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Rick Parks was the game-master of a WWII micro-tanks battle set in 1944 after the allied breakout. A rejuvenated Field Marshall Erwin Rommel orders General der Panzertruppen Fritz Bayerlin to hold the bridge at Abbeville on the Seine river at all costs.

At the same time, a Jublilant George Patton orders his lead armored division to take this same crossing at all costs. A reinforced combat command is sent on a cloudy overcast day to "bounce" the bridge and hold it so the rest of the division can cross the river there.

The small image to the left of the title above shows the German artillery park, under the control of Bill Estes, numbering 8 guns divided between 150mm and 105mm. The image to the right of the title shows the 3 M-4 tanks assigned to Jay Stribling's combat team.

On the map above, the Americans in 5 combat teams (shown in blue), each with some armor, some infantry and some artillery came on the two roads at the bottom of the map, driving north along two roughly parallel roads. The American players were:

The German commanders, left to right, Jay Ainsworth (the dashing young panzer leader, and Bill Estes, the canny major-general. The Germans had dug some gun emplacements at the positions marked with red "X"s on the map, and two 88mm guns were dug in on hill 88, but the mobile German armored vehicles were the mainstay of the defense.

Allied commanders, left to right, (seated) Simpson Whitfield, Robert (Whit) Whitfield, (standing) Larry Reeves, Jay Stribling, David Causey.

Game-master, designer of the scenario, and rules guru, Rick Parks.

Abbeville, illuminated by a sunbeam, in a peaceful moment before the carnage.

The triumph of Detroit! A powereful American mechanized column grinds along the road to Abbeville. This is the left-hand column under Robert Whitfield on the road in the valley, while recon and HQ elements of Jay Stribling's forces are on the higher ground of hill 99 closer to the camera.

German reconnaissance forces under the command of Jay Ainsworth attempt to bar the progress of the column on the right hand road. They were shredded by tank gunnery from Whit's forces and the TD guns of Larry Reeves. They fell back only to be obliterated by the American artillery.

Another view of Abbeville. Most German units are hidden because the Americans had not yet gotten any recon elements to within 20" (1000 yards) of them on this hazy overcast day.

The players in action! Left to right, (seated, viewed from rear) Robert and Simpson Whitfield. Jay Ainsworth (blue shirt) and David Causey lean over the table adjusting the positions of their AFVs. Larry Reeves (in cap) looks on while Bill Estes (standing in rear) estimates the range to the American tanks. The game master's elbow may be seen in mid-air between Jay Ainsworth and David Causey.

The reason that the Americans won! A powerful armored column, Team B, commanded by Robert Whitfield plows along the road, paralleled by infantry in halftracks. A similar force (team C) was to Whit's rear, and two equally powerful forces operated on the right flank. The blue squares are "order" chits for the Command Decision rules.

A German motorized infantry company with attached 75mm AT guns, light Flak weapons and some armored transport were hiding on hill 121 till discovered by the M-3 light tanks assigned to "Team B". Massive volleys of 105mm HE shells destroyed the heavy weapons, while the 37mm guns of the M-3 tanks shot up the German halftracks. The German forces fell back to the top of the hill where they were immediately finished off by more artillery fire.

U.S losses in this little engagement were 4 M-3 "Stuart" tanks. German losses totalled 10 half-tracks, 3 AT guns, 8 trucks, 8 squads of infantry and 4 machine guns or flak weapons. The pink-card in the background is an artillery marker.

The massed final German defense consisting of 10 self-propelled AT guns, 15 MkIV tanks stiffened by 6 MkV "Panther" tanks and 6 MkVI "King tiger" super-heavy tanks. The Americans had finally drawn into range and the German tanks knocked out several but the U.S. spotters were beginning to bring down artillery fire on this mass when the game ended.

The Americans had wondered at the relative immobility of the Germans, and found to their surprise that the umpire had decreed a severe fuel shortage. So limited was their mobility, that each German force could only move once during the game, except for involuntary movement due to morale failures.

The American players found their indirect artillery to be surprisingly effective against enemy armore (3 hits on an armed vehicle being sufficient to "kill" it). Both sides believed that the American massed artillery would turn this tight concentration of German armor into rusting hulks after several turns of bombardment.

Another view of long strings of advancing American forces. Blue "order chits" and a pair of dice add a bit of color to the view. These are passing hill 99 on their right and are headed for the saddle between hills 121 and 105. At the close of the game, the head of this column was badly hurt by the tiger tanks massed behind hill 121 and the mk IV tanks in the open area just north-west of hill 105.

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