Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Mussy-la-Ville Road

Last night we played the third of the scenarios from Rommel's Route to Verdun.  Again, Andy and Richard played the Germans and Jamie took the French.  This was, I think, the smallest Arc of Fire scenario I've ever been involved with; just seven German figures against fifteen French blundering around in the fog.

On the morning of 22nd August 1914, just an hour after the clash at Hill 325, Rommel was leading a small reconnaissance party when he encountered French troops resting on the Mussy-la-Ville road.  Being Rommel he immediately attacked them despite being outnumbered!

In our game Rommel started behind the barn (bottom left) and eventually
ended up in the house with the black roof engaging French troops
deployed in the orange-roofed house. 
Game turn 1 saw a random event which game Rommel's small platoon HQ (led by Richard) get a third activation in the turn.  They used it to dash across the wheat field towards the Mussy-la-Ville road.

Rommel (front right) flanked by Sergeant Ostertag and
accompanied by a couple of runners, approaches the road.
One game turn two Rommel's HQ was followed by another scout team (Andy), this time of three men enter the board.  They set up after Rommel and were crossing the wheat field as Rommel's HQ advanced along the road across their front.   Fortunately, the two sides recognised each other and avoided a "grey-on-grey incident". 

Game turn 3 - the German approach march continues.
On game turn 4 there was a sudden burst of firing.  Rommel's HQ had strayed into range of the French squad resting in the orange-roofed house.  The dice were rolled and Rommel took two kills!  It looked like the Desert Fox would never reach North Africa until we suddenly realised that we'd forgotten the scenario special rule that reflected the French troops' unreadiness for action.  They treated all first fire as at triple the actual range!  We decided to reroll the dice and Jamie ended up killing Rommel's two runners instead.  He would subsequently wound Sergeant Ostertag too.

Rommel and Ostertag are suddenly alone on the road.
I wish I'd thought to use my dead/wounded figures for
the visual effect.
Game turns 5 and 6 saw both German units (now depleted) scuttling for cover in the black-roofed house.

Ostertag (red wound marker) takes cover while Rommel fires his
pistol through a window and the scout team leader (blue Advance
Mode marker) backs into cover.
In the end all the Germans could do was maintain fire against the French squad in the orange-roofed house.  Jamie sensibly kept his second (smaller) unit hidden in the fog - they weren't needed and he didn't want to take unnecessary casualties.  The game ended with twelve unwounded, unbroken French troops still on the table.  This meant that the Germans fell one enemy casualty short of achieving their victory conditions.

The French scored 9 VPs to the Germans' two.  The overall campaign score is now 25:15 in favour of the French as we prepare for the final scenario of the campaign - Shoot-out in Bleid.

No comments: