Journal 4 had an article on the British Universal Carrier, and some scenarios featuring them. I managed to talk Patch into one of them, but I’d still like to try the other scenarios. We got going in January 2010…:

After finishing the Market-Garden set, Patch and I are playing one of the early-war scenarios in Journal 4 featuring Carriers. The British are trying to clear a road through a village (no GO Germans on or adjacent to it), but the Germans are already strongly defending the town. In addition to needing to chase the Germans away from the road, the British will lose if more than four of their AFVs are killed (or if four tanks/tankettes are killed).

Given a choice, and remembering Patch’s problems with a similar set of victory conditions in Khopra’s Crossing, I take the defending Germans. They don’t get any vehicles of their own, and the anti-tank capability isn’t great, but the Brits don’t have anything heavier than an A10. Patch will have to be cautious, especially with two 37mm ‘doorknockers’ hidden somewhere.

Board 12 is an unusual mix of terrain for an early board, and there’s a few of the hedgerow overlays in play (though bocage is not in play—a hedge is a hedge here) and I have to spend some time deciding how to defend. The real target is the road itself, but if I concentrate on that, he could easily bypass part of the defense and strike towards the middle or back end, hoping to leave me without fallback positions. So I opt to defend the entire front with an eye towards hustling towards the road if he attacks down it as expected. The four OB-given ‘?’ are used to conceal where the good leaders, MMGs and ATRs are. The MTR doesn’t have any place with a good LOS and end up on the hill in T1 when I forget that Orchards block non-same level LOS.

Patch setup near the road and got to work clearing it immediately. With some concentrated firepower, and a ROF-tear on his MTR, he broke a leader and LMG squad, and pinned another LMG squad. I was able to do far less to his initial advance than I would have liked. The worst part was that he put three squads past the hedgerow between V and W, and got into the first of the stone buildings. I had figured I’d keep him out of there a while longer.

Situation, British Turn 1 DFPh. The blue ribbon is the victory road, note that an SSR turns a graveyard into an orchard and you can still see pieces of it poking through the overlays.

Even with my broken squad having made it back to my 9-1 leader, I got nothing back on my rally. I wasn’t sure how to reorganize my defense. In general, the plan was to shift for more defense in depth along the road, but he had the two Mk VIs crawling along the south edge of the board, and I didn’t want them getting into my rear unopposed. My opening MTR shot on the lead one hit and got a ‘2’ result on the IFT to kill it with no survivors, that simplified things greatly. A shot from U8 broke W7, taking some more pressure off me, and I decided to gamble with a stone building and a -1 leader and stand up to the rest of his breakthrough in W6. A shot from U6 broke one of the two squads there. Things were looking up.

I pulled out of V2, taking a roundabout route to make sure he couldn’t strip concealment. As I moved other forces around, I came up with a sneaky little plan. First, V4 smoked W5. If that hadn’t worked, I’m not sure I would have gone through with it, but with the smoke (only on a ‘1’!), I put the squad in V4 into X4, where he could cause problems for the broken squad in W6, and was adjacent to the British 7-0 in X5. Sadly, I couldn’t get him in Advancing Fire, and he self-broke to rout away before I could go for CC with him.

Situation, German Turn 1, end of MPh.

Gunner Scott commented:


“Thats one hell of a scenario. Been a long time since I played it, but I do remember those little carriers giving the Germans grief as they would race to cut rout paths.”

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