2 x 1500 pt Coys a side Encounter Scenario.
Jim's Armoured`Recon + Barrie's Italy Vet Rifles
SteveJ & MarkO's Grenadiers.
(Also present: Byron & friend).
On the German right, Mark had Grens, SPAA & 4 Stugs deployed, Grens, Nebles, 2 Tigers in reserve, HMGs attached out.
Steve had Grens, Lt Mortars, 3 Pak 40s deployed, Grens, 105s, Hvy Mortars, Pak 97/38s in reserve + Hs129s.
On the Brit left, Barrie had 2 Rifles, Hvy mortars & 3 Churchills deployed with Rifles, HMGs, Lt Mortars & 2 17pdrs in reserve.
Jim had 2 HQ Cromwells, 3 Cromwells, 4 M10 3" & 4 Sextons deployed with 3 Cromwells, 3 Honeys & Mech Inf in reserve + air.
The Brits immediately attacked hoping to strike before the Pussies came. Barrie pressed straight forward while Jim advanced diagonally to the left to support him. The Stugs stepped out from behind the village to meet the M10s, shot badly & got just one before failing Stormwtrooper & getting mashed by the crowd of Brit armour. Mark was about to be swamped, but his Tigers & Grenadiers arrived in the right place at the right time to meet the attack.
The Cromwells suddenly turned right and threatened Steve's objective. This intercepted Steve's attempt to move troops to support Mark, & Barrie took possession of the objective. The battle could have ended then, but the Tigers managed to stormtrooper to 95mm from the objective to dispute it. Jim's Cromwells then discovered what Panzershreks & fausts could do as their diversionary attack pettered out against the Grenadiers. The Germans continued to get a good flow of reinforcements into the critical spot while the Brit reinforcements were slower to arrive, then had a long slog to the front. The Tigers sat next to the objective systematically destroying the Brit armour as the Brits brought up more troops. Having lost their M10s, they gave up trying to hurt the pussies with pop guns and went for everything else while the 17pdrs were brought up & deployed on a hill with a view of the Tigers. They got 1 Tiger and Mark's command was reduced to 3 platoons all exactly half strength, but it didn't break.
Up 'till now, the Air had neutralised each other, both sides only calling for it when there were specially good targets, or for interception. But the Hs129s did break though twice - once taking out the Cromwell HQ then later taking out 3 HMG carriers. The Brits only used their Hurricanes for interception as their prime targets were always either in smoke or too close to ground troops.
Having driven off the Cromwells, Steve's Grenadiers were now able to support Mark's Tigers, plus his 105s and Heavy Mortars gave more support. The Heavy Mortars were another nasty shock to the Brits when they blew armour apart with their 3 a/t and 3+ firepower. Jim's Coy failed morale but Barrie's last 17pdr managed to pop the last Tiger before the 105s could get it. Steve's Grenadiers got smashed by Heavy Mortars & and fresh Brit Inf occupied the objective in strength to win the battle.
This was an epic struggle which went on 'till midnight. The Brits used their mobility to gain an early advantage but they just couldn't quite nail it against the German uberweapons. The Tigers were expected, but the Panzer%$#%ers, Heavy Mortars & Hs129s were all nasty too. The Cromwell's 100% casualty rate on their first outing wasn't a good start. Their speed was very useful, but the CT rating's a pain - eagerly awaiting the VB book in the hope that the 7th Armoured Cromwells are CVs.