Sunday, 16 February 2014

We have started to play a Chain of Command Campaign, taken straight from the "At the Sharp End" Campaign book just published by TFL. The campaign covers a British infantry attack on the village of Maltot, at the foot of the much contested Hill 112 over the period 21-22 July 1944.

Our first scenario was a really interesting game, with me playing the rather concerned Lt Gilchrist, and his opponent Feldwebel Platzer by Paul. All the figures are Valiant Miniatures in their much debated 1:72 \ 25mm scale, terrain is from Hartlepool Wargames Club's collection, plus some of our own 

Lt Gilchrist and 12 Platoon fought a patrol action against Willi Platzer and his platoon as the light faded in the cornfields between Eterville and Maltot. As the whole table was covered in corn up to waist high we decided to treat this as light cover, which was handy as the only other cover was a few low hedges and fences that marked field boundaries. Sadly we were devoid of suitable terrain to represent cornfields - so the table looks a bit bare. Memo to self - need cornfields
Gilchrist brought 12 Plt and an extra 2" mortar team,
Platzer had a sniper allocated to him.

Gilchrist got the better of the patrol \ deployment phase and set up a pretty good ambush \ crossfire,

Only to have this cancelled by a very timely "turn end" result - damn, must be the fading light! This allowed the Germans to deploy and advance unmolested
Foiled in the initial plan, the Brits did manage however to combine the fire of several Bren guns onto the leading German Squad, which suffered some casualties.
Sgt Taylor and his squad were manoeuvring to try and flank the German position using copious amounts of 2" smoke.
Feldwebel Platzer made the decision to withdraw his patrol before he suffered more serious casualties.

Final result was a British win.12 Platoon suffered no casualties, which has slightly improved Gilchrist's standing with both his men and his CO, and as he settles down to sleep tonight his own personal outlook has moved from "Thoughtful" to "Content"

Back in Maltot, Platzer is counting the cost. Two men dead, plus four wounded, mainly from 3rd Squad, who got caught in the corn by a crossfire of Bren guns, although two, including Unteroffizer Bub from 2nd squad will be back in action in the morning, The others have been sent to the Aid Post further back in the village. Bub is sitting in his dugout telling tall stories to his mates with a bandaged arm - he will be sore in the morning but a couple of inches to the right....

There is also a Landser from 3rd Squad unaccounted for, lost in the confusion as the Platoon fell back. As for Platzer himself, the Bttn CO is not as yet worried, although Wili knows this could change, His standing with his troops has improved slightly because they value an officer with the common sense to quit when things are starting to go wrong, so on the whole he remains "Content" in his outlook too. 

Turn Two has yet to be arranged, but it will be Gilchrist and 12 Platoon probing the outpost line held by Platzer and his men at Lieu de la France, a walled farm.Gilchrist has some good support options, Platzer has less but has the advantage of defending and some prepared positions.

The campaign format is really interesting. Paul (Platzer) withdrew before his platoon took too many casualties, where in a "normal" game we would have ground on and the game may have been different, I think this was a very good decision as he gets very few replacements and heavy losses early in the campaign will seriously damage his chances.

1 comment:

  1. Early days in the campaign, when you can move from Rookie to Veteran by virtue of surviving an engagement

    The Germans seem to be trading space time for time to drop back to better defensive positions

    Better write off a quick letter Gilchrist you never know when you will get another chance ;)

    As for Platzer, best find some coffee to raise the troops morale, it's going to be a long campaign