A first for WR’s son Daniel. Daniel ran his first convention scenario at Strategicon-GAMEX over the Memorial Day weekend (sunday). Basic and proven Flames of War 20mm action, the Valmontone Italy 1944 scenario has been played several times between WR and Daniel. Set during the Anzio breakout battles before the entrance of the Allies into Rome, the scenario has the US. 3rd Infantry Division against the tough opponents of the Herman Goring Division.
Scenario map for Valmontone Italy 1944. Each square is 1 foot for 6’x4′ tabletop.
Scenario notes and Allied or German forces has been covered in a previous WR post Valmontone 1944. A previous Valmontone 1944 after action report can be read for a comparison of the basic scenario action. Valmontone 1944 AAR
For the convention scenario game. Daniel made two changes to the tabletop terrain and forces involved. He added one additional M4 Sherman platoon (5xM4) to the American roster and expanded the table width to 8 feet from the basic 6 foot set up. The expanded table width is common for WR’s FOW 20mm scenarios due to the increase 20mm base footprint on the tabletop (+25% adjustment for scenario width). The German entrance points along the Highway 6 were adjusted for the increased table width.
Before the narrative, a quick review of the American and German force deployment. For the Americans, the weight of the assault was placed on the right half of the table. Both M4 Sherman platoons, the M3 Stuart platoon (or M5), the armored rifle platoon in their M3 halftracks and the assault reinforced rifle platoon (in the vineyard). An observer from the M7 Priest battery (center table near back edge) joined the American Company HQ command group in the vineyard building. The remaining reinforced rifle platoon entered the central woods to hold the flank and threaten the German controlled center road junction objective.
The German deployment, completed before any American forces were placed, forced them to cover Highway 6 with interlocking fire zones. With both American objectives placed on Highway 6, one panzer grenadier platoon directly defended their placement, supported by the Pak40 75mm platoon with their anti-tank cannon and the German company HQ. On the German right the other HG panzer pioneer platoon, the NW41 Nebelwerfer rocket battery (6) and the heavy AA 88mm battery (2 cannon). Lastly, on their left, sort of by themselves, the Wespe artillery battery behind the tall hedge. Off table and placed in reserves, the StuG III assault platoon (3) and the mixed Panzer III / IV platoon (4), rolled to arrive each turn at either Highway entrance point 12″ from table edge. Unlike most American or German match-ups, both sides for this scenario are rated confident veteran.
With only six scenario turns, the American platoons must advance quickly across the Italian countryside. No time to sit back and shell the German positions to soften them up. Turn one has the American armor platoons race ahead across the tabletop followed by their armored infantry rifle platoon. The M7 Priest battery ranges in and shells the objective position on Highway 6, covering the German panzer grenadiers and their Pak40 A/T platoon under bombardment. The two American infantry platoons advance forward into the vineyard and central woods respectfully. In the shooting phase, the American tanks opened fire on the concealed Wespe platoon behind the hedge. Three of the Wespe armored 105mm vehicles quickly become burning torches but passed their morale test. Germans mostly stayed low in their prepared foxhole positions during their turn. The Pak40 75mm platoon drew quick blood, brewing up one M4 Sherman. Another Sherman quickly brewed up alongside from the distant 88mm battery zeroing in. No German reserves arrive.
Turn one completed. American opening flank movement with massed tanks, M3 halftrack rifle platoon, and two rifle platoons enter the central woods or vineyard. M7 Priests shell the objective road junction as the American tanks brew up the German Wespe platoon..