Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Shot down in the Gap -- session report

Played another session of Axis & Allies miniatures, once again playing an updated version of one of the the old official scenarios. In this case it was Shoot the Gap, from the North African Campaign, NA-3.

Aside from using the V2 models and cards for those pieces that were re-issued in the later sets instead of the ones from the original V1 set, the only change I made from the published OB was substituting Grants for M3 Less now that the historically correct Grant is available. As it's essentially the same as the M3 Lee there was no need to adjust the scenario for balance and it was basically played straight from the book.

It's a pretty straightforward scenario. A British tank-pure force comprised of two Grants, two Shermans and a Crusader have seven turns to fight their way across maps Able-1, Charlie-2, Dog-1 and exit. Opposing them are two German Panzer IVs supported by a trio of Italian Carro Armoato and a single German Pak 38 ATG.

To win the British had to eliminate 4 tanks and exit two. If they failed to do both, the Axis would win, otherwise it was a  draw.

The Axis player sent the three Italian tanks up the north flank, where they were opposed by the Crusader, while my four British mediums dueled with the German units on the southern side.  I'm not usually one to blame the dice, but I really have to say that they failed me this time. Even though I achieved my goal of concentrating my mediums against the German tanks the British simply could not shoot worth a damn.  Specifically, one of the Panzer IVs survived almost three turns under the concentrated fire of all four British  mediums before finally being destroyed. Meanwhile the Crusader also failed to do any more than make an even trade with the Italians.  The only bright spot was that a Grant erased the Pak 38 quickly before it could do any damage.

It soon became evident victory had slipped out of the British grasp, and even a draw was  soon taken off the table when the surviving Axis vehicles pulled out of the line of fire on the last turn after winning the initiative.

At game end the Axis still had a running Panzer IV and an M13 while the Allies were reduced to two damaged Sherman tanks.

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