Monday, June 20, 2011

John Tiller's Tunisia '43 After Action Report

"S of Tebourba, Dec 6th 1943: Both sides wanted to resume their offensives but it was the Germans who struck first. They moved part of 10PzD south of the Medjeda river in preparation for an attack along both sides of the river. First of all the Jebel el Guessa had to be cleared as it afforded perfect all round observation of the area. The US 1st Bn. 6th Arm'd Inf., was strung out thinly along the Jebel, supported by the 27th Arm'd Field Arty Bn. It was here, from the north and south east, that the Germans struck preceded by 2 waves of Stukas. Help was sent from the reorganizing CCB and by nightfall all was quiet again, but the all important high ground had been lost, as the infantry had been obliged to withdraw to protect their line of communication."

I decided to return to Panzer Campaigns and use John Tiller's newest title which is Tunisia '43. You can pick this game up on his site over at http://johntillersoftware.com/

As you can see by the scenario I picked I wanted something small to get back into. This was an 8 turn battle. Surely I could guide the Afrika Korp to victory right? Well things are not always what they seem.

TURN 1



Two victory points of 25 points each on the board that I can see right off. Jebel el Guessa seems to be the first main obstacle. On my side as the Germans I have Fallschirmjagers that move into direct contact with a unit from the US First Army. To south I have a cluster of armor consisting mostly of Panzer III's and some Panzer IV's. I also have 8 Marder III's which was a decent anti tank gun vehicle.

Immediately I decided to send those armored units west to attempt to flank and cut off the Americans at Jebel Guessa. I have artillery to the right of the screen screen which were some German 105's and some captured British 25 pounders.

TURN 2



Time to move out. In the above screenshot you can see some of my armor to the south. After moving just a bit west we encounter American armor. I jump all over it immediately and disrupt the tanks from the American 1st.



With a sufficient screen setup I end my turn and prepare to move on Jebel el Guessa. My Panzergrenadiers quickly sweep south and then north to capture the western most victory point location near Bou Aoukaz. This sufficiently forms a block to any American units that may come from the south.

Turn 3

American armor returns and takes on my Marder III's. I lost a vehicle but the Marders strike back. They will not be able to hold that southern flank by themselves but have done their job in delaying Americans coming toward Jebel el Guessa.



Turns 4-6

The next two turns were spent jockeying into position as I attempted to shell and bombard Jebel el Guessa. I started to drive a wedge between American forces in the west and north so that el Guessa could not be reinforced but it was costing me heavily in armor as my sweeping advances resulted in the loss of some Panzer III's. This would come back to haunt me later when the final points were tallied.

I almost surround el Guessa and I decide to pull the Marders up from the south and solidify my lines. The Americans in el Guessa withstand a massive FJ assault and hold the VP location. Next time I will soften them up with a STUKA strike and artillery.

Turns 7-8

Nearing the end of the game the Fallschirmjagers assault and take Jebel Guessa. This leaves me in control of both victory locations as I head into turn 8 and withstand a massive armor push by the Americans. I lose a unit of Panzer III's but fill the gap with infantry.



After turn 8 the game ends. Surely with both victory point locations I have achieved the 75 points I need to secure at least a minor win. Unfortunately the resulting point total I have is 71 and the game ends in a DRAW, BY JUST 4 POINTS! The turning point? The unit of Panzer III's that was eliminated in the American counter attack. Those destroyed tanks cost me enough points to dip me below the points I needed for a minor victory. I may have been too overzealous with my armor and the resulting point loss hurt me in the end. So on my first game back in a while I pull a draw. Tough little scenario and I do want to try it again at some point for sure.