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Thursday, April 1, 2010

noob campaign game 1 @ El Alamein

An Army at Dawn Campaign Game #1- El Alamein
Sean (British) vs Dallas (German)

We kicked off our n00b campaign last night with an epic battle between Dallas and Sean at El Alamein.

The battle was Encounter.

Lots and lots of pics after the break

The attack on Rommel’s lines started with over 800 artillery guns firing at the German lines. Legend has it that the noise was so great that the ears of the gunners bled. As the shells pounded the German lines, the infantry attacked. The engineers set about clearing mines. Their task was very dangerous as one mine was inter-connected with others via wires and if one mines was set off, many others could be. The stretch of cleared land for the tanks proved to be Montgomery’s Achilles heel. Just one non-moving tank could hold up all the tanks that were behind it. The ensuing traffic jams made the tanks easy targets for the German gunners using the feared 88 artillery gun. The plan to get the tanks through in one night failed. The infantry had also not got as far as Montgomery had planned. They had to dig in.

The second night of the attack was also unsuccessful. ‘Monty’ blamed his chief of tanks, Lumsden. He was given a simple ultimatum - move forward - or be replaced by someone more energetic. But the rate of attrition of the Allied forces was taking its toll. Operation Lightfoot was called off and Montgomery, not Lumsden, withdrew his tanks. When he received the news, Churchill was furious as he believed that Montgomery was letting victory go.

However, Rommel and the Afrika Korps had also been suffering. He only had 300 tanks left to the Allies 900+. ‘Monty’ next planned to make a move to the Mediterranean. Australian units attacked the Germans by the Mediterranean and Rommel had to move his tanks north to cover this. The Australians took many casualties but their attack was to change the course of the battle.

Rommel became convinced that the main thrust of Montgomery’s attack would be near the Mediterranean and he moved a large amount of his Afrika Korps there. The Australians fought with ferocity - even Rommel commented on the "rivers of blood" in the region. However, the Australians had given Montgomery room to manoeuvre.

He launched ‘Operation Supercharge’. This was a British and New Zealander infantry attack made south of where the Australians were fighting. Rommel was taken by surprise. 123 tanks of the 9th Armoured Brigade attacked the German lines. But a sandstorm once again saved Rommel. Many of the tanks got lost and they were easy for the German 88 gunners to pick off. 75% of the 9th Brigade was lost. But the overwhelming number of Allied tanks meant that more arrived to help out and it was these tanks that tipped the balance. Rommel put tank against tank - but his men were hopelessly outnumbered.

By November 2nd 1942, Rommel knew that he was beaten. Hitler ordered the Afrika Korps to fight to the last but Rommel refused to carry out this order. On November 4th, Rommel started his retreat. 25,000 Germans and Italians had been killed or wounded in the battle and 13,000 Allied troops in the Eighth Army.

Scenario Special Rules
"move forward - or be replaced" The British Player ignores company morale checks.

HQ (2x Sherman III)
1st Troop (3x Sherman III)
2nd Troop (3x Sherman III)
3rd Troop (3x Grant I)
3rd Troop (3x Grant I)
3x Humber III
Full Motor Infantry Platoon

HQ (1x Panzer III N, 1x Panzer IV F2)
1st Zug (3x Panzer III N, 1x Panzer IV F2)
2nd Zug (3x Panzer III L, 1x Panzer IV F2)
4x Panzer II F
Armored Car Patrol
Schutzen Platoon

*All the IV F2s were kamfgrupped together

Initial Deployment was sparse. The British began with both platoons of Shermans and motor infantry. The german began with a platoon of Panzer III Ls, the infantry, and the kamfgruppe of IV F2s.

Objectives are visible in the above picture- British objectives are in the trees in the top left and behind the buildings to the left center. German objectives are to the right of the Oasis, and just barely off screen next to the road on the right.

German tank deployment.

British infantry holds the village.

Shermans deploy behing a mesa

Panzer IIIs

Panzer IVs

The British company commander

The Germans move out!

The Panzer IVs move up behind the Oasis.

The Panzergrenadiers rush forward

The battlefield

Shermans cautiously move forward

The company commander and one platoon of Shermans race around the German flanks

German Panzer IIIs and infantry continue moving forward

The German lines

The British continue maneuvering forward, being careful to stay hidden from the Panzer IVs

The first of the German reserves arrive with the Panzer IIs rushing in along the road

Panzergrenadier moves into a patch of rocks and scrub

More German reserves arrive, with Panzer IIIs moving into the olive grove, opposite the Shermans

Finally British reserves arrive, with 3 Grants forming a defensive position

The Shermans begin massing for an attack

Three Shermans rush forward, taking shots at the well hidden Panzer IIINs, and even manage to bail one!

The other platoon of Shermans move forward, trying to stay hidden from the Panzer IVs

Panzer IIIs and Panzer IIs probe the German lines

The last of the German reserves arrive, ready to sneak around the British flanks

Grants fire off some rounds at Panzer IIIs, but fail to do any damage

But the return fire knocks out one of the grants. The remaining Grant would go on to be a hero of the British Empire.

The Panzer IVs move forward, firing wildly at the concealed Sherman, but failing to score any hits.

The Panzer IIINs try to pull back the two operational tanks, but one throws a track.

More British reserves arrive, teaming up with the 2iC to pour MG fire into the German panzergrenadiers.

The British make a bold move forward!

And attempt to capitalize on the stuck German armor.

Dispatching two! The commander flees after the field after losing 2 of his tanks.

One Panzer IV brews up.

The Panzergrenadiers melt in the face of withering MG fire. The remaining soldiers withdraw.

At this point the Germans are down two platoons, but the fight is far from over!

Hauptmann Edwards surveys the battlefield.

While Lieutenant O'Hara plans his next bold move.

The two remaining Panzer IVs open up and score 4 hits! In one terrible moment, the British CO is knocked out. Only one bailed Sherman remains, but he shows British resolve and refuses to flee.

The Germans send their Panzer II Fs forward under cover of the Panzer IIIs, searching for a weak spot in the line.

The Grants and armored cars push the German flank

The one remaining Sherman remounts and knocks out another Panzer IV!

The Hero Grant opens up, knocking out a Panzer II.

All 4 Panzer IIIs and 3 Panzer IIs open fire on the Grants. The Hero Grant takes 2 penetrating hits, and 1 glancing blow, but shrugs them all off and suffers only a bail!

The skies darken with burning diesel and petrol.

The Hero Grant faces 7 to 1 odds.

Grants and armored cars continue to push forward on the mostly unprotected German flank

The remaining Shermans rush the Panzer IV, but fail to harm it.

Suddenly the Panzer IIIs turn their attention to the encroaching Grants, taking flank shots!

The British attack on the German flank.

German armored cars retreat into some scrub.

One Grant is knocked out, and another bailed.

So many burning tanks. The British are pushing both objectives!

Another Grant is knocked out, but the last tank's morale holds.

The Panzer IIs navigate the gap to try to sneak their way into the British rear area.

British Armored cars sneak around, tantalizingly close to the German objective!

The Shermans capture the German objective after knocking out the last Panzer IV.

The Panzers have no choice but to divert and try to clear their objective. The Armored cars pass a stormtrooper check, which allows them to contest the objective and hold on for one more turn!

The Shermans knock out a Panzer III and bail another.

The developing situation around the objective.

The 2iC joins in the fight.

The British send in everything they have

The Panzer IIs race around to try to stop the armored cars, but the Panzer IIIs are knocked out.

The British are victorious despite heavy losses.

The first game of the campaign is done! 4-3 for Sean. Only 2 more victory points required to capture el Alamein and advance the location on the map!

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