Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life, featuring small skirmishes and big battles from many historical periods (and some in the mythic past or the far future too). The focus is on battle reports using a wide variety of rules, with the occasional rules review, book review and odd musing about the gaming and history. Most of the battles use 6mm-sized figures and vehicles, but occasionally 15mm and 28mm figures appear too.

Sunday 20 December 2015

Op Martlet Campaign Battle 05: Winning Your Spurs

Rather than fight a separate German counter-attack battle ("The Punch from Wunch") I included the extra German units as optional cards into this scenario instead.  For the British, they aim to clear this spur before reaching their final objective, the village of Ratray.  For support options for the British platoon, I picked:

17-pdr AT gun
6-pdr AT gun
PIAT team

I hoped to fight a mainly defensive battle, with hopefully the better concealment of the anti-tank guns being more useful than the mobility and armour of the Shermans.

(Game details as for previous battles: WRG 1925-1950 rules; GHQ, Heroics and Ros and Adler troops and vehicles; Total Battle Miniatures and Baccus scenery; Too Fat Lardies Op Martlet Campaign for the scenario and Miniature Wargames 373 for the solo Threat Generation System)

The Terrain:

Mainly flat and open terrain, with a ditch by the road, some bits of hedgerow and some rough ground.

 The Battle:

British infantry advance, hugging the scraps of cover; the anti-tank guns use a little cover too, observing the most likely arcs of fire

An SdKfz 250 enters stage right

Just as the British forces were preparing to ambush the German AFV, a wander German officer and a couple of soldiers enter behind the British flank!  The British are forced to give away their position by firing early, luckily the 17-pdr hit the SdKfz 250 and destroyed it

Just  as the British infantry eliminates the wanderers, a German section ambushes the British platoon commander and his mortar team!

After a potracted firefight, the platoon commander falls in battle...

The platoon's lead section has reached the hedgerow, whilst everyone else concentrates against the German ambushers

And this time it is the Germans who walk into the ambush!  And they are far more exposed...

Rifle and machine gun fire crackles over the whole battlefield.  The ambushing section has been almost eliminated, as has half the section which walked into the British ambush.  More German infantry open up from a hidden position (bottom-centre)

A Panther arrives!  But unfortunately just after the remaining Germans became casualties...

The Panther decides that it isn't in a position to advance now that most of the infantry support is hors de combat!  It withdraws (failed reaction check) and the battle ends

Game Notes: A very interesting encounter as it turned out nothing like I was expecting!  I was expecting a fluid armour vs anti-tank encounter and what I got was a grinding infantry battle.  The card deck was nearly exhausted by the end, as some of the firefights went on for a long time.  The rules are pretty realistic: the infantry battle only gets deadly at very close ranges or if large groups try to advance under fire.  However, this battle did turn up a problem with the way I have played the rules.  I have included all the support elements within the platoon for all purposes, including morale.  This encounter has persuaded me that tanks and artillery should be in separate platoons for morale purposes and any new campaigns I do will incorporate this.

British losses: 9 infantrymen
German losses: 20 infantrymen (2 unwounded prisoners); 1 SdKfz 250

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