Matt chose his supports and did indeed bring a Lorraine Schlepper assault gun along with an extra squad and MMG, I managed an extra squad and MMG along with my only anti-tank a PIAT team, I had high hopes I could use these guys in an ambush. Just as we had sorted this mate Rob popped in for a visit, he saw the table set up and volunteered to help me play the game, this was really good news, Matt had made his choices and I passed his orders on to Rob, all that was left was to play the game.
Rob turned up on Saturday around noon and we set to. Rob came through the orchard with three squads and the MMG, the last squad made for the Cafe Normandie on the left flank. I had meanwhile set up my MMG in a house at the edge of the village and therefore had the Jerry left flank covered, hence most of them ended up on the right flank. I also set my two Bren squad in the ruined house also on the edge of the village, during the game this house got the moniker 'the house of death'. The squad in the house began trading fire with the main German line and slowly but surely started to wither without really handing out very much punishment on the grenadiers. I brought a second squad on and started to use the mortar to bring down smoke to help the defenders, a little later I brought on a third squad on my left and made my way through the woods to near the surrounding wall.
|House of Death|
|More Paras turn up.|
|SPG turns up and targeted by smoke rounds.|
At this point the self propelled gun turned up and added its considerable firepower against the ruined house, I now had no choice but to get my surviving men out of the line of fire and therefore withdrew the few still standing down to the ground floor. I now deployed my last squad in the empty upper floor, and yes they too began to suffer from the sheer volume of fire aimed at them. Thankfully I managed to keep putting smoke down in front of the Schlepper preventing it from dominating the battlefield. I at last managed to get a full Chain of Command dice and launched my PIAT team in an ambush, the lads hit the monster but only stunned the crew for one phase, I was a tad disappointed. Rob now took an aggressive stance and moved two squads forward, one I think he wanted to assault the surviving Paras in 'the house of death' with. This came at the same time I advanced my own left flank squads (getting a very handy double phase) and the resulting fire halted and eventually broke the rash panzergrenadiers, German morale fell.
|Germans advance on their right.|
|Grenadiers heading for the ruined house.|
|Paras advance and clear the field.|
Despite this my own morale also fell as the last defenders of the ruined house fled for the rear, my PIAT team also died as Rob interrupted their last chance at taking out the SPG, I needed something to happen quick before his armour once again dominated. I managed to advance and clear out most of the enemy on the north/south road and was very close to an enemy Jump Off Point, with his last phase Rob got ready to repel this move. It was now my turn and I got an exceptional run of luck, I got three sixes, ended the turn (lifting off all non rallied troops and leaders) and of course getting a second phase with which to take the JOP and get into a good position to attack the last German squad on the road. German morale now failed, we shook hands and I gave a sigh of relief, the Orne Bridges were now safe, the engineers can remove the demolition charges.
|Behind British lines.|
|Behind German lines.|
|The tide turns.|
So ended a very good game, casualties were very heavy on both sides being around 30%. We both took advantage of opportunities to advance on the enemy and it was just fate that Robs ran into trouble while I managed to take advantage of a couple of decent double phases. I think this campaign would be more suited for face to face play rather than solo, having said that it has again been enjoyable and a big thanks to Matt for playing von Luck and Rob for taking part yesterday.
Duncan 'the Pakman' turned up in a Willys Jeep to watch the proceedings, god knows what the neighbours thought of it parked outside.
Right, my new tanks are now finished, I really enjoyed building and painting these, Rubicon have more models on the way which I might pick up but not for now. Next up is the extra para Squad and the Prussians for the Waterloo exhibit, what will it be after that, we will see.
I see the Covid scaremongering continues so I am resigned to not playing at the club until possibly late next year, if this changes I shall be very surprised.