After the Normandy landings the Allies were seeking to break out of the German encirclement. In the British sector the 7th Armoured Division seemed to have found a weak spot between the Panzer Lehr and 346th Infanterie Division. The advance towards Villers Bocage, down Panzer Lehr's left flank, was largely unimpeded by the Germans on the 12th of June, the advance being halted 6 miles short of Villers Bocage to allow the rest of the division to catch up
The 13th was to be a very different day to the 12th, largely due to one Michel Wittman's daring and the incompetence of the command of the 7th Armoured.
The lead elements of 7th Armoured entered Villers Bocage early on the 13th to be greeted by the French civilian population. They informed the British there were no Germans in the town. The advance was halted while A Squadron 4th County of London Yeomanry and A Company 1st Rifle Brigade moved to the east of the town to capture a tactically significant high point, point 217. The advance was made in a very lackadaisical fashion, there was no attempt at reconnaissance. The British were to pay dearly for this lack, Michel Wittman in his Tiger was waiting
The scenario depicts Michel's attacks on the British and the subsequent battle that evolved around Villers Bocage
Map & Order of Battle
The map is 4ft x 6ft if measuring 1"=50m - north is indicated by the arrow
The red lines are major roads the pink minor tracks. All are hedge lined. Any stand on the road is assumed to be adjacent to the hedges on both sides
The blue lines are minor streams. They take the equivalent if a cautious advance move (CD) to cross. So if moving with a hasty advance order, the unit loses half its movement. If moving with a cautious advance order, a stand must start on one bank and will be moved to the other. The streams are tree lined, the trees break LOS. The trees and stream are considered one thickness: i.e. a stand on one side of the steam, touching the tree line can see, and be seen, from the other side.
The green dotted lines are hedges that provide light cover (-1, 5+) and break LOS. There are many more hedges than indicated, the others have been omitted for playability purposes.
The dotted lines represent a gully or cutting. tanks and infantry can move along the gully with the normal penalties. They can not be shot at or shoot out of the gully/cutting except by troops touching the edges. It takes a cautious move equivalent to negotiate one bank of a cutting or gully; so you can cross from one side to the other of the cutting in a full move. The gully is a more formidable obstacle as it has a stream at the bottom
The green square is an orchard treated as open woods
The grey areas are buildings. These are mostly stone built (-3 cover).
The black dotted line is a railway, it has no effect on the game other than to negate cross country movement penalties
The open areas are fields. This is bocage country and there are many more hedges than shown on the table. All cross country movement is at half speed
4th CLY is deployed on table as indicated by the map. It is in single file along the road facing east.
Wittman's Tiger is deployed within 6" of the indicated position, it must be adjacent to the hedge and on the south side of the road.
All other troops are reinforcements
1 Kp 501 SS Pz Abt arrives at 10:30 (turn 5) up to 12" either side of the road as indicated
2 Kp 501 SS Pz Abt and the Ersatz Kp arrive at 13:00 (turn 11). They arrive 6" either side of the railway line as indicated
Stab 501 SS Pz Abt arrives in the same location as 2 Kp 13:30 (turn 12)
Kampfgruppe Lex's earliest arrival time is 13:00 (turn 11) - a 6 (d6) is required. Turn 12 a 4-6 is required and any subsequent turn a 2-6. It may enter on the road indicated or the road to the east. [historically these PzKfw-IV were newly repaired by the divisional repair company]
Kampfgruppe 130 Pz Aufklärungs Abt earliest arrival time is 13:00 (turn 11) - a 6 (d6) is required. Turn 12 a 4-6 is required and any subsequent turn a 2-6. The PzKfw-IV and Div Begleit enter from Villy Bocage. 3 Kp 130 PzAufKAbt enters down the road indicated
Kampfgruppe 2 PzG Regiment earliest entry time is 15:00 (turn 15). On that turn and each thereafter the 4 kp requires a 5-6 the other companies a 6. The Stab and 7 Kp are rolled for as a single unit, however the 120mm GrW-42 is available as soon as the first kompanie is on table. All units must enter within 6" of the table corner
1/7th Queens arrive at 13:30. then enter the table mounted in trucks along the road indicated
The game is divided in to three phases
Phase 1 - Wittman's Rampage
Historically Wittman's attack was a complete surprise to the British who appeared to be paralysed by his onslaught. The following rules reflect this
On turn one the game starts with the General fire phase. Wittman is assumed to have a cautious advance order, the British a road march order
No British company or squadron can move or shoot unless its already been fired at by Wittman, with the exception of C Squadron in turn 3
Wittman is not subject to morale rolls
At the end of turn 3 Wittmans Tiger is removed from the game
(note that turns 1-3 are only 5 minutes each long - turn 4 is considered to be longer than normal to compensate)
On turn 4 the British can move normally
Phase 2 - Wittman's Return
Starts turn 5 and lasts until 1 Kp 501 SS is combat ineffective. No special rules. Once 1 Kp is disposed of fast forward to 12:30 turn and start dicing for the arrival of the rest of the Germans. Count the number of turns in which there is no German activity, this is the amount of time the British have to re-deploy and rally units
Phase 3 - Battle of Villers Bocage
Starts at 12:30 or 13:00 when the first reinforcements arrive. This is played out with standard CD rules. Game ends 20:00 turn (turn 21)
Its raining and visibility is poor - max spotting range 12"
The British squadron & company commanders may take commend of shaken and demoralised individual stands in order to issue rally orders.
For victory the Germans must
1) Kill or demoralise at least 5 British tanks (Shermans, Stuarts or Cromwells) by the end of the game (British AFV's off table count as killed)
2) Remove all British stands in better than a demoralised morale state from Villers Bocage
3) Have one non shaken, non demoralised, AFV in Villers Bocage
Three victory conditions is a decisive victory for the Germans, two is a normal victory and only one is a draw. If the British kill two or more Tigers (Wittman's in phase 1 does not count) it cancels one (any) German victory condition. If the Germans get none of the victory conditions than the British get a normal victory. If the Germans get none of their conditions and the British kill two or more Tigers (Wittman's in phase 1 does not count) they win a decisive victory