Sunday, 31 July 2016

Tank on Tank: Westfront - Last Stand

This was a challenging scenario, played solo as the sprogs were off with the parents in law and I had some time to myself this evening. The Germans occupied a town in the centre of the map and had orders to hold to the last man, which was made easier by having three Tigers, a Wespe for fire support and a single Mark IV as reserve. They also had an ace crew in one of the Tigers, which meant that any miss result when firing could be re-rolled. This was a definite tough nut for the Yanks to crack, unless they could get past the Tigers and punch them from behind.

The Americans brought the kitchen sink again, with two Sherman HQ's, six Shermans and two Wolverine SPAT's, although there was no self propelled artillery this time round. They lined up at the Northern end of the map and advanced, with orders to capture as many towns as possible and to knock out the Tiger Ace for an extra VP bonus. I planned to rush forward with one company of Shermans to outflank the Tigers to the East, whilst advancing the other Sherman company along the Western flank, supported by the Wolverine SPAT's in an attempt to keep the Tigers occupied.

This plan started to unravel from about Turn 4 onwards, once the Shermans moved within range of the Tigers, which had a three hex reach due to their 88mm guns. The flank attack to the East did get within spitting distance of the dug in Tigers but then fell victim to their defensive fire, having failed to gain high enough die rolls to knock them out even when combining their attacks. The flank attack on the Western edge of the map was more successful, with a knocked out Mark IV leaving one town in US hands by the end of the game in Turn 8. The two surviving Shermans were going flat out for Berlin but, unfortunately, the game came to an abrupt end.

This was not enough to get even close to a victory for the Americans, however, as they lost two Wolverines and five Shermans in the process. This gave the Germans an overwhelming five VP lead at the end of the game. There must be a better way to co-ordinate the use of the American units to neutralise the threat of the Tigers, which is very difficult if they are in town or wood hexes, even when they are outflanked. If I'd rolled better dice for the Americans earlier in the game, I could have knocked out at least one Tiger, which would have been some consolation for the thrashing that the Yanks got for the second time in a row!

A good game and a scenario worth repeating to see if the Yanks can crack it next time?

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