Friday, 18 July 2014

Chain of Command: Maltot Church (5) - Closing Rounds

"Get a bloody move on!"

Finally the Lt Pringle was in command range of his own troops. Two squads (again) opened up into the right flanking woods at the Germans who were still not in protected "tactical" status. Incrementally the casualties had mounted over the last two turns and now were at the 'tipping point' with devastating results. The German whole squad was down to only two "effectives" (see below):

Smoke was called down to stop any punitive reply from the remaining MG42 team "of two" landsers, remembering with great respect how a burst from a MG42 had just felled three "ramkers" from Second Squad moments earlier (see below):

It has to be acknowledged that the German senior NCO showed great bravery in attempting to personally extracting his troops from the wood (where from a neutral observer there was an obvious temptation to just leave them be and treat them as an already lost cause). Despite his best efforts another one 'bought the farm' but the soldier he rescues did bring back an extra MG42 for the defense of Maltot Church.

In a moment of insanity (or should that read 'battle-lust' the German player had briefly contemplated assaulting "Red House" in a mad "close assault", gambling on the effect of hand grenades in confined spaces. However the umpire quite rightly pointed out how 'unnecessary' this was and how the Germans should retreat to the hard cover of the Alamo, aka Maltot Church to await the final British assault as per the scenario victory conditions (see below):

Lt Pringle gathered his troops together in a fire team to exchange parting shots with the Germans now positioned in the upper reaches of Maltot Church's "bell tower". One British/German KIA casualty was sustained by each side in a brief exchange that no sides particularly enjoyed (see below).

"Time gentleman please". The evening at the club was drawing to a final close. It was decided that 16 Platoon had simply 'run out of time' and would have to be called back to the original start line to "have another go" later perhaps with additional supports. However the German defenders had been really mauled. Reduced to less than half strength, whereas the British force were still above two thirds of its original complement. The Germans had done very well to simply "hang on" and were faced with another two potential attacks before the campaign ends.

Both commanders also felt shattered, the German also a little 'relieved' if truth be told. 16 Platoon must show its mettle and learn from some pretty basic mistakes it (or rather the Commanding Offier) made. Two more chances exist, but like all best strikers know it is not "attempts on goal" that count but rather "finding the back of the net".

Next: Regroup and "Go again sir?" but with more support points please.

Footnote: Having rolled "five" support points (still on the low side, seven would have been nice) but means 16 Platoon could bring back into play "Timmy the Tank"! Hmm, I wonder, I wonder, decisions, decisions?

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