Today we played the third scenario of the Villers Bocage campaign for Chain of Command (all the campaign details can be found in the first game post).The first game were won by the British, who reached the outskirts of the city; in the third game these were rejected and we went back to the second rung of the campaign.
Another defeat today would have brought the end of the campaign but, alas, this was not the case and a British fierce armoured counterattack sent the Germans reeling back to Villers Bocage. As in the previous games, I was the German commander.
As we were four players, we decided to make it "Big", and to the regular infantry units used in the campaign, we added a British tank troop (2 Shermans and 1 Firefly) and Panzer detachment (2 Pz IVs and a Pak 40 ATG)
The second rung was played using The Probe scenario of the main Chain of Command book. The victory conditions state that the attackers must move at least one unit to the enemy's tactical edge... unlike the first time we played this scenario (second game of the campaign) today I did not forget what the victory conditions were.
Once rolled for the support options and morals, the patrol phase started; the Germans deployed within 12" of its tactical edge while the attackers hold the initiative with a D6 free moves. The next photo shows the position of the jump-off points at the end of the patrol phase.
|Deployment and right flank attack moves|
The British made a first attempt on my right flank, launching an infantry section to cross the bocage line and to capture my jump-off point. I did not react in time and the enemy got close enough to cancel the jump.off point. However, we placed one of the panzers in overwatch with LOS to the j/o point; the British did not dare to cross and capture it but instead brought an AT gun into position looking over our tank.
A fire duel resulted in very lucky shot that destroyed the tanks engine and killed the gunner, not before killing 2 of the gun's crew; due to the immobilised tank, I had to take a force moral roll and lost 2 points (to 6).
I then brought an infantry squad in support and the LMG team took charge of the rest of the British ATG crew members, while the second team deployed in the field covering the j/o point. Another LMG team was brought into play and took shelter in the main building of the farm, having a a good field of fire from the second floor.
In the next activation, the British attempted to break the German line on the left. The Firefly was sent forward along the road; the bends and the tall bocage hedges offered a very good cover to the tank, approaching cautiously to the open terrain.
|Left flank attack|
I tried to repeat the feat of the third game a few weeks ago, and used my CoC dice to ambush the British AFV with my Panzerschreck team... failing miserably: not a single 5 or 6 with 13 dice!!! Before the tank could react, I pulled out the team to the rearguard, waiting for another opportunity in the future.
The tank continued advancing until turning a bend in the road and getting exposed to a second Pz IV in overwatch... failing again to make any hit on the enemy tank!!! In the following activation phase the Firefly made a direct hit on the panzer, exploding as a result.
|Panzer Grenadiers on the run|
Victory to the British and again closier now to Villers Bocage.