You can tell when a game was particularly exciting when the AAR contains few photos because the players were too involved in the game to remember to take them.
The second game in the campaign depicts a battle during Operation Bluecoat proper. Martin's British have been tasked to roll up the flank of the German forces, which has been anchored on a village along a road.
I thought I did OK for the Patrol Phase, and had Jump Off Points which allowed me to deploy into all but one of the buildings on the table.
Martin rolled high on the Force Support, giving him 10 points and me 5 points to spend. Gambling that Martin will not pick a tank after the last battle, I chose an IG 18 and a Medic.
As it turned out I was correct: Martin chose to field a section of Paratroopers (he is planning to paint a whole platoon of them) and a Forward Observer with a 3" Mortar battery.
Martin started aggressively, pushing his paras and one section towards my position straight off. I deployed one section against his paras on my right, and in my centre I deployed one MG team and my infantry gun (seen in the foreground in the photo above - they were deployed inside a ruined building which we removed to facilitate play). Caught in the open, the infantry section was almost wiped out, while my other MG team kept the paras pinned behind another building.
I thought I had the game in the bag at this point, but then Martin's FO went to work and called down a barrage on my position. Pinned by the fire, I was unable to move my men or deploy more onto the table. To makes matters worse, I rolled very few 5s on my Command Dice, so that I could only lift the barrage once - when I used my second Chain of command die to end the turn, Martin (who had more dice) simply continued the barrage.
Under the cover of the barrage Martin withdrew the battered section. The shelling also killed my entire section on the right (leaving a wounded Junior Leader barely escaping with his life) such that the paras found themselves without opposition all of a sudden. As he moved another section to outflank me on my left, I knew the game was up and ordered an orderly retreat while I still could.
We both enjoyed the game very much; it was a tense game from beginning to end. We also enjoyed the support we deployed - I think I might pick a mortar battery of my own in the next game if I can!
My crushing defeat disappointed my CO and made me very unpopular with the men. With 8 men down for the next game, I decided to call for reinforcements and received enough men to bring my platoon up to full strength.
Martin on the other hand managed to impress his CO, although the high number of casualties he lost did not endear him to his men.
At the end of Game 2, the score is:
CO's opinion +1, Men's Opinion 0
Casualty: 3 lost (total 5 lost), 2 Miss Next Battle, 2 Returned to unit
CO's opinion 0, Men's Opinion -6
Casualty: 4 lost (total 7 lost), 3 Miss Next Battle, 2 Returned to unit
Reinforcement 8 men
Game 3 will probably be played in two week's time.