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The Introduction

Big IABSM tomorrow with some of the guys from the SLW. Scenario is a Canadian attack, driving to the objective of the main rail line from Caen.

The Canadians will have Kangaroos to transport one company, tank support, artillery with a pre-game stonk, and a few little surprises as additional support.

The Germans will be made up of a reinforced company, with elements of other units grouped as a Kampfgruppe. The problem will be how they decide to deploy. The table is 12 foot by 6 ft, with the Canadians fighting up the length of the table. 

This is by far the biggest game we have attempted with IABSM. My hope is the size of the table will give the Germans depth to deploy , and give the Canadians a lot to think about. The key will be their plan of attack. 

Here is the table set up. 20mm figures etc to be added tomorrow.

The Game

The Big IABSM game was a cracker! Five players slugged it out over the Caen countryside, with the Canadians pushing slowly but surely through the German defences, towards the railway line. The OOBs were as follows:

Canadians

1 x rifle company of three platoons
1 x rifle platoon in Kangeroo carriers
1 x recce troop
2 x Sherman troops
1 x battery of 25pdr off-table artillery support
3 x pre-game stonks

The Germans

1 x rifle company of three platoons
2 x Tiger tanks
2 x Panther tanks
2 x STuGs
1 x recce adhoc formation with a section of infantry
1 x 120mm mortar battery off-table and FOB.

The forces were not too different, but:

  • Allied artillery was far more reliable and easier to get.
  • The Germans had no idea the point of attack, and had to spread their forces thinly, and hold reserves to plug the gaps.

The Plans

The Canadian plan was a two pronged attack, probing for the enemy, and when found, massed firepower deployed against it.

The Germans split the defence in two, dividing the commands, separated by the main road. The infantry company was deployed in a line across the table with pockets of armour further back. The ad hoc Kampfgruppe was held in the rear as a last gasp force to be thrown in if things got nasty.

The Canadian stonks were a huge success (or so it seemed to the Canadians!) with a host of damage done to any forces in the radius of the shells. Rolling three successive sixes also meant three key buildings were also set alight, denying the church, a key farmhouse for defence. Crucially the FOB had lost the church steeple!!

The Action

The Canadian assault went in and made good progress on the right flank, driving halfway up table before getting bogged down in a firefight with the first line, eventually breaching it, but with heavy losses on both sides.

In the centre, the recce unit initially did well and infantry moved in, again halted at the main line of defence, which they never overcame.

On the left, the advance was slow, and the Kangaroo-mounted platoon were ambushed, taking heavy losses. But what of all the Canadian armour? The armour was on the Blind cards, and turn after turn this card failed to come up. They were also out of spotting range, so never auto-spotted, so they just sat there, unable to influence the battle, much to the frustration of the Allied player.

We agreed that despite the Canadian losses, they had in-fact breached the main line and were close to breaking out. The Tigers were still hidden, and the ad hoc unit available, but they were on the wrong side of the table, and with eight Allied tanks still on table, the chances were getting slimmer of preventing the Canadians from winning the game.

Highlights

The Daimler AC engaging a Panther and inflicting enough shock to drive it off!
The Kangeroo troop being ambushed. Three of the four vehicles were ablaze in minutes.

Hopefully this gives you a flavour of the game.

Desmondo Darkin