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Villers-Bocage - June 13, 1944

Operation Perch - Operation Perch
Western Front By: yangtze - Last update: 01/22/2014
Axis Player: Allied Player:
x5 x7 x2 x6
first You play first    

Historical Background:
As part of Montgomery's Operation Perch, the British 7th Armoured Division (the Desert Rats) under Lord Cranleigh was ordered to Outflank the Panzer Lehr Division and, via the town of Villers-Bocage, march on Caen from the South West. Having met no resistance, and leaving the regimental HQ tanks at the top of the main street in Villers, 'A' squadron was ordered forward to secure Hill 213. Once there, the British commanders, Cranleigh included, decided to stop to discuss the situation. Some British troops even began to brew up (make tea), thinking the area was safe. However, lying in wait just 200m away was Michael Wittmann, the Germans' most celebrated tank commander, and 2nd Company of the 101st SS Heavy (Tiger I) Tank Battalion, 6 Tiger tanks in total. Wittmann wreaked havoc upon the unsuspecting British column, entering Villers-Bocage in his lone Tiger and brewing up many British vehicles. The battle was soon joined by the rest of his company, and elements of the Panzer Lehr Division. Eventually, when Wittmann was withdrawing to re-arm and re-fuel, his Tiger was disabled by a British 6pdr, and he escaped on foot. Some accounts have him then commandeering another Tiger in the German rear and rejoining the battle. Wittmann's reputation reached mythical proportions after the battle, and he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oakleaves and Swords. German propaganda at the time needed a hero, and Wittmann alone was given credit for 27 of the 30 brewed up British tanks, though most historians agree his total was more like 27 vehicles, of which 12 were tanks. This engagement also cemented the reputation of the Tiger tank, and shouts of 'Tiger!' would send shivers down the spine of Allied troops until the end of the war. Note that the 5th RTR shown in the scenario never arrived as reinforcements on the day, 7th Armoured Division commanders electing to withdraw, rather than reinforce, the exposed units around Villers-Bocage.

The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.

Allied Player: British: Lt-Colonel Arthur, The Viscount Cranleigh
Take 2 command cards (British were surprised).
Draw two cards after each of turns 2 and 3. You will then have a hand of 4 command cards for the rest of the battle.

Axis Player: SS-Obersturmf├╝hrer Michael Wittmann
Take 5 command cards. You move first.
Only Wittmann's unit may move and battle on the first Axis turn of the game. You do not play a card to order Wittmann's unit on the first turn of the game.

Conditions of Victory:
Axis 7 medals
Allies 6 medals

Villers-Bocage is a Temporary Medal Objective for the Axis forces, and Hill 213 is a Temporary Medal Objective for the Allied forces.

Special Rules:
Place a Battlestar token with Wittman's tank unit. The token functions as an Heroic Leader (Actions 8 - Heroic Leader). Read 'infantry/armor' wherever 'infantry' is written on the Heroic Leader Action Card.

Wittmann's tank unit is made up of heavy Tiger tanks (Troops 2 - Specialized Units). At the Axis player's option he may replace this unit with a Tiger tank model using the Tiger tank rules. The Heroic Leader rules remain unchanged.

Place a badge with the British 5th RHA 25pdr self-propelled artillery unit (Troops 14 - Mobile Artillery).

All of the German infantry units are elite Panzergrenadier units (Troops 2 - Specialized Units). Badges are not needed.

Air rules are optional: if used, give the British player 1 Air Sortie card and shuffle the other into the deck.

Scenario Bibliography:
Daniel Taylor, After the Battle Books: Villers-Bocage through the lens
Lt-Col George Forty OBE FMA, Battle Zone Normandy: Villers-Bocage

Please note that this scenario was not approved by Richard Borg or Days of Wonder, so you have to check yourself about playability, potential gaming issues, etc.

Set-up Order