This was a big multi-player WWII Rapid Fire! game held at Quendon on 11th September. Guards Armoured Division have to fight their way through German defenders in and around Hechtel to get to what will become the start positions for the Arnhem campaign.
German end - including Hechtel
Mid table view
And this the Allied end
I was pleased to see an innkeeper on the table !
First turn - the Allies are going to advance !
Recce vehicles and 25pdrs supported by infantry
and Allied SP guns wait for targets to be advised by F.O.O.s
The narrow hedge lined roads are a worry for the Allied tank commanders
Artillery being towed into a gap in the hedgerow
With nervous infantry in attendance
Armoured cars and bren gun carriers take another route
Armoured cars make use of gaps in the hedges
Busy gamers !
The Allies feel their way forward, expecting trouble at any moment
So far, so good
This troop is well concealed in the woods
Enemy ! Armoured cars come under fire
Nothing to see in the main - where are the Germans ?
More and more Allied armour gets forward and well on the way to Hechtel
They must be somewhere
Movement has been spotted on the high ground so Indirect fire brought into to plaster the wooded area there
Now German units are sighted and engaged
They are quickly over run
A Typhoon roars over head looking for enemy armour
Some fast Allied tanks rush across some open land on their left flank
More shadow the hedge line
A German SP gun reveals its position and opens fire on them
With some success - a tank brews up
But these shots attract the attention of Allied artillery - they missed this time !
A German 88mm gun also fires from a position close to the mobile gun
These are the British SP guns providing indirect fire support back on the base line
Troop carrying trucks are also making their way up behind the armour
The Allies are making good progress
and using all the ground and cover available
Worried about minefields, a flail tank is brought up
The 88mm has been attracting some attention from both the Typhoon and Allied artillery
At last ! The Panzer IVs under my command are ordered forward and open fire on the enemy tanks approaching on our right flank
There are are least two squadrons of enemy tanks coming, possibly more
A German mortar team joins in, targeting the enemy up against the hedgerow
A cheer goes up from the German positions - the Typhoon has been shot down !
But there is little time to enjoy it - the German forward SP gun explodes !
Now the Allies discover our German minefields ! Boom - one tank brews as others realise their predicament
Panzerfaust teams are also hiding there and another tank is hit by them
But the Allies keep coming
My two PZ.IVs have hit two Shermans - but not put them out of action
I bring forward two more tanks on our left to engage the enemy armour getting too close to Hechtel
My first Zug of Panzer IVs is now receiving fire from 6 enemy tanks !
Allied SP guns burst through the hedges beside the burned out German self propelled gun - and the 88mm has been taken out too.
My second Zug exchanges fire with these
We've uncovered another anti-tank gun just ahead of Hechtel
and I have been given a couple of STuGs which rumble forward to engage the enemy
our multi-barrel Ack Ack gun is being pulled back to Hechtel as it is too exposed forward of there
Good shooting - two more enemy armour billow smoke from hits
but we are under pressure where ever we look
My first tank zug is now in trouble - one tank burns and the other has been hit too
They were outnumbered so this was inevitable but it was the indirect fire which did the real damage
A sad end for my brave men !
Sensing our weakness on this flank, the Allies now surge forward, including troop carriers
The Allied SP guns can add another couple of notches to their barrels !
More enemy push forward on the right too
But our minefields have slowed them and caused a bottleneck
No ! Another pesky Typhoon has arrived over the battlefield !
The Germans are pulling back into Hechtel
British infantry can now be seen deploying now the German armour has gone
The Typhoon swoops over the town, firing as it goes
Our Panzerfaust teams are still causing the Allies problems in front of the minefields though
A burning German tank is all that remains before the Allies on the bend in the road leading to Hechtel
but we still have some nasty surprises for them in Hechtel itself
British infantry cross the hedges beside my burning tanks
Enemy artillery has hit the church where our HQ and Observers are
A PaK is hiding in the final hedgerow to the right of town
And a JagdPanzer waits in the lee of the inn
and we have infantry lurking in the woods on our right flank, so we are still fighting for every inch of ground
Allied tanks crash through the hedges on our right flank
But guess what ! We have brought down the second Typhoon !
Burn, baby burn !
By this point, we had fought all day and the Germans were still in possession of Hechtel so a small victory of sorts but it was clear that the Allies had far more stuff on the table and the town would fall on the following day for sure.
But, our brief was to hold it today !
Here's the merry gang of gamers - minus Mick Hoddy who too the photo.
A really enjoyable return to Rapid Fire! We all agreed we want more.