Friday, October 10, 2014

Tough 'Ombres

Well, I'm officially going to bug out of my New Year's resolution to get through all of the Citizen Soldiers briefings within the year. I'm still keen on it, so I'll get them posted as I arrange and play the games as I can squeeze them in, it's just not going to happen before year's end. Oh well!

I had intended to post the games in historical order, but with the demise of all hope on the Resolution front, I want to post up this game that Steve MacLauchlan and I played waaaay back in January. So, here's a little past battlereport about a past battle in Normandy, over 70 years ago!

The game is set in Normandy on D+1. The 4th Infantry has made the assault and the 90th Infantry Division has taken over the offensive from the Ivy men, keen to test their mettle. The story of the "Tough 'Ombres" in Normandy is one of disappointment and debate, but I wanted to field these troops for myself and see how they perform on the Flames Of War battlefield.


Steve stepped up to command the Germans. I set the opposing force as a Grenadierkompanie from Atlantik Wall (pg. 140) and offered Steve some historical guidelines, including the use of Beute Panzers and what types of Marders to use.

I drew up my list using the Citizen Soldiers PDF supported by historical cast platoons, including my favorite TD battalion: the 899th. I also had some glider troops to simulate the presence of the 82nd Airborne Division. Otherwise, it was a mass of Reluctant Trained troops! To keep the model count down on both sides, we went with 1400 points each (coincidentally each coming up to 1395!).

709. Grenadierdivision
- Steve MacLauchlan -
(Confident Trained)
Grenadier Company Points
HQ35
  add Panzerschreck20
  add 2x 8cm GW34 mortars40
Grenadier Platoon130
  add Panzerfaust SMG10
Grenadier Platoon130
  add Panzerfaust SMG10
Grenadier HMG Platoon100
  add Panzerknacker SMG5
Grenadier Anti-tank Platoon
(with 3x PaK40)
120
Grenadier Scout Platoon85
  add Panzerfaust SMG15
Beute Panzer Platoon
(with 1x Panzer III J, 4x H-35)
150
Beute Panzer Platoon
(with 1x Char B, 4x H-35)
145
Grenadier Heavy Artillery Battery (with 4x 15cm sFH414)195
  add trucks5
Rocket Launcher Battery
(with 6x Nebelwerfer)
200
  add half-tracks5
Total Points1395
90th Infantry Division
- Mike Haught -
(Reluctant Trained)
Rifle Company Points
HQ10
  add 2x Bazooka20
Rifle Platoon120
Rifle Platoon120
Rifle Platoon120
HMG Platoon90
  add 2x Bazooka20
Mortar Platoon (with 4x 81mm)75
Anti-tank Gun Platoon60
  add 3x Bazooka 30
I&R Platoon60
Veteran TD Platoon
(Confident Veteran, with 4x M10)
370
Glider Rifle Platoon
(Confident Trained)
155
Field Artillery Battery
(Confident Trained)
140
  add trucks5
Total Points1395

The mission is Hasty Attack, with Steve's grenadiers defending. We thought this reflected the nature of the 90th's operations immediately following D-Day.

My center platoon with the mortars and some attached HMGs. The TD jeeps are tucked away in there as well.

My left platoon, bolstered with some HMGs.

Center platoon moves up to the tree line.

My right flank platoon arrives from Reserve and moves at the double.

Steve's Beutepanzers arrive and push up the middle, inflicting casualties on my center platoon. His Nebelwerfers pin down my newly arrived right platoon, causing damage and pinning them down.

With the help of my CiC, the center platoon pushes on. The TDs ambush and engage the Beutepanzers.

The M10s knock out an H-35, but otherwise fail to use their powerful guns properly (wiff!).

The center presses on, but the right flank remains pinned down. The TDs knock out another Beutepanzer.

The center is pinned down with nebelwerfer and beutepanzer fire.

The last beute H-35 is finally knocked out and the Panzer III is bailed out. Still the platoon refuses to die!

Meanwhile the Glider platoon arrives and takes over for the stalled right flank platoon.

Center platoon rallies and finally puts an end to the beutepanzer menace.

The right flank moves up to contest the objective, but are pinned down within a stone's throw!

Steve's PaK40s arrive and engage the M10s

An M10 is lost to the PaKs!

The arrival of another beutepanzer platoon threatens the M10s, bailing one out in the side, despite one-man turrets on the move!

The captured French tanks run afoul of return M10 fire and the arrival of the 57mm anti-tank guns.

The glider platoon pushes forward and captures the objective after a short but sharp assault.
The game ended as a 5-2 victory for the Tough 'Ombres. Clearly, we caught them on a good day here! However, the credit must go to the non-divisional assets, like the M10s of the 899th TD and the glidermen of the 82nd Airborne, so the jury is still out! I'd like to try them again sometime soon.

It was great to play Steve and am very happy to have had the chance to include him in my Citizen Soldier project! Thanks to Steve for the game all those many months ago!

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