Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Battle of Villers Bocage - Part I

     Many years and too many dollars later, we finally played the Battlefront Villers Bocage scenario.  I am sure we did a couple of things incorrectly, but I think it played out pretty well, all things considered.  Since I set up the village a few months ago, I had received a couple more Battlefront houses which I used instead of the Miniature Building Authority ones.  I don't think it made much of a difference either aesthetically or in the course of the game.  Anyway, I didn't record every move but this is a pretty good play-by-play account.  I played the Germans and my son the British as those were the sides each of us had painted the most of.  The game swayed back and forth a couple of times so it kept us focused even more than the anticipation of playing after years of preparation. 

   There's a fair number of pictures so I will do this report in two parts. 

The setup.  Pretty much like the last time with a couple of additional Battlefront houses. 

Looking across the town.  I moved the houses back around an inch from each side of the road in order to have more room for the tank shoot out and limit the space in the middle. 

Looking from the west side of town. 

German photographers qeue up for the obligatory Signal photo shoot. 
The British deploy first from the first three feet of the edge.  There are a LOT of tanks to deploy though.

A British infantry platoon deploys near Herr Wittman's deserted Tiger towards the center of the table. 

Another infantry platoon occupies a hedgerow and a house.  I wanted to penalize the side that did not use as many of the houses as possible, but my opponent thought that wasn't fair. 

A Sexton half battery lines up to provide support to the embattlaed Desert Rats in the town. 
Tanks from the 4 CLY line up to defend the town. 

Other platoons guard the western objective. 

The Germans set up second.  My Tigers will motor down the northern road while two others hop the hedgerows to threathen the British flank.  Or so I hope. 

SS Panzergrenadiers mass with the Tigers to provide support and keep the Tommies from close assaulting any bailed out Tigers. 

Panzer Lehr Panzer Mk IV Hs and some recce motorcycle stands will threaten the British southern line. 
One Panzer Mk IV H platoon will go over the hedgerow and pressure the British.  I think the Panzer Lehr troops will pressure the British while the FV Tigers seize the middle objective. 

Both sides conduct a recce move.  British Stuarts move into the center of the open area. 

Panzer Lehr motorcycle troops motor down the southern road expecting to be shot up quickly, but at least keep the British units in ambush (a 6 pdr platoon and an armoured platoon) at bay.  Plus, I didn't like painting these guys and hope they will be hammered quickly. 

Looking down the road at the massed British armour I think I will get my wish . . .

Another shot of the CV Panzer Lehr recce charge.  British MG fire from the tanks drives them back to their starting point, though without any casualties.  Drats!

The Tigers move out.  The first two get across the hedgerows without an issue. 

The SS Panzergrenadiers double time it up to the houses.  Meanwhile, the Panzer Lehr Company Commander and his 2iC attempt to drive through the houses to get into the center of the town the hard way.  The Company Commander makes it through somewhat surprisingly, but the 2iC bogs down. 
The 2iC wonders how he can catch up with the Company Commander. 

Alone and unafraid, the Company Commander faces a platoon of Stuarts.  No problem!

Panzer Lehr Panzer Mk IV Hs create a traffic jam on the southern road.  The last platoon struggles to get over the hedgerow, bogging two panzers in the process. 

Tigers move up to the next hedgerow. 

Stuarts gang up on the Panzer Lehr Company Commander and destroy him.  First blood to the British.  This was an ill-considered move that went poorly for the Germans. 
Traffic jam as the Panzer Lehr troops get in each other's way on the narrow streets. I had dismounted the SS Panzergrenadiers from their Sdkfz 251/1C halftracks as I thought that the British tanks would make short work of these and that all they would do is clog up the roads.  Hence the halftrack parking lot near the church. 

Another view of the traffic jam.  Luckily the British only had artillery.  This barrage didn't affect the massed German tanks though it did take out a motorcycle team (Yea!). 

No Typhoons were available for the British or the haltrack parking lot would have been in trouble.

Tigers trade rounds with the Firefly but at this range little damage is done by either side.  Meanwhile the northernmost Tigers move along against no resistence. 

First bllod for the Germans!  A Cromwell is hit and destroyed by a Panzer Lehr Panzer Mk IV H. 
 So far, so good with both sides probing the other and shakingout their forces for the big bash that they know HAS to come.  And it will!  In Part II!  Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Admiral Drax said...

This table looks astounding (as do the models on it, of course!) - very much looking forward to reading part two now...

[led here from Battlefront e-newsletter]