On Sunday I set up a game of Square Bashing for Ninjasaurus Rex and Dean. I allowed them to run through the pre-game sections and choose their 1918 armies. In hindsight, this was akin to pulling teeth and I will rethink my strategy on allowing Ninjasaurus to make choices. It took us two hours to get the game started, but the attack point difference was 27 to 24 in Ninjasaurus' favour (helped by ten points at the last minute from French support on the flanks), so he was declared the attacker with his chosen side; the British. I joined his side and we split the forces he had decided on. The British army consisted of:
3 x Professional Infantry Battalions
7 x Regular Infantry Battalions
5 x Field Artillery
5 x MGs
This faced (after depletions) a German army of:
4 x Professional Infantry Battalions
7 x Regular Infantry Battalions
4 x Field Artillery
2 x MGs
Of these, the Germans had 2 professional and 4 Regular Battalions off board in reserve. Dean then set up the scenery, we rolled to see if we could move any and were able to move one of the wooded areas to his rear line to bottleneck the road and drive his reserves that way. Ninjasaurus took the right flank and aimed for the building objective. I took the middle and left flanks and began my axis of advance against the crossroads objective. All was set for the Battle of Amiens!
The first turn was for the attacking British and there was a general advance across the entire field, we took the hill objective and woods objective with no resistance. At the same time a point effect barrage was dropped on the area of the crossroads objective, it caused few casualties but held the Germans in place and allowed for an unmolested advance.
The right flank advanced to the edge of the ruins objective, the units took a few shots from the German defenders, but with no effect.
It was then the German turn, Dean used all his asset points to bring in a suppression barrage on the advancing British. It worked and locked the largest part of our force in place, just when we were about to launch our assaults! Not only this, but Dean mounted an aggressive defence and one of his professional units assaulted the one British unit unaffected by the barrage. Not only that but he caused five casualties on them. Partly this was because they couldn't retreat due to the barrage to their rear! First blood to the Germans!
The British were still pinned, but we used our assets and called in the help of the RFC; a Bristol Fighter swooped over the battlefield to threaten the newly arrived German reserves who had appeared on the edge of the road.
There was only one assault from the British this turn due to the suppression barrage, that was on the right flank against the ruins objective. However, a tenacious German defence held the position!
There was some desultory fighting in the centre during the German turn, but as his reserves moved into position they were strafed by the Brisfit, which caused three casualties.
The British were now free from the barrage as it lifted to mount their own attacks, the left flank went in against the German machine guns. With help from the Higher Command's Fighting Bonus they quickly overran and consolidated the position.
A massive push in the centre forced the Germans back onto their crossroads objective, taking the five casualties with them!
And on the right flank the German defenders were forced out of the ruins objective! There was a couple of stumbles in this turn but overall we could be very pleased with the result this turn; three major assaults fought and won!
By the end of the turn the British left flank threatened the German artillery, whilst the centre was waiting to attack the final objective of the crossroads. However, there was still a heavy presence of Germans by the side of the central road.
Then, out of the blue, a Gotha bomber dropped in to trouble the British attackers.
But during the next British turn fortunes were reversed. An assault against the crossroads was blunted, with five casualties being caused on our gallant boys. The previous casualties had also halted the left flank due to a morale failure.
Then the Germans went for an all out assault in the centre in order to break through the lines. But Dean rolled what was probably the worst roll of the dice we have ever been witness to. 14 dice and not a single hit!
They would never recover from this, another British assault on the crossroads was successful, the newly arrived reserves were pushed back to their base line as British soldiers dug in on the objective.
On the right flank, with help from artillery and the Brisfit, the professional Indians destroyed the last German defenders to a man. There was little German resistance in this area any more.
At this point Dean conceded. He had lost all of the objectives and was under pressure all across the line. The British plan would have involved destroying the final German resistance on the right, whilst pushing in the against the remnants of the defenders in the centre.
But we never got that chance. It was another exciting game of SB, there was a lot of toing and froing throughout, plus a few surprises but British pressure finally won the day! Just like on the 8th August 1918, the British smashed their way through the German lines, we knew the next stop would be Berlin!