Monday, July 1, 2013

First In Last Out: Pathfinders Lead the Way!

In darkest night of June 6th, 1944 American and British pathfinders landed at locations across Normandy in order to set up visual and radar beacons to guide in the paratroopers and glider borne soldiers who were soon to follow.

In some places they saw success, but across the region misdrops, equipment failures and other problems were the rule of the night.

As part of our Operation Overlord global campaign kickoff bat rep's Ben and I decided to recreate one of those attempts to set up beacons that would later guide troops into the fight. Ben is, of course, playing the Brit Pathfinders and I'm playing a Garrison of German grenadiers bivouacked in the region.

This is a bit of a special scenario we brewed up. So here's how we broke it down:

~We're each running 3 platoon of infantry. Me: 3 Platoons of C/V MG teams plus 1i and 2i. Ben: 3 Platoons of F/V Paras with 1i, 2i and 2 beacons.

~To replicate the scattered nature of both defender and attacker we rolled randomly for deployment for each half platoon.  First by long table half, then by the two tables quarters on that half of the table and finally by 1 of 4 quadrants in that table quarter. Essentially, on the 5x5 table we were playing on this created 16 possible landing sites.

~All half platoon start pinned. For Germans because they're oblivious and for Brits because they've just landed and are re-organizing.

~Half platoons must either move towards an objective, their nearest command team (Platoon, 1i or 2i) or, in the case of the brits, towards one of the two beacons.

~The entire game would be played using night rules.

~On first contact with an enemy unit it must be identified by a skill check.

~To win the Brits the must pick up each of the beacons and place one on each objective. To tie they must place one objective and they will lose if they fail to place a beacon or the Germans over run both beacons.

The Board
The deployment and fight after the cut!

First platoon lucks out and both halves deploy close to each other (left side in the trees and near the bocage just above it)

Half of two separate platoons deploy in the adjacent table quarter one overlooking an objective (just off the top of the screen on the road)
Half of one platoon all by itself on the opposite side of the table quarter. It's other half is just off the top of the image in a copse of trees. 
The last half platoon and the 2iC sit right on top of a british objective. 
3 British sticks land around the german platoon! (Hard to see but there's one near the house up against the bocage)
1 British stick lands directly behind an objective! Now, all they've got to do is get the beacon there.
Lucky brits have one of the beacons land right between a Stick and the objective. 
The other lands far away from most everything between a Stick of brits (left) and a half platoon of Germans (right)
A stick of Brits lands right across the bocage from some Germans. Remember: 1 click followed by 2 clicks....
The final stick lands near the other objective pinning a short german platoon between two sticks of Paras! (Behind the wall and behind the bocage)
The action kicks off! British paras work to link up on the hill objective from both left and right scoring a kill on the sleeping germans. 
On the far side of the table a stick passes the skill check to pick up the beacon. 
One click went unreturned and the brits open fire. Doing no damage. 
Para's assault doing a good bit of damage but taking two hits in return. 
The Germans are driven off the objective but at a steep cost. 
A german platoon forms up and heads off after the sound of gun fire. 
While the grenadiers on the opposite side of the table destroy their counterparts and pick up the clickers. MUAH. 

Half platoon and 1iC dig in to over watch the the other beacon. Did you hear something out there Fritz?

The full platoon hops the wall and opens up on the team at the objective. 
It's a Mexican standoff over the second beacon

Germans identify and open up on the Brits across the field, scoring 2 kills. 
The 2 teams left in this quarter move to clean up the last PIAT team from a British stick
The brits set up one of the beacons! Now, to hold it. 
Brits move up to the hill objective to face off against the Grenadiers. 

And move into assault!

Where they fair quite poorly and are pushed back

The 2 remaining teams from the cut off stick go after the beacon, heroically facing off against 3 MG teams
But the MG teams move to respond, killing 1 team and preparing to assault the other
As the full Grenadier platoon moves to sweep away Stick on the hill
Doing some serious hurt.

Germans, emboldened by the success of their comrades move up to take the other objective

Doing grievous bodily harm to the Pathfinders

With both beacons firmly in German hands and deactivated we called the game. These pathfinders found no success tonight. Germans take the night, 6-1

No comments:

Post a Comment