RPT24 FARMYARD AFFRAY

This Rally Point scenario attracted me for several reasons. It has Canadians. They are Canadian paratroopers. The only other Canadian paratrooper scenario that I have seen is RPT23 THE BAVENT RECCE, in the same issue. There is an AAR for RPT23 on my web page as well, at an earlier date. Another attraction is the different-from-usual VC; the scenario is short as well, easily played in an evening.

Of course, I had to look up the word “affray” despite having a decent vocabulary. It has a legal meaning and a thesaurus says similar words are “fight, battle, skirmish” and others. I am curious to know why the designer, Evan Sherry, chose that word.

It is June 7, 1944 near Le Mesnil in Normandy. Russians dressed as Germans (1×467, 3×447, 2xMMG, 8-1) are holding a stout stone farm. Canadian paratroopers (historically) want to clear those units from the farm. Scenario speaking, however, there are four hexes,  any two of which the Canadians (6×648, 1×338, 2xLMG, 2xPIAT, 1xLt.Mtr, 9-2, 8-1) wish to enter. Note that word: enter. They do not need hex or building control. The VC eliminate the bypass option. Just entering for CC, or moving through the hex, counts as entering the hex. This however, is only part one of the VC.

The scenario text states that a German counterattack (5×447, 1xLMG, 9-1, 1xPanzer 4H), drove the paratroopers out of the farm buildings. Part two of the VC, require the Canadians to survive the counterattack, not at the VC farm, but in hexes further behind where they started. They must have at least seven VP of Good Order infantry in that area at game end. The map image below shows the part one VC with the hexes numbered one through four. The part two VC area is shown with a red perimeter outline. The scenario has five turns.

The battle space (board 42)

I played this scenario at ASLOK 2022. The dice gave the Canadians to me. The following image shows the setup for both sides.

the beginning

The only weakness I spotted in the German setup was on the Canadian right. It looked like the path-road combination was protected from fire and it led to one of the victory buildings by turn two. I decided to send the 9-2 that way with most of a platoon. My light mortar is in the middle, positioned to lay smoke on the level one German positions. The 8-1 with the rest of the will try to move straight towards the large victory building. One squad in the middle will move wherever makes sense at the time.

The two German MMG are in decent positions. One can lay a nice firelane through the grain, the other can shoot over it. After playing the scenario, I recommend also putting a German unit in the hex in front of the large victory building. That unit would deny the hedge TEM to the Canadians, and might force them to take more time to advance a unit into that building.

Since this was a face-to-face game, I have only a few notes to report how our playing went.

The light mortar, which was Elite (C8.2), had only one smoke shot. Fortunately, it smoked the upper level MMG. The platoon on the right safely ran by the middle German squad and claimed a building on turn two. The platoon on the left took a couple of turns to reach the hedges, where a sniper killed the 8-1. The middle squad moved into the middle orchard hexes, but got involved with that center German squad in a melee.

Mid game, Canadian fire on the left broke a squad in the un-smoked hex. A Canadian HS was able to advance into the smoked hex to do a sacrificial CC with the MMG squad that had moved to ground level. The Canadians had fulfilled part one of the VC.

The 9-2 with a squad and PIAT fell back to the path just south of the middle orchard, to be able to scare the Panzer 4. The rest of his platoon ran toward the rear. The melee in the orchard ended with a Canadian victory and a brand new 8-0 leader. The left platoon also fell back, but unfortunately some of its units broke to fire. At least one squad would die for FtR when it became stuck in the woods hex just south of the pond.

The sacrificial HS died and the Germans created a 7-0 leader. Some Canadian units were in the middle woods line to discourage the idea of riders. The Panzer 4 came on without riders. When it went by the 9-2 with squad and PIAT, the PIAT hit, but failed to affect the tank. The tank’s MG fire resolution in return was snake-eyes which killed the 9-2. The squad survived, but broken. The following image is during the movement phase of Canadian turn five.

Middle of Canadian five

At the of Canadian turn five, there were 9 VP of Good Order Canadian infantry within the part two VC area. Some were in buildings and some were in woods. The Germans tried some shots without success. A leader came out of the grain to try for CC against a HS, but was cut down by defensive fire. The last effort by the Germans was to use the Panzer 4 to overrun a leader-squad stack in a woods hex, hoping that either the overrun would break them or a Melee would result. The overrun did not break the infantry. The infantry’s CCRF, however, destroyed the tank to seal the Canadian victory.

We both enjoyed the scenario.

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