My mate and I decided to have some games of IABSM after a bit of a gap. I have had the Anzio pack for several years now but never really looked at it, but on closer examination after recently receiving the updated for IABSM 3 I found out that I had been missing something. All the scenarios are interesting and with a lot of variations, and the advantage that there isn't a lot of terrain to buy.
As can be seen from this photograph taken looking over the two villages looking west the terrain is fairly close with the villages of Aprilia and Carroceto. This photograph is one taken by an English tourist in the 30s as the more observant among you will notice that the railway line is not completed yet.
The British will come over the embankment in the distance with the objective of taking both villages. The Germans are heavily outnumbered but are entrenched and have some good support weapons as well. It will be a close fight as always.
Steve will be the Germans whilst I take the British hopefully forward.
The early action was slow with the British advancing cautiously using the smoke as cover, and moving under the embankment (yes they are). Classic British advance, marred by lack of skill but more of that later. The Germans are out there somewhere and surely these houses must be occupied.
Then suddenly the first Germans appear and are about to unleash the death knell to the British Platoon to its front, when it realises that the stonk had affected it badly when action was most needed. This lucky break drove British morale to new heights. With one British ensconced in the house to the right everything looked rosy for the Allies at this stage, although the unit in the centre which had failed to reach the enemy in a charge was a concern.
To east the Allies are getting grips with an Infantry Gun and some Tank Hunters which are hidden in the building in the distance. Just out of the picture are the two Hummels who suddenly have found their distance and shocked the British with their immense firepower (150mm indeed, that's the last time I let Steve bring his own models!).
On the embankment the section giving covering fire isn't in good health mainly from mortar fire and those Germans in the building have now miraculously rallied. Why are all my tanks in a line waiting?
This is the railway station (photo, above right) and the unbreakable rock for the British. In here were placed a MMG and infantry section with their officer. The stonk obviously didn't harm them too much as they shot the British in droves. First the section in open about to attack its fellow section in the first building as seen earlier, and then the British section that had gained the building opposite. I never did force them all out of this building
For good measure you can see the 80mm mortars in the background which never missed a shot, and took out the section on the embankment in two deadly salvoes.
In the east again one can see the British section that just assaulted the infantry gun, and failed badly. This was then destroyed by the Hummels for good measure. Finally the Bren Carriers moved forward and to minimal effect tried to shoot the infantry gun, but there were obviously shaken when they noticed those Hummels across the stream as they totally missed.
The end, as the Germans still hold the Railway Station and the Hummels have destroyed the infantry to the east. Where you may ask were the Allies tanks and indeed that was the question I had throughout the game.
At this point I conceded, mainly due to the lack of officers for the infantry. My dead pile was amazing and I really hadn't made any dent in the German defence. All in all the British performance was poor and there was no co-ordination at all between different arms.
Despite the result it was an excellent game. I was always in the fight but the real threat I couldn't counter was Steve always throwing 5 or 6 for casualties and myself throwing 1 for leaders. In the end I had one leader left and only three sections at any strength at all.
I played badly and was too slow advancing and should have been more aggressive. I also couldn't get my men of the blinds early enough and the Germans have several turns of one section against them which allowed the Platoon and MMG in the village to take out one of the Allied Platoons without too much damage to themselves.
Next week it will be the return match with the Germans attacking the same villages.