky shot which takes out one of the Shermans (sadly the tank section command).
At the rear of the column, the other two M4's likewise find a way across the bocage, and engage in a much more productive duel with the Panther and the Panzer IV. One of the M4s takes an engine hit in the first round, but the Panzer IV gets a direct hit and is KO'ed.
Next round, both M4s pile in on the Panther, which is flank-on the other side of a bocage hedge, and one lucky shot wreaks carnage in the turret and knocks it out.
Meanwhile, a German infantry section close-assaults across the bocage, and drives off the remains of the Allied HQ section.
And that's pretty much where we left it.
Consensus was, we think, that the Germans had done what they came for, and (being down to two tanks) now would be a good time to bail, especially since the US infantry were starting to deploy and defend the convoy.
In summary - what a blast :D
TomG's first game of IABSM, and he is completely hooked!
 This isn't quite how we played it, but how we'd do it in hindsight.
 I know some people play without a Tea Break until non-Blinds cards are added. We never have: it adds to the fog of war, and that's a win over the rather frequent appearance of the Tea Break card: statistically it all evens out in the long run, but makes for interesting fun in the short term.