This was the title that Mark had given our recent game. The brief I was given follows:
You are a battle hardened officer, who has served on all fronts and the proud recipient of the Knights Cross with swords, presented by the Fuhrer himself. You are currently involved in the fighting retreat back to Germany. After being forced back again you have found yourself in woodland looking out towards an occupied town. You have been able to carry out forward observations unseen whilst at the same time swiftly over coming any British forward dugouts without alerting the enemies main force. Convoys were seen passing through the town approximately every 3-4 hours. As far as you can tell there is armour in the town, though no sign of any Sherman's or artillery. There appears to be at least one battalion within the town, maybe two. Other than the convoys there has been hardly any activity, but you don't know why.
You find yourself with two choices;
1) Dig in as strong defensive position as you can as you are bound to be discovered when the forward dugouts are relieved.
2) A swift strike against the town hoping to achieve one last defiant act for the fatherland and your honour.
A 12 move game, time of day being daybreak, woods passable to all at reduced speed. Distance between woods and town approximately 18 inches (3 full moves for infantry).
Size of force - 700 points (old Rapid Fire rules points value).
Major victory if town liberated.
Victory if 2/3rds of force leave the table in good order after 8 moves.
Defeat if broken.
I decided to follow the theme and field, as my main force, an infantry regiment, minus a company in each battalion and reduced heavy weapon companies. Then a secondary force a much reduced infantry battalion of stragglers, that had joined my small Kampfgruppe with a reduced heavy weapons company. The only support companies that had survived the retreat were a 120mm mortar company, a 150mm infantry gun and anti-tank company of a few Panzerscheck teams. I added to this my recently paint Hetzer that would support the stragglers and two PzIVs supporting the main infantry regiment.
Marks scenario for the British was a motorised battalion had passed though the town with a supporting supply convoy. Only the last company and the support company where left in the town and were about to leave as a lorried battalion had arrived late the previous night to secure the town. There was 2/3rd of a squadron of tanks being refuelled (1 Cromwell & 1 Comet). Points value 570 (old Rapid Fire rules).
The table was very simply laid out with a town on one edge made up of nine buildings, many ruined, and woods on the opposite edge.
I knew nothing of the British deployment nor size of force but decided that attack is the best form of defence. The game progressed well. I was able to lay smoke down and quickly get two companies of infantry to the edge of the town riding on the two PzIVs. Under covering fire from the heavy weapons companies, 120mm mortar and infantry gun, the the rest of the main forces infantry scampered across to the town with minimum casualties. At this point in the game Mark was having more than his fair share of ones on the dice throws. On about move 5, once it seemed that most of the British in the town were engaged, I unleashed the secondary force on the other flank. The game was over by move 10 with the German infantry occupying most of the town and what remained of the British force were in tatters. I'd lost my Hezter to an attack by the Wasp from the British machine gun company but the German stragglers were able to overcome this company. The two PzIVs were miraculously unscathed whilst the British Cromwell was knocked out and the Comet heavily damaged.
The dice were very favourable to the Germans. It's not often an attacking force come away with minimal loses when faced with defenders all in hard cover. A good game enjoyed by both of us and we have promised to meet up more regular basis. Sorry there are no pictures but I'd forgotten my camera.
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