The German defenders were occupying the various buildings, but the key problem for the British attackers was to try and identify which buildings! Also, the British commanders had no knowledge about the size and composition of the German force. The British forces consisted of 3 full platoons and the occasional support of a Sherman 75mm tank. I say ‘occasional’ because the tank had orders to head towards a far table edge rather than directly assist the assault the infantry attack inside the town.
Chris, moved his British platoon in a sweeping left hook while the other 2 platoons commanded by Steve, Tony and myself took up position in the woodland approaching the suburbs of the town in preparation for a more direct frontal assault. It took a few phases of movement to get our infantry sections in to position, and when we were ready to attack a German Panzer IV entered from the far table edge adjacent to the town. Thankfully, our Sherman tank was still on the scene and engaged the Panzer IV in a very long-range exchange of shells. The tank gunners on both sides should have gone to ‘Specsavers’ because neither could hit a barn door with a shovel! Eventually, both tanks moved on having achieved nothing more than stalling the infantry assault by a couple of game turns.
The British sections crossed the open ground between the woodland and the suburb hexes without loss – thankfully we had made the correct assumptions on the possible position of German defenders in the buildings. A couple of sections were suppressed by shellfire from the Panzer IV, but when this moved on the infantry were free to complete the crossing of the open ground.
Meanwhile, Chris’s infantry had taken up position behind an 8 hex hill ready to launch the left-hook attack. Once the frontal attack units had occupied the suburb hexes Chris’s advance sections emerged from the cover of the hill to attack and occupy the closest buildings. They came under fire from a German infantry section and a SDKFZ. The British suffered a number of casualties but did manage to bring mortar fire down destroying the SDKFZ and suppressing some of the German infantry.
The frontal British attack advanced from the suburbs towards the centre of the town, but came under fire from German sections occupying buildings, which were ordered to ‘ambush.’ This they did rather successfully, mauling an infantry section and causing the other 5 sections to pause and re-think before pushing further into the town.
Unfortunately, at this point, time had beaten us and it was time to put the game away, but players from both sides had gained valuable experience which we could use to inform our attack and defensive tactics in the next game.