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The Lamb and Lion


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#1 healey36

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 10:06 AM

We've been working on the premise for the second in a series of MP fantasy games simulating battles in England following a German invasion in 1940. Up next:

 

The Lamb and Lion

The Setting

General Claude Auchinleck, Commander-in-Chief, Southern Command, sat at the far end of the make-shift conference table, waiting for the explosion. Ten days of effort to push the Germans back from the outskirts of London had finally run its course, and the results had been lackluster. Ground gained had been quickly retaken by the Germans. Now “The Auk” was going to get a good thrashing, and he wasn’t likely to get much support from CIGS or staff seated around him.

 

Churchill, having spent some twenty minutes examining the latest situation map, at last slammed his fist on the table, showering those gathered around him in a deluge of flying papers, map-sleeves, “Action This Day” stamps, and broken pencils. “I cannot believe we are incapable of ridding ourselves of the blasted Hun,” he bellowed, his words slurring badly in an apoplectic rage. For two weeks they’d been trying to push the stalled Germans out of the southern suburbs. “Something must be done,” he shouted, and not a soul in the room could argue otherwise.

 

By January, 1941, both armies lay exhausted along a line that ran roughly from the south-London suburbs to Reading, dipping southwest across the Salisbury plain and into County Somerset before turning south to the East Devon coast. Both suffered extremely limited resources, the Germans due to their difficulties moving reinforcements and supplies across the Channel, and the British who were still suffering the loss of heavy equipment in France, followed by further losses during the early battles opposing the German landings and ground campaign.

 

In fact, however, the German effort in Britain was growing weaker by the day. The Kriegsmarine’s plans for protecting the Channel supply-pipeline had proven largely defective. The minefields sown at either end, together with the Luftwaffe’s local air supremacy, had done well to prevent intrusion by the Royal Navy’s heavy units. However, light units such as the MTBs, a number of British submarines, even a few destroyers, were routinely penetrating the belts to wreak havoc on German shipping. The Kriegsmarine had some success fending off the MTB threat and the few destroyers that dared show themselves, but their efforts to fight the submarines had been inept, at best. While great proponents of submarine warfare themselves, the Germans had demonstrated their ASW capabilities to be near non-existent. As recently as New Year’s Day, the submarine threat was clearly evidenced by the torpedoing of the German transport Pinnau, carrying stores and a number of Pzkpfw IVD medium tanks to Folkestone.

 

The Germans had other problems, primarily grand-strategic related to the incompetent Italian army’s near complete failure in the Balkans. The Greeks, having driven the Italians out of their northern highlands, had continued forward, pursuing Mussolini’s minions back into Albania. This they had managed without British aid, and Hitler now grew fearful of an Italian rout. He needed a wrap of the “English Problem” before he could clean up the Balkans.

 

Deep in his bunker below the War Office, Churchill had lost confidence in Auchinleck. He turned to Brooke, demanding that a blow be struck to push the Germans back from London’s outskirts. The CIGS and the General Staff, however, were rightfully cautious in their planning, and even more so in their execution. For nearly a month, they had watched as a number of local actions aimed at pushing the Germans back had ended badly, especially the recent counterattack launched at Feltham which had seen heavy casualties for the infantry and the loss of nearly 30 light tanks. They simply lacked the heavy equipment and the numbers necessary to fight in the built-up areas of the city’s outskirts.

 

Brooke weathered Churchill’s most recent tirade, instead arguing that it would be best to continue their efforts to hold the center (London) and attack from the flanks. He based this on the well-founded presumption that Hitler had sent the bulk of his troops and resources in the direction of the British capital, hoping for a knock-out blow. Actions elsewhere had shown the more lightly armed units along the edges were far more vulnerable. Brooke thought the chances of a breakthrough were substantially better there, offering an opportunity to roll up the German line, or at least force the withdrawal of units from those facing London.

 

He had hoped that Montgomery’s 3rd Division, the only full-strength division in the British Army, might have been available to launch a counter-offensive across the Salisbury Plain toward the southern coast, thereby splitting the German forces in two. Montgomery had fought a tremendous battle to halt the German drive north, and now looked forward to going over to the offensive. Churchill, however, had directed a number of Monty’s units be withdrawn for service elsewhere, not the least of which being nearly an entire infantry brigade moved to Northern Ireland in an effort to promote/assure good behavior by the Republic. The effusive Montgomery protested vigorously, but was overruled, left to resume a defensive battle against the Germans now once again pressing from his front. 

 

The battles in the West Country had been epic, raging for the better part of three months. While far more mobile in nature, neither side had established much momentum, primarily due to the number of natural obstructions the British had done well to incorporate into their defense lines. This gave them the ability to channel German attacks, a huge advantage as they could choose their defensive priorities without being compelled to defend every yard of ground.

 

General Gotthard Heinrici, now commander of all of the forces comprising the westernmost portion of the German line, was still smarting from the rough treatment his units had received in the series of battles in and around Horton Cross. In December, he had established strong defensive positions there and redirected his efforts northeast, aimed at eliminating all enemy units south and east of the River Isle. Concurrent with this effort, he had established a number of bridgeheads for his planned offensive toward Taunton, Bridgwater, and ultimately Bristol. Told that reinforcements and supplies would be long in coming, Heinrici had a growing sense of urgency. By January, most of the British had been pushed north and west of the river, but there remained a small pocket of the enemy in and around Hambridge.

 

The Hambridge position was bounded by the River Isle to the north and the old Westport Canal to the east. But for the two highway bridges over the Isle immediately north of the town, there were no other nearby crossing points of the river. The only chance of escape or resupply centered on these two bridges. The Westport Canal, unused for more than 60 years, formed little in the way of a defensive barrier. Still flooded for much of its length, it did, however, offer some occasional capability as an anti-tank ditch.

 

Unbeknownst to Heinrici, Brooke had plans for Hambridge as well. He had designated the bridgehead there as the jump-off for a planned counterstroke in the west, and had ordered it held at all cost. To back up the effort, the CIGS sent a number of the relatively new third-generation infantry tanks (Valentine) into the pocket. German intel had observed this general movement of troops and equipment over the Isle into Hambridge and advised their HQ that it would be prudent to authorize airstrikes on the bridges, cutting off the British build-up. Heinrici, however, overruled any such action, reasoning that the bridges would be needed for execution of his own push north in the coming weeks, long after his planned liquidation of the British bridgehead.

 

If the bridges had been spared by the Luftwaffe, Hambridge had not. Loerzer’s 2nd Fliegerkorps had been ordered to reduce the pocket to ashes, and the village and the British forces in and around it had suffered a number of intense bombings with heavy casualties. For the most part, the civilian population had been evacuated, the town largely reduced to rubble. The Tommies that remained were now dug in, waiting.

 

Hambridge
An Hambridge street, December 29, 1940.

 

In the days leading up to Christmas, the English winter had been temperate, little rain and no snow. Now temps were routinely near freezing, with occasional flurries. On December 27, 1940, Heinrici ordered General Friedrich-Wilhelm von Chappuis, commander of the 16th Infantry Division, to begin preparations to reduce the British bridgehead at Hambridge. Von Chappuis the ever-cautious Prussian, began assembling his men.

 

The Scenario

On the morning of January 9, 1941, elements of the German 1st Infantry Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, supported by armor from the 35th Panzer Regiment, conduct a recon-in-force, intent on (1) interdiction of the road south to Hambridge and (2) probing the British positions on the western edge of the pocket near the town.

 

Heavy overcast precludes air operations. The ground is frozen, offering good cross-country movement for vehicles.

The scenario is twenty turns long (approximately two scale hours).



The Table

A four-by-six foot table, running from the outskirts of the village of Hambridge in the southeast corner to the river’s edge just off the map to the north. Heavily farmed, the region features numerous fields bordered by thick hedgerows, intersected by narrow roads.

 

The Lamb And Lion Map

The British will set up anywhere on the table. The 1st Infantry Tank Squadron will enter the map on Turn 2 on the road south of Hambridge. The 1st Light Cruiser Squadron will enter on a variable turn anywhere from the eastern table-edge. The Germans will advance onto the table on Turn 2 from the western edge (with the exception of 1st Panzer Battalion Recon Platoon which will enter on Turn 1 using a variable entry location detailed below). Tilled fields are frozen, so no penalty for entry.

 

The Forces

German Order of Battle
60th Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion 
Veteran
Unit 1 – Battalion HQ, Command Stand (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (3), 81mm Mortar Squad (1) (attached)
Unit 2 – 1st Company, HQ, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG Squad (1)

Unit 3 – 1st Company, 1st
 Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Pzrb Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (3)
Unit 4 – 1st Company, 2nd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Pzrb Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (3)
Unit 5 – 1st Company, 3rd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Pzrb Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (3)
Unit 6 – 2nd Company, HQ, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG Squad (1)
Unit 7 – 2nd Company, 1st
 Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Pzrb Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (3)
Unit 8 – 2nd Company, 2nd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Pzrb Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (3)
Unit 9 – 2nd Company, 3rd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Pzrb Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (3)

Unit 10 – 3rd Company, HQ, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG Squad (1)
Unit 11 – 3rd Company, 1st Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Pzrb Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (3)
Unit 12 – 3rd Company, 2nd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Pzrb Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (3)
Unit 13 – 3rd Company, 3rd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Pzrb Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (3)

Unit 14 – 1st Panzerjaeger Platoon, Pzjgr IB (4)

35th Panzer Regiment, 1st Panzer Battalion Veteran
Unit 15 – 1st Light Panzer Company (HQ), PzKpfw IIIE (1), PzKpfw IIIF (1)

Unit 16 – 1st Light Panzer Company, 1st Light Panzer Platoon, Pzkpfw IIC (5)

Unit 17 – 1st Light Panzer Company, 1st Medium Panzer Platoon, Pzkpfw IIIE (4)

Unit 18 – 1st Panzer Battalion Recon Platoon, Pzkpfw IIB (4)

 

HQ
Radio truck at HQ, 1st Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment.

 

British Order of Battle
15th Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Tank Squadron 
Regular
Unit 1 – 1st Squadron (HQ), Valentine Mk 1 (1)
Unit 2 – 1st Squadron, Troop 1, Valentine Mk 1 (3)

Unit 3 – 1st Squadron, Troop 2, Valentine Mk 1 (3)

Unit 4 – 1st Squadron, Troop 3, Valentine Mk 1 (3)
15th Infantry Brigade, 1st Battalion, Green Howards Veteran
Unit 5 – 1st Company, HQ, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG Squad (1)
Unit 6 – 1st Company, 1st Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Boys Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (2)

Unit 7 – 1st
 Company, 2nd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Boys Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (2)
Unit 8 – 1st Company, 3rd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Boys Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (2)
Unit 9 – 3rd Company, HQ, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG Squad (1)
Unit 10 – 3rd Company, 1st Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Boys Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (2)

Unit 11 – 3rd
 Company, 2nd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Boys Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (2)
Unit 12 – 3rd Company, 3rd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Boys Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (2)

Unit 13 – 4th Company, HQ, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG Squad (1)
Unit 14 – 4th Company, 1st Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Boys Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (2)

Unit 15 – 4th
 Company, 2nd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Boys Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (2)
Unit 16 – 4th Company, 3rd Platoon, Combined Command-Rifle/LMG/Boys Squad (1), Rifle/LMG Squad (2)

 

44th Royal Tank Regiment, 1st Light Cruiser Squadron Regular
Unit 17 – 1st Squadron (HQ), A13 Cruiser (1)

Unit 18 – 1st Squadron, Troop 1, A13 Cruiser (3)

Unit 19 – 1st Squadron, Troop 2, A13 Cruiser (2)

 

St James
What remains of the Church of St. James, a short distance southwest of Hambridge.

 

Special Rules

(1) Determination of the 44th Royal Tank Regiment units' eligibility to enter play from the eastern table edge is determined using one D12 and the following table:

Turn 1 - Roll 1-2 on D12

Turn 2 - Roll 1-3 on D12

Turn 3-5 - Roll 1-6 on D12
Turn 6+ - RTR units automatically eligible for entry.

Once the 44th RTR units are eligible, they may be activated and enter the table at the British player's discretion. These units (17, 18, and 19) are not obligated to enter and may be held off-table for later activation/entry. A single die-roll is made for the entire RTR contingent.

 

(2) German units exited off the eastern table edge may not be returned to play.

 

(3) German unit 18, 1st Panzer Battalion Recon Platoon, will enter on turn 1 using a variable location. Rolling a single d6, the edge location of entry will align from north to south 1-6. For example, a roll of "1" will require entry at the northern-most map-square on the western edge, "6" the southern-most, with intervening entry-points assigned similarly, i.e. a "3" would require entry into the third western map-square counted from the northern edge.


Victory Conditions

Germans are awarded 1 VP for each AFV, gun and infantry-type squad destroyed and 1/2 VP for each AFV/squad exited off the eastern table-edge.

British are awarded 1 VP for each AFV destroyed/immobilized, 1 VP for each infantry-type squad destroyed.



#2 Peter M. Skaar

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Posted 28 October 2019 - 10:24 PM

It is nice to see Mein Panzer getting a little love here.  I think this is a fine set of rules and always like to see AARs using these rules.  Thanks Healey!



#3 healey36

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Posted 30 October 2019 - 04:30 PM

No sweat, Peter. We were hoping to get this on the table pronto, but the British player, who is providing the bulk of the miniatures for the British force, blew out his back, had to have surgery, and now is laid up. I posted this as a place-holder for when it eventually goes down. We'll see how it goes...I could see this going off after the holidays at this point. 

 

Over the years we've tried many rule-sets and have found Mein Panzer pretty manageable and fun. Just enough detail to keep it interesting, but not so much that everything bogs down (that's not to say it doesn't get pretty hairy when you throw in everything, i.e. armor, infantry, arty, air-support, etc.). For years we used GDW's Command Decision, but a number of players were/are put off by the unit scaling (for example, one tank represents five, or a 65 tank Panzer battalion checks in with 13 tanks). Still, that was/is the only rules I've used where you get a sense of managing a really big unit, maybe at a division/corps-level, and not have 500 tanks on the table. Throw in all of the scaled down support units and you have a taste of unit resources, as designed. For platoon-level tank battles, we occasionally break out the old Angriff! rules...there you roll to hit, then roll for hit location, then look up the shot penetration capability versus the armor thickness at the site of the hit. You can develop a sense of the physics wrapped up in armor penetration using those. Muzzle velocity, shell weight, armor slope, HEAT, discarding-sabot, etc., all figures into it. For all the detail, Angriff! sometimes feels nonsensical, but you learn a bit from it. At the end of the day, however, for the battalion/regiment-sized dust-ups, MP remains the rule-set of choice.

 

At some point we'll probably move to the Eastern Front with MP. I have a mate that's spoiling to get his Panther battalion into action. 



#4 Peter M. Skaar

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 02:33 PM

I have put on a number of Mein Panzer games over the years.  I have done East Front 1942, 43, and 44 plus a West Front 44 game or two.  I also have put on several North Africa games pitting the British 8th Army against the Afrika Korps.

I find for introducing new players to the game, North Africa is a good setting.  This is for several reasons.

1. No trees to speak of - at least forested areas.  This is one less terrain feature for the new players to try to figure out.

2. These games have some low rolling hills, a simple road network, a few buildings but no wadis.

 

3. The German and British tanks of the 1942 period are generally well matched in terms of capabilities based on the Mein Panzer data book.  A good match-up is British Crusader I/IIs vs. German Pz IIIs.  Speed, armor, penetration are all very close so neither side has a distinct advantage.  When playing with other tank types I will consider having one side have more numbers if they have a disadvantage in capability.

4. North Africa is good for tank only games.  Certain areas of the East Front are also good for this as well.  The more closed areas of Western Europe are probably good for introducing the infantry rules.

I have pictures from one of our games on this forum from a few years back somewhere.  I think we had 6 active players and everyone seemed to have a good time.


 



#5 Peter M. Skaar

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 02:43 PM

My last AAR on this Forum was "Cruisin' for a Bruisin" back in 2016.



#6 healey36

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Posted 07 November 2019 - 04:15 PM

I recall reading that AAR and commenting on your use of some nicely prepared GHQ Terrain Maker®. We have been using a 12-inch-by-12-inch geomorphic system we came up with many years ago. It works well, but storage is a pain.

 

Looks like you had ~ 60 tanks on the table, played five turns (30 scale minutes). At 20 turns, I'm thinking TLAL is going to take a weekend.

 

One thing I've noticed about gaming armor battles, folks have an inclination to bunch up their units, i.e. advance across the table in a tight rank. I'm not sure why that's done. MP allows up to two inches between vehicles and still maintain cohesion (unless I'm reading things wrong). Spread things out a bit, you cover more ground, and the visual effect is far more pleasing. A boardgamer once pointed out that in a game such as Advanced Squad Leader, for instance, one could line their vehicles up in adjacent hexes. That's true, but one has to remember the hex-scale of ASL is roughly 50 yards side-to-side, so tanks would be roughly 50 yards apart, or half a football field. I'm guessing the "game" aspect drives it, not the aesthetics, which is understandable.

 

Anyway, I need to start inventorying hedgerows - I'm thinking I'm short quite a bit.  



#7 Peter M. Skaar

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 10:51 PM

Hi Healey

 

I don't know why some folks like to bunch their tanks into tight little groups.  At the scale of 1 inch equals 50 yards, 2 inches is about 100 yards between tanks which seems about right.  If tanks are 50 yards apart, that is really no big deal.
The problem seems to be when people want to literally put the tanks hub to hub.

I remember hosting a Russian front game and one of the Russian players put his tanks 2 abreast on a little dirt road.  While there was no strict prohibition for doing that in the game, I had to let him know that in the real world they would not be doing that.



#8 healey36

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Posted 19 January 2020 - 04:01 PM

The Lamb and the Lion (Pt. 2)

After Action Report

Chappuis delayed sending in his attack that morning, choosing to wait for an early-morning fighter-bomber sweep scheduled to come in just after dawn. The section of Bf-110D-2s, however, never arrived at the appointed time, having been bounced by Hurricanes of 303 Squadron near Yeovil and sent packing. At 0840, nearly three-quarters-of-an-hour after sunrise, he ordered his men off.

 

On a die roll of five, the 1st Panzer Battalion Recon Platoon found its point of entry having to climb up and over the ridge just west of Hambridge, nearly a scale mile south of the level ground to the north. It would take them nearly an half-hour to ascend and descend the steep hill, push through a gap in a hedgerow to approach Chricherton Manor and the western edge of the town. There they found the Valentines of 1st Troop hull-down along the road. The British tankers made quick work of the leading two Pzkpfw IIBs, sending the remainder scurrying back to the cover provided by the hedgerows. There they would remain for the rest of the game.

 

L&L B
1st Troop makes hay of the onrushing Panzer IIs of the recon platoon.

 

The commander of 1st Battalion, Green Howards, deployed one platoon of 1st Company near the intersection at the center of the table, while holding the other two platoons in reserve around the Lamb and Lion public house a few hundred yards to the south. All three platoons of 4th Company were retained on the northern and eastern edges of Hambridge, intended to prevent any penetration of the town proper.

 

The German advance was slowed by the foot advance of their infantry, moving on the double along the road toward the center of the table. Captured trucks might have been a suitable addition to the OB, but we didn’t, and the omission ate up a lot of scenario time just to bring the infantry together. In the end, we added nearly thirty scale minutes to the length of the game to try to offset the time spent marching across the table.

 

We also added the outside possibility of artillery support for the Germans, providing an off-table battery of 105s which could deliver a barrage on the once-per-game-turn card draw of an ace from a 52-card deck. The barrage had to be used the turn the card was drawn, not held, which mitigated the usefulness of the first ace drawn on only the second turn.

 

L&L C
German infantry advances on the Lamb & Lion pub after routing the Green Howrads' forward position.

 

The Valentines of 2nd and 3rd Troops were sent through Hambridge to turn north to run overland up the eastern table edge. The logic for that maneuver went unexplained, and it effectively removed them from play for much of the game. No matter, 1st Troop, having dealt successfully with the Recon platoon, pushed off from their position on the road west of Hambridge, approaching the German main column from the south. There, in an open field on the northern edge of the estate, the German was forced to move his 1st Medium Panzer Platoon to fend off the advancing Valentines. This was achieved successfully, disabling one of the infantry tanks and driving off the other two without loss.

 

The German infantry ran headlong into the Green Howards’ forward infantry position just west of the intersection with the North Road in and amongst the hedgerows. The German’s superior numbers and effective die-rolling soon sent the British infantry falling back having lost the equivalent of one squad, to join the rest of the company dug in around the pub. There they would make a stand with the rest of 1st Company.

 

The engagement now effectively became a free-wheeling tank battle on the flanks of an infantry slug-fest at the center of the table. 1st Light Cruiser Squadron of 44th RTR came crashing in from the northeast, a half mile or so south of the old creosote refinery. Trying to reach the North Road, they hadn’t gone very far when they came under the intense fire of the Panzerjaegers which had been sent in that direction, aiming to protect the German left flank from whatever might come that way. It proved fortuitous, as the Germans’ brilliant shooting soon knocked out or disabled four of the six A13s, the remaining two quickly withdrawing.

 

The German now made a costly mistake. After allowing 1st Troop to withdraw without pursuit, he sent his Pzkpfw IIIs sweeping through the fields north of the manor to try to cut the North Road, encircling the Green Howards at the table-center. Unfortunately for the Panzers, the remaining pair of Valentines of 1st Troop had not vacated, but instead positioned themselves amongst some trees adjacent to the manor. As the Mk IIIs passed within range, the Valentines’ 2-pounders barked, quickly taking out the commander’s IIIF and one of the IIIEs. To make matters worse, a freak shot by the men of the 4th Company’s HQ squad using a Boys anti-tank rifle disabled another IIIE. The two medium tanks remaining wheeled to retreat back from whence they came, a fourth IIIE knocked out by the Valentines before it could reach cover.

 

L&L D
German Pzkpfw IIIs turn south off the road to challenge the advancing Valentines of 1st Troop.

 

By now we were into the third hour of the game. Positioned to begin their assault on the British position at the Lamb and Lion, the Germans luckily drew an ace and delivered a barrage from the 105s. The effect was negligible, other than to destroy the Lamb and Lion, sending the Green Howards into a rage. The German infantry launched its attack on the left flank from a slight rise. Running downhill, they were cut down by the Lewis guns of 2nd Platoon. Attacks in the center and on the right fared no better, although the British line did begin to waiver in the brush along the road where the Germans were able to concentrate their fire. All of this while the Green Howards listened to the sound of Valentine tanks of 2nd and 3rd Troops grinding about in the fields to their rear. There amongst the bomb craters and what was left of the pub, the battle came to an end.

 

Pzkpfw IIC
Pzkpfw IIC of the 1st Light Panzer Platoon, 1st Company, 1st Panzer Battalion, 35th Panzer Regiment.

 

Results

 

If nothing else, it was hardly a stellar example of combined arms. There was little coordination between the infantry, artillery, and the armor (the artillery primarily due to its scarcity). There seemed little doubt that had the German medium tanks not been squandered in the unsupported attack between the British infantry positions, and instead been used to support the infantry attack on the pub position, things almost certainly would have ended somewhat differently. That said, the same was true for the British player’s strategy for his infantry tanks, whatever that might have been (queries were sheepishly replied to with a shrug of the shoulders).

 

The Sickles-like move by the Green Howards, sending one platoon of their infantry out ahead of their defensive position, had, similar to the Union general, disrupted and delayed the initial onslaught by the German infantry. The forward positon had gotten chewed up when forced to withdraw to join their mates at the pub, but the trade-off for time proved invaluable. Another three or four turns with some reasonable die-rolling would likely have pushed the Brits out of their position and their cover, resulting in some heavy casualties when they withdrew across the mostly open ground back toward Hambridge.

 

L&L A
The Green Howards defend the rubble that was the Lamb & Lion pub from the determined attacks by the Germans.

 

While swirling tank battles are great fun on the table, the chess-like feel of infantry combat can’t be done half-heartedly. To have a real go at it requires a more complete OB, with a plethora of infantry and all of their heavy weapons, some mortars, some anti-tank guns, and a smattering of artillery. Short of that, you end up with something that feels largely incomplete and unsatisfying, although certainly the time investment probably goes up exponentially.

 

With our little VP schedule for the scenario, the British eked out a marginal victory. They lost five of their tanks while the Germans lost six, including five of their six medium tanks. The British lost a couple of infantry squads, as did the Germans. No German units exited the eastern edge of the table, nor did it seem it was ever contemplated. We thought we’d get a sense of the effectiveness of the Valentine’s heavier armor against the 37mm, 47mm, and 50mm tank fire of the Germans, but other than the single loss, little was exposed. Even in its first version, the Valentine, at least in its minimal employment here, seemed to prove itself capable.

 

The difference between scale-time and real-time was again duly noted. It required nearly seven hours to play two-and-one-half hours of scale-time action. Some of this, perhaps most, is due to the deliberative nature of gamers. The activation sequencing seems to preclude an attempt to put folks on a clock, but we need to figure out a way to speed this up. 

 

Based on the results of this action, Chappuis was left to report to Heinrici that the British appeared to be capably dug in at Hambridge, and that it would take a major effort to dislodge them. If he hoped to resume his offensive, Heinrici was left with little alternative but to eventually take up the attack on a significantly grander scale. The bridgehead would have to be eliminated.



#9 healey36

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Posted 07 February 2020 - 12:19 PM

The Lamb and Lion pub today:

 

The_Lamb_and_Lion%2C_Hambridge_-_geograp

The Lamb and Lion, Hambridge. (Photo by Derek Harper)

 

Will have to stop in for a pint next time over.

 

Healey

 

 



#10 Kenny Noe

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 10:49 AM

Awesome!!   How long of a game session do you play?   Are you able to leave the game and come back another day to resume?

 

Thanks for the AAR



#11 healey36

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:21 PM

Ken - It took us a bit more than seven hours to grind through two-and-one-half of scale game-time. I think part of it is my fault, as I don’t press players to keep things moving. This results in folks overthinking everything, being too deliberative. To be fair, though, there’s a lot of side stuff going on that distracts from game-flow, again, my fault. My “game master” skills are lacking, lol. Need to work on that. Paul

#12 Kenny Noe

Kenny Noe

    Mein Panzer Guru

  • ODGW Staff
  • 690 posts

Posted 18 February 2020 - 08:33 AM

Paul,

 

Understand.   It's like herding cats to get players to go thru their actions.   I (of course) am just as guilty when playing....

 

Our games usually run 3-4 hours and we call it when the outcome is apparent and or we're hungry!!   <grin>






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