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  • Writer's pictureBlaxkleric

"Battle Of The Bulge" 10mm Battle Report II: Allies Verses Germany

Updated: Aug 4, 2023


AMERICAN AND BRITISH TANKS DEFEND AGAINST SOME GERMAN PANZER IIIs AND IVs

This game was played using some homemade rules (M.I.S.S.) so as to allow us to quickly play through a short campaign utilising many of my painted 10mm World War Two (Winter) models by "Pendraken Miniatures", and took place upon an old 24" x 24" game board. The battlefield was populated with a variety of pre-painted "Escenografia Epsilon" scenic pieces previously sold through the Middlesbrough-based company at Warfare 2021, but now sadly out of production.


“The story so far… It is December 1944 and the German Army have already started their Ardennes Offensive by striking out at the Allied Forces from Losheim in Eastern Belgium. As part of this attack a force of Panzer III and Panzer IV tanks is pushing west through the town to help reinforce the Third Reich's initial spearhead. However, the Allies still have two squadrons of American M4 Shermans and some British Churchill VIIs in position to oppose the thrust..."

THE TABLETOP - PART OF LOSHEIM IN EASTERN BELGIUM

The Germans started on the eastern edge of the battlefield. In the north east Festung Division contained three Panzer IV tanks with (Short) 75mm guns, in the centre Volks Division was comprised of three Panzer IV with (Long) 75mm guns, and in the south east Schwert Division contained a trio of Panzer III tanks. Across from their position, along the western edge, were the American First and Second Squadrons consisting of three M4 Shermans with 75mm guns apiece, and a squadron of British Churchill VIIs in the centre.


The tabletop was populated with a number of houses to represent the town in the north and the less developed buildings on its southern outskirts. There were three strategic objectives located in a line from the south west corner to the north east corner. These were randomly valued from one to three points and would not be revealed until after the battle had ended. To win an objective an army must have more tanks than their opponent within six inches of it. In addition, no enemy tanks were allowed to come within an inch of an opponent's armoured vehicle. This was to ensure we played a 'shooting game' as opposed to just having all the tanks pile into one another.

THE GERMAN PANZERS LAUNCH THEIR ATTACK

Considering that the German plan was simply to roll straight at their opponents and blow then away, it came as no surprise that all their armoured vehicles moved west in some fashion or another. Schwert Division scuttled in between the village buildings, whilst Volks Division decided to rely upon the armour of its Panzer IVs. Festung Division also headed west, deciding that if they took too much damage that they could fall back to properly secure Objective One.


In response, only the Sherman named Babs moved, rumbling northeast so they could have a better line of sight against their opponents. The rest of the Allied line simply fired and wildly cheered as their salvos took an encouragingly good toll upon the advancing Germans. One of the Panzer IIIs was hit, followed by a Panzer IV (Short) being struck twice. But then in the centre, the Churchill VIIs also managed to hole one of the Panzer IVs (Long) too - partially engulfing the entire Axis line in smoke.

THE GERMAN TANKS ARE PEPPERED BY THE ALLIES' GUNS

Heartened by this success, the American Shermans fired again completely destroying a Panzer III , a Panzer IV (Short) and damaging another Panzer IV (Short). The British did just as well, wrecking a Panzer IV (Long) and striking a second Panzer IV (Long) alongside it. The Allied firepower had been devastating, and wrecked the German Army's plan to use its slight numerical advantage to win the day.


Splitting its force's orders between movement and returning fire, the Third Reich took the central Objective Two and sent the remnants of Festung Division back east to hold Objective One as well. Schwert Division attempted to obtain as much cover as they could amidst the village in the south, whilst the Panzer IVs (Long) opened up on the Churchill VIIs causing a single hit. On paper the Germans were still 'out in front'. But in order to do so, they had lost a third of their number, and if the Allies were to seize the initiative it seemed unlikely the Axis forces would hold the ground gained for long.

THE BRITISH CHURCHILL VIIs DISH OUT SOME SERIOUS PUNISHMENT

With their opponents whittled down by two rounds of intense firing, the American First Squadron headed east towards Objective One with only Vagabond staying behind to support the two Churchill VIIs in the Allied centre line. These British tanks continued to pound away at the Panzer IVs by Objective Two and damaged another one. Second Squadron also headed east with Babs providing some unsuccessful covering fire against the Panzer IIIs before them.


Having currently seized control of two of the three objectives, the German forces finally started to fire upon the Allies with some gusto. Babs and a Churchill VII were struck as a result. Furthermore a Panzer IV (Short) moved into a position to flank attack the American First Squadron in the north.

DESPITE TAKING FIRE THE AMERICAN SHERMANS PUSH FORWARDS

In response Ol' Reliable positioned itself by a Windmill in the village so as to have better sight of Objective Two and Vagabond attached itself to the Churchill VIIs - just in time to witness the British tanks blow up a second Panzer IV (Long). In the north, Kraut Killer roared east towards Objective One. Whilst down south Second Squadron destroyed another Panzer III. Things were definitely turning in the Allies' favour, especially when the only thing the Germans could muster in reply was a dent in Babs' hull.


It genuinely was now or never for the Third Reich, so the entire Axis line - or at least what remained - opened up with everything they had. Babs was sensationally blown up, marking the first Allied tank casualty of the day. A Churchill VII, Kraut Kruncher and Kraut Killer were also damaged. But it was not enough to stop Bouncing TNT from reaching Objective One.

BABS SUCCUMBS TO ITS DAMAGE AS THE FIGHTING GETS CLOSE AND PERSONAL

The signal was suddenly given for the majority of the Allied armour to push eastwards, so with a gruff rumble of engines the Churchill VIIs moved towards the centre of the battlefield with Vagabond just behind them. Ol' Reliable also moved so as to face the final Panzer III head on.


Now the American and British had started their counter-attack there really was no stopping them. The two Churchill VIIs and Vagabond swamped the Germans holding Objective Two, just as Kraut Killer ensured First Squadron contested the Third Reich's control of Objective One. Ol' Reliable even won a moral victory over the Panzer III it faced by damaging the Axis tank without suffering anything itself.

THE BRITISH AND AMERICAN TANKS PUSH ON FOR VICTORY

The final round of German fire was completely ineffective, resulting in the Allies successfully winning Objective Three (for three Victory Points), muscling in to win Objective Two (for one Victory Point), and earning a well-fought draw over Objective One. The Americans and British had quite easily held off the German assault in the end. But more Axis armour was en route...

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undercoat2670
May 16, 2023

Very enjoyable battle report. It was interesting to see how the different strategies unfolded. The battlefield looked splendid. Great looking buildings.

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
May 16, 2023
Replying to

Cheers Undercoat. It was interesting to see the Allied tanks make such big dents in the German armour so early on - so the Panzers were on the back foot almost straight from the start. I think the addition of some German super-armour though might mix things up a bit more.


It's a shame Escenografia Epsilon closed down, as I'd definitely buy some more if I found some. I do keep my eyes out for it at any shows.

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planetmut
May 12, 2023

Really good write-up, Simon, and nice to see the Allies winning! Looking forward to seeing what happens when the German reinforcements show up :-)

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
May 12, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Matt. Good to get another BatRep posted up on the website tbh. They used to be such a mainstay of my hobby a few years ago. Plus its nice to actually have the tanks on the tabletop in anger, LOL!! I find it a great motivator to get more painted.


The Allied reinforcements are now finished in the guise of M5 Stuarts. So I now just need the German Tigers to be painted and the third part of our campaign can begin...

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Dai Dead
Dai Dead
May 10, 2023

The initial push into the area failed, but was it actually more of a feint, with German heavy armour rumbling up to take back the village?


ie - Simon, paint some Tigers already. :P

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
May 11, 2023
Replying to

I picked up a pair of Tiger I's at Salute 50, Dai, and they're already built, based and in the grit box currently awaiting priming. LOL!!! 😁

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wargamesterrainworkshop
wargamesterrainworkshop
May 09, 2023

Great battle report Simon, and a convincing win for the allied powers this game, but as you say reinforcements are on the way !

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
May 09, 2023
Replying to

Thanks Dave. This was a bit one-sided but probably due to the American's having a corking second turn of firing. I think they blew up three German tanks during that Shooting Phase.


The plan is to now add some more armoured vehicles to both sides, and maybe upscale the battlefield to a 3x3. Hopefully they'll be another couple of fights focusing on the Germans departing Losheim before I move onto another campaign - possibly something warmer as I might have finished painting up enough of my early British tanks by then (as well as some Axis opposition).

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