Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life; currently concentrating on a re-fight of the entire Peninsular War, but with the odd foray into ancient, medieval and WW2 battles.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Too Fat Lardies' Pint-Sized Campaign Op Martlet Mission 3: Attack on the Hauptkampfline

The third mission in the TooFatLardies' Operation Martlet campaign and crucially, the first one that takes place after the fog lifts!  This time I took armour-heavy support choices:

Platoon HQ + 2" Mortar + PIAT
3 x Rifle sections (1 at half strength)

Support: Sherman, Sherman Firefly, Rifle section, 2 x PIAT teams

My basic plan was to go right-flanking with the armour slightly held back to give supporting fire, along with the mortar, whilst a rifle section was detached to cover the very open left flank.

The empty battlfield.  Again, the British advancing from the left
The centre of the village
British infantry at their form-up point.  The Sherman Firefly is by the road; the other Sherman supports the infantry at the bottom of the wood.
Same position, shot from the other table edge

Turn one - TGS activates a Panzer IV using a wall for cover: it opens fire...1 shot and 1 kill!  The Firefly is brewed up...7 of my 20 support points waxed on the first turn.  Oh goodie.

The main offender....
Okay Fritz, Tommy doesn't give up that easily!  Actually that is a total lie, I did consider withdrawing and taking the time penalty but I decided to press on...Anyway, the 2" mortar begins firing smoke bombs for all it is worth and the infantry advance, using every scrap of smoke and cover...

Slightly easier to see the lead British section advancing through the woods...

The British infantry push on - a PIAT team outflanks the Panzer IV and knocks it out (under the smoke between the buildings)
Crikey! A German infantry gun opens fire on the British infantry in the buildings.  Luckily their shooting is rubbish...

The gun crew's view
Eek! Two full German squads bring down masses of fire on the British infantry in the buildings and in the hedgeline...

Overhead shot...You can just see a second PzIV skulking in the middle of the village.  It withdrew to a safer fire position on the far side of the crossroads.  This enfiladed the road and forced the British to use fire rather than movement...
Oh my beer and whiskeys...the Germans eliminate a Bren team and a group of riflemen...and the British force wavers!  All troops not under direct fire pull back...

...but come surging back!! Amazingly, the Germans missed seven consecutive short range shots!!!  The pinned British troops give it back to Jerry to pin them then the Pl Comd co-ordinates the mortar fire.  The Germans break and run, losing 10 grenadiers in the process as well as the infantry gun...

The position at the end of the battle
Game Notes: One of the closest battles I've played solo: I thought I had lost it when I had failed that morale check.  Luckily my ability to roll a '1' at crucial game points saved me!!!  In all fairness, I was defeated by the TGS system and was working out how to conduct the retreat when I remembered that the Germans would still be firing at the troops pinned in the trees and buildings.  The game is effectively over for the attacker if that sided loses 4 elements because they will really struggle to pass any further morale checks under WRG rules.  Defenders can lose a few more elements before the same thing happens.  I have been really impressed by how the TGS system has worked: it does provide genuine threat and tension and I heartily recommend that any soloists who have been struggling to get modern tactical wargaming to work for them.

Casualties: British - Sherman Firefly, 6 infantrymen; Germans 10 infantrymen, Panzer IV, IeIG.18 gun and crew

Like the previous battles, played using the WRG 1925-1950 rules and the Threat Generation System published in Miniature Wargames 373.

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