Saturday, 25 January 2020

Trench Clearing

This is another one of the 'training' scenarios from 'Stout Hearts and Iron Troopers', based around a German platoon clearing a trench of British defenders after an initial bombardment. I adapted it for Trench Hammer. It's played on a 2' x 2' board.

The Germans have two rifle squads, two LMG squads and a bomber squad, with one leader and a sergeant.

The British defenders have a standard platoon - rifle squad, LMG squad, rifle-grenade squad and bombers, with a leader. The bombers and the leader start off-table as reinforcements, the LMG in a concrete bunker in the centre and the other two squads sheltering in bunkers in the front-line trench.

The Germans are attacking as the barrage lifts.

The terrain onsists of s ingle trench line, with a communication trench heading off towards the British baseline. There are eight 3" wire sections across the front of the trench and about 4" from it. At the start of the game the Germans can dice for each one; it is removed on a 5-6.

I placed shell-holes and low rises placed at random.

The British units suffer effects of pre-game bombardment as per the rules.

Owing to their confused state, the British only roll 1D6 for command. They can move units or set aside command points for reinforcements. Before rolling command dice they can spend these banked command points, rolling a D6 against them. On a score equal to or less than the banked points the reinfocements appear, at one of the three points where the trenches leave the board.The original scenario has rules for off-table HMG fire, but I didn't work out how to resolve that. I think in future I'd have it appearing as some kind of auto-reinforcement with the LOS being measured from one of the three points where trenches leave the board (these also being the three possible entry points for the British reinforcements as well), firing as an HMG at long range but perhaps only scoring 1D3 damage - annoying rather than deadly.

Anyway, heres the game set up and ready to go. I put the British bases on for the look of it, but really they're hidden in the bunkers/pillbox.

The Germans had some craters on their baseline, so deployed the two LMG squads there, with orders to take the pillbox under fire and keep it suppressed, or provide supporting fire for the other squads. The other squads aimed for the British bunker on their left; the rifle squads were to deal with the trench, whilst the bombers, led by the sergeant, were to swing round, flank the pillbox and assault it.

The Germans moved rapidly, and their riflemen quickly entered the trench before teh British emerged from their bunker. The bombers followed close behind. The other riflemen moved through a gap in the wire in front of the pillbox. Suppresive fire from the German LMGs wasn't enough to stop the British from spreaying them with fire, and they fell back to regroup.

The British came out of their bunker and fighting broke out along the trench. The British retreated.

The Germans consolidated their position, and the bombers got themselves in a position to move in on the pillbox.

They attacked, but were driven back, but with light casualties only.

Alerted by the firing the British reinforcements arrived, rushing down the trench to assault the Germans. The fight was fierce and the Germans fell back, but the British suffered badly and lost their officer as well.

The Germans attacked the pillbox again, and destroyed the squad inside, taking the defences.

German and British troops face off along the trench.

The supporting fire from the LMG was starting to tell now, inflicting steady casualties on the British. The bombers were soon dispersed.

The British tried to consolidate their position, with a rifle squad grabbing the junction with their communication trench, and the rifle grenadiers finding the range of the supporting LMG. But the german platoon commander was directing the fire of his support weapons, and kept them in the fight.

The Germans attacked again, attempting to take the junction, but both assaults were thrown back.

However the Germans had the advatage of numbers, and kept up a relentless series of attacks, whilst allowing squads to recover. The British had no such luxury, and were soon defeated.

Their surviving squad - the rifle-grenades - retreated back down the trenches.

The Germans took hits, but didn't lose any squads, as they had the numbers and initiative to be able to pull units out of the fight to recover.

To be fair this was a closer fight than it looked; The Germans did take hits, and a couple more casualties could have seen units lost at key moments, maybe handing the initiative to the British. But on the whole a careful German plan should win this each time.

1 comment:

  1. Looks good! I may take a break from painting WW2 stuff and get Trench Hammer out again. I am slowly 3d printing new trenches that are a better fit for my 10mm. Keep the reports coming


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