Friday, March 4, 2016

Operation Jupiter Batrep #8, Counterattack

All,

The Brits have fought their way deep into the village of Eterville, and the Germans are determined to do something about it.  Captain Rolfbertsen and his 2iC, Lieutenant Eichtoriel have been ordered to prepare and lead their unit, the 3rd Company, 457th PanzerGrenadier Abteilung Sauer und Krauthammer, in a counterattack supported by armor, in order to evict the British.  C Company of the 5th Westchesterfords North Riding Rangers of the Highland Coldshire Guards (5th WNRRHCG), under Major Lemmuel and his 2iC, Lieutenant Boggler, stand in their way.

In real life it's 10 July 1944, and it's elements of the 9th Battalion, Cameronian Regiment (or at least that's how I'm reading 9/Cameronians), 45th Infantry Brigade, 15th Scottish Infantry Division vs a hastily thrown together battle group of panzergrenadiers and armor from the 12th SS Panzer Division.  In real life the Germans launched a hasty attack into a fluid situation and soon lost momentum among the hedges and buildings of Eterville.

Overview of map, north is left and the British baseline, while south is right and the German baseline.  The Germans will be leading a massive counterattack out of the fields at right, while the Brits are defending the southern edge of the town of Eterville, hoping to hold their so far significant gains in Operation Jupiter.

The building at center left, on the bottom right side of the intersection, is the objective building.

The opposing forces, with Germans on the left (as I said, massive) and Brits on the right (not so massive; but bigger than some of the defending forces my poor boy has had to suffer through).

The Brits, with Major Lemmuel and Lieutenant Boggler's command group at far right, two rifle sections, a 2" mortar team, a PIAT team, and two 75mm-armed M4 Shermans.

The Germans, with Captain Rolfbertsen and Lieutenant Eichtoriel's Command Group at far right, then four rifle squads (each with two Panzerfausts; the boy has proven quite adept with the very short-ranged Panzerfaust), one 80mm mortar team (with ammo for four fire missions), three Sdkfz 251 halftracks, two Stug IIIs (with long 75mm), and two Pz Mk IVs (also with long 75mm).

The starting positions: the Brits are on the left, with all units starting unspotted, and staying that way basically until they fire or are run up on (minus the two tanks, of course).  The Germans are spread across the fields at right: the boy was kind of screwed insofar as the fields at bottom right have a stone wall all around them, so all his vehicles are on the top (east) side of the map, while he put two rifle squads on each side of the road.  The mortar team is at top right.

A look at the German start line: the rifle squads are 1st through 4th Squads, the Pz Mk IVs are P1 and P2, the halftracks are H1, H2, and H3, and the Stugs are S1 and S2.

The British defensive positions: two Shermans, with T1 at top left and T2 at bottom center, 1st Section behind wall at center left, PIAT team in building at center, 2" mortar team behind wall above them (I figured I'd put the 2" mortar up front as 1) it has no HE capability, 2) I don't really have too much need for smoke in the defense, and 3) at least they could serve as pickets/rifles), and 2nd Section behind wall at bottom right.

I kept my troops back, willing to let the Germans into the town, but then looking to cut them up by making best use of my limited assets in the short fields of fire caused by the buildings.

**Game note: I win the roll off to see who goes first, and I make him go first.  He gets to move everyone forward, but he doesn't get to shoot as all my units are unspotted.  This should put him nice and close for me to spring the ambush.

The German juggernaut pushes forward across the entire front.  The boy is not timid, he wants to get in and mix it up.  Furthermore, he understands exactly what type of numerical advantage he has, and he doesn't give a damn about casualties, only winning!

Time to rock and roll: the British 2nd Section, on the Brit far right, opens fire on the German 1st Squad, totally missing, nothing but net...

But the German return fire misses too!

Meanwhile, in the center T2 moves up and fires on the German halftrack poking its nose up main street.

The German H1 (top left) is immobilized and the crew hops out, while the German 3rd Section is forced to fall back and hunker (red bead at far right, from up next to the Stug on the road at center left).

And then, since no one can see them and it could help, Major Lemmuel orders the 2" mortar team (far left, behind wall) to lay smoke in front of the German 1st Squad (top right).

Captain Rolfbertsen moves his command group back to 3rd Squad (top right) and rallies them.

Then leads them forward (bottom left, with Stug 1 and 2 at left, 4th Squad at center, H2 at top center, and H3 and P2 at top right).

Stug 1 pushes the burning halftrack out of the way and moves forward.

While just on the other side of the building H3 pushes up, and runs right into the Brit 2" mortar team (top left, the green bead means they were hidden).

On the German left, P1 moves over, looking for a gap to exploit, while 1st and 2nd Squads both move right (1st is in the building at bottom center, 2nd is right in front of the Pz IV).  Across the street you can see the Brit 2nd Section (on left) and the Brit Command Group (on right).

In a daring move, Major Lemmuel orders 2nd Section to depart its defensive position at the wall (bottom left) and sprint across the street, into the objective building (top left), with the German 2nd Squad right outside their door, and the German 1st Squad in the building at right.

In the center, T2 (bottom left) pushes forward into a better firing position to support 2nd Section (in the objective building at center right, with Germans crawling all over them).

Similarly, the 2" mortar team darts into a nearby building (center), with German halftracks and Stugs all over the place.

T2, nice and comfy in its new spot, fires an AP round at Stug 1...

Busting it wide open (far left), and forcing Stug 2 to fall back (red bead at top right, from right behind Stug 1).

The Brit 2nd Section cuts loose from point blank range (bottom left) on the German 2nd Squad, but only forced them to fall back...  German 1st Squad is just visible at far right, and of course the first Panzer is sitting right there.

On the left, the 2" mortar team (center) is feeling froggy and opens up with its rifles at very close range on the German 4th Squad (top center)...

And those boys must have had some pent up anger, because the mortar team (center left, in building) knocked out the German 4th Squad (casualty figure at explosion at center left), forced 3rd Squad to fall back (again, top right, with CO at center), and pinned H2 (left)!!!

Panzer 2 is at top left, and there's another halftrack over there, off camera.

But back on the German left, Panzer 1 fires a 75mm HE round straight into the house the Brit 2nd Section is occupying...

And they are out of the fight.

On the German right, Panzer 1 pivots and sends an HE round into the house holding the 2" mortar team, putting them 'men down.'

On the German left, Panzer 1 falls back and helps rally 2nd Squad (top right), while 1st Squad (bottom left) looks on.

Then 2nd Squad sprints into the objective building (center, from bottom right), while 1st Squad sprints across the road and up to the wall (far left).  The Brit CO, Major Lemmuel, is behind the wall opposite the objective building.

Captain Roflbertsen and Lieutenant Eichtoriel again fall back to rally 3rd Squad and the Stug (top right, with Panzer 1 at bottom right).

With the German command group looking on (bottom center), the Stug pushes up main street (top center left) towards the burning halftrack and Stug, while 2nd Squad moves forward (center right).

H3 moves to H2 to try to rally them, but they stay pinned (yellow bead at center left, with objective building just to their left), while Panzer 2 moves into a firing position.  The Brit T1 it out of sight at top right, and the Brit 1st Section is still hidden behind the wall at top left.

On the Brit right, T2 repositions (bottom center) to get a bead on H2 (top left, with H3 right behind it), while Major Lemmuel and Lieutenant Boggler fall back (they are between the two buildings to the right of T2.  The PIAT team (on 2nd floor of red building to T2's right) and 1st Section (behind wall at left) are still hidden, while the 2" mortar team holds on for dear life in the building at top center.

On the Brit left, T1 (bottom left) moves over, and the 2" mortar team successfully recovers from its casualties (top right).

On the Brit left, T1 fires a HEAT round at H2 (top center, with H3 right behind it and Panzer 2 at top left)...

H2 (top left) is knocked out, forcing H3 to fall back (red bead at top center).  The 2" mortar team (in building at left) fires on the German 3rd Squad, to no effect.

The German riflemen return fire...

Forcing the 2" mortar team to fall back and hunker (red bead at bottom left, German 3rd Squad at top right, remaining Stug on road at bottom center right).

The German 3rd Squad rushes into the building the 2" mortar team just abandoned, and the close into melee with the 2" mortar team...

Putting them out of the fight.

Then moving into the street (center right).  The British 1st Section (far left) react fires, but misses.

Now 1st Section is spotted...

And when the Germans keep pushing forward (bottom center, with Brit 1st Section at top center), they end up spotting the Brit PIAT section (in building at bottom left).  T2 is just off camera to the left.

I told ya the boy is aggressive.

And I'll be damned if I didn't miss a picture...  Captain Rolfbertsen immediately called in his 80mm mortars on the British 1st Section.

The rounds hit right on target, knocking out the Brit 1st Section (casualty figure at top left) and forcing T2 to fall back (red bead at bottom right, from center left).

**Game note: we actually had a roll-off to see if the 'fall back and hunker' would apply to my tank or his rifle squad (top center, just above red building containing the PIAT team).  He won, so my tank fell back...

On the German far left, their 1st Squad hops the wall and creeps forward...

Until they round the corner into a firing position and launch a Panzerfaust at the ass-end of the hunkering T2.

But the anti-tank round totally misses, no effects at all!!!

**Game note: because the situation was so bad, I actually gave him 4K 2S.

Major Lemmuel and Lt Boggler quickly sprint to T2 and rally it back into action.

The tank pivots in place and opens fire with everything its got...

But I totally miss too!!!  What the hell is going on!!??

Nearby, the PIAT team opens fire with its rifles on the German 3rd Squad, getting them 'men down.'

You know what this means ;)

As you can tell by the gritty, no-shit combat photo, the PIAT team rushes into close combat with the roughed up German squad.

And ze Germans are kaput!

The PIAT team rushes forward (behind wall at left, German 3rd Squad casualty figure at bottom center near explosion).

In the German center, with H2 burning at bottom left, Captain Rolfbertsen and Lieutenant Boggler rally H3 (far right).  Panzer 2 sits idly at top left.

While in the center, with the German 2nd Squad (building at bottom center) and the British PIAT team (behind wall at top left) watching, the remaining Stug (on road at center) bulls his way past his burning compatriot and the burning halftrack.

**Game note: we rolled to see if the Stug got hung up or threw a track, but it made it.  I don't know why the boy was so determined to push through there, I warned him...

The PIAT team immediately launches an anti-tank round at the Stug (yes, I know the PIAT is a spring-loaded weapon and not a rocket, but this just looks cool).

The Stug (top right) is immobilized and the crew bails, while the German 2nd Squad is forced to fall back (red bead at bottom left) out of the objective building.  But...

The PIAT team is so close to the explosion that they themselves are pinned!!!

Back on the British right, the German 1st Squad fires its last Panzerfaust at T2...

The Sherman is immobilized and the crew bails, running away (bottom left) as Major Lemmuel and Lieutenant Boggler (left) can only watch...

The German 1st Squad pushes into the nearest building (bottom center), forcing the British command group to fall back (far left).  All that's left for the Brits is the CO, the 2" mortar team (top center), and the other Sherman (off camera to left).

Captain Rolfbertsen (just left of the orange tracer) once again calls in his mortars (top right), and they rain 80mm HE rounds down on the 2" mortar team (behind wall at bottom left, with yellow bead).

The British mortar team is forced to fall back (red bead at center, from explosion at top right).  Major Lemmuel (bottom right) sighs then fires his flare to signal the mortar team and T1 (top left) to fall back.

Man, these fights have been awesome!!!  The boy won, but I  still had a great time, even though he took two of three games from me this weekend.  It's been a blast, and I can't wait until next weekend to get some more fights in.

Casualties:
British: 20 WIA/KIA, one M4 Sherman knocked out.
Germans: 30 WIA/KIA, two Stug IIIs knocked out, two Sdkfz 251s knocked out.

Citations:
German 3rd Squad Leader, posthumously decorated for valor for leading close assault into heart of British defenses.
British PIAT Team Leader, for knocking out a Stug III and leading his team into close combat to defeat the German 3rd Squad.

So the German counterattack was successful insofar as it gained the southern edge of Eterville, but they were so bloodied by the British defense they had to fall back to regroup and reorganize.  More to come!

V/R,
Jack

8 comments:

  1. Great fight Jack. Your boy is honing his skills. Watch out!

    Cheers, Andy

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    Replies
    1. Indeed! I'm getting a bit scared, hopefully I've got a few more wins in me.

      V/R,
      Jack

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    2. I guess he's growing up to be ARMY strong ;-)

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  2. Lots of building combats in this scenario and the Brits just don't seem to have quite enough units to stop the German horde.

    This is as far as I have got in my replays so looking forward to the AARs of scenario 9 onwards.

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    1. Shaun, definitely a tough one for the Brits, and the boy crammed it right down my throat!

      And if I'm passing you, seems you need to get to work, Sir! ;)

      V/R,
      Jack

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    2. My good man, I have not written up the last two i have played. I am on page 19 of 20 in revising my 6mm rules (see - they did reduce in size from 30+ pages). I will then get out the 6mm troops and play some company level games. Have not really thought about what scenarios but I have lots in my collection to choose from. Not Operation Jupiter - I am reserving that for 20mm.

      I bought some better looking painted 6mm German and British infantry from eBay last month so keen to get them out, but also keen to play some East Front. So soon.

      And I look forward to the boy winning again and reading your excuses on being beaten by a 6 year old :-)

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    3. Excuses!!?? I've been letting him win! ;)

      And I'm definitely with you about having too many projects to hand. Good Lord, there simply isn't time for all the stuff I need/want to do. Aside from all the WWII and Modern stuff I've got going on, I have two huge Napoleonic projects that are nowhere near finished, and I just watched a TV program about US Marines in the Vietnam War, specifically the Battle of Dai Do (Dong Ha, 1968).

      Unfortunately it was very inspiring...

      Well, East Front, West Front, 6mm, 20mm, it makes me no difference, just get to it man! The world wants to see!

      V/R,
      Jack

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