Home Forums WWII Achilles

This topic contains 16 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by grizzlymc grizzlymc 2 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #106702
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    As discussed previously, my late WW2 British have been easy meat for my German forces.

    Unless I scaled back the Nazis, I found several games inevitably ended in a glorious defeat for the British (to be accurate, they were hammered).

    I was lucky enough to get an Achilles from one of my pals for Christmas. He was undoubtedly motivated by my continual whining.

    At any rate, the force, hopefully completed, comprises of:

    3 x Churchills

    5 x Cromwells

    3 x Sextons (newly finished and not yet used)

    1 x Thunderbolt

    the Achilles

    and quite a lot of infantry, some 6 pounder ATGs and various other stuff, including transport, Bren carriers etc

    I think this should be a viable and not unhistorical or overwhelmingly strong for the period.

     

    donald

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Ochoin Ochoin.
    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Ochoin Ochoin.
    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Ochoin Ochoin.
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    #106707
    hammurabi70
    hammurabi70
    Participant

    What do the Germans get?  One Tiger or one Panther?

    #106720
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    The inventory includes two Tiger 1s and two Panthers.

    The usual mechanism we use allows the German CO to dice for them. This represents their unreliability/fuel shortage. I’ve changed the dice  numbers needed to suit the scenario but you usually get 2-3 of them on the board (along with three Panzer ivs).

    The whole point of our WW2 games isn’t to build “killer” armies but to allow the players’ skill, the scenario and its objectives and the element of luck to all play a role. My problem with my British was they seemed too weak to attack and really needed lots of luck to defend. My late war Yanks were fine against the Germans but, as I said, the Brits always lost and needed a tweak to give them the possibility of victory.

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Ochoin Ochoin.
    #106727
    John D Salt
    John D Salt
    Participant

    I wouldn’t expect the Brits to do very well with such an odd mixture against a big-cat-heavy German force.

    Cromwells were, outside 7th Armoured, found in recce regiments, who would be entitled to complain if put into slugging matches with Panthers and Tigers.

    Churchills live in tank brigades, and so should accompany infantry divisions into the attack, with substantial air and arty preparation beforehand.

    Essentially, the Brits need more 17-pdrs. Is the Achilles toting a US 3-incher, or a 17-pdr? Most Britsh armoured brigades would be riding in Shermans, with one 17-pdr tank per troop. Churchills would have SP anti-tank support if necessary. Anti-tank regiments RA would have 17-pdrs, towed or SP, for heavy work, and 6-pdrs as forward localily guns.

    If you must pit Brits stripped of their 17-pounders against big cats, the results should not be surprising. Sextons do not belong anywhere near the forward edge, but should instead be contributing to the crushing British artillery superiority that most wargamers skip lightly over to get to the tank battle.

    All the best,

    John.

    #106731
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    I thank you, John, for your usual knowledgeable and helpful response.

    I should explain that WW2 is a period of interest but not, for me, a consuming one. I do enjoy the games we have using Blitz Krieg Commander which are reasonably small scale actions utilising, as I like to kid myself, a sample of available forces. I have neither the will nor the ability to field brigades or divisions but penny packets of war game units.

    Clearly I should almost start building my forces from scratch if I truly wished to be accurate but I’m at the stage where I doubt if I’ll buy many, if any, additional figures, AFVs or vehicles for the period. What I have is what I’ll game with. For us, I’m afraid, the ” game’s the thing” and strict historical accuracy does not figure as highly as it perhaps should.

    BTW the rules do allow artillery bombardment and this is a regular part of our games. It is limited because as you would acknowledge, a sustained bombardment may be historical and may have a result but would be of little interest as a game. Ditto air power, which has a severely curtailed number of sorties.

    Donald

     

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Ochoin Ochoin.
    #106735

    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    Get yourself a challenger to go with the cromwells, or upgrade them to comets.

    In defence British should be hard as nails, because A Artillery could be called down and B mortars, lots of mortars, even at platoon level the 2″ makes attacking nasty with smoke, and when attacking yourself, drop smoke in front of the cats and get close, they cannot hit what they cannot see.

    #106737
    deephorse
    deephorse
    Participant

    You say that your late war Yanks do well against the Germans.  What does your late war Yank force consist of?  What does it have that your Brits lack?

    Wargamers - successfully driving the fun out of wargaming since 1780

    #106743

    Alan Hamilton
    Participant

    Your German battle group of 2-3 big cats and 3 PzIV and so represents elements of a reinforced Panzer Division probably SS.  With your British look 2 weak tank troops from an Armoured Recce Regiment supported by some infantry spported by a weak troop of Churchills so a really mixed bag.

    You might consider bringing the Cromwell troops up to or near full strength.  Depending on which organisation you choose with 3 Cromwells supported by one Sherman Firefly in armoured squadrons (Squadron HQ plus 4 troops of 4 tanks) or later as the Fireflies became more common 2 Cromwells and 2 Fireflies.  If you decide on an armoured Recce squadron (Squadron HQ plus 5 troops of 3 tanks) then the Cromwell troop would be 3 Cromwells or 2 Cromwells and 1 Firefly or Challenger and later 2 Cromwells and 2 Fireflies/Challengers.     Some regiments did not use the mixed troop but concentrated the Fireflies together into Firefly troops.

    By denying the British artillery preparation and air power you are changing the battle doctrine for a British assault.  Not to say that did not happen but for it to be norm is incorrect.   I suppose it depends on the rules used and the scenario being played out.  If it is not fun then you need to try to change something a little at a time.

    #106765
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    You say that your late war Yanks do well against the Germans. What does your late war Yank force consist of? What does it have that your Brits lack?

    The Yanks have lots of Shermans (including two hard to kill Jumbos) and several tank destroyers.

    Otherwise, they’re a similarly balanced force with artillery elements (used to soften up the Nazis like I intend to do with the Sextons) and air power. Two Mustangs can have an effect but the Germans have a fair amount of AA capability and calling in between 1-6 sorties (dice controlled) is not a sure fired means of taking out tanks.

    They , like the Brits, also have quite a lot of motorised infantry with a strong support from MGs and mortars and ATGs.

    It seemed to me that the difference was largely in TDs. Fixed?

    Using 20mm figures is another reason I don’t want to expand much more. It’s a space problem but another Achilles or even two if needed should be fine.

    Im not sure how the cognoscenti view BKC rules but I find they make for a fun game. Certainly no plans to replace them.

    donald

     

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Ochoin Ochoin.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Ochoin Ochoin.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by Ochoin Ochoin.
    #106770
    hammurabi70
    hammurabi70
    Participant

    I have played BKC but I am not very familiar with those rules.  Each tank represents a troop so it should factor in the 17pdr armed tanks but I do not know how the system works to allow for them.  Given a ratio of three or four to one per Tiger or Panther, the British are always going to have to score a better than average performance to stay in the fight, so evidently they need more tanks … or the Germans field fewer.

    #106772
    Ochoin
    Ochoin
    Participant

    . Each tank represents a troop so it should factor in the 17pdr armed tanks but I do not know how the system works .

    It can but also be one model equals one vehicle, which is the scale we use.

    It definitely needs to have more Allied tanks than German: the question is how any?

    donald

    #106780

    Etranger
    Participant

    Your tanks, although commendably British, are seriously underpowered. They need at least a Firefly to support the Cromwells, as was done historically for most Cromwell equipped units: the Armoured Reconnaissance Regiments (who didn’t have any, at least to start with) were seriously disadvantaged by their lack of 17 pounders. Their real world solution was to add Fireflies & later (roughly mid August on) the Cromwell based Challenger.  I’d add a further Cromwell & two Sherman Fireflies, giving you 2 full strength troops.

    I’d add another Achilles, as they were usually deployed as troops (4) or half troops (2), it would be rare to find one on it’s own.  Your British currently seriously lack heavy AT capability so a section (2) of towed 17 pounders would be another option.

    The other thing that the British should have is a lot of artillery. Against that number of German tanks you’d expect every FOO in line of sight to be calling in an artillery stonk, from at least the supporting field artillery battery (8 25 pounders), up to and including an AGRA, Naval Gunfire Support etc, depending upon availability and other priorities.  There would probably be an FOO accompanying Company HQ. The bulk of German counterattacks were chewed up by artillery before they got much traction. In attack the British (& Americans) would use a LOT of artillery, HE & smoke, to prepare for and assist the attack.

    Of course that isn’t as much fun for the Germans, but historically that’s what happened.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  Etranger.
    #106783
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    The Brits ran Shermans so you could use your US Shermans as Lend Lease. Dual use that way.

    #106947
    NTM
    NTM
    Participant

    The units which lacked 17pdr tanks commonly had Achilles attached to compensate although they didn’t always cooperate particularly well. This would be Churchill units and Armoured Recce before the introduction of the Challenger.

    #106948
    Grimheart
    Grimheart
    Participant

    As above, you need to add a 17pdr or two to counteract the german heavy tanks.

    Preferably Fireflys, Challengers or Achilles rather than static 17pdr Atgs, all of which make historical sense with your current forces.

    Personally i would add another Achilles to make a pair, try that out, and then if needed add a Challenger to go with the Cromwells.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 1 day ago by Grimheart Grimheart.

    Interest include 6mm WW2, 6mm SciFi, 30mm Old West, DropFleet, Warlords Exterminate and others!

    #106950

    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    That was because Achilles were Royal Artillery assets, so the crews were RA (might have been Tank drivers though) so used to totally different doctrines.

    At low level (wargames table size) the combined arms doctrine of the British is difficult to replicate, because so many different things come from different sources.

    As an experiment, run the US against the Germans in the immediate aftermath of D Day, so just 75mm armed normal Shermans and se how they do?

    #106952
    grizzlymc
    grizzlymc
    Participant

    Note well, the challenger with the Cromwells is a tank with a BIG GUN; the Achilles is an anti tank gun with tracks and an engine.

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