Wednesday, 21 May 2014

20C - A Bridge To Far - The Battle for Belgium

A Bridge To Far

German briefing and forces
“Alright Strudel, it is time to go on the offensive. Have you heard about Operation Beer Garden?”

“No General, although I like the sound of it!”

“Grow up Strudel! We have launched an offensive to get past the British lines. But all these rivers and canals in Belgium mean that by the time we breach one defence line the British have established a new one at the next river. To get past this we are going to drop the DLK on the next two bridges. This will open a corridor through the British lines breaking them wide open and we can head straight to Brussels. Do you understand?”

“Yes General, will they be hot LZ’s?”

“No, the British don’t suspect anything. This is your chance to show the value of the DLK on the offensive. So a lot is riding on this! Your career for starters!”

“I understand General. I will not fail you!”

“Strudel, you have the following forces”
                                                                 Quantity x point cost
DLK Platoons plus LMG                                            2 x 22    44 points
DLK mixed platoon of HMG & Mortars                     1 x 8       8 points
Infantry Platoons plus flamethrowers                          3 x 20    60 points
Artillery Battery                                                           1 x 28       28 points
                                                                           Total      140 points
“General, can I have some Flyers for cover and as mobile artillery?”

“Strudel, they have taken heavy casualties and are re-grouping. You will have to do without any flyers this time!”


British Briefing and forces

“Haggis, I know you have been re-grouping your men and tanks for the next offensive. However, the Germans have broken through and yours are the only forces available at short notice. I need you to cover two bridge crossings before the Germans get there. It should be a walk in the park. As soon as the Germans see you there they will stop and wait to bring up reinforcements. Any questions?”

“Aye General, no opposition is expected. You know that this will delay our offensive?”

“Haggis, we are stretched everywhere. The salient at Kortrijk is expected to come under heavy attack by the French any day now. We need you to do this. Once you secure the bridges an infantry force will be sent to hold them long term.”

“Yes General. It will be done."

“Very well Haggis, I will assign the following forces to the defense.”

                                                                          Quantity x point cost
Male Tanks                                                                     2 x 28    56 points
Female Tank                                                                   1 x 28    28 points
Infantry                                                                            3 x 18    54 points

                                                                                          Total      138 points



Note on the game board
The terrain for this game is unusual. Each of the rivers is covered by trees on each side so that the only Line of Sight (LOS) is that near each of the bridges. This mean to engage the enemy on the next board you need to be on or near the bridge before your will be able to see them. Effectively this breaks up the game into three separate areas, Board 1, Board 2 and Board 3.

The Germans need to capture the Bridge between boards 2 and 3 to win the game. The British need to stop the Germans at the bridge between board 1 and 2, or failing this hold the bridge between board 2 and 3. A draw will be if both sides hold one bridge each.

For both players speed is of the essence. While the Germans will have the advantage once they get all their troops involved, the bridges will slow their deployment. The British need to capture the bridges before the Germans can bring their forces to bear.

British Plan

General Haggis sends 2 tanks and platoons across board 3 and one across board 2, reasoning that once he has secured the bridge between board 2 and 3, the forces there can move forward to assist the forces holding the bridge between boards 1 and 2.

German Plan

Strudel drops his DLK platoons, one at the closest bridge and the second at the further bridge together with the mixed platoon of 2 mortars and 1 HMG. An observer also drops with the mortars.

Each DLK drop goes reasonably well with only 5 infantry and 1 LMG lost into the canals at each bridge.
The three infantry platoons raced towards the first bridge.
The artillery are deployed off board as they will never be able to keep up with the advance. Their forward observer follows the first platoon.

Photo of initial positions.










In the descriptions of the turns, firing is shown as it is rolled for.
The number of shots equals the number of shots the unit can potentially make which is dependent on its weapons, what targets are in its line of sight, the range and whether or not it will move.
Fire means how many shots are actually made, this is dependent on the unit’s training.
Hits is the number of enemy that are hit, and this depends on the firing unit’s weapons’ fire power compared to the defending unit’s armour.
Dead showing how many of the hits were not able to make their natural save and / or cover save.



Turn 1
German Fire Phase
Nil

British Close Combat Phase
None.

German Movement Phase
The German infantry move towards the first bridge.
The DLK at the first bridge deploy towards the woods with a reserve in the buildings.
The DLK at the second bridge move towards the outskirts of the ruined village. The observer for the mortars moves to a secure position with good views of the road.

British Fire Phase
None


German Close Combat Phase
None

British Movement Phase
The British on both boards head towards the bridges.







Turn 2
German Fire Phase
The Mortar observer calls in fire on the British tank he can see but the mortars fail to fire.

British Close Combat Phase
None.

German Movement Phase
The Infantry continue their head long rush to the first bridge while the DLK consolidate in their positions from their scattered drop.

British Fire Phase
A British tank’s LMG tries to fire at some DLK but can’t get a shot off.

German Close Combat Phase
None

British Movement Phase
The British continue towards the bridges, taking advantage of cover from hills.
At the first bridge they close to within close combat assault range of the defending DLK.






Turn 3
German Fire Phase
Board 3
Mortars fire at male tank Shots 2 but don’t fire.
DLK Infantry and LMG at infantry Shots 21, Fire 8, Hit 4, Dead 4. Strudel growls in frustration.
Board 2
DLK infantry and LMG at infantry Shots 30, Fire 22, Hit 16, Dead 13
Haggis swears when he sees the platoon decimated.

British Close Combat Phase
Board 2
The British, undaunted by their losses close assault the DLK
British attack      16 fire, hit 12, 10 dead
Germans counter attack 10 fire, 7 hit, 7 dead
British continue their attack 10 fire, 5 hit, 5 dead.
Germans hold firm and return fire 10 fire, 6 hits, 6 dead.
The British, with only 4 men remaining must retreat.

German Movement Phase
The Infantry race towards the bridge and the leading platoon starts to cross, but the difficulty in getting three platoons across just one narrow bridge quickly becomes apparent.

British Fire Phase
Board 3
Tank Male fires at DLK infantry;
               Canon   2 shots, 2 fire, 1 miss and 1 hit, 2 dead.
               LMG       3 shots, 1 fires, no hits and no dead.
Female tank fires at DLK infantry 12 shots, 7 fire, 7 hit and 4 dead

German Close Combat Phase
None

British Movement Phase
Board 3 infantry advance around the tanks towards the bridge.



  



Turn 4
German Fire Phase
Board 3
Infantry and LMG at infantry        Shots 33, fire 14, Hit 11, Dead 11
Mortars at Male tank      Shots 2, fire 1, Hit the tank and it is immobilised. Strudel is relieved. That leaves only one tank on Board 3.

British Close Combat Phase
None.

German Movement Phase
The leading Infantry platoon crosses the first bridge and head towards the second bridge.
The remaining DLK move towards the tank to close assault it.

British Fire Phase
Board 3
Male Tank fires at DLK infantry
               Canon   Shots 2, fire 1, misses
               LMG       Shots 6, fire 4, hit 4, dead 2.
Infantry moving at infantry Shots 12, Fire 6, Hit 5, Dead 2.

Strudel curses, the DLK are being whittled away. will they last until the infantry relieve them.

Board 2
Male Tank fires at DLK infantry
               Canon   Shots 2, fire 2, 2 hits 3 dead
               LMG       Shots 9, fire 6, hit 4, dead 4.

German Close Combat Phase
None

British Movement Phase
Board 3 the infantry and the female tank advance.



 



Turn 5
German Fire Phase
Board 3
Mortar at infantry  Shots 2, Fire 2, one shot goes long and misses, the other is short but still hits 6 infantry  and kills them.
HMG at infantry Shots 3, Fire 1, Hits 1, Dead 1.
Infantry (moving) at Infantry Shots 14, Fire 8, Hits 4, Dead 4.
Board 2
DLK Infantry fire grenades at the tank, Shots 4, Fire 3, Hits 2, 1 is no effect and 1 Immobilises the tank. A relief for the oncoming German platoons, at lest they won't be run over.

British Close Combat Phase
None.

German Movement Phase
Board 3 the DLK move back into the ruins to escape the British fire.
Board 1 & 2, the infantry continue to deploy over the bridge.

British Fire Phase
Board 3, with no line of sight to the Germans the British have no targets.
Board 2
Tank fires LMG at DLK Shots 6, Fire 6, Hits 5, Dead 4
The canon is fired at the German infantry in columns. Shots 2, Fire 1, Hits 5, Dead 5.

German Close Combat Phase
None

British Movement Phase
Board 3 the tank and infantry advance to the ruins.


 





Turn 6
German Fire Phase
Board 3
Mortars at Infantry Shots 2, Fire 1, Hit 6, Dead 6
HMG at Infantry Shots 3, Fire 1, Hit 1, Dead 1
Board 2
The Observer calls in fire on the Tank. Shots 2, Fire 2, but both shots go wide.
Flamethrowers in the first infantry platoon open fire at the tank. Shots 2, Fire 2, 1 hit has no effect but the second hit does and the tank explodes in a fireball. Strudel beams, the first bridge is firmly secured and the way is open to the last Bridge.

British Close Combat Phase
Board 3
Infantry close assault the forward observer for the mortars, destroying him immediately. The other infantry can’t close assault as they do not have a line of sight to their opposition.

German Movement Phase
Board 3
The DLK continue their retreat. (or "retrograde tactical positioning")
Board 2
The leading infantry platoon race towards the final Bridge in a desperate attempt to relieve the DLK. The second platoon is crossing the first bridge.

British Fire Phase Board 3
Infantry at infantry Shots 6, Fire 3, Hit 3, Dead 2.

German Close Combat Phase
None

British Movement Phase
The British move towards the final Bridge, trying to catch and eliminate the DLK before the German infantry gets there. The female tank re-positions so that the immobilised male tank can fire.

       





Turn 7
German Fire Phase
Board 3
HMG fires at infantry Shots 3, Fire 2, Hit 2, Dead 1 with 1 saved by the cover of the ruins.

British Close Combat Phase
Board 3
Infantry assault the HMG, Fire 8, Hit 5 Dead 1 – the HMG falls under the weight of the assault.

German Movement Phase
Board 3
The mortars move across the Bridge to escape the advancing British.
Board 2
The infantry platoons race forward.

British Fire Phase
Board 3
Immobilised Tank has line of sight to the DLK in the ruins and fires
          LMG Shots 3, Fire 2, Hit 2, Dead 1
          Canon Shots 1 but does not fire
Female tank fires it’s HMGs on one side at the DLK in the ruins, Shots 6, Fire 6, Hit 6, Dead 1 –

Haggis curses his luck.

German Close Combat Phase
None

British Movement Phase
Board 3
The Infantry advance into the ruins for a final assault on the DLK

    




Turn 8
German Fire Phase
No targets

British Close Combat Phase
None.

German Movement Phase
Board 3
DLK hide from the immobilised tank.
Board 2
Mortars take up new positions overlooking the Bridge.
Infantry platoons race forward. The second platoon is nearly over the first bridge and the third platoon starts its advance.

British Fire Phase
Female tank fires at DLK. Shots 6, Fire 4, Hit 2, Dead 1.

German Close Combat Phase
None

British Movement Phase
The two platoons advance in a co-ordinated assault on the remnants of the DLK hiding in the ruins.


 





Turn 9
German Fire Phase
Board 3
DLK fires at one of the infantry platoons Shots 21, Fire 11, Hit 9, Dead 7.
Board 2
Mortars at Infantry Shots 2, Fire 2, 1 Hit and 1 miss, Dead 2

British Close Combat Phase
Infantry assault the DLK    Fire 12, Hit 7, Dead 5. With less than 10 men left the DLK remnants flee into the ruins.
German Movement Phase
The Infantry platoons race forward. The first platoon is within sight of the Bridge. The second platoon is across the first bridge entirely and the third platoon finally starts its crossing.

British Fire Phase
Infantry (moving) fire at DLK Shots 7, Fire 7, Hits 5, Dead 4
Infantry not moving at DLK Shots 6, Fire 4, Hit 4, Dead 1 – the DLK is eliminated.
Immobilised tank fires at the German infantry on Board 2.
Canon Shots 1, Fire 1, Hits 5, Dead 5
LMG Shots 3, Fire 1, Hit 1 Dead 1


German Close Combat Phase
None

British Movement Phase
Infantry platoon moves closer to cover the bridge.







Turn 10
German Fire Phase
Mortars at Infantry   Shots 2, Fire 0

British Close Combat Phase
None.

German Movement Phase
Infantry advance across the second bridge - finally they make it, but too late for the DLK.
The second platoon races forward and the third platoon is moving across the first bridge.

Maybe the Germans will snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

British Fire Phase
Immobilised tank at the leading infantry column Canon Shots 1, Fire 0, LMG Shots 3, Fire 2, Hit 2, Dead 2
Female Tank at Infantry Shots 6, Fire 2, Hit 2, Dead 2
Infantry at infantry on bridge Shots 4, Fire 2, Hits 0,
Infantry at infantry on bridge Shots 22, Fire 16, Hits 9, Dead 9

German Close Combat Phase
None

British Movement Phase
None







Turn 11
German Fire Phase
The Forward Observer calls in Artillery fire on the immobilised tank but there is no response.
Mortars fire at the infantry but miss.
Infantry on the bridge, moving, fire at the British in the ruins. Shots 4, Fire 3, Hit 2, Dead 1.

British Close Combat Phase
The British infantry counter attack the Germans to drive them back across the Bridge.
British Fire 6 Hit 5 Dead 5.
The Germans with less than 10 men left must retreat.

German Movement Phase
The two remaining infantry platoons move forwards but it does look like they have fallen short.

British Fire Phase
Immobilised Tank at Infantry on road Canon Shots 1, Fire 0. LMG Shots 3, Fire 3, Hit 3, Dead 3.
Infantry moving, fire at mortars, Shots 8, Fire 7, Hit 5, Dead 1.

German Close Combat Phase
None

British Movement Phase
The British advance to cover all the approaches to the bridge. The female tank is firmly in place with all HMGs aimed at the bridge.

End.
There is no further hope for the Germans and the attack is called off. It definitely was “A Bridge Too Far!”








































Epilogue
Haggis reports to the General. “We lost one bridge general but gave the Germans a bloody nose. The losses were very serious. Only one tank left fully operational and the infantry reduced from 90 to 20 men!”
“Haggis, the losses are acceptable. You have saved the day and we can begin our assault on the French at Kortrijk”

In the German camp the faces were very down cast. “We nearly made it General. If only the DLK had held out slightly longer. It was just so hard to funnel so many troops over a single bridge!”

“The DLK platoons were eliminated. One of the infantry platoons was eliminated, one was barely engaged and lost 3 men, and one did not even see a shot fired in anger”

“Well as long as you take full responsibility for the failure of the plan Strudel! I guess I can forgive you. Next for the DLK is the race for the Dyle! The French have left an important bridge over the Dyle near Wavre undefended. It is your job to take it and hold it!”

“Yes General”

Outside, Strudel called to Sargent Forrest – “Blacky! Another undefended bridge and  LZ to capture! Get the new troops to ready. We head out in 2 days!”

Sargent Forrest thought. “Great. Another undefended LZ, losses expected 100%.”

Saturday, 12 April 2014

20C - To the Green Fields Beyond Ham - The Battle for Belgium

Part of the Battle for Belgium Series. The English are attacking the German lines outside of Ham seeking to break through to "the Green Fields Beyond"

English briefing and forces

General Baddington called in Captain Haggis for his briefing. “Haggis, Ham is the centre point of the German lines. It is also the Achilles heel of the Ham-Burger line. I want you to breakthrough to the green fields beyond Ham.”
“Aye, General it will done!”
“Haggis, you have the following forces”
Tanks Female 2 x 28 = 56
Infantry Platoons 3 x 18 = 54
Mortar Platoon 1 x 9  =  9
HMG Platoon 1 x 5  =  5
Total        124 points

German Briefing and forces

“Captain Burger, we have received intelligence that the English are going to attack our lines at Ham. They must not breakthrough to the green fields of Ham!!.
“General, I, Captain Burger will hold Ham or die there!”
“Burger, your nation is trusting you, so do not fail. Your forces are:”
Trenches 2 x 15 = 30
Infantry with flamethrowers and torpedo men 2 x 22 = 44
Artillery 1 x 28 = 28
Total 102 points



Photo of initial positions.


Haggis's plan was to concentrate on the right hand flank. Both tanks and two of the infantry platoons were to capture the German trench and then move into the town of Ham. Once outflanked he was sure the Germans would retreat on the left.
The left flank would be held by one infantry platoon supported by the HMGs.
The mortars would stay out of sight and their observer would concentrate fire on any heavy weapons.

Captain Burger split his defences equally across the front. With only two infantry platoons he was not able to create a reserve. To deal with the threat of the English tanks he kept his artillery on board where it could fire directly.


In the descriptions of the turns, firing is shown as it is rolled for.

The number of shots equals the number of shots the unit can potentially make which is dependent on its weapons, what targets are in its line of sight, the range and whether or not it will move.
Fire means how many shots are actually made, this is dependent on the unit’s training.
Hits is the number of enemy that are hit, and this depends on the firing unit’s fire power compared to the defending unit’s armour.
Dead showing how many were not able to make their natural save or cover save.

Turn 1
English Fire Phase
The Mortar’s open fire using their observer on the hill.
Mortars fire at Artillery on Left Shots 3, Fire 2, Hits 1, Dead 1  Burger curses, the battle just began and half his artillery is gone. Haggis smiles, “this is how it works” he says to himself.
The HMGs open up on the infantry on the left. Shots 9, fire 7, Hits 7, 2 dead.

German Close Combat Phase
None.

English Movement Phase
The Tanks advance while the infantry remain in cover.

German Fire Phase
With only the tanks in sight the remaining artillery piece opens up.
Artillery at tank, Shot 1, Fire 1, Hits 1, but no effect, Burger curses and Haggis breathes deeply.

English Close Combat Phase
None

German Movement Phase
None



Turn 2
English Fire Phase
Mortars at remaining artillery. Shots 3, Fire 2, Hits 1 but no effect. The 2nd shot falls short onto three German infantry killing 1.
HMGs at Infantry (right) Shots 9, Fire 8, Hits 8 but only 1 dead as the infantry hide in their trenches.

German Close Combat Phase
None

English Movement Phase
Tanks advance further and the infantry come out in support.

German Fire Phase
Artillery at tank Shots 1, Fire 1, Hits 1, the round penetrates the armour and the tank is immobilised. Burger cheers, some good news, Haggis curses.
Flamethrowers fire at the tanks but cannot get their machines to ignite and fail to fire.

English Close Combat Phase
None

German Movement Phase
The German infantry hug their trenches.

No photo.

Turn 3

English Fire Phase
Mortars fire at artillery  Shots 3, Fire 2, Hits 1 but no effect.
Immobilised tank fires three guns at artillery Shots 9, Fire 5, Hits 3 but no effect
It then fires one gun at the infantry Shots 3, Fire 3, Hits 2 Dead 2.
HMGs fire at the infantry on the left Shots 9, Fire 3, Hits 3 and 2 dead.

German Close Combat Phase
None

English Movement Phase
Infantry and remaining mobile tank advance.

German Fire Phase
Artillery at Tank Shots 1, Fire 1, hits 0.
Flamethrowers once again fail to fire.
Infantry fire at the English they can see.
German Right hand side Shots 37, Fire 20, Hits 11 and 11 dead.
German Left hand side Shots 24, fire 7, Hits 4 and 4 dead – Burger screams at his troops to stand in their trenches and fire.

English Close Combat Phase
None

German Movement Phase
None

No Photo

Turn 4

English Fire Phase
Mortars fire at Artillery Shots 3, Fire 2, a miss and Hit but the hit has no effect.
HMG at Infantry on left Shots 9, Fire 5, Hits 4 and Dead 3
English Infantry on left fire while moving Shots 16, Fire 8, 6 hits and Dead 4.
Immobilised Tanks fires at Infantry Shots 12, Fire 8, 7 Hits but only 1 Dead as the German infantry duck into their trenches.

German Close Combat Phase
None

English Movement Phase
Tank overruns the flamethrower in front of it and crushes it.
Infantry advance on both sides. On the English right they move towards the crater for protection. On the Left they head towards the German trenches.

German Fire Phase
Artillery fires at the moving tank, Shots 1, Fire 1, Hits 1 penetrates the armour but only damages the weapons.
Flamethrower finally fires at the immobilised tank, Shots 1, Fire 1, Hit 1 but does not have any effect
German Right Infantry fire Shots 40, Fire 20, Hits 15, Dead 15. The English platoon is down to its last few men.
Left infantry fire Shots 37, Fire 17, Hits 10 Dead 7

English Close Combat Phase
none

German Movement Phase
Torpedo men advance.



Turn 5

English Fire Phase
Immobilised Tank at Infantry Shots 12, Fire 9, Hits 9, Dead 4
Infantry (remain 6) Shots 12, Fire 10, Hits 8 Dead 2
Infantry Moving Shots 6, Fire 4, Hits 2 Dead 1
Mortars fire at Artillery Shots 3, Fire 2, Hits 2, but no effect – Haggis curses
HMGs at infantry Shots 9, Fire 7, Hits 7, Dead 6

German Close Combat Phase
None

English Movement Phase
Tank overruns the torpedo man and two infantry as it advances towards the artillery.
Infantry on English left advances for the assault on the German trenches.
Infantry on the English right moves to the lip of the crater to fire.

German Fire Phase
Artillery at Tank – its last chance- Shots 1, Fire 1, Hits 1 but no effect. – Burger curses the metal monstrosity.
Flamethrower at immobilised tank, Shots 1, Fire 1, Hit 1 but no effect.
German Right platoon fires at advancing English infantry Shots 22, Fire 12, Hits 11 and 11 dead.
German Left platoon fires at infantry in crater Shots 26, Fire 13, Hits 11 Dead 6 as the English take cover.

English Close Combat Phase
None

German Movement Phase
Torpedo men head for the tank.


A view from the trenches


Turn 6

English Fire Phase
Haggis knows that this is the time on which the battle will be decided. He needs the infantry to close assault the German trenches this turn so the fire needs to be accurate.
Immobilised Tank at Infantry Shots 12, Fire 2, Hits 1, Dead 0
Infantry (remain 6) Shots 12, Fire 8, Hits 6 Dead 0
Infantry Moving Shots 13, Fire 9, Hits 7 Dead 2
Haggis curses, this means the troops may be slaughtered in the open.
The mortars target the infantry Shots 3, Fire 1, Hits 1, dead 2
On the right hand flank.
HMGs at infantry Shots 9, Fire 6, Hits 5 Dead 3
Infantry in crater Shots 22, Fire 16, Hits 12, 9 Dead

German Close Combat Phase
None

English Movement Phase
Tank overruns the artillery and some infantry.
The Infantry advance so that they can close assault but Haggis fears there will not be enough left after the German fire.

German Fire Phase
German Right fire at close assaulting Infantry Shots 16, Fire 5, Hits 5 Dead 5.
Haggis can’t believe his luck.
German Left fire at infantry in Crater Shots 10, Fire 6, Hits 6 Dead 4.

English Close Combat Phase
The British Infantry close assault the German line. Shots 14, Fire 14, Hits 7 Dead 7.
With less than 10 men left the Germans must retreat.

German Movement Phase
Torpedo man advances towards the tank. 



Turn 7

English Fire Phase
Haggis knows the battle is won. Only a few Germans remain and they are all destroyed by the final blast of fire from the remaining British troops.


English De-Briefing
“Haggis, you did a great job. An excellent attack with perfect all arms co-ordination!”
“Thank you General but I will need reinforcements to hold the line.
Of my original troops.
Infantry Platoon 1 has gone from 30 men to 8
Infantry Platoon 2 has gone from 30 men to 6
Infantry Platoon 3 has gone from 30 men to 14
One tank has been immobilised and the other one’s weapons are damaged.
Only the HMGs and Mortars are still intact.”


German De-briefing
The General wrote to the family of Captain Burger. His wish to die to defend his country granted along with that of his fellow soldiers. Never mind thought the General, I will organise a counter attack and Ham will soon be back in our hands, Burger or no Burger.

Monday, 31 March 2014

20C Bastogne The Battle for Belgium

Part of the Battle for Belgium Series. The Germans need to stop the French surprise tank breakthrough through the "tank proof" Ardennes. All they have is some infantry and their reserve of paratroops. Will it be enough?

German Briefing.
General Gotterdammerung is briefing Captain Strudel of the DLK.
“The French have sent a lightning thrust through the Ardennes. It has smashed through our forward positions. We had thought that the Ardennes was tank proof but we were wrong! “
“We need you to defend the town of Bastogne and its cross roads or the French will outflank us and the whole front will collapse!”
“General you can rely on me. What are our current forces there?”
“Strudel, we have scrapped together a single platoon of infantry with some flamethrowers and torpedo men. They are entrenched just south of Bastogne, covering the approaches. There is a HMG platoon with them plus a battery of Artillery.”
“General, I will drop with my men on Bastogne immediately. It may be a hot LZ so can I have a squadron of flyers to provide landing cover?”
“Strudel, because of the importance of this mission, Captain Rich Toffee’s squadron has already been put on alert and will escort your zeppelin to Bastogne and cover the drop.”
“Thank you General. You can rely on the Deutsch Luft Korp!”

On his way out Strudel shouts to his sergeant “Lock and load Forrest, we lift in ten minutes – drop is Bastogne and it might be a hot LZ– get the men ready!”
 “And Forrest, one other thing – don’t forget the music!”

Sergeant Forrest (Blacky to his men) went to get the platoon ready and baby sit the two flamethrowers who had just been assigned to the DLK from the army. He wasn’t looking forward to dropping with them. They can explode just walking around.
One of his men asked “Sarge what music is the Captain talking about?”
“Oh, he likes his Wagner our Captain does. He likes The Ride of the Valkyries good and loud just as we drop”
“I don’t like Wagner Sarge. Can we play something else? How about a polka?”
“Tell you what Private. When you’re Captain you can play what you want! Now lock your weapon and load your chute and stop wasting my time!”

German Defence Group
1 x Infantry Platoon & 2 Flamethrowers & 2 Torpedo men 22 points
1 x HMG Platoon              5 points
1 x Artillery plus Observer              28 points
1 x Trenches       15 points
1 x Flyers squadron          12 points
1 x DLK Platoon + 2 LMG +2 Flamethrowers            26 points
                              Total      108 points


The German Plan
The DLK dropped just prior to turn 1, avoiding a hot LZ so there was no wind assistance from the French player. Nonetheless, one soldier was lost.
Strudel told the infantry platoon to hold as long as it could and then withdraw to the ruined church. Meanwhile the DLK would consolidate in the rest of the town. The HMG would support and the Observer would cover from the southernmost part of the town. If the French looked like they would advance past the trenches the Observer would move back to the church. The flyers were to disrupt any breakthrough attempt by the French.



French Briefing
“OK Camembert, we have broken through the Prussian lines. You are to lead the exploitation force. Usual armoured assault group. Your target is Bastogne and the cross roads. Once we control them we can threaten the rear of the Prussian forces on both sides and cause a general retreat in this sector. If we move fast enough we may even surround a division or two. This is great times Camembert – don’t fail!”
“General, I will not fail. What is my likely opposition?”
“Very minimal at this time if you move fast! This is “La Guerre ├ęclair”!!” – (the French Army’s doctrine of Lightning War)
“And Camembert, we have had to replace the motor cycles with a Bike squadron? OK?”
“That is fine General. I am sure I will find a use for them!” Probably as entertainment he thought to himself.


French Assault Group
3 Infantry platoons plus LMGs      21 points each = 63 points
4 tanks                                                              12 points each = 48 points
1 Bike squadron                               10 points = 10 points
1 taxi group                                                     5 points = 5
                                                            Total   126 points

French Plan
Camembert planned to over run the trenches in front of him with an infantry assault of two platoons supported by the tanks. The Infantry platoon in the taxi’s would then follow the tanks through before disembarking before the first objective. Meanwhile, the bicycle squadron would manoeuvre around the right hand side of the battlefield and try to scout the enemy and take up positions to assist the following infantry.
PHOTO 1






Turn 1
French Fire Phase
No targets so no firing.

French Movement
Infantry advance through the woods in front of them.
Two tanks move up the road between the two woods and two around the left flank.
The bike squadron races up the right flank.

German Fire
The French infantry are at the edge of the wood so the German infantry open fire. With 40 possible shots, 25 fire and they get 21 hits. With the cover save of the woods 14 French infantry are killed.
The HMG also opens fire but only one shot is made, but it takes out another French infantry man.
The Observer calls for fire on the French tanks but gets no response.
Camembert curses, half a platoon already down.

French Close Combat
No one in range so no activity.
German Movement
The DLK move towards their defensive positions. All of them trying to get within the command radius of their officers. The flyers move towards the French bikes.

PHOTO 2 – end of first turn.





Turn 2
French Fire Phase
The LMGs fire on the run. With 6 possible shots, they get off 3 and one German infantry is dead.
The rest of the force holds its fire so that it can move.
German Close Combat
None

French Movement
The two infantry platoons advance towards the entrenched German infantry. The Bike squadron moves towards the first objective. The Tanks move into positions where they can assault or fire at the German infantry.

German Fire
The Infantry fire at their assailants. 42 possible shots, result in 21 firing, 15 hits and 15 dead. The French infantry platoon is gone! Camembert curses!
The Observer can see the tanks and calls in the artillery but again gets no response.

French Close Combat
None as no one is in range to assault.

German Movement
The DLK continue to consolidate from their drop positions towards their officers and to hold their two objectives. The Flyers head towards the bikes.





Turn 3
French Fire Phase
LMG 1st Platoon fire at the German Infantry. 9 shots 7 fire, 6 hits and 3 dead
The 2nd platoon are going to move so it reduces their shooting.
LMG 2nd Platoon fire at the German Infantry. 6 shots 3 fire, 2 hits and 2 dead
Riflemen fire at the Germans. 15 shots, 7 fire, 7 hits and 3 dead.

German Close Combat
None.

French Movement
The French 2nd platoon advances towards the trenches before it so they can close assault and defenders.
The tanks advance as well.
German Fire
Flamethrower 1 targets a tank and 1 shot and fires but then explodes in flames!
Flamethrower 2, targets a tank and fires, luckily does not explode, he hits the tank and immobilises it!
The infantry target the French Infantry, 23 shots, 14 fire, 8 hits and 8 dead.
HMG also fires at the French infantry, 3 shots, 1 fire, 1 hit and 1 dead.
The Flyers target the Bikes. 18 shots, 10 fire, 9 hits and 9 dead! The bike squadron is gone! Camembert sighs.
Finally the Artillery answer the Observer’s fire requests. Target is the immobilised tank. 2 shots, 2 fire and 2 hits! The Tank explodes in fiery destruction! Camembert curses!
French Close Combat
The French infantry close with the German HMG and destroy it!

German Movement
The DLK move into their defensive positions while the flyers loop around and retreat after devastating the bikes.




Turn 4
French Fire Phase
2 LMGs moving ate one plane Shots 4, fire 1 hit none
2 Tank HMGs at infantry shots 6, fire 3, hits 2 and 2 dead
1 Tank canon at infantry shots 1, fire 1, hits 5, 4 dead
German Close Combat
Nothing.
French Movement
French infantry advance and taxis move to shelter of the hill
See photo 5


German Fire
Flamethrower tries to fire at tank but can’t.
Infantry fire at Infantry 24 shots, 15 fire, 10 hit and 10 dead.
Artillery fire at infantry, 2 shots, 1 fires, 12 hit and 10 dead (as some French infantry are in the trenches)
LMGs in the church open fire at the flank of the infantry, 6 shots, 5 fire, 4 hits and 4 dead.
HMG in church opens fire as well, 3 shots, 1 fire, 1 hit and 1 dead
French Close Combat
French can’t move to contact as less than 10 men left.
Camembert curses. Light opposition in deed. But he has learnt a valuable lesson, never expose your infantry’s flank to concentrated machine gun and artillery fire.

German Movement
The flyers move up to support the infantry so that they can withdraw while the DLK troops hold their positions.




Turn 5
French Fire Phase
Infantry (moving) fire at infantry, Shots 9, fire 6, hit 4 and 2 dead
2 tanks HMG fire at infantry, shots 6, fire 3, hit 3 and 1 dead.

German Close Combat
None

French Movement
Tank overruns flamethrower – flamethrower fails it’s save and is destroyed (no consolidation for overruns)
Taxi’s dismount their LMG for anti-aircraft fire.
German Fire
Torpedo shoots at tank but fails to fire.
The observer calls for fire on the tank and from 2 shots, 2 fire, 1 hit and 1 miss. The hit is rolled for but does no damage.

French Close Combat
None

German Movement
Infantry fall back to the woods to proceed to their secondary position in the church. The flyers move up to cover and attack the tanks.
See photo 7



Turn 6
French Fire Phase
Tanks with HMG fire at flyers. 6 shots, 3 fire, 2 hits and 1 dead.
LMGs from 2nd platoon fire at flyers, 6 shots, 4 fire, 0 hits.
LMGs from 3rd platoon fire at flyers, 9 shots, 6 fire, 2 hits and 1 dead.
Captain Rich Toffee curses as his planes get shot down in a hail of bullets.
German Close Combat
None

French Movement
Tank overruns the torpedo but it manages to escape.

German Fire
The remaining flyer bombs the tank but does not fire.

French Close Combat
None

German Movement
Infantry move into the trees.
The flyer turns away from the concentrated AA and finds shelter behind a hill.
The observer moves back from his exposed position and heads towards the ruined church.
See photo 8



Turn 7
French Fire Phase
No fire for the French

German Close Combat
None

French Movement
Tanks advance, taxis embark their LMGs and the infantry move into the trench.

German Fire
None

French Close Combat
None

German Movement
Observer moves to the church.
Infantry move into second wood
Flyer moves back while the DLK hold their positions.
See photo 9



Turn 8
French Fire Phase
None

German Close Combat
None

French Movement
Tanks advance while taxis reposition and infantry hold.

German Fire
None

French Close Combat
None

German Movement
Infantry move towards church, and the observer takes up his position there.
Flyer hides behind the hill and DLK hold, waiting for the final French assault.
See photo 10.



Turn 9
French Fire Phase
None

German Close Combat
None

French Movement
Tanks advance and taxis advance and disembark their infantry

German Fire
The observers sees the infantry and calls for the artillery to fire. 2 shots but only 1 fires but it is on target and 10 infantry die.
Camembert curses the German artillery. The British artillery didn’t fire like this at Waterloo!

See photo 11


French Close Combat
None

German Movement
The flyer moves to a shooting position.
The infantry move to the church while the DLK hold their positions.



Turn 10
French Fire Phase
2 LMGs at flyer 6 shots, 4 fire, 2 hits no dead.
3 LMGs moving at flyer, 6 shots, 3 fire, no hits.
Rich Toffee weaves through the heavy French fire.
German Close Combat
None

French Movement
Tanks advance with the infantry close behind while the taxis race for safety behind a hill.

German Fire
The observer calls for fire on the tanks but gets no response.
The flyer lets loose its LMGs at the infantry, 6 shots but only 1 fire and it does not hit.

French Close Combat
None

German Movement
Infantry take up positions in the church.
Flyer moves to enfilade and the DLK hold their positions.
See photo 12



Turn 11
French Fire Phase
LMGs at the Flyer Shots 6 fire 2 no hits.
Camembert curses at his troops.
LMGs moving fire at the flyer- shots 6, 4 fire, 1 hit and 1 dead – Rich Toffee leaps out and pulls his rip cord as his plane plummets to the ground.
Tank canon shoots at HMG but does not fire.
German Close Combat
None

French Movement
HMG tanks advance and the infantry follow them.

German Fire
The Observer calls for final defensive fire but gets no response.
Other troops can’t fire as the infantry are shielded by the tanks or terrain.
French Close Combat
None

German Movement
All hold their positions and wait the final assault.
See photo 13



Turn 12
French Fire Phase
The canon tank shots at the HMG on the left but once again does not fire
The HMG tanks fire at the HMG on the right. 6 shots, 3 fire, 3 hit and 1 dead.


German Close Combat
None

French Movement
Infantry advance into the town. Finally says, Camembert, we are in Bastogne.

German Fire
DLK Infantry fire at French infantry in range, 24 shots, 9 fire, 6 hit and 3 dead (3 saved by terrain)
Flamethrower fires at infantry, 1 shot, 1 fires and does not explode, 5 hit and 3 dead.
Infantry in church fire at French infantry, 6 shots, 4 fire, 2 hit and 1 dead.
HMG fires at infantry, 3 shots, 1 fire, but no hits.
Artillery once again fails to heed the observer’s frantic calls for fire.

French Close Combat
Infantry attack the DLK in the buildings.
French Infantry fight first, 18 shots, 18 fire, hits 10 and 10 dead.
Germans take their losses from the infantry in contact and the remaining troops fall back 10 cm.
German Movement
The DLK advance so that they can assault the French.

See photo 14



Turn 13
French Fire Phase
Infantry fire at the DLK, 22 shots, 12 fire, 7 hit and 6 dead
LMGs fire at DLK, 9 shots, 6 fire, 5 hit and 5 dead.
Tank canon fires at HMG, 1 shot, 1 fire, 1 hit but the HMG survives.

German Close Combat
The DLK assault the French Infantry
They get 8 rifle shots, 8 fire, 6 hits and 6 dead.
The LMGs get 4 shots, 4 fire, 3 hit and 3 dead.
The French have less than 10 men left so must retreat.

French Movement
The tanks advance.
German Fire
Flamethrower fires at tank, 1 shot, 1 fire, 1 hit and the tanks explodes in fire.
The artillery finally come through, 2 shots, 1 fire but is misses.

French Close Combat
None

With the French outnumbered, their forces shattered Camembert decides to withdraw from the field of battle.  Strudel is happy to see them go saying it was a near run thing. He quickly goes over to congratulate the German infantry on their sterling performance and sends his thanks to the artillery and condolences to the air force.





Epilogue

Camembert was down cast when he reported to the General. “Never mind Camembert, you did your best and nearly broke through. The Germans were much quicker to respond than we expected with their DLK and ground support! I have a new mission and new force for you. The English having made a great salient at Kortriik and we want you to break in from the east to meet a thrust from the west. It is called Operation Bastille”
“Don’t worry General, I know how to handle the English!”
French Forces
Original force and what was left
Infantry 1            33 to 0
Infantry 2            33 to 7
Infantry 3            33 to 7
Bikes                     8 to zero
Tanks                    4 to 2


In German HQ, Strudel reported to Gotterdamerung. “A near run thing General, we got there just in time. The infantry performed magnificently and the artillery was OK.”
“Well done Strudel, a great victory for the DLK the Kaiser has heard and is most impressed! Probably be an iron cross in this for you. But first things first. We are planning a strike at the English. There will be a series of jumps to capture bridges while the main assault group follows. Hopefully this strategy will gets us past all these dam rivers and into Liege! It is Operation Kinder Garden ! Are you up for it Strudel!”
“Yes sir!”
German forces
Original force and what was left
Infantry                34 to 11
DLK                       34 to 11
HMG                     3 to 2
Flyers                    3 to 0
Observer and artillery no losses