Been a busy gaming rabbit for the first month of 2017. Apart from two napoleonic training games in the warren and Bob’s napoleonic game in Redondo Beach, WR had the opportunity, with his son Daniel, to join fellow gamers at MunsonCon II. The featured game was Dan’s 28mm Bolt Action modified (BAm) game on the soil of Normandy 1944. Scenario background had the Americans advancing then encountering a local German counterattack near St. Lo (Normandy). Since the 25/28mm napoleonic training games kept WR busy from photographic opportunities for those scenarios, this report of the BAm scenario shall cover WR January effort to document different gaming locations in the Southern California (Los Angeles) region, i.e. the local events outside the warren.
The St. Lo (Normandy 1944) BAm scenario has Americans vs. Germans walking the tabletop down the central country lane. American regular force consists of the following OOB (Andy and Daniel): Company HQ leadership with sniper, bazooka team, medic, and radio net and two rifle platoons (PL, SSgt, runner) of three squads each (SL, Cpl, six riflemen). A small detachment of combat engineers ( SL and three engineers) lugging their trade goods with the American advance. Providing close tank support for the infantry are a Sherman M4a3 and Stuart M3a1 while off table, back in the rear lines, two medium M1a2 105mm howitzers stood by on call while during their laundry.
German regular counterattack force OOB (Paul and WR): Company HQ leadership with PzFaust and Panzerschreck teams, SSgt, message runner, and medic. Two rifle Zug (platoon) having Lt, Sgt, runner, and sniper) with three squads consisted of SL, Cpl, Mg42 team and four riflemen each. A small pioneer team rounded out the German infantry component (SL, Cpl, 4 engineers with demo charges and Flammenwerfer). On board mortar support provided by a GrW 36 section (two 81mm mortars and FO). Backup armor support includes a Panther Ausf A and PzJgr Marder I to terrorize the Americans with rumors of “Tigers”.
Basic deployment notes: American deployed their Company HQ along the road edge, one platoon on each side of the road (in the fields), and had their Stuart advance down the roadway. The M4a1 Sherman deployed with the left platoon, planning to crush the bocage and making gaps for the infantry to advance though. Off table 105mm howitzer crews awaited the first radio call to sight their cannon. The Germans likewise deployed one Zug (platoon) on each side of the road, kept the armor off table for later arrival on the road, and prepared the hedgerow corner with demo charges, to blast a gap, for possible later armor movement into the large open field. Lastly, their 81mm mortar detachment set up on the low-rise behind Paul’s Zug lining the forward hedgerow to the right of the road. Table size is 6′ x 4′ for the scenario.
The day’s photographic effort tells the 28mm Normandy BAm scenario story. Remember that all WR blog photos are 2MB in size, and by clicking on the actual photo, you can expand and enlarge the picture. So… to the report filed by the attached war correspondent photographic teams.
So the first three turns are completed…. no general firing yet except for the Stuart machine guns cutting down two German soldiers in the left woods (poking out the woods lining the roadway). The German engineer squad finishes up their wiring the corner bocage position for explosive blasting (to allow the tanks to enter without trouble). Paul’s German Zug lines the long hedgerow position overlooking the large field, containing a central low-rise, while creating firing “silts” in the dense hedge to fire into the open field.
Several turn rounds of cautious movement have been completed, the contestants are now near to each other, so the next movement should bring combative action. The Stuart moves forward around the road bend….
Suddenly stopped before the larger German Panther, the fools manning the Stuart fired a wake up 37mm shell at the Panther. Bouncing off the frontal plate paint, the German turret (75mm) slowly traverses to bear on the smaller American Stuart. Thinking fast… the Stuart commander said “floor it” to his driver. Staring wide-eyed at the German beast before him, the Stuart driver missed his gear as the 75mm shell sailed over their tank deck. Looking down the road, the surprised Marder I crew added their 75mm shell to the missed collection total, while the Stuart crew unlocks all hatches for quick exit.
Turn five turns into wild scenario action at Center House and the nearby road bend. While the Stuart brews up in spectacular fashion another loud explosive blast is heard back near the German lines. The German engineer team has laid their charges and blasted a gap in the hedgerow.
Going into Turn six the action level rises at Center House and the exchange between the Marder I and the Sherman becomes “personal”. First the Marder I fires and truly sends the shell over the Sherman (rolled a 1). The Sherman replies…. with another rolled one for total miss. Maybe the burning Stuart has the Sherman crew rattled….. shouts of a “Tiger…. then silence on the radio net.
At Center House the G.I. rush the stone wall with a brave squad. German rifle and machine gun fire cuts down one G.I. Bayonets, grenades, and rifle butts swing over the low stone wall. Bitter rounds of combat cause severe losses on both sides till the American win the savage fighting. One German squad destroyed.
A brief lull as Andy’s left flank platoon cross the open ground and line the low stone wall with two squads. A third squad becomes a reserve behind the low ground rise. Peering over the stone wall, the American riflemen send bullets into the distant hedgerow position occupied by Paul’s Germans. Calling in the artillery, the American FO directs spotting rounds near the stationary Panther astride the roadway near Center House.
Turn seven rolls around and the Panther uses it machine guns to rake the woods. One G.I. was caught in the spray of bullets as the bazooka team dives for cover. The Sherman beats the Marder I crew reloading their 75mm cannon. Sending the shot downstream, the Sherman 75mm shell tears into the lightly armored Marder I, destroying the vehicle completely. Meanwhile Andy’s platoon deploys two squads along the low stone wall and trade shots with lurking Germans across the open field.
German revenge is swift. The panzerschreck team draws a bead on the Sherman turret poking over the low-rise. The rocket shell speeds away….. a flash, and then the American ronson effect takes over…. break out the tea and hot dogs.
With most of the armor flaming wrecks now, the American artillery registers their shells at the bend T junction. Sitting pretty is the Panther Ausf A. Shells rain down… closer to the Panther. Seeing and hearing the shell blast damage too late, the Panther is hit by a 105mm round. With sudden blast, the Panther is wrecked watched by the nearby German infantry diving for their own lives from the shellfire. So much for armor during this scenario.
Turn eight as the Americans prepped to go in again. The first squad charges forward. Another bloody brawl over the wall like the first one, equally as savage with grenades, bullets, and bayonets. Four American laid low with two Germans bleeding out their lives. Losing the fight, the American squad bolts for the rear. Seeing the disordered before them, the reserve engineer squad hop over their rear wall and charge forward to the forward position’s open left flank. With Flammenwerfer leading, with bombers close behind, they stop at the forward wall and open fire with flame and tossed grenades.
Turn nine opens with the German counter-attack to clear the woods. First the engineer squad advance to heat up the American platoon command staff.
Having removed the last American defenders from the woods, the platoon command group and bazooka team, the victorious but battered German squads advance to clear the remaining woods and deal with the sole sniper.
Turns eleven and twelve go quickly. Paul holds up his advance across the open field, instead lies behind the low-rise for the moment while WR’s Zug clears the woods and threatening to flank Andy’s new position across the roadway.
Andy, seeing that the Germans will not immediately attack piecemeal, figures it is time to bug out while the going is good. Scenario ends at this moment before WR’s German Zug (platoon) can outflank Andy’s position then charge forward in combined assault with Paul’s fresh squads crawling up the low-rise behind the stone wall.
Great Normandy scenario with the bloody action at Center House. Daniel almost overwhelmed WR’s defensive line with his bold charges before reinforcements could arrive. Thank you Dan for hosting the scenario and fellow gamers tossing dice…. Andy, Paul, Dan, and Daniel. Look forward to the next 28mm BAm outline in a month or two after the LAX OrcCon convention (Feb 17th to 19th). At the convention WR and Daniel are GM’s for the FOW 20mm Calore River crossing – Salerno 1943 and the French Republican Battle of Gaza 1799 scenarios.
Terrain and 28mm Germans assembled, painted, and based from the collection of Dan. The 28mm Americans painted and based from Andy’s collection. The Bolt Action rules used are modified by the San Fernando Valley Gamers (SFVG) group (Dan is member) and if interested in joining WR, Daniel and other in some 28mm BAm future scenario, please contact WR directly so I can forward your interest to the SFVG and Dan himself.
Cheers from the warren press desk.