A hot day's work 


A hot day's work was an early scenario that I created when my own Great War Spearhead forces were small, and I was just too darned keen to push the plastic around the table. The scenario is quite a nice training scenario, and so when my son commented that he would like to try a GWSH game, we chose this small scenario. I have now played the game on a number of occasions and, as I comment in the scenario itself, it warrants replaying if you want a short but interesting game. The scenario can be found here.


Background:

This game presents a challenge for a single BEF Brigade (with the 'mad minute' ): the task of protecting a small town for an advancing force of two German regiments. A significant difficulty for the British is that the command radius of the single brigade means that the player can't cover all of the possible avenues of attack. The Germans on the other hand have more options as tthe German player has two regiments to manouvre. Of course he is still limited by the divisional command radius.

The British player deployed on either side of the central town (the objective opf the game. He deployed his supporting artillery to the rear of his main positon, with two infantry companies, and the attached divisional cavalry in reserve

The British gun line, and reserves, seen here at the start of the battle.

The German plan was simple but solid: attack along either flank, sweep behind the town, cutting away the defending troops and so avoiding the need for a direct (and probably bloody) assault on the town.

The German left wing advances over the intervening hill lead by the divisional cavalry. This attack was quickly halted by withering small arms fire, and heavy artillery support from the attached 18pdrs. Things didn't look too good for the German attack at this stage. 

The German right wing was supported by a regiment of 77mm field guns which the commander brigaded on table. These guns brought the British centre under pressure, and when the 105mm howitzers also hit these troops, things started to look decidedly dodgy. Two out of three companies are seen here suppressed.

The German right wing regiment can be seen here moving past the British centre. The plan saw the regiment feint towards the British centre, and then go right flanking.

The British left wing came under severe pressure as the German attack developed. These troops found themselves under heavy and accurate fire from the German 105mm howitzers. The Brigade has already taken casualties here, the two remaining infantry stands are suppressed, and the only stand capable of fighting is the divisional cavalry stand seen here arriving in the nick of time. They were barely able to dismount before coming under accurate German fire themselves.

The British commander tried to reinforce his crumbling left wing by withdrawing stands from his centre. Companies can be seen here rushing to shore up the flank. The battle hung in the balance as each side approached critical morale tests. One crucial turn of fire from the German 105s however saw the day go to the German commander as the British Brigade took too many casualties and withdrew from its position.

My son Nick had commanded the German forces in this his first Great War Spearhead adventure, and had done well. He had taken the position without having to commit his troops to a costly assault on the town itself. "Until next time" I muttered......

 

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