Bypassed


And all around is the desert; a corner of the mournful kingdom of sand.

Pierre Loti

The game

Battlefront have recently released some experimental missions to try out.  One of them is bypassed and can be found here.

I decided to finally field my Italians vs my opponents British Rifle Company in this mission and see how bypassed works.  As a tank and inf force vs a infantry formation we decided I would attack.

Here is the table at deployment and the armies on display

Deployment

Key to bypass is the defender widening their deployment area so they dont get massively flanked.  The Brits did this well with their carriers securing the wheat field, in retrospect they perhaps should have pushed further forward which would have limited the deployment of the Italians recce more. The Brits then deployed both rifle platoons to make a solid base around the village with the 6pdrs in ambush, 17pdrs in a commanding position on the hill and valentines hiding behind a tall wall to await develops and prevent AT14 shots at them.

The Italians pushed forward on the right flank with the scout tanks to secure the hill deploying the German 7.62 guns on it and some M14s ready to rush the flank.  Tanks and inf backed each other up on the center and left flank, along with the assault mortars. The arty went central with good fields of view, Lancias go each side of the table and the mortars completed the deployment on the small hill.

Turn 1

Only the left flank infantry and assault mortars passed their avanti rolls which was rather disappointing.  The forces move up mostly with dashes and follow me’s with mixed success.  The mortars ranged in on the 17pdrs pinning them and the 25pdrs range in on the central infantry  The right flank tanks engage the carriers with the 7.62s and kill 2, bailing another. 

No reserves but the carrier bravely holds.  The 6pdrs ambush (at long range) to start hitting the tanks on the left flank about to assault the town but miss, 17 Pdrs (having failed to unpin) miss and the valentines miss as well! Boy its hard hit careful troops at range.

The Italians push hard to get there before the Churchills.

Turn 2

The M14s on the left flank push up and follow me ready to assault the British infantry, with the Italian infantry and assault mortars right behind them.  The Italian infantry in the centre moves up to contest the command vehicle objective.  On the right flank the central M14s finish off the remaining carrier (a core formation unit) and the scout tanks consolidate the central ground while the right flank M14s dash up the flank to circle around the 17Pdrs.  The artillery kills a stand of infantry and keeps the 17Pdrs pinned.  The left flank assault by the M14s is successful, killing 2 stands and forcing the British back.  The tanks consolidate into a courtyard.

The British infantry fail to rally and dig back in.  Again no reserves (come on Churchills).  The Valentines immune to fire from the M14s come out and assault the central infantry after they are softened up with MG and rifle fire.  Disaster, the Valentines break off from a counter attack allowing a bailed tank to be destroyed.  Starting to tip the balance though, the 6Pdrs claim 3 M14s in the courtyard, stalling the left flank attack.

Turn 3

The Italians push the left flank smoking the Britsh infantry with the assault mortars and assault  but suffer 6 hits and are pushed back with heavy casualties.  In the center the infantry get into the assault but fail to kill anyone and are pushed back with casualties.  However the scout tanks kill the 17pdrs (amazing) and the right flank M14s continue to flank.  The artillery re-ranges in on the 6pdrs (note the minefield marker in the pics is a ranged in marker). A Valentine is also bailed by a 7.62 from where it broke off.

The Churchills finally arrive and push up the center but miss the M14s, while the Valentines consider discretion the better part of valor and leave the field.   The British kill some central stands to rifle fire.

Turn 4

The pressure is now on the Italians, the Churchills are a huge threat.  With them on the objective, either I break the company or kill them with my Lancias.  Being out of range the Lancias pass their cross checks and dash forward to get better shots.  The M14s move onto the hill shooting at the 6pdrs with little effect, however the arty claims one and one of the command stands.  A pucky shot from a rifle also kills the British CiC (MVP right there).  Scout tank assault across the wall, killing a British stand and pushing the central infantry platoon back.  This is followed up by the central Italian infantry assaulting and also winning.  That’s a double break off for the British and the Italian infantry now have the objective, backed up by 3 M14s.

For the British its time for the Churchills to earn their points.  They storm forward killing a M14 in the center and assaulting the infantry in the central courtyard, killing them and pushing them back. Objective secured.  6pdrs double bail both remaining central M14s before the are captured in assault by the infantry.  On the left flank the other depleted British platoon assault the Italian CiC and infantry, killing the remaining infantry platoon and pushing the CiC back along with the still subborn single M14.  Meanwhile the mortars arrive and set up in the corner.

Turn 5

The full strength M14 platoon head towards the mortars killing 1 with MGs.  Unfortunately the Lancias wiff their shots (again 6s to hit is hard).  Artillery fails to kill any more 6pdrs.  The plucky single M14 finally flees.

The British on the right move up killing the 2 assault mortars and the CiC but he jumps to the remaining assault mortar.  Churchills shoot at the rear M14s killing 2.

End game

The final turns seethe M14s assault and kill the mortar flanking around the rear of the 6pdrs.  They are now reduced to a single gun by the arty but stubbornly hold.  The CiC assault mortar kills the remaining infantry platoon reducing the British to 2 core platoons.  Scout tanks push the british back effectively dodging the Churchill fire, while the Tank Company CiC hides to prevent a company break.  Finally the Italians assault the 6pdr, if they kill it they break the formation, but alas the defensive fire is too great and they brew up.  The British have held…just,

Conclusion

A fantastic nail biting game.  Both armies are mauled.  The Italians tank formation was broken and the infantry were only holding on by the single CiC ( which was now an assault mortar stand) and the tucked away mortars 

This was a fine example of how you need to be aggressive.  Some assaults were unlucky especially on the left flank when they failed a couple of assaults with smoke.  The Chruchills arrival, while late shut down a lot of options and at long range and in concealment they are so hard to kill even with AT14 (8 missed shots).   They are a perfect support unit. 

I really enjoyed my Italians, it was their first outing and while they lack easily mobile AT, such as Marders, Dianas or M10s their sheer number of cautious, brave tanks keeps them going.  You certainly get a lot of your points.

As for Bypassed i’d happily include it in future events.  I love the need for recce, as there aren’t that many missions where it comes into its own.  Luckily I rarely leave home without some. 

Category: AARBattlefrontDesertFlames of WarGermansItaliansMid War

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Article by: Mark Goddard