Emboldened by this, and possibly with the help of a suggestion from up the command chain that when in doubt he should follow the mantra “Bags of Smoke and Flank Left”, Mark started to flank the German strongpoint.
Paul used his Chain of Command dice to stop the turn, ending the barrage, but before he could get his troops back to fighting stance Mark succeeded in not only calling the barrage back in, but getting his Chain of Command dice. There then followed a fairly brutal sequence demonstrating CoC at its best. Mark managed to keep the initiative for three turns, allowing the mortars to do some serious execution and get his flanking assault into position.
A 3 six turn end result was rolled, which would usually cancel the barrage, but Mark now had a Chain of Command dice which he used to keep it shooting. As his assault was about to go in, the German defenders took one shock too many and retreated.
Paul made a quick assessment of his position. Although the mortars would now have to stop, his two remaining squads were already carrying shock and casualties, and he wisely decided to fall back, abandoning the position and leaving 16 Platoon in possession of the field.
I think (hope) even after taking his moment of confusion into consideration, and the Silver PIAT comments, Mark still enjoyed the game. Personally I felt that it was really interesting to watch someone move from a position where he was comfortable with the circumstances to being not quite sure of what to do next as the situation changes and start to run away from him. He regained control with what was pretty much a text book infantry attack - so well done! In some ways this was a good representation of the problems faced by a fresh faced Subaltern in Normandy – without the threat of imminent death or injury I suppose. Maybe next time I should stand behind him with an axe…………………….
I should add thanks to Mark for taking the pics - I managed to forget my camera. He is much more professional at this Blogging thing too - if you have not already check him out at Geordies Big Battles