My morning game at OML6 was Noddy's game of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum! The scenario was a situation from the Battle of Bulge: the Germans' last ditch attempt to drive back the Allies by sending everything they had left in a attack through the Ardennes.
I was one of the players running the Germans, and our mission was a real pig! Starting off in the corner closest to the camera in the left-hand picture, above, we had to cross the bridge into the main town, and then exit the table along either of the two roads leading off to the left. We knew there were Americans in the other two sets of houses (off to the left and near the red chair) and that they would receive reinforcements.
Our initial force was divided into two. In front, I commanded a platoon of elite recce troops with two LSWs per squad, a platoon of average infantry, and a platoon of three Panzer II recon tanks. Behind me, my partner in crime commanded two platoons of infantry with a couple of MMGs, and two Panzerjaeger IVs.
Our strategy was simple. We would initially ignore the Americans on the left, counting on the inertia of their players to leave them where they were rather than intervening on what we were doing, and concentrate our entire force on the rest.
In terms of tactics, my plan was to place my elite troops as a firebase in the houses overlooking where the Americans were, and then send my other infantry platoon through the dense cover on the right to get into position to assault when the enemy was properly softened up.
Let's see what happened:
And that's where the morning session ended.
To my mind, I had carried out a textbook assault on the houses in the centre of the table. The platoon there had been pinned and battered by concentrated fire from my fire base. The unexpected Sherman had been quickly taken out by one of my two Panzerschrecks. The only problems had come from the three jeeps of the US Company HQ who sported a .50 cal and two .30 cals between them. They wiped out one of my assault platoons squads before being driven back or KO'd.
As for the rest of the table, as predicted the other Americans just stayed where they were, spending the entire game trying to spot a couple of Dummy Blinds through the fog. We were already hammering them with MG fire and were about to start pounding them with HE from our reinforcement Panzer IVs...and had two untouched infantry platoons available to assault them in due course.
As for their reinforcement Shermans: they had got themselves into an awkward position where they couldn't advance across open ground and couldn't see anything to shoot at. Our hull-down, shoot-n-scoot Panzerjaegers had already killed one of them, and would have knocked out the others pretty damn quickly as well. If they didn't, well we had five Panzer IVs who could.
All in all, a pretty good show from the Germans!
How do I know? Well, in the evening I was sat next to one of the chaps who played the Americans in the afternoon session. When he found out I'd played the morning game, he was all ready to become furious with me if I'd been playing the Americans as, to quote, they'd left a right mess for him to deal with!
A great game and great umpiring and set up from Noddy.