Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Battle Report - 3 Mar 2014 - Chain of Command

Another round of Operation Sealion (with the nod to Andy Johnston's "Seelöwe Nord" novel).

It's September 22nd 1940, and the Home Guard have fallen back on a small farm partway between Carnaby and Fraisthorpe. We went with PatG's latest list, which has been adjusted quite considerably for balance, and Carl, running the early war Home Guard list, had a force value of -12 against Gary's Germans at +4.

We ran the second scenario from the rulebook (and completely forgot that Gary's actual objective is to bypass the farm and get a unit off Carl's table edge!). Carl took as reinforcements a regular Army section, a Vickers, a Lewis gun, some barbed wire and an antique WW1 19pdr field gun. Gary, on the other hand, took a newly-landed Panzer IIID.
Yes. Those are telegraph poles.

The patrol phase was fun - key point was Carl winding up with a jump off point deep in the woods on his right, as well as two around the farm complex.

Gary started out by deploying a couple of sections, and having one rush the hedge and across the road in front of the farm to the back of the milking parlour, hoping to deny Carl the jump off point in the farmyard.

It would have worked fine, had Gary not completely forgotten the jump off point in the woods at the other end of that road...

"Matthews!! Hurry up and deploy the bloody
Vickers, willya!"
...onto which Carl deployed a Vickers team, firing round the corner of the wall onto a very exposed target. Four out of six dead, no shock! The Vickers took some mortar fire in return but escaped unscathed.

The remaining pair of Germans legged it round the building onto the jump off point, whereupon a Home Guard team with Lewis gun deployed upstairs in the farm house, and took out another. The last one, very wisely, ducked into the milking parlour, still close enough to deny the jump off point, which started to become a problem as...

...with a rumble of tracks and overworked engine, a Panzer III started making its way up the road from Fraisthorpe.

Meanwhile, the Germans deployed a section in the field on their left, and made a charge for the hedge near the Vickers. The British deployed both a Home Guard section to counter this and the regular section near the postbox on the corner by the farm entrance (which was protected by barbed wire).

Carl's aim was to try and deal with the forces near the milking parlour permanently, and regain his jump point. The rifle team had a go at the lone German leader, managing merely to wound him, before the Panzer opened up from its stationary position with both co-ax and hull MGs... [Note to self: I am so printing off and collating the army lists, as I missed the fact the PzIII doesn't have a hull MG! There's a running gag going with our CoC games that I should never trust Gary's memory of the rulebook: for once I did...]

The Army boys took quite a bit of shock, copping more from the MG34 in the hedge across the field before they in turn hopped the hedge by the post box for extra cover. Meanwhile, the rifle team next to the '34 kept up covering fire on the farmhouse, keeping the heads of the Home Guard section in there down.

Over by the Vickers, which has pulled back into the wood out of range, the platoon sergeant (whose name, coincidentally, might be Wilson despite this not being Walmington on Sea) decided to do something about the situation at the milking parlour, so hightailed it across the field between him and the farmyard. This took him two phases, after which he wound up pitching several grenades in the window before he finally nailed the remaining German in there.

Carl meanwhile, on the other flank, was desperately hoping to get a 1 amid his command dice, as the Panzer was by now right up by the barbed wire at the farm entrance, and he had a chance of a flank shot (given the 19pdr's measly AP of 2, a front shot wasn't going to work).

About now the German section on Gary's left decided to make a proper go of clearing out the wood with the Vickers in, helped by hitting the section hard with two intersecting fields of fire and then hopping the hedge in close assault. The Home Guard didn't stick around long enough to actually engage in close assault, as the Germans had a 4:1 advantage in dice.

There we called it, it being 10.35. Probably as a German victory, even though both sides had stuff left to d

As ever, a cracker of a game - my thanks to Carl and Gary!


  1. You appear to have written the battle report six days before it was fought. I know you're faster at writeups than many people, but…

    Still, sounds like a tough fight and a good game.

  2. Just point out that a Panzer III does have a hull MG. My aging mind does still work occasionall

    1. :D Not according to the early war German list it doesn't.

      I'll raise that one with Rich...

    2. "All early models up to and including the Ausf. F had two 7.92-millimetre (0.31 in) Maschinengewehr 34 machine guns mounted coaxially with the main gun, and a similar weapon in a hull mount. Models from the Ausf. G and later had a single coaxial MG34 and the hull MG34." (Wikipedia) :o)

  3. I just checked the list. All those vehicles without hull MG state, No Hull MG. Panzer III, doesn't sate that, which is correct as they had one. All the Panzer I & IIs, & armoured cars stae No Hull MG which is correct

    1. Ah. My apologies. That would be me misreading a II for a III....

      Move along here. Nothing to see.


  4. From my view point I think the critical missed rule was the effect of double shock - this should have resulted in the sole occupant of the milking parlour legging it earlier along with the junior officer, and so freeing the jump off point a turn earlier! Plus effects on force morale.

    Just shows we are still learning!

    1. Indeed.

      Consensus appears to be that a JL isn't part of a team. Also, I'm not sure that pinned teams can prevent use of a jump-off point....

      You live and learn.

    2. Hohum. I'm not doing well this week. To quote Rich:

      "They clearly weren't pinned when they moved to the jump-off point and shut it down, so now you'll neeed to clear them away from it in order to use it again. "

    3. Agree - but surely all that shock means the one man should run away!

  5. Fantastic looking game Mike!

  6. Great report. I am glad to see the list tweaks are working out.


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