Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Battle Report - 19 Jan 2015 - Chain of Command
This was the basic Patrol scenario, with a village on a staggered crossroads in the middle of the lengthwise table. Both sides had a carefully chosen 7 support points, and Dan and Andy took a PzIV with the Germans, and Gary and I a Cromwell with the Brits.
Patrol phase was a little one-sided - the British managed to get jump off points in or near their side of the village, and the Germans were constrained to the hedge line in rear of their side. You'd think from there it was going to be easy for the British, but... no.
Both sides got their AFVs on early, and the British deployed the 2" mortar and a section in the street - this latter promptly got the attention of an MG34 picking them out through a gap in the buildings, took casualties and legged it forward across the street into a building on the far side (brown roof).
With hindsight, this might have been unwise, as they rapidly came under fire from the PzIV, both HE from the main gun and the bow MG raking the building and slowly piling up kills and shock. And then came face to face with one of the rules we got wrong - no you can't take that shock off with the Senior Leader across the road, as the unit's very definitely in LOS of the enemy!
Meanwhile, further down the street, one German section had occupied another building, and an across-the-street firefight ensued: despite the fact that the British deployed two sections to take them on, one in the red-roofed house, the other lining the hedges next to the big manor house, they managed to hold those two sections up. Largely because the German Senior Leader was with that unit, and generally using most of his activations every phase to remove shock, despite grenades flying at the windows.
Eventually, the Cromwell made it as far as the buildings, and started to add its firepower. By this time, the advanced section across the road had pulled out, and the Germans sent a section to take that building as well.
So, what do you do when a Cromwell obligingly presents its flank to a gap between the buildings?
Yup. That's right.
It needed a 5 on 2D6 to hit. No problem. 11 dice needing 4s, vs 7 dice (Cromwell's flank armour) needing 5s. Net successes? MINUS 2.
WHOOSH. KLANNNGGGG. Round bounces off side of Cromwell.
There, we had to call it, as it was 10:30.
Thoughts? Well: it did all degenerate into a big lumpy firefight, and as Rich Clarke points out in one of his blog entries, big lumpy firefights are effectively a lottery. One side will break first, but the other will be close to it and borderline useless. The Germans had a spare section they never used, and once the British had committed all their sections, they should have been able to pick a weak spot to bring it to bear and take out the remaining British. After all, they had essentially held up three British sections with one advance section and supporting fire from one other plus a tank.