Somewhere in Northern Italy, Autumn, 1944.
Secure the town of Viznetti.
You've been given elements of the NZ 24th and 25th Infantry Brigades, the 22nd Motorised Brigade and the 18th Armoured Regiment. Intelligence expects a strong counter strike from Panzer division in the area.
Great. Ok, let's see what we're working with.
Hmmm, time for a plan...
Right, the 25th can hang back in reserve, securing the right in the meantime, the 24th can threaten in the centre and advance on the town when the 18th and 22nd have worked their way around to it's rear from the left. The 25th can have the divisional support elements since they'll be left to their own devices for a while. They might need some extra support...
And so began Robin and I's second game of this term break. A much more balanced affair, this time! Using the scenario generator, this game was to be an encounter battle, with both of us using our prepared attack lists @ 650 points each. I thought that we may have ended up with toom many toys on the table, but, as it happened...nope, it didn't look too crowded at all!
As per my plan above, my main thrust, so to speak, was going to be on my left with my armour and their cross attached infantry. I just hoped that my flank march would turn up on time!
A lovely coffee that cup did contain!
Robin lays out some of his army...
...while my Typhoon, on loan from the Northern European front, looks on! (I know it should be a Thunderbolt, but, well, it still isn't finished. The prospect of hand painting on all that silver always sees me finding something easier to do!)
The 18th begins their advance.
Those yellow dots signify which tanks have combat moved (moved no more than half distance, so's they can still fire), and which haven't. The Sherman with its turret facing backwards is my command element.
In the meantime, Robin moves up into the centre and enters the town.
One of my Fireflies and one of Robin's Panthers spy take pot shots at each other across the valley.
The Firefly is suppressed, but the Panther is destroyed. Huzzah!
My slow advance on the left continues...
...in the face of Robin's remaining, hull down, Panther.
On the extreme left, a battery of Pak 40's...
...take out a troop of Shermans. Bother!
That nasty, nasty Panther takes out another Sherman...
...as one of the few things that could actually deal to it watches on helplessly due to a bit of a traffic jam to it's front!
Still, you gotta press on...
Meanwhile, in the centre, my Air Ground Controller calls in an attack against a Pz IV and following Pak 40.
The Panzer dies, but the gun survives. Hmmm...
Robin moves up his armoured infantry and a wee 75mm gun into the wood just to the south west of the town.
More action in the west. A Sherman is suppressed by the Pak 40, which in turn is suppressed...
...and then destroyed by return fire.
Finally, in turn 6 (instead of the scheduled Turn 3), the 22nd Motorized Infantry Brigade arrives, with it's own smattering of tanks cross attached from the 18th Armoured Regiment.
At which Robin commits his reserve, that were holding back on his left, my right, to shore up against this new threat.
Not only that, but he pulls out his holding force that were facing the 18nd and newly arrived 22nd. I actually managed to push him off an objective! Huzzah!
However, Robin's own flank march had arrived on my right - half a dozen infantry accompanied by a couple of Panthers and a couple of Tigers. Yikes!
And All I've got to stop 'em is a bunch of infantry!
Robin's hastily assembled second line starts to throw it's weight around. Or rather, 76mm shells down range from a troop of Panthers perched on a precipice.
Hey! That's one of my M-10s!
Still, the chase is on!
In the centre I drop some smoke to try to provide a spot of relief to the 24th as it tries for the hill opposite the 251 infested woods...
Speaking of 251s, there one isn't, having just been dispatched by my one remaining 6 pounder. Good shot boys!
Robin's flank force stops at the end of it's command arrow, thankfully unable to see my infantry sitting still on the hill across the valley. They'll need an order change (or me to move, and thus be spotted) to attack.
Still, an order change for the Germans isn't that hard to achieve...
Meanwhile, back on the western/left flank, Robin finally manages to call up his air support (he'd been trying all game - this is, what, about turn 10?). Ok, it looks great, but I still would have rather it had stayed off the table!
It targets a Firefly and the PBI stand beyond...
...while my Typhoon flies overhead, oblivious to it all!
Oh, stink! I needed that Firefly!
Back in the centre, the crack 6 Pounder team takes out another 251 (well, I suppose it wasn't a 251, it had a 75mm gun, but, well...) lurking in the wood over the way.
See, there it isn't!
However, I also lose another armour platoon...
...this time to the very vehicle type my 6 Pounder took out the turn before! Lucky shot!
And that's where we kinda left it. The 18th were two elements away from a moral test, likewise his holding force that was running away - oh, sorry, withdrawing on his right, and the small battalion in his centre. My 24th wasn't looking too fresh either. So I figured that the Kiwi commander would consolidate what he had gained and wait for re-enforcements on the following day.
I had one objective, as well as contending two others, and Robin had secured two objectives outright. 4 Victory points each. An honorable draw, thought we.
(See Robin's report here.)
If only the flank march had turned up earlier, and I had pushed the 24th onto their first objective at greater speed!
The off table artillery duel was pretty cool - Robin managed to knock out half of my 25 pounders, I managed to knock out two thirds of his 150s, since his 170s failed to knock out my 5.5s.
Great game, lovely lunch, all in all a great time was had by all!