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The Battle for Winterbourne

Background
With the suprise capture of 'Beautiful Bertha' by forces of the Loyal Army of the South, the Army of the Severn Valley immediately starts planning a series of counter-attacks to try and regain the 'favours' of Bertha. Meanwhile the LAotS seeing an opportunity for a strategic move against the AotSV left flank, moves forces towards Winterbourne and the Marle Hills, local high ground that dominates the surrounding area with views towards Bristol, the Severn Valley and Filton Aerodrome. Control of this high ground severely threatens the AotSV lines-of-communication as well as offering the possibility of a strategic series of attacks towards the River Severn, that could cut off AotSV forces South of the Bristol to London railway line. It is therefore imperative that the LAotS forces are driven from these heights before they can fortify them and use them as jumping off points for further attacks.

Scenario 3. Counter Attack
Rules as per the scenario with the following 'house rules':
  • Objective for both sides is to be in control of the Marle Hills and Winterbourne at the end of the game. The outcome will determine whether the LAotS drives on towards the River Severn, or if the AotSV pushes back towards Bristol and the East to clear their LoC.
  • Hidden Deployment as per the CWC rules.
  • Hits 'stay on'.
  • One of the hills is classed as a ridge and impassable to vehicles, wheeled or tracked.
  • Bradley Brook counts as Linear Terrain for troops on foot and cavalry, but impassable to wheeled and tracked vehicles.
  • CO CV9 and HQs CV8 (for more fluid play given the length of the scenario).
  • Auto-Suppression from Mortars and Infantry Guns (indirect fire only from the latter) as well as normal off-board artillery and aircraft.
  • Partial Air Superiority for the AotSV (due to proximity of Filton aerodrome).
  • 25% of the AotSV force may not arrive until the start of Turn 3 (this is due to 'Beautiful Bertha making her enormous presence felt disrupting the AotSV lines-of-communication).
  • Attacker 1,800 points.
  • Defender 1,200 points.

Deployment

The LAotS deployment area was on the right hand third of the board, with the road delineating the extreme edge of said zone.The AotSV used the left hand edge of the table and or any of the table edges to the left of the road as their deployment areas.

An overall view of Winterbourne and the start of the Marle Hills. The London to Bristol railway line is clearly vivible as is Bradley Brook.


A view of the village and the market garden allotments.


The view from Bradley Brook towards the objective.

Turn 1

The BUF forces (part of the AotSV) made a patchy start, with a command blunder revealing the BUF right flank forces! Not the best start for the BUF.

For Prince Albert's Somerset Light Infantry, the turn started well with some markers moving to get better lines of sight. A command blunder also occured, but just revealed a blank marker. However with the BUF right flank in full view, the PASLI FAO, 'Hawkeye' Pearce, voluntarily revealed himself and then succeeded in bringing down an artillery barrage on BUF flank.


The BUF forces caught in the open...

... are halted by the effects of the artillery barrage. This was just the beginning of their suffering...

Turn 2

Another BUF command blunder revealed a blank marker, whilst some markers continued to move. On the right flank, the few units that were not suppressed moved and the mortars deployed.

The Lt-Col 'Biffo' Frimley-Green encouraged by the excellent start to the battle, managed to get his chaps to spot some 'hidden' markers, one of which was the BUF Panzer 1s on the left flank. 'Hawkeye' played a bit of a blinder, once again calling down the artillery barrage, but this time without deviation!


An overall view at the end of Turn 2. The PASLI forces have yet to be spotted by the BUF.

The artillery barrage and its after effects, including the supression of the FAC.


The BUF Panzer 1s face an unknown foe in the form of the 'hidden' marker.

Turn 3

With the BUF right flank once again stalled as a result of the artillery barrage, the Panzer 1s succeed in spotting the 'hidden' marker, which turns out to be a blank. A command blunder leaves them stuck without any visible enemy to charge. The BUF cavalry in true Western style arrive and charge up the table to threaten the PASLI left flank.

With the unexpected arrival of the '7th cavalry' on their right flank, Captain 'Wizard' Watkins and his Vickers MKVI Light Tanks revealed themselves, much to the consternation of the '7th' cavalry. His light tanks then fired on the exposed cavalry, finishing off two units in quick succession. On the left flank, 'Hawkeye' reveals the BUF CO and his forces in the centre, but then fails to get in touch with his off-board artillery.

The view at the end of Turn 3.

Captain 'Wizard' Watkins and his light tanks cause consternation as they reveal themselves in full view of the BUF cavalry.

The BUF CO and his forces caught in the open.


Turn 4

The BUF manage to reveal more hidden markers, that all turn out to be blanks. Only two are left, but they do not know which ones they are and the forces contained therein. With the left flank finally unsuppressed, they start to move to attempt to cross Bradley Brook byt the rail bridge. In the centre the BUF Co and his forces to the BUA byt the market garden allotments. On the right flank the cavalry dismount and the Panzer 1s only manage a small advance.

'Hawkeye' Pearce re-establishes communication with his artillery units, which once again rain down misery upon the BUF left flank, finishing off the two towed artillery support units. This loss will really hamper the BUFs ability to prsecute their attack. 'Wizard' Watkins and his light tanks again attack the cavalry, finishing off another unit. With good targets in sight, Major 'Bonzo' Atkinson reveals his troops and immediately attacks the lead Panzer 1. This proves to be a tough customer, and survives many attacks but takes two his and is suppressed.

Major 'Bonzo' Atkinson and Captain 'Wizard' Watkins give the enemy 'what for!'

The BUF CO and his troops advance in the centre.


The BUF left flank once again suffers.


The end of Turn 4.

Turn 5

The BUF manage to reveal the last PASLI unit, which is Lt-Col 'Biffo' Frimley-Green and his troops. The left flank troops that are not suppressed fail their command roll, probarbly due to shell shock. On the right flank they sit tight and ponder what to do faced by a strong force with little to combat it with. The FAC fails his command roll, despite the help fo the BUF recce unit. Only the CO and his troops continue their advance as time is running out.

'Hawkeye' Pearces motto of "make hay whilst the sunshines" is bearing fruit as another artillery strike supresses to BUF MG units in the centre. However 'Wizard' and 'Bonzo' have taken their eyes off the ball and fail to do anything this turn. 'Biffo' steps up to the plate though and orders the 'Beast of Bodmin' into the attack with a double one command roll, which results in the demise of the lead Panzer 1.

The table at the end of Turn 5.

The BUF MG units suppressed  by 'Hawkeye' and his artillery units.


The 'Beast of Bodmin' enters the fray and it's "goodnight Vienna" for one Panzer 1.

Turn 6

The BUF recce unit once again spots for the FAC, who true to form once again fails their command roll. With time running out, the right flank advances as does the centre, albeit slowly, with the left flank unsure what to do given the forces arrayed against them. Opportunnity fire from the aTG unit and the 'Beast'  suppresses a Panzer 1 unit as it attempts to move to a better location.

A poor show on the part of the PASLI forces sees 'Hawkeye' blunder, resulting in hits on his offboard artillery, with 'Wizard' Watkins following suit with a light tank taking two hits. This is taking fair play to it's extreme as these are the only hits on the PASLI forces so far! 'Biffo' is off colour as well and fails his command roll, leaving 'Bonzo'  to cause a hit on a Panzer 1.

The end of Turn 6. The BUF are making painful progress towards the objective.


The BUF centre start to threaten to attack the objective.

Turn 7

Finally the FAC manages to call in an airstrike, with no ack-ack from the PASLI forces as they are all unsighted by the BUA of Winterbourne. The attack goes in an destroys one artillery support unit and supresses an infantry unit. The left flank effectively sits tight and the right once again barely advances. In the centre the BUF CO manages to advance his forces that start to attack the PASLI forces located in Winerbourne, with one infantry unit destroyed and another supressed. A case of "too little, too late"?

The PASLI chaps possibly unnerved by incoming fire in the village, have another patchy turn. 'Hawkeye' fails to contact his artillery, who are probably more than a bit miffed by his blunder last turn. 'Wizard' Watkins light tanks advance to attack the cavalry but fail at the crucial moment, ie when they needed to open fire! 'Bonzo' and his ATG unit does finish off the last Panzer 1, which puts pay to any chance of a threat to the right flank. 'Biffo' however is all at "sixes and sevens" and fails his command roll.


The BUF air support finally arrives to attack the artillery support unit and infantry.


At the end of Turn 7. The high water amrk of the BUF is reached.

The BUF attacks finally go in.


Only the '7th cavalry' are left to threaten the PASLI right flank.

Turn 8

With a last throw of the die, the BUF forces gamble everything on an all out attack. However the right flank is having none of this and fails to move. The left flank plays ball and bravely assaults the Vivkers MKVI light tanks, but are driven off losing one cavalry unit, but at least taking one light tank with them. The attacks continue into the village, but cause no more casualties.

With the BUF attack blunted, the PASLI forces sat tight, confident that they had achieved major victory.

Conclusion

The BUF attack got off to the worst possible start, with their right flank unit being revealed and then coming under sustained artillery barrages for much of the game. With one flank stalled for much of the game, it was always going to be hard slog to be able to win. The left flank also stalled when the PASLI forces facing them were revealed, forces that they could do little about. However in the centre towards the end, the BUF forces did manage to show how different things might have been, if they had been a bit more lucky with their command rolls. When the attakcs went in, the hits started to mount up on the PASLI forces, but it was too little, too late as time simply ran out for the BUF.

So now with Winterbourne and the Marle hills under their control, the LAotS forces can begin to plan for a strategic offensive to drive on towards the River Severn and to cut off the AotSV from their LoC. Watch this space.

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