Tuesday, May 5, 2015

KG Klink, France, Game 4


It's 1000 on 14 May 1940, and KG Klink, attached to the 7th Panzer Division, has been directed to reduce a French strongpoint manned by elements of their 5th Infantry Division.  Elements of 7th Panzer Division stream by to the north and south as 2nd Panzer Platoon, 2nd Infantry Platoon, and 4th Infantry Platoon fall out of formation into an assembly area, then launch their attack on this thorn in the side of the armored thrust.

The opposing forces, with both sides having a mixture of armor and infantry.

The Germans are led by the Schutzen Company CO, Captain Freitag (holder of the Iron Cross).  With him are:
2nd Pz Plt Cmdr: Lt Loeb (Pz III)
Sgt Mayer (Pz III)
Sgt Hamrs (Pz III)
Sgt Grossman (Pz III)

2nd Inf Plt Cmdr: Lt Tausche (Iron Cross)
1st Squad: Sgt Lutz
2nd Squad: Sgt Hasselbach
3rd Squad: Cpl Axthelm
4th Squad: Cpl Arteis

4th Inf Plt Cmdr: SSgt Mader (Iron Cross)
1st Squad: Sgt Imhofe (Iron Cross)
2nd Squad: Sgt Kandler
3rd Squad: Cpl Rishel
4th Squad: LCpl Hackl
**Each rifle platoon's 4th squad has an Anti-Tank Rifle attached.

Schwere Plt - 80mm Mortar - Sgt Osswald
Spoiler Alert: Osswald's crew was magic in the last fight, but deserves to be shot after this one...

The French: CO, a rifle platoon of four squads (with two ATRs attached), two R35 Light Tanks, two 25mm Anti-Tank Guns, and an 81mm mortar.

Overview, north is left, east is up, the Germans are attacking from top to bottom.  I started the French on blinds, placed the Germans, then uncovered the blinds.  The French infantry and guns begin in emplacements, and with concertina wire (not pictured, I put it on the table after I took this pic).

The German line up, from north (top) to south: 2nd Inf Plt, 2nd Pz Plt (with CO nearby and mortar to their rear), and 4th Inf Plt.

North: 2nd Inf Plt, where you can see the hero marker on their HQ section, the ATR marker on their 4th Squad, and Sgt Osswald's 80mm mortar (bottom right).

The German center, 2nd Pz Plt, with CO at top center.

4th Infantry Plt, with two heroes and an ATR, in the south.

The French line, from north (left) to south (right).

The French left, with an ATG at far left in emplacement, and two rifle squads (one ATR) in the ville.

The French central position on Hill 47, with their CO and three rifle squads (oh yeah, that's right, the 'opposing forces' photo showed 4 French rifle squads, I ended up giving them 6), dug in.

In the rear center at the stone farmhouse, a tank, an ATG, the mortar, and a rifle squad.

And posted to the far right flank, the other French tank.

And there's the French wire...

The Germans win the opposed die roll and start the game.

In the north, Lt Tausche moves his platoon forward.

The panzers move forward in the center.

And 4th Plt moves up on the German left.

The R35 on the French right moves up to take the German tanks in the flank (far right, he was at bottom center right off camera).

While the R35 in the center does the same on the other side (he's at bottom left, moved from the twin treees at bottom center).

Sgt Mayer maneuvers his tank forward (top right), but the enemy's far left ATG (bottom left) fires and pins his crew.

Lt Loeb pulls his vehicle up next to Mayer's (top left), but the French tank on the right flank (bottom right) react fires and pins his crew as well...

Sgt Osswald's 80mm mortar goes to work on the rear French position, hoping to take out the anti-tank gun there.  The fire has no effect...

Sgt Crossman then aggressively moves his panzer forward (top right), and the French left-hand tank (bottom left) fires, pinning his crew.  Three for three in getting crews pinned...

I've kinda made a mess of this already, little too aggressive.  Now I've got three tanks pinned out in the open, right in front of an entire French infantry platoon that may be just mad enough to come charging out of their holes to overrun my tanks.  I need to get some infantry up there between the two...

So Cpl Rishel's 3rd Squad, 4th Platoon (center, with yellow bead, just above the two trees with the bushes running between them) sprints ahead to cover the panzers, but the French infantry react fire and pin the squad in the open...

Captain Freitag, the Commanding Officer, pushes forward, placing his vehicle between Lt Loeb and Sgt Mayer's tanks, trying to rally them.  Lt Loeb's tank is rallied (center left, next to the CO stand with halftrack), but Sgt Mayer's tank fails and falls back (top left, with red bead).

This is going swimmingly...

The left-hand French ATG (bottom left) fires on Lt Loeb's flank (top right), pinning his recently rallied vehicle.

And the left-hand R35 fires on Sgt Grossman's tank, keeping it pinned.

While the right-hand R35 (bottom right) fires on Lt Loeb's vehicle, but the round misses its mark.

The French rear ATG, the one that's successfully dodging mortar rounds (bottom left), fires on Sgt Harms' tank (top right), but misses.

Disaster strikes when the French mortars target 2nd Platoon: Sgt Hasselbach's 2nd Squad is eliminated, Lt Tausche's HQ section is forced to fall back, and Sgt Lutz's 1st Squad is pinned.

The French rifles in the ville try to follow up on the mortar's success, but their fire is ineffectual.

And return fire from the veteran German infantry forces both French squads in the ville to fall back.

Lt Tausche rallies his HQ section, and Sgt Mayer rallies his tank crew.

Back in the center, the French open fire on Cpl Rishel's squad and force it to fall back (top center, with red bead, from center white puff behind the bush between the two trees).  The French fire their anti-tank rifle at Sgt Grossman's panzer (center left), but the rounds bounce off harmlessly.

Though apparently they bother Grossman's gunner enough to make him miss when he fires at the left-hand R35...

Then Lt Loeb's Pz Mk III fires on the French right-hand tank...

And things are looking up.

4th Platoon opens fire on the French hill position, forcing one squad to fall back and pinning another.

The CO tries to rally Lt Loeb's tank, and is successful, but can't rally Cpl Rishel's squad, who falls back (top center, from center).

Sgt Harms' tank (top left) fires point blank into the French emplacements on the hill...

Knocking out one squad and forcing another to fall back.

And then Sgt Mayer's panzer (top right, in woods) fires on the ville (bottom left) and eliminates a French squad.

The German commander would very much like to eliminate the anti-tank threat on his right flank, and so directs Sgt Osswald to shift fire to the left-hand ATG (bottom left).  Once again Sgt Osswald's mortars fire to no effect...  So Sgt Mayer's tank moves forward and takes a shot (top right), dodging react fire form the ATG...

And the crew fall back, abandoning the gun.

Lt Loeb moves his tank forward and sends a 37mm armor-piercing round towards the remaining French tank.  There is a satisfactory 'KLANG' as the round strikes home...

But it doesn't penetrate, simply causes the French commander to seek cover (bottom right, from far left white puff).  Don't you run off the map, ye bastid, you stay here and get knocked out proper.

The CO moves up and unpins Sgt Grossman's vehicle.

On the German far right, Cpl Axthelm moves his squad up to the wire and fires at the remaining French squad in the ville (the other having been eliminated by Sgt Mayer's main gun fire), but misses.  The abandoned ATG is at bottom left.

The French receive two rifle squads as reinforcements...  Sacre bleu!  Or Cordon Bleu.  Whatever ;)

And here they are, coming on in the bottom left (northwest) corner, hoping to get to the ville to prop up the French left flank and hopefully convince the ATG crew there to re-man their gun.

On Hill 47, the French CO is hard at work, rallying one squad fully and getting the other 'up' to pin.

Getting only 'up' to pin is kind of a failure (all you need to rally is a 2-5 on 1D6; not that hard right?).

The French tank tries to rally, but fails and runs.  I could have had him run off the map, but I selfishly had him run from behind the trees at far left to behind the stone farmhouse.  Which won't save him ;)

But there's another failure to rally.

On the far left, the ATG crew tries to rally, but runs again (another failed rally).  One of the reinforcement squads moves up to help them rally...

And they run again (is that four now?  Yes, four failed rallies in a row.  That's a '1' followed by three '6s,' AKA, "The Number of the Panda.").

The left-hand ATG crew having abandoned its gun, the German mortar crew again fires on the rear ATG, and again they HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO EFFECT.  Three mortar salvos, not so much as a pebble cast in the general direction of the enemy...

Sgt Harms decides to take matters into his own hands, and directs his tank to take the ATG under fire.

The high explosive rounds cause the rear ATG crew to abandon their gun (bottom left, from center top).

This clears the way for Lt Loeb to move his panzer forward (top right) and put a round into the ass of the remaining French tank (bottom left)...

Putting it out of its misery.  Two tank kills for Lt Loeb!

Back on the left, Cpl Axthelm's squad moves up and fires and eliminates the French squad in the ville (top right).  I find it's very hard to get stuff done with infantry when there are tanks on the board; my natural inclination is to want to focus on the tanks, to have them utilize their superior firepower to knock stuff out, and to move around to avoid being knocked out.

I got lucky in using tanks to brush back the French infantry on Hill 47, but I very much need to get infantry up there to secure the position, and I very much need to get infantry up on the French left flank to keep them from re-manning the ATG there.

The French fail another rally when their CO tries to rally a pinned squad on Hill 47 but he rolls up another pin...

On the left, a reinforcement rifle squad moves up (bottom left) and rallies the ATG crew, who moves up (center left).  The other reinforcing rifle squad moves up to the crest (center), intent on firing at Cpl Axthelm's squad (top right)...

But Sgt Lutz's 2nd Squad (top right) react fires (the French are at bottom left, Axthelm's squad is under the orange tracer) and pins them!

The German CO (top right) falls back and rallies Cpl Rishel's squad, who dashes forward to move up in echelon with the rest of 4th Platoon (this pic is looking right to left, south to north, at Hill 47) on the German left flank.

And the panzers are on the loose, moving up straight through the middle of the French defenses.  I'm not sure what I was thinking here, and this move almost cost the Germans a victory, as you'll soon see...

Lt Tausche moves up (top right) and rallies Sgt Lutz's squad, who then moves his 1st Squad up with Cpl Arteis' 4th Squad.  Cpl Axthelm moves his 3rd Squad up to the ATG emplacement (far left).

The French ATG crew moves up, and the rifle squad next to it rallies (far left), but the other rifle squad sprints towards Lt Loeb's tank, staying in cover, while the rifle squad from the stone farmhouse (bottom right, off camera) moves up to the wire.

It seems the French, fresh out of anti-tank weapons, are determined to set upon the German panzers, who have (once again) recklessly placed themselves dangerously close to the enemy, with their brave infantrymen.

The farmhouse ATG crew tries to rally, and, predictably, fails, staying pinned...

The French CO rallies the pinned squad on Hill 47, which then advances with his sister squad (top right and center).  The CO then moves left (bottom left).  The German tanks are looking rather vulnerable...

And it begins: a French squad breaks cover, charging Lt Loeb's panzer.  The tank's machine guns rattle, but the French doggedly close the distance...

But Lt Loeb (far left) ceaselessly hurls grenades and fires his MP-40, and defeats the French rifle squad!

But quickly another French squad charges.  Sgt Grossman's vehicle (top right) fires its machine guns, to no avail.

Once again they French close, and this time they overpower Lt Loeb and his crew, knocking out the Pz Mk III.  The French squad turns on Sgt Grossman's tank...

But they are mowed down by the tanks' machine guns!  Wow...

The French CO (bottom right) rallies the ATG crew, who re-mans the gun (center right).

Sgt Mayer and Sgt Harms direct their gunners to fire on the French squads at/near Hill 47, but manage only a pin.  Only a pin!!!???

But Sgt Grossman gallantly pushes his vehicle forward, pumping rounds into the enemy ATG at point blank range, getting 'man down' and forcing the mortar (far right) to run off the map.

Cpl Axthelm's squad fires on the French squad on the far left...

The fire forces the French rifleman to fall back, and in the confusion Axthelm leads his men forward to capture the French rifle squad and anti-tank gun crew.

The French CO moves over and helps the ATG crew recover from man-down.

Cpl Axthelm leads his squad down the hill (far left, between the two trees) while Sergeants Mayer and Harms move their tanks forward, hoping to skirt the French infantry from Hill 47 (center right) and leave them for 4th Platoon (off camera to right).

The French send a single rifle squad back up Hill 47 in an attempt to hold back 4th Platoon.

Once again Sgt Osswald's mortars fail to have any effect on the enemy, so Sgt Grossman moves his tank up; the ATG snap fires but misses, before Grossman's gun puts the ATG in 'man down' again.

Sgt Harms moves his tank up and fires, and guess what?  Man down again (three in a row, we can do this all day I suppose)...

How about one more time?  Sgt Mayer moves up and fires, man down!  The French CO tries to have the crew recover, but they melt away, at which point the remaining French units surrender.

Well, wow, what a fight!  It may not seem like it to you (the German casualties were pretty damn light, a single rifle squad and a single tank), but it was very tense, always just a single die roll from disaster.  Early on the French fired with both tanks and both ATGs, and managed only three pins; if any of those makes a BOOM! it's potentially a very different fight, with French tanks chasing my panzers around.  And then, when I ran my tanks up the road, I gave the French pretty good odds to go aggressive with their infantry, and that's what they did.  It was only pure damn luck that 1) Lt Loeb's tank fought off the attacking infantry in the first close assault, and 2) Sgt Grossman's tank fought off the attacking infantry in the second assault.  If the French had succeeded there they'd have kept charging, and I had visions of a road strewn with the wreckage of four panzers overrun by French infantry...

After the French had lost those two squads I figured they might lose heart and so I re-rolled their stance and they got a bit more timid, which is where they went for focusing on getting their ATG crews back to the guns, which didn't work out.  They did get the stone farmhouse crew back to the gun, but they missed.  Again, if they'd have knocked out the first tank, dodging the 'man down' result, they're in the fight and maybe knocking out more thanks.  It certainly didn't help that Osswald's mortar fired four or five times and didn't have a single effect, not even a pin (you may notice that sometimes I call it 'mortar,' and others 'mortars.'  I look at it as the named individual is in charge of section of two mortars, or two machine guns, thought ATGs and field guns are definitely singles).

-1st Lt Loeb (2nd Pz Plt Cmdr), Recommended for Iron Cross 2nd Class for eliminating two tanks and fighting off an enemy rifle squad in close combat before being overrun by another, WIA - Return (F4).
-Cpl Axthelm (3rd Squad, 2nd Inf Plt) Mentioned n Dispatches for eliminating an enemy rifle squad and capturing another, as well as an enemy anti-tank gun.  Meritoriously promoted to Sergeant (F4).
-Sgt Grossman (V2, 2nd Pz Plt) Mentioned in Dispatches for eliminating two enemy rifle squads, one in close combat, capturing an anti-tank gun crew, and for placing his vehicle in grave danger to shield comrades (Lt Loeb's vehicle) (F4).
-Sgt Hasselbach (2nd Squad, 2nd Inf Plt), KIA (F4).
-Lost: ~10 KIA/WIA, 1 Pz Mk III.
-Caused: ~70 KIA/WIA, captured ~50 POWs, 2 R35s knocked out, 2 25mm ATGs captured.

Hope you enjoyed it.  And sorry for so many fuzzy pictures; at this point I'd stop considering it a bug, more of a feature from our (fake computer) war correspondents...



  1. As always, phenomenal game.
    Having the one house with a red roof attracts the eye in an odd sort of way, since everything else is the usual "browns and greys".

    Bad luck on the mortars. Too much time eating Schnitzel and not enough on the range :-)

    1. Ivan,

      Thanks man. I'm not sure why I put the 'red' (orange, actually) roof on a couple houses; something different I s'pose, to stand out from all the drab colors. And Sgt Osswald and his crew are cleaning ze scheizehaus for the next week...