Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Strike 1

So.... I was a little late on Friday night to games night. Poor planning and some very nice lamb steaks were to blame :-)

Still, it meant I'd left my team mate hanging in what was supposed to be a 2 vs. 2 battle in the desert using Mid War, Flames of War rules (North Africa).

Luckily, they had rolled up Dust-Up as the mission, so my entire force was in reserve. Fair enough :-)

The game was also well underway with British armour boldly advancing against a mixed force of German armour and infantry (the second German force was also fully in reserve).

Things weren't going well for the British unfortunately. I had my chance to join the game.... but no 5's for reserves could be rolled by myself in either turn 3 or 4.

The reserve German armour arrived though...

With their arrival, the game was conceded so we could get onto game two (most of the other British armour was already destroyed).

Meanwhile.... Lee & Brent were facing off against Nick's Germans.

Things looked good for the British, but apparently it was all a deception.... another victory to Germany in the end.

For our second game, we rolled up Fighting Withdrawal.

I would be fielding British Infantry:

Rifle platoon w/ light mortar, sticky bombs
Rifle platoon w/ light mortar
Rifle platoon w/ light mortar
4 25pounders
3 Carriers (1 w/ boys ATR)
3 Valentine Mk II

Ian converted from Armour to Infantry taking (IIRC):

Rifle platoon w/ ATR
Rifle platoon w/ ATR
Rifle platoon w/ ATR
4 2pounder ATG
4 3" mortar
3 Matilda

We were up against a horde of Italian armour and the same mixed bag of German armour & infantry from game 1 (commanded by Andrew & Paul).

The British forces dug in deep and waited for the onslaught to begin.

The Italian forces started to arrive and, much to their commanders chagrin, they all turned out to be Trained platoons! At least they were all confident.

And they were to be driven hard by their German overlord.... ;-)

The schwerpunkt was selected and the tanks lined up. The advance began.

Right up against the most heavily defended part of the British line...

Still, there was no mucking around though. Both the Germans and Italians got straight down to business (Paul & Andrew knew they had 6 turns to get the objective since it was clearly the first that we would remove now they were attacking there).

Effective use of "eyes and ears" by the Italian armoured cars resulted in a few British casualties just prior to the first assault going in...

First blood to the Italians as they destroy the most advanced British platoon. The German infantry also get stuck into the mortars on the hill. Assaults and counter-assaults here are fierce!

Meanwhile, on my flank....  I decide to get a little cheeky with my Carriers and decide that I may as well risk the Valentines...

So, I take on the German armour...

With not much luck... as the German's reveal their deception... the armour isn't the short barreled variants I thought they were, but long barreled!! Uh oh :-)

Back to the other side of the table and the bloody fight for the hill continues, whilst the Italians line up platoon number 2...

Amazingly my Valentines survive, so a quick handbrake turn for one last chance...

One German casualty, but the return fire destroys the Valentines.

On the Italian front, the second assault is launched...

...but disaster! The Italians hadn't noticed the Matildas slowly waddling they way across the battlefield. They're close enough now to provide defensive fire as the Italians roll in.

Suffice to say, the assault is stopped dead in its tracks. The Axis forces concede defeat at this point as they have little left. So, 4 - 3 to the British.

Fair play to Paul & Andrew. Assaulting a large quantity of dug in Veteran infantry was always going to be a tough ask. They played it right though, concentrating on one point..... just not sure why they didn't choose the flank on the other side.... it was rather poorly defended (my bad - I really should have paid more attention to that).

The other option could have been to keep the German armour further over on my flank to stop any movement and keep me pinned down (I was advancing my rifle platoons over to support Ian).

I potentially should have tried to bring my Valentines around the flank with the Carriers rather than getting a bit gung-ho with them, but they kept the Germans occupied for long enough.

All good fun.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.

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