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Subject: Experimental Game #2 rss

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(Continued from Experimental Game session report, please read that for full details of how myself and my opponent altered the Axis & Allies rule system to be hex-less and faster playing. The playing surface is essentially the same, but moved slightly westard as to give the Axis player control of the objective. The point of this game was to have more units in the objective area than the other player by the end of the last turn.)

Having captured the small cluster of buildings in the previous morning, the German forces fortified their position with reinforcements from the rear area and prepared for the inevitable American counter attack. The few U.S. forces to survive the battle on the previous day met up with a patrol force comprised of two Stuart light tanks, one M2 Mortar and an M1 Garand. All combined the Americans numbered only three tanks, two infantry, an MG and a Mortar. This was against seven enemy defenders that were hidden and unknown. (Hidden deployment)

The Americans set up a staging area just east of the battle from the previous day. This was believed safe as they had hilly cover and a large forest lay between them and the German defenders. The Americans decided to split their forces up into three groups. The Sherman and the Vickers MG would head northwest and try to cut around the forest, the two stuarts would head straight toward the objective through the forest, and the remaining two M1 Garands and M2 Mortar would move southwest through the hilly terrain.

Things got very bad very quickly for the Americans. Just as the first Stuart crested a hill, a shot rang out from the center of the forest, tearing a hole through one end of the Stuart and out the other. (Damaged and Disrupted but still working.) This was a well placed Pak40, waiting in ambush. This signaled the beginning of a very bloody firefight.

The American forces charged blindly into the wooded area, but each force seperately met hard resistence. The Sherman and the Vickers were confronted by a Panzer II F, which bathed the Sherman in liquid flames before the American tank was table to destroy it with one well placed shot to the turret. (Sherman is damaged, disrupted). The Vickers MG managed to escape a flaming death, but with two American vehicles heavily damaged and only one German light tank destroyed, things weren't looking good. The second Stuart rounded the hill just in time to witness two more hidden Pak 36s open fire on both itself and the other Stuart. Luck was with the Americans though and the light shells of the 36's just didn't have any penetrating power at that range. Both Stuarts opened fire on the gigantic Pak 40, showering it with machinegun fire and killing half the crew. (Disrupted and Damaged) This sent the rest of the men into a panic and they took cover under such a barrage of gunfire.

The American infantry seemed to be having an easier time, they came under no fire as they approached the southern half of the forest, but as they closed the gap between themselves and the tree line, the familiar sound of Hitler's buzzsaw pierced the air. One M1 Garand was cut down instantly, they had walked into a prepared position and were now caught in the kill zone of two MG-42s! The M2 Mortar and remaining Garand tried to get out of dodge but were forced into suppression by the heavy firing of the MGs.

It was at this point that the Americans decided to rush the buildings. Time was rapidly running out. The Sherman plowed past the flaming wreckage of the Panzer II and moving at best speed, flanking the remaining defensive positions completely. The Stuarts didn't fare as well, unfortunately. The Pak 40 crew reorganized and the combined fire of the 40 and the two 36's singaled the end of the first Stuart, and severely damaged the other. Seeing that this was a losing battle, the now damaged Stuart ran north and put as much terrain between it and the AT guns as possible. The Vickers MG had since changed tactics and now persued the German AT positions mercilessly.

The Americans in the South were suffering severe casualties, the limited range of the M1 Garand and limited effectiveness of the M2 mortar left them open and exposed, and consequently the mortar crew was cut down by the cascade of heavy fire. The one infantryman remaining was trying desperately to hold his ground, but soon fell alongside the mortar. This opened the way for the MGs to clear the gap, and they split up, one heading for the American Vickers and the other retreating to the objective.

The Sherman finally reached the two buildings (and objective), but was surprised when a rocket propelled grenade screeched across the front of it's hull. The Sherman immediately hosed down the nearby buildings with it's MG, but it was ineffective. Careful maneuvering and consistent suppression fire was all that the Sherman could do to protect itself from the Panzerfaust wielding SS trooper hiding inside the objective.

It was shortly after this point that the Vickers MG was gunned down by the field MG-42, and the Panzerfaust was joined by the other. (Giving the Axis a 2-1 win in the next turn.) However, before this became a factor, the last remaining Stuart hobbled into the fight for the objective and in a bitter trade, killed the Panzerfaust wielding soldier just as he launched the rocket that would destroy the Stuart. (Making it a 1-1 draw for objective victory.)

However, there were few, if any Americans left. The Sherman stood alone in the objective as the remaining gun crews abandoned their heavy weapons and came rushing to recapture the objective. Again the Sherman was one of the few survivors of the day, but was again forced to retreat. This day the Germans held their position.

(Battle 1-1 Draw for Objective, but the U.S. suffered more casualties, so the Germans won by inflicting more damage.)
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