"Tanks, Tanks, Tanks" comes the frantic cry from the front-line Tommies. The Allied radio net is filled with chatter. The dreaded Panther battalion lurches into view (see below), threatening the British Motorised Infantry battalion's right flank. Without AFV (i.e. armour) support to take "priority" in target selection the long barrelled 75mm guns would be used to devastating effect on the British infantry.A crisis point!
The British commander (me) is in the horns of a dilemma.The Cromwells of the RTR are obviously outclassed to the frontal armour characteristics of the Panther, but desperate time require desperate actions they must engage the threat. The Cromwell cannot stand off for a long range gunnery duel as the long barrelled 75mm is an excellent piece of kit with a BGC range of 18 inches compared to the 12 inch range of the British 75mm. The Cromwells would be pounded to pieces. The range has to be closed but the Cromwell's would prefer the opportunity to out-flank the Germans and come in from the side on the weaker flank armour of the Panthers. As the Panthers are coming across the British frontage there may be the chance of a flank shot (by one or two tanks). A tall ask really as the German player is a veteran well aware of the limitations of the Allied equipment, but can the British artillery asset come to the rescue with a protective smoke screen to hide the Cromwells behind?
Sadly no. A statistically unlikely occurrence (rolling low several times when I only wanted/needed medium-high) means that a stiff breeze blows the protective smoke away across the French countryside, causing some alarm to a herd of cows. For the Cromwells it is time to pay the piper (see above). Two troops burn and one is suppressed, for the return suppression of one Panther platoon. Meanwhile the British Infantry tears holes in the Pak line on the hill, killing one platoon and locking the other two suppressed in hand-to-hand combat.
The tutorial game draws to a close. The German front line is dented but not broken. The German armour will not move through the (next round) smoke screen into an area infested with PIAT armed British Infantry. The Panthers are ill advised to advance as they would see anything until they take a PIAT round in the flank. Their supporting German infantry is going the wrong way. However the British right flank attack was broken up, nay devastated by German artillery and accurate anti-tank fire. On the up-side British have removed a German Infantry battle from play and forced the Germans to deploy his armoured reserve, but collectively it has been a mauling for the tanks. Tomorrow Monty will order another push with two fresh RTR's to wear the German armour assets down. We have more in the larder in the long run.
I would do it differently next time. I would narrow my frontage even further, ignoring "Gap1" totally. Have confidence in the British Infantry in clearing "Wood1" and bring the RTR through "Wood1" with a protective infantry screen. Then I would have been in a position to take "Hill1" using the artillery better to screen off flanking shots with a smoke screen. The RTR would have been able to use the cover of the wood to mask their advance and choose their moment to emerge. I have to master the art of attacking with infantry a bit better, sometimes getting stuck in is the only way, but I could have husbanded/used my artillery better.
All in all a very good/enjoyable game