"Advance", the German positions are revealed (prior to the artillery smoke coming down). Two German regular infantry companies and an understrength anti-tank PAK company (see below).
The Tommies advance into a maelstrom of defensive infantry fire on the right of the line, while the main push is shielded by the comforting smoke screen. Will I learn from past experience and remember to not "over-stonk" the smoke screen and shift the battery of 5.5 inch guns onto something I'd like to suppress? (Note: The British stands "left behind" were the organic infantry 6pdr AT platoons. Hitching them up to a truck and moving across the battlefield would have been suicide, so they became passive watchers of the assault.)
The British infantry take hits and suppressions but hunker down and return devastating fire, shredding some of the defenders with rather lucky rolls. Note: I'd rather be lucky than talented any day of the week! However prolonged fire and a poor dice roll on a "status check" makes the British infantry go "defensive", which means the Battalion HQ cannot go closer the the enemy. The fighting stands have to stay within the ubiquitous 9" command radius.
The British Tommies press home on both flanks and an order mistake becomes apparent, to be revealed in the next picture (but on an up-side at least I remembered to shift one battery off the smoke screen, a lesson well learned from the previous scenario). The British armoured infantry battalion sends in the first two companies on foot (German infantry fire making some telling hits) while the battalion commander remounts the third company into half-tracks for a manoeuvre force. The tank regiment looks rather "idle" and unused at the moment.
My error in planning: I underestimated the success (or potential) of the right hand side infantry attack and ordered them not to storm the wood until the main attack went in. Their purpose was to soak off damage/attention from the big push (sounding like something right out of General Melchit's Black Adder Goes Forth) and not gain a foot hold and deny the enemy good cover. The British command and control is focused in keeping the the main attack (on the left) going despite taking fresh casualties, consequently the right hand infantry battalion remains 'defensive', happy to consolidate the ground it has taken. The ground scale means that the ground terrain isn't as open/flat as it seems on the tabletop.
Can the attack maintain its momentum? The defenders are still "holding the line" but numbers must surely start to tell soon (or will it be one of those 'wargaming nights' when Lady Luck departs with a dirty look over her shoulder)?