And so it was that I found myself last weekend playing a little 500 point game, using my Partisans (and just saying they were Volkssturm rather than using that list) against Wes' US Army. We played on a roughly 4'x3' table, and as Wes had recently acquired some Sarissa bits and pieces, we combined these with some of my buildings and terrain to make small town square. We played the demolition mission, with Wes attacking a searchlight while I was targeting a small bunker.
|The square, kept empty by the large numbers of guns pointing at it|
We each had three units starting on the board with more in reserve, and we each had the obligatory sniper - these set up on opposite sides of the square, in the buildings.
|Partisans set up defending their searchlight|
Both objectives were slightly to my right of the centre, and behind walls. On the first turn, Wes' sniper neatly removed my machine gun team from a shop window, cutting them down as they set up their weapon. In doing this he revealed his position though, and so was himself taken down by my sniper.
|Inexperienced partisans loiter in the woods|
I moved my inexperienced squad round the back of the building to my left, and left a regular squad guarding the objective. Wes had a mortar on the table and started firing on the searchlight, scoring a lucky hit and killing one of the defenders. He also moved a squad to his left, behind the opposite building.
|The rabble creeps behind a building|
Reserves started to arrive on the second turn. This posed something of a problem for my inexperienced squad, which had broken cover with the intention of attacking the American mortar and officer, but now found themselves staring down a Sherman, which had arrived right in front of them. The tank opened up with its machine guns, in a most unsporting fashion. The partisans took some heavy casualties but didn't run for it - possibly not having the experience to know how bad the situation was.
|Pistols turn out to be poor choice for trying to outshoot a tank|
At the same time, my veteran squad arrived and ran into the building on the left, and more regulars and an officer showed up to give more support on the right. A lot of moving around happened on the right after a lucky miss from the US mortar, to force it to range in again.
|Everyone do the "under bombardment" shuffle|
On the next turn, the Sherman finished the job of mowing down my inexperienced squad, after they failed their orders test and dithered in the open instead of pressing the attack. This did allow my veterans to burst out of the building, charge the tank, and blow off one of its tracks, but in turn they were driven off by the arrival of another US squad just in front of them (veterans know when they're beaten I suppose, and mine ran for it).
|The Americans hold their right flank, irritatingly|
|The view from the sniper's nest - oh look! Americans!|
|Moving up on the right|
It was at this point that the partisan officer saw his moment and darted out towards the bunker... having failed to account for the US tank on ambush at the other side of the square. As he revealed himself, he was taken down by machine gun fire. It was getting decidedly dangerous to cross the street.
|Not a good move, as it turned out|
|The last squad comes out to play|
|Heroes of the resistance make a move toward the hated invader|
Meanwhile, the surviving US squad was crossing the square in the other direction, to face down the partisans making their move.
|People actually start moving around in the square|
|On the objective!|
Unfortunately the remaining US squad had other ideas, and they moved back towards the bunker, shooting the poor partisan that hadn't made it behind cover, and causing the other to flee. Curses!
|Annoyingly positioned US infantry protect their bunker|
|Officers are scary. Leg it!|
Well, that's what the scenario rules say. And, OK, Wes is still a relative novice. But I still reckon I was making the best attempt to carry out my mission, so I've declared myself the winner anyway. Yes?
Fine. I think my main mistake was in trying to end things too quickly which meant I attacked piecemeal. With a bit more planning, I could have sent three or even four units across the open ground at the same time. As it was, they were taking turns, and each got a turn to be shot up. Still, you live and learn, so on to the next game!