Saturday, 11 March 2017

Albanich 2017 : The Battle for Lympne 1940

Those who follow will know we were at Albanich today. As part of the ongoing Operation Sealion campaign I ran a sizeable demo game. First my thanks need to go to Steve and Martin for helping me run the game, it must be very boring watching me fiddle about with terrain, setting up and sorting things out. But hopefully we were able to put on a good looking game that was also fun to play. Feedback was tremendously positive during the day so thank you to everybody who came across for a chat, your support is very welcome. I also apologise to other gamers at the show I literally didn't get a chance to have a proper look at anything else and I don't want anybody to think the show was just us, lots of other good looking stuff going on πŸ™‚

So on to the game....in previous posts I have covered the background, suffice to say here a strong force of German Fallschirmjager backed up by Wehrmacht infantry and Panzers is seeking to take control of Lympne and the adjacent Airfield. The allies somewhat outgunned are looking to hold a defensive line as long as they can.
The whole battlefield looking from the west, Lympne Airfield on the left, looking towards Lympne itself and the Church of St Stephen, the local Home Guard have set up a rudimentary road block but it is unlikely they will be able to hold the Panzers with their shotguns and rifles, the Allies do have armour in the form of the Royal Tank Regiment and some artillery which is being brought up.
A closer look at the British tanks, pulling off the road to regroup before pushing forward towards Lympne, British regular infantry is moving through the fields towards the church.
The allies are supported by a spitfire from further inland, it is not clear at this stage what impact it can have on the ground battle. The Home guard can be seen manning the roadblock !
A rapid response force of Bren Gun carriers and a single 25 lb field gun are rushing across the Airfield to set up a defensive line.
A view from the NE, (for those interested the battlefield is 8' x 4'8")
Fallschirmjager have landed close to the outskirts of the village and are looking to rush through the houses to secure the Airfield 
Kradschutzen infantry and armoured cars speed down the main road whilst Panzers get into formation, the ominous sound of tanks warming their engines
A shot from the SE
St Stephen's Church, the Vicar is urging the church warden to prepare for the worst.
Whilst the spitfire strafes the road the Fallschirmjager push over the wooden fence into the village
The Germans call in air support in the form of Stuka bombers who attack the road block, where the Home guard despite their heroic stand they have no chance !
British infantry are setting up a defensive line close to the church, whilst the RTR looks to break through onto the road.
The Bren Gun carriers have broken down the fence at the far end of the Airfield and the anti tank gun is covering the road.
A period shot of the Airfield πŸ˜€
Matilda tanks during the early part of the war were know to be almost impenetrable..........so pushing out in front it has nothing to fear ! Except of course the German Panzerjager 1 which scores a direct hit with its 47mm gun. Kerboom !!!!!!
Luckily it is not long before the allies manage to knock out the Pz II which can be seen burning in the Main Street. Overhead the spitfire attacks the Panzerjager in a futile attempt to knock it out.
The British infantry now seem to have a really strong defensive position, but they have allowed the Germans to capture the church, overhead the Stuka waits to be called in as the German Air observer seems unable to identify a clear target in the heat of battle.
The Kradschutzen have literally raced into the village but become pinned down by the telephone box.
The pilot in the Hurricane desparately attempts to start the engine to no avail there is no getting away.
A lone Gloster gladiator sits on the Airfield surrounded by the battle, if only it could take off !
The Fallschirmjager are now well into the village whilst their advance being covered by mortar fire at long range, but  as usual this is pretty ineffective.
The Home guard have now sensibly abandoned the barricade....but the Germans seem to have lost a little of their impetus and are bogged down in the village or around the church
Another period shot of the battle, a second unit of Home guard who were previously hiding in the pub have crossed the road and are crammed into the pillbox, one can only imagine what that must feel like !
Coming under fire from german armour the Bren Gun carriers pull back slightly, whilst the artillery crew realises they should have done a lot more practice when they could, their rate of fire is fantastic but they simple can't hit anything !
Luckily the German artillery is also pretty useless!
.............but the allies are beginning to feel the pressure, repeated hand to hand fighting around the church has caused them to withdraw, undercover of the swirling smoke the Panzer IV supported by Fallschirmjager has made it to the barricade
At the Airfield a Panzer 38 which had been pinned in a narrow side street has also finally broken out into the open, its armour seems impervious to everything the British can throw at it. This is clearly the signal for the Fallschirmjager to rush forward at the run, the sight of these veterans causes panic in the allied lines.
Some of the infantry starts to pull back rather than be outflanked and the Home guard in the pillbox (and this actually occurred due to a random event) panic and flee at the run ! The British tanks on the road now appear helpless and outgunned !
Another period photo of the Stuka looking for more targets on the airfield whilst the spitfire heads for home ☹️️
The barricade is finally broken down and the Pz IV surges through.
Running low on fuel the spitfire turns for home, the pilot cursing at his inability to hit anything !
The german break through now appears complete, it has cost them both men and material to achieve the objective, but the allies are far from out of the war, they start to pull back onto and around the Airfield to regroup and muster a counter attack. The Battle for Lympne is over but the battle for the Airfield has only just begun ! As darkness falls Lympne is in German hands but they are reluctant to push onto the Airfield without further support.

A splendid day of gaming, it didn't look like the Germans had it in them to break through, but the British had some misfortune, on at least one occasion a random event caused a perfectly well dug in infantry unit to foresake its cover and rush headlong into the church only to be wiped out by the German occupiers ! True to history the allies simply don't have an answer to the better armoured german Panzers. They were unlucky to lose the Matilda early on but when they did the other more obsolete tanks were scarily ineffective.....they need to bring more artillery into play soon !

So a great day, I bought a few bits which I'll blog sometime.......we had fun and it was capped off to my slight embarrassment by our game being awarded for the second year in a row Best Game of the show πŸ˜€πŸ˜€πŸ˜€



32 comments:

  1. Great day, I'm off to make some loaded dice. Although knowing my luck I'll still roll 1s

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    1. Have a good day...the spitfire hit everything when I flew it πŸ˜€

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  2. Great looking table- well done on your award too.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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  3. Bravo a splendid looking game and well deserving it's best game award. Great photos and narrative, I like the period shot of the airfield in particular, it looks like a still from a Pathe Newsreel.

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    1. Thanks Phil it all seemed to go down well with the punters πŸ˜€

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  4. Congrat's! Awesome looking game, loved it.

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    1. Thanks Rodger it took a bit of effort but it was a fun game as wellπŸ™‚

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  5. Well done on your table winning 'Best at Show'!
    Looks like the game played well.
    Did you get many questions/comments from the public?

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    1. It is only a small show but glad people enjoyed it. With three of us it allowed me to spend most of the time pulling dice and talking to the public. I would say yes a lot of interest ranging from the project overall, the terrain through to the ruleset....lots of people seem to like the early war period.

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  6. What an absolutely superb game and a just winner - bravo Sir!

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    1. Many thanks Michael everybody was very complimentary on the day which is niceπŸ™‚

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  7. Well Done Matt, a deserved prize indeed, lovely looking table indeed, a great AAR from you, how was the Sealion perceived, people interested in the genre? Will email later mate.

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    1. Odd I hand responded before and it has gone. Anyway thanks for the support, Sealion went down really well lots of people seem to like the early war period.πŸ˜€

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    2. Cheers Matt, Sally 4th are doing a OP Sealion Range according to their newsletter!!

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    3. Interesting will look out for those...I have found mix and match works. The hardest thing to find are bigger buildings at a reasonable price.

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  8. Very impressive looking game indeed!

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    1. Thanks Michael it seemed to go down well on the day....πŸ˜€

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  9. Congratulations on a well-deserved win! Honestly, the work and effort you put into your tables shows as they are absolutely superb...and an inspiration!

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    1. Thanks Gordon you are very kind.....πŸ˜€

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  10. What a wonderful table, superb!! And congrats...

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    1. Thanks Phil ....hopefully worth the effort πŸ˜€

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  11. Super looking game which well deserves its award!

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    1. Too kind.....but nice that lots of people seemed to enjoy what we had put onπŸ™‚

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  12. A great looking game Matt and well done on the award well deserved.
    Cheers
    Stu

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  13. Terrific looking game, Matt - I suppose we should ask, "went the day well?"
    ; )

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    1. Thanks Evan.....and yes the day went well πŸ˜€

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  14. Hi Matt, we spoke at Albanich. I was the blogger. Anyway, here is the link to it, https://itsmorethanjustgaming.com/2017/03/13/albanich-dumfries-wargames-convention/
    Not as detailed on your game as your blog, but thought I'd let you see it. Let me know if I got any details wrong

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    1. Thanks I'll try and have a look πŸ™‚

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  15. Game looked fantastic, great interaction with the public and a well deserved first prize. I thought the show was not as busy this year but enjoyed seeing the game although the way the campaign is going I suspect I would be writing in a more Germanic tone!

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    1. Thanks John, l agree I felt the show was quiet...but to be honest I didn't see much. Glad you liked the game feedback was pretty positive. Yes the Germans are definitely ahead but it is only day one πŸ˜€

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