Tonight's game included the use of American artillery in combination with tanks and better quality infantry. German defences consisted of front line troops, a Marder and an anti-tank gun. The Germans were deployed under concealment to provide some mystery for the Sherman troop. The first few rounds saw the Marder kill all three Shermans from an overwatch position (see later comments); a little too affective. After some adjustments the attack became more affective with combined artillery, mortar, tank and infantry fire crumbling the first line of German defence. Panzers checks proved deadly against infantry in buildings, pushing sections out of a toe hold of a building.
The game was interspersed with a lot of discussion and thoughtful head scratching...
Here are some of the main thoughts from the evening:
- Tried artillery and seemed to work well. Quite liked halving of the dice for the outer ring of the fire zone. We decided to tone down the number of attack dice (80mm mortars were rolling twelve dice which was too much).
- Decided that leaders could combine units who each had the same order in the same square, not just sections with a fire order.
- Had a real problem with tanks firing at each other. We were using the principal of a firefight, where opposing tanks had an opportunity to fire at each other. Currently I have defined the effectiveness of the gun to varying quality of dice, like for infantry combat. The key problem with this is that for infantry, the colour of the dice decide the order of firing. For vehicles, this lead to the problem of the better quality guns firing first, which takes no account of the quality of the crew. An initial remedy was the introduction of a crew quality dice.
- We also had problems with the overwatch process of over watchers firing first in a fire fight, which seemed a little too much in favour of the overwatcher. We seemed to come full circle by re-introducing overwatchers firing first, along side a crew quality dice roll. To give open topped vehicles a slight advantage for better visibility, we improved their crew quality by one grade. Ed came up with the novel concept that if both vehicles fire at the same time, the smaller calibre gun fires first due to it's slightly quicker loading speed of the gun.
Tonight's intriguing thought; just how effective is artillery against open topped vehicles? How frequent did shells directly enter the cabin space of a vehicle? Instead, were the crew slightly more susceptible to suppression than a fully closed fighting vehicle?