Today we have started a new campaign for Chain of Command using Operation Martlet, the latest pint-sized booklet published by TooFatLardies a few weeks ago. Martlet was the prequel to operation Epsom in Normandy and put the players in command of the element of both the 49th Division and the 12th SS Hitlerjunged Division.
We had the opportunity to play 2 games, the first an outright victory for the British and the second for the Germans when the British decided to retreat. A main historical issue in this campaign was the effect of the morning fog in the deployment of the British units, which is treated by the campaign and had a clear impact in our performance.
The first game corresponds to a scenario 2 "The probe" of the main rulebook. To achieve victory, the British must exit at least one unit through the German tactical edge. The power of the patrol phase to win a game was demonstrated today, when we won the game in two activations thanks to our performance in the pregame phase.
|The table from the German side|
The German concentrated its patrol markers in the British right flank. We had decided already to focus our attack on the left and we had five free moving turns; taking advantage of the situation, we moved at full speed and by the end of the patrol phase had one jump-off point at 10 inches from the German tactical edge.
In the first activation phase, the British got a double turn; despite the mist one squad deployed on the table at 6 inches of the jump-off point; in the second activation phase they run the final 4 inches to the table edge and hit a homerun!
That was short (probably my shortest game ever), concluded in 10 minutes (it took significant longer to put the table!!!). As it was still early hours and had all the material to play, we decided to move to the second scenario
The second game was based in an attack-defend scenario of the main rulebook. In this case, winning means forcing the enemy to leave the table or surrender.
|The table of the second game|
In this second game we decided to close the enemy from our left flank that offered some cover from the orchards and houses along the road. The following illustrates the jump-off positions by the end of the patrol phase.
Despite de pre-barrage, the Germans were able to bring some sections to the table and post them in overwatch.
The British were less lucky and although could put a Churchill on the table, the escorting Fireflys got lost in the mist again together with two infantry sections.
What to do? A meeting of the British commanders decided that the best way forward was to fight another day and decided to pull out. This made sense: in the third game the morning mist will vanish and we'll be in a better position to attack in full force. In addition, we had our jump-off points where we wanted them and there won't be a repetition of the patrol phase in the next game.
On the other hand, the British had a number of limited games to win, but having moved to the second map of the campaign (on a total of six) we felt having ample room even if we are defeated in some other part of the campaign.
The campaign takes now a break of a couple of weeks and the third game will be played in the first weekend of December