Sunday, August 10, 2014

Operation Cromwell Play Testing

Jim's Germans v. Rich's British

Rich came round on Sunday morning to help playtest another possible scenario for Operation Cromwell.  This scenario is based on No Retreat - with tweaks to compensate for a 8x6' table.  The Germans had a Panzergrenadier Coy and a Panzer Coy totalling 2500 pts.  The Brits had a Rifle & a Tank coy totalling 2500 pts, plus priority air support.   All Mid War Tunisia.  There were 6 objectives worth 1 or 2 VPs each on terrain features in the German deployment zone.  The Panzergrenadiers were deployed up to 45cm past the table centreline, the Panzers in the rear 30cm.  The Brits started with all their troops within 30cm of their table edge (in foreground of 1st pic). 
The German forlorn hope in & around the farm, of Pak 38's & HMG's was soon over-run, but it bought time for the Panzers to come up & took a few Brits with it.  The Shermans on the right at first attacked the far end of the German line on the ridge, but fell back as the Panzers came up & picked on the observers on the ridge instead.
The MkIVs engaged the Shermans & got a nasty shock when the Ronstans pulled back out of short 75 range and shot back with semi-indirect fire. The MkIV's died, but they did buy the mortars in front of the village time to inflict GBH on the British infantry.
The German mortars were taken out by infantry & artillery & the Brit infantry gained a foothold In the village. The Brit HMGs never recovered from being pinned by mortar fire.  The MkIII's stormed over the ridge in a desperate counterattack.  This time the Panzers got up close & personal & with a bit of help from the 105's it was time for the Shermans to burn.  It was close run thing though, just 3 MkIII's surviving in the platoon.  (The HQ MkIII's are still in the village).
With the British armour & anti-tank destroyed, the remaining MkIII's could run amok & the Panzergrenadiers came out of their foxholes to counterattack.  They soon finished off the British Rifle coy as well.  With both Brit coys broken, it was a 10VP to zero win for the Axis.  However it was a closer battle than that scoreline indicates.   If the Shermans had prevailed in a pretty even shootout, it could well have been very different.  The Brits also made a couple of serious mistakes - they put their portees in range of German HMG's & they gave the German mortars too many good infantry targets.  The British air only killed a couple of tanks, but it severely limited the German's tactics as they didn't dare bunch up their armour.

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