Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Up With the (River) Lark


And so to the set-up for the final battle in my VBCW Bury St. Edmunds campaign between the BUF (Boo! Hiss!) and the Anglican League.

Fighting began at the aerodrome under construction at Honington, spreading south through the farmlands either side of the A134 and the hamlet of Ampton. Suffering severe reverses, the BUF have shaken off pursuit and withdrawn to their final line of defence in the northern suburbs of Bury St. Edmunds.

Here the sugar beet mills have been turned into a formidable defensive work which League HQ doesn't care to tackle by half. Instead of meddling with that hornets' nest they decided instead to unravel the town defences from another direction - west along the B1106. This involves a 90-degree switch in the line of advance, passing through Fornham St. Martin to the River Lark and the local BUF HQ located in the Priory Hotel. Taking this northern suburb of the town will allow a direct advance into the town centre, capturing the railway station and cutting off those forces in the sugar beet mills.

The battlefield is shown below.

Looking east from the BUF positions. Priory Hotel on the left, Tollhouse Pub on the right.
The River Lark flows north between the lines of trees along its banks. It counts as a major obstacle to infantry and is impassable to vehicles except by the bridge.

Looking west from the Anglican League positions
A stream flows from NE to SW near the League lines, flowing through a culvert under the B1106 and joining the Lark off-table to the south. It counts as a minor obstacle to infantry but vehicles and artillery have to roll to avoid bogging-down.

The League know they have to push the BUF back and take the bridge for a draw, capture the bridge and the BUF HQ for total victory. The BUF have to prevent any League force from crossing the river for total victory, prevent the loss of their HQ for a draw.

As the defenders the BUF have one section-size trench free and gratis, and as one of their support options have chosen another to guard the approaches to the bridge. Since their platoon strength is considerably lower than the Anglican League I've also allowed them a bunker to even the odds. Their last support option is a Boyes AT rifle team which will be deployed as and when needed.

The League have chosen as their supports a Vickers MK VIb and an improvised traction engine armoured car towing a trailer with a 3-inch mortar and crew with an on-table Observer. They have also upgraded one section to Regular status.

With luck and a following wind I'll play out this clash within the next few days.

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