Sunday, July 15, 2007

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).

Deployment:

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.

Game:

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:




PAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

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.


















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