Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Battle Report - 20 Jan 2014 - Chain of Command

Not, of course, that this should come as any surprise if you caught last night's hasty post and photo. Apologies for the somewhat hurried post, but I was tired and exceptionally grumpy after having had a complete moment of stupid at the cashpoint and left the money I withdrew at the ATM. Hopefully the bank will be resolving this for me.

Anyway... (and with a respectful nod to Andy Johnson's "Seelöwe Nord")...


I should note I've played a little
fast and loose with the local
geography, but hopefully it's
enough to give a flavour.

North is top right.
It's 21st September 1940. The Germans have launched a diversionary attack across the Channel against the South Coast, and the British command have bought it sufficiently that the real attack, at points along the East Coast from Spurn Point to Scarborough, comes as a surprise...

In the sleepy East Coast village of Fraisthorpe, the bells of St. Edmund's Chapel are ringing madly, summoning the men of 3 Platoon, the Bridlington Home Guard, as swiftly moving shapes scramble up the sand dunes off the beach and head for the village. 

Germans!

Looking up the road to Bridlington, with
No. 1 section deployed up against the wall.
Carl ran the Home Guard using my figures, and Gary used his newly-finished early war Germans. The Home Guard used the early force from Pat's excellent list, with a value of -4 against the German's +4. After we'd rolled, this gave the Germans 1 support list, and the British 9. Gary took a medic, and Carl a medic, a Vickers team and a Lewis gun. Even with that, it's a bit skewed towards Jerry - they're Regular, with four 10 man platoons each of a rifle team and an MG34 team, plus a 50mm mortar. The Home Guard have 3 eight man platoons, one of which has the Lewis, plus a Vickers. We did toy with picking the old WW1 vintage 19pdr field gun instead of the Vickers, or a Leach trench catapult instead of the Lewis.

The Germans deploy to the south of
the Burton Agnes road.
The patrol phase actually went Carl's way: he got a nice wide spread of markers along the SW/NE road through the crossroads (the Bridlington road), whereas Gary was a touch constrained along the axes of the coast road and the SE/NW road (the Burton Agnes road).

The initial stages were a firefight across a field to the south side of the Burton Agnes road, between one German section and a Home Guard section and the Vickers, which for a while looked pretty much a standoff.
The last German section rushes up the
Burton Agnes road.
Carl brought on a section further north on the Bridlington Road, and they exchanged fire across the fields with some more Germans lining the hedge along the coast road, helped by some mortar fire from the 50mm down on the shingle up against the sand dunes. 

The last German section (taking advantage of Gary getting two phases in succession), rushed the house by the crossroads, and just made it without being stuck in the open at the mercy of the Lewis gun (which fortunately for them wasn't on overwatch, and had been pinned by MG34 fire from across the road).

It was then Carl's turn to get something ridiculous like four phases in a row, and his aim was to capitalise by getting his last section into the small copse south of the Burton Agnes road and try and flank the German section. Somehow, mostly by some not-wonderful dice rolling, he just barely failed to shock them enough to pin them before handing phases back to Gary.

From there on, it all went pretty downhill. The Home Guard squad at the north end of the Bridlington road went down in a hail of MG34 bullets, and the survivors broke and fled. The Lewis team got wiped out to a man, and the squad in the little copse likewise broke and fled... at which point the British force morale hit zero. The Germans had, by then, lost two officers and a good dozen men, so the Home Guard's action wasn't in vain.

First round to the Germans. As umpire, I think the Home Guard were always going to struggle, but I think Carl was possibly guilty of committing his forces too soon, and perhaps not taking better advantage of overwatch. Easy to say in hindsight, of course :D




5 comments:

  1. Great stuff MIke. The +4/-4 force rating is a huge difference & I can see its hard to make up the difference given by 3 MG34's.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Some thoughts:

    Firstly shooting out of a wood - surely those in the wood would take up positions so as to give them as clear a view as possible - but still be in cover. Seemed a bit harsh to give soft cover benefit to a unit in the open - for shooting out of a wood. That was the critical point where it took too long to pin an exposed section - given the major concentration of fire.

    Keeping two sections hiding behind a hedge for most of the game was also a result.

    So that really only leaves the unit that got in to the house at the cross roads and they were never really exposed due to a fortunate 10 on two dice just making the run - even if overwatch had been in place - worst would have been a burst of lewis gun fire - so 4 rounds.

    More seriously the Home Guard are seriously lacking in fire power, and as green troops are very vulnerable to enemy fire.

    So as a n unprepared holding action to allow a prepared defence further inland - they probably did a sterling job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Re shooting out of a wood, according to section 8 the Germans shouldn't have been in soft cover - apologies for missing that, I was distracted.

      If the Lewis had caught the unit headed for the house on overwatch, they would have taken 10 dice in the open at close range, which on average should have done two and a bit kills and two and a bit shock.

      But yes, I agree with your other points.

      Delete
  3. Sorry forgot to say - great game and thanks for organising it and then blogging it.

    ReplyDelete

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