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AAR -Turn 3 - AAR Australian 13th Brigade Night Attack at B3 
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Location: Fortress Knox
The southern prong of the British attempted double envelopment of the German Villers-Bretonneux salient hit in zone three. This was going to be a tough fight for the Germans as they had no Firestorm troop support for this battle, while the British would have two full veteran Rifle Platoons representing elements of the 13th Australian Brigade. To play this game BattleVault Gamers Don and Charles at my game room. Don commanded the attacking Australians while Charles would defend with Germans. I played as a subordinate commander for Don to help expedite the game.

Because the battle was a Night Attack, no tanks were allowed. To take full advantage of the darkness, Don chose to take as many veteran Rifle platoons as he could. This game him a total of six full and one half Rifle platoon supported by just two Trench mortars. Don was placing his bets on "Trench Fighters" and wanted as many infantry men as could get.

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Don's Australian 3th Brigade Assault Force

Charles knew he would be at a big disadvantage in this battle. But he also knew he would not have to worry about tanks and that he mostly needed to focus on stopping infantry. Accordingly Charles went with a Trained Infantrie Companie to get as many troops as he could for his 1250pts. Charles took just the minimum two required Infantrie combat platoon, but backed them up with three HMG platoons! Two with 4 x HMGs, one with 3 x HMGs. 11 HMGs is a lot to face for infantry in the open and I wonder if Don and I would be able to close for the assault at all in this battle.

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Charles' defending Germans mit becoup and swanzig machine guns!!!

The gaming area "B3" is a mostly empty zone bisected by the Cachy to Monument Woods road. It had already had a battle fought in it previously and since the scenario included a preliminary British artillery bombardment we made the terrain open but battle torn.

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The battlefield with the German deployment area on the left and the Australians on the right.

Charles deployed his infantry and HMGs forming a single solid line across the whole table. Nothing was in reserve. Don similarly had to cram in a lot of troops on a very narrow frontage, but he more heavily weighted his right and center.

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The forces at deployment looking north from behind the Australian right.

Turn 1

The roll for first turn went to the Germans, so much for a surprise attack!!! Charles was successful in rallying all but one of his units, all of which started off pinned due to the British preliminary Artillery Bombardment. He also managed to dig in all of his force except for one HMG platoon on his left. So far a BIG disappointment for the Australians. Charles' Germans had got themselves mostly sorted out and dug in even before the Australians had a chance to move. But at least the cover of darkness protected the attackers as Charles could not roll above 12" for his night time spotting ranges.

So in the bottom of Turn 1 the Australians advanced across the entire front. Don and I focused as much fire power as we could on the German HMG platoon that failed to dig in. We were luck and actually knocked out two of the HMGs and pinned the platoon, which would fail to rally in the following turn.

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The Australians advance under the cover of darkness.

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Some very luck Australian shooting knocks out two German HMGs and pins the platoon.

Turn 2

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Now revealed by their own muzzle flashes, the Australians take heavy German fire. Even with the protection of their veteran skills and the darkness, many platoons are pinned down.

The Stokes mortars start direct firing on German HMGs now at long range. The German HMG platoon facing the Australian right loses all of its guns and then the command team fails platoon morale.

Turn 3

Darkness continues to hold, but the pinned Australians on the right just wont get moving again. Don though continues his push in the center getting a bit of cover from a rubbed town.

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The Australians finally push across the Cachy-Monument Woods road.

Turn 4

Daylight arrives at the beginning of Turn 4 and now Charles' Germans can see the entire attacking force. However most are still "concealed in the open" because many have failed to rally and have not been able to move.

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Australians in the center and on the right close in for an assault.

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The first Australian assault hit home taking only four defensive fire hits. The "Trench Fighters" serves them well as they cut down the few Germans defending in this area.

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The Assault in the center hits less hard then the right as German defensive fire, though it was not enough to cause a pin, managed to knock out half of the assaulting Australian teams.

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The Germans are forced to back off fro these dual assaults, but they are still contesting the objective of the Australian right.

Turn 5

In turn five the Germans knock out the assault Australian platoon in the center earning a victory point. But now all of the Australians in the center and the right are unpinned and they continue to advance on their right.

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The Australian Assault on the right seizes the right objective. The defending Germans failing morale after be knocked back. Now the Germans have lost two of their five platoons.

Turn 6

The Germans now have no troops anywhere close enough to recontest the right objective. Charles knows the game is up, but he's not done yet. This is a campaign game and if he can knock out just one more German platoon their is a chance that some of the Firestorm Troops used in this battle might be destroyed. Accordingly Charles focuses all fire on the most forward center Australian platoon.

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Charles get the kills that he needs and Don fails the resulting platoon morale check.

Conclusion

So the game ends as another close battle. The Australian 13th Brigade carries the day, but only with a 4:3 win. If it were not for the extra two platoons of Firestorm Troops that they had, the Australians could not have pulled through. But now the British command is one step closer to pinching off the German salient at Villers-Bretonneux.


Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:55 pm
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