|Panthers hidden in a wood, just what the Allied Commander doesn't want to see|
We started a linked set of games a long while ago starting with the landings in France in June 44 and after 10 or so games we are up to the Falaise Gap period. The battle was the decisive engagement which ended the Normandy Campaign. A pocket was formed around the area of Falaise and Argentan, in which the the 7th Army and the 5 Panzer Army (formerly Panzergruppe West) were encircled by the Allies. The battle we are about to fight represents the corridor which the Germans sought to maintain in order for vast numbers of exhausted troops to escape. The battle resulted in the destruction of most of Army Group B and opened the way to Paris and the German border for the Allied armies.
|Allied Tanks cautiously move up through a ruined village|
The scenario is straight forward, the Germans put together a number of small Kampfgruppe from the last of the combat ready troops in the pocket, these need to desperately hold the advancing Canadians off for long enough for the remaining retreating men can escape to German lines.
Rules - We use a modified version of Korps Kommander by Bruce Rea-Taylor, they are very old now but ones we as a group are happy with. We have upped the basic manoeuvre element to the company, each model represents 3 to 5 actual vehicles so a 4 model Sherman Company represents 16 tanks. We have also changed the distances from cms to inches so max range for tank guns is 30 inches. Finally we have added a "chit" based order system similar to Johnny Reb.
Table is 12 x 6, this is my first attempt at a computer map and it doesn't look half bad if I do say so myself. I have used a program called Mapping Board which is quite easy to pick up, I haven't worked out textured backgrounds yet but it will come. I think the terrain features speak for themselves, dark green with dark red a boarder are hills, the hedged areas represent fields, grey blocks buildings and the stony areas are broken ground. You have North at the bottom of the map.
Canadian players move on from the Northern edge in any order from Turn 1.
German players may set up anywhere south of there front line, on turn 3 the column of stragglers starts to enter the table on the road on the top right hand corner of the table, the game ends when the last unit exits the table on the opposite edge.
I have done the orbats in the Korp Kommander format, if you want to convert them to you own rules each strength point roughly equals 1 vehicle or weapon or 10 men. So a tank company of 4 x Str 4 = 16 tanks and 2 x Str 6 for infantry would be 120 men. Because everything is company based similar troop types are put together in a separate unit to make firing etc easier, some units are moved up the command tree and grouped together. The most obvious one is the Fireflys.
Canadian Orbat (Morale 6 or regular)
21st Governor General Guards Tank Regt
HQ 1 x Sherman V Str 4
AA Company 2 x Str 3 Crusader AA
1st Recce Company 3 x Stuart V Str 3
2nd Recce Company 3 x Humber SC Str 3
A Company 4 x Sherman V Str 4
B Company 4 x Sherman V Str 4
C Company 4 x Sherman V Str 4
D Company 3 x Firefly Str 4
28th British Columbia Tank Regt
As above except change 2nd Recce Company to 3 x Humber AC Str 3
Lake Superior Motor Regt
HQ 1 x Str 4 HQ mounted in M3 1/2 Track
Anti Tank Co 1 x Str 6 6pdr with Bren Carrier Tow
Mortar Co 1 x Str 6 3" Mortar with Bren Carrier
A Company 3 x Str 7 Infantry mounted in M3 1/2 Track
B Company 3 x Str 7 Infantry mounted in M3 1/2 Track
C Company 3 x Str 6 Infantry mounted in Bren Carriers
Leyland and Welland Infantry Regt
1 x HQ Str 4 in M3 1/2 track
Anti Tank Co 1 x Str 6 6pdr with Bren Carrier Tow
Mortar Co 1 x Str 6 3" Mortar in Bren Carrier
Recce Co 1 x Str 6 Inf in Bren Carrier
A Company 2 x Str 6 Inf in Truck
B Company 2 x Str 6 Inf in Truck
C Company 2 x Str 6 Inf in Truck
D Company 2 x Str 6 Inf in Truck
15th Royal Canadian Field Artillery Regt
3 x Str 8 25pdr Battery with Tractor Tow.
12th Manitoba Dragoons (Armoured Car Regt) Part, Aand B Squadrons (each with)
3 x Damiler AC Str 4
3 x Damiler SC Str 4
1 x AEC III Str 4
5th Canadian A/T Regt (part)
3 x Str 4 Achilies
3 x Str 4 Archer
Air Power - Canadians gain 4 points for each German combat base killed and 2 for each straggler base, they can trade 10 pts in for a flight of 6 rocket armed Typhoons.
German Orbat (Morale 7 or Veteran, except Infantry which are Grade 5)
Composite Panzer Battalion
HQ 2 x Str 5 Panther
Recce Co 1 x Str 5 Panther
AA Company 1 x Wirbelwind
Engineer Company 1 x Str 5 Engineer in Sdkfz 251
A Company 3 x Str 4 Panther
B Company 3 x Str 4 Panther
C Company 3 x Str 4 Panzer IVH
D Company 3 x Str 4 Panzer IVH
Assault Gun Kampgruppe
HQ 1 x Stug IIIG Str 5
A Company 2 x Stug IIIG Str 5
B Company 2 x Stug IIIG Str 5
Panzer Grenadier Composite Battalion
HQ 1 x Str 4 HQ in Sdkfz 251
AA Company 1 x Str 4 Sdkfz 7/2
Mortar Company 1 x Str 6 Sdkfz 251/2 and 1 x Str 3 120mm Mortar in Sdkfz 251
Anti Tank Company 1 x Sdkfz 251/9 Str 9
MMG Company 1 x Str 9 MMG in Sdkfz 251
A Company 2 x Str 7 Panzer Gren in Sdkfz 251
B Company 2 x Str 7 Panzer Gren in Sdkfz 251
C Company 2 x Str 7 Panzer Gren in Sdkfz 251
Composite Infantry Battalion
Battalion HQ 1 x Str 5 HQ in Staff Car
Recce Company 1 x Str 3 Infantry on bicycle
Mortar Company 1 x Str 8 120mm Mortar, no transport
A Company 2 x Str 7 Infantry
B Company 2 x Str 7 Infantry
C Company 2 x Str 7 Infantry
8 x Misc Transport bases carrying looted art works, champagne and mistresses
25 bases of Infantry stragglers on foot
The transport may not return for the stragglers, the art work is more important ! Stragglers move at 4" per turn even when on the road.
A decent sized game which should take us a couple of weeks of relaxed game time to get through, AAR to follow.