This week we played the Flank Attack mission from the BGO book. This was a series of encounters between the British Armoured Regiment Commanded by Si and Neil and the elements from the 21st Panzer Division commanded by Frazer and Next Door Matt. We played 500 points which we have found to be our realistic maximum for a club night game.British Order of Battle
FHQ in Sherman
Sherman Tank Squadron inc Firefly
Infantry Platoon inc 6 Pounder HMG, 3" Mortar
25 Pounder Battery - on table
25 Pounder Battery - off table
4+ Additional artillery support
FHQ in Halftrack 251
Armoured Panzergrenadier Infantry Platoon in 251's
Stug Battery - 3 plus Ace
120mm off table Mortar Battery
Supply Trucks x2
Pre-registered Target Point
4+ Additional artillery support
5 objectives are rolled up.
A fuel dump near the cross roads – the main German objective
A suspected POL dump at the edge of the farm on the left
OP1 the other side of the road from the wheat field
OP2 is the house with the green roof
OP3 behind the barn near the church
The Germans road march is read to continue (a full 6 of D6 units rolled)
Most of the Panzergrenadiers Platoon and 2 Stugs
FHQ in the edge of the wood
The British FHQ has got separated from his command and arrives at the grid ref all by himself!
The British Sniper sets up in the farm and takes OP2
The German Sniper and Recon command move up the road towards OP3
The German commander issues orders with a breath taking confidence intending to seize the objectives and get good positions whilst the British were still clearing away the tea tray. The first chit pulled is for the Germans and it is an Aircraft, there was audible sighs and groans but we missed the 5+ comms roll.
The Panzergrenadiers capture both OP2 and the Fuel dump and a squad presses onwards to support the Recon Commander and the Sniper at OP3
A Stug moves of the road and pins the sniper down with MG fire whilst the other covers the road. The Forward HQ goes on reserve move ready to move up when required to do so
The forward squad goes onto ambush fire with no targets visible and wait for the British to arrive
The next turn sees all of the remaining German forces arrive. With the British sniper pinned the Stug commander brings his gun to bear on the British command tank and misses. However the newly arrived Stug is commanded by an Ace hits the target but fails to penetrate but the FHQ is now pinned and the British artillery now moved up behind the trees near the barn is unable to fire indirectly
The final German squad arrives and move directly into contact with the sniper a very short one sided firefight and the British Sniper is killed.
The British elements continue to arrive in dribs and drabs. The platoon commander moves into cover of the church wall ready to call in mortar fire, whilst a section advances towards the barn through the woods and OP3 (the jeep). Si has elected to have both his mortars as on table assets. He has artillery as both on table and off table support. Neil questions this especially when it transpires there isn’t a forward observer on the attachments
The British platoon commander orders a mortar barrage but the placement of the spotting marker is premature as the German squad near the fuel dump had been on ambush fire and opened up on the Platoon HQ and pin them down.
The German turn is ineffective, having dictated the pace of the battle until this point the orders rolled are insufficient to push hard and the Stugs and artillery are largely ineffective with a single 25 pounder being pinned to show for it. The British use this reprieve to get some momentum and the reserves flood on
Despite the best efforts of the German Platoon commander he repeatedly fails to get mortars released to him and he and his men are slow wounded and killed until infective. The British advance unmolested. A ray of sunshine as the Stug Ace hits the British Command tank (failed to penetrate the first 2 times) and brews it up. Si learns a harsh lesson as he takes extra chit and loses access to his off table artillery.
Due to the lateness of the hour and the desire to finish this is the last photo it took.
The Germans reinforce the blue house with the last reserve section and hope that the PRT and the 4+ Comms test will come good. It doesn’t and they are wiped out to a man. The British had a head start in chits but the Axis have caught up and both sides are now counting and recounting to see how close to breaking and withdrawing they are.
Next door Matt has been shocking with the artillery and mortars for the entire game, his first game I might add, with the last few orders available he finally comes good; the 120mm battery fire mission lands. The spotting round placed just behind British lead section, it’s a 6 for accuracy, it’s a 1 for deviation and it drops directly on the section. They are the only target in 10”, three more 6’s and a 4 and the outcome is terrible. Dead, they’re all dead, Dave they’re all dead. The chit puts the British over the BR and they withdraw.
It was a good game. The exceptional rolls for reserves and orders at the start combined with infantry in halftracks meant the Germans were able to get men and material in place very quickly. If NDM and I had remembered (or known) at the start that an all objectives held situation was an instant win there was a small chance we could have pulled it off. Si and Neil did well to pull it back into a close run fight. Both sides felt the pinch of a low orders roll at different times in the battle. Two errors of judgement were leaving the British commander exposed for 3 turns of shooting, he took to three hits before being knocked out and he was lucky. For the Germans it was reinforcing the house when it was clear that it would be taken; we lost a squad for no gain.