What a week this has been for me. I have painted a little bit every night and got in a game of IABSM3 today. Mark hosted a game out of my Greek Supplement - Scenario 5: Outflanked. I had the chance to play the Germans while Brian played the British. It was great fun. I also happened to roll better than I have ever rolled in my life. That made up for some of my poor tactics.
The shop that the game was in was dominated by flying space orcs and the like on the various tables. The table next to us had a giant walking robot thing that dominated the table. The table itself had little other terrain. Nearly wall to wall toys.
Mark was able to once again create a beautiful table. It really gave the feel of the village that the scenario was trying to convey. Here are a couple of shots of the table from my cell phone.
The scenario started out with the Germans racing up the road to the village. The Germans were able to reach the town first and held it throughout the game. It was a large scenario and the fight for the town would prove to be very bloody.
The Germans also managed to dominate a small rise just to the right of the village. From there, the German 2nd Tank Platoon deployed in a hull down formation and was able to spot and then destroy several British tanks. However, the deployment proved to be foolish as the tanks were far too close together. When the British returned fire, several other tanks took shock from the explosion of their fellows.
The British advanced in a large column up the road toward the village. Since the Germans already occupied the village, they had the drop on the British column. The first blind was a fake and the second was a 25pdr gun on its limber. The gun and its truck beat a hasty retreat and their card never turned up for the rest of the game. The cards were there, just never drawn. In the background of the next picture, you can see more burning British tanks. Two platoons of British tanks attempted to move up the middle of the table off road. The tough going slowed them down and make them nice targets for the tanks of the German 1st and 2nd platoons.
Did I mention, I love how Mark's terrain looks.
After the British gun ran away from the German tanks in the village, it was a turn or two before the village was again challenged.
But that was not to last too long. Brian began to move a platoon up the road to challenge the defenders of the town. Meanwhile in the field, one British tank was abandoned, one destroyed and another immobilized. The second platoon also started to take damage and I think had also lost a tank by this point.
We last left off with the British tanks in the center of the table getting increasingly in trouble. A blind of British infantry were spotted and immediately fled to a ditch nearby for cover as they had several Panzer IIIs nearby.
The headquarters of the platoon was unfortunate and was not able to reach the cover of the ditch. The HQ of the platoon was beaten to a pulp by repeated machine gunnings from the tanks in the area. Their Boys AT Rifle was completely ineffective at stopping the Panzer IIIs. Meanwhile, in the village, a traffic jam was developing. The British sent two platoons of Mark IV tanks into the town. All were the C model equipped with machine guns.
This led to a point blank tank fight between a Panzer I, a Panzer II and several (6) Mark IVC tanks. It was an ugly fight with little real damage being dealt other than immobilizations all around.
The tanks kept piling into the town. Eventually we had two CS tanks join the Mark IVCs and behind them was a command vehicle with a tank ace. Interestingly, this vehicle had some real potential to cause damage but he spent his time leading rather than fighting. In an attempt to break up the near stalemate in the town, I deployed an infantry platoon in the back of the village. They promptly drew the attention of the CS tanks who fired on the house causing some mild shock.
Now, the cards had not been unkind to me. I had some excellent early movement and all of my deployed troops were routinely coming up. But the blind card (which was controlling my reinforcement arrival) was not coming up. I had several blinds that were just idle.
At this point I utilized the Skelton Gambit and deployed all of my on table blinds to get their cards in the deck.
This proved to be a good strategy as my tank company HQ was immediately in action the next turn. Now my tank commander was not an ace but he sure did act like it. He chose to fire and fire often instead of wasting his time activating troops. Turns out, he was an excellent shot.
This company commander would take a shot on a badly obscured target and I got some extremely lucky die rolls to cook a British tank, much to that player's chagrin. Admittedly, that shot was borderline gamey but not out of the realm of possibility. Back to the poor bloody British infantry. They continued to take a pounding. One of the surviving British tanks managed to kill a Panzer III. In spite of loosing a tank, the Panzer IIIs poured fire on the troops in the ditch and slowly mounted some shock on them.
Now the German infantry was not completely idle. Since firing from the buildings was not working, the infantry - one squad after another, began close assaulting the British tanks. In the process they managed to knock out two tanks of the eight in the traffic jam. This was likely an unrealistic attempt as the infantry began to take hideous casualties shortly there after. The picture below actually captures the swarm covering up two of the tanks quite nicely. And quite deservedly so, I might add. No wonder my little lead guys won't talk to me after a game.
While the RAF was truly "Rarer than Fairies" in the Greek Campaign for the troops, the Luftwaffe proved the same in this game. Their card came up very early in the game and they promptly missed their targets all together. The second time their card came up, nothing came of it either. But this was a cool picture that we can blame on them.
By now, the Second German Tank Platoon was able to recover some of their shock and began to advance down hill to dispatch the infantry in the ditch. The moved well on their way towards that goal.
The German Infantry Headquarters attempted to move to a vantage point where they could overlook the town and aid the heavily engaged tanks.
The German Tank Company Headquarters began to flank the town to finish off the remaining tanks in the town. It was at this point, I ran out of time. The British were able to delay the German advance but not enough to really claim a win. The Germans held the town but were heavily engaged. Both the British and Germans had more reinforcements that had not arrived on table yet. At best, I can claim this as a minor German win. I made several tactical mistakes but did not pay for them nearly as dearly as I should have.
Bottom line, this game was great fun and I wish I could have stayed to play it out to its conclusion. Thanks again Mark!