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"Gespenster Angriff - 3mm Arracourt AAR" Topic


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Action Log

18 Dec 2022 2:59 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Gespenster Angriff -3mm Arracourt AAR" to "Gespenster Angriff - 3mm Arracourt AAR"Removed from Pulp Gaming boardRemoved from Early 20th Century Gallery board
  • Changed starttime from
    18 Dec 2022 8:51 a.m. PST
    to
    18 Dec 2022 8:51 a.m. PST

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Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2022 9:51 a.m. PST

Here's some pics and a short run down on a 3mm game I hosted this past Saturday, of a scenario inspired by the attacks of the 11th Panzer Division fought in the last week of September 1944. These Gespenster attacks were aimed at taking the high ground south of Arracourt, France and to drive northwards into the flank and rear of the US 4th Armored Division.

The German player's map here, shows the fog start line, from which the Germans would launch an initial recon attack north into the American defences stretched somewhere along the heights to their front. The follow-on main body attack could then react to these initial first turns of recon scouting before it arrived in the area……but just as the fog begins to clear.

These first recon turns were very successful in locating dug-in infantry positions from the US 51st Armored Infantry Bn. in the pathway of the oncoming attack, and these few platoons of PzGrens and Panthers mostly survived their initial encounters at close range with the American defenders.

The initial probe progress here, and the located thinly-stretched line of American infantry deployed along and behind Hills 318 and 298.

As the main German body advanced towards the heights, it would come under artillery and fighter bomber attack, suffering a few losses, but pressing forward, with the goal of assembling behind the cover of the high ground, to ready an assault into the American platoons behind Hill 298.

Meanwhile, a company of US Hellcat TDs on the American left, and a forward positioned Sherman tank platoon on the right flank closed up to give direct fire support….it was a well-executed ambush…..that failed to score its expected success.

The Hellcats would go 'mobile' using their speed to ascend forward over the ridge along Hill 318, and then flank from the rear quarter the German attack that was raging into the hard-pressed American armored infantry line…….again, a well-executed maneuver and attack opportunity…..that failed to score its expected success. The return fire from the Panther gunners would not miss their marks.

Shortly thereafter, a breakthrough is achieved by the Gespensters, and the woods of Benamont and heights around Hill 320 become the next phase line that the German attack would use to pushed northward, now towards Vaudrecourt. Reacting to the enemy progress, the last Armored Infantry Company in reserve is committed to reinforce Vaudrecourt.

The German armor did not hesitate, and quickly isolated the Ami troops in the hamlet. The final action here would be decisive.

With the 'remnants reduced', the table has indeed been turned. The Gespensters have taken Arracourt.

Rich Bliss18 Dec 2022 4:43 p.m. PST

Gespensters?

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2022 5:11 p.m. PST

The Ghosts, Rich that's the nickname for the troopers of the 11th Panzer Division, and the emblem used to emblazon their unit vehicles during the war.

Rich Bliss18 Dec 2022 7:21 p.m. PST

Aha. This is the famous battle where the American Armor ran circles around the green German tank crews?

shugyosha19 Dec 2022 6:01 a.m. PST

Splendid looking game FlyXwire. Especially all the little details printed on the mat and set up on the mat as well.

Can you tell me where are the miniatures from?

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2022 6:10 a.m. PST

Rich Bliss, this is the battle after those Panzer Brigades were largely wrecked, but now with the veteran 11th Panzer Division transferred around the 4th Armored frontage to the south flank, and the Gespenster charged with combining these remnant tanks and crews under its own command leadership, and ordered to attempt another breakthrough of the American lines in an area not yet attacked.

This southern flank of the 4th Armored 'horseshoe' around Arracourt, had just been turned over to Combat Command B rejoining its division, with the 51st Armored Infantry Battalion replacing an extended part of what had been held by the American 320th Infantry Regiment on the high ground there.

Upon moving into their new positions, the replacing Armored Infantry troopers were assured that it was a "quiet sector" compared to the past week of battles that had raged around the salient.

On researching the after action reports of the 51st AI, it struck me that this was an excellent arena for a scenario, even a small campaign, with the American positions stretched then across high ground, and this terrain largely blocking the enemy observations beyond, and therefore not into the CCB lines of communications, and keeping from enemy eyes the assets assigned to support the Armored Infantry.

Combined with the daily fog that typically occurred during the September mornings in the Lorraine, and often during the numerous Arracourt Tank Battles, this presented a dynamic setting for creating an unfolding battalion-level game situation.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2022 6:17 a.m. PST

Hi Shugyosha thank you for your compliments!

The miniatures are 3mm (1/600th scale) Oddzial Osmy minis sculpted in Poland, that I buy here in the US from Pico Armor.

They're available in the UK from Magister Militum, and elsewhere.

The minis are amazingly detailed for their size. I prime then base coat the vehicles in a light color of the factory finish (no camo), and then color wash them, dry-brush, and flat clear spray on a final protective finish. At this scale, it's the units that make the visual impact, but an inclusive, even expansive combat arena can be presented.

In the game above, the stands are mostly platoons, the vehicle units at one-for-one to their actual organizations smaller stands reflect HQs, specialist elements like Anti-Aircraft sections, smaller support sections, Forward Artillery/Air Controller vehicles, etc.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP22 Dec 2022 6:56 p.m. PST

Pure awesome, Dave! You always have the coolest looking games, and the coolest concepts. It looks like you're still making good use of Tank On Tank? But what is this nonsense about the Germans taking Arracourt???

Can't wait to see what you've got next.

V/R,
Jack

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP23 Dec 2022 8:02 a.m. PST

:)))

Jack, I've already tweaked the scenario here with another 4-plane Jabo strike to the American roster…..the German forces are gaining a single Wirbelwind section as balancing compensation.

Hey, I've changed T-on-T so much now I think, that I'm renaming my variant "Combat Actions".

You know what's next, at least for this 3mm WF setup here…….nothing! ;)

It's FINAL. This scenario works great, the rules work smoothly, the terrain and mat interface…..like Yellow Admiral said in another recent thread ----- it's a System.

Going to put Arracourt into the rotation after I play this again in a week, but after that it'll all get packed into a single carrier container, with the rules, minis, terrain staying complete together. I'll be happy to pull this one off the shelf again, say in a year, and play it over again then.

Personal logo FlyXwire Supporting Member of TMP23 Dec 2022 9:42 a.m. PST

OK, so consolidated some terrain storage in my basement, and freed up a perfectly-sized scenario container here (this one a small underbed storage bin from Target) -

The couple of square containers in the top pic, one now empty, will offer up enough gameplay materiel for a 2nd scenario in 3mm, along with terrain and minis from an Eastern Front collection box, to do a winter action with…….that'll have everything needed for that game setup to come "out of the box", and ready to play.

Again, a new initiative to clear the hobby shelves of collection containers, and populate them instead with a rotation-ready selection of prepared miniatures games.

mghFond23 Dec 2022 6:22 p.m. PST

That was one cool looking game! Loved it. So the rules used were something called Tank on Tank modified? Never heard of it, must go google it.

Captain Pete24 Dec 2022 7:03 a.m. PST

That was a great looking game and AAR, FlyXwire! I love seeing your stuff here on TMP.

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP24 Dec 2022 1:44 p.m. PST

Cool stuff, Dave, glad to hear about the 'Jabos,' hopefully some Jugs to thin out the herd! ;)

Interesting, I'd love to see what you've done with ToT, if you've got it written down somewhere. I've got West Front and East Front and intend on using it (with minis) with my boys.

V/R,
Jack

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