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.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Operation Martlet (Revisited) - Mission 2: Pushing On

The Scenario: In this scenario, the British must continue their advance and this time push on through the village of Fontenay towards the main line of the German defences. More details of the campaign in Mission 1 here.  And see here for the first time I played this scenario, during my first attempt at this campaign.

The Orders of Battle: As the British Platoon was pretty much at full strength, the Royal Scots Fusiliers Platoon was tasked with maintaining the advance (the Sherwood Foresters Yeomanry would need to stump up another tank in support though...).  I picked the following support options:
1 x Sherman, 1 x FOO for a 3" mortar battery, an extra rifle squad and an extra PIAT team.

Things were slightly different for the Germans after the slight battering they took last time.  There were too many missions left to go to swap out the platoon (the Germans are allowed to replace their Panzer Grenadier platoon once during the course of the campaign) and they aren't allowed any replacements except their lightly wounded casualties returning to the battle.  So for this scenario, the German Pz Gr Pl consisted of 3 x Sections of 1 x Rifle Group, 1 x LMG only.  Luckily it had a PzIVG in support.

The Terrain:

The sprawling village of Fontenay.  The Scots Fusiliers will approach from the left (North West)

Another view of the centre of the village

And along the road from the NW edge
 The Battle:
Two Scots' rifle sections supported by a Sherman advance south of the road

Whilst the remaining elements of the platoon advance north of the road through an orchard

A German rifle section, dug-in, have spotted the tank.  The dilema: to fire or not to fire?  At this range they have a roughly 1-in-9 chance of this working out, so they decide to hold fire.

Another view, this time from behind the Landsers.

The Sherman covers the junction and along the road

British troops - always careful to leave "one foot on the ground" - cross the road above the village

And reach the edge of a small copse, where a a second German infantry squad is hidden! It opens fire, suppressing, the Bren gun team which goes to ground in the gap between hedge and copse.

Some good British shooting eliminates the German riflemen; the machinegun is then suppressed, assaulted and destroyed in textbook fashion.

The Brits now push on towards the big barn in the centre of the village

As soon as they occupy it, they spot a German PzIV!  An attempt to knock it out with grenades fails dismally, after which the tank successfully suppresses the infantry inside it with cannon and machinegun fire. Note top-right, the German LMG is about to be eliminated by British riflemen assaulting (on the other side of the hedge).

The Sherman advances down the road under cover of smoke, but runs into another concealed German squad!  Note that the PzIV has pulled back slightly to a position covering both roads.

A German panzerfaust knocks out the unfortunate Sherman!!!

British infantry around the barn quickly eliminate the German infantrymen.  As the other German suquad has also been dealt with by now, the Panzer IV crew decide to pull out.
 Losses:
British: 1 x Sherman, 1 x Rifle team, 1 x PIAT team
Germans: 2 x Rifle Groups, 3 x LMG teams

Game Notes:
Another interesting game - British superiority in numbers, allied to greater local superiority in the individual fights, plus the artillery support and some distinctly mediocre German shooting made the difference here (the Bren gun team caught moving in the open was very lucky to survive).  Yet again though too bold handling of the Allied armour led to totally unnecessary casualties; it was simple lack of patience on my behalf, really.  The Sherman could easily have got closer to the PzIV but still remained much safer under the umbrella of the infantry cover

As before, I used WRG1925-50 rules aided by the Threat Generation System solitaire rules from Miniature Wargames 373.  Figures mainly by Baccus 6mm, the Sherman is from GHQ, the buildings from Leven Miniatures and Timecast.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks very much, I appreciate it.

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  2. Excellent game, thanks for posting! I chuckled about "...were careful to keep one foot on the ground..." That's terminology I use as well, and nothing's worse than being overly aggressive and getting caught with both feet in the air!

    Except maybe getting overanxious and pushing your armor up the road, only to get panzerfaust-ed into oblivion! ;) Just joking, of course, it was a lot of fun to read. The only question I had was about the British artillery, which I didn't note as firing during the battle.

    V/R,
    Jack

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  3. No, the artillery didn't fire actually. I was thinking of the 2" mortar, which did fire a couple of rounds each of smoke and HE. The FOO kept on being in the place where I didn't need him, unfortunately. If the last German section had stuck around (next to the burning Sherman) then he would have been in a position to call in fire.

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