With the beachhead holding out against the Axis counter attack the Allies take full advantage of the collapsing flank, rushing through the Caumont Gap to Villers-Bocage, while again attempting to establish safe routes between the beaches.

Operation Perch

Turn 2 battles are well under way now and with the Allies taking advantage of the opportunity presented by the Caumont Gap we played out two battles at one of the local games clubs. This of course has the added benefit of creating some more interest in the campaign above what we managed to generate on the local Westgamer forums. Potentially another three generals in the wings.

The task of defending the coast once again fell to me, and I persisted with Atlantik Wall grenadiers. Unfortunately the evening club environment is a little more time constrained (the doors literally automatically lock themselves!) so while I attempted to document by photo, we found ourselves tight for time at the end, and I never got a closing shot.

My erstwhile opponent was attacking, chose Douvres (A-4) as his target and rolled up the “Dust Up” scenario. Both of us had elected to run infantry platoons and I rolled a pair of snipers for my random firestorm troops, which I was pretty happy with.

The Battle for Douvres

I had held the III Flak Korp in reserve and figured this was as good a time as any to add some guns. Keeping the beaches split would make it harder for the allies to land troops and redeploy troops around the map.  So my final force list looked like this…

German Grenadier Infantry Company

  • Grenadierkompanie HQ CinC SMG & 2iC SMG upgraded to Panzerknacker & attached Panzerschrek
  • Grenadier Platoon  – Command Rifle/MG, 6x Rifle/MG
  • Grenadier Platoon – Command Rifle/MG, 6x Rifle/MG
  • Grenadier Machine-gun Platoon – Command Panzerknacker SMG , 4x MG34 HMG
  • Grenadier Mortar Platoon – Command SMG, 3x Observer Rifle, 6x 8cm GW34 mortar
  • Grenadier Anti-tank Gun Platoon – Command SMG, 3x 7.5cm PaK40 gun
  • Pioneer Platoon – Command Pioneer Rifle, 6x Pioneer Rifle
  • Grenadier Assault Gun Platoon – 2x StuG G
  • Grenadier Anti-aircraft Gun Platoon  – Command SMG, 3x 2cm FlaK38 gun

Firestorm Troops

  • 2x Sniper
  • Anti-Aircraft Platoon  – Command SMG, 4x Luftwaffe 8.8cm FlaK36 gun with Extra Crew

That put me awkwardly on 9 platoons for a scenario that needed half in reserve. Wise or not, I chose to put all my infantry, mortars and StuGs in reserve, and deployed PaK40s, four 88’s, two 2cm AA guns and a HMG platoon around my nearest objective.

The German Gun Line

As soon as the first turn was done I could see the obvious flaw in my plan. There was nothing contesting the other objective! As paratroopers started closing in I had no option except to move a 2cm gun up and hope for the best with reserves!

Allied Observer plane find the 88’s… briefly

StuGs were the first to arrive and made a mad dash to contest the objective and buy some time for the following infantry platoons .  For the most part this worked a treat with the British paratroopers reluctant to assault the StuGs, and the StuG’s survived a number of assaults. This bought me enough time to start rushing on Infantry to back up the StuGs, and another 2 platoons to head for my objective. The game was getting tight!

However, luck only holds out for so long, and the StuGs failed morale in an assault, and one had no place to run so was captured. The other assaulted in an attempt to contest and drive off the paratroopers, but finally fell in combat. We were out of time but that final move left no-one contesting and the Allied turn next up. Another win for the Allies and Douvres links Sword Beach with Juno and Gold.

It seems there is an improbable difference between the 4+ rolls required by Confident Trained Troops and the 3+ rolls I am used to with Fearless Veteran troops, however over the last 2 games I always seem to be a pip short in keeping troops staying in the battle.

I also took the time to update the map electronically. Not being able to see the flags was really bugging me!

Two battles down in Operation Perch