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Holien

ROW II - Emville Exit - Spoliers Within Keep the Exit closed

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Now this was fun....

One of the better scenarios and had plenty of choices to make.

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H

AAR – Emville Exit (aka Chicken Run)

Holien vs The Capt

Well another nice map, two roads running down the centre of the map to a town called malice… The one on the right is a secondary road and sunken. The one on the left is a main road and raised up.

The task to get as many of your troops and vehicles off the end of the map. Of course your brief says that there will be light resistance and the track marks spotted from the air will just be ½ tracks. ROFL.

Now the town at the end of the map has wooded hills to the left and right with some good LOS on the roads. On the left flank there is a large patch of woods jutting out and apart from that there are cornfields and walls.

The first troops I get do not have to exit and these are the ones to trigger any ambushes, which of course there will be plenty.

I get three Greyhounds, three M20’s with the powerful 50 cal, but limited ammo load and two platoons of M3 carried infantry with attached zooka teams. One of the M3’s in each platoon, is the version with a 50 cal.

The plan is to use the two platoons split to check out the woods at the end of the map and then move into town. On closer examination of the map there are some undulations which will allow me to get close to the town without exposing myself too much.

On the left flank there is a nice dry river bed through the corn fields and this comes up right in front of the left most section of the wooded hill.

So I send two M20’s and a Greyhound off to the left with a platoon and the remaining force down the sunken road on the right. I am going to give the raised road a miss. Mind you in hindsight the sunken road was a sure bet and the Capt had that covered.

Well the ground being dry meant that my force cutting across the fields on the left sped over to the woods in the middle of the map. This was a mixture of light trees and more solid cover towards the edge. I cut through this to try and mask my move.

As I traversed this section the alarm bells went ballistic when I heard enemy armour moving around up ahead of me. The troops jumped out of the ½ tracks and went on a little hunt. As it turned out there were two solitary Stugs with no Infantry support.

Shortly after sending my recon force out that way I had the first of the forces that have to exit, a troop of five Shermans, two with 76mm guns which does not bode well. I sent one with a 76 and another 75mm upto support the left flank while the remaining three followed up the right road.

By the time the Stugs had been spotted these two Shermans were fast approaching. As it happened, my zooka team managed to nail one of the Stugs and the other tried to bolt for cover in the cornfield. It failed to make it as one of the Sherman’s shot it side on. Excellent progress, two Stugs for a few infantrymen.

Meanwhile on the right things were not going as well.

The force I had sent up the road had reached the first small flag, which was in a small hollow in the road. An ideal ambush position. I dropped a squad split them and advanced them either side up the road for a quick check on the position. Good job two minefields were spotted and a couple of HMG’s opened up.

One squad lost several men and was pulled back the other tried to rush a HMG and was mowed down. I brought up the newly arrived tanks and proceeded to blow up the HMG’s. In the process of doing this I unloaded another full squad and moved it up to the HMG foxhole. Bang 12 men dead as a couple of German Infantry squads opened up.

Hmmm this is now slowing me down. Bang a Zhreck opens up and nobbles a Sherman and a ½ track, which had moved too far forward. I move the Shermans into better positions and pound the hell out of the position. Another Zhreck opens up and yet another Infantry squad (presumed to be the HQ unit).

By this stage my advance up this side is stacking up and I have received another platoon of infantry in ½ tracks and 5 more tanks. All of which I have sent down this road. Several more turns pass and I am having an effect his troops break and I rush the position with the ½ tracks and A/C’s. This discovers another Zhreck and Infantry section but with fortune on my side they do little and without the HQ unit they soon break.

The game is nearly half way through and I have only covered half the map. The force on the left is now rushing through the cornfield and down the dry riverbed. The M20’s lead with the Grey hound following then the ½ tracks and Shermans. I have a couple of split squads on the A/C’s ready to jump off at the first sign of trouble.

Trouble hits just as my first M20 moves through the lightwoods. It drives on top of a hidden AT gun and takes it out just before it is nailed by a 20mm gun slightly further back. This gun then nails the following two A/C’s and the split squads jump off.

The following Shermans nail the 20mm but the damage is done. My remaining infantry dismount and start their march through the trees clearing out any potential traps with the remaining ½ tracks and Shermans following. It is at this stage I discover that the AT gun was a crack unit and I have been very lucky. I also discover an extra foxhole without anything in it. Hmmm I wonder who lives in this hole?

I soon discover a HQ unit further along and he soon succumbs to the might of my depleted platoon and ½ tracks. It is at this stage I spot a tracked beast in the town. Now there is a surprise a JdgPIV mk 70. Nice. Now things like that go in pairs, so where is the other one?

On the right my force has to skirt around the mined road and then continues up to ridgeline which shelters me from direct view from the town. It is at this stage I need to send my recon platoon, what’s left of them (1 squad, zooka and the HQ unit) off to the far right. They can then get into the cover of the woods and work through the tree line and clear out any guns.

The damaged Greyhound with the broken gun (Zhreck damage) makes the dash first then the ½ tracks and then the remaining Greyhound. Bang, all hell breaks lose and I lose a Sherman and the following Greyhound. Three guns have opened up on me. Listening to them I would say two big guns and another 20mm.

In reality this ambush should have put paid to me, but the AI failed to pick and stick with targets and did a good dance routine. The remaining Shermans (with the extra 5) unleashed a hail of fire on the guns and they soon fell silent. This small action was helped by me running my vehicles at a diagonal across their LOS at speed. The guns failed to track the targets and were overwhelmed with choices.

My HQ unit and single squad start clearing the woods followed by the ½ tracks and soon two Shermans which make the dash to the tree line. This gives me three angles of approach and should mean that I should get side shots on the two tanks in the town. The only issue now is how many infantry and what other AT weapons.

Well the battle for the town goes well for me. The Capt did not have much of a chance as with my approach I had the town surrounded and with the fire power of the ½ tracks and Shermans nothing could stand up to the combined arms.

The last two tanks put up a good fight but only managed to tag a couple of Shermans which I had poorly placed and were finally put paid to by my remaining Shermans. A lone Zherck popped up and was soon mowed down as he was out in brush and very exposed.

The game ended with auto surrender and the remaining Germans throwing up their hands.

The key point to my success was the speed with which I dispatched the AT guns, luck and skill. The loss of the two Stugs for nothing and the way I surrounded the town. Any Allied player that hits the town head on without trying to flank it will get a very bloody nose.

The Capt’s 1st ambush was a good one but I would have done it slightly different if set up had allowed. The HMG’s should have been further back, or not there and in the town.

Result a Tactical victory to the Allies.

Germans---------Allied

130 (31)--------82 (17)

2 Mortars

20 Captured

5 Guns

4 Vehicles------12 Vehicle

Men OK

4---------------258

Score

31------------ 69

[ December 15, 2002, 05:54 PM: Message edited by: Holien ]

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This one was well done...I suffered a tactical defeat as allies.

I initially went up both roads. After spotting the Stugs on my left, I sent infantry, a zook, and greyhounds through the trees, then went after them with those forces and Shermans from the road simultaneously. One was gun damaged, both retreated. I pursued, but they were able to break LOS down the dry riverbed. I continued after them rather incautiously, and advanced up both roads, rooting out German opposition without too much trouble.

Then the Stugs reached the end of the map, and all hell broke loose. Most of my opponent's guns were on that side of the map, and I lost all my pursuing tanks, and the tanks on the left-hand road, and some halftracks and trucks to them, the Stug that still had a gun, and the Jagdpanzers. Well-set trap, and I ran headlong into it. No mortars set up to help with the guns, or anything.

He did lose most of the guns, and the gun-damaged Stug. My mortars took out the rest of the guns on this side. But without tanks, I could not continue up the left-hand road with my vehicles. (some infantry I'd dismounted continued to advance, though.)

I continued up the right-hand road, and diverted trucks that way. Possibly this was a better route of advance from the beginning? Sunken road gives few opportunities for long-range sniping at my trucks and halftracks.

Eventually I reached the village, got some troops into the trees by the right map edge at the price of four more halftracks (unexpectedly whacked cross-map by the Stug, which got one hell of a kill list). The German infantry seemed kinda brittle. The Stug got greedy, came over to the right-hand road and got whacked by a 'zook. My remaining 3 tanks took out the jagdpanzers. Luck and I finally did some maneuvering right.

Game almost over, though. Broke through all along the right side of the village, and managed to exit my remaining tanks, and the platoon that got into the woods. Most of the trucks didn't get up in time, though - I'd had 'em hang back until I took out the enemy tanks, then moved up over open ground, not road. The one that did got took out by infantry fire.

I hadn't played a lot of exit scenarios, and I think I figured out what the deal is while playing this game. The road to success isn't really reaching the exit zone, any more than you start with flag location in other scenarios. In both cases, the first thing is to destroy the enemy, after that you can take flags or exit units.

I don't think there would be any way in this scenario to exit the bulk of my forces without first crushing my opponent's, probably to the point of auto-surrender. Assuming that the opponent's trying to block your exit, and not hiding in a corner. Even to exit a little, I had to destroy most of his forces, including all tanks and guns.

I know in CMBB after auto-surrender you're credited with exiting any surviving units that are eligible to exit, not sure if that's true in CMBO.

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This was my favorite scenario and only one where I could do my favorite mission, Attack!

When you attack, you always have the ball in your corner. You decide where you want battle to take place and defender tries to guess where you're coming from.

I chose to ram trough the right side road (from allied view). I'll post my AAR to later, but let me say that in this scenario I did my best and luckiest move with my greyhound. I will remember it for a long time. I did drove it to the end of the map and took out a JdgPIV with side shot from 20 metres or so...

Left road is too risky IMO. That is why I concentrated only on the right side and it paid off. It's hard for a defender to defend only one side (unless defender takes a risk and place troops only one side).

Later,

Ali

[ December 18, 2002, 02:35 AM: Message edited by: Ali ]

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Ali, by going up only one side, did you have problems with bypassing enemy forces that then attacked your convoy from the side? Troops in trucks or even halftracks can be pretty vulnerable...

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Hi Frunze!

Good point! Yes there where troops at the side (okay, they were in the middle, but side of the right side road), but they were given away when they tried to shoot my HT's. Even a Shrek couldn't fire at the Halftracks coz they where driving too fast. Not a single shot was fired.

Trucks came in so late, that they were out of the danger zone. I already had scouted right side at that time.

Cheers,

Ali

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EmilVille Exit AAR - Chuck "vadr" Grimes (German)

Setup -

Something of a classic situation: An American advance, west to east across a long map. The German defenders have reasonable fields of fire. Terrain items of note include a southern, secondary road which is sunken, running parallel to the main highway W-31. Heavy woods in the North center of the map, with a wheatfield to the east of them. The sunken road to the south is surrounded by wheatfields and brush, in an area segmented with stone walls.

I don't think he'll send his light elements in force down that sunken road. They can't cross the stone walls, it's a real killing zone for light armor. The heavys can do it of course, but bog percentages are higher. Really, there is just one narrow chokepoint which his light armor can use; right down W-31. I've covered this with my 20mms, and am counting on them to do good execution. I've elected to trade space for time and concealment. I am making only a token defense of the two western-most VL's, and will concentrate on defending the town and the immediate approaches to it. This gives me several bonuses; I will not be exposing my guns early, I have a much smaller area to defend, any reinforcement can be more easily integrated into the defense without exposure and of course I'm hoping my opponent will burn valuable time 'feeling' his way forward. I cannot open fire too early, that's a cardinal sin. His arty will crush me if I do. I must wait for the attack to develop and then make the most intelligent use possible of my guns once I see how it is unfolding.

My infantry platoon goes along the western edge of the easternmost wheatfield between the sunken road and W-31. 2 MGs, a 75mm and a 20mm in the woods south of town. 1 75mm and 1 20mm in the woods north of town. The crack 75mm actually in town, along with the mortars and their spotter. This is a dnagerous placement for this most valuable gun, right beside a road, but the fields of fire are just too good. The gun covers the right and center and has 'keyhole' opportunities out to the left flank.

The 2 STG's go at the eastern end of their setup area, well back from the forest edge. I hope to stage a mini-counterattack with these elements to slow him down, and then hopefully withdraw them through that wheatfield to the east. It'd be nice to have them available for the end-game fight.

I desperately need infantry reinforcement if I am to hold the town. I need my 20mms and Pschrecks to stop his light armor, so I can use the 75mms on his heavy armor before he kills them.

Turn 1 -

Two American Armored cars spotted on W-31. As expected, they make straight for the gap. No infantry detected yet, no movement detected on the sunken road.

Turn 2 -

3 Greyhounds and 3 halftracks in sight now. The armored cars continue toward the gap, the half-tracks (with troops) turn into the first wheatfield between the 2 main roads. Interesting. Nothing to shoot at yet. If he doesn't send any infantry through the woods where the STG's are I'll be ecstatic.

Turn 3 -

Well, he's aggressive, I'll give him that. 2 Greyhounds appear on the sunken road along with dismounted infantry. His halftracks make a left off of W-31 into the first wheatfield, presumably to deploy more infantry. Looks like he'll advance up both roads with dismounted infantry in between. His left flank guard will be important. I'll hurt him with the Stg's if he isn't careful. No reason to fire yet.

Turn 4 -

Some HT's have appeared behind his light armor and infantry screen on the sunken road. He's committing more force there than I thought he would. The spacing of his bounds his excellent. It'll be touch and go to see if my Pschreck ambush on that road pays off. I placed the 'schreck as far back as I could to still have a shot, but perhaps not far enough.

No sign of movement on the woods to my right where the STG's are. At least, none I can detect. The situation continues to develop as expected. No firing this turn. he continues to bound his Greyhounds forward on the right, into the STG kill zone.

Turn 5 -

Things proceed as before. 2 Shermans just popped up way back in the rear on W-31. They will bear watching...

Turn 6 -

5 pieces of heavy armor now sighted back there on W-31. He seems inclined to bring them forward, which is good. I'd be in a tough spot if he held them back. I'll continue to hold the STG's back in cover, even though a bunch of armored cars are now in the kill zone. I need the STG's to kill a couple of tanks to make this work. My opponent is smart though, and his spacing is excellent. He's trying to force my hand so I'll expose my AT guns and armor. I'll need my 20mm's to handle some of his light armor, so my 75mm stuff can deal with his tanks. I continue to hold my fire as he advances.

Turn 7 -

Nothing new to report. He continues to bring his tanks up cautiously. I expect his leading elements on the sunken road will hit my pschreck ambush next turn.

Turn 8 -

GOTT IM HIMMEL! I swear, if Unt Kinkel survives this battle, I'm going to ship him straight to the Ostfront. The fool opened fire on an armored car despite his 'Hide' orders. Oh I could shoot him myself! Well, it gets interesting now. I've opened fire 1 or perhaps 2 tuns early. I've uncovered a 20mm and the far right 75mm. He's got some halftracks in the ditch beside W-31 picking up some troops, I'm going to drop mortars on that tight little target and hope he drives them out of there into my 20mm fire. A bad turn for me, I should have placed both STG's where they didn't have *any* field of fire until I moved them up. Postscript: Mein Gott, he has 2 *platoons* of armor. Yikes. the 20mm held up his end of the deal, killing 3 Armored cars. I killed 1 tank with the 75mm before it was destroyed.

Turns 9-10

I wanted to see how he would react to my threat to his flank, and so have not begun withdrawing the STG's yet. They still have W-31 covered, so he can't advance along that route. My 20mm continues to do sterling service, killing a half-track this turn. Interestingly, he has manuvered his armor in such a way that my crack 75mm now has side shots at a substantial portion of his armor. I feel I cannot let the opportunity pass.

Turn 13 -

Man does this look grim. He has 9 tanks moving to engage my 2 STG's. No contest to the outcome of that fight. So, I think I'll play for time, backing the STG's into the woods so he has to come and get them at close range. A desperate gamble, with the same outcome, but maybe he'll bog a few tanks and lose a few turns. I should have done a better job of covering the STG's with AT guns.

Turn 14 -

Well, the outcome of the STG vs Sherman fight wasn't even decent: 1 dead Sherman for 2 dead STG's. That STG opening fire early was just a major disaster. On the bright side, reinforcements have arrived. 2 JGPZ IV and a platoon of infantry. They are sorely needed. Since all of his armor is way over on the right side of the map, I'm going to take a chance and run one of the JGPZ IV's out to the sunken road to see if I can score some points and maybe blunt that attack. He just hit my infantry screen this turn. The other JGPZ IV goes in reserve until the situation develops.

Turn 19 -

Well, 8 Shermans are moving over the Wheatfield to my right, and their opening shots shocked my hidden (yeah, right) JGPZ IV. That leaves my Crack 75 and a 20mm to face them. His infantry attacK destroyed my screening force. This one is all but over. Had my STG's not opened fire too early this might have been interesting, but right now, it certainly looks like a major defeat for me. Time to think about withdrawing from the map. My Crack 75mm crew did well, killing 3 Shermans before succumbing to HE fire. The remaining JGPZIV has a good field of fire into the flank of his Shermans line of advance, that should give him pause. We shall see.

Turn 20 -

Ok, my Crack JGPZ IV got a kill, only 4 enemy Shermans left now. He's advancing his infantry to attack my TD in flank, but I have a 75mm surprise in store for that. I may still withdraw from the map, but it suits me to wait a turn now...

Turn 21 -

The most satisfying turn of the game for me thus far. JGPz IV kills a Sherman, and one of my Pschreck teams kills another with a fantastic long-range shot. I was due a bit of luck. Only two Shermans left now. I broke up his Infantry rush on my JGPz, but he is bringing up more troops. 2 M20's rushing down W-31. One is dead, the other soon will be. The tide turns?

Turn 22 -

well, it's a more interesting game now than it has been, at least from my standpoint. He's moved those last 2 Shermans into a depression so I can't get at them with the TD (which weathered some rifle grenade shots this turn with no harm). Another dead armored car, not sure what he was trying to do there.

I'll try to withdraw the JGPZ into town and shoot up some of his infantry. I gotta say, the picture is brighter now than it has been. I'm starting to think I've got a chance for at least a draw here.

Turn 23 -

Got the JGPZ back behind cover safely. Shot up his leading platoon and *almost* got off another schreck shot at a Sherman, but he killed the team just in time. I lost my last 20mm to light mortar fire this turn so that was a blow, but I don't think he'll advance any HT's against my TD and the gun was almost out of ammo anyway. He has more infantry, but hasn't deployed it to the attack yet. I hope he keeps throwing them in piecemeal. He's manuvering the Shermans for seperation, but I only need one more lucky shot to really turn the tide. my last 75mm AT gun on the left continues to bark, but is losing crew to his light mortars.

Turn 24 -

Hmmm...I killed a bunch of his leading infantry platoon as planned. Surprisingly, he is bringing up his reserve platoon mounted along W-31. My last 75mm has that highway covered and is going to get some shots. He's moving fast, we'll see. He's advanced his last two Shermans back into the open field on my right. I don't think he has enough separation between them: both will be on the right side of my JGPZ. We'll see if I can make him pay for that.

Turn 25 -

Pretty good turn. I killed one of his remaining Shermans. The 75mm got a front hull penetration on a half-track, but no kill. I'm out of pshcreck ammo now (but of course he doesn't know that). The way I figure it, he's got about a platoon and a half of infantry uncommitted. Dunno if I can get the win, but it sure look a lot better now than it did 10 turns ago...

Turn 26 -

Some excitement, but nothing definitive. He ran that last Sherman in close to the road. We traded some shots, nobody hit anything. He's got two platoons of mounted infantry way back on W-31. If I didn't know better, I'd say he's going to try and rush them past them either past me off the map, or into the victory flag area on the last turn.

Turn 27 -

Yep, he sent that Convoy down W-31 and off to his left (my right). 4 Halftracks (now 3) and 4 Trucks. If he plans to deploy his infantry and take the town he waited too long, I think. If he's trying to get some exit points I can't stop him, but I don't think he's going to get as many as he plans...

Turn 29 -

My opponent is an honorable man. This turn and last turn he's made a rush with his last units (HT's and Trucks) down the outskirts of Emilville on the right. I was worried he'd try to grab the big flag on the last turn, but it appears he's making an honest effort to get off the map. Unfortunately, he has to drive directly across the front of my last JGPZ to do that, and Crack crews don't miss very often. I am scoring a lot of late points and his last Sherman is dead. Is it possible I can get a win?

Turn 30 -

He makes a last turn rush with a squad who kill my JGPZ, but my counter-rush captures the survivors of that squad. No other action of note.

Result - Axis Major Victory

Conclusion:

This was a GREAT scenario, possibly the best of the entire tournament. A real nail-biter, right down to the end. On turn 10, I thought I would lose; before turn 20, I was *sure* I would lose and was preparing to withdraw from the map. The margin of victory is reflected by the points I scored in the last few turns as my opponent desperately tried to exit his forces. It was a *much* closer game than the score reflects.

Can't say enough good things about this one: Well-balanced and interesting, a real challenge for both sides. My complements to the designer. I recommend B&T put this one out for public consumption without any major changes. As is; It's a Classic.

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I seem to have become carried away with my AAR for this scenario since I enjoyed it so much. I'm posting the first 14 turns that I've written to date and if people think it worthwhile for me to continue I'll finish it off in the next day or two. Look forward to any feedback but if people are getting too bored and can't be bothered reading it through then I'll certainly understand.

AAR v Spanish Bombs in Emilville Exit

When I first opened the file to commence the scenario as the German defender I thought you beauty! A map that should be ideal for a defence in depth type battle, continually delaying the Americans while slowly conceding ground at cost to the attackers. Then I looked at the forces available and the restrictions on their setup zones and then I thought, WHAT THE…! I’m dead meat.

After recovering from my initial state of disbelief I decided to place my 2 Stugs as far east as possible within the “too far forward” setup zone while still having some sort of LOS to the main sealed road running down the middle of the map. This placed them just south of a single tile of scattered trees marking the entrance to the vast wheatfield on the northern side of the map, in a hull down position behind a small ridge. My 3 Pak40 AT guns were placed one on each flank set fairly deep within scattered woods at the rear of the map while the 3rd was placed pretty much in its default position in a thin strip of scattered woods just north of the main road and approx. 35 metres from the exit zone, with a reasonable view down the length of the main drag. Naturally, all 3 AT guns had an excellent leader within command range to assist with firing and concealment etc. while my northern flank leader was also placed within range of one of the 20 mm Flak guns that was situated in the scattered woods slightly closer to the tree line and more to the north. The other 20mm Flak was placed in scattered trees to the south but a fair distance away from my Pak 40 on that flank since I wanted it to also have LOS on that thin strip of clear ground bounded by the wall on the extreme left flank (my perspective), in case some light armour attempted a run down that flank. This meant my leader could not be in command of both guns at once but life is full of compromises and though I was tempted to place one of the two dasiy-chain mines there to close that thin corridor option down, I had other plans for those mines.

My infantry force, such as it was (i.e. almost non existant) was placed with the Escort platoon attempting to cover the east/west running dirt road that fell within its far forward setup zone. I decided to split two squads and place them well out of command of the leader so they could attempt to fire on any troops as they crossed the wheatfield just east of the Bois Shallot woods. This turned out to be an extremely dumb idea as they were spread far too thin and I never had a chance to withdraw the buggers as I initially intended. The 3rd squad was placed in brush near the dirt road to guard the westernmost small victory location, flanked by its platoon leader and a panzerschreck. Two other panzerschreks were placed in brush to the north and south of the small victory flag in an attempt to have some short of shot at armour if it advanced down the main road or down that thin strip of clear ground to the south. This left 2 HMG’s to place somewhere within their zone which unfortunately did not include the town of Emilville so I placed one as close to the town as I could get with the intention to move it back into the town in an upper storey location while the 2nd HMG was entrenched in a position virtually slap bang on top of the 2nd small victory flag located on the dirt road, to discourage any infantry that may appear down the track. This left just the Coy. HQ to place so I located it on the second storey of a heavy building with a view mainly of the dirt road area to the south west with 2 x 81 mm mortars in command. The remainder of the force consisting of 3 ultra intimidating lmg’s which were located 1) in the upper storey of the church to act as a spotter, 2) in scattered woods to the north to provide some sort of very limited security to my 2 guns there and 3) as far west as I could place it in the huge wheatfield to move up a.s.a.p. to that single tile of scattered woods alongside my Stugs to be their eyes and ears for enemy infantry. The final piece to the puzzle was where to place the 2 daisy-chain mines so I decided to put them side by side just east of the forward-most small V.L. on the dirt road, in a small depression so they couldn’t be spotted until up close. Their placement across the only gap between two walls either side of the dirt road meant that no trucks or light armour could use the dirt road to head towards the exit zone without considerable risk to their safety passing over mines, as those units have no ability to move through walls. This meant that Spanish Bombs would need to make other plans for any thoughts of rushing infantry on transport along the dirt road, with considerable detours required either along the exposed main road or the narrow length of clear terrain on the southern edge of the map which was well covered by one of my 20mm AA assets.

Turn 1

I spot an M20 A.C. barreling down the main highway which then peels off to set-up behind the third small stone building (to the eastern edge) along the highway. No action as my Stugs couldn’t rotate quickly enough to loose off a shot for the 80 metre length or so the Armoured Car was in sight. Meanwhile, my rear-most HMG begins its long trek back to Emilville.

Turn 2

Two more “Armoured Cars?” appear doing their hell for leather rush down the central road with one taking up position behind the 2nd small stone building (i.e. closer to the eastern edge) with the other reaching a point roughly in line with the third stone building and then moving off the road to the south. Still no shots from my Stugs as these A.C.’s are simply too fast to be able to target when moving roughly perpendicular to the shooters axis. A 4th “Light Armour” sound contact appears from the vicinity of the Bois Shallot woods, apparently travelling down the dirt road.

Turn 3

I decide to unhide my northern 20mm Flak gun in the scattered woods to hopefully knock out any armoured cars that attempt to charge into Emilville along the main highway. Although it would be at fairly extreme range (just under 1,000 metres) I assumed a 20mm shot would still be able to penetrate a thin skinned M20 A.C. I also unhid my centrally located Pak40 gun with a view straight down the road to discourage any further use of it. The turn unfolds with the armored car on the southern bank reversing back across the road to the northern side and copping a couple of AP salvo’s from my 20mm Flak for its trouble, to absolutely no effect due to ricochets. Meanwhile, 2 Halftracks laden with troops appear on the highway with one only going as far as the first stone building and peeling off the road while the 2nd ventured as far as the 2nd building before moving off the road on the northern side. For its boldness it received one shot from my Pak40 which only fell short by about 400 metres (literally), plus 3 shots from my 2 veteran Stugs at about 650 metres away, all of which missed. I was starting to think that this was going to be a very long game at this rate.

Turn 4

Unteroffizier Kinkel in one of the Stugs finally gets it right and nails the halftrack in the opening seconds of the turn while the Tac AI for my 20 mm Flak gun decides to target the unidentified “Armoured Car” at around 900 metres. The Flak gun then proceeds to pound it with 15 HE shots at that range which have absolutely no chance of penetrating so 14 “no effects” and ricochet’s later with one wheel hit, the turn ends with the armoured car none the worse for wear judging by the fact it can still charge around in subsequent turns. Meanwhile, there is action by the dirt road where my “powerful” ambushing force notices an American squad making its way across the wheatfield in front of Bois Shalot, supported by “light armour” just south of the road while an “Armoured Car” appears right at the end of the turn just south of the squad and moving quickly down the road. I think to myself at the end of the turn, it’s now time for the American forces to pay for their reckless advance.

Turn 5

The advancing American squad cops fire from two directions at about 60 to 70 metres distance and seemingly shrugs it off for no effect while running for the shelter of a nearby wall. The “Armoured Car” turns out to be a Veteran M20 A.C. which advances down the dirt road shooting its 50 cal. to great effect at my 4 man half squad while the nearby “light armour” reveals itself as an M3 halftrack to shoot at my 2nd half squad, successfully suppressing it. The end result of my brilliant ambush was one of my half squads reduced to 1 man and pinned while the 2nd half squad is also pinned (without loss at least), for no apparent effect on the American squad which is still showing 3 figures. I also notice this turn that 2 “Tanks?” have appeared by the curve on the central highway with one of them firing smoke in the general direction of my Stugs while, it seems, a full platoon of infantry rushes across open ground towards Bois Morel. As I expected, infantry was on its way to make life uncomfortable for my Stugs in the not too distant future although I did have my all powerful lmg team arrive this turn to take up position in the nearby scattered woods tile. I also decided this turn to relocate one of my Stugs further east in an attempt to get a shot off at the previously impervious “Armoured Car” that had shrugged off all the 20mm hits the prior turn.

Turn 6

My brilliant ambush ends up being as lame as they come with both half squads mown down for no loss to the enemy. On the positive side, good ol’ Kinkel in his Stug manages to draw a bead on the armoured car when relocating further east and on his second shot nails the, as it turned out, M8 Greyhound. An M20 armoured car virtually alongside the now defunct Greyhound decides to venture forth down the highway at speed towards Emilville. I plan to give that particular vehicle a nasty welcome come the next turn.

Turn 7

To hasten the demise of the M20 located beside the central major V.L. on the road, I targeted both 20mm Flak Guns at it firing at its flanks from about 600 metres and 500 metres respectively. Once again, my northern Flak gun refused to fire AP and managed 4 hits with HE for absolutely no effect while my southern Flak gun did fire AP rounds and on the 4th shot managed a hit and penetration, knocking it out. Meanwhile, because of the disaster with my initial ambush I felt it a good idea to re-arrange my next ambush location alongside the small V.L. on the dirt road. I thought it best to move one of my Panzerschrecks to the southern side of the road while a 2nd P’schreck the the north moved further south through brush to be able to catch any armour attempting to move down the road in a crossfire from the north and south. Thinking there was no rush since the previous ambush was a good 300 metres away to the east and nobody would be reckless enough to charge down the road without infantry support, I casually moved my Panzerschreck teams to be in position by the next turn. Unfortunately, my opponent obviously felt in a reckless mood and charged the M20 armoured car down the road so that around the 40 second mark it appeared by the victory location with my teams still moving. One burst from the 50 cal. was all that was needed to kill one of the teams while inflicting 1 casualty on my nearby entrenched Escort squad. A second burst killed 2 more men from this squad that had been lying in ambush for anything moving down the road. A 3rd and 4th burst killed two more men before they could even think of firing back so suddenly my second brilliant ambush was in tatters with one P’schreck team killed, the second spotted by this M20 from hell as it moved towards it and my formerly full strength Escort squad reduced to 2 men in the space of less than 20 seconds. The devastating return fire from my Escort squad didn’t even manage to button the M20 while its Panzerfaust shot at 15 metres range naturally missed its mark. By this time I was beginning to think that the gods of war were really out to punish me for some unknown previous indiscretion.

Other things of note this turn was a veritable charge of the Light Brigade style advance down the dirt road with 4 light armour contacts detected moving fast down its length, plus a Tank? plus the previously spotted M3 halftrack joining in to see who could reach the small flag first. On the northern side of the main road I noted 2 M4 Sherman? contacts moving fast across the road in a northerly direction to reach open ground just south of the large body of woods known as Bois Morel.

Turn 8

This turn sees an M3A1 halftrack move fast down the main highway to reach the major V.L. in the middle of the road but it soon falls victim to my northern 20mm Flak gun when firing HE at it. Another unexpected “present” was an M8 Greyhound appearing from behind the 2nd stone building alongside the road, giving my other Stug some target practice at around 630 metre distance, promptly nailing it with the first shot. I had also decided to pull back my previously relocated Stug to a more westerly position alongside his partner in crime, just to maximise the range between it and the Bois Morel where I knew American troops were moving through. It goes without saying that my beaten up Escort squad ended in an inglorious way, shot to bits by the M20 from hell while my 2nd P’schreck team became pinned from M20 fire as well. This left my Platoon HQ as the sole unit left to “ambush” any units that appeared by the V.L. Somehow, I didn’t like my chances.

Turn 9

I was right. The M20 came back for second helpings and along with an M3 halftrack proceeded to kill my 2nd P’schreck team in short order, although I’ll give it credit, one Panzerschreck shot was fired at about 75 metres but missed, naturally enough. My HQ unit fired bravely at the unbuttoned M3 halftrack and received a casualty for its trouble while not even managing to button it. C’est la vie. I noted at least 4 light armour contacts still moving down the dirt road plus 2 Tank? contacts but I wondered what Spanish Bombs would do with all this light armour since it was effectively blocked off from further movement east with the dasiy-chain mines, unless he had Engineers to clear them or wanted to take the risk. During the turn I observed 2 more M4? Tank contacts move across the main road and onto clear ground south of Bois Morel and out of LOS of my Stugs. At the same time an M3 halftrack decided to run the gauntlet down the raised road to be fired on by my centrally located Pak40 at around 1,100 metres distance. The shot exploded harmlessly on the horizon but the position of my gun had been given away to allow a “Tank Destroyer?” contact to target it as it sat just off the road some 100 metres or so west of the bend in the road. I prayed that my AT gun would be able to hit this AFV at long range next turn as I just knew it was going to attempt to move away just out of LOS to pound me with area fire.

Turn 10

Early in the turn saw the M3 halftrack on the central road hit by one of my Stugs that were both targeting it however it was an MG hit only. I was starting to tear my hair out at this stage as the halftrack had managed to reverse back behind one of the stone buildings and out of LOS. This turn I had also decided to progressively pull back my Stugs through the wheatfield all the way to scattered trees right at the eastern edge of the map, as I figured the American infantry would be getting way to close for comfort soon, when emerging from Bois Morel. On the good news side I managed to knock out my first enemy AFV when my Pak40 on its 2nd shot achieved a lower hull penetration on the Tank Destroyer? and then the final knock out blow with its 3rd shot at around 1,150 metres distance. The pitiful remains of resistance at the dirt road V.L. was soon snuffed out by the arrival of 2 American squads which promptly gunned down my brave Platoon HQ as it tried to skulk away. At this stage of the game my entire infantry force consisted of one out of command Escort squad hiding in scattered trees and cut off from friendly lines, 1 Panzerschreck team, 1 Coy. HQ, 3 Platoon HQ’s, 3 lmg’s and 2 HMG’s with virtually no loss to the enemy infantry force that I could discern. To say I wasn’t confident about stopping the hordes would be an understatement.

Turn 11

I decided to relocate my central Pak40 gun now that its position had been revealed so I fired some smoke down the road using my 81 mm mortars to mask this situation and moved it north between two 2 storey buildings with a view to place it in a patch of scattered trees right at the edge of the eastern map edge with very narrow fields of fire to the east between small buildings. I continued to reverse my Stugs through the wheatfield in an overwatch manner while two enemy Shermans fired smoke in the general area where the Stugs had been 2 turns ago. Meanwhile, a solitary Sherman in scattered trees alongside Bois Morel began shelling a light 2 storey building just south of the Church in Emilville. I wasn’t fussed since my Coy. HQ was situated in the 2 storey heavy building behind the one being shelled and my lmg team was holed up on the 2nd floor of the Church for its observation usefulness. Lastly, one more M3 halftrack was terminated with prejudice as it tried to race down the narrow corridor of clear terrain on the southern flank when my 20mm Flak gun placed for just this contingency stopped it dead at about 500 metres range.

Turn 12

A relatively boring turn with just my one and only remaining Panzerschreck team cut down by another one of those dreaded M20 Armoured Cars. Unfortunately it was spotted in its foxhole located in brush some 100 metres south of the dirt road by advancing American infantry so the M20 simply waltzed up and took it out with 50 cal. fire with the one return shot from the P’schreck team…you guessed it…missing its mark at around 80 metres range. Spanish Bombs continued shelling the 2 storey building in town, causing its collapse while 1 Sherman in clear terrain just south of Bois Morel continued to lob smoke shells in the vicinity of where my Stugs were 3 turns ago. The smoke was so thick you’d swear you were at a Phillip Morris boardroom meeting. I also noted American infantry beginning to advance up the central road in running bursts while a Tank Destroyer? and approx. 1 platoon of infantry began making its way over the wall just east of the newly captured dirt road V.L.

Turn 13

Where the hell are my re-inforcements I was beginning to wonder. With my remaining force desperately low in infantry I was beginning to get worried. Meanwhile, a Sherman continued to smoke out the location that had been fired on the previous 3 turns whereas my Stugs were long gone and more than two thirds the way back to scattered trees near the eastern map edge. If all this smoke was in response to my solitary lmg team waiting in ambush in a patch of nearby scattered woods then I’m impressed! I observed a 4th Tank? contact move towards Bois Morel near where the 2 shermans had been lobbing smoke all these past turns and I was beginning to wonder just how many tanks he actually had. To date I had counted 9 AFV’s either as solid contacts or sound contacts. I hoped it would be no more than 10 in total against my 2 retreating Stugs and 3 Pak40 guns. In an attempt to slow down the infantry advance down the dirt road towards the 2nd minor V.L. I started dropping 81mm on board mortar shells targeted at a likely point of movement in a thin band of scattered trees running the length of the road. I noted that one single man squad became pinned under the fire and retreated a short distance so I hoped it was the platoon HQ I had managed to catch which could have detrimental effects on the rest of the platoon if correct.

Turn 14

Where the hell are my re-inforcements! Two more M3 halftracks attempt to run the blockade up the central highway and end up being knocked out by my 20mm Flak guns, near the main V.L. with each one taking the credit for a kill. I knew my HMG by the 2nd minor V.L. would be copping it soon so I unhid it to shoot at targets of opportunity. They soon arrived with 3 American squads appearing in quick fashion. One is supressed in a whatfield and promptly retreats while a second hits the dirt behind a stone wall with the third closing to within about 80 metres in scattered woods. A 4th squad also appears some distance further back to the north west and would appear to be a 2nd platoon coming up that flank. Infantry I had previously spotted moving up the central highway continue their steady advance while I have just about nothing to stop them with a single squad also spotted crossing over to the northern wheatfield, no doubt to find out what lurks within. Nothing! As for the infantry I had observed moving towards the Bois Morel a number of turns ago, still no sign of them to my waiting fearless lmg team. Lastly, I now count 5 observed Shermans? In and around Bois Morel with a 6th unidentified tank also somewhere in the area. If I don’t get re-inforcements soon I’m toast.

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Keep it coming Kannonier.

I am very pleased with the reactions so far. I think the battle will be released as it was played in the tourney, maybe with a little airpower added for flavor.

WWB

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Hi I would not add air power. IMO.

Give the Germans a bit more strength perhaps with a few more Shrecks?

But airpower can unbalance it big time.

H

P.s. Come on KR I want to know the end....

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I concur with Holien. I assumed the Amis would have artillery and they did not. If they had, I probably would have lost bigtime.

See my AAR above; this is a GREAT scenario as-is. I think the American player needs to go for the blowout/destruction of the German forces, as opposed to exiting the map, but I'm not sure he should be clued to that fact in the briefing. In the endgame, the German is likely to have 1 platoon of Infantry and 1 or 2 AFV's, the Americans have enough force to roll over that if they only will, IMHO.

Caveat: I have not read the American briefing for this scenario.

Vadr

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AAR- EMILVILLE EXIT

TABPUB (AXIS) VS CUZN (ALLIED)

Pre Battle Setup: The forces for the Germans are meager to say the least. The deployment options are equally daunting. One is hoping for two things in this engagement; 1) rapid reinforcements and 2) a cautious attacker.

The infantry platoon is deployed along the dirt road in depth (ha), with 2 half squads and a Panzerschreck up front to hopefully force a deployment, with the other 2 squads back behind a wall at the end of the wooded area covering a minefield(ed.note:that is a brush area. I play too much with trees off). The HMG’s are behind a wall at the west end of town covering the wheat field with the mortars in support behind them. The ATG assets are deployed evenly across the rear of the position, one on either flank with a 20mm Flak in support; the third in the town behind a building looking down the paved road. The STG’s are in the scattered woods East of the Bois Morel; they will cover the road until it gets to hot and retreat thru the wheat field back to the town.

Opening Phase: An armored infantry platoon with armored car support comes down the dirt road. They overrun the first ambush position with no problem and proceed toward the “main” line. The lead halftracks seem to magically drive through the daisy chain mines and proceed to wipe out the rest of the platoon with little/no losses. As they continue, the 20mm/75mm combo from the left flank kills the lead 3 HTs. Meanwhile, on the main road, one Sherman is killed by long-range 75mm fire, as it was covering several AC’s cautiously advancing down the road.

During the next minute, an M8 is killed on the dirt road, while on the right, all three AC’s are killed by the STG’s and the 75; each claiming one. I believe the ambush has been blown now, and with the weight that appears to be coming down the left side, I will now start thinking about extracting the STG’s back to Emilville, as a Sherman has been spotted on the left.

ELAPSED TIME: 8 MINUTES.

Mid Phase: Several more light AFV’s are destroyed on the left flank, but tanks take the 20mm under fire and knock it out. On the right, one Sherman is taken out at over 1000m by a turret hit from the 75 and another is attempting to lay smoke. In addition? units are seen moving through the Bois Morel, so the STG’s prepare to leave.

ELAPSED TIME: APPROX. 12 MIN.

3 tanks are destroyed on the left by the 75, but enemy infantry in company strength is now advancing. One platoon up the road is stalled by MG and mortar fire; while 75 and MG fire pin down the 2 advancing down the edge. The mortars are now empty and retreating, while the HMG’s have expended ½ their ammo. The STG’s are ½ way thru the wheat field, and now reinforcements arrive! 2 PzJgr IV’s with another platoon of infantry! They rush to take positions on the front edge of town to support the beleaguered HMG’s and ATG.

ELAPSED TIME: 15 MIN.

Ack! The veteran PzJgr IV has been KO’d by a 76 Sherman, but the crack one gets a first shot kill at 585 m on a different M4. The infantry has arrived in the nick of time, as it helps chase off the platoons that were advancing along the edge. A couple of units were seen to depart the field of battle. The left flank 75 has expended all its HE, so the TD’s arrival with the infantry was a godsend. The original STG group is just exiting the wheat field on the right flank, headed toward the town.

ELAPSED TIME: 17 MIN.

Dulcetory fighting ensues; one Sherman is KO’d attempting to cross the brush from the paved road to the dirt one by the ATG in the town. A single crewman charges the left flank ATG, while 2-3 squads attempt to enter the left flank woods. Nothing is seen on the right, as the STG’s move into position in the village.

ELAPSED TIME: 20 MIN.

End Phase: Schweigmanns ATG is reduced to 1 man by the berserk crewman and MG fire. He still takes out a Sherman! He is down to 3ap and 3 smoke rounds now. One enemy squad has made the woods and is creeping around somewhere, but the rest seem to be repulsed. A TD is spotted, but other than that, long range small arms is all that is being exchanged.

ELAPSED TIME: 23 MIN.

Schweigmann is dead! That squad that made the woods came in on the flank, overran the Platoon HQ and killed him. The rest of the Americans seem to be licking their wounds. A scratch group consisting of a crew, LMG, and a Panzerschreck are going out to eject an American crew from the farmhouse along the main road near the VL. The Americans appear to be sending an equally scratch force to reinforce it…Both sides don’t have much to work with, but the Amis have been really bloodied.

ELAPSED TIME: 25 MIN.

Here they come! 2 HT’s fly down the road, one is KO’d by the PzJgr; the other makes the woods near the left of town. A Sherman covers them, killing a STG near the main road, but being killed in turn by the other STG on the left of town. Another HT is holed by the PzJgr and then killed. 3 more HT’s charge up the road to their death by the PzJgr; while the two that made the woods are KO’d by the STG.

ELAPSED TIME: 28 MIN.

The orgy of death is over. Explosions were seen by the daisy chain on the dirt road that were later found to be trucks with mortar teams inside. No one was seen to exit the board and the VL’s around the town were German at the end; while the one on the paved road was neutral and the 2 on the dirt road were American. No American tank was operating at the end and only one mobile HT remained.

Final Score:

Allied: 162 cas (47kia)

3 mortars destroyed

31 vehicles KO’d

Men OK: 178

Score: 9

Axis: 69cas(17kia)

2 guns destroyed

2 vehicles KO’d

Men OK: 85

Score: 88

From my point of view, the American is required to choose an axis of attack and commit the whole force to it. The paved road side would appear to be the most logical, as there is no natural chokepoint and the terrain is more open. The tanks must be massed and used to smother an ATG when found, either by smoke or HE. The piecemeal advance will only play into the German deployment. The kill ratio of the ATGs in this scenario was the most I have ever seen in over 100 CM games. Schweigmann’s accounted for 7 vehicles alone and expended nearly all its ammo; and the 20mm that was KO’d early got 5 light vehicles. The 2 HMG’s behind the wall in foxholes dug in open ground both survived and expended all but 7 rounds between them. While CM does not track casualties well, they definitely broke up the American infantry attacks the best that I have ever done with CMBO HMG’s. I think that a coordinated American attack would be very difficult to stop, barring some very fortunate occurrences for the German.

[ December 30, 2002, 04:56 AM: Message edited by: tabpub ]

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Thank god! I've finally completed this monster AAR that has ended up being more like War & Peace than a standard post battle description. Perhaps I can act as a temporary substitute for Jason Cawley while he's otherwise engaged with other matters?

.....THE SAGA CONTINUES.....

Turn 15

Re-inforcements at last! Just in the nick of bleedin’ time I might add. Consisting of a platoon of regular Rifle 44 squads (one is a veteran) with a half useful platoon HQ who has single command and morale bonuses PLUS a Veteran JgPz IV and a Crack JgPz IV. Oh joy of joys! I proceed to rush the veteran JgPz IV to the south to take up a hull down position on the southern outskirts of the town with good views of the dirt road. The crack JgPz is ordered to manouevre into a position in a thin strip of scattered woods with a LOS down the main highway, to discourage the enemy infantry casually moving up the main road. I decide to deal with the 6 enemy tanks on the northern side of the main road later, when I manage to conjure up a cunning plan. Mind you, my 2 Stugs are now in position in the scattered trees in a hull down position close to the northern edge with restricted views of the main road and the large wheatfield.

The infantry platoon is deployed with 2 squads moving into the ground floor of a large 2 storey building with views to the west once the enemy gets close enough. The 3rd (veteran) platoon is deployed to the south of town into a small stone building in an attempt to create some sort of crossfire when the inevitable hordes of American troops come rushing in from the vicinity of the dirt road. Unfortunately this turn, my HMG team by the small V.L. gets suppressed by tank and MG fire from a “Tank Destroyer” that has magically appeared in wheatfields to the south west while additional fire from 3 approaching squads soon convince them to bug out of their foxhole in a routed state. All the time I’m pounding the nearest enemy squad to my HMG with crossfire from my southern 20mm cannon plus 81 mm mortar rounds all to no effect it seems since the squad keeps on keeping on with no apparent loss of men judging by the 3 man state they retain. One minor problem I note during the turn, my so called Crack JgPz seems to be having great difficulty getting itself to face towards the enemy as instructed once reaching its position and proceeds to turn its flank to the west for no apparent reason. Thank god, I think at the time that nothing has LOS to it as it would surely have been Sherman fodder.

Turn 16

I decide to hunt my veteran JgPz a bit further south in order to obtain a better hull down position with the hull angled up as much as possible. Unfortunately, the JgPz takes a particular dislike to the American squad that had previously taken a so called beating from my 81 mm mortar and 20 mm Flak the previous turn and proceeds to target it for virtually the entire time firing at least 5 HE rounds at it, for seemingly no effect as it still retains 3 figures throughout the turn. Normally I wouldn’t have a problem with this target decision making apart from the fact my unit was being targeted in return by a “Tank Destroyer” roughly 525 metres away for at least half the turn and had weathered 3 shots fired at it from this threat which had luckily all missed their mark. Right at the end of the turn a 2nd enemy “Tank Destroyer?” appeared in the wheatfield to the south west and this time the JgPz did decide to switch targets with about 1 second left on the clock before the end of the turn. I’m thinking at the time if he really has so many tank destroyers, probably of the M18 variety then I’m in deep s#!t. At last, an enemy infantry platoon emerged from Bois Morel and moved towards the gap in the wall surrounding the wheatfield. My lmg team stoically held back its fire until being fired at then unleashed its full fury at the advancing squads. 2 bursts later it was pinned down in the scattered woods and down to one man but at least this time I did see that it caused at least 3 casualties to the enemy. A reasonable trade-off I tell myself in order to delay the enemy by half a turn perhaps. By the end of the turn I have lost the HMG team due to it being immobilised and about to be captured plus my southern flank 20 mm Flak gun to area fire from a third previously unseen “Tank Destroyer” that appeared in the wheatfield just slightly to the north of the dirt road. What is this… a bleedin’ Tank Destroyer convention or sumfink! At least my crack JgPz IV managed to sort itself out and face in a westerly direction by the end of the turn.

Turn 17

I figured this would be a crucial turn as I had 2 “Tank Destroyers” in sight at around 500 metres range with my JgPz’s position being hull down but the enemy having two guns against one. My first shot from the veteran JgPz managed to find its mark and knock out the 1st T.D. while the return fire from the previously I.D.’d Tank Destroyer still couldn’t find the range. T.D. number 2 was lined up and on the second shot, the JgPz managed to achieve a gun hit while the third shot finished it off with a penetrating knock out blow. Strangely, no return fire was received after the initial shot from the enemy AFV as it must have lost sight of my JgPz at a crucial juncture. At the same time, hordes of American infantry swarmed across open ground to the south in an attempt to reach scattered woods near where my 20mm Flak gun had been knocked out. An HMG was positioned in the upper storey of a heavy building in town and managed to convince the leading squad to change direction towards a small patch of isolated scattered woods directly away from the source of the MG fire. My JgPz also managed to persuade a 2nd squad to give up on its headlong flight towards distant scattered woods with a nearby explosion convincing it to return to the relative safety of the wheatfield and wall behind it. Unfortunately, 3 apparently full strength squads were still rushing towards their destination by the end of the turn and I still had a Pak40 AT gun hidden in them thar woods. While this was going on my crack JgPz in town managed to draw a bead on a halftrack sitting stationery on the highway roughly 1,100 metres away. After carefully lining up the shot it missed by approx. 100 metres behind the target. No matter I thought, being a crack crew should ensure a hit the second time around but by now the halftrack was desperately moving the hell out of LOS as well as 2 other halftracks that had magically appeared out of nowhere in the general vicinity. 2nd shot missed to the right by about 5 metres so I felt certain a 3rd shot would hit from such a crack crew but alas, no such luck, with the 3rd shot missing by approx. 50 metres too short. There were no 4th or 5th shots as the halftracks had all scattered to both sides of the highway and contact was lost. While muttering under my breath I felt that at least the other JgPz had done his duty with distinction that turn.

Turn 18

Time to reveal my cunning plan. I decide to rush my crack JgPz across the central highway to take up a position amongst small buildings just to the north of the church with restricted fields of fire so my Tank Destroyer will hopefully only ever have one on one duels with the opposing M4 and M4A3 Shermans which were by now advancing in open ground towards the large wheatfield. The plan appeared to be working because towards the end of the turn my hunting JgPz spotted an enemy M4A3 Sherman at about 850 metres distance which had been area firing onto the main highway with smoke to mask the advance of the American infantry. First shot against a stationary target- MISS, 2nd shot against a now moving target- MISS. By now I’m beginning to wonder whether this crack crew had somehow been misidentified and should have been described as crap. On the southern flank I had decided to unhide my 75mm AT gun as I felt it only a matter of time before enemy infantry start to swarm the area and spot it anyway. After 2 shots from it at some distant 60mm mortars in the open, every man and their dog knows of the guns whereabouts and starts to target it with small arms fire from a variety of directions. Luckily it’s all fairly distant stuff and being a crack crew, they shrug off the usual suppressive effects. A 2nd running American squad in the open is persuaded to turn and flee due to the effects of HMG fire from approx. 500 metres away and heads towards the same small patch of scattered trees the previous squad decided was its best option the previous turn. Luckily for me that previous squad had had enough and fled the battlefield off the southern edge leaving me one less infantry squad to have to worry about. The veteran JgPz did its best to stem the flood with HE shots at the running infantry it could spot but the 3rd Tank Destroyer on the southern flank had taken an interest in its presence and area targeted a spot in front of the JgPz with smoke, obscuring its vision for part of the turn.

Turn 19

I could see that Spanish Bomb’s plan was to cover the highway with smoke from his Shermans on the northern side of the road in order to allow his platoon of infantry to move up the highway relatively unmolested. I saw this as an opportunity to move my central Pak40 gun back to its original foxhole position alongside the highway now that attempts to see down the road was obscured by smoke. I gave orders accordingly along the lines of a Picard “make it so" while continuing to hunt my crack JgPz west to try and draw a LOS on the enemy tank that had mysteriously disappeared from sight. Shortly into the turn my crack JgPz spots its target again and looses off a shot at around 870 metres only to see it fall short by a paltry 120 metres, then it loses sight of the now identified Sherman 76 again. I’m starting to think that the gunner is either using Toys-R-Us gunsights or carries a white cane with himself wherever he goes. Now the boot is on the other foot with the Sherman 76 firing back at my crack JgPz which can’t seem to spot the source of fire. Luckily, the opposing tank gunner seems to have caught the apparent glaucoma disease my guy is suffering from and also misses by a bulls roar. After hunting forward a tad more the crack JgPz spots its foe and fires a second time at 860 metres, this time only missing by around 120 metres to the rear and to the left. Third shot at the now moving Sherman 76 is right on line but unfortunately is long by a mere 200 metres or so. Oh, by the way… did I happen to mention this is a Crack crew manning the JgPz although its behaviour is more akin to a crew on Crack. Fourth shot at just a tad over 800 metres only misses this time by about 20 metres to the left so I’m starting to get my hopes up again but… you guessed it…the fifth and final shot that turn at a range of 785 metres is only just long by a smidgen, a smidgen measuring approx. 220 metres! So, to recap, this alleged crack JgPz has just fired 7 times at the same target over 2 turns starting at under 900 metres and finishing at under 800 metres for the grand return of no hits, bugger all, F.A., nada, zippo, not a sausage, zilch, zero, NUFINK!

Once I had taken my Mogadon to soothe the nerves I decided to concentrate solely on viewing the left flank for any subsequent replays of the turn and ignore the right, lest I have a seizure. On this flank the news is a bit brighter with my Crack 75mm AT gun lining up a temporarily halted halftrack on the main highway at approx. 600 metres. This, did I mention that word again…crack gun crew under the command of a plus 2 firing bonus and plus 1 morale leader takes its first shot at the stationary target and misses, thereby allowing the infantry passenger to egress unmolested. The second shot at this still stationary halftrack misses, the 3rd shot at the now moving target actually hits but guess what… it’s an MG hit that has absolutely no effect as the halftrack continues to fire back with its solitary MG! The 4th shot at under 540 metres also misses but the halftrack has now had enough and starts to reverse and eventually with the 5th shot from the Pak40, is silenced for good. The bright spot for the turn was my MG fire from the second story building convincing a second 3 figure squad to bug out via the southern map edge so that was one less squad I had to worry about in terms of exit points. Unfortunately, one virtually full strength squad did manage to make the treeline with a 2nd 9 man squad slowly crawling its way there under MG fire and not far to go plus, what seemed to be the leader bringing up the rear at full tilt for the scattered trees. It was a case of too many targets for too few firers as another seemingly full strength squad and 2 single figure infantry units had also begun their hazardous journey across open ground to reach the distant trees. If only this were CMBB!

Turn 20

A relatively uneventful turn this one with the north western corner of the Church being the target of smoke by area fire from one of the six Shermans just near the western edge of the large wheatfield, in order to block the view of my crack JgPz laying in ambush just to the north of the building. When will these bloody Shermans run out of smoke! Personally I wouldn’t have bothered since the JgPz can barely hit the side of the proverbial barn at 40 paces. I reposition my 2 Stugs to face west to cover any vehicles attempting to make their way across the large wheatfield and to ignore attempting to fire at a reduced platoon making its way along the southern edge of the highway since all shots seem to be going either way long or hitting the northern side of the embankment for no effect. My southern Pak40 takes a couple of pot shots at a rushing infantry squad which seems to have no effect on the unit as it continues its charge to the extreme southern edge of the treeline. Then it targets a halftrack that attempted to charge up that narrow strip of open ground to the extreme south but misses with both shots at around 520 to 550 metres. Did I happen to mention before this was a crack crew under the command of a plus 2 firepower bonus leader? My veteran JgPz takes up a hull down position slightly further west in order to shoot at an enemy squad that has hunkered down in my former HMG’s foxhole by the small easternmost dirt road V.L. They take a pounding from HE shells, once again to no apparent effect. It appears that 2 almost full strength squads will make the treeline, plus a shot up squad (8 men), an HQ unit, 2 single figure infantry units which could either be HQ’s or possibly a Bazooka team and a 60mm mortar team that steadily made its way up the extreme southern flank towards the trees. They will all be victory points to Spanish Bombs if he chooses to exit them rather than attempt a flanking move into Emilville or to close assault my Pak40 gun. Somehow I think he wont be able to resist the temptation to extract revenge against my poor old Pak40 that had hardly hurt a fly, well except for a halftrack that is plus any number of unknown infantry casualties.

Turn 21

I decide this turn to withdraw my veteran JgPz from the southern outskirts of the town and bring it more into the southern “suburbs” to help my defending Rifle ’44 platoon eject the oncoming invaders who were beginning to swarm in from the dirt road and southern side of the highway area. There appeared to be 1 platoon coming from the dirt road (2 squads reduced to 2 figures) and a 2 squad platoon (with accompanying HQ’s) rushing in from the highway via scattered trees to the west of town. The Americans reached the western outskirts of the town in various small buildings sustaining some fire from 2 of my rifle squads placed in heavy buildings. My southern Pak40 decided to do its tweedle dum/tweedle dee impersonation by variously decided to shoot first at a rushing American squad heading towards the town but then cahnging its mind right at the last minute to swing back to another squad by the dirt road V.L. then changing its mind again to target a 60 mm mortar firing at it from about 500 metres away behind a wall near the thin southern strip of open ground. It managed to loose off 2 shots at the mortar by the end of the turn. My 2 Stugs guearding the northern wheatfield spotted 2 enemy infantry units and blasted them with HE, convincing both units to turn and flee although a third 11 man squad was also spotted right at the end of the turn firing back at one of my Stugs from about 350 metres range. The final act was to reposition my crack JgPz just north of the church to a new position further north by reversing and then hunting back between various small buildings in an attempt to gain limited LOS to the enemy tanks to the east but far enough away from the recently laid smoke-screen. I prayed the unit would not get lost in the process of giving the movement commands and noted right at the end of the turn it spotted its old nemesis, Mr Sherman 76, the one he had already fired 7 shots at previously with the range this time being only a smidgen over 600 metres. Surely it can’t miss this time.

Turn 22

My crack JgPz fired. The shot looked perfectly in line. I began prematurely popping the champagne corks in my mind. Then I noticed the shot kept travelling past the Sherman and behind it missing this time by a mere 270 metres or so behind it, but then what’s a few hundred metres between friends, right? I desperately grabbed for my jar of Mogadons before emitting a blood curdling scream. There is no 2nd shot as the target was furiously reversing by now and managed to find a dip in the ground to break visual contact. So, my crack JgPz continued hunting westerly as ordered to find more targets it can attempt to scare and stumbled across a Sherman 75 this time but at an even closer range of only 550 metres. I watched with trepidation. 1st shot, was dead in line but fell short by about 5 metres. LOS was temporarily lost while the Sherman entered the southern outskirts of the large wheatfield but then spotted again by the crack JgPz at only 505 metres this time, fired at it and missed to the left. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! Third shot, ahhhh, I see back to our old habits again with the shot being dead in line but impacting some 200 metres behind the enemy tank. There is no 4th shot as the Sherman realises its peril and pops smoke directly in front of it to break LOS. I make a mental note at the time that to date, this so called crack JgPz has managed to fire 13 times at enemy AFV’s for not a single hit and begin to wonder whether its remaining supply of 22 AP shots will be enough to hold out.

On the bright side, my southern Pak40 lined up the pesky halftrack skulking on the extreme southern flank and nailed it with its first shot that then turned its attention towards the 60 mm mortar nearby and caused the crew to abandon with its second salvo. My veteran JgPz fired 3 HE shots into a wooden building containing a 2 figure enemy squad only 80 metres away but then stopped firing for the remainder of the turn for some inexplicable reason. Conserving ammo perhaps? I had to rearrange my Stugs as one was down to only 3 HE shells so I withdrew it to a hull down position facing west for any enemy AFV’s that might appear within the wheatfiled while my other Stug with 12 HE shells still took up a raised position to be able to fire freely at the enemy infantry in the wheat. Some damage was done with the previously 11 man squad reduced to 7 men by the end of the turn and it fleeing back in a south westerly direction. The situation as I looked at by the end of the turn showed one enemy “Tank Destroyer” somewhere in the southern wheatfield just north of the dirt road but me having no idea where the hell it was plus 6 Shermans of various description making their way either in or towards the large northern wheatfield, although 2 of these Shermans had at least been dissuaded from venturing further east while my crack JgPz continued to play hide and seek amongst the buildings in town as a mobile scarecrow. I also knew a Greyhound and an M20 were somewhere in the vicinity of the northern wheatfield but I hadn’t spotted them yet either. There were 5 American squads of various strength in the western suburbs of town that were being pinned down to a degree by my 2 rifle squads and the Veteran JgPz while my southern Pak40 was still alive and kicking. The central Pak40 had by now, repositioned itself back to where it started in its initial foxhole, looking down the length of the highway while I still had an ace in the hole being my northern Pak40 that hadn’t fired a shot and was still hidden in scattered trees.

Turn 23

This turn sees the re-appearance of the mysterious solitary “Tank Destroyer” that had last been seen in wheatfields south of the highway but north of the dirt road. For some inexplicable reason that I could never fathom why, Spanish Bombs decided to parade it heading east up the dirt road knowing full well my southern Pak40 was still very much alive and kicking. At a range varying between 430 metres to 400 metres in the end, my crack Pak40 under the guidance of a plus 2 firepower leader managed to miss with its first 3 shots but finally achieved a frontal turret penetration with the 4th shot and then delivered the coup de grace with the 5th shot through the upper hull. The infantry battle in town was starting to hot up with an 8 man squad rushing the remaining 2 storey light building south of the church but copping a casualty for its trouble from the lmg in the church. At the same time a 3 figure infantry unit was working its way north via small buildings in what appeared to be a flanking attempt to gain access to the town proper. I repositioned my crack JgPz to a point further north of the town and barely within its outskirts in order to gain LOS to the wheatfield lying to the nort west in anattempt to create a cross fire situation into the wheatfield in conjunction with my Stugs. I only hoped that the JgPz crew wouldn’t get lost in the town with the complicated set of orders I gave it to reverse and hunt in a north westerly direction with a small building to its left to provide some sort of protection to its vulnerable flank. Towards the end of the turn a Sherman 75 appeared in the large wheatfield on the extreme northern flank and began to shell Unteroffizier Kinkel in his hull-down Stug at a range of 325 metres. Both units exchanged shots for no result while Kinkel’s partner barely 5 metres away finally woke up to what was going on and commenced rotating his Stug to be able to assist his threatened comrade.

Turn 24

Unt. Kinkel’s day took a turn for the worst when the Sherman managed to outdraw him and fired the knockout shot within 1 second of the turn commencing. Unteroffizier Hemper meanwhile was taking a month of Sundays to rotate his Stug on target and hadn’t even fired a return shot before the enemy had already retargeted and fired. Luckily the Sherman’s shot missed, so did Hempers, I started to bite my fingernails, the Sherman’s second shot also missed (possibly a crack crew?) and then Hemper found his mark with the second firing causing a catastrophic explosion with no survivors. While this duel was unfolding I had hunted my crack JgPz forward a touch to get a better view into the wheatfield and soon spotted a 75 mm Sherman at around 460 metres. The Sherman managed the 1st shot which ricocheted off the hull but buttoned the JgPz while the JgPz in return fired its shot to see it sail harmlessly overhead of the target by about 150 metres. I think at the time, old habits die hard I see. Then a veteran Greyhound appears virtually in the middle of the wheatfield but its shot ricochets off the front hull while my crack crew wonder what the hell to do, possibly debating whether to bother firing back since they are wasting precious ammo which could be better utilised by a Volksturm unit. Then suddenly, almost poetically, the JgPz explodes in a ball of fire for no apparent reason. My natural assumption was that one of the crewmen had lit a match while tinkering with the fuel lines but it became apparent that an M4A3 Sherman (76) had decided the serial pest had to go from its vantage point in the middle of the wheatfield, achieving its kill with a front upper hull penetration from around 450 metres. Thankfully there were no survivors as this saved any thought for the need to convene a court martial trial at the end of the battle. So, to summarise. This marvel of German training and hard fought experience that had earned the right to call itself crack had managed to miss with all 14 of its AP shots at various enemy AFV’s throughout the battle. Not one bleedin’ hit. Nil, zilch, nada, F.A…..well, you know the drill.

To round out the good news for this turn, my southern Pak40 was on the receiving end of a charge by an American platoon HQ and accompanying 3 figure squad from the south which, despite desperately trying to rotate to fire back at the enemy, the gun was almost certainly going to succumb by next turn. At least my nearby platoon HQ had managed to cause a casualty to its opposite number which appeared to be pinned by the end of the turn. At least the infantry battle in town appeared to be going well with the enemy 7 man squad reduced to 3 over the course of the turn, mainly by fire from my Coy. HQ located on the upper level of its large 2 storey building and less than 20 metres away from the enemy. A 2nd 3 figure squad also rushed into the heavy building my Coy. HQ was located in to lend assistance to its comrade but soon came under murderous crossfire from my third previously unrevealed Rifle squad to the east plus its accompanying platoon HQ. However, by any assessment this had not been a good turn for me with the loss of two of my precious AFV’s (sorry, make that one and a third), plus a Pak40 AT gun in exchange for 1 vanilla Sherman plus some enemy infantry losses. Still lurking in the northern wheatfield were 5 Shermans, an M20, M8 Greyhound plus assorted infantry opposed to my hidden Pak40, Flak gun (with 11 HE shells left), veteran Stug, veteran platoon HQ and let’s not forget… a mighty lmg team with its devastating firepower.

Turn 25

As expected, my southern AT gun succumbed to close combat fighting within 15 seconds but a steady stream of shots from my platoon HQ approx. 40 metres away eventually saw the demise of the enemy HQ unit, which I knew couldn’t be good for the morale of the American 8 man squad nearby. Out of desperation perhaps, I decided that the best form of defence was attack so I charged my remaining JgPz out of town through the southern suburbs and across open ground, heading towards the nearest small V.L. situated at the eastern end of the dirt road. Despite coming under fire from 2 American tanks on the northern side of the battlefield, it managed to reach lower elevation terrain by the end of turn and out of sight from the enemy AFV’s to the north. Back in downtown Emilville, the tourists were clearly not enjoying the welcome they were receiving with the second enemy squad to venture in deciding it had had enough and retired to the west just as 2 more of its countrymen decided to rush in from the opposite direction, no doubt to admire the exquisite stained windows in the church. While repositioning my remaining Stug north into a hulldown position facing west overlooking the wheatfield, it spotted the veteran Greyhound attempting to outflank it and soon ended its existence with a first shot kill at around 180 metres. The final action for the turn was when my central Pak40 spotted an M20 A.C. attempting to charge up the highway in order to exit. At 575 metres the 75 mm round slammed into the upper hull of the armoured car yet it continued to reverse away from the threat and out of sight on the northern bank of the highway. Apparently a high velocity 75mm AP round is not sufficiently powerful enough to obliterate such a thick skinned beast as an M20 armoured car??!

Turn 26

Unt. Hemper in his Stug decides to fire off his 3 remaining HE rounds at an infantry units that has appeared by the wall surrounding the eastern side of the large wheatfield, causing some casualties judging by the former 2 figure unit becoming a single figure. Then an M4A3 vanilla Sherman is spotted about to exit the wheatfield near the highway, no doubt to deal with my charging JgPz on the other side of the embankment to the south. 2 shots each are exchanged at roughly 535 metres but on Hempers 3rd shot right at the end of the turn, manages a Gun Hit which should declaw this threat. Because my central Pak40 had been the subject of some 60mm bombardment at the end of the previous turn from a now out of sight mortar located right at the far western end of the highway, I ordered the gun to fire some smoke down the road to obscure the mortar’s sight. Two smoke rounds were fired before a marauding M3 halftrack was spotted charging down the highway at about 480 metres distance. Despite being under mortar bombardment I was reasonably confidant that my nearby platton HQ with double firepower and single morale bonuses would see the veteran gun crew prevail in adversity. HA! First shot from the AT gun misses the halftrack at 380 metres, the second shot misses the target at 155 metres! Then at 70 metres distance the veteran crew decides it’s had enough and abandons ship despite being in a foxhole and under the command of Crack platoon HQ while only receiving fire by then from a 30 calibre MG. No medal for you guys at the end of this! Naturally the M3 exits after its solo run down virtually the entire length of highway. Things in town are still under relative control with the newly arrive American re-inforcements soon taken under fire while I decide to charge my Coy. HQ into the 2 storey wooden building where his opposite platoon HQ is firing from. By the end of the turn the American squad in nearby rubble is reduced to 4 men while their platoon HQ is down to 3 and under close assault by my Coy. HQ of 5 men. The 8 man American squad that assaulted the Pak40 begins to break under fire from my platoon HQ and a distant veteran Rifle squad still in the southern outskirts of Emilville and firing at it from behind. It too decides it’s had enough and hightails it for the woods to the south while taking 2 more casualties for their trouble. I decide to become adventurous with my JgPz by sailing past the small V.L. and continuing down the dirt road to then swing right and towards the central major V.L. on the highway. Hopefully such a move will at least turn the V.L. neutral and discourage further gauntlet running by various odds and sods still milling around at the western end of the highway, providing the tank destroyer survives of course.

Turn 27

The turn unfolds with my Flak gun being ordered to target an M20 A.C. that reached the wall bounding the large northern wheatfield at the end of the last turn. Two bursts later and the Armoured Car explodes in a ball of flame with no survivors. Unfortunately the TacAI decides the next best use of the precious few remaining rounds is to target the Sherman 75 that had already lost the use of its main gun and proceeds to fire off all but 2 of the HE rounds left at a target it never had any hope of penetrating. I was planning on using those few rounds against any light armour that attempted to charge down the highway but that option had just been removed through AI stupidity. I also revealed my northern lmg team lurking in scattered woods to attempt to pin an American squad that had reached the wall bounding the wheatfield. It fired 2 bursts at the enemy then switched targets to a 1 person squad approaching my Stug at full tilt. By this time the brave men came under direct HE fire from 2 Sherman 76’s closing in from the west and soon became pinned, reduced to 1 man then broken from the return fire. My veteran Stug loses sight of its wounded prey from the previous turn then inexplicably starts firing at an American squad by the wheatfield stone wall some 280 metres away with its remaining AP rounds! The previously unidentified single man squad that had been fired on by my lmg turns out to be a Bazooka team (Doh!) and its first shot hits the Stug at 117 metres but luckily, only causes internal flaking. The annoying thing about all this is that I had specifically ordered at the commencement of the turn for the Stug to rotate and face west to be in a position to face the oncoming enemy tanks in the wheatfield yet the TacAI thinks it’s a better idea to countermand the order and fire AP at infantry 280 metres away to the southwest!

Speaking of wasted opportunities, my JgPz hunted north up the dirt road that connects to the highway near the major V.L. then decides to use up all its remaining 6 bursts of MG ammo on an enemy 3 man crew that’s cowering in scattered trees less than a hundred metres away. Not only is it totally ineffective at doing any damage, I’ve just lost the best chance to knock out enemy trucks if they decide to run the gauntlet at speed. However, in keeping with my premise that attack is the best form of defence, I ordered my veteran HQ that had been shooting up the American squad in scattered trees to the south to now charge out of the treeline towards the nearest small V.L. on the dirt road that had been turned neutral by my passing JgPz in the previous turn. The firefight in town continued to go well with a nearby American squad forced to retire and then being gunned down in the process while the accompanying platoon HQ was no match for the combined fires of a full strength Rifle squad and close assaulting Coy. HQ. I also commence a left hook move with my veteran Rifle squad that was still on the southern outskirts of town, with a view to capture the nearby small V.L. located on the dirt road intersection immediately west of Emilville. To round out the turn I relocated the HMG that had been on the southern side of the large 2 storey building to a position on the northern side upper floor so it could fire at any enemy units that attempted to exit the field of battle via the highway. My hunch was right as by the end of the turn I had spotted a Truck, an M3 and a M3A1 halftrack motoring at full tilt along the road with the truck and M3 reaching a point alongside the major V.L. before running into a bottleneck caused by previously knocked out halftracks and armoured cars while the M3A1 was not far behind this temporary traffic jam.

Turn 28

The situation confronting me now has my Stug under fire from a Bazooka team in the wheatfield some 115 metres away with no H.E. to fire back and fast approaching 76mm and 75mm Shermans (one of each) in the wheatfield ready to gang tackle poor ol’ Unt. Hemper. Another 76mm Sherman has emerged from the wheatfield close to the main highway but on the northern side about to apparently head into town with the intent of shooting up my squads within. I have lost sight of a 4th Sherman (76mm armed) which was last spotted somewhere in the middle of the large wheatfield and could be anywhere while a fifth gun damaged Sherman has just moved up onto the highway near the major V.L. to no doubt charge down the road to attempt to exit. Time to reveal my ace in the hole. I issue orders for my remaining Pak40 to fire at the 76mm Sherman to the south east that is moving steadily towards Emilville hoping that it can quickly dispatch this threat at approx. 350 metres then rotate roughly 90 degrees to the right in time to tackle the fast approaching Shermans in the wheatfield. My JgPz had managed to draw a bead on the toothless Sherman right at the end of the last turn so I hoped it would nail him at a range of only 65 metres while hunting further north up the dirt road to see what I could spot in the wheatfield across the other side of the highway. My Flak gun (with 2 HE rounds) is targeted at the M3 halftrack temporarily held up in the traffic jam by the main V.L. while my Stug is ordered to reverse east as quickly as possible into the scattered trees in an attempt to widen the range between it and the Bazooka team. Where’s the damn withdraw order for armoured vehicles!

Well, 7 seconds in and my Stug is toast from a Bazooka hit but at least my Flak gun nailed the M3 Halftrack at about the same time with its first shot while the crippled Sherman on the highway was not much longer of this world when a 75mm AP round from my JgPz went through the rear of its turret. Then I’m watching… and watching… and watching… as my so called “ace in the hole” turns out be more like the Queen of (faint) Hearts as it lines up its shot on the approaching 76mm Sherman but doesn’t seem to want to fire while its intended victim continues to move. Then the Sherman stops moving 27 seconds in and I think to myself it wont take long now as my Pak40 lines up the shot from only 280 metres away at a stationary target. Ten seconds go by… my waiting Pak40 is still sitting there with the target line drawn towards its victim but still no action. Fifteen seconds go by… still no freakin’ indication of the gun crew doing anything other than staring down their barrel at this enemy Sherman that has now begun to move again but directly towards my gun! Twenty seconds elapse… still no sign of life from the gun crew under the command of a plus 1 morale and firepower leader. WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON!!! Is this gun crew checking their theodolite, testing the wind direction and waiting on a meteorological report first before firing? After 25 seconds have elapsed the Pak40 finally decides everything is how they like it including Mars being aligned with Pluto before finally loosing off their first shot which, thank God, hit its mark on the upper hull but didn’t knock out the tank! Don’t tell me they used HE after all that freakin’ time lining up the shot. Thankfully the second shot right on the 60th second penetrated the side of the turret for a brew up but by now there were two Shermans less than 300 metres away at a roughly 90 degree tangent to my AT gun where they surely couldn’t have failed to spot the source of the firing. While this was going on my JgPz had been distracted by an M20 A.C. that had charged past it at great speed on the dirt road having initially come from the direction of the highway, missing each other by the thickness of a coat of Zimmerit paste and causing my tactically limited tank destroyer to have to slew around to the east in a pathetic attempt to draw a bead on the rapidly departing armoured car. I also spotted the elusive 5th Sherman appearing from within the wheatfield but making a beeline south towards the main highway V.L., no doubt to deal with my nearby JgPz. The turn ends with a speeding M3A1 halftrack with 2 passengers on board appear at the western outskirts of town on the main highway and only a brief few seconds away from charging through the exit zone.

Turn 29

I give strict orders to my JgPz to hunt north up the dirt road to the verge of the highway and to ignore the M20 which was no threat and fast disappearing towards the minor dirt road V.L. that my former southern Pak40 platoon HQ was sprinting towards. My remaining Pak40 with its perfectionist type crew was ordered to take on the Sherman 75 that was less than 210 metres away and just past the wall bounding the northern wheatfield. With the one HE round remaining round in my Flak gun I also ordered it to fire at the Sherman to button the crew and hopefully blind them for long enough to give my AT gun a chance. This they achieved. At the 12 second mark an enemy squad by the wheatfield wall finally spotted my AT gun and commenced firing but at an ineffectual range of over 200 metres but with Borg spotting I knew my AT gun didn’t have much time and it was still barely swung half way round to line up the nearby Sherman. Just as my gun reached the spot to line up a shot at the 24 second mark the Sherman realised the danger and started swinging its turret back at its protagonist. My perfectionist crew decided it was best to fire a shot on the fly rather than waiting for the sun to reach the equinox, especially as a 75mm barrel was pointing straight back at them and managed a first shot kill. By this time every man and their dog knew where the threat lay with a rapidly approaching 76mm Sherman further to the north taking an instant dislike to my gun and firing HE back at my furiously rotating Pak40. The first shot landed about 6 metres away to bring my crew to Alerted status (funnily enough) while the second shot was bang on target killing 2 of the crewmen but not before the plucky crew managed to squeeze off a shot before hitting the dirt in a Pinned status. At 202 metres the return shot didn’t miss and a third Sherman could be added to list of kills on the gun barrel. In Emilville my left hook towards the minor V.L. on the western outskirts had the veteran Rifle squad reach a small heavy building near to the flag while I sent moral support to the same area in the form of the Coy. HQ to ensure unit cohesion is maintained. The speeding M3A1 halftrack gets fired on by my 2nd level HMG and regular 9 man Rifle squad from distances of less than 53 and 48 metres respectively plus a platoon HQ on the ground floor pitching in, for no apparent damage. It then has to get past my ambushing Panzerschreck team (part of the previous re-inforcements) that has its ambush spot marked right in the middle of the highway, triggers it for me to see the hollow charge shot achieve a side upper hull penetration at 20 metres only for this to also be shrugged off as if just another minor inconvenience. The halftrack escapes to safety east of Emilville with whatever passengers it had on board no doubt checking to see if they had all their limbs and major organs still intact from passing through that hail of fire. My southern platoon HQ reached the foxhole by the dirt road V.L. just as the M20 A.C. arrived at virtually the same spot. It was clear that the armoured car was out of ammo (no doubt the one that single handed blown away 2 full squads of Escort squads earlier) as it just sat there seemingly waiting for Godot until dissuaded from persisiting with a hand grenade or two from my HQ. As it backed away a 4 man Sherman crew appeared from the west to join the party but it clearly hadn’t brought the right sort of grog as the entrenched host began firing at them at close range in disgust.

By the end of the turn I have a pinned Pak40 crew that has now drawn the attention of the one remaining Sherman on the battlefield which has appeared just 10 metres north of the small stone building alongside the major highway V.L. Remnants of 3 squads are also making a sprint for the exit zone just north of Emilville, having emerged from the large northern wheatfield during that turn. Finally, a last ditch effort to drive another vehicle through Emilville appears in the form of a truck that is speeding down the highway and finishes the turn just entering the western outskirts of the town.

Turn 30

I don’t hold out much hope for my beleaguered Pak40 but I order it to attempt to fire back at the enemy Sherman some 560 metres away while I figure this is my best (and only) chance to bag the last American Sherman by hunting my JgPz up onto the highway to hopefully catch the Sherman 76 in the flank or rear as it fires back at my AT gun. I also plan a very hot reception for the approaching truck with an upper storey HMG, platoon HQ and 9 man infantry squad ordered to shoot it up at very close range as it passes through the town. It appears that I will claim control of the eastern dirt road V.L. due to my platoon HQ being the only able bodied unit with ammo in the vicinity while the 2 small V.L.’s on the western outskirts of town should also be under my control with nearby full strength squads in position. The truck managed to sustain a burst of HMG fire from 70 metres and continued on its merry way while my nearby full strength squad didn’t fire at all for some unknown reason as it sped past its position less than 30 metres away. A quick burst from my platoon HQ at 35 metres had a similar non detrimental effect and to top it off, my ambushing Panzerschreck team became spooked by the sound of an oncoming truck of nastiness and hit the dirt! Fortunately for me, Spanish Bombs must have hoped that I didn’t have any unit guarding the major V.L. at the rear of town since the truck stopped alongside it. This gave my previously unused platoon HQ that was formerly in command of the central Pak40 something to do and it did it with extreme prejudice by shooting up the truck from less than 20 metres away. By midway through the final turn my Pak40 crew had decided that enough was enough and abandoned their position after copping 3 HE shells on their foxhole. Slowly my JgPz hunted up the southern embankment to the highway but not before the 76mm Sherman had disengaged from shooting up the AT gun and was itself moving towards the nearby northern wall of the small stone building. At the 30 second mark my tank hunter spotted its prey at less than 50 metres distance but then both units lost sight of each other as the Sherman reached a point right up behind the northern wall of the stone building. My JgPz continued its northward course to this time spot the enemy at 32 metres distance facing roughly south east. Desperately the Sherman tried to turn its fast turret to the west but being right alongside the building impeded the normally lighting fast rotation to a relative crawl while my JgPz slowly roatated its hull towards the enemy. At the 55 second mark the knockout blow was delivered with a side upper hull penetration to the Sherman and all the enemy tanks finally accounted for just before the end of the battle.

End result: Axis 80 to Allies 17

AXIS:

59 casualties (15 KIA)

1 captured

4 guns destroyed

3 vehicles knocked out

Men OK 94

ALLIES:

132 casualties (39 KIA)

1 mortar destroyed

27 vehicles knocked out

Men OK 208

As you can probably tell by the labour of love I put into this AAR, I thought this was an brilliant scenario with a real toing and froing style of gameplay that usually distinguishes an excellent design from a mediocre one. Although Spanish Bombs may disagree, the Allies certainly have a good chance to win this scenario provided they concentrate their forces and not allow them to be picked off in a piecemeal fashion. I heartily congratulate Wyatt Barnett for this great piece of work and look forward to playing more of his creations in the future.

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KR you win the longest AAR competition...

;)

I too enjoyed the game and I would agree the Allies can win, but as with all games it depends on the scenario, luck, skill and what your opponent does with their luck and skill.

This was one of the better scenarios and I agree that WWB is a good designer who I have a lot of time for.

smile.gif

H

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