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Outskirts of Villers-Bretonneux AAR (Turn 2, Zone B3) 
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Location: Fortress Knox
Outskirts of Villers-Bretonneux AAR (Turn 2, Zone B3)

The campaign has come along marvelously so far. Six games in turn 1 were played and so far we've had three played in turn 2, this AAR being for one of them. Last turn I played Germans, and this turn time I played British. The campaign organizer has to stay impartial!

Turn 2 saw the Germans retaining the initiative, and wasting now time, the German C-in-C threw in two Panzer Firestorm to support an attack from C4 to B2 (the town of Villers-Bretonneux). The mission was "Through the Mud & the Blood" again, but this time I think we played it right. In the turn one game where we also used this mission, we misread the deployment rules. But here we got them right.

To defend the last of the British Trench line in front of Villers-Bretonneux and the town itself I chose to take a Veteran Rifle Company. With:

HQ + Sniper
Full Rifle Platoon
Full Rifle Platoon
18 pdr Detachment w/ two guns
Mark IV Male Tank (I did not want to miss a chance for some tank of tank action)
To these I had the following Firestorm Troops attached:
Full Rifle Platoon (Confident Trained)
Full HMG Platoon (Confident Trained) - Traded in for four HMG Nest.


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The defending Brits.

To try to force his way into through my trenches an into the town, my opponent Charles had the following force.

HQ + 3 Flamethrowers + 2 Grantewerfers
Full Infantry Platoon
Full Infantry Platoon
Full Stoss Platoon
2 x Minewerfer
1 x 7.62 Krupp Trench Gun
These were all Confident Trained except the Fearless Vet Stoss Truppen.
To these Charles was able to add TWO A7V Firestorm Troops, which were Confident Vets.

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The attacking Germans.


The battlefield of course included a trench line and appropriate crates and such. But we wanted a bit of a built up area along the British edge of the board to represent the outskirts of the town of Villers-Bretonneux.

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The battlefield looking south from the town towards the British Trenches.

The British only would start off with one of the Infantry platoons on the board. This had to go in the trench line, so I also placed three of the four MHG nest close to support it. The other HMG nest along with the 18pdrs stayed in the back deployment quarter oriented towards the expected area of the German flank attack. The British CO and 2IC stayed near the ruined church to help direct the movement of the reserve troops forward.

Image
The British defensive deployments.

To attack me Charles had one Infantry Platoon and the Stoss platoon facing off against the British trench, supported by all of the Grantewerfers and Minenwerfers and three Flame thrower teams.

Image
The German frontal assault force.

To try to flank their way into the town Charles sent a single Infantry Platoon supported by BOTH A7Vs.

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The German flanking force.

Turn 1

“Through the Mud & the Blood” is a very different mission because the defenders have the first move. I suppose this represents the attackers having just moved up and now being subjected to an opening volley from the defenders.

Unfortunately my opportunity to fire on Charle’s exposed Germans resulted in the destruction of only a single Stoss team, but both of his front assault platoon were pinned at least!

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The advancing Stoss platoon is pinned.

In Charles’ turn he did rally his Stoss, but the infantry will not pick themselves up, even with the direct leadership of the German CO!

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The German infantry in front of my trench fails to rally!

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Charles’ Stoss come in hard though unleashing a flamethrower and then assaulting to start to roll the flank of my forward infantry.

Turn 2

The British start off turn two by rolling up TWO reserves.

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The Mark IV rumbles through the streets of Villers-Bretonneux to try to stem the A7V led German flank attack.

The other British reserve unit, a full Veteran Rifle Platoon, goes in on the right to form a second line in the vicinity of the objectives in anticipation of the German routing the first line in the trenches.

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The British do score a VP in turn 2 though with a long range shot from an 18pdt that knocks out a Minenwerfer.

Image
The Germans again fail to rally the Infantry Platoon in front of the British Trenches.

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An A7V bravely rounds a corner and takes on an 18pdr and is rewarded with the guns destruction.

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The Stoss Platoon continues to roll up the British trench, though it is successful and force the British to continue to shift away, the Stoss Platoon is reduced to just a few teams and will have to stay hold back from taking further part in the battle or it will risk its own destruction.

Turn 3

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The British get in their last reserves, the Trained Rifle platoon which moves in to the town while the moment of truth comes for the Mark IV which turns on to the main avenue to take on both A7Vs…and has totally no effect on them! Uh oh!

The Germans respond by damaging the Mark IV, finally rallying their Infantry Platoon opposing the Trench which comes up with Flamethrowers to route the rest of the defending British troops in the trench. The remaining Minenwerfer knocks out the last 18pounder. Suddenly the British are now down three platoons and will have to check company morale with the loss of another.

Turn 4/5

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The Mark IV continues to rack up damage without having any return affect on the A7Vs, but its holding on until…..

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The last remaining Minenwerfer gets a long range shot on the Mark IV through a “keyhole” shot between buildings putting the last need damage on the Mark IV to destroy it!


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The Mark IV’s loss gives the Charles enough platoons to force a British company morale check…which I promptly fail. So the game ends as a hard fought 5:2 win for the Charles.


Sun Jul 12, 2015 2:51 pm
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