The Sugar Factory
Indian Unity #5
|(Defender) Hyderabad||vs||India (Attacker)|
|Hyderabad||9th Hyderabad Infantry|
|India||1st Mysore Infantry|
|India||4th Rajputana Rifles|
|Overall Rating, 6 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 156 of 588|
|Parent Game||Indian Unity|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Road to Berlin||maps|
The Indian Army's invasion plan rejected an invasion from the south, since no gains made there would force the Nizam's surrender. The local commander, Brigadier N.V. Bal, objected to this omission and ordered his eclectic collection of troops forward anyway. At the town of Hospet, they ran into determined defenders occupying a sugar factory dominating a river crossing.
The Mysore infantry became pinned down under Hyderabadi fire and berserk close assaults by sword-wielding Razakars. Bal committed more and more of his forces, which included an armored train and the Indian Army's only remaining horsed cavalry regiment. Twice the Indians took the sugar factory only to be ejected again by Hyderabadi assaults. Seizing it a third time, they finally managed to fight off the Nizam's troops. The sugar factory would remain a center of heavy fighting for the next four days, until the Nizam ordered his troops to lay down their arms.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
Played ftf against Matt W in one afternoon (3 ½ hours).
This is simply the best single board scenario I have played so far. Train, cavalry, and a major river crossing all contributed towards a strong fun factor.
I believe the result is dependent upon getting enough troops on the other bank as quickly as possible. I used the assault on the bridge to transfer troops on the other bank and attempted one crossing near the small town; it was way too slow.
In my opinion. using the assault on the bridge to transfer troops to the other bank was a good idea. The Hyderabadis are not especially dangerous even when shooting at point blank range and most of my Indian troops which made it to the other side made it via the bridge transfer point.
The Indians have two sappers and should have tried two crossings some distance apart. One crossing should focus on getting the cavalry to the other side as they will be needed to harass and eliminate the demoralized Hyderabadi troops which moved away from the river bank. It is probably a good idea for this crossing to be away from the towns and be supported by the mortars.
If the Hyderabadi send reinforcements to prevent that crossing, these are reinforcements that cannot be used at the crossing next to the small town.
One other idea is to wait for the town main assaults until past the midway point of the scenario. The Indians can use the train and the sappers to gain column shifts which will be badly needed against those pesky Razakars.
Or maybe it’s all for naught and a creative Hyderabadi commander will find a good counter.
I rated this scenario a strong “4” and I was pleasantly surprised about the number of critical decisions in such a small, short, high troop density scenario. Recommended for solo and especially h-t-h play.
In a war that lasted only 5 days it is hard to find many situations in which a stand up battle occurs with the war's defeated power having a shot at a "victory" unless the victory is some kind of survival or "has an undemoralized unit somewhere on the map" type victory. Having accomplished two of the latter types of victory with Daniel's Indian forces I was anxiously awaiting this one.
The Hyderabadis control the north bank of a river and the only bridge is dominated by urban terrain. The Hyderabadis have their usual mix of regular forces with fair morale (7/6) but the Razakar militia is becoming radical and has bumped its morale up to 8/5, giving the Hyderabadis a way to avoid being lower morale in every single assault hex.
The scenario itself is a single board one with three victory conditions for the Indian player, all of which must be met. Low losses, effective control of all urban terrain and a preponderance of the effective forces on the north side of the river at game's end. While Daniel was unable to meet these it was much closer than it would appear.
All four of the urban hexes were contested and only the high morale Razakars permitted the Hyderabadis to hold out well. Without the Razakars the Hyderabadi regulars would have run like the wind from the urban hexes. Late in the game it should be noted that the Hyderabad assault rolls were phenomenal which also helped as Daniel's forces were consistently disrupted and demoralized by much smaller defenders.
I was pleased to reach 10 step losses against the Indians but, as in our previous scenario last week, I was not able to get the final step loss which would have caused a failure on that particular victory condition.
Finally, the continued difficulty that Daniel is having with his Indian engineers (excuse me, sappers...) cropped up again. Both units were often in either a disrupted or demoralized state causing Daniel's attempt to cross the river away from the bridge to hit a stumbling block. Without this I suspect that the number of undemoralized steps on the north side of the river would have swung much further than 27-20 for the Indians.
Honestly, however, this is a tough one for the Indian player to win. They start out with an insufficient force to cause a serious breakdown in the Hyderabadi defense and although there are significant reinforcements, there are only 16 turns. The Indian player will have to expose his forces to serious damage or miss out on some of the potential victory conditions. I was able to accurately forecast Daniel's crossing points (it isn't hard to do given the victory conditions) and was able to move reinforcements to those locations which were threatened with ease given the lack of OBA (BTW, there is NO OBA at all in the Indian Unity scenarios, one wonders if the British decided to take all the big guns out of India early on after WW II).
There is plenty of value in this scenario and a pretty darn competitive play for the Hyderabadi player which was fun. I give it a "4".
|A unique fight|
This is a great one map scenario with some interesting chrome like opposed river crossing, cavalry charges, an armored train, weak but fanatical irregulars, and one side with a small advantage in range.
Unfortunately for my Indians they had everything go wrong. They regularly blew simple M morale checks and took forever to finish off the last step of defenders in the bridge hex. Their weak morters did little to hurt the defenders but did cause friendly fire casualties.
There was a slow grind around the bridge which led to a cavalry charge to assault the weakened bridge hex. Somehow the demoralized Hyderabad units survived the assault and were able to resist for nearly two hours. Fresh Razakar units were pumped in from the town which kept the defenders alive and prevented the Indians from getting a morale bonus in Assault.
On the Indian right flank several suitable bridging spots were advanced on. Direct fire and mortars were used to disrupt and demoralize the defenders while the engineers moved into spots that would allow crossing without requiring the crossing unit to assault. The low range of most Hyderabad units made this a little easier for the Indians and the longer range AT units were subject to mortar fire. Hyderabad responded by sending their weakly armed but higher morale Razakars to harass the units that had crossed.
Eventually the Indians took the bridge and established a toe-hold up river thanks to the engineers. They did not have time to clear all town hexes and certainly didn't have more undemoralized units north of the river, but it was still an interesting fight.
|Sweet victory in The Sugar Factory|
With Mrs B working days and your's truly on nights this Christmas I thought I would finish this solo effort before work. This scenario has a strong Indian battle group trying to force a major river stoutly defended by Hyderabad regular troops and militia. The rebel troops were dug in along the river bank with 6 pdr guns covering the railway line and bridge. The Indian forces came on the board in a mainly linear fashion but then split into two groups with one trying to force the bridge using HMG fire-groups and the other with the two SAP units trying to outflank the entrenched enemy troops. After some initial skirmishing with no losses the first bridge head was thrown over the river and Indian gained the far bank. This seemed to galvanize the Hyderabad force, whose ill aimed salvo's had not caused a moments delay to the Indian forces, suddenly these shot were taking effect and losses began to mount. The Indian armoured train entered the fray but held back from engaging because of the threat of the A/T guns on the far side of the river. The Hyderabad units holding the bridge who had held up against punishing fire from the HMG groups suddenly broke and where quickly assaulted by Indian follow up troops which resulted in the first losses for the Nizam's troops. However by now the Indian troops losses were nearing the critical mark (10 steps) and the reinforcing cavalry units had yet to arrive. In the next 30 minutes the cavalry did arrive and went toward the bridgehead where a company of Indian INF were just holding out against 6 militia units who had them surrounded. As the cavalry thundered across the bridge they were hit by very accurate fire from the lone Hyderabad unit in range and a whole platoon was wiped out with their officer, emboldened the rebel units went on the counter attack and in the ensuing assault more Indian losses and the demoralized Indian commander called off the attack retreating back across the river helped on their way by insults from the victorious rebels. This was a interesting little river crossing puzzle, the Indian player needs to coordinate his attack far better than I did on this occasion however the Hyderabad forces also had some lucky die rolls which caused early casualties and an early finish to this playing (GT12). This seems to me to be a tough one for the Indian player hence the rating having said that I would certainly play this one again.
|Hyderabad holds the Indian tide|
Played this one in three sessions against Tony L using Skype. I have played this before solo and thoroughly enjoyed it, the result here was the same but this one went down to the last turn. Indian force have three objectives in this river crossing scenario, do not lose 10 steps, no undemoralized Hyderabad force in towns and have more undemoralized steps over the river by game end. Its a tough ask. The Hyderabad force deployed along the river back, but put their HMG,s in the vital town hexes along with the best leaders, the Indian attack developed slowly but well and after three turn there had been no Indian losses and units were assaulting the bridge hex and SAP's were about to lay pontoon bridges down, however that was the high point really of the Indian attack, the bridge fell but the two town hexes held out, the Indian armoured train got shot up the dug in A/T guns and the one pontoon bridgehead were soon pinned down in an assault which tied into too many Indian units. The Indian commander just could not win an assault and accurate machine gun fire from the sugar factory delayed the other flank attack with out inflicting may casualties. By game end the Indian had failed to get across the river in sufficient numbers and only taken one town hex and had lost just the nine steps, Hyderabad losses were slightly higher but their commander was pleased to report a successful defense of the sugar factory. Excellent scenario Tony L will claim he had the worst of the dice rolls and he is right particularly in assaults, when after every semi successful attack he made my counter attack was as successful and sometime more successful giving me time to rally and reinforce the assault hexes. This one favours the rebels but this is still a good scenario, and if I play it a third time I will take the Indians and try and take that bloody factory
|Indians end up Sugar Free|
Continuing the Indian Unity journey with Wayne Baumber, we played the Sugar Factory as our 5th scenario of the module, making it the half-way point of our goal of completing it. This was a tough situation that Wayne summed up nicely in his AAR. After seeing the setup of the Hyderabadi units, I planned to make a 2 pronged attack with a majority of forces shooting for the bridge and another, smaller force heading for the eastern town via a pontoon bridge.
As in previous scenarios, I setup the Indian attack to try and maximize the command structure so as to move units into positions and fire groups that would attempt to give the best chance for dislodging the Hyderabad dug-in positions. The force tasked with taking the bridge was able to accomplish that fairly quickly but the Hyderabadi Lt. Col. holed up in the town with an HMG and an INF unit and they were able to hold their ground until the end. The Indians did end up taking the eastern part of that town with an assault that involved both CAV and INF units but were never able to move beyond other than a last-ditch charge to inflict more casualties. Losing the armored train on a foolish move on its turn of entry was a punch in the gut as those extra factors would have been very helpful in cutting a path through the Hyderabadis along the rail line.
One of the sapper units with that group laid a pontoon on the far western edge of the board and the Indians were able to get some RIF and CAV units across with supporting INF and HMG fire from the adjacent river banks, demoralizing most of the RAZ units. However, one pest of a RAZ unit held his ground adjacent to the Pontoon and the Indian troops were forced to spend several turns recovering and attempting to drive off that unit. That unit was finally put out of action in one of the last turns.
In the east, the HMG, INF and leader in the town provided a tough nut to crack, finally forcing me to try and use 3 stacks 3 hexes away so that only the HMG could fire at those units. There were several successful disruption attacks but those were soon recovered due to the good leader and town bonuses. The sapper in this group was able to lay a pontoon in the closing turns but it was too little too late to matter.
As Wayne mentioned, the dice were not kind to the Indians, as with as many 7s that were rolled on the far end of the assault and fire charts, we should have attacked Las Vegas instead of the Sugar Factory!
In all, however, it was a good scenario to play and despite the final result, I felt that there was a chance that an Indian victory was achievable. Well worth trying again to see if a better result could be obtained.