I've called this a sort of Arras as it was based on a scenario where the Brits in 1940 think they are on the defensive, but then have to realise they have to act offensively to ambush a German Motorised Division reinforced with a Panzer Regiment. The set up was a gamers worst nightmare. The Germans thought they were attacking from one side and had to arrive by 3 main routes. I asked for an order of march for each road. As they went away to plan, I briefed the British. They were in defensive positions around a canal to their rear which must be held at all costs, and villages to their front. They were also briefed, continuously until game start, that the game was not what it seemed!!
The Germans arrived back to find out that they were advancing from the opposite side of the table they had planned for. Furthermore, all forces had to enter on their nominated roads in the specified order of march. In addition, they then had to travel across table, on these roads, moving at truck speed and were not allowed to leave the road until they had been engaged.
The Germans did well to play their turns with a straight face as if they had planned just to drive up a highway. The British were a bit non-plussed. One General did catch on to the brief "its not what it seems" but his two other Generals couldn't get out of the defensive thinking. They were supposed to launch an ambush, whilst they could, and try to get an advantage.
As it was, the British remained largely in place and engaged the Germans. The game ran well as the sides were still well balanced. Superior British armour in terms of "armour" but far less manoeuvrable that their German counterparts.
The game ended with the British flanks being squeezed slowly and the infantry being forced/persuaded to defend in the villages. The main organisational problem was that my camera had a technical fault and so the pics are from an earlier game but add to the flavour.
Atypical Brit start up with infantry in cover in the fields and the armour thrown out on the flanks. There were interesting encounters between German armoured cars and fast light British armour.
As the British pulled back somewhat to defend the villages, German airpower had more dense targets to engage, albeit they are in cover.
Who will flinch first? German crews tend to get the upper hand in static engagements by trying to concentrate on the weaker British armour and "smoke" the heavier armour. The British need to keep manoeuvring to try and not get picked off.
A typical look to the battlefield. Villages surrounded by fields and woods. The canal was to one side of the battlefield and ran the whole length of the table.
A brief report, shows we are still going strong. The next report is back to Napoleonics and an 1814 battle that I will post next week.