Last night Robin and I got together for a 450 AP encounter battle Spearhead game.
So, I chose my list...
...assessed the lay of the land...
...made it black and white for historical effect...
...identified the objectives...
...laid my plans...
(the Typhoon (actually my Thunderbolt proxie, as the Thunderbolt's magnet fell off!) was just there for the photo...at that moment...)
...watched with some relief and anticipation at Robin's deployment (Yay! He deployed across a broad front. Yikes! That middle battalion looks nasty...)...
...and away we went.
Yes, I know they are all too bunched up! I should have deployed some across the river.
Seeing Robin's deployment I thought, rather than just sit and wait once I have got those three objectives on the left, why not push on? So I changed my plans accordingly.
The first shots are exchanged, with one of my Sherman troops being suppressed...
...while I try to swing the tail of the 4th [Armoured] Brigade over to meet the threat in the middle...and the right...gulp...
With having no time to stick around, I continued to push forward. The river took, well, a turn to cross. Note my Battalion command - the toothless tank - and the Brigade commander in his jeep.
In rolls my single "Thunderbolt" mission...
Unbeknownst to me at the time, one of the elements was Robin's Forward Artillery Observer - which kinda upset his plans to unleash some 105mm unpleasantness my way...
To add insult to injury, I also unleash some 25 pounder justice Robin's way, and managed to suppress his hull-down Stug III, with...a lucky shot! The anti tank capabilities of the 25 pounders were not great - I had to roll an 11 or 12 on two dice to have any effect.
(Yes, the guns are off table, I was just using the model to signify that these dice are there to keep track of the number of fire missions each of my 3 25 pounder batteries have left. And to remind me that I had off board guns to play with!)
However, the destruction wasn't just one way. Robin's remaining Stug managed to take out one Sherman...ironically, the one I had pulled up to cover the still suppressed Sherman beside it.
But my M-10 (being a support element, my M-10 troop could shoot through a front rank of tanks) managed to make short work of that Stug.
Another Sherman goes down, this time to a Pz IV to its front.
By the way, aren't those Litko Flaming Wreckage markers of Robin's cool?! Once the photos of the destroyed vehicles were taken, the models were removed, but the markers stayed. They told quite a story...
Anyway, in return, my Firefly took sweet revenge.
(That wreckage marker erupting from the belly of the tank looks way cool!)
So there we were...while Robin's left flank closes on my right. Urghh.
Again, the 25 Pounders speak!
Unfortunately, so did Robin's infantry. Anti tank factor of 7?!
At least my Firefly was making itself known to the Germans in the centre.
It gets suppressed in return.
The M-10 barks again! Bye bye little Stug.
However, the inevitable happens. My Firefly gets caught in the flank. High velocity 75mm slugs through the pretty thin sides of Sherman Fireflies = one dead Firefly platoon.
Still, now that the heavy opposition on my left flank was dealt to, it was time to run into Robin's infantry.
Overrun the infantry, in point of fact.
(This is the Battalion commander)
I was up two factors for conducting an overrun attack against Robin's infantry with my armour, Robin's two suppressed platoons were down two for being, well, suppressed in close combat.
While we were waiting for the 'Moving Vehicle' phase to resolve the overrun attacks, first the mighty 25 pounders speak again (at slightly better odds, seeing as these are only 'half-tanks'...)...
...while my stationary HMGs take out another Sd. Kfz 250 armoured personnel carrier.
However, a Kiwi rifle platoon had to play the role of ablative armour for the Vickers' Guns in response.
Oh, and my right flank M-10 also goes down.
The result of the overrun attacks was never in doubt...
...so, as the command arrows were pointing that way, I swung the two battalions to the centre accordingly.
The Vickers' teams first suppress...
...then destroy another 250 platoon.
Whilst, and at the same time, another troop of Shermans overruns the remaining German platoon on the left flank.
End of the turn, and Robin rolls for the moral of the centre battalion, his right being well and truly destroyed, and...they break too.
We both have two objectives each, yet I get an additional two points for each of his two broken battalions.
Victory to the Kiwis, 8 to 4!
I told you those makers told a story!
And so ended my first ever Spearhead win!
Thanks for the game Robin (and thanks for taking a list that had cool half track models rather than heaps of infantry!)
Robin's account of the game can be found here.