Monday 21 August 2017

Retreat to Ranville

We managed to fight two scenarios out of the Von Luck campaign today.

The first one is in open farm land and the British are defending this end of the table. Jump off points are in position here after tyne Patrol Phase which marked out "no mans land"

With the British hunkered down, German Panzer grenadiers with their MG42s move forwards carefully

This unit has a tactical marker showing they are making use of what cover there is

Whilst one further back is on overwatch, looking for any enemy to fire at

Knowing how lethal those MG42s are, the lightly armed British paratroopers cannot afford to take risks

A German forward observation officer is accompanying one unit to call down heavy mortar fire should the chance come.

A bren gun tram has been hidden and now ambushes a German unit

Shooting across the road at them

Not much damage done though and the Paras escape

The Germans are pushing on across the fields

One British section does open fire but the return fire soon breaks them up

Despite some shock, the Germans keep coming

The British commander orders a general withdrawal as the Germans reach where the British positions had been

He has to try and save men for the future

Having retreated to the outskirts of Bas de Ranville, the Paras take up positions behind cover

Can they do better this time ?

Confident German troops advance through the orchards

as Half Tracks are heard coming down the road.

A British sniper surprises a machine gun team with accurate fire

Where did that shot come from ?

The MGs on the front of the Half tracks concentrate on a Bren team which fired from upstairs in a building

The infantry have stalled for a moment having taken some casualties

But the British lose then Bren team in the house and another section behind walls so the men are ordered back yet again.

German firepower is ruling the battlefield.

A RN liaison officer manages to get offshore naval gunfire onto the German positions preventing a further push against Ranville for now.

As a result we skip Scenario 3 and will fight No.4 next time.

The lightly armed Paras are having a tough time of it and their casualties are far more than the Germans.

What can they do ?

Find out next time ...

Sunday 20 August 2017

The Paras Have Landed !

Tomorrow, Ian and I kick off the Too Fat Lardies "Von Luck" mini campaign for Chain of Command.

Amid much confusion, with units scattered across the countryside, impromptu Para HQs are established to try and make sense of their situation

Send out patrols men and find out where the Jerries are and in what strength.

Company HQ get the message and orders issued.

Meanwhile, bags are unpacked and wounded attended to.

I think I can spot movement ahead, Sir

Keep your eyes peeled, boys

We've got to defend the landing grounds until the boys are properly organised

Are the enemy coming ?

Find out after tomorrow's first action.

Thursday 17 August 2017

AK47 Africa - Part 3

Well, some more progress has been made with the Popular Front Militia

Here's the force so far

Foot and MG armed Toyota Technicals added to the armour previously shown

Do like those Technicals - seen a few of those in my time in Africa !

More troops should be arriving in the post next week !

Tuesday 15 August 2017

AK 47 Africa Part 2

Forces are slowly building up now.

More buildings made or acquired.

And Militia infantry painted up for General Fyfee's opposition.

Here they are carrying out an ambush from cover of a village

Against a regular army column of vehicles.

Right, back to the painting table !

Sunday 13 August 2017

Chain of Command

Ian Roberts and I had agreed to have a go at Chain of Command as the other lads were either involved in competition games or a practice of the Saga game they are putting on for next month's Essex Warriors Open Day - see the website for details.

Ian won the toss and chose the Germans.  The fight was for possession of a village.

We started with the Patrol Phase where both sides "feel their way" and establish where the front line and no-man's land is, as denoted by the German and Allied markers in the pictures.

The British have managed to get right inside the village and occupy a large house and get a foothold in the gas works.

Both sides then deployed their Jump Off Points for the units to be activated from (denoted by a pile of oil drums or stores).  Each side had three of these.

With the higher Morale (11 to my 8) the Germans move first and Ian deploys a Section with Junior Leader behind a hedgerow.

Back behind the village, I deployed a Bren team adjacent to a Jump Off Point.

I also have a complete section with Junior Leader in the large house with Bren facing out of the upstairs window.

Another British section has moved into the Gas Works and got their Bren team upstairs too.

More Germans are deployed and make their way through an orchard.

Whilst a third unit moves cautiously through a field to get to the cover of a stone wall.

The British Lieutenant arrives and gets his Mortar team set up behind a hedgerow.

This is the view from right of the German positions at this stage.

The British Bren teams upstairs in both the Gas Works and large village house are able to pour down some effective fire on the Germans approaching from right of the village and the orchard.

Return fire is now coming from the orchard.

and the MG term behind the wall.

But from their elevated and protected position, the British are out gunning the Germans. The German Junior Leader has taken a hit in this shot and shock is mounting on the unit as a whole.

To the extent that the Riflemen have broken from contact and the remaining MG team are in no great shape either.

But the Brits are not getting it all their own way and gradually hits are scored on the defenders.

Ian's intact unit on his left have managed to get around the Gas Works uninjured

and pour some devastating fire power into the building, killing and injuring several of the British section.

They then followed this up with a charge which finished off the remaining enemy.
This plus the rest of the defenders of the village house getting killed meant that the British morale had collapsed to zero with two out of three sections wiped out.

Here we see the Germans mopping up around the Gas Works

and a solitary British Junior Leader left in the house seeking a way of escape.

This is the unit which wiped out his men.

Absorbing game which looked as if it would be a British win until the Germans snatched victory with some deadly firepower against the house and a successful charge against the occupied Gas Works.

We both managed to forget to use our Chain of Command dice on occasion but thats because we don't  play the game enough - don't leave it so long next time !