Principles of WWII Normandy - a Refight

This game follows from Tom's account of an identical scenario fought earlier in the same month (February 2024) which you can read here. My thanks to him for the words and photographs.

This week we were doing a repeat of last week’s game after re-tweaking the rules to address the attack/defence game and looking to make close range combat more decisive.

1. By making pinned units more vulnerable when in contact with the enemy (i.e. a pinned unit does not get bonuses for firing at close range and gets a -3 when in contact with the enemy)

2. Infantry A/T weapons do not get the close range fire bonus when firing at enemy armour if they are also in contact with enemy infantry.

3. Tanks can overrun enemy infantry if they are only in level 1 cover or in the open.

4. As this is a breakthrough situation the German blinds that do not have troops on them will roll a d6  to see what type of obstacles they represent - 1,2 nothing there 3,4 are A/T obstacles, 5 is a dummy minefield, a 6 is a real minefield.

The Germans are defending with four companies of Volksturm with one support company and attached anti-tank guns. They have one company of Pz IVs and one company of Pz Vs in reserve.

The British detach one company of Shermans and two companies of infantry to form an independent command under a staff officer giving them three attacking formations. These enter the table and move forward with the armour on their right and the infantry in the centre. The British move onto the table concentrating their advance in the centre, their Recon units manage to confirm the road in the centre is clear of obstacles but find a possible minefield in front of their armoured command which holds them down for a couple of moves as the Recon units advance through to confirm it was a dummy minefield.  Their artillery fire comes down on a third possible German defensive position in the centre.

The attack in the centre  moves steadily forward, as the German artillery offer only limited support. Both sides are particularly ineffective getting off-table artillery and air support (presumably due to bad weather and poor atmospheric conditions)

The British attack develops and, using combined firepower from the self-propelled guns support company and armour, wipe out the German forward position after three moves and once the armour is clear of the dummy minefield they start to bring pressure on the German Support company and the two flanking Volksturm infantry positions. The German reserves arrive on table at the end of turn three (requiring a 5+ on a D6), but appear on the German far left, well away from the British attacking forces and have to spend the fourth move to get into position before they can start to counter attack in the fifth turn.

At the end of the fifth turn the British had a series of poor morale rolls resulting in  their attack being stalled in the next turn. The Panthers and the Volsksturm A/T guns managed to finish off the company of Shermans supporting the infantry in the centre.

On the whole the rule changes went extremely well and also helped clarify some of the other points in the rules.