Following the Brits' successful escape from the German encirclement, they immediately go on the counterattack, looking to catch the Germans dispersed and off balance. Lt Page organizes his men, gathers up what armor is available, and launches his men at the enemy forces.
So the plan changes, and the German 4th and 5th Squads (top left), led by LCpl Droll and Cpl Egan, move up to counter the Brit relief force (far right). They both sprint, but neither make it to the cover of the treeline...
At first glance, the Brits get just what they needed, a 'scurry,' which will allow them move everyone without drawing reaction fire. But they also roll a random event ("Ouch!"), and so a stray round sets off some spare ammunition, giving Cpl Allen's 1st Squad (above the squad with the white bead) a knockdown too!
The Brits on the hill try to rally/recover, and 2nd and 3rd Squads do, but 1st Squad is still in knockdown.
This is a key shift, as just a second ago the Germans on the hill were in a bad morale state and their troops covering the Brit relief force is being scattered and pummeled, while the Brits on the hill were doggedly holding on, with the relief force not far away. Quickly the tables seemed to have turned, at least on the hill.
Then the Germans get screwed by rolling a scurry; they can move everyone, but can't fire and can't move into close combat (to finish off Brit hill troops hunkering/knocked down)...
At this point the Germans have no way to win this: they failed in their one chance to close assault the tank, and the scurry destroyed their ability to regain the initiative by putting the Brit hilltop troops out of the fight. Now the Germans are caught in an awkward middle ground, and may not be able to even escape (that Sherman is pretty fast compared to troops on foot).
A soaring success for the Brits, with the hold-outs 1-3 Squads, Vickers MG) holding out long enough for the relief force to punish the Germans and rescue them. The Germans suffered atrociously, while the Brits lost but a single rifle squad. Once again, as I type this, I realize it may not look like a close3 game (because of the lopsided casualties), but I can tell you it was very tense, with four key events going against the Germans:
1) the random event that kept the mortar from raining destruction on the hilltop (you could see how effective it was in suppressing squads when it was in action).
2) The Vickers MG rolling 1 dice in reaction fire, stopping the charging German squad cold in its tracks, saving the Brit 1st Squad (which was in a knockdown status and would have been eliminated upon contact).
3) The Sherman firing its MG, rolling 1 dice in reaction fire, stopping another charging German squad cold in its tracks, more than likely saving the Sherman (close combat would have seen opposing D6 rolls, with the Germans getting a +2 for initiating combat).
4) The Germans rolling a 'scurry' when they had the Brit 1st Squad and MG hunkered, and the 2nd Squad knocked down. This meant no firing and no moving into close combat, when any German unit moving into contact with the 2nd Squad would have won automatically, and any German unit moving into the 1st Squad or MG would have been +3 in its opposed die roll.
So, it was pretty close, despite how the end tally looks. A great game pretty quickly, leading to the final fight of the operation, a Brit prepared assault on the main German line. Stay tuned!