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.

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