Thursday 11 January 2024

Counterattack at the Ring Contour (game #3 Von Luck PSC)

And we are back at the ring contour south of Bas Ranville, as Jasper's Para platoon counterattacks Arvid's PanzerGrenadiers in the 3rd game of the Von Luck Pint sized campaign. After the dramatic ending of last game, can the Germans regain initiative?

The Paras will have 10 support points for a counter attack as per the PSC, and a few more teams from the core Para platoon have turned up as well

while the Germans will have 6 points. 

Because of the commander's and men's opinions, the paras have 11 force morale, and some mediocre rolling leaves the PzGren at 8.

The Paras manage to turn the PzGren left flank during the patrol phase. 

But it always turns out slightly different when placing jump off points...

On the first turn, a squad of Paras deploys in overwatch on each flank. 


The Germans keep very still

Turn 2: Jasper strengthens his right flank with a sniper and a 2" mortar which starts laying smoke... on the left center. The squad on the left crawls forward, inspired by the platoon sergeant


Turn 3: the fire base on the Para right flank is strengthened with a Vickers MG. 

More smoke lands on the left flank. Germans keep stumm

Turn 4 gets a double phase for the paras, who make their move towards the German jump off points on both flanks. More smoke dropped

On the 2nd phase the paras push on, denying the Germans the use of a jump off point and getting close to the objective

This finally sparks a German response. An MMG opens up between the smoke (inspired by a senior leader), but the damage is light. Then an LMG ambushes but again the paras come away with some shock 

Turn 5: the para sniper hits back at the LMG,

and a para team on the right crawls forward on top of the German jump off point  

But the main course is the paras on the right charging the MMG!

It ends with the MMG taken out, as well as the German senior leader wounded. 3 paras killed and the senior leader wounded. German force morale -4, British -1. And worse: the paras have now closed down the jump off point/objective!

More response from the Germans: a squad deploys and fires on the para team on the jump off point on the right. ( team is pinned)

They in turn get shot at by the Vickers on overwatch

Another PzGr squad takes aim at the paras in the smoke, who lose the Bren team (no effect on morale though) 

Turn 6: a double phase in which initially the weakened paras on the left lose some shock and the MMG does light damage on the right

On the 2nd phase the para squad on the left moves in the flank of the PzGren LMG team.

That's 3 stens and 2 grenades from the junior leader. Almost wipes out the team

More flank maneouvre on the right, but the bren team isn't very effective 

The Germans have a double phase and shoot at the MMG. Not much effect though

Double 6s continue and the PzGren shoot some more, inspired by another senior leader. Target is bren team on the right. That's repeated on the next phase, wounding the junior leader ( no loss of morale)

Turn 7: paras charge the remaining LMG in the flank on the left. The LMG routs off table (but no morale effect!). 


On the right a bren team retreats to a safer distance.


MMG inflicts more casualties. And is joined by a new squad

Double phase for the PzGren: a team deploys but misses the para team on the left.

A sole team on the right also receives a salvo and breaks. -1 force morale 

Another double phase! Germans shoot up the para squad on the left (-1 force moral) junior and senior leader survive. Shots on right flank miss

On the last 'double' phase, the PzGren manage to rout the forward para squad on the right, including the junior leader as they run off the table. For a total of -3 force morale. Germans now on 4, Brits on 5. Close! 

Turn 8: Every para along the hedges blasts towards the PzGren inflicting some shock. 


The two leaders on the left move behind the smoke, dodging a few bullets (interupt)

Germans blast back towards the hedge, with minimal effect. This now has turned into a firefight, but at least the Germans have cleared their jump off points of enemies

Turn 9: again everyting from the hedge lets go at the PzGren. Multiple hits incl senior leader (force morale drops to 3)

At which point the PzGren withdraw intact. This means the paras retain the initiative.

The Paras have lost 9 men of which 2 are ignored because of the morale difference. Nevertheless, these losses make the platoon commander slightly less beloved by his men (drops from 5 to 4). His boss is very pleased however, opinion improves from 2 to 4. His own outlook changes from affable to confident.

The mood is not that good on the German side. The men start losing confidence because of continued lack of success and losses (-2 to -4). The boss is also not as happy (0 to -1). Arvid himself flows from content to sad.

Going through the victory conditions for the campaign we came to the conclusion that a German win was now impossible, even discounting the British option to call on naval support (which holds up a German attack for a turn). But given the work Jasper has put into the terrain and the new support options, we felt we'd start the campaign anew. So next game will be on the Ring Contour again!

See you then.

Saturday 16 December 2023

Probe Among the Hedgerows (Von Luck PSC game #2)


Last week three out of our gang of four reassembled for scenario 2 of the Von Luck PSC for Chain of Command. Von Luck's Kampfgruppe had easily brushed aside the airborne outposts further to the south in the previous game, but now they were on the edge of the village of Bas Ranville and the Paras were expecting trouble.

Jasper surpassed himself again in preparation for this game with a sunken road and surrounding terrain. 



Force morale turned out 9 for the Paras and 11 for the Germans.

The paras had suffered some casualties previously, and new reinforcements were slow in arriving. The night drop must have been pretty scattered! With 4 points of support, Jasper opted for an adjudant, a Bren gun team and gammon bombs. He also reorganised his squads which ended up like this:

The PanzerGrenadiere started with a fresh platoon and 13 points of support. This was spent on 81mm mortars plus FOO, and extra senior leader, a Unic P107 (f) and an extra PzGr squad.

The Patrol phase has the Paras spread out evenly at about 1/3rd of the table forward. 


Germans at about 1/6th and leaning towards their left flank 


So, there it began...

Turn 1: A German FOO deploys. 


And what do you know? A shot rings out from further down the road, barely missing him. 


Next turn, Panzergrenadiere appear. 


Another shot rings out, and this time it hits and kills the FOO (German force morale drops from 11 to 9). 


The Panzergrenadiere start to leap frog forward, slightly unnerved.

As the Panzergrenadiere creep forward, another squad arrives on table in a Unic P107 (f) APC. 

As the Panzergrenadiere team in front nears a ploughed field, fire erupts from the hedges. Two bren teams wreak havoc, followed by small arms fire from a different direction. 


The Pzgrenadiere team turns tail.

The fleeing PzGr team doesn't impress the rest of the platoon. A senior leader steps up to bring some order and then the remaining team starts machine gunning the hedges and manages to kill the junior leader of the double bren squad (force morale drops from 9 to 8). 


The brens retaliate, savaging the PzGr team holding its ground.

With only one man left, the senior leader decides 'to go get help' at a safe distance of the remnants. The Unic APC makes a bold move forward, past the senior leader, to distract the enemy.

The Para's reply is vicious. One salvo tears in the fleeing PzGr team, forcing them (incl jnr Ldr) off the table (-1 FM). Then the sniper wounds the German senior leader (-1FM).

But the coup de grace is: ambush of the Unic! 


A gammon bomb drops in the passenger compartment. APC KO, 2 killed (-2 FM).

The survivor tumble into the sunken road. 


The Germans deploy another squad in the orchard,


and push the survivors of the APC forward down the sunken road. They also manage to take out the sniper (Para FM drops to 7). 

But the Para's kill off the last man from the team on the right flank and German morale drops to 3.

The PzGr squad in the road get attacked from the rear but persevere on their course.

More losses from the rear finally pin them.


The Para senior leader jumps over the wall, in case something desperate must be done


With the situation that desperate the PzGr squad push forward from the orchard. 


But time runs out as more fire is poured into the pinned but exposed squad on the road: they break (-2 FM to 1) 


and as the Para's force the turn end the routing junior leader of the team makes German morale drop to 0. Victory to the Paras! Although it was a closer run thing than the force morale and loss statistics suggest.

The Paras lost 2 men and an NCO, which are ignored for next game because of the big difference in force moral at the end of the game. Best news is that the NCO of section 2 is recommended for a Mention In Despatches for his courageous throw of a gammon bomb into the APC.

German losses were heavy, but mostly on support units (the squad in the Unix P107 was the extra 4th squad). There were 2 permanent losses on the core platoon, and for the rest of the campaign there are only 2 Unic P107s available.

The battallion commander of the Paras has a much improved opinion of the platoon commander (+2) and so do the men (who appreciate the low losses as much as the repulse of the Germans (+5). The platoon leader himself feels affable.

Von Luck is not as happy with the PanzerGrenadier company commander, who is back at 0. The men also dislike the heavy losses so their opinion drops to -3. The platoon leader himself is now merely content.

Victory on this table means that the Paras can counter attack (onto table 1) for next game. We'll see how happy they are about that.