Action at Murrell Bridge – The Refight

The recent issue of Wargames Illustrated magazine included an article about Greg Priebe’s Falkland War supplement for Combat Patrol(TM).  The editors omitted Greg’s name as one of the co-authors of the article.  For space reasons, the section of the article that described the refight of the included Murrell Bridge scenario was not included in the magazine.  Below is the information about the re-fight.

Overview of the Murrell Bridge table

Chris Abby and his son, Lewis, have played quite a few Combat Patrol(TM) games over the last year, including WW2 Normandy and Pacific.  They have also play tested the recently released Horse and Musket supplement with the 95th Rifles fighting those pesky French Dragoons.  They wanted to see how Combat Patrol(TM) would work for 1980s combat.  Most of the games they played involved reinforced platoons.  The refight of Murrell Bridge is an action of the section commanders war, where every shot really counted.

Lewis commanded the section from 3 Para, and Chris took the Grupos Tiradores from the Argentinean Commando Company. The Paras deployed the GPMG team and two rifles forward covering the approach to Murrell Bridge with Alpha fire-team deployed in their assembly area.  The Argentinian’s approached the British positions from the east, fanned out with a fire team either side of the road.

The engagement took place at night, so all units started the game ‘un-spotted.’ The Paras and the Argentinean officer, section commander, and Automatic Riflemen had second generation night vision sights, and there was a half moon. This made spotting range 24 inches. At this range infantry in the open were spotted automatically, and a spotting test could be made against those in cover. The Paras’ sentries detected the advancing Commando’s as they ran for cover and successfully engaged the section on their right flank.

The Paras incapacitated the Commandos’ section commander, resulting in that team becoming pinned. This halved that team’s effectiveness. The Paras that had opened fire then became a target, as the night fighting rules allow speculative shooting at muzzle flashes (at a greatly reduced probability).  As one of the folks in our club likes to say, it is bad being everyone’s only target.  All of the Argentineans that could do so fired at Bravo fire-team, causing one Para to flee and the rest to shift position.

On the Paras’ left flank, the Argentineans rushed forward and flung themselves into the stream bed, taking casualties on the way.  The Paras used reaction fire to interrupt their movement in the open. During this fire and maneuver, L/CPl Fisher became a casualty, pinning Para Bravo fire-team. Having achieved a firm base of fire on their right flank in the stream bed, the Argentinean Commandos advanced on their left flank, making best use of available cover. The Paras took every opportunity to interrupt movement and engage the enemy in the open. A fierce fire-fight continued with the outcome very much in the balance.

When the game had ended, the Argentineans had managed to dislodge the Paras from their positions, but had not managed to capture a prisoner for interrogation, so in the final analysis it was a marginal victory for the Paras and very similar to the actual outcome on the night. The Argentineans had patrolled aggressively and had dislodged the Paras from their positions, but they had suffered very heavy casualties in the process.  Chris and Lewis really enjoyed the game and look forward to reversing roles and playing again.

Greg’s Falkland War supplement provides a very good Falklands feel.  The supplement is a free download from the Combat Patrol(TM) Web page: