Chain of Command – The Tailleville Campaign (Game 4)

Overview

The Canadians are off of the beach and have begun their push south towards Tailleville. They were delayed longer than expected in gaining a small foothold in France, but now they are trying to enlarge the bridgehead. The German platoon that held them at bay has fallen back a couple of kilometres inland and have set up a hasty defensive position on the road between St. Aubin and Tailleville. The German platoon has lost a handful of men, but their morale is high. The Canadians, in contrast, have lost quite a few men across their three platoons. Their morale is low as is their CO’s opinion of how they have been led. Now is their chance to redeem themselves.

Support

Peter opted for a preliminary bombardment, another section and a sniper as support. He was fielding his third platoon, the on that achieved success in the last battle. As they were down a number of men he decided to bolster their number with the support section. On my side I went for another section too. I reckoned the Canadians would arrive in force and I needed all of the MGs I could muster to try to throw them back. Had Peter opted for armour I would have had the Panzerschreck team, but any more than one tank and I would have been in trouble!

The Game

The Canadian objective was to capture the south-most (on the right) German jump-off point, so I decided to patrol quite aggressively in order to contest the farm. I felt like I had good options for repelling a Canadian advance. Peter could move troops up almost anywhere with light cover from the wheat fields, so I had to prepare for any eventuality.The Canadians got moving along the eastern side of the road, with their platoon sergeant in support. The platoons 2″ mortar team arrived into the orchard and dropped smoke to obscure the advancing section. I saw an opportunity to dent the Canadian morale…

With no support from a nearby section the mortar team were an easy target. Concerted fire over a couple of phases took them out and knocked the Canadian force morale back a couple of pips. From this point the battle devolved into a long-range shooting match. My section near the hedgerow took the majority of the Canadian fire, but my Germans were giving at least as good as they got. This were pretty even until a devastating volley of fire from my (support) section near the farmyard wounded the NCO and killed four in the advancing Canadian section. The Canadian morale started to slide from there.It didn’t all go the German’s way and section near the hedge in turn wavered. My Ogfr. arrived to manage the section’s shock, but he must have forgotten to keep down as he made his way through the hedge… he was wounded as soon as he arrived!

Losses drove the Canadian morale down to 3 and Peter prudently decided to withdraw.

The Butcher’s Bill

Coming into this game the Canadian 3rd platoon had 3 dead and 2 missing. A further 2 died this game and 1 will miss their next game. At least the Canadians have two other platoons, although they aren’t faring much better than 3rd platoon. The German’s single platoon is starting to hurt, with 4 dead and 1 missing the next game.

With their loss the Canadian’s CO’s opinion dropped by -2 to -3, but the Men’s opinion stayed steady at -7.

In contrast the German CO’s opinion rose to +3 and the Men’s opinion increased to +6.

It is getting late on D-Day and their progress has not been what their commanders had hoped for.

Lessons Learned

  • Preliminary bombardments can really hinder a defence. I struggled to bring sections into the line until the turn ended, which took a while as I just wasn’t rolling 5s.
  • Support sections are somewhat disposable. The poor chaps.
  • Teams, e.g. the 2″ mortar team, need to be out of the line of fire or supported by nearby sections. Otherwise they are in danger of getting wiped out quickly.
  • I think Peter could have made better use of the Preliminary bombardment, but that might be hindsight talking. I could have rolled hot and had several sections arrive in one phase…

Now it’s the German’s turn to go on the offensive. I’m looking forward to actually moving some models! Let’s see if I can drive the Canadians back towards the beach.

Until next time,

Owen

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