Chain of Command – The Tailleville Campaign (Game 1)

Overview

This is Game 1 of our campaign. Peter is leading his company of Canadians in their attempt to seize Tailleville, their D-Day objective, which is about 4km from the coast. Step one was securing the beach. This is assumed to have happened and the Canadians are now attempting to move inland. This game is played using the first scenario outlined here, basically the Canadians are trying to probe an approach through the German defences to make their way out of St. Aubin-sur-Mer. I’ve borrowed the format of this blog post from campaign reports on the excellent Tiny Horde blog.

Support

For support Peter opted for an extra 2″ Mortar Team and another section of infantry to support his push off the beach. I thought he may have gone for a vehicle of some form, so I went for an extra Panzerschreck and an Adjutant to organise the deployment of my men.

The Game

Below is how things stood after a couple of phases.

Peter out patrolled me and you can see his two aggressive jump-off points on the eastern edge of the board (he chose not to place a third and I was okay with that). This made the location of his forces quite predictable, but on the other hand they were terribly close to their immediate objective – getting off the sourthern edge of the board! A badly timed (from my perspective) double phase could see him lunge for it. My initial deployments came from the jump-off at the tree. I needed to ensure getting near the road was going to be as costly to the Canadians as possible.

Peter decided to double down on his plan and brought in the mortars to limit my visibility with smoke. A couple of well placed rounds and most of my force was struggling to spot the Canadians. It also looked as though he was going to push for the villa with the topmost section – that would have really caused my Germans north of the road some problems.

I decided to get them moving, but all of those croissants consumed while on occupation duty slowed them considerably. They ran, but really didn’t get too far. To top it all off my NCO with that section was hit and lost consciousness. They would have to drag him to safety while the nearby Unterfeldwebel shouted at them to get moving. The other section moved across to get a clearer view of the Canadians. We were starting to exchange fire now, with the Canadians in the open taking the worst of it. Meanwhile a section pushed towards the villa.

I managed to consolidate the Germans into the field south of the road, presenting a formidable wall of fire to any Canadian attempting to get past. The Canadian section who had been making for the central villa decided to dash towards my jump-off in the other house. They came close, but I was able to deploy just in time and put them under fire. This injured their NCO and he too was knocked unconscious. This completely stalled the dash down the middle.


In the meantime my Unterfeldwebel directed the fire of the two sections near him to great effect. The Canadian push down the eastern edge stalled under heavy casualties and they decided to retire.

The Butcher’s Bill

The Canadians lost 11 men during the battle and this equated to 5 dead and 3 missing for the next battle. One of the dead was the NCO leading the section closest to the dune (with the mortars beside it). He will be replaced by another Junior Leader, but with a limited command radius of just 3″ and only one Command Initiative. With three platoons available I suspect Peter will use a fresh platoon in the next game as he attempts to get inland again. His CO’s opinion dropped to -1 and his Men’s to -3(!). The latter will impact his roll for Force Morale in the next game.

The Germans fared much better. They only lost 1 mean during the fight and he will miss the next game. The Germans also have three platoons for this campaign, but this platoon will fight again in the next game. Both my CO’s and Men’s opinions went to +1.

Lessons Learned

  • I was badly ‘out patrolled’. I need to ensure my Patrol Markers don’t start at the maximum 12″ apart as it limits their mobility. I also shouldn’t stretch them out in a long line. Keeping a spare a little back and central would allow for more rapid reaction.
  • I was a little lucky not to take more casualties in this game, particularly when the section got caught in the middle of the road. No real lesson here other than the my casualties should have been a lot higher!
  • Peter’s dash to shut down my jump-off point in the western villa nearly paid off. He rolled really well on his runs, but had he used an interrupt earlier he may have gotten there. This would most likely resulted in a win for him as he could have dashed for the south-west corner. I would have had a section to deploy, but he would have been close to a win.
  • The Panzerschrecks were left unused, but I’m glad I had them to deter any cheeky vehicles.

Until next time,

Owen

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