Panzer Grenadier Battles on February 17th:
An Army at Dawn #28 - Combat Command B Holds Steady Road to Berlin #36 - South Wind
An Army at Dawn #29 - Ferianna Outpost South Africa's War #2 - Down in Jubaland
Cassino '44 #12 - Operation Avenger
Dig deep on this one.
Author Matt W (17)
Method Face to Face
Victor Gurkha, India
Participants Hugmenot (AAR)
Play Date 2012-11-03
Language English
Scenario InUn007

Played with Hugmenot as part of our Indian Mutiny campaign

A fairly large group of Hyderabadis (accompanied by the increasingly shrill Razakars) attempt to halt a strong Indian/Gurkha force from continuing their advance. Assisting them in this is the construction of a map wide AT ditch, the one referenced in the title.

The victory conditions in this one require the Hyderabadis to finally consider their losses. Up to this point, the losses experienced by the Hyderabadis were huge but irrelevant to the scenario victory. As a result, my tactics did not spare the men. Now, however, losses which turn into victory points are one of two drivers (along with control of town hexes) of ultimate victory. In essence, the Hyderabadis either have to kill lots of Indians or hold lots of town hexes without losing tons of their own troops.

So, we are in for a stand up fight. Let's catalog the Hyderabadis strengths for such a fight.

Artillery would be nice in a standup fight to cause losses and disorganize the attackers. That would work out really well. Looking at the OB I can see that the Hyderabadis have absolutely no indirect fire weapons at all.

OK, then how about morale, we should have morale superiority then. Well the Razakars and armored cars equal the Indian morle at the top end but a lot of the line has to be held by Hyderabadi regulars whose morale is below the Indians.

Well, fine, if you want to be difficult, at least our direct fire should be effective. As long as you consider a 3-2 full strength direct fire acceptable for your infantry (the 2-1 Razakars aren't really a DF bonanza). These platoons significantly underperform the Indian 5-3 infantry.

I have to admit that, given the lack of any clear strengths, that my battle plan was pretty unimaginative. I hoped to delay and cause some losses in the closest town, drawing the Indian armor into the open where I could use my heavy AT concentrations to get some high value losses on the Indians. My opportunity fire was actually pretty good against the Gurkhas and Indian infantry but my assault rolls were poor and the resulting erosion of Hyderabadi strength without inflicting corresponding pain on the Indians ultimately ended up losing the scenario for me.

The Indian assault was deliberate and offered few opportunities for grand gestures by the Hyderabadi army. Given my setup and subsequent inaction a Hyderabadi loss was nearly inevitable. There were however, some things that I could have tried.

  • Defend forward at the ditch. If I had a scrap of artillery I could have seen this approach but as it was I decided to try to lure the Indians into a kill zone (I then couldn't kill anything because the Indian artillery knocked out my big AT guns)
  • Try a "Hail Mary with a sizable portion of the armored car force. I tried a little bit of this but they are too fragile and too valuable (2X victory points for each step loss) and I ended up pulling them back.
  • Use lighter forces up front and have a strong defense further back towards the final town. This might have the better result having played around with the options. The Hyderabadis were actually in pretty good position until turn 14 or so when the losses really started piling up. Delaying the big fight to a later part of the game might have brought a better result.

Both Daniel and I had some reservations about the scenario itself and the few options open to the Hyderabadis. There were no real rabbits to be pulled out of hats on this one. I give it a "3" with the caution that, while it looks like a stand up fight, choosing that option as the Hyderabadi is not the way to win it.

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