After a few weeks break from Flames of War and our El Guettar campaign Tim and I got in a couple of games over the weekend.
Game seven of the campaign was a Hasty Attack with the Germans attacking and the American defending. Tim took his Panzer Company with mostly PZIIIL and a platoon of PZII. His command were in PZIVF2. Tim also had ari support. I took my US Tank Company with Shermans, M10s and two batteries of armored artillery.
Hasty Attack has the attacker placing two objective markers on the defender's side of the table and the defender place on objective marker on their own side. The defender then places one objective marker on the attacker's side of the table. Once the defender has deployed the attacker removes one of their objective markers. This keep the defender from just piling stuff on the objectives and allow the attack the chance to wrong-foot the defender. Tim removed the objective marker on my extreme right.
Tim's plan was simple and sound. He would attack the US right with his strongest platoon and bring in the kampfgruppe platoon from his center in support. My right was held with an M7 battery and the CO and 2IC in Shermans. While he attacked the right flank the US left flank, the M10 platoon, took a chance and swung around a village with the hope of taking the German objective. As usual, this game would come down to reserves.
Tim got his reserves on early and slammed head first into the M10 security section. In support he also had his PZII's. Meanwhile, the Germans shot and bombed their way through the M7 battery and knocked out the 2IC. They were getting very close to the objective and there were no US reserves in site. The M10 platoon destroyed the PZIII platoon and shot up the PZII platoon. Then, strangely, the PZII platoon (now down to 2 tanks) made a mad dash down a railroad line for the US objective. This left the German objective uncovered. The US commander made a dash for the PZII and destroyed the reamining tanks only to be knocked out by Tim's flank attack. Meanwhile the M10 platoon moved to capture the German objective. US victory 5-2. Afterwards we decided that Tim would have won easily if he had left the objective marker on the US right and taken the one from the center.
Game 8 was Dust Up. I really love this scenario but I haven't played it in a long time. We each played the same forces as in game 7.
This game is really about reserves and proper force management. You have to pick the right forces for your reserve force and for your defensive forces. In this game I failed in this task miserably. I started the game with the same initial forces as the last game - M10 and M7 with the company command and 2IC. The M7 platoon was deployed and tasked with defending the objectives but I failed to actually secure the objectives. The M10 platoon was tasked with moving into the center of the German table edge and acting as the right pincer and the reserves would be the left pincer.
Tim deployed his large PZIII platoon to cover the objectives and had a small panzer platoon to attack early with. Tim moved towards the center of the table with his attacking force but got bogged down on a date grove. From here he gave and received harassing fire but was in no position to influence the battle. The M!0 security section made it across the table but lost a couple of jeeps to enemy fire. The rest dismounted and took cover in some rocky ground. The Germans used their air superiority to try and smash the M7 but repeatedly suffered losses from "Ma Duce".
The key to the battle was the arrival of the reserves. The Germans go their early and made good use of them. The American reserves were tardy but worse the M10 attack was one turn late. Tim took a pounding defending his objectives but is attacking force made short work of the M7 platoon. Germans win 6-1. Reserves, reserves, reserves. How many of these games have come down to this?
The US performance was good enough for them to keep the time table of the offensive and capture of Gafsa. Now the fight for El Guettar is on. The current scoring is as follows:
US - 30
Germans - 26
Casualties US - 118
Germans - 71
Vehicles lost US - 49
Germans - 36
US - 2
Germans - 6
It sure was nice to get this game back on the table. It is always a good time.