Battle Reports‎ > ‎

The Bridge at Chewton Keynsham

After their defeat at the Battle of Ashton Hill, the BALTI forces are in full 'Benghazi Handicap' retreat towards the bridge at Chewton Keynsham and safety. In hot pursuit are the victorious AotSV forces, determined to get there first and secure the crossing in readiness for attacking Keynsham, strategically situated on the river Avon. Whom so ever is in control of the bridge is in control of the fate of Keynsham and the forces to the South East of Bristol.

Scenario Details.

The following scenario, "The Important Bridge", is taken from "Scenarios For All Ages" by Grant and Asquith. I have tried to keep the forces involved as close as possible to the book, but taking into account the make shift nature of the AVBCW.

Table Layout.

Point D is to the North, Point B to the East, Point A to the South and Point C to the West.

Notes:

  • The river is fordable to infantry units, but not AFVs, trucks etc, within 12" of the bridge.

  • The forces enter via points A – D, details of which can be found below.


Objective.

To be in control of the bridge! Control of objectives as per the BKC rulebook. Normal break point rules apply.

Duration.

12 Turns.

Deployment.

Forces A-C start the game using mobile deployment as normal. Force D starts the game on a random turn, between 2-4, after Turn 1. Roll a D3 to determine which Turn they arrive.

Force Compositions.

Each force has it's own guidelines from which each player can choose the exact type of troops, ie:

6 Regular Infantry Units could be made up of any mix of Regular Infantry, MG Support Unit or Mortar Support Unit. For every MG Support Unit there must be at least 3 Regular Infantry Units. For every 3 Regular Infantry Units, 1 can have an AT rifle upgrade.


BALTI Force 'A'

1 x CO

2 x Hqs

12 x Regular Infantry

2 x Artillery Support Units or ATG Units (including trucks if required).

2 x Medium Tanks (eg Somuas)


BALTI Force 'B'

2 x Hqs

3 x Conscript Infantry

6 x Regular Infantry

3 x Light Tanks or Armoured Cars (only mg armed, so PZ I for example)


AotSV Force 'C'

1 x CO

2 x Hqs

9 x Regular Infantry

3 x Light Tanks

1 x Medium tank

1 x Artillery Support Unit or ATG unit (including trucks if required)


AotSV Force 'D'

2 x Hqs

3 x Conscripts Infantry

6 x Regular Infantry

1 x Medium Tank

1 x Artillery Support Unit or ATG Unit (including trucks if required)

Turn 1

We rolled a die to see who would start and the AotSV got the first Turn. Another die roll saw that Force D would arrive at the start of Turn 3, so not too bad at all.

In a typically patchy start, one HQ and attached unit failed to arrive on time, leaving it to the right flank to advance towards the cover of the wood. The CO ordered the Pz Is to advance down the road towards the bridge with all speed, but taking care not to expose their thin armour to any anti-tank fire.

The BALTI Force A had a similar patchy start, with the CO not playing ball, but the HQs lead the way with the infantry and Somuas advancing towards the cover of the cornfield. At the same time the units of BALTI Force B advanced up the road towards the bridge and the small wood to their front.

View towards Chewton Keynsham bridge from BALTI Force B jumping off point. The AotSV Force C can be seen at the top of the table.

The various forces at the end of Turn 1.

The Pz Is in their pre-war camouflage scheme take up position near to the bridge, with infantry units deploying into the wood to protect the flank.

The Rolls Royce armoured cars of BALTI Force B approach the bridge in parallel with their supporting infantry who seek out the cover of the wood to mask  their advance.

Turn 2

The somewhat iffy performance of the AotSV Force C continued with the HQ failing to show up again and the other throwing a hissy fit. Fortunately the CO with a stiff upper lip calmy took control of the situation and ordered the infantry and supporting gun to deploy in and around the wood. The Pz Is hearing the sound of AFVs to their front and flank sought out the protection of the wood from prying eyes.

The BALTI Force A continued to advance through the cornfield and deployed their anti-tank guns. The CO decided to come to the party but then promptly failed his next command roll. Meanwhile BALTI Foce B split in two, with the armoured cars moving to the left flank and the inn with the infantry advancing towards the manor house road.

The forces at the end of Turn 2.

The Rolls Royce armoured cars move past the inn, with the infantry taking up position along the fence line of the road.

The Pz Is and infantry gun with commanding views of the bridge.

Turn 3

The AotSV Force C tardy HQ finally arrives and immediately is thrown into action against the BALTI Somuas. Poor shooting by the MKIV tank is followed by exceelent shooting from the Somuas leaving the MkIV suppressed. The accompanying infantry make for the cover of the cornfield. The rest of the force distracted by the sound of gunfire falls into a state of paralysis.

The AotSV Force D arrived and advanced along the river, with some of the infantry starting to ford the river.

The state of paralysis affected the BALTI Force A, with the Somuas and accompanying infantry failing to capitalise on their excellent positions. The CO trying to gee his troops up advanced with his force, only to then blunder.

The sound of battle from across the river seemed to affect the BALTI Force B as they advanced cautiously on both flanks, rather than pushing on towards the bridge.

The forces at the end of Turn 3.

AotSV Force D arriving on the table.

The battle for control of the cornfields develops.

Turn 4

The AotSV Force C MkIV fires on the Somuas, only to see them shrug off the hits and then destroy the MkIV with return opportunity fire. The accompanying infantry not deterred by the loss of the armoured support, move to the cornfield the threaten the Somuas with close assault. Combined fire from MG and mortar units finish off one of the BALTI infantry units.

The AotSV Force D continues its advance along the river with the infantry having crossed it moving in parallel with them.

BALTI Force A attempts to flank the AotSV infantry in the field, but with the result that one Somua is suppressed and the other advances out into the open. Unfortunately BALTI Force B is having a crisis of confidence and does nothing this turn.

Turn 5

Things suddenly hot up in the cornfield with infantry of AotSV Force C using initiative to assault the Somua, destroying it in the process. They follow this up with an assault on the BALTI HQ unit, sending it back towards it's own baseline. Trying to capitalise on this successful turn, the HQ then blunders and moves off the table! The units in and around the woods lack targets so sit tight.

AotSV Force D slowly continues it's advance along the river.

On both BALTI Fronts, it's a case of 'All Quiet on the Chewton Keynsham Front'. Not something that the BALTI forces really wanted to happen.

Things are hotting up on the other side of the river.

The AotSV take control of the cornfield. It's even-stevens on the tank losses front.

The AotSV Force D make somewhat slow progress to try and turn the BALTI Force B flank.

Turn 6

With dicretion being the better part of valour, the AotSV Force C infantry in the cornfield retire out of sight of the massing BALTI Force A infantry. The HQ is somewhat un-nerved by the threat from the enemy, so once again it is a case of 'Keep Calm and Carry On' which the CO does superbly. Combined fire from the infantry gun, mortar and anti-tank rifle finishes the remaining Somua, thereby removing a significant threat to this flank.

The AotSV Force D continues to push along the river towards the manor house and bridge.

BALTI Force A exchanges fire with the infantry in the cornfield, with neither force gaining the upper hand.

BALTI Force B is finally galvanised into action and moves swiftly to take control of the manor house, thereby securing their right flank. The armoured cars remain safely esconced behind the inn, probably enjoying a pint or two of Bishops Old Peculiar.

The BALTI Force B troops take over the manor house to secure the flank.

The view of the battlefield at the end of Turn 6, with the AotSV Force D troops close to the vital bridge.

The mass of BALTI Force A infantry start to make their numbers count.

Turn 7

The AotSV Force C troops in the cornfield hold position to try and delay the inevitable onslaught from the BALTI forces. The AotSV Force D troops edge along the river.

The BALTI Force A troops fire on the enemy in the cornfield, finishing one off and suppressing the others. On the other side of the river the BALTI Force B troops sit tight.

Turn 8

A quiet turn for the AotSV troops, with the only real action being the Pz Is breaking cover and heading over the bridge. The troops in the cornfield once again keep their heads down.

The BALTI Force A troops attack the enemy troops in the cornfield, who somehow hold out, despite losing an MG unit. With the appearance of the Pz Is, the Rolls Royce armoured cars of BALTI Force B also make a dash towards the bridge, with neither armoured vehicles able to inflict damage on the others! With time running out, the troops leave the manor house and head towards the inn and the bridge.

The Pz Is dash for the bridge.

The Rolls Royce armoured cars respond but come under fire from over the river.

All forces make their moves for the bridge.

Elements of AotSV Force D and BALTI Force B contest the bridge approaches.

BALTI Force A numbers start to tell in the cornfield.

Turn 9

The attrition on AotSV Force C infantry in the cornfield continued, with all other HQs failing to do anything. Once again the CO came to the rescue and combined fire saw one Rolls Royce armourec car destryoed and the other two suppressed.

Finally the numbers game told in favour of the BALTI Force A and the flank of the AotSV Force C was under threat. BALTI Force B kept their heads down after seeing the effects of the gun fire on the armoured cars.

The Pz Is take control near the inn, but the over the river...

... the BALTI Force A are in a strong position.

Turn 10

The loss of the cornfield has an effect on the AotSV HQs who all fail. Tired of being Superman, the CO once again steps up to the plate and combined fire finishes off the armoured-car and one of the BALTI anti-tank guns.

The BALTI Force A troops push on towards the road and the woods, determined to wrest control of the bridge before time ran out. unfortunately the BALTI Force B troops did not share this determination and sat tight whilst under the gaze of the two Pz Is.

The bridge approaches are in AotSV control...

... but are under severe threat from the BALTI Force A troops.

Turn 11

The AotSV starts to lose their nerve, with all command units failing, including the CO. Not the best time in the game for this to happen!

However the BALTI Force A troops, spurred on by the scent of possible victory, assault into the woods, routing the AotSV Force C troops in their wake. With possible victory in their grasp, their CO chooses the worst possible time to blunder and heads off towards his baseline!

The BALTI Force A troops assault the wood.

All forces have converged on the bridge, with only one Turn left.

Turn 12

With the final Turn, both sides bottled it and lost any chance of winning the game, with all HQs and COs failing to issue any meaningful orders!

Aftermath

At one point it looked like the BALTI forces had no chance of gaining the bridge, but Craig's persistence paid off and he nearly won it on the last throw of the die. With such a close game and neither side in real control of the bridge, we agreed that the game was an honourable draw.

Keynsham had been saved and the right flank of the Loyal Army of the South was secured for the foreseeable future. The battle would now move to other parts of the South West, but where the hammer would fall only the AotSV knew.

Comments