Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Great Bromley Raid

Our scaled-down rendition of Great Bromley
Last weekend Patrick and I played a raid for WWPD's Operation Sealion 1944. We wanted to put together a fun, dramatic series of games with an accompanying story. Its a two-part story focusing on a pair of raids. The first, featured below, is a glider assault on the Great Bromley radar station. The story so far can be found here... Once the missions are all  done and dusted, I'll compile it all and post up the fully illustrated story.

For now, here's the battlereport! Once again, many thanks to Patrick for the game and writing up the turn summaries!


A little about the target:
The Chain Home station at Great Bromley was a key part of the British early warning system. It was defended from air attack by three 40mm Bofors emplacements. It is one of the last radar stations in southern England still operating on the Sealion '44 campaign map. It has been targeted for destruction by a glider-borne raiding force from the Brandenburgers.

Mike's Brandenburgers
The Forces
We wanted to make this a raid mission and given the nature of KG200, a glider assault seemed the most appropriate. We decided to use Mid-war forces so that the Brandenburgers could use the Kampfgruppe von Koenen PDF briefing. We chose to represent the RAF garrison regiment as Confident Trained Rifles from North Africa to keep the forces balanced against each other.

The Special Guest was Hauptmann Dietrich Wulf,
my Infantry Ace from Cassino!
Mike's Brandenburgers
(using Kampfgruppe von Koenen PDF)

HQ (1x SMG Team): 60 points
Brandenburger Glider Platoon: (3x SMG Teams, 2x MG Teams, 1x DFS230 Glider)

For semi-historical (A DFS230 can only carry 9 passengers) and dramatic purposes, we added a second glider for the HQ, added a 'special guest' SMG team, and split the teams into two groups across the gliders.
Two of Great Bromleys several massive towers. They have been dramatically scaled down as a true 1:100 scale model of one of the wooden towers would stand 30"/76cm tall (the steel ones are even bigger!)
Patrick's British Garrison
(using British Rifle Company from First Army, North Africa)

3 x Bofors
HQ (CO & 2ic)
Rifle platoon (3 squads, 6 rifle/MG stands and command stand)
Rifle platoon (3 squads, 6 rifle/MG stands and command stand)
Rifle platoon (3 squads, 6 rifle/MG stands and command stand)
Home Guard Platoon (6 rifle stands, Northover projector and command stand)
HMG (2 squads in carriers)
1 carrier patrol (3 carriers)

The Mission
We used a modified version of The Raid, found in the book Burning Empires. We counted each radar tower as two objectives, meaning they counted as double, but also had to be demolished successfully twice. Two other small objectives were placed in the complex for extra victory points.

Time of Day
I decided to lad my forces in the pitch black of nighttime. I banked on the night offering my very small force some protection so long as they held their fire and got on with their job.

Everyone out!
The Glider Landing
Two gliders swoop down from the sky. It’s risky landing at night, but less dangerous than during the day. The risk doesn’t pay off for one glider. It crashes, killing the two raiding stands inside but leaving the CO alive. The other glider lands almost perfectly, near the southern radar tower. The troops inside tumble out, but the wild ride means they’re too shaken to stormtroop.

Righty-o! What's all this then, old bean?
Turn 1
Turn 1, German. The troops rush to the southern tower, preparing to set charges at the bases of two of the tower legs. However, again no stormtroop!

Turn 1, British. A Home Guard platoon, on patrol, hears the crash of a glider and comes to find out what the commotion is about. By good luck, they emerge almost on top of the now-abandoned gliders. One group see figures by the southern tower and fire wildly in their direction, missing everyone but giving away their position.

A mad charge!
Turn 2
Turn 2, German. Their visibility for the turn is 8 inches. Two stands of the raiders remain in position to set charges, the other two and the CO move towards the Home Guard. Two charges are successfully set, meaning the tower is doomed. The firing sees one Home Guard stand destroyed, then the CO assaults, killing another stand. The Home Guard, terrified by the raiders, fail their morale check and fall back.

Turn 2, British. Visibility 16 inches. The Home Guard continue to hide behind the crashed glider and trees, failing to unpin. They are alone, as no reserves are rolled. They fire at the raiders, scoring 2 hits but no kills.

Turn 3
Turn 3, German. Visibility 4 inches. The CO and SMG teams move towards the centre objective and the north tower. The MGs stay in position to cover the Home Guard.

British reserves arrive!
Turn 3, British. Visibility 20 inches. More reserves arrive, one of the platoons from a nearby infantry company have heard the firing and come running, accompanied by their Company Commander. They come on halfway down the table, on the opposite side to the Home Guard, and move towards the noise. The Home Guard manage to unpin and decide to stay where they are, sniping at the raiders in the gloom. They score 3 hits, but no kills.

Turn 4
Turn 4, German. Visibility 16 inches. The CO and SMG stands move onto the centre objective, setting charges, and next to some British vehicles parked conveniently nearby. The MGs remain in position and fire at the Home Guard platoon. Five hits, 2 kills, and the platoon is at half strength and pinned.

Let's blow this thing and go home!
Turn 4, British. Visibility 16 inches. Another reserve platoon arrives, directly behind the first reserve platoon as they all move towards the firing around the towers. The Home Guard unpin but stay put, firing at the raiders. All the firing sees 3 hits but no kills.

The Brandenburgers commandeer some wheels.
Turn 5
Turn 5, German. Visibility 4 inches. With the British sure to start arriving in force, the MGs remain to provide cover fire as the CO and SMG teams commandeer a pair of British vehicles to make their escape. Unable to see anything, they hold their fire, but manage to stormtroop to a truck parked by the south tower.

Turn 5, British. All the remaining British reserves arrive. Unluckily for the Brandenburger CO driving away, the British carriers arrive near them, and head at them. In the firing, the carriers destroy both the escaping jeep and, with some good/bad/good rolling, the carrier, killing all occupants. No-one else can see anything, so the turn ends.

The Alamo Squad
Turn 6
Turn 6, German. The MG teams prepare to fight to the death. They score six hits on the 1st infantry platoon rushing towards them. However, 6 saves leave them British unscathed but pinned.

Turn 6, British. All available units, except the Home Guard, move towards the MG teams hiding by the south tower, firing as they go. One MG team falls. At this point, the battle is compared to that scene from Black Hawk Down, with a few elite troops surrounded by hordes of opponents.

Take as many with you on the way out!
Turn 7
Turn 7, German. The last MG team fires into the horde of infantry pouring towards their position, killing two stands.

Turn 7, British. The first carrier noses around the corner as infantry get into assault range. In the resulting firing, it’s unclear who by, but the last MG team is destroyed, just as the Great Bromley radar tower comes crashing down on top of everyone!


Conclusion
Patrick and I agreed that this was a one-way trip for the commandos, so they fought to the death and scored a minor victory even though no one lived to tell the tale. The result here will help pave the way for a much more ambitious and dangerous mission in a couple of days. Stay tuned!


13 comments:

  1. Love it... not helping my yerning for raiding aces though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This game is just practice for the WWPD Desert Raiders campaign ;)

      Delete
    2. Sounds good, still trying to get my behind in gear to get a one day raiding aces tourney, hopefully my games local providing defenders, anyroad, on the the subject, do you have any images of the radio tower if there is one (assuming there is) at Murzuq airfield pre the LRDG raid (there's one of kufra radio tower in Bearded brigands), also what did you use to build the above towers?

      Delete
    3. Thanks! Murzuk definitely had a radio tower. I dont have any photos, but I know a guy who might. I'll get back to you on that! The towers above were quickly banged together out of balsa strips I had lying around. Fragile, but cheap! :)

      Delete
    4. Cheap is good, i honestly couldn't think of a way of doing it without it being complicated, talk about wood and trees, shame i can't find any ghibli C09 in 1/100 for the hangar, think i'll stick to stukas, if you could get us a pic, that'd be awesome.
      As an aside i work with a girl from Bromley and according to her there's nothing Great about it ;)
      Hope the boys letting you get some sleep.

      Delete
    5. Getting some sleep ;) He's only waking up once between 9pm and 6am. We're getting there!

      I'd LOVE a 1/100 Ghibli (or three!).

      I had a thought of doing an article on making terrain for this and our upcoming battlereport. It was kinda fun and an adventure in itself!

      Delete
  2. I like the scene created with the terrain. It looks sharp!

    ReplyDelete