Relax soldier, Paris has fallen. You deserve a rest!
Tow - Trouble
The wargaming table was set up as closely as possible to the online pdf map as able with the terrain pieces available.
The US tank destroyer was still as abandoned by its crew when hitting a mine. The M38 had been sent out with a light accompaniment of two Regular Ranger Squads and a 1st Lt and assistant.
The nearby Fallschirmjager unit had other ideas for both the Tank Destroyer and its recovery vehicle, they were just a little peeved there were none of those excellent American Jeeps to acquire and pose on afterwards.
The first turn started off with the M38 making a dash for the stricken tank destroyer and getting to easily within close viewing distance. The FJ MMG made a quick dash across the open field, using the hedgerow and finished at the corner by the bridge with the abandoned Tank Destroyer within sight. The leading squad dashed up to the bridge. The remaining 1st Ranger Squad proceeded to run up the road.
Turn Two: The FJ MMG opened up on the M38 and applied 5 pin markers, the 1st FJ Squad moved further towards the first building across the bridge. The M38 failed its Orders Test and so went down. The 2nd Ranger Squad arrived and dashed after the 1st Squad who moved further up the road towards the rear of the nearest building. The FJ Light Mortar arrived and moved up close to the house to the original side of the river. The 2nd FJ Squad arrived and moved up to the bridge, together with the FJ Lt. The Ranger Officer arrived and caught up with the remainder that a moved forward earlier.
Turn three: The 1st FJ Squad entered the nearby building and rushed upstairs to enable them to look down on to the M38 Recovery Vehicle. The FJ MMG fired another sustained burst at the M38 and applied a further two pin markers. The 2nd FJ Squad activated and continuing the headlong rush entered the ground floor of the building near the M38. The Ranger Lt activated and urged the two Ranger squads onwards and the finished their move having just turned the corner of the nearest building. The FJ light mortar fired a round at the M38 and narrowly missed causing a further pin marker to the M38 as it did not land with the open turret ring but bounced off the engine deck.
Turn four: The 2nd FJ Squad managed to win the initiative and using all its fire power opened up on to the 1st Ranger Squad at point blank range – 1 x SMG, 1 x FG42 (Assault Rifle) and 3 x K98 rifles – the result was two dead and 5 pin markers to the Ranger Squad, they in turn failed to activate and decided to go to ground to become smaller targets for incoming fire. The 1st FJ Squad ignored the tempting target of the M38 with the panzerfaust and instead did like the 2nd FJ Squad and opened up at the other Ranger Squad within range – the result was 6 pin markers and three dead. The FJ light mortar scored a real lucky hit directly into the open top of the M38 Recovery Vehicle – this resulted in a fire in the vehicle, the crew failed to extinguish such and so bailed out of the vehicle running back down the road. The Ranger Lt ignored his mauled squads and run into the nearby barn – the FJ MMG being in ambush fired a suppressing burst of the enemy officer, causing no wounding hits but applied 4 pin markers. This fire was added to by the FJ Officer and his batman who managed to kill the Ranger Officer’s assistant – the Ranger Officer at this point decided enough was enough and scarpered away hiding on the river bank.
Turn five: The 1st Ranger Squad tried to regain their composure and rallied but were eliminated by withering fire from the 2nd FJ squad, killing another 2 rangers and causing the remnants to surrender. The 2nd Ranger Squad suffer a very similar fate as the 1st at the hands of the 1st FJ Squad.
The result – the Ranger Officer escaped along the river bank to avoid captivity, those left alive in the Ranger squads were taken as POWs and the M38 continued to blaze in the area adding to the wreckage blocking the road. The FJ teams saved the unused panzerfausts, and found an extra cognac ration for the mortar team to celebrate.
Conclusion: as soon as the FJ MMG was in position then it could effectively prevent the M38 from hooking up and moving off the table with the damaged tank destroyer. The hit from the light mortar was a lucky one which was the deciding factor in the game.