Sunday, April 18, 2010

Fireball Forward with Catawba Gamers

Yesterday I rode down to Charlotte with Chuckaroo and John Bays for another great game played with the Catawba Military Gaming Society. Because of a scheduling conflict at Parker Banner Kent and Wayne in Cornelius the game was hosted by Jerry Frazee at his Mancave. Jerry is helping play test a new set of WWII miniature rules called Fireball Forward. We played using 15mm miniatures with the scenario representing a Panzer Lehr night counter attack through the bocage after the Normandy landings. Because of the night attack scenario rule, units could only spot within twelve inches. This made the game up close and ugly.
I played on the German side and our objective were to get the Panther tanks off of the US board edge, capture the US headquarters and destroy the American units. The US objectives were to stop the Germans, Keep their headquarters and destroy the German units.

Some of the Lads in the Mancave, L to R, Barry, Joe, Brian(?), Jerry.

The Field of Battle from the American board edge. All units on both side started the game hidden and had to be spotted. Once a unit was spotted it was placed on the table for the rest of the game. All of the initial movements were plotted on a map and units had to declare if they were spotting instead of shooting.

The German scout Halftrack buzzes down the road and is shot at with a bazooka from the building in the top left of the picture. The shot misses and the Track continues to speed down the road.

Return fire from the German Infantry causes the surviving Bazooka team to displace in front of a Panther tank. The Panther shoots at the Bazooka team but only suppresses it.
The Panther Platoon moves up on the German right flank.

An M10 tank destroyer moves out, making one mean roadblock.

German Infantry run through the Bocage down the German left flank.

Us Infantry the Panthers drove past and didn't spot, now move out and close assault the closest Panther. They fail to do anything.

An M10 fires and reveals itself in the Bocage. Return fire from the Panther destroys it.
The command Panther starts to move out for the board edge and is destroyed by opportunity fire from several hidden M10s.

The Roadblock M10 destroys the scout Halftrack.

The two M10's in the open scoot of spotting range of the Panther's.

One Panther moves up while the other bogs for a second time. The entire board except for the road was considered muddy field, so to move a tank you roll a bog test to move, then if you roll across and obstacle you have to make another bog test. If you fail a test you stop where you are and can attempt to move again on your next activation.

A Panther moves up to take a shot at the roadblock M10, and misses.

Return fire from the M10's destroy the second Panther.

German Infantry continue the movement up the German left flank.

German Infantry move into the orchard to try and shoot panzerfausts at the Roadblock M10 and are fired on by revealed hidden US infantry dug in on the other side of the orchard.

The surviving Panther is stunned by return fire from the roadblock M10. The surviving bazooka team moves to get a side shot on the Panther but misses.

The surviving Panther recovers and destroys the roadblock M10.

The surviving Panther fires on the Bazooka team but only suppresses it.

A M10 breaks through the Bocage and is destroyed by opportunity fire from the surviving Panther.

The last panther moves into the line of fire to get a shot on another M10 and is destroyed by opportunity fire.

After trading fire with the US infantry for several rounds the German infantry clear out the trench next to the Bocage.

The US Headquarters are revealed in the building on the left. An M10 moves up to defend it. The discussion stared about this time to call the game but in the end the German decide to go for the US HQ and maybe a win.

Using the German Initiative chip the Infantry unit is able to activate twice. Moving up to the Bocage to fire on the HQ building and then again to assault the building.

The Germans are stunned in the assault but because the US commander is by himself he has to withdraw. This leaves the the Germans in control of the US HQ, if they can survive the rest of the turn.

The US brings everything they can to bear and destroys the German Infantry. A US Infantry squad moves back into the HQ ending the game.

Even though I was knocked out of the game before the end I had a really fun time. It is always good to get together with the Catawba Gamers for a good game. It looks like I will be helping Chuckaroobob put on a The Sword and the Flame game for them next month.

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