ASL192 / G29 Shoot-N-Scoot - AAR

von Marwitz

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ASL192 / G29 Shoot-N-Scoot - AAR

17368

Scenario Overview:


I picked this scenario as I felt like playing something bigger than the usual tournament fare. With 8.5 Turns and roughly 15 squad equivalents and a dozen AFV per side, this one seemed to fit the bill. The defending Americans also have a menacing module of 150mm OBA (HE/Smoke) and 24 Factors of Mines, three Armor Leaders and one Gyro-equipped AFV. For more details regarding the units of both sides, have a look at the picture above. It is a 'Battle of the Bulge' action set in December 1944

American AFV retain Concealment as Emplaced Guns when firing their MA. For some added fog of war, American Passengers setting up or entering can be kept offboard and treated as if concealed until revealed. Mist is in effect and Water Obstacles are Frigid. As Ground Snow is NOT in effect, I do not understand, why the Frigid water makes any difference as it is not frozen nor do I see any reason why any unit would want to enter a water obstacle at all. The Germans have already expended half their MF/MP when entering.

The objective for the Germans is either to exit a very substantial number of EVP in the West (Prisoners don't count) for an instant win or by Controlling all but one of the multi-hex buildings on board 12.


Preliminary Assessment:

Crossing the length of one board within 9 Turns is basically not a problem for an armored force with a significant mechanized element. Nor is taking a number of multihex buildings in this time-frame. So there has to be some sort of catch. The Americans must have something to give the German Elite SS-Force with no less than 6 Panthers & more stuff some trouble.

The at start 4x M10 tank destroyers, M8, and M20 with two Armor Leaders are decent. Make sure to read up the Vehicle Notes for the M8 and M20, as they are a bit special. You could say they have their 'Easter eggs' hidden in them... The two reinforcing M4A3(76)W are good and are quite dangerous to the German AFV with APCR even frontally. Yet, the American armor is no match for its German counterpart.

This brings us to the key element of the US order of battle: A module of 150mm OBA (HE/Smoke) with the usual plentiful ammo. That's 30FP in the concentration and even for Harassing Fire still 8FP. In other words, it can tear apart anything and it can do so anywhere unless you gack the rolls. It is even very dangerous to any German AFV including the Panthers having a HE Armored Target Basic TK# of 16 ! There 'happens' to be just a single Level 2 stone building which can overlook basically the entire area minus the given blind hexes which cries: "Put the OBA Observer here at 2nd Level!" With that OBA module, the Americans can scare away the Germans from any area they want or pound them in any area where they might concentrate with devastating force. Mist being in effect the Observer being likely Concealed or HIP and in a Stone Building means, that it will be extremely difficult to take out by German fire. So, if you cannot bring this OBA to bear for having bad luck with Radio Contact or drawing red chits, I'd say your Americans will be toast.

As for the German units, these are pretty straight forward: 658s, no less than 10 (!) MGs, two of which are dm MMGs, 6 Panthers, 2 JgPz IV(L), and five half-tracks, one of them with a 37L. An all-SS Elite force which has serious punch. There is only two things, it is lacking: The Germans only get 4 Leaders (one of them a 9-2) and only the two Jagd Panzers can shoot Smoke with a Depletion number of 7. I seriously doubt that this is 'happenstance' and it should set you thinking. My thinking goes like this: You won't be effectively blinding the enemy OBA Observer with Smoke. And if the enemy OBA thrashes your Infantry, there will only be few places where you can get it back to order quickly.

Now, let's have a look at the terrain. Two full boards are nothing unusual as a playing area. The southern half is dominated by the board 42 Woods. Notable is that the Paths in there are SSR'ed to be roads (which, yes, are supposed to connect to road outside the woods if ADJACENT). Anyone who has played board 42 knows that fighting through those Woods is slow and tedious buisness, because the Defender can wait concealed for the Attacker to non-assault move ADJACENT to lose Concealment and be exposed to Point Blank Fire - which would be a 12FP @0 for a standard US 666 squad and enough firepower even for SS-squads to reckon with. Slow business. The benefit of the Woods in this scenario is that you will be safe from the 150mm OBA while within due to Blind Hexes. But you won't be firing at any units outside of those Woods either. Of course, as soon as you reach its fringes, the OBA looms large and the Americans will have had time to redeploy, awaiting your leaving the Woods. The Germans can pass through with AFVs, but of course the roads pretty much limit vehicular movement and the points where these can emerge. Furthermore, Woods Roads seem to be the perfect place to block with Mines of both variants.

Northern board 12 is very open in its Eastern part, where the Germans enter. You'll be happy to find a place to rout to at all. You'll be very unhappy if caught in that area by a 150mm OBA concentration or Harassing Fire. The German Infantry will have a tough time crossing it even without any OBA at all given the good US firepower. In the middle of board 12 is the stone village with the victory buildings. +3TEM is just what those 6 Morale Americans like and need. So even for the tough German SS it will take a while to clear them out. The greater problem is getting there.


The Battle Plan:

While not ruling out the 'Exit-VC', the required 70 EVP were a tough call, so I did not make this approach my prime objective. Of course, there was a straight road along board 42, so there were 34 road hexes of distance, the halftracks could cover 32, the Panthers could cover 30. If all German vehicles were fully loaded and the tanks given some Riders, at start, this juggernaut could be worth 100 EVP. These could be off in the West even before the US reinforcements arrived while taking 30% losses. But they would have to run a fearsome gauntlet. Choke points could well be mined, likely, the US OBA would have one halfturn at minimum to wreak havoc and/or to block the way during German Turn 2. And if Wrecks clogged the road, the time-table would go up the chimney. But if the time-table would go up the chimney... You see where this is getting to.

So I'd go for the buildings. But how? Charging across the open ground of board 12? I would probably not even make it with my Infantry even without the 150mm OBA, so no. Through the board 42 woods? By the time I would emerge from the woods, the Americans would have had enough time for their redeployment to await me - along with his reinforcements. That left 'the middle', i.e. via the 42V2 hedged compound that would also provide a base with excellent TEM. From Level 1, the 12U5 building would even be within long range of the SS 658s and thus provide - together with the German 9-2 Leader - maybe provide a theoretical chance to blast the suspected American Observer there. And - theoretically again - I might still decide whether to go for the exit or for the village. As, however, not all German forces would have enough room to reasonably take position around the 42V2 compound, some part of my force would take a different path. The open ground of board 12 would be too open. The Gully might provide some protection, but at some point, the Observer would have LOS into it and - end of story. So it would be through the woods as fast as possible. This would keep the US believing I'd go for the exit. But instead, I would emerge from 42Q5. Until I got there, the Germans in the 42V2 compound would keep the Americans busy and then provide cover for my Germans crossing over the open area between the village and the woods in half-tracks to unload in bypass of the stone buildings. In the ensuing confusion, the 42V2 compound force would also push against the village. As the Americans would have to guard a German exit via board 42, at least some of the US troops would be out of position to counter this.

There were two main difficulties with this: The passing through the woods would have to happen fast. And I would have to stay out of LOS of the American OBA Observer until I reached the 42V2 compound as much as possible.

So much for the plan.


Situation at Game Start:

17407

This shows the situation at Game Start.


17408

The arrows show the basic "plan": Red - initial armor moves. Green - initial Infantry moves (part of them unloading/advancing). Blue - Initial Advancing Fire directions. Black - further direction of the assault. If I did not miscalculate blind hexes, then (hopefully) all German units would be out of LOS from an American Observer in the 12U5 building, so in his American Turn 1, a 150mm OBA Spotting Round could not be converted to an FFE.

The attentive reader will notice, that something is 'amiss'...
Indeed, my carefully crafted plan did not even survive until first contact with the enemy - it was stillborn. Rereading the SSR a couple of times because we all know we should do this, I did not reread the offboard entry instructions and thus missed, that the German force only had half MP/MF (FRU) for their first MPh.

Of course, consequences were horrible: Blobs of vehicles and Infantry were stuck in perfect view from the likely enemy Observer perch in the 12U5 building set up to be blasted to Kingdom Come. My timetable was in shambles from the first second even without the effects of enemy fire. This severe blunder might likely cost me the game before it even started.

To make matters worse, I had not been aware that non-fully tracked vehicles cannot use Trailbreaks through Woods, while they can use Trailbreaks through Minefields. I believed they can use any Trailbreak. This meant that the half-tracks that I had sent along the southern board-edge would not be able to pass a Trailbreak created by a Panther through 42Z10, the idea being to avoid AT-Minefields in the obvious Woods-Road locations and be safe from OBA. This, in turn, meant that while time was of the essence of passing through the southern Woods in the first place, it would take much longer or might be impossible at all to assemble a mechanized assault force surging forth via the 42Q5-T6 Woods Road into the flank of the village.

My apologies to everyone who was looking forward expecting to see how this one is tackled 'the right way', especially to Pete Shelling who was surely looking forward to such a thing for his first published scenario. Now, you will understand, why the pre-game section of this AAR is held quite long. Well, I am not the one who resigns early, so I would attempt to make the best of it.


Situation at the End of German Turn 1:

17409

Recipe for disaster. 'Suddenly' bereft of half my MP/MF, I struggled to keep as many of the German units out of LOS of the supposed US Observer in Level 2 of 12U4. This was bound to failure, and one unit his LOS would be enough to bring down doom on the Germans. My killer-stack with the 9-2 sought refuge in 42DD4, the only good TEM it could reach.

The Americans established Radio Contact, drew a Black Chit and brought down the Spotting Round in 42EE3. From 12U5, a low roll of the HMG paired with miserable German Morale Checks broke two German 658 despite long range and Mist.

During my AFPh, the Panther in 12A6 engaged a supposed concealed AFV in 12J10 from where it would exert a dangerous threat to the flanks of German armor - for no effect, alas. I also suspected the US 57L ATG in 12H7 - the reason why my Panther had stayed at 7 hexes range from that Location to deny an Deliberate Immobilization attempt.
With everything else I could muster, I attempted - again in vain - to neutralize the American forward position in 42X2. Fire to 42X7, guarding the access to the Woods, was ineffective as well.

With this, the stage was set for impending doom in American Turn 1.


To be continued in a subsequent post.

von Marwitz
 
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Situation at the End of American Turn 1:

17410

In American Turn 1 - as was to be expected - disaster struck. The OBA came down just were it hurt most. Despite scurrying into a Stone Building for protection my most powerful stack: All SS units, 9-2, 658+dm MMG, 658+dm MMG, 658+LMG was whacked: Leader broke, first squad broke, second squad rolled boxcars, third squad merely pinned. But on the bright side, the building did not collapse (missed by 1) and merely a Flame was placed within. Next, the OBA eradicated a Jagdpanzer creating shellholes for good measure. It went on to create three more shellholes in unoccupied hexes. Scary sh*t! My other stack, also all SS, of 8-1, 658+LMG, 658+LMG was partly broken partly Pinned by a ROF tear of a measly US MMG toting HS. If you think this is bad - it gets better: Having determined that an Acquistion on my 9-2 & company would not harm, my opponent took a shot at roughly 10 hexes with an M10 GMC, through mist, through OBA hindrance and vs. +3 Stone Building TEM, rolling Snake-Eyes... And keeping ROF. Having used the ITT, though, a CH was not automatic and it turned out to become merely a normal hit to shake my boys a little more. I reckon you need to appreciate the small joys in life...

In any case, I had the heat on me - look at this:

17411

9 of the IFT rolls were the 150mm OBA...

I took it with a stiff upper lip and was shooting back as furiously as in vain:

17412

A fun part:

Me:
"I'll shoot at that concealed vehicle in those 12J10 Woods. Let's see: VTT TH AP! That's Basic for range 9. +1BU, +1 Mist, +1 Woods, +2 Concealed, -1 AQ by bracketing Area AQ. I need a Final 5."
Him:
"No, you can't use the AQ if you are firing VTT vs. a concealed unit."
Me:
"Well, then I need four." [Roll of the dice: 1,3] "Hey, I GOT it!"
Him:
"Well, what if I am a small target?"
Me:
"Well, what if I have my Armor Leader in that tank?" [Grinning and revealing it.]
Him:
"Well, what if I am a VERY small target?"

We both burst out laughing. It was a damn Jeep, so I missed by one...


So, having barely stepped onto the scene, I had 1 squad equivalent killed, 1 Jagdpanzer knocked out, my 9-2 Leader, further 3 squads, and 2 HS broken (one of them Disrupted). So one third of my Infantry force was at least temporarily out of commission, almost my entire force out of place, I was behind schedule from the outset, and would have serious trouble to recover while having to assault into the face of an entirely unharmed enemy with a 150mm OBA concentration in place. Let's see what I would make out of this shambles...


Situation at the End of German Turn 2:

17419

German Turn 2 - at every step, the anxious asking eyes of troopers, NCOs and officers were fixed on me. The previous turn had shaken my 'Personal Morale', and I considered this scenario more or less lost. Decisions made based upon PMC Failure (make that a Pin in my case) are often ill advised. Anyway, I decided upon the 'Hell, this is lost anyway, so I might as well make crazy moves in hope of a wonder'-strategy. I think most of us know that strategy. Well, scratch the word 'strategy' in that.

So I had three problems now:
Getting my SS-troopers back to Good Order all over the place.
Getting forward quickly while forming something like a coherent fighting front.
Getting the hell out of LOS of the enemy OBA Observer.

For the time being, I ignored my fourth problem by hanging up on the staff-officer calling from Berlin reminding me of getting to the port of Antwerp optimally by the next day...

The Turn had started just fine with a quarter of my problems being solved instantly. Trying to emanate confidence and to instill my soldiers with hope, I addressed the next problem. But only a single squad was impressed returning to duty whereas all the others, including the 9-2 had their doubts and remained broken.

On to the third problem - getting forward.
As the Germans had been assured that the Americans would believe anything from a Panzer IV to a ridiculous captured French FT-17 to be a Tiger tank, it seemed a good idea to put the scare on them. So my Panther in A6 revved up its engine charging forward. The Amis had grokked by the episode with the Jeep in the previous turn that my SS-Armor Leader complete with eye patch was in there. As this movie was just beginning, it was ordained that he would wreak utter havoc and destruction among the G.I.s including the killing of the funny and aimable, though somewhat clumsy character from boot camp. The Panther would only be knocked out in the movie's finale by a left hook administered by the American Hero's fist after which the US flag would somehow be blended in and their national anthem start emanating from out of nowhere. It is always this way. Always. So in absolute certitude that my Panther was invulnerable at this point, I ignored the suspected AT-Gun position in 12H7 just as I had ignored the staff-officer's call, which had worked just splendidly. An instant later, my Panther was knocked out by the HIP AT-Gun in 12H7. What? Should I better have talked to the staff officer, too? Was this already the end of the movie?

No time to think about that. Nothing to be seen here. Let's move to someplace else. Let's move down South (Note: As Germans know no humor, probably no pun intended...). The previous turn, an American M-10 tank destroyer in 42T9 had made its debut by rolling snakes on its TH roll vs. my 9-2 & friends still reeling from the OBA. This one was peering down the Woods Road crossing the line of my advance. Since moving forward outside the board 42 Woods south of the Pond with Infantry was out of the question due to the OBA-thread and Good Order footsloggers not really being available for the purpose anyway, I decided to bully forward with Panthers, to hell will Mines. So the first Panther moved towards the 12V2 building complex with the intention of blasting it free for what remained of follow-up Infantry that would make its way north of the Pond. Sure enough, the Panther found an AT-Minefield in the bottleneck of 42Z4 but was not damaged upon entry. To heck with it - I had no time for subtleties and moved on emerging unscathed and a Trailbreak behind me, then moving to 42X3 firing into the US forward position in 42X2 to no effect.
Next one. After the second Panther had navigated the Trailbreak, a HIP US HS with BAZ opened up from 42Y4 when my side armor was exposed. It gacked its roll so my Panther continued to 42W5 where it scared the Concealed M-10 in 42U5 to make a Motion Attempt which was successful and contrieved to pop its Smoke Pot. I had been lucky not to be harmed by the AT-Mines and even more not to be destroyed by the HIP BAZ. Now I also understood, why so far the M-10 deep in the Woods in 42T9 had held its fire so far: The Americans had had good reasons to believe that I would get my AFVs killed elsewhere.
I felt that I could not leave my Panthers entirely without Infantry support, so next I moved a half-track with a HS+PSK Passenger with the intention of passing through the Minefield and unloading to cover vs. some close-in enemy extravagances. When crossing 42AA6, the M-10 from the Woods opened up which I was not too concerned about - at 7 hexes, he'd have a Basic TH of 9 @ +2 Moving, +2 seen for 1MF, +1 small Target, +1 Mist and thus a 8.3% chance to hit with 3 or less. As I take the pains to lay out all these modifiers, you now expect that he rolled that 3 against all the odds and hear me whining. You are mistaken. He rolled a 5. I was already moving on as my opponent held me back, whipping out his 9-2 Armor Leader. Having copied that trick from me and my half-track being no damn very small Jeep, I was hit, everything burned, my Passengers ended up covering the ground in bits & pieces instead of giving cover to my Panthers beyond the Minefield. And yes, you were right about my whining part. The third Panther then passed the Minefield without incident to reach the 42X4 area.

Yet further down South (stop chuckling!), a Panther created a partial TB in 42Z10 with an Infantry laden half-track in place to follow up. It was only after moving the half-track taht I realized that half-tracks cannot use Trailbreaks through Woods for not being fully-tracked. In 42Y9, a squad 'found' a AP-Minefield and as a result, a HS reported to St. Peter immediately, while the broken surviving HS remained broken there until the end of the game. Some more Infantry made some progress into the Woods but they did not really have punch yet nor did they build a coherent fighting front.

North of the Pond with my Panther taken out by the enemy AT-Gun, I set my Jagd-Panzer at it. Its frontal armor should be able to cope with the 57L's shells and with a reasonable HE shot I might break its crew and thereby neutralize the threat to the flanks of German Armor in that sector. For good measure, I sent the SPW 251/10 to 42AA1 facing the AT-Gun, figuring that in combination with the Jagd-Panzer I might take it out while it would also create some cover for my Infantry cornering the Pond on the Northern side. Obviously, this was not a brilliant move, but I reckon that the Personal Morale thingy had crept out of dark corners again and I did not care about the risks of pushing my luck.

So during my MPh, I had lost a Panther with Armor Leader, an SPW 251/1 with 348+PSK Passenger, a HS to AP-Mines, and had a half-track Passenger 658+LMG broken plus a HS in the AP-Minefield. Yet I could count myself lucky having escaped the AT-Mines and the almost certain Bazooka hit vs. a Panther's side armor.

I had better have my luck hold as now during the DFPh, it was 150mm OBA time. The Americans maintained Contact and wanted to correct the FFE to fall on my still broken 9-2 & company in the Woods on the board edge in 42GG2. Again, I could cound myself lucky as the OBA came down in the most beneficial hex for me, merely threatening to take out a Panther on a 8 or less - which it didn't.

Advancing Fire had no effect. The Flame in DD4 spread to become a Blaze which allowed my Disrupted unit there to rout to my broken 9-2. The ill-fated US Bazooka HS died for failure to rout.

At the End of German Turn 2, I had been very lucky with regard to my Panthers in the 42X4 area and with the failure of the American OBA to have an impact. My shaken personal morale had its part in my misplaying my AFVs on the northern flank. In the south, realizing that non-fully tracked AFV cannot use Trailbreaks through woods would cost me some extra time which I didn't have.

My problem of getting out of LOS of the US Observer was unsolved.

Into this situation, the Field Phone rang and the staff-officer from Berlin was blathering something about 'Endsieg'. I just hung up.


To be continued in a subsequent post.

von Marwitz
 
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Situation at the End of American Turn 2:

17422

In American Turn 2, I was confident to rally my 9-2 Leader and the two MG-carrying halfsquads with him - the remains of my once powerful killer-stack - but, no. The Leader gacked his roll and that was that. No other Germans rallied either, so the period in which I was to recover and reform something of a fighting front would be stretched out further.

Much to my relief, the American Observer failed to retain contact, so at least for the time being I would be spared further destruction from that angle. There was not too much US Prep Fire. The AT-Gun killed off my misplayed SPW 251/10 and re-DM'ed brokies in 42DD10. The Americans in the 42V2 compound did not have much impact, though. Irritatingly, however, the HS+BAZ in 42Y1 broke my ADJACENT HS+PSK, which would later die for Failure to Rout.

During Movement, the US redeployed some of their forces in the rear. The US HS+MMG with 8-1 in 42X2 moved back with the intention of avoiding the warm attention of the ADJACENT Panther. The lonely 666 in 42Y6 found it prudent to retreat and was broken in the process.

In German Defenisve Fire, I was able to batter the 1st Level of the 42V2 building by KIA'ing a 666, while a second one rolled Boxcars on a MC to be reduced and ELR'ed. With this, the forward defensive line of the Americans was more or less overcome with the notable exception of the 57L AT-Gun in 12H7 which still posed a serious threat to my armor from the flank.

Altogether, one might say that US Turn 3 went well for the Germans.


Situation at the End of German Turn 3:

17434

In my German Turn 3, the 9-2 once again failed to rally and thus the brokies beneath him. I will point that out in case the staff officer from Berlin should call again...

Reviewing my problems (see the list in German Turn 2), it was "Auf, auf! Marsch, Marsch!" during the MPh. All Good Order Germans managed to reach places in which they were out of LOS of the suspected US OBA Observer, but still it would take the following German turn until I could finally establish something like a fighting front again. My lone HS in 12A6 moved at the double ADJACENT to the enemy really ennerving AT-Gun, which did not take the bait but instead once more rolled low enough to kill my remaining Jagdpanzer.

In DFPh, I was given some respite by the US not being able to re-establish Radio contact but else nothing much happened.

In 42W8 the Germans declared No Quarter, eliminating a broken US squad there and after that, the US HS+BAZ in 42Y1, now being able to Low Crawl, died by Interdiction.


Situation at the End of American Turn 3:

17446

In American Turn 3, my 9-2 & company finally managed to rally.

During Prep Fire, the Americans re-established Radio Contact and brought down a Spotting Round in the 42V2 compound, but with all my units out of LOS, there would be no converting it.

Unfortunately but not surprisingly, my opponent was savvy enough to pull back from the line of woods north of the 42V2 compound into the village and strengthened that factor with a number of vehicles, which would preclude me from coming to grips with him and would also prevent me from avoiding his OBA by "hugging" him. Down in the Woods, the Americans began to form a new line of resistance to slow me down. His reinforcements - not that he needed them - came in on board 42, forming a block west of the Woods if I ever were to emerge there. My opponent abandoned a number of vehicles to get hold of the MMGs /.50 Cals in there.

The AFPh irritatingly saw the Brush in 42AA1 turn into a terrain blaze after having caught a flame before despite the Wet EC. This would force a detour of the now rallied 9-2 & company trying to catch up with the front in my upcoming turn.

In CC, my lone HS next to his AT-Gun killed an enemy HS which had been sent there as a relief.


Situation at the End of German Turn 4:

17447

Finally, during my German Turn 4, the 9-2 rallied and did the same to his company...

During PrepFire, alas my HS could not affect the enemy AT-Gun Crew, nor my Panther in 42Y1 despite encircling shots. Instead, later that friggin' pest of an AT-Gun pivoted in the Woods, kept ROF (yet another time) and K/*ed my HS, precluding it from engaging the ATG Crew in CC.
In the center, I could not do much because staying out of LOS of the enemy OBA Observer meant that I could not see much either.

By the end of my MPh I had, at long last, established a fighting front in the southern Woods, but only after too much delay and not in mechanized form as had been originally planned for. Furthermore, some units were lagging behind. Due to the terrain blaze in 42AA1, my 9-2 & company had to take the detour south of the Pond and to hide in the blind hex of 42Z6. In any case, it was still not in the 42V2 compound where it should have arrived at the end of the previous turn.

The Americans corrected their Spotting Round which came down in 12K1 but they could not convert it for lack of LOS. Yet it was in a very good place to thwart a German push towards the village during my next turn.


To be contiued in a subsequent post...

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Situation at the End of American Turn 4 - Game End:

17448

I'll keep American Turn 4 short.

In the PFPh, the enemy shifted his Spotting Round to the perfect spot to smash any German attempt for the village originating from the 42V2 compound.

During his MPh, my opponent managed to snipe my Panther in 42Y1 with his Gyrostabilized tank with Armor Leader. On the outskirts of the village, the Americans pulled back across the street, as not to be bothered by their OBA. Furhtermore, they continued the redeployment of their troops in a way that they could shift their Schwerpunkt to whatever direction I could take.

I acted on what was obvious to me before: As there was no chance to win this one, I conceded.

The field phone rang: "This is Major von Schoff from Berlin. The Führer insists that to ensure the Endsieg you have to immediately brush away the feeble American resistance and report form Antwerp by tomorrow morning. It is of absolute..."
"Von Schoff, you'll have to ensure the Endsieg yourself. In Berlin. Personally." I interrupted him and hung up.


Review:
It is really a pity that I screwed up my setup of this scenario and compounded this failure by my error to be ignorant of the inability of non-fully tracked Vehicles to use Trail Breaks through Woods. A shaken Personal Morale led to some careless play which unneccessarily cost me my Panther by the enemy AT-Gun which I explicitely had detailed to deal with it. That allowed the AT-Gun in the end up taking out a Panther, a Jagdpanzer, an SPW 251/10, to break / re-DM two squads and to kill a HS.
Because my setup and plan was based on the incorrect premise that I had the full MF/MP complement available, I was in a worse position that I would have been taking the correct values into account. While I might not have been able to avoid the enemy OBA altogether, I am pretty sure I could have reduced its impact - especially on my 9-2. The recipe would have to 'scoot' from blind hex to blind hex during the German Movement Phases and to 'shoot' anything in sight during the US turns.

As for the overall strategy I followed, I am not sure if this could have been valid with only 50% of MF/MP for the first turn. I do not believe that any German plan can omit taking the 42V2 hedged compound because it is the only spot which provides stone cover short of the village regardless if the Germans go for the Exit or for the Building VC. Sending substantial vehicular forces through the southern Woods, though,especially by means of a Trailbreak in 42Z10 is an entirely different matter. Vehicles would have to enter the Woods via 42X7 or 42Y8, but these Woods-Roads are - needless to say - obvious places to set Mines.
This insight, however, does not solve the problem which path the Germans could have taken instead - board 12 remains dreadfully open after all. And if I had decided for a reckless armored push forward across board 12, then the 57L enemy ATG could have wreaked havoc as well. Probably, still, this would have to be the approach I had taken.
The crucial thing for the Germans is to neutralize the enemy OBA.
This is easier said than done as it is hard to blind and hard to take out by fire before reaching the 42V2 compound (and even there it would be a gamble of pitting the 9-2 with a killer-group in 42V1 or 42V2 against the likely Observer in the 12U5 building which could rain down the OBA to counter it). The third way would be to move in very close to the Americans to 'hug' them, so that the arty would likely result in 'friendly fire' to the US. But this would also be hard to pull off given the firepower of the Americans. If things go wrong, which would not be unlikely, Germans attempting this could find themselves between hell a bad place and hell.

In any case, the Germans need to strive for a coherent fighting front that will allow them to at least dish out some serious fire power when the opportunity presents itself. In my playing, I had not even completed to reestablish such a fighting front after the initial blows.

I hope that despite the flawed setup and thus shortened game, my AAR can at least provide some insights about this scenario.

von Marwitz
 
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wrongway149

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The crucial thing for the Germans is to neutralize the enemy OBA.
This is easier said than done as it is hard to blind and hard to take out by fire before reaching the 42V2 compound (and even there it would be a gamble of pitting the 9-2 with a killer-group in 42V1 or 42V2 against the likely Observer in the 12U5 building which could rain down the OBA to counter it). The third way would be to move in very close to the Americans to 'hug' them, so that the arty would likely result in 'friendly fire' to the US. But this would also be hard to pull off given the firepower of the Americans. If things go wrong, which would not be unlikely, Germans attempting this could find themselves between hell a bad place and hell.
I wonder if this a classic example the 'keep the OBA as threat rather than call it down" tactic." An SR bouncing around can do the job of keeping the attacker dispersed for fear of the actual 150mm OBA.
 

Cpl Uhl

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I wonder if this a classic example the 'keep the OBA as threat rather than call it down" tactic." An SR bouncing around can do the job of keeping the attacker dispersed for fear of the actual 150mm OBA.
10 possible missions of, 24-30 FP (nrbh) and you don't use it? That would be a shame. Nothing like heavy artillery to pound those cocky SS bastards in quivering mush.
 

Cpl Uhl

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Spread everyone out, hid as possible, plunked away with area fire from the panthers until I broke the radioman, a bit of a desperate rush with the infantry and, as always, a bit of luck. Can't remember what the arty did.
 

wrongway149

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Spread everyone out, hid as possible, plunked away with area fire from the panthers until I broke the radioman, a bit of a desperate rush with the infantry and, as always, a bit of luck. Can't remember what the arty did.
Probably not much if you don't remember.
 

Cpl Uhl

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I think he used it for as harassing fire and area denial for a few turns. Then got a red card and by the time he got it going again my tanks had gotten a bead on the radioman. The original harassing fire was very effective in diverting the main axis of attack but what I feared was a concentration on my tanks, which never came.
 

von Marwitz

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Played this with Cpl Uhl as the Germans.

He won. They can win................

His strategy was to go for the buildings.
His winning tactic might have been to declare the entire thing to be PTO - somehow... He's hard to stop then. ;)

von Marwitz
 
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