Sunday, July 15, 2007

At some point, somewhere in Russia

I met up with two guys from the local club. I had been asked to bring with me all of my PzIV's and all my infantry!

Søren from the Glory in Russia would this time try the Russians and I would take care of the jerries. The game was set up by Henrik who quickly improvised the forces and terrain. A bring and battle of sorts.

I had a full infantry company with an extra SS platoon in Blitzes. To aid them in the taking of a little russian village was 6 Pz Iv's and 2 StuG's. Some 10 mortars had also found their way to the battlefield along with their buddies of the 10th MG-34 Gruppe. ahem!

Before setting up I asked whether I knew that enemy troops where in wait. Appearently I did. So I opted not to column everything on the road. Good choice! I spread them out over the whole area 12'' from my table edge

I tried to drive my troops forward using every opportunity to move doing so. The idea was that I would hopefully be able to storm some of the positions in the village under coverfire from my tanks. If I was fast enough it would even be with relatively fresh troops.

I quickly ran into some unspotted difficulties.

A pair of AT guns sitting in a bush waiting to get assaulted would be first priority. I had advanced everything as far as it could, and the AT's were hailing my three F2's. I got an infantry platoon up and ready to charge the guns. Unfortunently I drew the platoon card before the armour. I chose to charge anyway, as they were in a bad position and liable to fire from any direction. What I had missed was a little marker behind the AT's. This proved to be a blind with a lot of soviet SMG gunners!

Charging a couple of AT guns

The attack was a scandal! And it saw me throwing out a whole platoon of perfect nazis!

On the other flank things were coming along more nicely. My infatry cooperated well with the MMG position I had set up. All in all the soviets in the field didn't have much of a say in the way things would be going.

Securing the field was slow but steady.

My SS rolled over the bridge to help and assist the wehrmacht soldiers making fools of them selves against the AT guns. The SS quickly made an end of it and brought things back where they should be. Having 4 iniative dice is very very very good!

My tanks had supported the troops very well. Perhaps one would have expected just a tad bit more of them, but on the whole I was satisfied.

We ended the game soon after this - my initial advance - due to time constraints. Two companies on each side isn't over in 4 hours.

Neighboors of Neunkirchen

My men and I had been ordered to go to the outskirts of the village Neunkirchen and assist the engineers there in setting up defences along the new Siegfried line. With all the going on in poland it didn't feel like winning the lottery.

So far a minefield had been laid and two bunkers had been set up. For some reason the trees in front of one of the bunkers hadn't been cleared yet, so there was a very limited use for it. The mines had been laid in large parts of the open area west of us and only the road was kept free so far.

A small hilltop in the near of the first bunker had been designated by the engineers as the best place to build the next bunker. I had ordered two sections out to help assist in clearing the hill. Another section was helping out by the first two bunkers in loading ammo and setting up MMG's. Rest of the company had been sent to Neunkichen town on other duties or leave.

At 8.40 AM out of the blue shells started landing on our bunkers. I didn't last long, and caused no real damaged. We had all fallen flat to the hill not knowing what had been happening.

At 9 AM – 2 hours into our work – a body of enemy troops were spotted in front of the hill top. This came quite unexpected and again we fell flat on the hill, not knowing whether we had been spotted or not. After trying to grasp the size of the enemy force – concluding that it was no more than a section at best – we opened fire hoping to scare them off. My iniatial thought was that a scouting party was trying to get the whereabouts of our new defences.

This soon turned out to be a griveous misunderstating. The ”scouts” opened fire with at least 3 machineguns inflicting many casualties. These guys didn't shoot to wound...

Wild panic spread through the two sections on the hilltop, and strangely no counterfire was coming from our own MG's. I tried to get the men to their senses but I wasn't easy.

I got hold of my communicationsofficer and tried to make contact with Neunkirchen. I requested that the whole garrison be sent immediatly. Further more I inquiered about the three 75mm infantry guns I knew was there. Thankfully they were able to support us without further ado.

It was obvious now that my platoon was facing at least two enemy platoons. A third enemy platoon gave notice of itself when it waltzed directly into our freshly laid mines. Somehow this must have woken up our MG's as they started – at last – to pour some lead over the frenchies.

A ranging shot from the artillery was way off mark and the hauptmann directing it was furious. Meanwhile it didn't matter much as the enemy forces had left the area originally designated. We discussed it briefly and decided to land the artillery about 75 yards from the hill denying the enemy an easy advance towards us from at least one direction.

Soon afterwards the ranging shot landed again, this time spot on! A barrage commenced and to our surprise the enemy was already there. They must have been taking heavy tolls as only little or no protection was at hand some the shelling. A short halt in the firing let through the echoes of soldiers screaming their lungs out in pain. Then the barrage continued and nothing more could be heard.

On the hill things looked bad. The french shooters hardly caused anything but straight out kills. Morale was in free fall. Still we held our position in hope that reinforcements would soon reach us.

When the reinforcements actually got to us it turned out rather disappointing. Instead of the expected two platoons, and that turned up was a scouting vehicle and a single infantry section. ”Madness” I thought. While the 20mm gun of the scout car would definently come in handy it just wasn't enough. Especially not as the appeared to have a tiny little tank with them! I'm no expert on french armour but I believe it to have been a Hotchkiss H-39.

Suddenly things went very fast. The hauptmann directing the artillery took a bullet in the head, causing a minor lapse in the barrage, which again was enough for the french platoon to get on their feet and storm the hill. We were sorrounded. I myself must have taken a bullet too, as the last thing I remember is lying on the ground watching our Sd.Kfz 222 firing relentlessly at the french tank.

When I woke up a few hours later I was told that I had been taken for dead and that we had managed to beat off the french. But just barely. The rest of the reinforcements had indeed arrived and the french had seemed to stop going for it. Just as if their near breakthrough had been unexpected.

Forces used:

1 Sd Kfz 222 in reserve, 4 Infantry sections (All german line. 1 in reserve), 3 MMG's, 1 50mm mortar, 1 Anti tank rifle, 4 big men (all d4), 1 forward observer and 3 infantry guns off table. Two bunkers were available.


1 H-39, 1 HQ squad (Good+), 3 platoons (good), 4 81mm mortars (off table), 3 MMG's, 5 big men.

French had orders to take the bunkers. Both players were promised large amounts of reinforcements that never turned up.

French opening acts

Steen makes a perfect impression of a french general, unalert to Mark,
who with great skill adds some german troops from the "dead" pile. ;-)

The french commanders try to make out "where to go from now?"

One end of the road.

The other end of that road...

A german bunker overlooking the road.

Cats and Mice Around Caen

We (oh well at least I..) decided it was time to try out an all panzer game of IABSM. We had no idea whether it would clog down or work perfectly.. or even if it would work at all!

The scenario was inspired by Operation Goodwood. That means a lot of shermans against some of the wildest cats that jerry's got to throw at them! Terrain: We (me again I think.. hehe) chose to have a rural setup with no buildings and only some crops and a narrow road to show the hand of man. The patches of trees and the lichen blocked LOS.

We played on a 6 x 8 foot table

Jerry: I had loaded my coffin with 2 Tiger 1e, 2 panthers (A+D), 1 Jagdpanther, 1 Königstiger! Three Sd.kfz 250 were my eyes and ears.

British (well not really... Steen has a US army): Steen had 3 Wolverines, 4 scout vehicles (m10?) and 14 shermans with various guns (at least 2 76mm probably more, but I can't recall).


Instead of doing a tedious pregame bombardement (the british gave the area a good haul over before going in) we decided that I would recieve as many dummy blinds as I had regular blinds and deploy them all facedown - resulting in confusion and an utter lack of cohesion. The airraids were so terrible that many german soldiers went mad and deaf by them. The troops I had were the survivors of the raids.

I would then deploy in up to 1/3 of the table, narrow end. Steen deployed opposite... some a foot or so in.


The spotting game was quick and to the point. I caught the wind of a sherman troop beside the crop field and immediatly revealed my königstiger and panther D and started firing. For the sake of the game we decided that 8's were the standard longdistance-no-disturbance-to-hit roll. Unfortunently that was more than I was able to roll with my 6 subsequent attempts.

The shermans tried to move behind the crop to minimize their exposure. All bar 1 made and suddenly the panther D remembered what it was there for and set ablaze the evil sherman.

More spotting went on and Steen revealed another platoon for the sake of getting it out of the place.

Steen spotted my Tiger 1E 434 and my Jagdpanther both guarding the turn on the road. I moved them forward to have them cover the entire road.

My königstiger had a lucky draw of blitzkrieg, dynamischer kommandant and it's troop card and got and started racing up to the crop to engage the hiding shermans. (It can be seen in the background as a silouette above).

An overview of the situation. My panther D got away with the killing of one sherman. My jagdpanther and tiger were waiting to see if the thought of the königstiger would scare the little sherryes out of the bush.

As luck would have it they did come out of the bush! High spirited as always my tanks didn't hit anything right away though.... The shermans had a go at shooting panzers too but made nothing but unpleasent dents.

I suddenly got the idea that my recce units should go forth and investigate the curious activities Steen were having in the woods across the road. I spotted away and tipped over three blinds........

.....which meant that two of my 250's suddenly found themselves trying to find reverse in a matter of nanoseconds as they stumbled upon an entire sherman platoon!

A teabreak followed and both 250's were immobilised. I chose to let the crew surrender as their situation was comletely hopeless.

My königstiger had finally gotten around the corner of the crop field and sent a wolverine to the great scrapyard in the scy. The fight between the tiger/panther and the shermans around the next corner was also going my way.

The panther D that I had deployed next to my königstiger had now fallen completely behind and I chose to drive it through the forest and fields to get up on the road to engage the new sherman troop found on the other side. It had much succes doing so.

Steen had the luck to disable my jagdpanther and scaring the crew enough that they left it abandoned! Bloody tank crews! That was the first "K.O." for Steen.

The Tiger1e and the newly arrived Panther D were having a feast firing at Sherman plt. 3 in the woods. The remains of Sherman plt. 2 that had hidden behind the cropfield were now fleeing the königtiger towards Sherman PLt 3 in the woods. PLT 2 was three down. And lost another one to my tiger.. Down to one tank they reached their friends on the other side.

Up on the road the panther starts firing in to the woods.

In a moment of pure idiocy and bloodlust I sent both my Panther D and my Königstiger into the woods to engage the remains of PLT 3 and 2. What I completely ignored was how obvious a trap that was. From the outside I would have been able to shoot the shermans coming out of the woods piecemeal. Going in there I turned the tables around and allowed the sherries to gang up on my heavies.

Steen was quick to realise his advantage and cluttered my könig in shermans. Sooner or later it had to give away and alas... so it did. Strangely enough it was the frontal attack of the wolverine that got it! While this picture may not look overly historically correct it was both effective and fun... haha!

As it is evident on the picture my panther was next in line to get a beating... and so it got! It was immobilised and guess what? The crew abandoned it as they failed their test! Silly jerry!

My other panther - the A class - was spotted and shot... that was it! Quick business! So much for a brand new model just out of the painting shop... It didn't even manage to take a picture of it on table!

The situation was dire. All I had left was two tigers. While that may not seem dire at all, keep in mind I was trying to stop almost 6 shermans and 2 wolverines still.

I managed to take out two more shermans with the tiger that was accompanying the late Panther A. No photos of that part of the board!

Steen had gotten his overall commander in the rear arc of my yellow Tiger. This was bad I knew so I reversed to point blank of the commander and... missed my shot!

But while that may seem as a good thing for Steen I had backup:

The cards wouldn't let me finish him before he shot the other tiger! But lucky as it may seem I did get to fire at him before tea break. We decided that the outcome of this shot would determine whether it was a draw or win to Steen. I rolled the dice with great anticipation and they came up:


That was it. Quite ahistorical and quite a laugh too. IABSM is actually a really good company level panzer rules set too! It could easily be used for engagements in 6mm or 10mm with 15-30 tanks pr side I believe.

Here's the final overall shot:

Steen had 3 shermans, 2 wolverines and 4 scouts cars left. I had 1 tiger. A winning draw to Steen.

Thanks for a great game.