Sunday, 14 April 2013
To make things easier I decided to use a scenario I have run before - the Coulogne one from the Defence of Calais scenario book (with appropriate changes to reflect the kit I actually have available). However, whilst I remembered all the necessary figures and terrain, I managed to forget my proper camera - so please forgive the rather poor pictures from my BlackBerry.
The scenario played out somewhat differently from last time - possibly not least as it was 2 players on an 8 x 6' table last time and 7 players on a 6 x 4' table this time (there was rather more interest than I had originally anticipated). The Germans arrived on blinds, as usual, but this time the blind on other far side of the canal actually contained a platoon.
The initial German assault on Le Colombier took a bit of a pasting from the British troops in the village but the German Panzer IIs outflanked them and the British was caught in a rather painful crossfire. With the Germans running around their left flank the remaining Brits, with the 2 pounder anti-tank gun decided to pull back, but were spotted and were almost wiped out.
The British unit on the hill south of Orphanage Farm initially did well. It revealed the German platoon across the canal and caused some casualties; however, the Germans repeated had lucky return fire and soon the British numbers were dwindling. The Germans tried to bring down their artillery on the hill but the initial ranging shots were uncomfortably close to their own infantry and the Forward Observer chose not to fire for effect! With their casualties increasing the British decided to withdraw from the hill and try to take a position with their Boys anti-tank rifle flanking the German armour. Unfortunately their initial shot only temporarily immobilised one of the Panzer IIIs and revealed their position whereupon they came under some devastating machine gun fire.
Meanwhile the German light armour's advance had stalled in Le Colombier and their infantry was forging ahead without them. The units who had flanked the village were moving through the fields north of Orphanage Farm when the remainder of the British Searchlight HQ unit opened fire on them. The fire caused a couple of casualties but brought down a hail of return fire, including some HE from the Panzer IIIs. With their flank secured the Germans continued to advance and ran straight into an unspotted British section who decimated the lead German squad. Unfortunately the Germans regrouped and poured fire into the Brits, who were forced to withdraw.
The German platoon over the canal had stalled but finally began to advance and their lead unit located the final British platoon, who were positioned to guard the bridge the Germans were trying to cross. The Germans rushed in to assault the first British unit but were thrown back and rest of their platoon began a firefight from across the canal.
With time growing short we had to end the scenario early; however it was quite clear that the British weren't in a position to hold the main German advance for much longer and so I declared the game a German victory despite a valiant attempt by the British.