Saturday, December 22, 2018

Reconnoiter the Town

This isn't a battle report per se.

My friend Jim did the lay out it is as well as all the models, He  has been working on a set of WW2 miniature rules for his beautifully built 16' by 4' layout.

The rules are called THAB (To Hell and Back) from the movie starring Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy.

The scale is 1\72 and the unit scale is flexible but usually go above the squad level. In this short introductory (to me) game the units would roughly equate to platoons and companies. The purpose of the game was to show me the mechanisms in anticipation for actual historical simulations in 2019 and to show off the 95% completed layout. I was impressed to say the least.

The basic idea was for a small American force to reconnoiter the town.

I took a few pictures trying to capture the scope of the layout but my iPhone 8 even with an attachment really could not capture the fill impact.

Below are the pics I took and I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did immersing myself in what Jim calls Grand Manner wargaming after the late Peter Gilder.

The Americans were to advance along the road on the left passing by the forested hill on their left.

The other side of the game board from the pic above. Note the dugout and tank obstacles. The section represents part of the West Wall in 1945.

A nice shot of a bombed out "kraut" city. GI lingo in WW2 would have used the "kraut" label quiet liberally. I know because my dad was an MP in early post-war Germany and he was still using the term well into the 1960s! Not very politically correct-ha.

West Wall pill box

A factory on the the outskirts of town. The building on the right has already been flattened by fighter bombers to deprive the defenders of a strong point.

More of the factory complex…I like the truck but somehow the Panzer Grenadiers must have missed it. It's 1945 after all and times are tough.

One of my favorite pictures. I cropped the original. The figures are Caesar Miniatures and have fantastic animation to them. The slight blurring gives the impression of movement. I wish I planned it that way.

The original for the picture above. US Armored Infantry led by an Easy Eight command unit.

Nicer closeup. I have a fondness for armored infantry and White halftracks.

A platoon of Shermans wisely gets off the road but must pass the wooded hill on their right. Are the "krauts" dug in on the hill. Maybe I should have sent the infantry to find out?

The other platoon of Shermans avoids the road as well and proceeds toward the river and the bridge that needs to be crossed.

Uh oh!

Big and bad and blocking the bridge. What will happen?

The Shermans continue to advance and and are not intimidated by the big bad Tiger I.

One of the Shermans is intimidated and is pinned down by the Tiger's 88mm. At this point they are lucky to be alive.

What could have possibly happened? The Shermans return fire managed to destroy the small unit of Tigers. In these rules, because they are units armor is not the major consideration. Results from fire can be pinned down like with the Sherman or a morale loss or in this case destroyed. Frankly, I rolled well and would have been thrilled had the Tiger merely retreated. As it is, KAPUT!

A nasty surprise emerges from the cover near the bridge-a kraut with a panzerfaust. My boys hate them and those who use them.

Uh oh, part of a Pak unit guarding the bridge. In this case a small unit of Pak 50's. Sherman HE fire would deal with them in a final way.

Oh oh! The half of the Pak unit and the big brother to the Pak 50-in this case a Pak 75. It would brew up a Sherman in our short training scenario.

Just another nice shot from a different angle.

The Pak 75mm unit scores. Bail out boys!

I just wanted to pose this picture.

Posed picture. Looks almost real. Maybe I'll convert a couple to B and W.

I just like them.

Another shot of the Pak 75mm unit. The infantry needs to get up there and dig them out because we don't any artillery in the scenario. The grunts are grumbling about that.

Another surprise emerges from cover and takes our 1\2 of the Sherman unit. Then the "kettle" wants to surrender to the infantry coming up. The infantry don't think so.

Not going to happen Fritz.

I want to be the guy in the track having lunch or something.