Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mahrajah 2007 1st Qualifying Final

Jim's Fucilieri v. MarkO's US Rifles - MW FFA

(Started on Tuesday 15/11, with Renfrey as umpire, & finished on Tuesday 20/11).
The table featured a large rough hill at each end of no man's land, a fair bit of scattered cover in both sides rear & a big open space in the middle.
Both sides did their best to try & hide their batteries behind scrub patches & orchards but not entirely sucessfully. The US deployed infantry along the front stiffened with a/tank guns right of centre & HMGs left of centre. The Shermans were tucked behind the hill on their extreme right. The Ities put 2 Infantry on each flank with HMGs & Pak 40s covering the clear ground in the centre.
The battle started with the US digging in while the Ities rushed infantry forward on both flanks. But the Itie advance only went as far as the crests of the two hills and the battle settled down into an artillery duel. Both sides air came regulary. The USAF did bugger all at the start, but got a couple of 105s eventually. The Regio Aeronautica didn't do much either, but their constant attention on the Shermans encouraged them into leaving their hidey hole & this brought them under the template of the very 100 battery that got the KVs at Isdonisgrad (Fearless Vets they are now) - this time they got two Shermans in two salvoes. When the german 105s bailed another, the platoon failed morale to turn the battle decisively in the Itie's favour.
With both sides spead out to provide only one decent target per template it was slow going, but with 3 Vet batteries plus air & mortars, the Ities were clearly in no hurry.
After countless turns, the US had both 105 batteries & their a/tank reduced to 2 guns eachs & the Ities finally made their move. The Guastatori Avantied over the crest supported by Fucilieri & L6s on their right, and an artillery barrage. The US Infantry, battery & a/tank on the US right were overrun leaving the US position outflanked. Mark realised that there was nothing he could do to stop the L6s of doom supported by infantry and massed artillery from rolling up his line & conceded the battle.

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