We are now upon the fifth fight in Operation Jupiter, the British assault on The Ridge. So far the British have successfully evicted the Germans from their initial defensive positions at and around the Chateau de Fontaine, and now the Germans are falling back on their next defensive line at and around the village of Eterville. Between the Chateau and Eterville, the 4th Company of the 457th PanzerGrenadier Abteilung Sauer und Krauthammer, commanded by Captain Eireserb and his 2iC Lt Tokapiksee, is manning an outpost line on an unnamed ridge. It falls to Major Phillips' D Company, with Lt Canham as his 2iC, of the 5th Westchesterfords North Riding Rangers of the Highland Coldshire Guards (5th WNRRHCG), to clear the path into the village of Eterville.
In real life it's 10 July 1944, and it's 4th Battalion, Dorset Regiment, 130th Brigade, 43rd Wessex Division vs remnants of the Panzergrenadier Regiment, 1st SS Panzer Division. In real life the Brits very quickly overran the ragtag German outpost line, encountering almost no resistance.
**Go ahead, @#$%ers, make fun, the carpet is back, and not just for the hills, but for the wheat fields, too. It's not pretty, but it's functional. I've been telling myself that this is the year I finally invest some time and money and get some decent hills; we'll see.
In real life these were two x Churchill and two x Crocodile, but I don't have any, so Sherman it is. Oh, and that's an American Sherman with 76mm gun proxying as the Firefly...
We dice off to see who goes first, and once again I'm incredibly lucky: I win and make him go first. The reason is that his units start unspotted (stay that way until they fire), so if I had to go first I'd move everyone up but be unable to fire. So the Germans start it off, uncorking their ambush a bit prematurely.
1st Section is at top right, 2nd just visible at bottom right.
The Firefly pushes ahead (right of T3) and rallies both T3 and 4th Section, then fires its main gun at ATG 2 (top center), forcing them to hunker.
**Game Note: I screwed up, since T3 had just received a negative morale result I shouldn't have allowed myself to rally them until next turn. Second, all the Germans are treated as dug in, so when they receive a 6 on the Shock die I'm not having them fall back, I'm having them hunker in place, and they'll fall back if they receive another 6, which I think is actually how the rules are written. I can't remember ;)
Captain Eireserb looks on helplessly...
Then I get another lucky break with a random event, and I get to move one extra unit without drawing react fire.
What!!!?? I failed a @#$% recovery roll!!!??? Not cool at all; now my infantry are down to half, with both flank sections gone. I'm seriously starting to wonder if I've got enough grunts to carry this off...
**Game Note: Every time T3 is shooting, they're either using 1K 1S, 1S, or 2S, depending on how good I figure the shot it, but he never fails to put a hurtin' on someone. Pretty amazing.
Captain Eireserb (far right) successfully rallies the crew of ATG 1, just need to get them back to their gun (top center).
Apparently I missed a picture, but the German MG team (bunker at right) self rallied, only to have the Firefly pop them with another HE round, putting them right back to 'men down.'
Things are looking dire for the Germans; they've got their Command Group, a single rifle squad, and a single anti-tank gun, though the crew is not yet with the gun.
Whew, another great fight, which saw me having some hot dice at times, but a real rough time with rallying, while the boy had an up and down day as well. I've been consistently amazed at the German inability to take out larger chunks of the British armor; at the beginning of each game I'm thinking there's no way my armor is going to last more than a turn or two, but then somehow they survive, and today the Firefly and T3 carried the day!
So, as in real life, the Germans gave way and fell back on Eterville, and so that's where this coming weekend's games will take place.
British: 30 KIA/WIA, one M4 Sherman destroyed, one M4 Sherman damaged (main gun).
German: 35 KIA/WIA, 5 POW, two PaK-40 ATGs destroyed.
The tank commanders of the Firefly and T3 were decorated for valor, the crews were mentioned in dispatches.
Well, I'm caught up on batreps for now, at least. Five games in and we're still going strong, having a great time. I had a little negative look at doing this before I started, with knowing how it would keep me from making progress on campaigns I've already got going, as well as painting (all my spare time is playing and writing these up), but I'm glad I did this, the boy and I are having a great time.
More to come.