He invited a friend of his, a recently retired Combat Engineers Colonel to join us. Col. Rod had played staff wargames but this was his introduction to hobby wargaming.
The Padre set up a table with some plausible generic Normandy terrain on it. Before the Col. arrived we decided who would be the attacker and who the defender, which determined orders of battle. We decided the Canadians would be attacking with a squadron of Shermans supported by a company of infantry to secure the roads in the valley. My only other asset was a FOO. If I'd been the defender then the Shermans would have been replaced by the 6 pounder AT guns and Vickers MMG platoon. The Padre commanded his evil, kitten-eating, 12th SS and had two platoons of grenadiers, a platoon of panzer IVs (the Padre doesn't have an STuGs or tank destroyers yet), a pair of Pak 40s and then several panzerschrek teams and some MG42s from the company HQ.
The last time the Padre faced my Shermans (and the last time I had the full squadron out), he defeated them bloodily, with much the same forces. This time out, with Col. Rod's professional advice, we cleared the valley quite handily with the loss of only 3 tanks.
We started by sending two troops with Sqdn HQ, the FOO and two platoons of infantry up the center. Tank hunters in the woods on the left and a section of grenadiers in the wheat on the right fired rockets at us, knocking out one Sherman and putting a bit of shock on a second. This caused things to log jam and I brought the infantry up on either flank forcing the Germans to scoot.
|German trip wire|
|Tank duel, the number chits are identifying Big Men|
Game over. Allied victory.
I had been worried about AT fire from the hedge on my right, but it never materialized so I concentrated on the threats to our front. In the post action critique, we thought that if the Padre had put his Paks behind the hedge on my right and the Panzer IVs hull down on the wooded hill he could have caught my troops in a nice killing zone around the open cross road and had more fire to deal with any force coming on the second road through the town on the Canadian left.
The Colonel liked the friction introduced by the cards and randomization of the dice. Staff games are IGOUGO, everything does what it is supposed to and the results are determined by tables of probability. They don't experience friction until they get out on maneuvers. I'm looking forward to playing with Col. Rod some more. He was quite intrigued by the Padre's weird war figures!