WaR 23.23 Lightning Joe

George Kelln

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WaR 23.23 Lightning Joe

Playtest v. Ernie Cameron, playing time 2h 30m

Turn 1 – The Americans enter from north edge with two companies of infantry supported by a platoon of engineers and a battery of 105mm OBA. The Germans are set up on north edge of the town, with a light screening force just south the east-west road. Not much occurred as the Americans closed up to the road and the Germans shifted their screen slightly.

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Turn 2 – The Americans continued to advanced and entered the town focusing their forces along either side of main street. Artillery laid down a smoke screen blocking the western road into the town. Light fighting occurred along right flank and left flank. The Germans continued to bide their time, with forces in the rear, slowly moving forward to the main crossroads in the town. The HS on the western flank succumb to American rifle fire, breaking and limped backward.

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Turn 3 – The Americans continued their advance along the main street and began to face a stiffen German defence as their advanced up to the main crossroads. The Americans flanking force arrived along the western flank, with Shermans leading their and an infantry company following close behind, they advanced up to the gully. The Germans screening force despite being wiped out, did it job in slowing the American advance long enough for the main force to solidify the line along the east-west road in the center of the town.

As the American flanking forces closed on the town from the west, the lone crew manning it 5cm Pak 38, hidden in the (J0) trees laid quiet. In an extreme display of fire discipline, the crew waited as Americans tanks and infantry raced past them heading for the town. Satisfied that there were no more Americans were moving past them, the crew selected a pair Sherman at the edge of the gully next to a lumberyard and opened fire with the result the pair bursting into flames.

Meanwhile an 8cm mortar crew was petrified at the sight of the on-rushing tanks that it failed to fire. Soon it was face-to-face with a pair Shermans in the gully in front of it. However, despite covered in smoke from the tank, it found the courage, and a Panzerfaust, and managed to knock a Sherman. Unfortunately, the backblast ignited some loose mortar rounds and ensuing blast killed the crew.

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Up until Turn 3, the casualties had been light, but this turn is a prelude to what is to follow. The Americans are set up along the northside of the east-west road, facing the Germans. Along the western side of the town, the Americans in the gully have closed up and are pressing the attack. To the south the distance rumbling of German panzers reinforcements can be heard, not boding well for the Americans.
 
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George Kelln

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WaR 23.23 Lightning Joe

Playtest v. Ernie Cameron, playing time = 2h 30m

Turn 4 – The Americans continued to advance along either side of the main road into the town. While one company pressed their attack on the German fortified stronghold southwest of the crossroads, staying just ahead of the smouldering flames. The other company pushed across the west-east street, engaging the German stronghold to the southeast of the crossroad in CC (6-6-6 vs. 5-4-7 & 4-4-7).

Meanwhile the flanking company advanced out of the gully and began engaging German units in the last multi-hex stone building at the south end of the town. An (8-1) leader and 1½ squads were diverted back to deal with the German A-T Gun, engaging with them in CC, but the German (1-2-7) crew managed to Ambush them and withdrawn into the road.

The Germans were trying to keep out of the way of the devastating American firepower, slowly pulled back, all the while coming under fire from the Americans along the gully.

The Germans in the stronghold southwest of the crossroad were surrounded and bit by bit began to break and surrender under the Americans’ firepower. The Melee in the building to the southeast of the crossroads, raged on with neither side able to take out the other side.

In the south the German (9-1) leader and squad with HMG in the multi-hex stone building succumb to the tank fire from across the street, breaking, they were forced to retreat back. In the middle of the town a (7-0) leader attempted to withdraw back to the rubbled building, but was Pinned down.

To the west of the town, German A-T Gun crew, tried looking for a PF but was unsuccessful and was ripped apart in a crossfire between the Sherman on one side and the adjacent American 6-6-6 squad.

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Turn 5 – The Americans continued to struggle with German strongholds to the southwest and southeast of the crossroads. In the stronghold to the southwest, Americans brought up Engineers toting Flamethrowers and Demo Charges, but these weapons failed to dislodge the Germans. To the southeast of the crossroads, the Melee continue with each side losing a HS (now 3-4-6 vs. 5-4-7 & 2-3-7). The other American units moved around the Melee advancing on the 6th of the 7 multi-hex stone buildings. The flanking force has moved up to the gully preparing to launch attacks on the southern most multi-hex stone building.

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As the American half of Turn 5 ended, the Americans have advanced halfway through the town capturing 3 and fighting for 2 more of the 7 victory buildings with the Americans suffering 22 of 40 CVP limit. However, the German SS reinforcements will arrive on the German half of Turn 5 along the southern edge and the battle will get much more interesting.

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George Kelln

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WaR 23.23 Lightning Joe

Playtest vs. Ernie Cameron, Playing Time = 2h 15m

TURN 5 (German) – The German strongpoint southwest of the crossroads had finally fallen with the last squad surrendering. Meanwhile the strongpoint southeast of the crossroads continued to hold out, with the last (2-3-7) HS surviving a CH from a Bazooka; the normal hit did break and subsequently eliminated the German 5-4-7 Squad and the American 3-4-6 HS in the process. But being surrounded, the German HS’ life expectancy would be short lived. The German units that had falling back to the (49K10) building to rally were getting pasted by Americans from the front and left, preventing them from rallying. Being cut off also prevented them from escaping the building. There days are numbered as well. The SS-reinforcements moved to positions in the southern victory (49E8) building and to spots to cover the approached to the building.

The Americans continued to push forward along either side of the main street with the delays taking out the German strongpoints SE and SW of the crossroads eating up precious time. The American 105mm Artillery is being repositioned to hit the southernmost (49E8) building.

The ruins continue to smoulder, but now behind the Americans it is less of a concern.

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TURN 6 (American) – The 105mm Artillery was brought down on the German rally point in the (49K10) building, breaking all but an 8-0 leader. The German (2-3-7) HS in SE strongpoint is Eliminated and the rubble captured. This elimination opens up the area, allowing the Americans to push forward up the street. More American units move out of the gully taking up positions along the west side of the street.

The Germans have reinforced the southern most victory building, covering the approaches with Panther tanks. The broken units in the (49K10) buildings are all but dead when the American artillery shifts and the infantry pours into the building and rubble.

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TURN 6 (German) – The Germans continue to lay low in the southern building. The German 8-0 continues without success to rally the broken units as the artillery falls all around him.

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With two turns remaining the Americans have captured 5 of the 7 victory buildings, will capture one more next turn, simultaneously launching an attack on the southern building. However, the delay in capturing the two strongpoints SW and SE of the crossroads may come back to haunt the Americans. As for the Germans, they must just keep out of the line of fire of the Americans, while keeping just enough to impede their attack on the building.
 

George Kelln

Elder Member
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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WaR 23.23 Lightning Joe

Playtest v. Ernie Cameron, Playing Time 2h 45m

TURN 7 (American) – the American company on the east side of the main street pushed into the partially rubbled (49K10) Victory Building, forcing the broken German units out of it and into the woods. With time running out, the company on the west side of the road linked up the flanking company and together the advanced towards the now dubbed “Alamo” final victory (49E8) building. Under the cover of (WP) smoke the Americans pushed into the west side of the building. The artillery spotter landed a Spotting Round on the building in hex (49F9).
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TURN 7 (German) – In the Alamo, the Germans moved about between floor as the 105mm HE rounds landed all around them. Aggressively the German took the fight to the Americans managing to clear them out of the southwest corner of the building. The pair of Panther tanks manoeuvred closer to the building in an attempt to cut off any further American infantry from reinforcing the units into the building.

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TURN 8 (American) – The last turn, the Americans were needing to clear out or eliminate all the Germans from the Alamo to secure victory. The artillery spotter shifted the centre of the blast, a fortuitous error had the blast centre land southwest and just outside the building but on all of the Germans. This result was the death nail in the coffin for the Germans as their entire German force in the blast area broke under the shellfire. With Americans adjacent and outside artillery, the Germans only course was to rout all his units out the building or be eliminated, at which time the German conceded.

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An excellent game, Mr. Cameron.

The game had its ebbs and flows as the glass-jaw Americans using fire and manoeuvre pushed up the main street of the town, clearing out the ensconced Germans from the victory buildings. The American flanking force was able to strike into the town behind the Germans’ main line of defence, keeping them under flanking fire and thus between a rock and a hard spot. The artillery was crucial in helping to secure victory as for without it, the Germans would have been able to keep control (with broken units) of the Alamo at the end of the game, thus denying the Americans control of the building.

Casualties were Americans 28 CVP, Germans 8 CVP + 8 CVP for Prisoners being held.

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There were several avenues of approaches offered both sides in this scenario. For the Americans, it offers the chance to conduct a combined arms (infantry, engineers, armour, and artillery) attack, combined with a flanking force. For the Germans, deciding whether to defend forward, in the middle, or at the rear and whether or not to counterattack with their SS-reinforcements or defend in the Alamo.

All-in-all, it was an enjoyable game, about 9 hours total playtime.

Off to Normandy and a Quick 6 scenario playtest.
 
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