Heretical Gaming is my blog about my gaming life; currently concentrating on a re-fight of the entire Peninsular War, but with the odd foray into ancient, medieval and WW2 battles.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Operation Martlet (Revisited) - Mission 4: Striking at St. Nicholas

The Scenario: Having broken through the main German defensive position in Fontenay, the British are driving southeast towards Rauray.  The terrain is mainly open and so is largely dominated by the large famrhouse at St. Nicholas.

The Forces: After the bloodbath of last time, both sides are fielding new platoons.  The British could have used the same platoon filled out with replacements (the Germans don't have that option), but I decided the Scots Fusiliers could use a breather, so in come the likely Yorkshiremen from the Duke of Boots...

The British are supplemented with a FOO and 3" mortar battery, 2 Shermans and a fourth Rifle section.  The Germans have an additional rifle group and a PzIVG in support.

The Terrain:

St. Nicholas' farm is centre-right, the Duke of Wellington's Regt will approach from the left (NW).

A closer shot of the farm

And the view along the road
 The Battle:
The British infantry and armour advance by rushes towards the cover; some rough ground to the south of the road, some hedgerows to the north.  Thankfully no Germans were activated straight off, so some good defensive covering positions can be adopted.

The FOO calls in the 3" mortars to fire a smoke mission between the farm and the last hedgerow: with any luck this will allow the Duke's soldiers to advance safely across the large field.  They are still advancing by alternate rushes though: in these rules you must must must have some static fire support ready to suppress enemies that pop up.  Not a bad tip for real life either...

Okay, first action; another German section activated on the right flank (for some reason this regiment of SS Panzer Grenadiers really loves to open up from a flank!); thankfully most of the Yorkshiremen are in reasonable cover

The Germans in turn are hit in the flank from the sections covering amongst the stones to the left; pretty much a replay of the last battle so far, except the Germans opened up at greater distance here so achieved less; the Sherman at the hedgeline is adding to the weight of fire with HE and MG fire.  Thankfully a German panzerfaust actually missed for once!!

Just as the first German section is routed, a second pops up, better protected in a trench this time.  The canny Yorkshremen are still in decent cover though, and again the weight of fire suppresses the Germans

A combination of infantry, tank and mortar fire pummels the German trench and eliminates most of the second German section

The dour Yorkshiremen halt fire for a moment, hoping to unsurpress the Germans, so they will then fail the morale check and run, which they promptly do!


Finally, the German PzIV shows up...amazingly enough, in ambush on the British right!

A close-up of the tank.  My painting doesn't really do it justice, but GHQ tanks are tiny works of beauty!


The Sherman gets off the first shot, but precious good it does it, since it misses the Panzer.

12th SS Panzer seem to have an endless supply of Panzer aces deployed on this front; another 1 shot: 1 kill from the German tank crews!

Luckily the second Sherman did manage to knock out the Panzer!
The British assault the last Germans, defending the farm; although the position is strong, the combination of superior numbers and combined infantry, tank and mortar fire prove too much for the Germans after the initial fire destroyed a British rifle group (Truly attentive readers will notice that is photo is out of synch and should be before the previous one, but both actions were happening pretty much concurrently) 
The victorious British advance!
Losses:
British : 1 Sherman, 1 Rifle Group, 1 LMG Team
Germans: 1 PzIV, 3 Rifle Groups, 4 LMG Teams

Game Notes:
Very similar to the previous game in many ways, although the slightly greater distances played into the British hands, since the results of the intial German fires was suppression rather than destruction (except in the case of the unfortunate Sherman!).  Otherwise, the same notes apply and I think strengthen the case for revisiting the MG fire.  When I first played this campaign I rather though the issue was the randomness of the Threat Generation system, but now I am pretty convinced that it is the relative weakness of German LMG fire.  The Germans again suffered very severe casulties, and there are still two missions to go.  I'm not sure that they can afford another mission like that one...

Figures still by Baccus 6mm, the Shermans and PzIVG from GHQ, the buildings from Leven Miniatures and Timecast. Rules by WRG.  Played on a 3'x2' homemade mat, using a 1":10m ground scale.

4 comments:

  1. I am sure the second edition of the WRG rules treat German Belt fed MGs as a GPMG team which has a longer range and improved stats. Might be worth having a look at those stats?

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  2. I think that you are right, I will do, hopefully before the next campaign (I have finished this one, although I haven't finished writing up all the reports yet).

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  3. Another great fight man, thanks for posting. Looked like a good one for your troops, but it seems a bit easier than it was in real life. It sounds like you've pinpointed what could be the problem. I think the Germans need some indirect fire support as well!

    V/R,
    Jack

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  4. Yes, I'm reasonably convinced that I have. Too late for this campaign (I have finished all the battles, just haven't written them up yet) but I will take a little time and do some playtesting and try and find a copy of the 2nd edition of these rules to see how they differ in this regard.

    I think the Germans do need some indirect fire support as well! On the other hand, the German Panzers have been reasonably effective too. And I don't think they have enough support points to get both...

    The first time I played with this system, I didn't use the points but just randomly generated German stuff that could have turned up. Not dissimilar to Nuts! in fact, so in theory really strong defensive forces could be generated. But the problem with that was that in practice I kept on generating defensive lines that would be something like a sniper, a tank, a medic, a mine-clearance team and an adjutant in a Kubelwagen or something...

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