Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Friday, 6 March 2015

La Mauvaise Quatre


It's been several weeks in the preparation of figures and terrain, but finally my Germans were unleashed on James' Frenchmen.

Jerry on the Wire
We rolled up a scenario and would be playing a Flank Attack with my Germans as the attackers (I have a lot more supports painted).

We laid out the terrain with James placing his three sets of entrenchments in mutually supporting positions. As we covered the table with a muddy coloured cloth it is not clear from the images, but to the French right the ground rose sharply and then fell off into dead ground.

We played out the Patrol Phase and I decided to concentrate two of my jump-off points in the dead ground on the French flank with a third placed before their positions.

Fin!
James was assisted by Matt during the game and they fielded a Reduced Strength Platoon with an Elite rating comprising of:

  • Lieutenant (Senior Leader)
  • Demi-Section 1: Sergeant (Junior Leader), Grenadier-Voltigeur Squad of Caporal (Junior Leader), two bombers, four riflemen, Support Squad of Chauchat Team of One Chauchat with two crew, one rifleman, VB Team of three V.B. launchers with two crew each
  • Demi-Section 2: Sergeant (Junior Leader), Grenadier-Voltigeur Squad of Caporal (Junior Leader), two bombers, four riflemen, Support Squad of Chauchat Team of One Chauchat with two crew, one rifleman, VB Team of three V.B. launchers with two crew each

I used a standard Infantry Platoon of:
French JOP in blue, German in black

  • Leutnant (Senior Leader)
  • Rifle Gruppe: 1 Gefreiter (Junior Leader) , eight riflemen, two bombers
  • Rifle Gruppe: 1 Gefreiter (Junior Leader) , eight riflemen, two bombers
  • Light Machine-gun Gruppe: 1 Gefreiter (Junior Leader) , eight riflemen, MG08/15 with two crew
  • Light Machine-gun Gruppe: 1 Gefreiter (Junior Leader) , eight riflemen, MG08/15 with two crew

Rolling for Force Supports I would have eight points while James had three, all of which was spent on barbed wire entanglements to cover the high ground on his left - conveniently in front of two of my jump-off points.

Not being allowed artillery support for the Flank Attack mission I spent my eight points on:
  • Adjutant
  • M1916 Granatenwerfer
  • Captured Lewis Gun
  • Sniper team
  • Maxim 08 MMG with 5 crew and Junior Leader (I forgot to place the JL on the table!)
As I was the attacker I took first turn and immediately placed a Light Machine-gun Gruppe in the small Bois to the front of the main German trench line, this was really a diversion!

The Bois
With four sections and only three emplacements James immediately deployed his two Support Squads facing my troops and the emplacement nearest the barbed wire was manned by a Grenadier-Voltigeur Squad.

Soon the VB grenades were falling among my infantry but that was the plan, the Gefreiter had them take a tactical stance and was coping admirably with rallying the shock. Now it was time to put the plan into action.

French Support Squad
The Maxim and Granatenwerfer were deployed in the dead ground behind the barbed wire and were soon joined by one of my Rifle Gruppe and the other Light Machine-gun Gruppe which had been bolstered by the additional Lewis gun. The small Grenadier-Voltigeur Squad in the entrenchments did not stand much of a chance, despite me being Regular troops in the open and he being Elites in hard cover we soon had racked up enough casualties and pins to have that section breaking for the rear and routing off table.

I still maintained a Rifle Gruppe in reserve and James was cautious in letting up his fire on the decoy section to their front. As things were getting a bit hot in that sector I deployed the sniper to support them and he was soon stacking up the shock markers on the VB team. Also I realised that if this Gruppe closed the ground with the French then I would be inside the minimum range of at least half of the grenade-launchers.

On my right the two infantry Gruppe went to the wire and started attempting to cut through under supporting fire from the Maxim and Granatenwerfer.

James did not yet want to commit his Lieutenant and final Grenadier-Voltigeur Squad to the fight, but it seems that the Lieutenant was determined to join the fray, for four successive command phases the French rolled three fours. As you can see, the patriotically coloured dice were not working for them.

Eventually James relented and deployed the Grenadier-Voltigeurs to cover the wire while the Lieutenant went straight to the forward position to rally the VB squad and direct their fire onto the Maxim. 

However, it was too late, the Rifle Gruppe finally tore aside the wire and were soon among the newly arrived Grenadier-Voltigeurs cowering in their trenches from the concentrated fire from the high ground. The French Force Morale collapsed and the Germans held the trench line.

I still had a Rifle Gruppe in reserve!

What a great game, we'll be doing the same again in a few weeks.

All the French are James and were painted by him, IIRC a mixture of Woodbine and Scarab. The Germans are mine painted by myself and are all Great War Miniatures. The terrain is all mine, the shell holes and entrenchments from Early War Miniatures, the barbed wire sections scratch built.

Here are more images, it is rather dark at the White Hart but hopefully you can get the idea.

 
Grenadier-Voltigeurs cover the wire

Before legging it
 
Rifle Gruppe move forwards to get out of the VB fire


I have made about 18" of wire, need about as much again

Support Squad

The supporting line

Grenadier-Voltigeurs hold the line

Maxim fire support

Light machine-gun Gruppe tries to cut the wire


Hun on the high ground

Granatewerfer

Maxim and Leiutenant 

Rifle Gruppe captures the redoubt

The other Rifle Gruppe under concentrated fire