Sunday, July 14, 2019

KG Klink, France, Game 7

All,

It's 1615 on 15 May 1940, and KG Klink, attached to the 7th Panzer Division, is on the move.  The 7th Panzer Division has broken through the French front line and is on the road to Flavion; this morning the division was stymied by French resistance on the main axis of advance, but KG Klink reconnaissance elements discovered an undefended ford of the River Moiste north of the city and seized it.  Lt Wehner immediately seized it, and both the French and Colonel Klink dispatched forces to secure it.  There followed an extremely intense fight which saw two enemy tanks knocked out, an entire French infantry platoon eliminated in close combat, and four Iron Crosses handed out (including a 1st Class)!  Rommel immediately sent his panzer grenadiers streaming into Flavion and his panzers around it, while KG Klink pushed south from its ford, then being ordered to reduce a French strongpoint on Hill 81 on the eastern outskirts of Flavion.  Colonel Klink ordered his infantry company commander, 1st Lt Tausch, to take three of his platoons, some heavy weapons, and a section of Stug IIIs and take the hill.   

I am playing this game, the seventh of KG Klink's campaign during the Fall of France in 1940, in 10mm, using a mix of Pendraken and Minifigs UK troops and equipment, on a 6' x 4' table, using Great Escape Games' "Iron Cross" rules. 

The battlefield, north is up.  Hard to see elevation (as I put the hills under the mat), but Hill 81 is at far left, while Hill 37 is at center top right.  There is a north-south running dirt road, several patches of woods, three houses (from top to bottom, the yellow house, the gray house, and the red house), numerous cultivated fields (no effect on movement/cover), and a large rubble pile at center (not sure why it's there, but it was in the Skirmish Campaigns scenario book map, so I put it in there, too).

The opposing forces, with French on top and Germans on the bottom.  The forces are relatively equal, two or three rifle platoons, a section of AFVs, a mortar, MG, and ATG.  The little black beads are what I'm using as 'Command Tokens' for the rules; I'm using red beads as 'Morale Markers,' and blue beads to show a spent unit (only used if a unit carries out the order 'Fall Back,' when it's not allowed to activate any more in that turn).

The German force: three rifle platoons (with singly mounted platoon commanders, though they are really just for decoration using these rules), as follows:

Schutzen Company Commander - 1st Lt Tausch (Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class)

1st Platoon - 1st Lt Klugmann (Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class)
1st Squad - Sgt Kamphaus
2nd Squad - Sgt Lehmkuhl
3rd Squad - Cpl Arteis

2nd Platoon - 1st Lt Ost
1st Squad - Sgt Lutz
2nd Squad - Cpl Lipnicki
3rd Squad - Sgt Axthelm

4th Platoon - Sgt Imhofe (Iron Cross 2nd Class)
1st Squad - Sgt Kandler
2nd Squad - Cpl Rishel
3rd Squad - LCpl Hackl

Stug Section - Sgt Wagner
Vehicle 2 - Sgt Gebhardt

Heavy Weapons
MG Team - Cpl Creuzburg
Mortar Team - Sgt Osswald
PaK-36 ATG Team - Cpl Drexler  


The French, commanded by Capitan LaRoux.  He has two rifle platoons, an MG team, a mortar team, a horse-drawn 25mm anti-tank gun, and two H39 light tanks with which to hold Hill 81.

A close up of the German Stugs (short barreled 75mm guns, the prime mover and PaK-36, the Command stand (bottom right), and the MG and mortar teams.

Same thing for the French, wanted to show off my horse limber and cool paintjobs on the H39s ;)

The German end of the table, north is up.  At bottom right we have Lt Ost's 2nd Platoon and Sgt Osswald's 80mm mortar team; at center is the CO (Lt Tausch), the Stug section, the ATG (limbered up), and Sgt Imhofe's 4th Platoon. Just above them is Cpl Creuzburg's MG-34 team, and at top right is Lt Klugmann's 1st Platoon.

A closeup of the northeast, showing 1st Platoon.

They intend on skirting up the right flank to seize the yellow house (top right, with the gray house at top center and red house at top left).

Looking west at the German center; the plan is for the MG-34 team (far right) to get atop Hill 37, while the Stugs, ATG, and 4th Platoon wait in reserve to reinforce success.

Cpl Creuzburg and his MG team looking up Hill 37.

In the southwest we have Sgt Osswald's mortar team digging n and breaking out ammo as Lt Ost's 2nd Platoon moves up.

2nd Platoon is going to move through the woods in the south to take the red house (top left).

Looing south to north at the French end of the table.  The French have their MG team dug in atop Hill 81 (left), their tanks and mortar team at top left, their ATG limbered and waiting in the woods at far left, while their 1st Platoon is at top center (in and around the gray house) and their 2nd Platoon is at bottom center (in and around the red house).

Looking at the north end of the line where the French 1st Platoon is in and around the gray house.

The French mortar team getting ready as their tankers scope things out, warming their engines up.

The French CO, Capitan LaRoux, and his MG team, dug in atop Hill 81.

And the French south end of the line, where their 2nd Platoon is in and around the red house.

The French ATG limbered and waiting to spring into action against German panzers.

The view east from the French tankers' position.

The view east from atop Hill 81.  Damn, you really can't see the elevation change...  You can see a little bit for Hill 27 (top center left, compare it to the flat ground at top right).

The view east from behind the French 2nd Platoon.

And the fight is on!  Germans win first initiative, so...

Sgt Osswarld's mortar team looks on as Lt Ost leads 2nd Platoon into the woods (center left, with enemy held red house at top left).

While simultaneously, on the right flank Lt Klugmann leads 1st Platoon forward, heading for the yellow house (top right, with the enemy-held gray house at top center).

The French 1st Platoon has its interest piqued, but so far they remain quiet and still, allowing the Germans to come closer.

Lt Klugmann pushes 2nd Squad forward (far right).  Still nothing, but they spot movement...

So he leads 3rd Squad forward, where they take up firing positions and open fire.  Lt Klugmann signals the mortar team.

Sgt Osswald (bottom right) lays the tube and gets to work on the French 1st Platoon (top left, with Lt Klugmann's 1st Platoon at top center); "hang, fire!"

80mm high-explosive rounds begin dropping on the French 2nd Squad, 1st Platoon, roughing them up a bit.


"Nice work, boys!"  That's not a stack of cannon balls next to the mortar team, those are my 'Command Tokens, showing how many times they activated, or tried to activate.

While 1st Platoon (right) is engaging the French infantry at/around the gray house (top center), Cpl Creuzburg decides now is the time to get into place, so he leads his MG Team up the back side of Hill 37 (far left, from bottom left).

But the French 1st Squad (center, with Lt Klugmann's 1st Platoon at top left) spots the German MG team (top center right) and opens fire, but it's ineffective.

And while they're doing that (bottom left), the French Platoon Leader braves the German mortar fire to go and rally his 2nd Squad, getting them back into fighting shape.

And the French answer with their mortar (top left), which begins firing on the German 1st Platoon (top right).

Lt Klugmann, with 3rd Squad (top right), looks on as 2nd Squad is pinned down (bottom left).

But Lt Tausch (far right) is growing impatient: he orders Sgt Wagner's Stugs forward in support (left top, from far right, with 1st Platoon engaged at top center right).

Sgt Gebhardt's Stug pulls up behind the rubble pile (sorry, yeah, that's the best I could do for a rubble pile) and begins pounding the gray house (top left, housing the French 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon).

While Sgt Wagner pulls up to a hedge (bottom right) and begins pounding the French MG position atop Hill 81 (top left).

"It's working," exclaims Lt Tausch, as his command vehicle moves up (left, from bottom right, where the ATG remains).  "Sgt Imhofe, go!"  And with that, Sgt Imhofe leads 4th Platoon into the woods, up the middle (center).

The French CO rallies his MG team atop Hill 81.

And with all the other stuff going on, Cpl Creuzburg is finally able to get his team up into position atop Hill 37, and get the MG-34 set up on the tripod.

Sgt Wagner moves his Stug up to the rubble pile, joining Sgt Gebhardt's...

 Where he resumes pounding the enemy MG position atop Hill 81 (top center). 

Knocking the French MG Team out!

And Sgt Gebhardt's Stug continues pounding the gray house.

Enough so that the French 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon is convinced to vacate the premises.

He then shifts fire to the hedge containing the French 2nd Squad, 1st Platoon (top center) and resumes pounding.

Sgt Osswald's mortar team (bottom right) gets in on the act again, resuming fire on the French 1st Platoon (top left).

And roughing them up some more.

So far this particular action is a game of the German mortar team putting morale markers on the rifle squad and the French platoon commander removing them, but now that his 3rd Squad is getting roughed up by the Stugs he's probably going to have a hard time keeping up.

The French 1st Squad, 1st Platoon (left), continues firing on Cpl Creuzburg's MG Team (top right).

Having raised his ire, the German MG Team (bottom left) returns fire, not just angry, but also looking to 'shoot-in' Lt Klugmann's 1st Platoon (off camera to right).

The French squad, not liking it's position now that it's trading fire with an MG-34 (top right), dashes across the street, sheltering behind the yellow house (far left, from hedge below them).

Then, all of a sudden, Sgt Wagner gets a wild hair up his ass and orders his Stug forward (far left, from the rubble pile at right), dangerously close to the French 2nd Platoon (just off camera to left).  "What the hell are you doing" screams the CO, Lt Tausch, "get out of there!"

**I don't really want to get too far into the mechanics, just want to tell the story, but this was actually a pretty cool sequence.  What happened is, the Germans went to activate a unit, the French attempted to react, rolling a '6,' thereby 'stealing the initiative from the Germans.  I had added a house rule: the rules (at least the modern version, "Seven Days to the River Rhine") have "Tactical Initiative Cards," which players can use during the game.  Being that I'm playing solo, I didn't want to use the cards, so I turned them into 'random events,' creating a D100 table, the trigger being when a side steals the initiative.  So the event was in favor of the French, and it was "Cross Communications," where you get to pick a single unit on the opposing side and make a 'normal' move with it, wherever you want.  So the French picked Sgt Wagner's Stug and made it move up to point blank range of the red house, where the French, now having the initiative, were hoping to use their 2nd Platoon to rush the armored vehicle and knock it out in close combat.

The French 2nd Platoon Commander (far left) orders his 1st and 2nd Squads to charge the German armored beast (his 3rd Squad would remain in the red house, just visible at bottom left)...

But as they cross into the street, Sgt Wagner realizes his mistake and screams at his driver to reverse back to the rubble pile (top right, from bottom left)!

Leaving the French Platoon Commander and his two squads grasping at air (center, from left)!

And now in the open and under fire as Sgt Wagner orders his gunner to fire on the charging French!

The French commander signals his anti-tank gun crew that it's time to join the fight; the horses strain and pull the gun up onto Hill 81 (left, from the woods at far right)...

Where they unlimber the 25mm gun and swing it into action.

The plucky little anti-tank gun (bottom right) immediately begins slamming armor-piercing rounds into Sgt Wagner's Stug (top left)!!!

Which promptly bursts into flames, its crew escaping, though Sgt Wagner is burned and will be out of action for a little over a month.

The French 2nd Platoon leader rallies his squads and tries to get them moving, but it's just not happening.

Meanwhile, the French mortar team (bottom left) begins dropping 81mm HE rounds on Cpl Creuzburg's MG Team atop Hill 37 (top center, the rubble pile and Stugs just below and to its right).

The German MG Team hunkers down, trying to weather the storm.

The German CO, Lt Tausch, again comes on the net: "All units, all units, attack, repeat, attack!"  Lt Ost immediately leads 2nd Platoon out of the woods in the south (bottom left), while Sgt Imhofe does the same with 4th Platoon in the center (top right).

On the right, Lt Klugmann leads two squads up to the yellow house (top center right).

3rd Squad jumps into the yellow house and begins firing at the French 1st Squad in the street at point blank range...

Then immediately charges out into the street to eliminate them.

The French squad is knocked out of the fight, and the Germans move up to cover, but they're in bad shape.

Sgt Osswald's 80mm mortar team (bottom right) gets to work again, this time on the enemy anti-tank gun on Hill 81 (top left).

And it's getting roughed up something fierce.

Corporal Creuzburg's MG team (bottom right) gets in on the action, too, looking to finish off the enemy anti-tank crew (top left)...

And it does, mowing down the hapless French gunners as the horses flee!

On the German right, Lt Klugmann brings up the rest of his squad (1st Squad at bottom left, 2nd Squad at center right, and 3rd Squad at far right), hoping to roll up the rest of the French 1st Platoon (center top and behind the gray house at top left).

And they immediately get to work, with 1st Squad charging across the street, close assaulting the French 2nd Squad...

Another enemy unit is put out of action, but again the German victor is beat up a bit.

In the center, Sgt Imhofe moves 4th Platoon up to protect Sgt Gebhardt's Stug (center, from right, with 2nd Platoon just visible at bottom left).

And then Lt Ost pushes 2nd Platoon forward, looking to roll up the enemy 2nd Platoon's two cut-off and exposed squads (top center).

Lt Ost leads his 3rd Squad forward, but the wily French fall back, firing as they go.

While Sgt Imhofe's platoon engages the other enemy squad in the fields, pinning them down...

Then close assaulting them...

Into oblivion (right, with Lt Ost and his 3rd Squad at left).

With their comrades being mowed down nearby (top left), the French squad in the red house opens fire on Lt Ost's 2nd Squad (top center, with 1st Squad, 2nd Platoon at top right).

Back at the gray house, the French 1st Platoon leader rallies his last remaining squad...

Then leads them on a counterattack against Lt Klugmann's 1st Platoon!

Lt Klugmann (top center) looks on as his 1st Squad is knocked out, killing its squad leader, Sgt Kamphaus.

Sgt Gebhardt's Stug (right) begins pumping 75mm HE rounds out to stop the French counterattack (top left, with German 1st Platoon at top center).

The French commander (far right, on Hill 81) orders his tanks to advance (center right, from bottom right)!

The French section leader moves his H39 up near the gray house (bottom left) and fires on Sgt Gebhardt's Stug, but he misses!  "What the hell was that," queries Sgt Gebhardt.

He (bottom right) quickly spots the French tank (far left) and engages; "this is not what this beast was built for!"  The round penetrates, filling the French tank with smoke and shrapnel, seriously shaking up the tank's crew.

But they quickly get their marbles back and push ahead, firing, but they miss again!

The second French tank pulls up next to the gray house (bottom center) and fires on the German Stug (top left, past his section leader, at center).  This crew scores a hit, but it fails to penetrate, ricocheting off into the sky!

The French tank commander pushes his vehicle ahead at full speed, looping to the right, trying to get on the Stug's flank, but his driver pulls up just a bit short.  The gun roars again, and another hit is scored; again it does not penetrate, but there is spalling and the Stug crew is incredibly bad shape, on the verge of bailing out!

*The shot penetration was equal to armor, taking it to full morale value.

The French commander, Capitan LaRoux, dashes down the hill to help rally the tank section leader (bottom center).

Back in the south, the German and French 2nd Platoons are still duking it out.

The French charge Lt Ost's 3rd Squad...

The French squad (far left) is triumphant, knocking out 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, wounding its squad leader (Cpl Lipnicki, out for two months) and their Platoon Commander (Lt Ost, out for 40 days).   They wanted to continue their rampage and charge 4th Platoon (top left), but they're just too worn out from the close combat.  From the red house, the French 3rd Squad keeps pouring fire into the rest of the German 2nd Platoon (top center and top right).

But here comes the cavalry: the German commander, Lt Tausch, calls forward his anti-tank gun, and they come rolling with a quickness (center left top, from bottom right).

The Sdkfz 7 pulls hard left and screeches to a halt as Cpl Drexler and his PaK-36 crew jump out and swing the gun into action!

First they (bottom center) open fire on the enemy tank section leader (top left, with the other tank at center top).  They pump round after round into the light tank's flank...

Until it's in flames and the crew bails out!

Cpl Drexler's crew then swings the gun onto the other French tank and begins pounding its flank, too!

Which results in a catastrophic explosion (right)!  And with that, Capitan LaRoux (top left)...

Turns and heads for the hills (bottom right, atop Hill 81, from center top), where he is joined by his mortar team.  Then they keep running, abandoning the hill.

On the German right, Lt Klugmann and his two remaining squads make prisoners of the remainder of the French 1st Platoon.

While on the left, the German 2nd Platoon does the same.

And the commander, Lt Taush, moves to claim Hill 81, escorted by Sgt Imhofe's 4th Platoon. mission accomplished!

Well, another fun fight, and the rules worked pretty well.  The Germans had a simple effective plan, as did the French, but they kind of blew it with that random event; it looked very enticing, close assaulting a Stug with infantry, but when the Stug was able to reverse out of trouble they French infantry was caught in the open, which forced the French commander to risk it all by throwing in his anti-tank gun, and then both tanks, to try and save the situation.  It actually came within a hair of succeeding, with Sgt Gebhardt's Stug nearly pounded into submission, when Cpl Drexler's anti-tank gun swooped in and saved the day!

EDIT: I received an interesting question on one of the forums (why were the French tanks so slow to attack the German Stugs?), and hopefully I provided an interesting answer, which I wanted to share here.  The reason I’m doing this is because I wish I was adding more tactical analysis like this into the batreps, but I get so focused on getting them written and posted that I’m falling down on that aspect.  My response:

1. The French tanks were a mobile reserve, and you don’t want to commit your reserves before the action has developed.  The German Stugs were in a similar situation, with the caveat that the German commander knew he was going to have to commit them early as his infantry had to attack across open ground and the Stugs were the only units that offered the firepower to ‘shoot them in,’ particularly against a nearly equal defending force.  But that early committal did not win the battle for the Germans, it almost lost it for them!

2. The French anti-armor capability, while relatively numerous (two light tanks and an ATG), was not particularly capable, so the French commander knew they needed to get close and/or get on the flanks. Therefore the French commander adopted an ambush mentality that would allow the German armor to commit (hopefully overcommit), then pounce once the enemy armor was identified and fixed (as it was by the French 2nd rifle platoon, the Stugs’ only alternative to remaining exposed at close range was to reverse, which, because of the close terrain, really meant quitting the fight).

3.  The last reason for the French commander to delay committing his tanks to the fight was that it is very difficult in real life to control units once they are committed and engaged, and the rules do a very good job at representing that.
It’s the old ideas of getting inside your opponent’s OODA loop, forcing him to react to what you’re doing rather than doing what he wants to do, and that’s exactly what the French commander did. 

While the attack by the French 2nd rifle platoon was perhaps a bit too bold, and certainly unlucky (Sgt Wagner’s vehicle being able to react and back away from the infantry close assault), it did fix the Stugs to allow the French anti-tank fun to be brought up, which resulted in the destruction of Sgt Wagner’s vehicle.  

The French 2nd rifle platoon, despite the German 2nd and 4th Platoons’ rushed deployment, was still able to threaten the remaining Stug, to the point it had to react to what they (and the French 1st platoon attacking the German 1st Platoon between the gray and yellow houses) were doing, thus staying engaged and being unable to react when the French tanks were ordered forward.

So I wouldn’t say the French tanks were slow to respond, I figured they were right on time, coming within a micrometer of defeating the second Stug (one more morale marker would have finished him, or another inch of movement would have put the second French tank on the Stug’s flank, which probably would have resulted in his shot penetrating instead of bouncing) which would have forced the German infantry to fall back (all armor KO’ed, two French tanks on the loose).

Casualties:
German: ~30 casualties, one Stug III destroyed
French: ~55 casualties, one 25mm anti-tank gun destroyed, two H39 tanks destroyed

Character casualties:
Sgt Wagner, Stug Platoon Commander, WIA - out for campaign
Sgt Kamphaus, 1st Squad, 1st Platoon, KIA
1st Lt Ost, 2nd Platoon Commander, Schutzen Company, WIA - out for campaign
Sgt Axthelm, 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, WIA - out for campaign

Awards:
-Corporal Drexler, Anti-Tan Gun crew leader, Schwere Platoon, Schutzen Company, was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class for leading his crew into the center of a company-sized firefight and knocking out two enemy tanks, which broke the back of enemy resistance in the area and allowed KG Klink to seize Hill 81.

I'm looking to play out a few more of these games so that I can close out the Fall of France, I really want to get to the Eastern Front.  I hope you enjoyed the batrep, I'm working on more, though the next one will be back to the Cuba Libre blog for more dogfighting.  I also have an update on some 6mm WWII stuff I recently completed as well.

V/R,
Jack

16 comments:

  1. Thanks Jack, I really enjoyed that. I have the Iron Cross rules and the 7 days (though there is quite a bit of vehicle stat errata on the latter, downloadable from the company.

    Did you make up your own 1940 stats or are there official lists somewhere?

    Love the idea with the beads, dragging around markers is an admin problem of the system, especially in small scales, when the markers can dominate,but the beads are a great solution.

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    1. Norm,

      Thanks man, I actually replied over on the Pendraken forum.

      V/R,
      Jack

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  2. Enjoyed reading your battle report

    https://www.10mm-wargaming.com/

    Take care

    Andy

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    Replies
    1. Andy,

      Thank you, Sir, I appreciate it!

      V/R,
      Jack

      Delete
  3. Excellent stuff sir!
    The beads are seamless and work very well.
    Glad the rules have worked for you.
    Were you reminded of the action/reaction systems in the '5 men in Normandy' rules?

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    1. Thanks, Darrin, glad you liked it.

      You know, it's not fair for me to compare any rules to Five Core! I really enjoyed the activation system for Iron Cross/7DTRR, but nothing is going to supplant 5Core as my 'go-to' ruleset ;)

      V/R,
      Jack

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  4. Great report Jack. Love the little surrendering figures!

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    1. Thanks, Jim! And yeah, Pendraken thinks of everything! ;)

      V/R,
      Jack

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  5. Nice report Jack.

    If Sgt Wagner hadn't got that random event, how do you think it might have played out? The French looked to be under quite a lot of pressure at that point.

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    1. John,

      Hmmm, interesting. For me, each commander was looking to delay the entrance of his armor for as long as possible, which I see as advantaging that commander. So to me, the Germans might have been using the Stugs to rough up the French infantry, but the fact they were engaged meant that, by default, they were going to have a rough time when the French tanks and ATG arrived, fresh. When the random event occurred, the Germans were on the ropes, as there's not doubt Sgt Wagner's vehicle would have been overrun.

      When he got extraordinarily lucky and was able to back out, that is what really turned the game. Now all of a sudden the French right side of the line was in a terrible position, with two of its three rifle squads standing in the middle of a field, under fire from the Stug and 4th Platoon, about to be flanked by 2nd Platoon. All the Germans had to do to unhinge that side of the defense was make sure the French didn't escape; they tried, but failed.

      Up to that point the French had only lost one squad and their MG; sure the German 1st Platoon maneuvered aggressively on the yellow house, but if you really think about it, they were supported by their MG and mortar teams, and with French mortar return fire, it was pretty much a stalemate. The loss of the French MG team really surprised me; being dug-in, I expected it would have been a lot harder to remove them solely by fire (without close assault), but that's down to the rules. The rules say that fire combat causes morale markers, which degrades a unit's combat capability, but 'x' amount of morale markers cause that unit's destruction, so there's not a 'pinned' or 'suppressed' per se, you just keep shooting and causing morale markers until they're destroyed, which wasn't that hard to do as MG teams could only take three.

      So, I disagree with your premise, Sir! It was the random event, and the German reaction immediately following, that doomed the French. ;)

      V/R,
      Jack

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  6. Jack,

    I agree with that. But the random event started the chain of events of Sgt Wagner's advance and retreat which drew the French out (shades of the Battle of Hastings?!?). So before that, with the Stugs actually committed to supporting the infantry attack and the Germans on balance slowly gaining, when would the optimal time to commit the French tanks and ATG be?

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    1. John,

      Gotcha. So, my opinion on when the French should have committed their tanks and ATG (and I would have committed them simultaneously, to strike from each flank, if possible. This didn't happen during the game because the French commander 'panicked' a bit under the pressure of 'having to do something,' and so sent the ATG in without enough command impetus to launch the tanks, too, which resulted in their piecemeal feeding in.). And yes, shades of Hastings with being drawn out.

      My opinion is that we were about at that point; the goal of the French commander was to have the Germans commit the Stugs (check), use the Stugs to move up and engage so they would run out all their command impetus and be unable to react to the sudden appearance of the French tanks and ATG (almost check, but short-circuited when the random event presented an opportunity that was simply too good to pass up).

      So, you let the Germans run themselves out of command impetus, then counterattack. The Germans - I - was accomodating, because I was really trying to push the tempo and get my infantry across the fields and into close combat; I could stomach horrendous casualties in close combat, I just couldn't afford them to get stuck in the open, which is why I ended up pushing the Stugs out before I wanted to. For a second I had visions of the German 1st Platoon hitting and rolling up the French left flank, but this quickly bogged down, and couldn't really be done anyway as the enemy MG (prior to the Stugs being committed) and mortar would have likely chewed up their attack as it moved across the face of Hill 81, not to mention them having their flank and rear exposed to the French tanks as the moved from north to south. This would have had to have been the scheme of maneuver because the French 2nd Platoon was not going to abandon the red house; there was nowhere for them to go!

      In any case, let the Germans commit their armor early, run it out of command impetus (sure the infantry are going to get beat up a bit, but such is life), and then rush the ATG up on the right and the tanks up on the left. All the French infantry have to do is hold their ground so the tanks can get on the flank of the Stugs without being threatened by the German infantry, which should have been easy to carry off, minus some German banzai-style charge by 4th and 2nd Platoons.

      I think another thing folks aren't taking into account is that those French tanks were H39s, more tankettes then tanks, with not great anti-armor capability (in my estimation, and I really don't want to get into a debate about the penetration capability of the H39's cannon). So the H39s didn't stand much of a chance of penetrating the (relatively) heavy armor of the Stugs without getting pretty close and/or on the flanks, they couldn't just pop onto Hill 81 pop shots at the Stugs' frontal armor and expect favorable results.

      Oh, and I almost forgot to add: for some reason I am finding it impossible to respond to blog comments using my iPhone, it's only working from my laptop. So please forgive how long it's taking me to respond, I have to wait until I get home from work. Another option, if you're willing, would be to have these conversations on one of the forums I post these to.

      V/R,
      Jack

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    2. No worries Jack, no need for urgent replies. I will try and remember to put the comment on TWW (or TMP - I see that you are back on there).

      I agree that the H39s needed to be used dynamically since they aren't that suitable for just going hull down and taking pot shots.

      It is an interesting mechanic that you referred to taking place against the French MG team. That seems to imply that sitting back and waiting for the mortars and artillery to do their work is viable as a strategy.

      Anyway, thanks again for the great report, really looking forward to the next one!

      Delete
    3. John,

      Gotcha, and I only mentioned the forums as I can still get those to work for me; I'll be damned if I can figure out how to get the comments working here, or why it stopped. And Googling the issue, it appears I'm the only person on earth having this problem...

      Regarding the French MG team, I need to go back and look to see if I messed something up in the rules; they were dug in, but they still were eliminated very quickly, and much easier than any of the rifle squads were. I wonder if I missed a 'to hit' modifier or something...

      In any case, sitting back to let the mortars/arty work is always a good idea, to a point, right? But I'd still say you'd have to send the grunts in to take the ground. Again, only the enemy MG team was eliminated by indirect fire; both sides used their mortars against enemy rifle squads in the open and were unable to put them out of action.

      And my pleasure!

      V/R,
      Jack

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  7. Hello Jack

    Back to Klink - excellent news after promising it for many months. And a great report. I think the French should have won :-) It was a close game that really could have gone either way, with the random event as you say turning the tide against the French.

    If you can play Klink, I guess I can try and play some 6mm ww2.

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    1. Shaun,

      Well, well, well... "...after promising for many months...," says the guy that's strung me along on Operation Jupiter for about five years now! ;)

      Being that I was playing the Germans, I won't say the French should have won, but obviously it was a very near-run thing, the German ATG crew earning their Iron Crosses for that fight!

      I'll get to WWII 6mm, but it won't be for KG Klink; Klink is too small an echelon (the whole KG is really a battalion-level task force, just a company of tanks, company of infantry, and a company of reconnaissance troops). My 6mm games will be much higher, either brigade or division level.

      V/R,
      Jack

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