04 April 2016

Closing the Gap: The Belfry

This past Saturday we played our 6th game in our Falaise Gap campaign. We decided to play at the Hobby Bunker this weekend, I believe Mike had some purchases to make. This gave me a bit of an advantage as Mike had to drive all the way from RI, and the traffic was quite bad so I had almost an hour to study the layout and put together a plan for my attack. In phase 2 of this campaign with the German Fallschirmjäger counterattack on St Lambert sur Dives, the initiative lies with the player who won the last game. This was the attack and defend scenario from the book as laid out below. The church belfry lying to the extreme left of the terrain was a variable JOP available to either side and was 2+ points in the campaign tracker. I felt this was going to be quite tough for me as the Germans had an 18" advantage in their initial set up. Of note is the fact that we made the top of the belfry the actual JOP, it took a phase to enter the building and then another phase to climb the belfry. Only 1 team was allowed to climb the belfry at a time. There were 3 doors to the church one on the road, and one on each side of the building. 

The Terrain as played with the German defensive line in the foreground and the church to the left
Things turned out well for the Canadians with the Patrol phase, I got 4 free moves and was able to capture most of the middle ground. The middle German patrol marker is in fact 2
The position of the German JOP's
The Canadian JOP's. The one close to the church as well as the one in the foreground were critical to a successful attack.  Mike was a bit unlucky in the Force Morale throw and ended up with a starting Morale of 8 while I had an 11. I think the Germans had a Panzerschreck and a Sniper as supports (5) and the Canadians took Allied Air Support, a Sherman, HMG Team and a Medic. So the game starts..................
I first bring on a HMG team, as I wanted to cover the two houses, to support the HMG team I also  brought on my Section 2. Mike brought on a sniper and placed him on the second floor. I then brought on my Section 1 and they made a run to church. Mike cleverly put his 1st FJ squad on the ground floor of the house protecting them from the HMG team and Canadian 1st section but giving them LOS to the belfry. I then advance the Bren team to the belfry. They immediately come under fire from the 2 German LMG's. I bring on my Sherman to hail HE on the house.....................
The Canadians have captured the the belfry JOP and are 2+ in the campaign if they can win this scenario. They come under a hail of fire from the German squad 1 and are broken and add 5 shock to the rifle team. They all bail out of the church. Mike brings on the dreaded Panzerschrek and fires at the Sherman, he gets 2 shots off before I can take out the team with the HMG and the rifle section behind the hedge. I lucked out there, but I did improve my chances by obscuring the hull behind the hedge. The Sherman starts to fire at the first house but is pretty ineffective, but the HMG team and the Canadian 2nd section are able to start to fire on the German 2nd squad. We retire to the Vietnamese Restaurant for lunch.............................................
We return from lunch, the situation is looking grim for the Germans. I am able to get my heavily shocked Sec 1 from the church and bring on my SL and with some good CD the pinned status is removed and they can get out of the church. I am lucky on the Morale test table and stay at 11. Mike is less lucky he loses a point for the Panzerschreck team and I am then able to start to cause damage on the on his 2nd squad it is not long before his JL is wounded and his team breaks, the Germans morale is at 6. Mike ends the turn and withdraws from the table. A Canadian +4 victory! I did take some photos this game.............................................................
The Sherman 
Rifle Section 2, with the HMG team as well as the SL and Medic
The retreating Germans, these are some beautiful AB figures that Mike had commissioned from Dani Dunbar in Australia. They are actually his Panzergrenadiers rather than his Fallschirmjägers, because of the lack of available FJ supports. He really is a terrific painter.

The tracker as it now stands as you can see there were very few losses on either side in this game. It does look a little grim for the Germans but their squads are mostly intact so the campaign is not over yet!


  1. Looks a really smart game John.

  2. Looks beautiful and intense!

    1. Not too intense I am afraid, but the next turn should be

  3. Good play and some timely luck = a pretty convincing win!

  4. If you haven't noticed, the first map in your report is flipped left/right from the rest. Had me a bit confused when first trying to match it up with the table photos at the start.

    Sounds like a good game if not a good result for the Germans.


    1. Yes sorry about that, I adjusted the final terrains for the table but not the first