After finishing the Battlegroup Market-Garden photoshoot, myself and Warwick decided to play out a little 400 point attack/defend scenario, based on the attacks on the Oosterbeek Perimeter but using the new lists in the book. We opted for the Delaying Action scenario, which fitted well, and we both took suitable forces that reflected troops in that area, with both forces being laregly infantry based.
Warwick deployed first and I paid little attention as he placed his initial defenders in buildings, a fact that would cost me dear later...
As Germans, I couldnt get a decent attack together and I spent a great deal of time moving troops into position and maintain a reserve too, while trying to get fire on the enemy. A constant British mortar harrassment started and continued for the whole game, thanks to a resilient British lieutenant in one house. Luckily for me no British reinforcements arrived and with my whole army on the board I began a slow advance forwards.
teams spent the game trying to put the British lieutenant spotting for mortars out lf
action but to no avail, despite causing a casualty almost every turn, this platoon HQ
was never pinned... he just stayed on that radio, calling in the battalion mortars as his men fell around him. "Take him to the cellar" was the lieutenants reply to each casualty...
The Germans did little, apart from knocking out the 6-Pounder with a mortar bomb landing in its dug out. The Möbelwagen was spectacular in its ineffectiveness. Despite its immense firepower it failed to hit anything and then kept being pinned by enemy mortar fire. But with troops in position, the Germans prepared to mive into the two outlying cottages from where to begin the assault on the edge of the town.
It was here the British launched their ambush.
As the German pioneer section moved up beind their MG
team, they suddenly found the second cottage full of a section of British Airbrone infantry, who had sat quietly on Ambush Fire for the whole game, and who the Germans had not noticed... always pay attention at deployment! The close range fire cut down all the MG
team and then cut down the entire pioneer section. Another MG
team following then dived into the first cottage for cover and found it booby-trapped, the explosion from a grenade tripwire killing one of the team and pinning them. The German attack, so carefully planned, was in tatters and with the resultant chits taken, the Germans were 2 points from breaking with alot of pinned units. To add insult to injury, the British reserves began to arrive too.
It now became a German effort in withdrawing. I decided that as the game was as good as lost, I would try and pull as many men out of the line as I could, and my German attack now became an effort to stablise a front line around the farm. More losses and a risky attempt to unpin saw me sat with 1 point of Battle rating left. The game was as good as over. We played on though, and I managed to knock out a couple more British units. I then lost my sMG42 team and that damn lieutenant once more pinned my Möbelwagen. Luckily my chit was a 'Call of Duty' and the Möbelwagen clanked back into action and opened fire on a British unit arriving at the defence line. It did nothing... two huge bursts of fire and after the dust cleared not a single casualty. The dice gods were not with the Germans.
So with a sense of all was lost, one last German MG
team decided to at least try and take out the lieutenant to at least get some satisfaction in defeat. The MG
team had been firing at him, or trying to, for the whole game but had failed to spot him every turn. Holed up in the woods, they seemed more interested in staying alive than firing at the enemy. This time however, they spotted him and he finally fell to enemy fire. As the chit was pulled, Warwick annouced 'game over' and to our shock the Germans had won! The British had drawn 14 BR in their last three chits and the last 5 drawn took them 1 point over their BR total.
As the British withdrew deeper into the Oosterbeek Perimeter, my Germans sat dazed and confused as to what had happened, their heavy losses and how the British had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. A great game that had a great story and felt just right for the period.