Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Action at Authie: D+1 TAKE TWO!

If you read the first Action at Authie post a few days back, you know I was somewhat disappointed with the sequence for Rapid Fire so I dug out my first edition copy of Blitzkrieg Commander and thought I would give it a spin.

Warning to the reader - if you are looking for historically accurate results for this battle - read no further.  Crank up "The World Turned Upside Down" on youtube and settle in...The SS couldn't get their act together for almost the entire game, and the Canadians passed almost every single order roll.  The German "ambush" quickly becomes a rout as the Canadians assault through and overwhelm Authie with almost a battalion of troops.

German Hummels and SP Mortars save the day with Final Protective Fires, putting up a comfortable wall of steel between the retreating SS and the war-crazed Canadians....

With the firing in Authie, the North Nova Scotia Highlanders move out from Buron.
 IMportant to note here, I think, that the Commonwealth Command Ratings are 9 for the HQs and 10 for the CO.
Sherbrooke Fusiliers move down the Buron-Authie road.  Enemy spotted sir!

A spittle-filled, fanatical voice crackles over the radio in the SS tanker's ears.  "Angriff!  Angriff!"
 The 12th SS Command Ratings are 8 for the HQs and 9 for the Co (Panzer-Meyer himself).

Traffic jam of tanks.  They would remain here for virtually the entire game, only getting to fire during Opportunity Fire phases...
 Historically, the Germans deployed Panzer Kompanies on either side of the advancing infantry.  That would have been smart, but instead I opted to have the Panzers as one powerful strike force, thinking foolishly that the infantry would hold their own...

SS Panzer Grenadiers charge across the open field towards Authie
 At least compared to the Rapid Fire game, the Heavy Support Kompanie got to finally deploy.  I think that officer should be decorated, he carried out almost all of his orders, and his mortars saved the day in the end.

Support Company deploying for action.

PAK 40 moves up to deploy in Authie.  "Tommy Tanks ahead!"

Panzer-Meyer leaving his motorcycle to proceed on foot with the infantry.

The HJ charging!  

RCHA TD's move into action and immediately start firing....at the infantry halftracks!  The right most German platoon is Ko's almost immediately as all of the Canadian shots ring home.  Not an auspicious beginning for the German attack.

Meanwhile, C Company, NNSH moves into the Orchards around Authie.  

German Support Company traffic jam

 C Company of the NNSH moves quickly up to the orchards and finally into Authie itself, taking up position in a strong, stone building near the town square.  The Germans are on the southwestern outskirts.  Meanwhile the rest of the NNSH is moving into position in the wheatfield along the Authie-Buron road.

And now things start to go funny for the Germans as they fail command roll after command roll and the infantry literally sit in their tracks turn after turn.

The high-water mark of the Panzer "assault" as the Panzer IV's go on strike and also refuse to move.

Canadian small arms fire takes out the prime mover for the PAK 40, along with the PAK 40 too.

Canadian Armor deploys for action, advancing against the German tanks.

Germans finally dismount, but fail to go anywhere - where teh hell is that FO??

 The Canadians start to bring up their support teams, the 6 lb'er, Carriers, and some more infantry around the same time as the SS troops finally pass a command roll (literally, 3 turns no German infantry moved)

The reader will excuse the Panzer Division marking on the halftrack!!  (My SS vehicles are still in their basecoating phase)

The support company really earns their pay today, saving Authie, and probably the whole force from becoming enveloped by the Canadian steamroller.

Germans throw some platoons against the Canadian strongpoint.  The Bren Gun and the MG42 are directing traffic today.  The German assault is repulsed.

Sharp firefight breaks out along the Authie road but the trap is sprung for the Germans.  

Mortars and artillery start falling on the NNSH as they cross the Grouchy road.

Tubes are red hot!  Keep firing!

FO doing their work.  For having 3 Batteries, the Artillery really disappointed this time!

Canadian close assault drives off a German HMG platoon

Well if you know much about the real battle, you know that none of this actually happened.  The 12th SS ambushed the Sherbrooke Fusiliers along the Buron-Authie road and a very sharp tank battle developed and became a major setback for the British Forces after D-Day.  

This game was fun and I'd like to talk about the familiarity of the BKC rules - which I have been playing since about 2004/2005.  BKC is a solid system, and doesn't often disappoint.  My only complaints this time around are that I'm a little hazy on the close combat procedures and I have to admit, BKC is not the best game for playing solo.  It's not the worst either but there are many rules you are apt to forget if someone's not there keeping you honest.  Better to play with another human being who is also comfortable with the rules.  All in all, though, a fun game, even if it was more fiction than reality this time around.  I got to play with all my toys on the table!

(oh, and I'm not happy with the performance of the halftrack mounted 75mm support cannon.  I brought it up to those Canadians in the strongpoint thinking "it's curtains for sure now fellas - the big guns are here" but the Attack 2 didnt put a dent in their ranks).

Next up - Authie using Battlegroup: Overlord.  Yes, it's about time!


  1. Great AARs both. Great to see same scenario with different rulesets - a great idea.

    Have to agree on Rapid Fire; it's become a bit stale.

    Also picked up PanzerGrenadier Deluxe - a nice scale I want to try in WWII (1 base = 1 squad, 1 vehicle=1-3 vehicles).

    Your 'multiple rules/same scenario' idea is one I want to try with Waterloo (this month at least). Snappy Nappy and of course 'Muskets & Mayhem: Corps Level' to try.

    1. Thank you, Darren. Next up I will play this same scenario with Battlegroup: Overlord and see how it plays out. Not sure what other, if any, rules sets I will use for the battle. Perhaps GHQ if I have the time - that's always been one of my favorites.

      How do you like PanzerGrenadier Deluxe? I will have to check it out. That scale is most appealing to me, and frankly was one of the reasons I was apprehensive about Battlegroup - I am a megalomaniac :) and like playing bigger battles.

      I need to take a look at the Muskets & Mayhem: Corps Level. I'm not sure the rules draft I sent you is in the "spirit" of Muskets & Mayhem. I will have to relook at them and possibly send you another draft.

      Good to hear from you!

    2. Yes I really like PG Deluxe. I had the last version but thought it was overly complicated. In the most recent one, the author has streamlined things quite a bit.

      I really like the scale. It allows squad leader scenarios to be played, gives you the feel of smaller battles, without going to a skirmish level, which for me, is where WWII should be played. (Although I do like the larger operational style games too - I'm trying to organise a 'siege of Bastogne' game with Field of Battle. I might have it ready by the time you come to visit LOL).

    3. I own British Grenadier but I could never wrap my brain around the mechanisms (they seem good but after reading through the book, I'm still not quite sure how to play them).

      I totally agree with you - the tactical level of war where you are still commanding troops is where WWII is best played. In that way, it brings out the unique capabilities and weaknesses of all of the combatants. It's hard to capture that at the operational level of war where you are pushing battalions or brigades.

      I like playing as a battalion or company commander, maneuvering platoons or squads. You may really enjoy BKC by the way. It would seem to be right at that tactical, but not quite skirmish level where a stand can equal a squad or a section of vehicles (if you want it to).

      Fair enough - perhaps by the time you get to Philadelphia, I'll have all my Naps painted! :)

  2. Interesting to see the replay with the different rules. We often say we would like to do that but rarely get around to it - well done! Now its BG:O time!

    1. You bet, Paul - stay tuned. BGO is growing more and more into my "go to" set as I love the combat resolutions, the way small arms and AP/HE fire is handled, and I love the simple processes that are so incredibly effective.

      Ultimately, in regards to BG series, I just wish they had more "canned" scenarios with pre-built forces to use that I didn't have to build the forces and make the calculations myself! (lazy gamer here).