Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Kampfgruppe Normandy - Action at Petit Filous

It's only my second game of these rules, and yet I volunteered to take a new attendee of the club through them; in an effort to make a gamer of him.

I'd had to work out two simple, evenly matched armies, that importantly incorporated the collection of my opponent, Gary.  These we'll see shortly, but of course on the morning I also set a suitable battlefield:

The village of Petit Filous, in northern France, surrounded by fields of Bocage, and areas of open woodland was the scene of a German withdrawal in the face of a feared heavy assault, that failed to transpire.  Other localised German counter attacks had blunted the American advance and left the ground deserted.  The Germans aimed to retake the no-man's-land, before the Americans recognised the lack of a defence.

A reinforced American Infantry platoon was supported by an over-strength squadron of M4 tanks, one with a 76mm gun.  Reconnaissance was supplied by an M8 Greyhound, with an artillery spotter on hand to try and request up to four fire support missions.

Conversely, the Germans, short on mobility and fuel, marched on to the battleground largely as foot troops, even having to drag on their anti-tank support.  However they were able to muster a fine squadron of Panzer IV-H tanks and had a full complement of 80mm mortars available to support.

The armour of both sides advanced upon the small village.and stumbled upon one around the curve of the road.  A Panzer IV quickly engaged one of the M4's; but missed.  Having drawn attention to itself, the Sherman's positioned themselves to counter, and by some fortune managed to destroy two of the German tanks in short order (despite needing 9's and 10's on 2d6 to do it! I counted myself very lucky, and felt Gavin, my opponent, would now struggle).

The Surviving German tank managed to destroy the 76mm M4, and tried to engage another tank with its' second shot, but failed to penetrate.  Similarly their Panzerfausts and Shrecks proved unable to score a hit.  finally, German infantry rushed to the village on foot, leaving machine guns to lay down covering fire.

Half of the American platoon rushed into the village, and deployed to the nearest houses, but German infantry had struggled in to the other building complex and soon each side was trying to pin down the other.  The Panzershreck team in the field were able to knock out another tank and the surviving Panzer IV took out a third.

It was providing close range support to the infantry, as well as avoiding the threat of American mortar fire that was targeting the corner of the road where it had been; but it had not considered the danger of a flank attack...

The remaining American tank fired from under a hundred yards range and penetrated the side armour with ease.  Recognising the threat of German armour was now scant, it retired out of infantry weapon range to a position where it could move around the flank of the village.  The second half of the American platoon now advanced around the outside of the village to take the left flank too.

German mortar fire began to impact on and around the only intact building in the village, apparently intact for good reason, as the infantry inside huddled in surprising security, safe from the bombs rattling off it's roof (only two casualties to 6 direct hits represented extremely light losses)!

Far behind the front line the American infantry were racing around the German rear, but a wisely deployed MG34 team was able to eliminate their command jeep and crew, which saw the infantry begin to deploy in an effort to eliminate the attackers.

The M8 engaged the Pak40 with machine gun fire, but failed to inflict significant casualties, in return the German crew hauled their gun around and took their only shot.  The M8 was a smouldering hulk in seconds.

The opposite flank was the concentration now though, with the surviving tank doing it's best to out flank and harry the German infantry.  In the village American 4.2 inch mortar rounds started to pound the remaining German infantry, knocking out a section and a weapons team.  By this stage it was clear the Germans were a spent force (their morale limit was passed) and they had begun to melt away through the woodland behind the village.

Petit Filous was finally liberated.

This was an excellent, simple little battle.  Gav asked for little tactical guidance, but accepted advice where I felt his choices would be ill advised; he also had the benefit of a junior commander Joe, who after some initial confusion, soon got into the swing of the game, to the point of deciding which units to use, and what to do with them.  I felt the Germans had much the worse luck in the battle, and the American advantages of numbers told more than they ordinarily would.

By contrast on another table, Mark and Andy were also going at it with KGN, and the Germans here were in control...

Grand to see two games of KGN on, and even more pleasing to get a new player or two involved.

So far December is proving a good month for historical gaming, and there is more to come with a big Napoleonics game scheduled for the coming weekend.  More on that, another day.


  1. Great AAR, I hope more people give KGN a go.