This is a unique game in that it was a demo for a number of my son’s friends and one of their dads’.
Mission: Free for All
The mission is based around the breakout in May 1944 from the Anzio beach head by the US 1st Armored Division which faced the Hermann Goering Division.
The forces were broken up into three 1000 point armies per side, so each player could have their own company. However only 5 people played as we started late. My role was the Game Master / referee. 12 year old boysare ruthless and usually like to bend the rules.
US 1st Armored Division (Josh and Little Josh, but not related)
Hermann Goering Panzer Division (Andrew, Carlos, and Ethan)
The opposing side wasted no time narrowing the distance between each other. Neither side was sure what to do with the infantry, so I recommended they just be as defense until they understood the mechanics of the game.
All were enlightened by artillery the first turn, when it was able to hit a crowded group of Shermans and cause them two to bail. The Americans cried foul that they didn’t have artillery. Mortars and 105 Shermans were not enough they said! The important thing they learned this turn was dont bunch up when the other player has template weapons! Their first lesson complete successfully 🙂
The Shermans were able to get into long range with the Panzer IV tanks and managed to get two kills on one of German panzer companies. The two tank companies on the other side of the table traded shots. The difficulty to hit and the improved armor bonus made things more difficult.
The Germans dug in around an objective.
The American tried to stand off and kill German tanks. Didnt work well as they only bailed a couple panzers. They did learn how to drop smoke to reduce the firepower of the enemy.
The Germans managed to create some carnage in the American ranks killing 4 Sherman tanks and bailing 3. The American right took a beating.
The American left was still intact.
The American players managed to close the distance and started to rack up the kills on the German right. They also learned the advantage of using stabilizers when in close combat.
To my surprise Little Josh (12 years) used a Sherman 76mm and one 75mm to decimate the StuG IIIs. It was a great move.
The American right pushes toward the center to capitalize on the gains on the left. A strategy is forming and they have identified their objective! However, it was only at this time did they realize they were going to need the 81mm mortar tracks and Sherman 105s to dig out the Panzer Grenadiers!
However, Little Josh got over confident and rolled a Sherman 76mm too close to the Grille Hs anticipating easy blood. He bailed one, but the other one bit back and hard. Scratch one 76mm!
Then the Germans on the American right rolled well. My son, who had played a number of FOW games in the past plus 40k, used his skills stand back and knock out the American shermans. Two more Shermans burned and 3 more bailed out.
The Americans on the left collapsed the German panzer company and started to drive on to the objective.
The Germans pushed on the American right killing all but two Shermans which were skillfully hidden behind burning tanks . The Armored Infantry was dug in on the defense around the objective and was going to be a tough nut to crack.
It was already running late, two boys already had to leave and another’s mom was waiting, so we called it. The German defender conceded victory to the Americans given they were in a better position for victory.
Despite losing a significant number of tanks on the right the Americans still had a functional platoon. The final score was 5-2.
Overall the boys enjoyed the game. A couple went home asking how to get started. My prize support was all boxed up for the move.