Belgian defenders incredulous! Sheep remain unharmed, despite presence in minefields.
Last Friday Alan came over to finish the BKC game we reported on earlier. As you recall, we left the game at the start of the fourth turn, with the Germans about to cross the river with a battalion of infantry in assault boats.
The continuation of the game saw Alan trying to push this battalion across the river, while simulataneously attempting to keep the rest of the Belgians pinned by fire from beyond the minefields.
As the Belgian commander, once my general defense was set up, my only real decision was when and where to commit my meagre reserves, consisting of two empty trucks (to be used in an emergency to cart anti tank guns around from where they were deployed in the front lines), two trucks with a platoon of infantry each, and the might of the Belgian armored forces - three platoons of T13 tanks, packing a mean whallop in the form of a 47mm AT gun.
Given the fact that the Germans seemed not to be pushing their attacks elsewhere (the fact that I managed to suppress the German engineers several times on their way to clearing the minefield might have had a hand in that), I decided on committing the reserve on the right flank, where the Germans were crossing the river.
This proved to be a fortuitous decision. The arrival of the extra firepower of two infantry platoons and three 47mm guns, combined with a string of good command rolls just when I needed them and a star performance by the Belgian artillery, ensured that no Germans got out of their boats on the Belgian side of the river, and by turn 7, the German infantry was scattered and thrown back.
I had lost most of my front line infantry by then (I managed to retreat two out of six platoons in the ‘safety’ of the village on the Belgian left flank, but the rest died in their trenches), but the second line of longer ranged machine guns and AT guns was still intact.
In turn 8 of 12, with one assault broken up and the rest not even into the minefield yet, the German commander decided to take discretion as the better part of valour and opted to not push the matter any further. A Belgian victory!
I did not think I would win this game, fearing that I would not have enough firepower to stop the inevitable German assault coming through the gaps in the minefield. As it turned out, the timely arrival of the reserves and good command rolls ensured that I was able to beat back the Germans however. This just goes to show that it is very hard for even numerically superior forces (the Germans had twice the points on table than did the Belgians) to successfully assault prepared defenses.
Photos of this game will appear here shortly, I expect.