Chain of Command – The Tailleville Campaign (Game 2)

Overview

Déjà vu for the Canadians. Following their failure to get through the dunes a little earlier in the day the North Shores decided to commit the second Platoon of Company A to the task. This should be the final attempt to try to push through in this sector, which represented their most direct (and least opposed) route to Tailleville. The Germans who had successfully repulsed the earlier attack were in position awaiting further Canadian attempts.

Support

Peter, playing the Canadians, only managed a 1 on the support roll, so he opted for a Jeep, that he crewed with the Piat Team. I got nothing! Both of us had full strength platoons for this battle.

The Game

The patrol phase went similarly to last time, although the Canadians didn’t focus on the right quite as heavily. My plan was to ensure I could patrol towards either flank if Peter went that way. As it turned out we ended up with a no-man’s land more-or-less in the middle. I opted for jump-offs by the western villa, just south of the road and in the wheat field. Peter’s were spread out in the north-east, but the one to the east was concerning.

I was right to be concerned. Peter deployed heavily from that jump-off, with a 2″ mortar and three full sections appearing near it. It looked very much like his play was to dash for the south-eastern corner. Before Peter had amassed so heavily there I deployed a section into to villa, but they would spend the whole battle just listening to weapons fire…

The following screenshot represents a critical point in the battle. Peter was fully committed to the dash down the eastern edge. He had a senior leader supporting the mortar and of his two sections. He ordered the mortar to fire smoke towards my section in the wheat field, but despite direct line-of-sight the shot drifted left of where it was intended. The Canadians, however, were committed and they went for it. This is when all hell broke loose.

I managed not one, but two double turns and had good enough options to bring another section onto the road. They and the section in the woods opened up on the Canadians in the open and the results were dramatic. Not only was the German fire accurate, but the Canadian leaders had dreadful luck (Peter is renowned for his ability to roll 1’s).

12 men fell between the three phases in a row, including a Corporal and the Lieutenant. The Canadian morale tumbled form 8 to 1 as leaders and teams were wiped out.

This resulted in a last ditch gambit from Peter. Be brought on a Jeep and it accelerated hard. However, the German fire was unrelenting and a heavily depleted rifle team broke, causing their remaining compatriots to do likewise.

The Butcher’s Bill

The Canadians only shot twice in this encounter. A smoke mortar round to above the central villa and one towards the Germans in the wheat field, so the Germans came through this encounter unscathed. The same cannot be said of the Canadians: 12 men fell, resulting in 8 dead, including an NCO and Platoon leader, and 3 missing the next game.

The Canadian’s CO’s opinion dropped a further -1  to -2 and his Men’s opinion slid a further -3 to -6. The drop in the Men’s opinion should have led to an ‘interview without coffee’ for the Platoon leader, but as he died the only impact will be a -2 on the roll for Force Morale in the next game.

Again things look better for the Germans. Their CO’s opinion has risen to +2 and the Men’s opinion to +3. The latter positively impacting the Force Morale roll.

Lessons Learned

  • Soldiers in the open at close range are in trouble. This trouble translates to an leaders accompanying them.
  • Once the leaders were gone the charge stalled. There was no ability to manage the shock and every bit of movement lost to shock meant more time in the open.
  • Smoke and dash was a sound tactic and should have worked… if the smoke was on target and the leaders had not been injured.

Peter and I decided the Canadians will make one more attempt to break through in this sector, next time calling up some armoured support from the beach.

Until next time,

Owen

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