Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Battle of Quatre Bras - Blucher AAR

Well we've played our second Napoleonic game using Blucher rules, the Battle of Quatre Bras. We repeated history with the French being forestalled and the Allied army securing a victory by holding the vital crossroads.

We played with a couple of 'house' variations on the rules:

Units retained hidden/concealed status when activated as long as they stayed over 8 BWs from the enemy or closer than that but out of the enemy's line of sight (don't retain reserve movement).
Artillery units remained on the table when they reached their last ammo value and were able to continue firing at that rate, the player still retained the option to retire them if they wished.

Both sides victory conditions were:

Breaking the enemy army
OR
Occupying Quatre Bras, Gemioncourt & Thyle at the end of the game (in red on map below)

An Overview of the battle:

the above map is the Cigar Box product

1. Foy & Jeromes Infantry Divisions, captured Gemioncourt late in the game, Foys Division took heavy casulaties, Pires Light Cavalry Division deployed to their left.

2. Bachelus Infantry Division attempted to capture Thyle they were stalled by Allied Brigades and by the end of the game they were spent taking heavy losses.

3. Pires Light Cavalry Division & Guitons Cuirassiers charged the Allied army Hubers Brigade breaking through as far as Quarte Bras scattering Kielmansegge Brigade in the process heavy losses were inflicted and taken!

4. Lefebvre-Desouettes Guard Light Cavalry Division arrived on the last French turn and deployed in the centre of the French line strengthening it against the Allied armies general counter attack.

Bylandt & Bernards Brigades were deployed initially defending Gemioncourt they were pushed back Blyandts Brigade was dispersed as it retreated by Hubers Brigade.

I. Merlens Cavalry, Kempt & Bests Infantry Brigades covered Thyle, Merlens Cavalry deployed to the French centre hampering their attacks on Gemioncourt, Packs Brigade garrisoned Quatre Bras it later assisted recapturing Gemioncourt on the penultimate turn of the game.

II. Halkett, Kielmansegge & Brunswick Brigades defended line between Bossu Wood and Gemioncourt, they took heavy losses but stopped the french attenpt to successfully advance on Quatre Bras.

III. Guards Division arriving late in the battle deployed to the allied centre and assisted in recapture of Gemioncourt.

IV. The Allied attack to recapture of Gemioncourt Halketts reduced Brigade taking the prize. Hussah!


The initial set up Neys troops in  the foreground with Quatre Bras in the (far) distance! Its 2:00pm let the battle begin!

The French IInd Corps lines up to take on the 'lonely' 2nd Butch Division holding Gemioncourt Farm.

Their infantry repulsed from Gemioncourt farm the French cavalry deploy to their left to outflank the Allied forces. Top centre of the picture concealed is the Merlens Cavalry, Kempt & Bests Infantry Brigades heading to Thyle. In the top right Bachelus Infantry Division is advancing on the same objective!

The Duke of Brunswick deploys Buttlars infantry and Cramms Cavalry to block the French advance on Quatre Bras as a brigade from the 2nd Dutch Division withdraws.

The face off in the vicinity of Thyle.

Foys Division in the centre attack Gemioncourt again! To their right Jeromes infantry Division are attempting to attack Gemioncourt while covering Merlens cavalry just out of picture. To Foys left the French cavalry charged with varying degrees of success!

5:00pm Wellington and more Allied reinforcements arrive around to support the Brunswick troops in their battle with the French horsemen.

With the 'fate of France' in his hands Foy captures Gemioncourt!

Hubers horsemen ignoring Packs Brigade in Quatre Bras routes Kielmansegge Brigade but it leaves them isolated (sort of replicating Guitons Cuirassiers actual charge in the battle they hammered two Allied brigades and reached Quarte Bras but were left in a dangerous position)! Wellingtons command retinue is in the foreground of the pictured...

The face off at Thyle continues!

The French cavalry are spent, both of Pires brigades have been dispersed, the French artillery battery is running low on ammunition and Foys men at Gemioncourt now face the resurgent Allies freshly reinforced with the British Guards Division...Merde!

A final attack by Bachelus Infantry on the French left results in disaster! Hitting on 4's with three dice they got TRIPLE ONE! they got zero hits to the Allies four...lucky an attacking unit can only take a maximum of two losses!

The centre of the battlefield at the end of the game, Halketts brigade has retaken Gemioncourt and is supported by four more brigades two of which are the fresh British Guardsmen! Ney in the foreground to the right now has Lefebvre-Desouettes Guard Light Cavalry Division on hand to assist in halting the allied counter attack!

As a group we enjoy these rules and are going to revisit the Battle of Raab scenario soon to ensure we have our heads around them and the best tactics for the period. Personally I think given the balance of 'playabililty' vs realism Blucher gives gamers a set of rules that allows large battles to be recreated in a reasonable amount of time...

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Battle of Raab - Blucher AAR

Well I've had the Blucher rule book sitting idle in my bookshelf for almost 2 years now so I supposed it was time I rolled these rules out!

I decided it was best to start with an umpired game to help speed up rules checks and explanations nothing worse than trying to play a game while thumbing through rules continuously! I picked for our introductory game a well designed scenario is available here...

oldmeldrumwargamesgroup blucher scenarios

the Battle of Raab, June 1809 between French and Austrian forces.

Stu took on the roll of  Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais leading the Army of Italy and Dave took up the cudgels as Archduke John of Austria commanding the Army of Inner Austria....

The Viceroy Eugène de Beauharnais leading the French cavalry!

The Archduke John  on Szabadhegy hill...sharing a beverage with his staff???

Before play I needed to create a road network, extend my river/stream segments and make a couple of built up areas to represent the town of Szabadhegy and the fortified farm of  Kismeyer...

That done we went for it, our game did not really evolve as the actual battle did, I kept the details of the battle back from the players to see how they would handle the situation without any preconceived thoughts...both sides started with all their units concealed to increase the fog or war.

The below video lets you see how the actual battle played out.

Battle of Raab Video53932&selectedIndex=1&ajaxhist=0

Below is how our game went, the blue units are French and the yellow ones are the Austrians. The objective of both sides was to control  the town of Szabadhegy and the fortified farm of  Kismeyer at the end of 25 turns or break the opponents force. The Austrians began defending the two BUA's and located behind the Pandzsa Stream with a central reserve, a strong position albeit with not so good troops. The French have infantry on their right and centre and cavalry on the right, they are scheduled to receive reinforcements at the end of turn seven. The solid arrows are the units opening moves and the outlined ones are the French final pushes. 

The first turns saw the French advance all their forces. They moved their cavalry from their right flank all the way across to their left one to support the infantry of the XII Corps while their strong central VI Corps composed of infantry only moved directly forward. The Austrians even though defending reacted boldly and launched their cavalry forward across the Pandzsa!!! This picture shows this the French mass deploying to their left flank in the centre/right and in the distance you can see the four Austrian cavalry units crossing the Pandzsa...

The game developed with the French left flank pushing forward while the great Austrian cavalry charge had the unexpected result stalling the French advance on the Kismeyer farm as half of the infantry of the VI Corps halted to form up defensively! Also this bold move extended the Austrian field of view so when on turn 8 the French reinforcements arrived they immediately lost their concealment rendering them unable to carry out Reserve Movement.

Here we see a whole Fench Division form square menaced by the Austrian horse!

The Austrian cavalry then  moved en mass to charge the still advancing infantry of the French VI Corps!

Ah the original Dice Shako in action! Both players really had to consider their activation's and in general were conservative so many 'pips'were lost!

Mid game and the French VI Corps cleared away the Austrian infantry supporting the fortified farm of  Kismeyer easily but as a result of the Austrian cavalry's sweeping attack a Moreau's Brigade suffered heavy losses! Here a unit is sandwiched between Austrian infantry and cavalry!

The French with cavalry from their reserve cleared the Austria mounted horde from their centre and launched their first albeit unsuccessful attack on fortified farm of  Kismeyer...

Meanwhile on the French left despite a wild charge by the Austrian Hussars of Besan which delayed them were able to successfully out manoeuvre the Austrians with the support of their Horse Artillery. This left them in a position to attack the town of Szabadhegy late in the game.

Turn 24 of 25 saw the Austrian hanging on by a thread. They still held the town of Szabadhegy and the fortified farm of  Kismeyer. Casualty wise they had started the game with 15 units so five would break their army and they had lost four, also they had retired four units so they were almost on their limit there too!

The last turn saw the French attacks on both the town of Szabadhegy and the fortified farm of  Kismeyer successful so they clinched victory in the nick of time!

The French occupy the town of Szabadhegy...

and the fortified farm of  Kismeyer...

History repeated with a French victory! It was an enjoyable game! Also a very good scenario but in favour of the French, this game was a bit more even as neither player had any idea of the actual forces of battle and the Fog of war was a good leveler! We missed a few subtle rules but none that would have affected the outcome. All those involved thought that even though not the most detailed set of Napoleonic Army/Corps level rules around they deliver a good game in ea reasonable time with a very good feel for the period! We'll definitely revisit Blucher, in fact the players thought a replay of the Battle of Raab scenario would be well worth it!

Sunday, 30 April 2017

FoG - Ancients, Romans Vs Brits

TSOG  played two games using the Field of Glory (FoG) rules. Dave bought a set of rules recently and I dusted my copy off and reread the book. Luckily I had played games hosted by Ross Dawe from Group North so I had a bit of an idea how the rules panned out. I say luckily because the rulebook is not that well written. In fact, it is an abomination.

As a result of playing in Ross's games, I lashed out and purchased some Romans and Ancient British forces from Mick's Metal Models and over the years had slowly painted and based them up.  We set aside two Mondays to familiarise ourselves with the game. The first scenario was a repeat of the game Ross used at Little Wars (iirc), a Roman force enroute to relieve Colchester was ambushed by the British and had to realign very quickly to fend off the attack. Dave played the Brits and Pete the Romans. it was mainly a learning game: lots of chariots and light cavalry fighting blocks of roman legionaries.

The second game, pictured here, pitted a (Polybian) Roman defensive force against an attack from the Gauls. The Romans (Dave) took some nominal high ground and the Gauls (Pete) attempted to advance past them.

MID REPUBLICAN ROMANS

Name
Bases
Description
Points per base
Cost
Field Commander
1
8 mu command range light horse
40
40
Troop Commander
1
4 mu command range light horse
25
25
Hastati 1
4
Heavy Foot, Protected, Impact Foot, Swordsmen, Average, Drilled (WHITE)
8
32
Hastati 2
4
Heavy Foot, Protected, Impact Foot, Swordsmen, Average, Drilled (WHITE)
8
32
Hastati 3
4
Heavy Foot, Protected, Impact Foot, Swordsmen, Average, Drilled (WHITE)
8
32
Hastati 4
4
Heavy Foot, Protected, Impact Foot, Swordsmen, Superior, Drilled (RED)
11
44
Hastati 5
4
Heavy Foot, Protected, Impact Foot, Swordsmen, Superior, Drilled (RED)
11
44
Principes 6
4
Heavy Foot, Armoured, Impact Foot, Skilled Swordsmen, Superior, Drilled (RED, MAIL)
14
56
Principes 7
4
Heavy Foot, Armoured, Impact Foot, Skilled Swordsmen, Superior, Drilled (RED, MAIL)
14
56
Triarii 8
4
Heavy Foot, Armoured, Offensive Spearmen, Elite, Drilled (RED, MAIL)
16
64
Velites 9
4
Light Foot, Protected, Light Spear, Javelin, Average, Drilled
5
20
Velites 10
4
Light Foot, Protected, Light Spear, Javelin, Average, Drilled
5
20
Cavalry 11
4
Armoured, light spear, swordsmen, average, undrilled
12
48


46
TOTAL


513



GAULS

Name
Bases
Description
Points per base
Cost
Field Commander
1
8 mu command range light chariot
40
40
Troop Commander
1
4 mu command range light chariot
25
25
Warriors
10
Heavy Foot, Protected, Average, undrilled, impact, swordsmen
7
70
Warriors
8
Heavy Foot, Protected, Average, undrilled, impact, swordsmen
7
56
Warriors
8
Heavy Foot, Protected, Average, undrilled, impact, swordsmen
7
56
Javelin men
Ligurian Allies
6
Light Foot, Unprotected, Average, undrilled, Light Spear, Javelin,
4
24
Javelin men
Ligurian Allies
6
Light Foot, Unprotected, Average, undrilled, Light Spear, Javelin,
4
24
Cavalry
6
Armoured, Superior, undrilled, light spear, swordsmen,
16
96
Cavalry
6
Protected, Superior, undrilled, light spear, swordsmen,
12
72
Cavalry
4
Protected, Superior, undrilled, light spear, swordsmen,
12
48
































54
TOTAL


511




The Romans are at the top of the picture, trying to realign themselves to face the Gauls advancing from the lower edge of the picture. Pete, with the advantage of deploying after Dave, chose to vacate the centre of the table, leaving only his Javelinmen to contest it, while advancing his infantry up the left (seen above) and his cavalry on the right (seen below)

It took several turns for battle to be joined and Dave hadn't quite managed to get his Romans across to defend against the three waves of cavalry when they struck the somewhat isolated hastati  and token Roman Cavalry. The thin Roman line was further weakened by the excellent efforts of the Javelins who pestered the reinforcements, safe in their ability to retreat from the roman charge which would have fractured the Roman line and drawn Dave off the high ground. Dave's Velite screen fought against the more numerous Javelinmen but the velite screen was broken and the hastati started taking nuisance casualties, seen below. This is a somewhat confused picture, the velites are in combat with the javelinmen (lower) while the second BG of Gallic javelinmen are harassing the hastati. Roman reinforcements are to the top left while the Roman cavalry (top right) is trying to realign to face the threat on the right, just out of picture. 



Below, the three waves of Gallic cavalry line up against the hastati (1BG). Javelins can be seen on the left flank of the cavalry.

The results of this uneven contest are shown below. The Romans gave way and routed. Even the counter charge by the Roman Cavalry found it tough going, forcing the Javelinmen to retire, but outnumbered, they also took casualties. Dave worked hard to get some more BG of Romans across, but the mechanics of  ancient warfare reward the generals who have a set battleline and this was evident here.

Meanwhile, on the Gallic left, three BG were scurrying to pin down the main Roman force, which had managed a semblance of a line. This provided a complicated (to us) impact and melee situation. Two large Gallic BG (8 bases each) fighting 4 BG of Romans (4 bases each) of different types, with commanders from both sides in the front ranks trying to tip the balance. Good fun and I think we got the combat resolutions sorted. The number of tokens used to keep track is testament to how this was fought.




Below, detail from the Gallic assault, on the Gaul's left flank, before casualties started to mount.


 The other maneuver of note was the outflanking move of the large (10 base) Gallic Infantry who had skirted around the Roman right flank opposed only by 4 bases of velites. This would have severely compromised the Roman line, even if the Gallic infantry (above) could have been defeated in the centre.


 We had to end the game hanging in the balance. The Gauls looked to have the upper hand, about to pursue the routing Romans on the Gallic right, with three waves of intact cavalry, with little to stop them hitting the Romans from that side. The centre (actually the centre left from the Gaul's perspective) was the scene of the big moshpit, the Romans having the upper hand, but being threatened by the final Gaul BG about to outflank them on the far left, once the velites had succumbed. Pete's idea to pin the Romans while he outflanked them on both sides was sound.

Interesting game and quite a good ruleset. Both Dave and I are frustrated by the language of the rules, simple in essence, but very poorly written. In some places, the wording is diabolical and resembles a complicated Boolean truth table with the complement being the defacto standard. Grrrr.

Thanks for the pics Pete, Congrats on the victory (sorry Dave, I think Pete had it won)  


AAR : WWII Desert, Aug-Sep 1942 fictional encounter

Somewhere in the vicinity of Ruweisat, Alam Halfa in August-September 1942.

A fictional engagement sometime between the battles of 1st and 2nd Alamein, with units that were
in the lines around that time....

Using Rapid Fire 2 Rules with local mods for command & control (C2).

Photos by Pete.

Intention was for a 'late desert' game that used the models (Saharianas, M3 Honey, Pak40) Stu had made that hadn't seen action in previous TSOG games as they were 1941 early desert, such as Óperations Brevity and Skorpion. A fictional game allowed use of units that historically didn't meet. Also wanted to get some aircraft on the board and to make it an encounter game with neither side completely on offensive or defensive.  Points would be gained for holding control points, destruction/capture/rout of enemy units and discovery/capture of supply dumps.

Also as the game was played the night before ANZAC Day (25th April), there had to be an Australian unit involved. Aust 9th Div was in the region during Aug-Sept 1942, so a Battalion from that was selected.

Terrain:
--------------
Standard 6'x 4' (3.6 km x 2.4 km) board with a poor track running NW-SE and a good track running SW-NE, crossing in a village in the middle of the board. The end points of the tracks and the crossroads were control points worth 150 points each. Each side started with a control point in their hands on one of the tracks and another control point on the northern (long) edge was close to their start side. Axis entered from the left short side (west) and Allies from the right (east). There were large areas of broken ground and soft sand between the roads and a wadi running SW-NE in the NW corner close to the axis lines.

Most of the terrain is shown here, partway through the game and looking south




Also on the board were 15 markers representing possible camouflaged areas of interest that would have to be inspected when a unit was within 100m (2"). They had content decided by 1D6 on discovery, a 50% chance of being nothing important, 1/6 chance of being a supply dump worth 100 points, 1/6 chance of being entrenchments for use by infantry and 1/6 chance of being a minefield that the unit would have to check for damage from.    


OOBs
Entry turn indicates earliest available and entry determined by rolling 1D6 less than or equal to the turn number.

Allied
* 2/24th Battalion, 26 Brigade, 9th Australian Div (avge/elite morale, elite close assault, elite long-range small arms): 3 infantry companies, MG company, mortar company [turn 1]
* A&B Squadrons, 4th/8th Hussars, 4th Light Armoured Brigade, 7th Armoured Div  (avge morale, M3 Stuart/Honeys), [turn 3]
* Section of 15th Light AA Regt, 7th Armoured Div (40mm Bofors) [turn 3]
* Section of Hurricane IIs for air superiority [turn 3]
(677 points)

Stu ran the Hussars and Dave the Aussie infantry.

Axis
Italians (run by Alan)
* 2nd Battalion (reduced), 19th Regiment, Brescia Div (poor/avge morale, poor small arms and close assault): 3 infantry companies. No transport. [start on board just west of village]
* Company (reinforced) from 186th Regt, Folgore Parachute Div (elite morale/small arms/close assault): Sahariana vehicles + 20mm/47mm AT guns + AB40 Autoblinda armoured car section from Ariete Div. [turn 2]
* Section of 132 Artillery Regt, Ariete Div: Milmart 90mm AA/AT truck-borne guns [turn 2]

Germans (run by Pete)
* Company of II Battalion, 5th Regt, Ramcke Fallschirmjaeger Brigade (elite morale/small arms/close assault), truck-borne [turn 2]
* Elements of 33rd AT and 33rd Recon Battalions, 15th Panzer Div: PaK 40 (75mm) AT guns + 88mm AT guns [turn 3]
* II Kompanie, 8th Panzer Regt, 15th Panzer Div: Pz IVF (long 75mm), Pz IIIJ (long 50mm), Pz IIIG (short 50mm) [turn 4]
* Battery of two sections of off-board 150mm field guns directed by the AOP [from start]
* AOP - Fiesler Storch. Can also act as airborne command & control post [on board at start]
* Section of Me110s from ZG (Zestoerer Geschwader) 26 for ground attack [turn 3]
(550 points)

The Axis had less points and so they were scheduled to start either on the board or possibly
arrive earlier. Due to the partially uncertain nature of arrival though, some units did not arrive on schedule.


Initially the 2nd Battalion of Brescia infantry can be seen on foot advancing on the village and crossroads, ~600m west. The Storch can be seen overhead keeping a lookout.


The Folgore/Ariete company entered on turn 2 and using their exceptional cross country ability with the Saharianas and AB40s, quickly moved to be well forward by turn 3 and supporting the right flank of the Brescia who had captured the village and crossroads (150 points). As the axis couldn't afford bad command and control rolls slowing their advance, the Kampfgruppe RHQ command (SdKfz 251) entered early and took up position within 600m command range of the Brescia BHQ. The Milmart section of the Ariete 132nd Arty Regt also successfully rolled to enter and bravely decided to move well forward up the good  track to support the Brescia.  


The AUS 2/24th battalion succeeded getting on the board on turn 2 moving NW up the poor track with intention to assault the village. The infantry companies led in Bren carriers followed by the support companies in trucks and the BHQ in carriers. They were in command on entry, due to proximity to the control point, but the Allies failed C2 roll on turn 3 and the advance of the lead companies was slowed as they were more than 12"from the entry control point.


 As the Axis troops advanced they investigated markers and uncovered some entrenchments and a supply dump (100 points). The company of Ramcke Fallschirmjaeger entered a bit late but made up ground on the good track, moving well forward to support the Bresicas right flank just south of the village, seeing the approach of the 2/24th. Unfortunately they investigated a marker that was a minefield and suffered casualties. Fallschirmjaeger were made of strong stuff however and instead of retreating, went to ground in the minefield to bring fire on the Aussies. The Folgore paras disembarked SW of the village to engage the 2/24th approaching from the SE, leaving some troops in the Saharianas to man the formidable 20mm cannons and VMGs. The accompanying Ariete AB40s skirted to the north to protect the left flank and the Ariete Milmarts deployed ~500m behind the village with a field of fire to the NE where Allied armour may be expected. One Company of the Brescia held the village, another was in reserve west of it and another company bravely scouted to the north, past the crossroads.

The Storch twice tried to call in indirect fire by the 150mm guns on the advancing vehicle column of the 2/24th but could not make sufficient radio contact (50% chance).



Around turn 4 the Bofors AA from 15th Lt AA Regt entered and deployed in anticipation of enemy air activity, with range to just cover most of the units. The M3 Honeys of the 4th/8th Hussars entered to the north and moved up so the right flank invested the control point where the good track entered the board (150 points). They overran markers but nothing was found and luckily they did not hit a minefield. The 2/24th were deploying to assault the village and discovered a supply cache (100 points) but remained in the carriers for initial softening up of the village. Due to previous bad C2 the RHQ in trucks was brought up to ensure greater C2 range from the control point to the BHQ and all units of the 2/24th.


 The CAP Hurricane section arrived late, on turn 4, but as the Me110s from ZG 26 were also late the RAF were unopposed and easily drove off the AOP Storch although the skilful pilot avoided being shot down. The Hurricanes could provide air superiority for 4 turns before running low on fuel. The Me110s of ZG 26 arrived the following turn but were driven off for a turn by the Hurricanes in the ensuing melee.  




The 3rd Company of the Brescia who had overrun the cross roads control point (150 points) and were scouting ahead of the village, were engaged by both a company of the advancing 4th/8th Hussars M3s and two companies of the 2/24th Bren carrier VMGs, inflicting grievous casualties, forcing a morale check and withdrawal of the survivors.


The other company of 2/24th carriers engaged the Fallschirmjaeger trapped in the minefield causing further casualties and their Vickers MG and mortar companies began to unload to soften up the village for a close assault. Both the Brescia in the village and Folgore behind their right flank engaged the 2/24th leftmost A company and inflicted slight losses on the infantry inside the carriers.  

The Milmarts had engaged the M3s at long range but not inflicted losses, so when the Hussars had moved to a closer range for HE, a whole company and the BHQ troop poured HE fire into the trucks and destroyed the section [25 points]. The Ariete AB40s supported their 132nd Arty Regt comrades, engaging the M3s but even though the Honeys are lightly armoured the 20mm cannon fire had litle effect. 


As the ZG26 Me110s had been temporarily driven off by the RAF, the Bofors AA section decided to move forward to provide a deeper AA umbrella for the 2/24th and the Hussars as they advanced.

 

Without waiting for the support fire from their MG and mortar companies to fully take effect on the the village, the A & B companies of the 2/24th disembarked from their carriers and close assaulted the village, helped somewhat by lack of reserve fire from the defenders as they had been engaged in a fire-fight with the carrier MGs. The Aussies had the numbers and the advantage of elite close assault versus poor for the Brescia, which overwhelmed the defenders hard cover advantage, and they were ejected from the village with the cross-roads changing hands [150 points].


The 8th Pz Regt (I Battalion/II Kompanie) armour now arrived on the Axis left flank near the NW corner, with two sections (PzIIIJ & PzIVF) south of the wadi, squeezing between it and the soft sand, and one section (PzIIIG) north of it, overrunning the control point on the poor track [150 points].  


The Fallschirmjaeger in the minefield were taking grievous losses from the 2/24th MMG and mortar support companies who were no longer required to fire on the village, and they exited the minefield taking further casualties. The survivors joined the nearly two surviving companies of Brescia in a counter-attack on the village, bolstering their close assault ability so that the Aussies were ejected.


Meanwhile south of the village the Ariete AB40s decided discretion was the better part of valour and rather than being destroyed by the M3s who the Panzer’s could deal with, moved back to support their Folgore comrades in pouring fire into the 2/24th, particularly the exposed Vickers MG crews near the track.


 With the M3s of the Hussars lined up in great numbers north of the village the Axis troops welcomed the arrival of the 'PaK front' of 88mm and 75mm guns from 15th Pz Div who could deal with the enemy armour at long range. The KampfGruppe command group also decided to move out of the view of the Hussars behind the burning Milmarts, but close enough to lend command support to the Italians.


The tanks of the 15th Pz Div and Hussars started to trade rounds at ranges near 1500m as the PaK guns were setting up. The Germans were hoping to draw the British armour onto their AT gun line as so many times in the past. However by late 1942 the British crews had learned not to 'Balaclava' and charge German armour so they halted to give better chance of hitting. The Panzers also halted to increase their chances of hitting the lightly armoured M3s with their more powerful guns.     


A troop of M3s in B squadron were brewed up and two or three other troops suffered various levels of damage. The section of PzIIIJs suffered light damage but concentrated HE fire destroyed the 88mm guns. The section of PzIVFs then suffered heavy damage which brought a morale check on the II Kompanie and they reversed a further 300m from the enemy.


The Me110s returned after being driven off two turns ago and another dogfight ensued with the Hurricanes who were on their last turn due to low fuel. This melee was inconclusive and the boys from ZG 26 remained on the board to search for targets as the RAF chaps departed.


The two remaining troops of the Hussars A Squadron Honeys detached to south of village and engage the Folgore who were causing heavy casualties to the support companies of the 2/24th. The Folgore suffered some losses and a morale check forced them back to the cover of the entrenchments for a turn.

The 2/24th B company who had returned to their carriers after being driven from the village, emerged with the C reserve company to close assault the remnants of the Brescia in the village. As the few remaining Fallschirmjaeger and many  of the Brescia in the village had been whittled away by VMG fire from the carriers and the Honeys, the Italian infantry were heavily outnumbered and were ejected from the village for a second time [150 points]. Upon exiting the village they were hit by VMG fire from the M3s, suffering more casualties, and surrendered after a more brave stand than was expected of them.


As it was getting late, action was about to be curtailed and the last shots were fired. The Hurricanes ran low on fuel and departed leaving the skies free for the Me110s to attack. South to north runs were made on the A squadron M3s south of the village, within the range of the 40mm Bofors which opened up but didn't drive off or shoot down any attackers. The Me110 used bombs and 20mm cannon fire but rolled 2D6=2 (snake eyes) for the bombs and not much better for the cannons, so no damage was caused to the Allied armour. Comments were made that maybe we shouldn't have been
fearing the Me110s so much......


The departure of the RAF had allowed the Storch AOP to return to the field as it can loiter for a long time as it doesn't  charge around in air combat or ground attack. From the NW corner above the panzer kompanie it observed the Me110 attacks and the Bofors AA fire and decided neutralising the AA might help the aim of the boys from ZG 26. This time the radio contact worked and the 150mm guns were called in on the Bofors battery.
  


One 150mm battery scored a high number of hits and the Bofors and crew were destroyed [20 points]. This was observed by the remnants of the 2/24th MG support company who'd taken a pounding from the Folgore, especially the 20mm cannons on the Saharianas, and were retreating past the Bofors section after a bad result on a morale check.

The Allies were slightly ahead on points, particularly after re-capturing the village and associated control point and having destroyed some whole smaller Axis units such as the Ramcke company. However the 2/24th and the Hussars had both taken reasonable damage and were possibly lucky that some of the companies or squadrons had not been destroyed or routed.   
 
Likely the Allies could have captured the supply dump the Axis discovered SW of the village [100 points] but they would not have been able to take the two control points near the western edge and the remaining PaK 40 and Panzer’s were still dangerous to the M3s. The Me110 cannon strafing and the AOP directed 150mm on the reduced two companies of infantry remaining to the 2/24th could have been enough to break their morale. A Marginal Allied victory seems to be the outcome.