By Robert Delwood
This is one of those oddball scenarios like "The Getaway." The British begin in a forest and must sprint off to a small wall-city. On their heels is a large German force. In between is a small HIP German force. Both sides are really confused as what to do. To add to the confusion, the attacking Germans set up first and the defending British move first. It's a crazy race backward. It's also a refreshing change from the standard victory conditions.
The game comes down more to rout paths than any other game I've seen. For the British, it'll be possible to lose units for failure to rout. That's the worst - avoid it. The Germans are not strong enough to kill units outright. Another consideration is them routing in the wrong direction. Again, that's bad. A broken unit is almost as good as dead and a broken unit out of position is as good as dead. For the Germans, a similar fate holds true. Due to the short game, you don't have time to go to broken units. They have to rout to a leader and get back into action as quickly as possible. You want to position leaders right on the front. Don't worry about be shot, the British just don't have that kind of fire power. Also watch enemy units and make sure moving units can rout in the right places should they break.
It's hard to say who's the most disadvantaged player here. You set up first and considering the limited time you have, just do so in the open and as far forward as possible. Measure the distance from the starting point to the village. It'll take three turns just to get there leaving you with two turns to clean up. That means set up along the board edge. The British can't afford to have a large screening force and he has to move on the first turn; otherwise your Germans will get behind them (or maybe in front of them, depending how you look at it) and the game would be over.
No doubt there'll be a fire lane down the woods-road. You have no choice but to take your chances and just run through it. Consider an armored assault but make sure the infantry and tank gets to a good firing position t the end. You can't afford to have units not doing anything. You will have to allocate a few infantry to linger to deal with the screen forces. Again, you can't afford to have units behind you (rather, in front, depending how you look at it). Rout and rout paths will be very important in this game - for both sides. Since you're going largely across open areas, the last thing you need is to have a bad rout path or even guys being lost during rout. In the same vein, if you break units of the screening force, they are out of the battle. For that reason I like using one of the tanks with its 9FP guns for this purpose. That, two squads and a leader should be enough. The rest of the group should go hauling off CX toward the town.
That leaves the HIP force across the stream. Their set up is limited (two hexes of the stream) so do not expect them to pull many surprises. With low FP and grain fields hindrance they are not going to be killing anyone. Rather I see their job as denying rout. Deploy a squad. Place one way out of the way - in the middle of the corn field. He'll survive and just by being there will affect rout and strips concealment of anyone that moves. I could not resist a squad and LMG in the grain covering the road. It's obvious but so what?. The British can do little about it. The last HS can be placed in harms way and at least stop at least one unit from getting out of the stream. If you can try someone up in close combat, all the better.
After play starts just do what you have to stop him. Often a broken British unit is as good as dead. He's hurting for leaders and places to rally. By all means keep broken units under DM. Take your chances moving. It's more important to get to the village than to avoid causalities. You leaders will need to be well placed for rally reasons. The 9-1 really needs to be on the front so units will have a short rout. You'll lose time if they have to rout back too far. I allocate the 8-0 leader for the British screening force; for that reason he was not in the battle but it did not have a big influence - you can get by with one well-placed leader. Close combat as often as possible. You'll get to reinforce them before he does. In fact, you want him to reinforce the melees. That means he won't be moving to the village.
I rarely have seen a scenario where it's literally every man for himself. Such is the case here. You have a fairly strong looking force. If the situation were different you might even be tempted to attack. However, looks are deceiving and your force is going to end in a disorganized rabble in the two turns. In short, you're going to make a made dash through the stream and attempt to dive into the stone buildings. You don't have many advantages so make the most of what you have. First, the game is only five turns. As pointed out earlier, most of the game the Germans will be doing nothing more than simply getting to the village. Anything you can do to stall him, and it doesn't have to be much of a stall, may win. Second, you need just a single MMC to be unbroken. Once in stone buildings, it's going to take a lot of German fire power to get those MCs. He'll get there but not in large force so he's not going to have much to attack with. In other words, your entire force can be considered to a screen for a single HS. It needs to be a little more organized but that's the idea. Third, your first movement phase will mostly be out of LOS and LOF from the Hun. Ignore the units on the south side of the stream. They are irritating to be sure but not enough of a force to stop you. Remember, you are on a time table as much as he is.
The most creative option will be with the Bren carrier. Unfortunately, all those options may account for nothing. I have seen it stick around and duke it out with the German so-called tanks. With the low TK and the number of Hun squads present, the carrier is not going to last long. I have also seen it attempt to pick up passengers and cart them off to the back of the village. Again, bad option. The close terrain is going to allow the carrier to get as far as infantry could on foot. Regardless, the carrier is going to draw fire. Even a LMG (just like the German units south of the creek has, BTW) needs a 6 or 7 at close range. Remember, the carrier must always be CE which doesn't help matters any. Since the "vehicle" is going to be drawing fire, you might a swell get some utility from it. Drive it around where you suspect HIP units are. It'll still get fire on, but if you clear out areas for your infantry, at least they won't be surprised or denied movement.
As always, I encourage discussion. If you agree or disagree, feel free to write me.