Bachten de Kupe
As I played some of the patrol rules wrong last time I played mission 3, I wanted to replay the mission with the 3rd platoon. Last time my Pln HQ became a casualty, and I used my XO to go in the field and create a new Pln HQ. (more details in this thread). This AAR covers only the patrol of 3rd platoon, and is as such only a third of mission 3.
For more about the rules for patrol missions, consult this great thread.
I had written down the battlefield layout for mission 4, so I just had to check my notes and reset the terrain cards as if 3rd platoon haven't done its patrol.
- 1st Sgt + .50 cal HMG tm + Arty FO go in the combat outpost, in the center of the hills, well hidden in their foxholes
- Co HQ, XO, 1st Pln, 2nd Pln and all other attached units go in row 1 to try to give some fire support, which won't be easy, as we have a very small moon, hidden between some clouds (+4 moon)
- 3rd platoon starts in the foxholes in the open plain, ready to go oon patrol!
The objective for 3rd platoon is the village on the left edge of our action zone. The plan for the patrol is to move over the hill in front of them, then between the hedgerows and then moving to the left and securing their objective in the village. Once the objective is secured, they can come back using roughly the same route.
Here you see the status of before the action starts:
The first turn starts without any problems, Co HQ having enough commands to activate 1st Sgt and 3rd Pln HQ.
The lieutenant of 3rd platoon starts his patrol by splitting of an assault team from his 1st squad, and sending this AT to scout the hill in front of them. Once on the hill, the mortar shells started to fall from the sky, and the AT ducked for cover, and stayed there, pinned by all the commotion going on around them.
As the mortar fire seems to have stopped, and the AT does not give any sign, the lieutenant orders his complete platoon to move up onto the hill and get some cover. The 1st Sgt, on the hill right of 3rd Pln, tried to spot the German FO who should have coordinated the previous mortar attack, but he was unfindable.
The captain calls our lieutenant, passing him a message from Bn HQ: we have to push on faster! He acknowledges to do so.
To move further in the direction of the objective, the same AT is ordered to move on, using the hedgerows in front as cover. Unfortunately, this unfindable German FO must have fallen back a bit, and must have seen the AT move forward, because as soon as they started moving between the hedgerows, a second mortar attack begins. Luckily for the AT, this attack also misses its purpose, just pinning them under their cover. (how lucky can you be: triggering two mortars in a row, and each time having a "PIN" result on -5...)
Eager to press on, the lieutenant orders the platoon to move forward to the position of the brave AT. After that an attempt to spot the German FO was unsuccessful again. He then orders the AT to scout the village which is their objective. The At moved as stealthily as possible through the narrow streets of the village, only to be pinned down by MG and automatic fire! A HMG nest and a paratroopers squad had prepared an ambush, covering the village. The dark and the little light the moon gives is a good concealer, and nobody gets hit.
The lieutenant decides to play it bold: he orders the rest of 1st squad (which has a riffle grenade), and his attached bazooka team to go into the village together with him. The rest of the platoon is left behind in the relatively safety of the cover they found between the hedgerows.
All attempts to hit the HMG nest with grenades fails. The lieutenant calls the 1st Sgt and asks him to order a artillery fire mission. This attempt fails as well. (although we had a lot of commands to spend: 4 in the 3rd Pln HQ impulse and 1 in the initiative impulse, we didn't achieve much...)
As the objective has been cleared and secured, and the lieutenant didn't have much time left, he decided not to try to get these Germans out of their positions, but rather to get his platoon back to their camp. He ordered a complete retreat to the position of the rest of the platoon.
TURN 7 - 10:
Nothing much happened, as 3rd platoon finishes their patrol and return back to Co HQ, the men go to rest and the lieutenant makes his report for the captain.
SOME REMARKS I made to myself:
1/ Isn't there something missing in the definition of securing a card? How can a card under crossfire of a squad and a HMG, been called secure, even if it is occupied by friendly units and not by any Germans? Shouldn't it be more logical to add to he definition of secured that the card can only be secured if there is no enemy PDF entering the card?
2/ why do you receive all those Bn attachments (HMGs, FOs) for those patrol missions, if it is stated that those units cannot go on patrol with the patrolling platoon? I might have overlooked something, but I haven't done anything with any of the units in row 1 for all the attempts I did for this mission.
3/ and last but not least: oh man, I really love this game! Thanks for a great game, Ben!
1. Secure is a military definition, it isn't safe, just held by friendly forces. It does not mean that it is free from enemy fire and observation, nor does it mean they enemy will not attempt to retake the ground. To quote Von Moltke, "In war, everything is dangerous."
2. The attachments serve two purposes, though the rest of company may not move, it may fire, spot, etc. in support of the patrol. Some attachments from Battalion and others may be attached to the platoon, such as a machinegun or an FO (the Mortar FO comes in pretty handy here)