Friday, 4 November 2016

Battle Report - 17 Oct 2016 - IABSM "Caught With Their Pants Down"

The last wargame I played with Nick, in fact: the photos are his.

Usual in-a-rush-so-not-figuring-out-forces setup - US company (3 platoons, HQ with 2 bazookas, 2 mortars, two MMGs), vs the 'classic' IABSM depleted German company (3 platoons, two of which only have two sections) + HQ (2 tripod '42s) and an off table 81mm mortar battery. The US had 3 M4 Shermans, the German's a Jagdpanther.

I took the Germans, deploying (on blinds) one platoon dug in along the edge of the wood centre left, a platoon and an MG42 along the hedge to the centre right, and leaving one in reserve in the farmhouse at the crossroads with the other MG42, along with the Jagdpanther to cover the road.

And it all went horribly wrong.

As you can see in the first picture, there's a US blind making its way up the road. "No problem" thinks I, that's at least two moves up the road. I try and fail to spot it behind the bocage.

The card sequence from here went, as I recall it, "Allied Blinds" "Tea Break", "Allied Blinds". And suddenly, with some decent dice rolling for movement on the part of Nick and Carl running the Americans, the blind is revealed as a full platoon, and it's literally right across the hedge. In close combat range.

Let's just say that getting caught with your pants down (we suspect literally?) by a full platoon is not pretty. What didn't get engaged in close combat, of course, made it into the activation deck for the next turn, and you get a free guess which card of "Allied Platoon 3" and "Axis Platoon 2" came out of the deck first...

Meanwhile, over by the hedge on the other side, there was a lively firefight going between the Allied platoon 1 and the Germans lining the wood. And at least the German FOO woke up and called in 81mm fire on the preregistered target (you wonder WHY that house looked a bit wrecked by the side of the road?). At least we got the US pinned down a bit there until they managed to pull out of the fall of mortar rounds.

Sadly, it didn't go well from there. I decided to pull back the remaining advance platoon to the second hedge line (the L-R road) from the wood, and unfortunately, half of it got caught by some rapidly advancing Americans. And that, as they say, was that.

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