Today was the long awaited grand final of the FoW campaign we ran last year.
Like all military campaigns we faced set backs… Christmas… my PC dying… all putting a bit of dent in the progress, but all four of us were committed to finishing the campaign! Today was that day!
For the final game we opted for the Total War, and 1500 points per player (3000 per side) plus Firestorm troops. My Axis commander and I secretly agreed that we should defend to the last man, with elite paratroopers!
While my fellow commander opted for the Casino list (we were not playing to historically accurate lists) I opted for something more Normandy themed, although a little ahead of its time.
German Fallschirmjager Infantry Company, 6th Fallschirmjager from Hells Highway Fallschirmjager Company HQ - CinC SMG, 2iC SMG - Upgrade CinC & 2iCto CinC Panzerfaust SMG - Panzerschrek - 3x 8cm GW42 (Stummelwerfer) mortar Fallschirmjager Platoon - Command Panzerfaust SMG, 9x Rifle/MG Fallschirmjager Platoon - Command Panzerfaust SMG, 9x Rifle/MG Fallschirmjager Platoon - Command Rifle/MG, 6x Rifle/MG Fallschirmjager Mortar Platoon - Command SMG, - 2x Observer Rifle, - 4x 8cm GW42 (Stummelwerfer) mortar Fallschirmjager Anti-tank Platoon - Command SMG, 3x 7.5cm PaK40 gun Fallschirmjager Anti-aircraft Gun Platoon - Command SMG, - 2x 2cm FlaK38 gun Heavy Tank-Hunter Platoon - Command Jagdpanther,
One of the other great things about picking FJ’s is my entire force is painted.
We still had three battles to resolve prior to the main game, so none of were really sure where the final battle would take place. As it turned out the Allies surrounded Caen, and then drove in for the final crushing blow.
After some brief discussion we settled on the Total War Scenario. With six objectives to contest and a time limited battle this seemed the best option. Given the allies were attacking from the North, we set up the table so half the table was city, the back of the Axis side a river, and let the Allies begin to deploy.
Unfortunately I only captured my side of the deployment, but imagine this doubled. The Allies were quite nervous about the sheer number of fearless infantry they were about to face. Perhaps partially fueled by my mid-week questions about the cost of Panthers they were expecting more tanks.
None-the-less the British contingent of the Allies quickly took full advantage of their recce moves and pounced on the objectives.
Where on the other side of the table, the Americans were much more cautious of the PAK40 gun line.
As these things go, I got all caught up in the game, forgot to take a lot of photo’s, but in summary, we were probably not aggressive enough, and the Allies pulled some clever, albeit suicidal, objective denial moves with their recce armored cars. This allowed them to pull into the lead.
After six turns we called time, and the battlefield looks something like this on the right flank…
… and this on the left.
Neither side had taken enough casualties to force a company to flee, both sides had made some pushes that were fended off, and all over this was a slugfest with neither side making much encroachment into the other territory.
The VP tally went like this…
14 VP’s to 9VP’s with the Axis barely leaving their trenches. All up reasonably successful defense, but in this scenario’s case, we needed to be making more of an assault, and I don’t think our lists were really tooled for that.
After some brief discussion we determined that the VP difference equated to a minor Allied victory, and rolled to destroy units, destroying none on either side. With the other half of Caen to fall back to the Axis were able to retreat.
However, the campaign was a complete success for the Allies with the final points for the whole campaign landing at…
Allies – 460
Axis – 70
… and Caen surrounded & cut off from supply.
ALLIED STRATEGIC VICTORY
A great campaign, and the D-Day mini campaign was great to play. It’s a tough ask the the Axis, as you are almost always on the back foot by the 2nd or 3rd turn, and pretty much no chance of winning the initiative to counter attack late in the campaign as the Allies are at +2 on all rolls, and win ties. AGRA artillery is devastating and with and no Axis air support ever, it’s a tough thing to counter.
Overall we agreed that tighter management of the schedule would have been better, but otherwise all players thoroughly enjoyed themselves and there was even talk of doing a parachute operations league “next time” as all the players have a parachute company of some sort. Perhaps the greatest parachute operations of WWII?