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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Italians and Americans scrape in the desert (which has No A/C still :( )

Well our A/C still isn't fixed (Monday we're getting an entirely new system), but Joe Mezz decided that a little summer heat was no reason to call off a battle! Appropriately, we decided a desert match was in order. This time around we did US armor vs Italians. Since Joe hasn't played in a while, I wanted to really take the opportunity to take him back to basics. I gave the yanks a few extra points to ensure combined arms, and made sure to take my time to teach Joe how best to beat.. er.. me. I think Joe is a fine pupil, but he's not a jedi yet- he must.. confront… vader.

Also, Dirty Jon has my Africa book so I can't remember if Rifles can support the US Armor. I'm 99.9% sure they cannot in mid war, but I didn't want to have to add the cumbersome transport rules with the armor rifles, so I let Joe take some regular ol' dogfaces.

The mission was Fighting Withdrawal. I wanted to A) get all the forces on the board, B) Put Joe in a position to be attacking, and C) have a time constraint. It fit the bill.

  • HQ 2x Shermans (2iC upgraded to a dozer)
  • 4x Shermans
  • 4x Shermans
  • 5x Stuarts
  • Rifle Platoon
  • Priest Battery
  • Full Recon Platoon

Italian Bersaglieri
  • HQ (Confident Trained)
  • Bersaglieri Group (Confident Vet)
  • Bersaglieri Group (Confident Vet)
  • Bersaglieri Mortars (Confident Trained)
  • 75mm Cannon Platone (Confident Vet)
  • 5x M14/41 (Fearless Vet)
  • Lancias (Confident Vet)


Italians from left to right: Bersaglieri, Cannons (first objective on the lower left hill), M14/41s, Company Command (in range of every platoon!)(Objective in the fork), Mortars, Bersaglieri (objective on the hill).

Lancias in ambush.

Americans from left to right: Priests, Rifles, Recon, Shermans + 2iC, Stuarts hiding, Shermans + Company Command.


75mm Guns defend an objective.


Shermans at the jump off point.

More Yanks.


Shermans and Stuarts roll out.

Italian mortars open up on the US riflemen, pinning them down. In true Joe fashion they don't unpin for the rest of the game!





Shermans get ready to dig out Italian guns. I take this opportunity to remind Joe that the 75mm gun's 3+ firepower is just perfect for picking out those man-packed elefentinos, clearing the way for his Stuarts!

With no other targets, the 75s barrage the Shermans. It's a long shot, but again I am quick to remind Joe "You don't get paid for coming home with ammo!"

Whats this? The M14s push into the American positions. Twin Hull MG fire knocks down a US rifle stand as mortar fire rains down.

The mortar fire pins down the recon, but doesn't cause any additional harm.


Rifle Platoon: 1 rifle stand



Stuarts are out for blood.

Shermans form a gun line.

1 elefentino and 2 HMGs go pop! The unit is pinned by MG fire. The Stuarts assault, with 1 knocked out in defensive fire. They are forced to retrat after one round of assault, knocking out another Rifle/MG stand.

Finally the big guns come out!

A second Stuart goes down to elefentino fire!

Only a single Sherman is knocked out! Two more wind up bailed. The bad news is the one sherman knocked out is the company commander. D'oh!

Meanwhile, the M14/41s have broken through the American lines and tenaciously assault the rifle platoon.

With the entire Rifle platoon being routed!


Rifle Platoon: DESTROYED
Company Command Sherman: DESTROYED
Stuarts: 2 Stuarts destroyed

Bersaglieri: 2 HMG, 1 Elefentino, 1 Rifle/MG stand


Joe stays on the Bersaglieri- hooking around with his 3 remaining Stuarts.

Priests score a time on target barrage on the Lancias, knocking one out! And would you look at the insane number of Shermans about to light them up?

Sherman fire knocks out the Lancias, and takes a heavy toll on the Bersaglieri (lesson 3: the order in which you shoot DOES matter. Joe's 2iC shot separately at the Lancias, and knocked the last one out. Economy of force! Had he attached him to a sherman platoon all of those extra shots would be wasted. Instead, they lit up the Bersaglieri.

In fact, Joe won the game right here. The Bersaglieri were below half strength and broke. With no mobile assets in that area, Joe's Stuarts will hold the objective. There is no possibility of any Italian forces reaching it to contest.

BUT the Italians can still go for that 3rd victory point!

The Bersaglieri on the left attempt to assault Joe's recon!

But they're sneaky and disengage!

So the M/14s charge the priest battery, and utterly annhilate every single team. This makes it a 4-3.

The victorious Stuarts!


Rifle Platoon: DESTROYED
Priest Battery: DESTROYED
Company Command Sherman: DESTROYED
Stuarts: 2 Stuarts destroyed

Bersaglieri (right): DESTROYED


Neal Smith said...

Love the "lessons" sprinkled throughout. I also liked the red tint on the pic "Stuarts out for blood". Did you do that on purpose? :)

Stay cool!

Mr.highseas said...

Hey, Steve, I have a question. Were the stars in intermittent circles only used during Normandy, or were they used during other periods? Love the site and the Podcast, by the way. Keep it up!

Anatoli said...

Excellent battle report and great terrain. Always interesting to see north africa stuff :-)

indierockclimber said...

I don't think the circle around the star was implemented until summer 1943, and remained the primary identification marking throughout the war.

The lone star before that had problems- at a distance and on a dark background it could actually be mistaken for a German cross!

So, my Shermans in this battle were definitely anachronistic only due to their marking. But hey, a sherman's a sherman's a sherman :)

jmezz382 said...

Thanks for the great battle and learning experience Steve !

It was great to back in to the swing of things and continue on my padawan path of Jedi !

Mr.highseas said...

Thanks, Steve. And yeah, I'll probably use my late-war Shermans as mid-war,too.

indierockclimber said...

Yeah, there's some lines I won't cross (for instance, I won't run yellow panzers in 1942!), but I'll be damned if I buy all new Shermans just for a few different decals!

British 8th army shermans are, of course, a different story.

Why are we wargamers so OCD?

Mr.highseas said...

Probably because we spend all day painting something smaller than our fingernail, and we want it to look good!

Mr.highseas said...

Also, if you're going to use proxies, you might as well use the dreaded Silver Surfer pieces!

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