Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Encounter in Suara - the battle that was and wasn't!

A battle in North Africa, January 1942 using the rules Flames of War.

Each side for the Encounter scenario must nominate half of their force to be in reserve. The Australians placed both rifle platoons, their AT platoon and a tank platoon in reserve. The Germans placed two infantry platoons and their tank platoon in reserve. Starting with the attacker (the Germans) each side place on platoon at a time and then separate teams.

As the forces were being deployed I started thinking, why did I place my tank platoon in reserve? What was I thinking? Well, too late now.

On the map below, the brown with ridges are, well, ridges. The smaller dark brown areas are rocky areas and the light tan areas are soft sand and salt marshes.

The Australians (at the top of the map in red) placed their HMG's on the left with their tanks in the center and the carrier patrol on the right. The DAK has the light Anti-tank platoon on the left, 88mm guns in the center (blue arrows) and infantry on the right. Rommel is "Rom" and the Commanding officer for both sides is "CO" and the 2nd in command is "XO".

The game started with the Australian carrier platoon making a "recce" move and spotting the right flank of the DAK's headquarters motorcycle unit.

Turn #1: DAK. Hmmmm. Wide open terrain, time to dig-in. I successfully rolled skill tests for my 88's, infantry and Rommel to dig in. My light AT platoon limbered up to move. Unfortunately, I forgot about the German "stormtrooper" rule which allows a skill test for an extra move as I was going to move the AT's. Oh well.

Turn #1: Aussies. The Crusader tank platoon moves at the double and being light tanks, they really move fast. In fact, my jaw dropped as it look like all of the tanks were safely across the open area. The Bren carrier platoon gets real close to the lonely German motorcycle unit and the HMG's dig-in near an objective. The Bren's open up with their machineguns and to make a long story short, no more motorcycle.

Turn#2: DAK. So the Aussie's draw first blood. Oh yeah? the light AT gun platoon starts moving up the left side to get into a good overwatch position over the village of Suara. The Luftwaffe platoon leader of the 88's notices that the rear Crusader tank is in range and line of sight. Three shots ring out and two hit. One hit is ineffective but the other forces the crew to bail out. I remember my stormtrooper move and the light AT guns move up the ridge on the left and un-limber but their platoon leader's truck gets bogged down.

Turn #2: Aussies. The bailed out crew, realizing that their tank only took a flesh wound, re-mount their vehicle and those darn, fast moving tanks get on my flank (Herr Generalfeldmarschal starts to sweat). The Bren carries, as recon units, spot the dug-in German infantry and taking away their "gone to ground" advantage. The Aussie CO, meanwhiles, moves his tank behind a wall in Suara. The machine guns on the tank platoon blaze away with 4 hits, destroying one German infantry stand.

Turn #3: DAK. Time to roll for my reserves. On turn 3 I get one die, turn 2 two dice, etc. Each 5 or higher brings on a platoon. I roll . . . and get a one. Hmmmm. The platoon leader of the light AT guns gets his truck un-stuck and joins up with the rest of the platoon. Time for Rommel to get out of the area before he's killed or captured so he starts moving toward the 88's. The light AT platoon's 5cm Pak38 guns fire at the Australian Company commander behind the wall hitting him three times - scratch one Company commander as his Crusader II explodes. Rommel wonders where his tanks are as he conducts a stormtrooper move to get further away from the enemy tanks.

Turn #3: Aussies. Time for the roll for reserves - a six. (Just great says Rommel). He next rolls for scattered reserves and the platoon of Crusader IIs show up just where he needs them, on the German right. The platoon moves on the double and the German flank is in serious danger of being rolled up as the infantry hunkers down around the objective. The Heavy Machinegun platoon fires a bombardment at the German infantry scoring three hits - but none are destroyed. Now the danger for the infantry is being pinned as the armored vehicles (including the XO/new commander) fire their their machineguns resulting in 12 dice of fire - and hit once! I guess the sight of Rommel leaving them in the dust threw off their aim.

Turn #4: DAK. Now to roll two dice for reserves; a 6 and a 3! Here come the tanks and rolling for scattered reserves the tanks arrive smack dab in front of the Australian tanks. Rommel is now safe amongst the 88's and the 3 Panzer III's and 2 Panzer IV's fire at the lead Crusader II platoon scoring 3 hits resulting in 1 destroyed tank and two crews bailing out. Due to the results the tank platoon has to check for morale. Now in game terms, the Australians are Fearless Veterans; needless to say, they pass morale.

And then the game - ends! We didn't plan on not finishing the game. Honorable Son #2 went to the Bonneroo Music Festival in Tennessee with his friends for about 4 days and my wife and I decided to rearrange the house.

We will replay the game with the same forces and terrain . . . but I think I will put my tanks on the board this time!

1 comment:

  1. How much time does it take to play this game? Give a ball park guess before you start the next time and then check it against the actual time at the end of play. Thanks.