Friday, 18 March 2016

Night Withdrawal

As a gentle game requiring little thought before Triples, and put on another scenario from my ongoing Memoir 44 Normandy campaign, this time a follow up battle during the 'Operation Charnwood' mini-campaign.

The previoua battle had featured a massive RAF bombing attack  followed up by a frontal assault on Caen which left the Canadians with a very bloody nose at the hands of 12th SS Panzer Division. IN thia follow up engagement, the Germans have decided that enough is enough and are planning on falling back over the Orne as night falls. After their bloody repulse earlier in the day, the Canadians are pushing cautiously into Caen, and a complication for both sides is that night is approaching, after which point the battlefield will be plunged into darkness!

Graham and Tim C took the plucky Canadians, and in a role reversal largely based on where they happened to sit down, Jerry and John took the wicked Germans. Both sides were relatively fortunate in their pre-battle attrition rolls and managed to scatter some damage across their opponents, and the Canadians had the added bonus of some extra armoured reserves which beefed one of their tank units up to 'elite' status. Very scary!

As ever, played with 15mm stuff on my Hexon terrain and using my lightly modified 'Memoir 45' variant.

The battlefield from west, Canadians to the left, Germans to the right, and dimly visible on the far right, the vital Orne bridge. Various built up areas of Caen in between.

The Allies did a pretty good job of keeping their infantry and tanks together this time, but the Germans managed to get some of their units dug in. Here an assault goes in against some Germans dug in the open in the centre (they'd earlier been pushed out of the houses).

Over on the left the Shermans were closely supported by infantry. The mighty elite tank battalion being indicated by the big red badge. In this photo the Luftwaffe has made a surprising and very unwelcome appearance. Luckily for the Allies, the crew of the elderly Stuka were equally surprised to be in the air and only managed to inflict a single hit on the very juicy target array before them.

The Allies finally managed to push through in the centre, while the left pushed up having destroyed the German armoured counterattack. By now it was fairly honours even loss wise, but suddenly there seemed to be very few Germans around and as it was night time, all combat was being resolved by close assault. Very nasty!

With both sides one flag away from victory, the Germans launched an infantry counterattack which was repulsed, and over on the left the Allies went for broke with two tank battalions attacking the Germans in the woods and infantry tackling the dug in anti-tank guns. Sadly the tank attack went badly wrong, both tanks failed to inflict lethal damage on the infantry, and in their riposte the infantry managed to score two hits on the already damaged tank unit, finishing it off and winning the game.

As ever with Memoir 45, a detailed military simulation? probably not. But a fun game? yes. I thought this went very well, with both sides putting a considerable amount of thought into their moves and actions, and dare I say it, actually having some sort of plan. The fact it went down to the wire was a testament to both sides  tenacity.

One variation I tried this time was issuing extra command cards in the intial hand (six instead of four)

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