Thursday, 17 July 2014

Chain of Command: Maltot Church (4) - Deadly Fire Fight

The British piled all their troops into the central "jump-off" point, the off-table Adjutant doing a grand job of bossing people about. "Red House" now literally bristled with Bren guns and rifles pointing out of every window (see below):

The British trained their guns on plump fat targets (still not in a protective "tactical" stance) in the German held wood to the right hand side of "Red House". Two German KIA's and plenty of shock resulted. The British Commander was relieved to be "giving a bit back". Despite these casualties the Germans were still being able to return effective fire. Damn those four man MG42 teams, however the German squad was in danger of soon running out of "effectives" (see below):

More British fire came from the exposed British Second Squad, adding more shock and yet another KIA. The German Commander was now going to have his hands full just bringing this squad back into some form of semblance of order. This explains why you can see the senior German NCO scampering across the road from Maltot Church to the wood (see top of photograph below):

Meanwhile the British Adjutant deployed the last British off-table assets (Third Squad) into the center of the village, forgetting about any flank march operation in the initial British plan, the one that seemed so good 'before' contact with the enemy (see below):

Just to prove that there was still fight left in them and a reminder that you should NEVER underestimate the prowess of a German MG42, three exposed Tommies were cut down (from a very good set of combat dice it had to be said). This was a shocking blow but given the murder placed on the German squad a few seconds earlier it was like two punch-drunk heavyweight boxers trading blows at the end of a fight. The battle was first swinging one way and then swinging back in the next, getting "very, very tense" as even commented on by the impartial umpire (see below):

Note: Despite the tension, the Chain of Command rule-set allowed the game to be played in a "very" convivial manner, unlike other billimeter rule sets I could mention that are hard to play graciously even with the best of friends, well at least at the start of a game (though of course there the fault here could be all of my own making - but I have a certificate to say otherwise).

With casualties mounting for both sides it seemed to be a question of "which side will break first"? At least the British Commander was by now 'almost' where he should have been in the first place, namely in command range of his troops to help them recover direction and remove shock so that they could function better. The bravery of Sarge McCoy was unfortunately his undoing in this instance!

Next: The bloody battering reaches its conclusion

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