Following on from last week’s Operation Sea Lion game where Jerry raided with Brandenburg commandos but failed to destroy the British HQ, this week they have returned with a conventional infantry platoon, same beach, same mission.
Doug commands the Germans and decides to deploy all of his forces on his left flank intending to neutralise the pill box and then quickly advance to the 'George and Dragon' for a quick half... I mean to secure his primary objective.
British defenders consist of three sections of Homeguard, a Regular Army Vickers MMG team and a section of 'Old Soldiers'.
The game starts with a Homeguard section parading outside the George and Dragon, another deployed in the Pillbox on the beach and the Vickers team deployed in the MG Bunker. The remaining two squads will hopefully arrive on a latter turn. We decided that we would work out when reinforcements arrived by turning a Combat Patrol card and if it depicted a hit for the type of unit we wanted to activate, that unit would be placed on the table. The 'Old Soldiers' were rated as Regular so they needed two white bursts on the card, the Homeguard were rated as Green so they needed three bursts on the card to arrive.
The Vickers MMG team are deployed in the Vickers MMG Bunker on the extreme left flank of the British position with a good field of fire across the beach.
The first wave of invaders hit the beach and starts suppressing the defenders in the pillbox.
Combat Patrol uses so pretty innovative game mechanics. Instead of having lengthily tables and modifiers to implement combat and manoeuvre rules, all of the complexities and probabilities are distilled into a clever set of cards that have sections to resolve movement, morale checks, small arms, anti-vehicle and HE fire, cover saves and melee. Here Doug turns a card to check how far his unit will move this activation.
Homeguard reinforcements have arrived and are moving up to take a good defensive position behind the stone walls. The dice that you can see in the photos are activation dice. At the start of the turn, each leader (Officer & NCO) gets a D6 rolled to give them an activation number. The activation deck has numbers 1-6 in both black and red together with some special cards such as reroll. When the card is turned that matches a unit’s activation dice that unit can be activated. I like the way that it models a commanders (limited) influence on their subordinates. When a leader is activated, they can swap their dice with one of their subordinates to get them acting first. On a number of occasions in this game my Home Guard officer swapped his activation dice with the Vickers MMG to get them into action faster.
Here we see the 'Old Soldiers' moving into position in the back yard of the Pub. As these were reinforcements and their arrival was delayed a couple of turns, I decided to make them 'sprint' into position. Normally an infantry unit turns one card for movement, and the distance moved depend on if they are rated Green, Regular or Elite. However, you can turn two cards for movement and add them together to simulate 'sprinting' into position, but after moving you become stunned and have to use your next activation to remove the 'stunned' status.
More Jerries stream ashore!
In text book fashion, after suppressing the pillbox with small arms fire, the German Infantry rush up to the apertures and 'post' some grenades.
This kills all of the occupants apart from the LMG gunner. However he is stunned and out of ammo!
With the pillbox neutralised the Germans move forward in preparation for crossing the obstacle belt.
The machine gun teams set up in the surf, taking advantage of the rocks that offer some protection from incoming rounds and start to suppress the Vickers bunker.
German infantry are slowed down by the coiled barbed wire obstacles.
The two Home Guard defending the trench leading into the Pillbox are assaulted by German Infantry, put up a brave fight but are eventually overwhelmed.
Against all odds, a lucky shot makes it through the aperture in the Vickers MG bunker and wounds (and stuns) the Vickers gunner, temporarily silencing the gun.
However, the Germans have taken such high casualties neutralising the Pillbox and seeing that the British Defenders are now all in place behind stone walls they decide to retire and hope that they are doing better on another beach!
The terrain boards have all been constructed using the Sally 4th Terra-Former terrain system. 12" frames with a wide range of profiles such as rivers, streams, canals and beaches together with rare earth magnets to hold them together. Click here for further information.
The buildings and defences are from our Operation Sea Lion range,
The game was played using Combat Patrol rules, an innovative set of platoon level rules written by Buck Surdu. (a free set is available to try)
The scenario was taken from the Bolt Action Campaign Sea Lion book.