This Flames of war scenario, completely designed by Daniel (son) on his own without any assistance from WR, came as a total surprise to WR. He converted an online electronic game scenario to a suitable FOW scenario, drew up the scenario map below by hand, and decided to use the Ver3.0 “Forces” book, part of the trilogy of books packaged with the MRB FOW V3.0 to create the armies of play. Therefore the platoons involved are basic in the ETO France 1944 format but nonetheless fun to game with. The scenario setting has two forces advancing (encounter like mission), meeting near two central tabletop French villages, one on a hillside, the other atop a hill mound, both villages divided by a waterway. The hillsides are covered with woods or orchard at the hill top, while in the flat land, Daniel placed grain fields, hedges, and low stone walls. Overall a great first effort. The only change WR suggested was remove the waterway, as it will divide the table into two halves. The AAR below represents the non waterway scenario. Scenario length set at ten complete turns on the 6×8′ table. Control more objective markers than your opponent for win placed using standard FOW Ver3.0 placement rules.
Scenario forces: Both 2000 point forces taken directly from the Ver 3.0 “Forces” book. Daniel played the Germans using a Heer Gepanzerte Panzergrenadier company with supports (1990 points). WR used an American Armored Rifle company with support (1990 points).
Heer Gepanzete Panzergrenadier Co. HQ: CoCmd, 2iC SMG teams, 2x Sd Kfz 251/1 [65 pts]. Noted that no panzerfaust or panzerknackers armed teams in use. Two objective markers.
Three Gepanzerte PzGrenadier platoons: Cmd, Sd kfz 251/10, 6x MG teams, 3x Sd Kfz 251/1 each [660 pts].
Infantry Gun Platoon (highjacked from a local Grenadier company I expect): Cmd, 2x 7.5cm leIG18, Obs. team [65 pts].
PzGrenadier AA gun platoon: 2x Sd Kfz 10/5 2cm [60 pts].
Heavy tank platoon: 3x Tiger I E [645 pts]. Ouch!
Artillery battery: Cmd, Staff team, 2x Obs. teams, 4x 10.5cm leFH18 [210 pts].
Panzerspah Patrol: 3x Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma 5cm AC [150 pts].
Limited Air Support: Ju 87G Stuka [135 pts].
For the Americans, WR rostered a standard Armored Rifle company (1990 points) with the following platoons:
Armored Rifle Co. HQ: CoCmd, 2iC Carbine teams, Baz. team, Jeep, M3 H/T w/50 cal. Sherman recovery tank [45 pts]. Two objective markers.
Two Armored Rifle platoons: Cmd, 5x Rifle teams, 5x Baz. teams, 2x M1919 LMG, 2x M3 H/T w/50 cal., 3x M3 H/T w/AA MG each [450 pts].
Armored Mortar platoon: Cmd, M3 H/T w/50 cal., 3x M4 81mm mortar [60 pts].
Armored Assault gun platoon: 3x M8 Scott HMC [105 pts].
Tank platoon: 5x M4a1 Sherman [320 pts].
Tank platoon: 5x M4a1 (76mm) Sherman [470 pts].
Field Artillery: Cmd, Staff team, Obs. team, jeep. 4x M2a1 105mm [140 pts].
Field Artillery: Cmd, Staff team, Obs. team, jeep, 4x M1 155mm [210 pts].
Priority Air support: P 47 Thunderbolts [190 pts].
Deployment: First WR’s deployment. From left to right WR deployed one AR platoon in halftracks facing the hillside village supported by his M8 Scott HMC assault guns. Center position the M4a1 75mm Sherman platoon, the Armored M4 81mm Mortars, then the other AR platoon, in their halftracks to their right. Lastly the M4a1 (76mm) Sherman platoon held the right before the mound village and Daniel’s Tigers. Command wise the CoCmd team went with the left AR platoon, the 2iC team with the right AR platoon.
Daniel’s deployment at scenario start. From left to right he placed his Tigers, backed by the highjacked Infantry gun platoon behind the hedge. Going right two PzGrenadier platoons in their halftracks with CoCmd team, then the AA platoon to provide AA cover for the Pz Grenadiers , Tigers and the artillery battery. Center table found the German 10.5cm artillery. Lastly, up on the hillside near the village the Panzerspah platoon (Pumas) supporting the remaining PzGrenadier platoon plus 2iC team riding in their halftracks.
Turn One: Both sides advanced with the Americans moving first (dice off roll). American WR positioned his 155mm observer in the woods along the central roadway, they radioed in to prepare fire missions on the German artillery next turn. M4a1 75mm Sherman platoon drove past the 155mm battery observer team to prep fire the hillside village while M3 H/T carrying the AR platoon approached the hillside village from within the woods. On the right flank, the AR platoon gunned their M3 motors and raced for the mound village as the M4a1 (76mm) wished they wasn’t here today…. facing Tigers on the other side of the mound hill ridge. No airpower rolled for this turn, we both forgot to check for airpower it seems.
Daniel’s Germans….Tigers crawled forward and eyed the mound village for any targets. Loaded Sd Kfz 251 advanced to unload the PzGrenadiers next turn near the mound village. Up on the hillside, the Pumas entered the hillside village hiding behind building corners while nearby PzGrenadier likewise positioned themselves; WR didn’t take and photos of 1st turn…. maybe because of no action.
Turn Two: The scenario opens up with the crash bang of planes, artillery, and other direct fire weapons. French wine making halts and the locals find cover. WR drives his hillside M4a1 Sherman 75mm platoon along the central roadway and up the hillside just outside the village. There they open fire on roadway Pumas, brewing one quickly as PzGrenadier teams scamper about. Nearby AR platoon slowly grinds its way into the woods to disembark at the woods edge facing the village and hilltop “mansion” building. Keeping his right flank M4a1 (76mm) back for the moment, the other AR platoon disembarks and rushes the mound village. Some edge buildings occupied and the church while also placing teams on the boulder pile besides the church. Stray Germans spotted, some rifle fire to no effect. Meanwhile, the 155mm FOO tries to radio in…. to bombard the German artillery battery seen straight down the central roadway. Darn, the radio doesn’t work… dead battery. Someone left the radio on all night long. As for the US Army Air force, they arrived but thought the German 2cm Flak too menacing so flew down the road to pick on some unlucky truck or two, no doubt written up as a brilliant attack on a major tank column by the pilots.
Tigers rumble forward to base of the mound rise. From there they cannot see the other side of the mound so dead space. Therefore they send a few 88mm rounds into the church while the small 7.5cm Infantry cannon platoon shells the town with several random shells. The leading PzGrenadier platoon, in Sd Kfz 251, arrives outside the village and stormtrooper disembark into the first building row except for the church. Seems the local village priest locked the back door so no assaulting the church this turn. Otherwise the MG teams with Sd Kfz MG support pepper fire the American infantry within their half of the mound village. M1 Garand vs. MG42…. this doesn’t sound good gripes the leading sergeant. Up on the hillside, the PzGrenadier platoon slightly relocates from the Sherman 75mm cannon attention while Pumas look for solid building cover. Seeing the Sherman tanks on the central roadway, the table edge 10.5cm battery opens bombardment. No effect on the Sherman tanks but the nearby 155mm FOO is killed outright while changing radio batteries. Great mutters WR. Where is that Company commander team to call in future 155mm rounds? As for German Stukas, they also went behind the American front lines to bomb a truck or two, or was that a menacing look mule cart?
Turn Three: The hillside village fight picks up in noise volume. The M8 Scott HMC platoon arrives to support the advancing Sherman tanks. No damage done except to fry up a Sd Kfz, but the Germans are truly hiding themselves. The 105mm FOO drives up to nearby “hotel” to register at the front desk, his jeep driver thinks he is totally “nuts” as a firefight is on going outside. The sky is alive with P-47 Thunderbolts, they dive down on the Tigers for no effect, even with re-rolls…everything misses. Anyone seen my cow? asks the farmer.
For the Germans this turn, Daniel increases the pressure in the hillside village by shifting his Pumas up the hill around the “Mansion building”. They open fire on the arriving AR platoon loaded M3 H/T, causing one to disembark quickly as 5cm rounds pass through the thin armor. The 10.5cm battery again shells the Sherman platoon on the central roadway, bailing out one Sherman crew for the moment. At mound village, the rifle and MG42 firepower is keeping American heads down. The Infantry gun battery drops in 7.5cm HE to rub out one team. Then the Tigers advance to ridge crest, fire one salvo, then retire using their stormtrooper capability. One unlucky Sherman crew finds their Sherman on fire, with nice round 88mm holes through the turret wall. While Tigers cover the Sherman (76mm) with fire, the reserve PzGrenadier platoon in Sd Kfz 251 drive up preparing to join the village fighting. All the while AA 2cm crews look for return of the American planes. Cow found in grain field bomb crater… cooked well done.
Turn Four: Seeing the Sd Kfz 234/2 Puma shift position besides the hilltop mansion building, WR disembarks his AP platoon and retires the manned transport M3 H/T further into the woods. Then with the five bazooka teams leading and one manned M3 with 50cal MG, the AR platoon hunts the Pumas. Both remaining Pumas quickly become big game trophies for the bazooka teams. German AA fire drives off the returning P-47 flight, saving another go at the Tigers and no repeated cow bombing. To avoid a repeat Tiger shoot out and retirement, the M4a1 (76mm) Sherman platoon hop over a hedge for partial concealment from Tiger gunners. Sherman 75mm crews look for PzGrenadier lurking about the hillside village buildings, joined by the M8 Scott HMC gunners. On the right flank the firefight duel between American rifle teams and PzGrenadier MG teams with Sd Kfz 37mm/MG support continues. Every wall in the mound village now has bullet holes. Tigers pick off unwary AR bazooka team in the rock pile besides the church after moving up to the ridge line position. A 88mm ricochet shot no doubt. Stukas?…. what Ju 87G Stukas as Daniel sees no aerial support.
Turn Five: Still feeling threatened by the Tigers, WR pulls further back with his M4a1 (76mm) platoon behind another hedge. Trouble is, that uncovers the German objective marker. But the long range 88mm gunners just lick their lips as they pep through their gunsights. Their 88mm can fire 40″ across the tabletop. So WR calls in his Armored Mortar platoon to smoke the big cats hiding behind the mound village ridge line. Smoke rounds land and the Tigers are shrouded in smoke. Above, the P-47 and Stukas tangle, ending up with both sides giving no support this turn.
Up on the hillside the M8 Scott HMC platoon drives into the village to hunt down Germans. Rifle fire and stray bazooka rounds aimed at the mansion building. WR drives his M4a1 75mm Sherman down the central roadway towards the German visible 10.5cm battery. Exiting the woods, the Sherman tanks fan out to engage the 10.5cm howitzers directly. One leFH18 cannon and crew blown up using stabilizer firing.
Daniel wasn’t amused by his artillery being fired upon. Firing back, the 10.5cm gunners blast one Sherman to ruin. At mound village, Daniel prepares his PzGrenadier lead platoon to assault the church while laying down heavy MG and 37mm firepower. Infantry guns add in their 7.5cm rounds to blast one rifle team. The American AR infantry is pinned down. Empty German Sd Kfz 251, with MG blazing bullets, shift into the nearby woods to shoot up the AR platoon holding on there. Meanwhile, the reserve mounted PzGrenadier platoon moves up behind the Tigers, ready to advance and support assault or flank the mound village, mounted in their armored Sd Kfz halftracks. Tiger crews drive forward, out from the smoke cloud to engage the distant Sherman tanks. Not looking so good WR on your right flank.
Turn Six: Return of the planes. Three P-47 dive again on the Tigers. Braving the 2cm Flak and seeing two of his fellow pilots crash, the last P-47 pilot lands a bomb on a Tiger. Scratch one Tiger over the radio net. A cheer from the American tankers and infantry around mound village. Trying to keep the other Tigers occupied, direct fire smoke rounds fired to cloud up the Tiger crew vision.
Up on the hillside WR knows he must advance to take one of the American objective before his right flank totally collapses. Ordering his AR platoon to charge the hilltop mansion, the American infantry surge forward on the run. Just the German FOO team hides in the building. Advance fire pins the FOO, the riflemen charge doorways and windows. A brief fight and the household staff will have some clean up tomorrow morning to do. Consolidation post-assault movement positions the AR platoon around the mansion, no counterattack in the offering.
While WR is running over the mansion position, Daniel is planning his next advance on the mound village fight. American are totally pinned down so PzGrenadiers shift a bit to prepare the final mound village cleaning assault. Meanwhile he must move his 2cm Flak vehicles as those pesky Sherman tanks can engage them with 75mm cannon…or target the 10.5cm howitzers.
On the central sector WR just pounded the 10.5cm battery. Two more 10.5cm howitzers blasted apart leaving the last manned piece to engage the Sherman tanks. This caused Daniel to hide his 2cm Flak vehicles as they could be next. Up the hill, the brave and foolhardy M8 Scott HMC push further into the German held woods
Daniel’s reply is too swift. Before the major attack at the mound village he cleans up his central sector. The last 10.5 howitzer is lucky and blasts apart one more Sherman. Then he opens fire with his 2cm Flak cannon on the Sherman platoon’s rear or side armor. Several hits and one 2cm penetrates thus disables a Sherman. Another Sherman crew bails out. Three burning Sherman = morale test. Morale test rolled… the remaining Sherman crews run away as WR stares at the morale roll of “1”. Cheshire cat grin on Daniel’s face.
Back at mound village the grand attack goes in. Tigers advance to rear of village, blasting either Sherman tanks (two left burning), or American AR infantry teams dug in behind the village. The few remaining M4a1 Sherman (76mm) crews bolt for the rear, exiting the tabletop, and shouting “TIGERS” over the radio net. That’s two tank platoons gone this turn. The rest of the AR platoon suffer loses from bullets or explosive 7.5cm HE rounds landing in their foxholes. Morale test…. they hold on for the moment… barely.
Up hillside, Daniel disembarks his PzGrenadier platoon to hold the objective marker position in the woods. They trade distant firepower with AR infantry walking around the mansion like if on vacation.
Turn Seven: With the right mound village flank crumbling fast, WR needs to secure the German hillside objective before scenario end and Germans have a chance to secure the other German objective at center table crossroad junction. Pluckily AR platoon behind mound village open fire with bazooka teams against any possible German vehicle. Tiger laughs off the frontal hit but a nearby Sd Kfz 251 (empty) brews up besides the rock pile. The 2iC company commander prepares the last stand, digging in a bit to dull the approaching PzGrenadier firepower. Down the hillside the AR platoon advances, spaced out with manned M3 H/T firing .50cal and MG. The M8 Scott HMC fire upon the Sd Kfz 251 H/T to lessen the PzGrenadier MG return fire. One left burning, another temporary bailed out. Behind the front lines WR relocated his CoCmd team to see the mound village area. He tries to call in the 155mm battery long silent during this scenario. Hello….Hello…
Daniel positions his right hillside front lines but fails to entrench his PzGrenadiers. Their MG teams with Sd Kfz 251 fire support causes two losses in the AR platoon while one Sd Kfz 251 seen burning.
Time to crush the mound village defenders thinks Daniel, then drive for the last German placed crossroad junction objective. Tigers directly assault the AR right flank teams to stat the process. The PzGrenadier teams charge forward, building to building, after prep firing into the pinned American AR platoon remains. The fighting is fierce and no quarter given. First the Tigers seek to crush the AP bazooka teams holding the right flank. Two Tigers vs. two bazooka teams is the match up. One Tiger bailed by defensive bazooka fire, the Tiger’s pal crushes a bazooka team. Then two AP rifle teams charge in to support their buddies. The fighting last two more turns with the running Tiger knocked out by a valiant bazooka loader, who replaces two fallen bazooka guys who picked up the weapon. With Tigers knocked out the AP platoon faces the charging PzGrenadiers…. no contest, as the PzGrenadiers sweep the AP platoon to the dead pile then consolidate their forward position around dead American foxholes. Mound village is German controlled territory now.
UP hill, the fighting attracts the sole 10.5cm howitzer who lands a few rounds near the mansion atop the hill. The AP platoon freezes in place, pinned down by the bombardment. Must have upset the drink service as waiters run for cover.
Turn Eight: With WR’s right flank overrun, time is running out before scenario end (ten turns) and Daniel has gained one objective marker (3 to 1) for the scenario lead. So WR must take one American objective to tie up the scenario before Daniel drives over the German crossroads objective. So…. CHARGE!
First WR must remove the pin marker caused by that sole 10.5cm shell bombardment…. failed morale test roll. The CoCmd team is nearby the mansion so the old man orders everybody forward…. crickets….no movement. This is when you need the pistol packing commissar team but America doesn’t let their political officers shoot soldiers. Sigh… stuck for another turn. Still, with the M8 Scott HMC platoon and the stationary AP platoon, WR rakes the PzGrenadier position. Another Sd Kfz 251 left burning but Daniel saves all the PzGrenadier team hits.
Daniel advances his left flank forces towards the crossroad objective but it takes time for the PzGrenadiers to find and mount up. Only the Sherman recovery tank and the Armored Mortar 81mm platoon stand in his path towards the objective. Back on woody hillside the PzGrenadier remove their pin marker and open fire on the stationary AP platoon. Another two M3 H/T burn from the 37mm cannon (Sd Kfz 251/10) or another 10.5cm artillery bombardment landing near the mansion (registered target now). Both sides are losing teams…. the hillside woods firefight may not have any winner.
Turn Nine: With the right flank gone or exiting the tabletop (mortar platoon), only calling in the 155mm artillery battery can slow the German advance towards the crossroad objective. A salvo lands around the remounting PzGrenadier teams, bailing one Sd Kfz 251 again, and pinning the entire tired platoon. On the hillside WR must defeat the stubborn PzGrenadiers from the American objective marker. Rolling to unpin the AR platoon, the morale test is passed. Prep fire given, the PzGrenadiers are pinned again. Time to soften up the defense with a M8 Scott HMC charge to dislodge the infantry. The M8’s drive forward, bog checking their way forward, and crash into the PzGrenadier defensive line. Bullet and rifle grenades have little effect and no panzerfaust to be had. Not even a simple panzerknacker grenade bundle. One round of combat and the PzGrenadiers retire further downhill into the woods after failing their tank terror test to counterattack.
Knowing that turn ten is the final scenario turn, Daniel rallies his PzGrenadiers and charges back up the hill into the M8 Scott HMC platoon. M8’s have no hull or coax MG, a weakness… but they have the AA .50cal mount if the tank commander mans the heavy MG. His sole 10.5cm piece again bombards and pins the AR platoon at the mansion. Push back the M8 platoon and he will contest the objective marker thinks Daniel. The surge of PzGrenadiers dart around trees till the last 50 yards. Then the tank commanders pop up and open fire with the .50cal MG. Nine shots rips gaps in the PzGrenadiers and they totally scatter from the battlefield. His bad luck continues since the other PzGrenadier platoons are struggling to clear the mound village position or remain pinned by 155mm bombardments. Scenario ends with each player controlling one objective. Daniel cannot physically drive the distance now to reach the crossroads in one turn (10th)…. so a scenario draw result when counting objectives controlled.
Scenario end: A close running scenario. WR was almost taking company morale tests since he had lost half his platoon number (3 out of 6 platoons). Daniel wasn’t close but several platoons were under 50% losses (3 out of 8 platoons). Final tally at scenario end:
German losses: Entire Tiger, one PzGrenadier, and Panzerspah (Puma) platoons. Daniel’s on board artillery battery reduced to one 10.5cm howitzer, and the light AA lost two 2cm vehicles. One PzGrenadier platoon reduced just under half strength at scenario end (pounded by 155mm battery). For the Americans; WR really had no force left. One AR platoon, two Sherman platoons lost completely, and the Armored mortar reduced to one running M4 81mm. His remaining AR platoon was a bit shot up but holding the mansion position., waiting for drink service. Only the off board artillery batteries and M8 Scott HMC platoon escaped loss.
A great scenario Daniel and special thank you for arranging the game. As this AAR completes the reports on FOW gaming for YR2020, next up will be the final unreported Ancients Clash of Empires Battle of Daras, staged on January 2nd this year.
Cheers from the warren during a California rain storm.
During YR2020 WR staged a June 6th (D Day) game day of small table battles. No AAR write up as the play action went unrecorded. But for ending out YR2020, here are a couple of photos taken that day in June.