Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tanksgiving battle report

The November 30, 2013 Tanksgiving game at Dragon’s Lair- San Antonio had ten  players, evenly divided between Axis and allied:  Five German vs.  3 U.S., one Soviet, one British.  Four tables were joined, as shown in the pictures.

Allied players: David Beeson, Mike Gomez, Garrett Gatzenmeyer, Nathaniel Lisanti, Elliott Selle.
Axis players: Art Douglas, Wesley Knight, Alonso Perez-Martinez, Chris Lisanti, Justin Baeza.

The Germans got to be the ‘attackers’,  and the allies got choice of table side.  In pre-game huddles both sides decided to attack with their left and defend with their right.  However the Allies (players standing on the left in the first picture below) did not defend the right-flank objective.

Allied deployment from right to left:  US tank destroyers with 105mm battery support and an infantry platoon, Soviet heavy assault guns with heavy artillery support, British, and two U.S. Chaffee companies with tank destroyer support and two M7  105mm batteries with an AOP.

German deployment from their right:  Tiger company in defilade behind the crest of the hill, an assault gun-heavy company, and on the near end of the picture  three companies with a platoon of panthers, lots of PZIVs.  And a King Tiger on the plateau in the middle!  Adequate anti-aircraft but only three nebelwerfers for artillery.

The Germans swarmed forward on the left, so fast that one of the US tank destroyer platoons never deployed and the other deployed in that little patch of woods you see left of the centerline stripe, and was shot up at close range.
On the U.S left the massed Chaffees kept in rear of the hills and woods as long as possible, intending to sprint into the tiger company’s position and get flank shots at close range.
The Soviet 152mm howitzers in the center paid for themselves when they destroyed the King Tiger early in the game.  But from then on they were ineffective.  The center of the board became a long range duel with little movement and no more platoons lost there for a few turns, though there were several casualties.

When the Chaffees broke out of concealment they smoked the Tiger-Is, and were able to advance without taking effective fire.  It looked as though the Allied plan was working.

The three Stuarts approaching the Allied star objective in the right of this picture were destroyed by German assault gun fire before they could start the next turn and control that objective.
German airstrikes on the M7 105mm batteries were broken up by massed .50 fire.  The Germans decided they were coming out on the short side of this airstrike thing, and decided to stop rolling air dice.  Under the Tanksgiving rules this means the Allies got no air dice!
On the Allied left the Chaffees were slowed down by the difficult hill, and the Germans lost a couple of Tigers but the rest backed up so the Chaffees were still not on their flanks.

When the Chaffees crested the hill they were met with accurate and rapid fire from the surviving Tiger Is and also from assault guns that had been shifted to cover that flank.  The front rank of Chaffees was blown apart.

Meanwhile the German left closed on the Soviets and U.S. who were unable to stop that steady advance.  And the Germans had control of more objectives, so racked up an extra margin of victory points in turns 2,3, and 4.

At about 4:00 PM the Allies decided their plan was not going to work, the Germans had a healthy victory point advantage from destroying Allied platoons and occupying objectives, and the Allies conceded.

German platoons lost; King Tiger, and a Tiger-I platoon.  Allied platoons lost: Stuart platoon, ISU platoon, a British platoon, three tank destroyer platoons, and a couple of platoons of Chaffees.
A fun time was had by all.

--Ian Straus