I decided to run with 2 under strength platoons to get a second "tank".
Reg Free French
1x Reg 1st lieutenant + NCO
2x 8 man (Reg) squads with BAR
1x Med mortar & spotter
1x 50 cal jeep
1x 105mm Sherman
1x Reg 1st lieutenant + NCO
2x 8 man (Vet) squads (BAR, tough fighters)
1x reg bazooka team
1x M8 Greyhound AC
1x M16 AA half track
Quite a bit of firepower amongst the various vehicles, my cunning plan was to use the 105mm howitzer vs his infantry to slow him down.
Kent had also tweaked his force, adding a fourth large infantry squad. He ran (IIRC):
2x Vet SS squads (one with lots of assault rifles)
2x Vet FJ squads (LMG & SMGS)
1x 75mm infantry gun
1x vet sniper
1x 222 AC
We rolled up point defence and Kent chose to attack. I'd made an Italy themed table for the game so he got the option as to which side he wanted.
The Free French were defending the left hand side.
The regular free french take the left. The church is just out of my deployment zone so my plan is to advance a squad into it ASAP
The french officer barks out his final orders before a German barrage hits the French positions, pinning most of the French squads.
First casualty on turn 1- the 222 armoured car advances, spots the (brand new) jeep and lights it up. The new model curse strikes again!
One squad has advanced into the church, the other shelters behind it.
My mortar fails to range in on the German 75mm infantry gun. A squad of SS advances in the centre.
End of turn 1, the Germans are loading up their right flank.
Turn 2, a squad of SS crosses the open ground towards the church.
The stug also supports them. Unfortunately my troops in the church fail to fire on the SS, going down instead.
Turn 2 the Sherman arrives from reserve and with its first shot hits a squad of SS crossing a field- inflicting 10 hits- and inflicting 10 kills!
The view from the Sherman after the SS squad is obliterated.
Meanwhile my 2nd regular French squad move out to pour fire on the other advancing SS squad.
The SS prepare to charge home against my troops in the church, they need to draw the first dice of turn 3 to pull this off...
...and do so. The veteran SS assault my regular troops.
They take the building having inflicted 5 casualties to my 3.
The stug realising the threat the Sherman is to the German infantry lumbers round the church and fires at the French tank but just misses.
The 222 races into point blank range and hoses down my other squad, but only causes a pin.
The mortar observer, safely tucked away in the belltower, manages to call in a successful bombardment on the 75mm infantry gun, killing one crewman.
The FJ have been infiltrating round our left flank and now make an appearance!
My lt and NCO race back to fire on the FJ threatening the left objective, but then a second FJ squad appears and guns down my officers.
My left flank is now under serious pressure.
I send the sherman over to help and it again hits with its first shot, this time it kills 5 FJ and the survivors flee! Two shots, two dead squads, I'm starting to like 105mm howitzers! Kent has nicknamed the Sherman "the Mincer".
The Greyhound armoured car advances onto the hill to take a shot at the stug but fails to penetrate the stug's front armour.
The SS leap out of the building, killing 4 French infantry, I only kill 1 in return (damn veterans) and so the surviving French are taken prisoner.
Then the armoured car pulls back off the hill after being shot at by the 75mm infantry gun.
Turn 4, the Sherman lines up the stug but misses,then the stug missed in its turn.
At last Grim Reaper arrives from reserve after taking a couple of wrong turns. It decimates the sole remaining infantry squad, who go down, but this only brings the 222 with its autocannon out to play.
Turn 5. The Sherman's luck finally runs out, taking a hit from the Stug and is knocked out.
Meanwhile the goumier officer is stalking the sniper (which up until this point has missed all game). The officer fails to kill the sniper and gets a bullet between the eyes for his trouble.
Turn 6: The SS charge out of the church towards the contested left objective.
The bazooka team has been double timing across the table and is finally in position to have a crack at the stug, but missed.
The bazooka lines up the stug but alas the sniper spotted the team and took it out. The sniper is now well and truly paying for himself.
The SS change their plans and fire on the goumiers.
Who then charge and SS and wipe them out (tough fighters being the deciding factor- 7 hits wiped out the SS).
The Greyhound again hits the stug (which was now firing at the Grim Reaper) but again fails to penetrate the stugs armour.
End game. the heavily pinned FJ (6 pins) somehow passed an order and moved onto the left objective. The mortar finally took out the 75mm infantry gun (having failed to destroy the remaining crewman for two- three turns). The 222 again hits Grim Reaper but again fails to destroy the half track.
And my last move, the goumiers moving towards the contested left objective but unable to make it.
Wow, what a game! I lost 6 squads/teams, Kent 5. It was another highly entertaining game with many moments of hilarity. The Sherman caught Kent by surprise but I'm sure he will soon come up with a counter- it is a good reason to field a tank such as the stug as it keeps the Sherman from dominating the table.
Result: Technically a French win as the left objective was contested by the mortars and the others both still firmly in French control but in reality both forces were seriously mauled.
A great game to end the year and I look forward to more games in 2015.