Sunday, 19 January 2014

Scramble on Saturday

New life lesson: Always check your e-mail before you go out the door. Rob and I were prepared for a small "tread-head" game of "Patton's Dream" (ETO 1946 - Western Allies and Wehrmacht vs. the Red Army -- all heavy tanks and stuff.) Checking e-mail, I discovered Andy was under the weather (he brings the terrain) and because of that, Martin had no ride (he brings the "Panzer-Disney" equipment.) Quickly shifting gears, Rob and I grabbed terrain, figures, models, and dice. By the time we got to the Games Group, we had a viable scenario in place for Disposable Heroes World War II ETO. British Paras are defending a French town from an SS force that is trying to dislodge them. Some Maquis fighters are aiding the Brits and an American armoured infantry force is rumoured to be on the way for relief. Rob ran the Paras (a platoon with a 75mm pack howitzer) and the Maquisards. Tyler and Bear ran the SS (a reinforced platoon with a Pzkwgn IV G, a Hetzer tank destroyer, and a self-propelled quad 20mm) while DJ pushed his armoured infantry. (A Sherman 75, a Sherman 76, 3 M3 half-tracks with troops, and a jeep.)

A view of the town - Petit' Ville sur l'table
The players - Bear, Tyler, myself, Katie (who came later to kibitz), Tyler's son, Rob.
DJ was missing because he does not appear on camera due to a trick of his metabolism.
He also avoids garlic, holy water, silver, and crucifixes.
I forgot to say... I refereed. Beth took the photo.
Since Bear and Tyler knew that DJ's relief column was coming (although they didn't know when), they split their forces, some lying in ambush around the hedgerows for the US troops and others advancing on the town. Rob filled the buildings with riflemen, Bren gunners, and a Vickers HMG with the pack howitzer standing behind the town. The SS moved first, threatening some of the town and taking the Vickers HMG out early before it did serious damage. As it was, they took casualties from it before destroying it. At the end of the turn, DJ rolled to see if he'd enter and he rolled an immediate entry! His troops had to enter on the road, but could leave it as soon as they entered, so his jeep came tearing in and flashed around the hidden Germans. It didn't last long, but it got the SS's attention.

The quad 20mm, the SS recon section, and the Pz. IV G. The recon are Wehrmacht troops on loan and
the Pz. IV is an earlier mark we "up-designated."
Rob's Para sniper takes aim from a good vantage point.
Everybody's favourite - the Hetzer
The Para's 75mm pack howitzer with a US crew (Bold Action minis with an add-on from another company)
A photo from later in the game - jeeps don't stand up long when faced with a quad 20mm AA gun.
I wonder why.
DJ brought in a halftrack a turn and followed them closely with the Shermans. The 76 engaged the Pz. IV and they exchanged shots to no effect for quite a while. The half-tracks unloaded their riders and two of the three M3s were dispatched by the SS with flamethrower and Panzerschreck. The Yanks took the SS on hand-to-hand and the Americans won although the fighting in the hedgerow was quite bloody. None of us had ever seen so much hand-to-hand fighting in a Disposable Heroes game before! Then again, our troops rarely get so close to each other in a game. As the game went on, the US troops close-assaulted the Hetzer. In DH, you first have to perform an "improvised close assault" on an AFV and all you can do is stop it and inflict one penetrating hit. Once it's immobilised, you close assault again and you can kill the vehicle. An immobilised AFV is dead meat for infantry. DJ hit the Hetzer with a dismounted squad, immobilised it, and killed it. However... he didn't get his boys off the tank destroyer quick enough and it exploded under him! This cost him one figure and pinned the rest, but the TD was out of action.

DJ's armoured infantry suffered a lot of casualties just getting on the table,
especially in the area of the battle taxies.
(DJ's Dinky Toys, bought at a toy show. I'm jealous!)
The close assault on the tank destroyer.
The pinned squad after the Hetzer bought it.
The Lieutenant and the platoon marksman lurk behind the M3 which was tagged out.
As it was, Tyler and Bear were still sending two groups against the town - an SS squad and a Recon section. They exchanged fire with the Red Devils holed up in the houses and did some damage... until the Marquisards came up! The rules state that the Resistance/Marquis/Partizans are to be armed with whatever the figures are armed with. Sooooo... there were lots of SMGs and the SS squads were on the receiving end of a lot of firing. They were cut up very badly.

Commandos filling in as Paras in cover in the town.
Bren LMG team
The Maquisards - various figures from a number of companies who do partizans and Pulp game figures.
The Paras displace in the village.
The Maquisards in hiding - It's their town; they know all the hiding places.
Just before they open fire on the SS sneaking up on their right.
Here's what was sneaking up - a mixed bag of metal and plastic figures painted in the Autumn
"Pea pattern." It's my attempt at the SS-Erbsenmuster cammo.
The Recon section was also attempting to come up to the village through the woods.
Back in the hedgerow, DJ's troops were mopping up.
At the end of the game (we had set a limit on the number of turns early on), the town was held by the Paras who had lost some but not too much. The US force was down to the Sherman 76 and about a dozen scattered troopers. The SS had been bloodied, had most of their vehicles, and had not taken the town, however they kept the relief force out of the town as well. The Sherman 76 could've made a difference but it was a case of too little-too late. Nonetheless, everyone involved said they enjoyed it.

At the same time at another table, Wayne and Kevin were engaged in an age of sail battle using Wayne's variant of Wooden Ships & Iron Men geared for the War of 1812 on the Great Lakes, Lord of the Lakes. I can't comment on it; I just took photos. Beth watched for a while and said it looked quite playable.
Action under sail on Lake Ontario

the entire game board - centred around Sackett's Harbour, NY

Wayne and Kevin prepare their moves.
A few more interesting pictures:

Another of DJ's Dinky Toy finds.
German mortar crew - unknown manufacturer
"Where does he get all these wonderful toys?"

MG 43 HMG -  a nasty piece of work.
Tyler's son's "Tiger tank" - yep, that's what it is!
DJ's Sherman 76 rolls forward with riders!

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