DB106 Defending The Twin Villages - AAR

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DB106 Defending The Twin Villages - AAR

17077


I have just completed this scenario playing the attacking Germans. For sure, you will have some careful thinking to do when setting up a defence for this one. The Germans as well a well advised to ponder well what they want to achieve when. Quite some things can go awry for both sides if the timing is not right in this one.

On this scenario's page on the 'ASL Scenario Archive' website, you will find a VASL file (v6.6.1 as of 1. Dec. 2020) like the above picture among the 'User Files' which will save you some good time to set this up in case you want to play it.


Scenario Overview:

The scenario is set on 17. December 1944 during the 'Battle of the Bulge'. The Germans must exit a significant number of Exit VP off the west edge of board 5. In this must be included at least one AFV with functioning MA and a minimum of one squad equivalent (Prisoners don't count).

The Germans begin with 18x 658 (which have an ELR of 3 and will degrade to 447s but not any further), six Leaders (one 9-2 among them) 8 MGs and five JgdPz IV/70 worth 7 EVP each with a thick frontal armor of 14 but a vulnerable side armor of 3. The Jagdpanzers are limited a HE Depletion of 7 but one of them has a 8-1 AL.

The defending Americans have 13 squad equivalents almost evenly mixed of 667s and 666s, five Leaders, a .50Cal, three MMGs, three BAZ 44's, a DC, a 60mm MTR, and a 81mm MTR along with six Foxholes and eight Concealment Counters for Dummies. Armored Support consists of two M4A3(76)W with an increased Special APCR Depletion number of 7. This means, that this APCR can easily kill the German Jagdpanzers even frontally with the deadly TK# of 22. If the Shermans run out of APCR, then things look differently as the regular AP TK# is only 17. You can count on this detail being of great importance for the game.

EC are Ground Snow. Roads are Plowed, which does not make a real difference for the AFV but might be of importance for Infantry because or it Road Bonus is applicable. Woods are Pine Woods, i.e. entry cost is only 1.5MF - this is very important as there will be plenty of movement through (Pine) Woods. Another twist is that Street Fighting applies vs. AFV in woods-road hexes and if an AFV is ADJACENT to a woods hex on both sides - a glance at the map will show that this is important as well. All US MMC and SW are affected by Ammo Shortage, which means - importantly - no Fire Lanes for the Americans.

The following should really get you thinking: Unbroken non-crew MMC/SMC may not enter hexes west (left) of hexrow T prior to Turn 6 nor may US AFV ever venture east (right) of hexrow T.

In case you want to play this scenario and not be spoilered with tactics, you should skip the following paragraphs until you see the next screenshot of the 'Situation at the Start of the Game'.

Now as you have been provided with the facts, let's have a look at the map:

Board 5 (the upper one) is pretty full of (Pine) Woods on the eastern (right) side. It is perfect terrain for a fall-back defence and to burn away the attacker's time. This is partly alleviated by the reduced MF cost for Pine Woods (1.5 MF). Only a single road is passing through those Woods, so if your Jagdpanzers are passing through board 5 from the East (right) to the West (left), this is the only way open to them. Of sorts. Remember the SSR about the vulerability to Street Fighting on Woods Roads etc., remember the US having three BAZ 44's, remember the Jagdpanzers having a non-traverse MA with HE 7, a single 1FP MG and a side armor factor of 3. So if you dream about an audacious armored push through the board 5 woods with your AFV, you will be in for a rough awakening followed by a quick death. If you do not screen your valuable 7 EVP Jagdpanzers with Infantry, you will lose them - and probably the game with them. Also note, that your Jagdpanzers may have a deadly 75LL MA that will easily put a hole through the enemy Shermans if given a chance, but they are rather slow with merely 11 MPs. This is to be kept in mind. The western (left) part of Board 5 is pretty open. Unfortunately, your Germans must cross that open ground to exit. The German Jagdpanzers are very vulnerable from the sides. Not good.

Board 32 (the lower one) is often happily presented in PTO scenarios. Because it is nasty terrain to pass through. Once again, there is only a single road passing through it which has more curves and is longer than that of Board 5. So it does not look really inviting to your Jagdpanzers. Beside that road, you might be able to risk Bog by breaking a trail through 32J9 or 32J10. If you do, you will have to cross one or two frozen Streams (treated as Gullies) and you will be vulnerable to Underbelly Hits / Side shots if taking this slow 'center route'. By now it should be obvious to you, that your a**-kicking bunch of Jagdpanzers can't do much at all for a considerable time of this scenario and must really watch out not to become the hunted. As for the German Infantry, they won't have an easy time pushing through board 32 quickly either. Entering/Exiting frozen Streams incurs a level change which costs extra in Ground Snow. And once more, the Pine Woods lend themselves very well for an American delaying action.

You see clearly now, that the Germans will be fighting the terrain. Woods at first, Open Ground in the end.

Let's look at the American perspective with regard to the terrain.

As always, the Americans have awesome firepower. If the Germans can't advance up ADJACENT to them, they will be unconcealed and looking at point blank 12FP @+0 shots (+1 Pine Woods, -1 FFNAM). Make that 20 FP if an US squad has a MMG. Evil stuff that can surely rattle 8 Morale troops - and even ELR them. So obviously the Americans have to make the best of their delaying action - as long as they can. The bad thing is: There's many Germans - hordes of them. And the Germans can choose their Schwerpunkt while the Americans cannot let them pass on either board. Consequently, the Americans will be severely outnumbered where the Germans want them to be. On top of that, the Germans field serious firepower themselves, including Assault Fire and Spraying Fire Capabilities which can be directed by a 9-2 and three more -1 Leaders. A single 658+LMG combo is good for 10FP in the AFPh. And the Germans have 18 (!) 658s, 6 LMGs and 2 MMGs to begin with. In other words: The G.I.s will be severely pressed, especially as the Germans know there is no time to lose. Inevitably, Americans will break an then the Germans will be hot on their heels in an attempt not to let them recover. In their attack, the Germans can afford and indeed must accept some risks an losses.

Now comes the twist: By SSR, unbroken US MMC cannot fall back beyond hexrow T before US Turn 6. Of course, the Germans know that. So they will try to push the Americans against that 'invisible' red line in an attempt to annihilate them or to force them to break by US Turn 6. In fact, they have to. If the Americans can fall back in Good Order to the west (left) in significant numbers in US Turn 6, then the Germans are in deep trouble which might well lose them the game, because then the Americans will shoot up the Germans when the latter have to cross the open ground towards the board edge. When the Germans reach the open ground on Board 5, they will likely have not too much time left for careful movement nor many places to hide and rally. After having been pummeled by the Germans through the Pine Woods, now it is the time for the Germans to receive a beating - if there are enough US units left and in place to do so. From the northern edge of the Board 32 Woods from 32EE10 to 32X10 the Americans have excellent positions from where they can do so. Very likely, the US Ammo Shortage preventing Fire Lanes has been SSR'ed in to prevent the US laying out a couple of Firelanes across the Open Ground of Board 5 which would make a German victory very unlikely.

Here is where the timing kicks in, which is very important in this scenario. The Americans have to delay the Germans for as long as possible and to create a screen for some US troops to arrive in Good Order in time for flanking fire on the open ground of board 5 just when the Germans have to begin crossing it for the exit. At the same time the Americans can attempt to pick off the Jagdpanzers. These can either drive for the exit presenting the very vulnerable flank or face the US tanks at the cost of not being able to move towards the exit area. The Germans want to prevent exactly this from happening to secure their safe movement towards the exit area.

Let's see how it played out...


Situation at the Start of German Turn 1 - Game Start:

17091

This is the situation at game start. Looking at the American setup, I was more or less content with it. I had figured that the Board 5 avenue might be the quicker way of advance for the Germans and it did not seem that the G.I.s had put their Schwerpunkt there. Sure enough, the road entering the Board 5 Woods were well guarded. Besides that, there seemed only to be a token force close to the northern (upper) board edge, likely without a Leader. The frontline forces on Board 32 seemed roughly to be of similar strength, however, there were significant forces further back in the center which could reinforce the front of Board 32 more quickly than switch over towards Board 5. On the bright side, for the opening phase of the German attack, these 'center' units would not be able to affect anything. Board 5 seemed to allow for more room of maneuver for the assault. The US tanks were sitting way back guarding the immediate exit area. As they could not set up east (right) of hexrow T, in any case they would not come into play early. If the tanks remained there, they could interfere with the Germans emerging from the Board 5 woods road pretty well but my Jagdpanzer would not be forced to decide with moving towards them or presenting their vulnerable side armor. The 81mm MTR could be anywhere in the US rear area - it would make its appearance soon enough, so I did not worry much about it at this time.

My German attack plan was as follows: The Schwerpunkt of the assault would come across board 5. I deployed a powerful Infantry force there with four out of six Leaders including the 9-2. The Germans would just push through the center of the woods taking advantage of the clearings and use them to extend the range of their fire where possible. The northern US token force would just be stomped. The US force guarding the road would be attacked from the North and if they decided to make a stand, they would be encircled and eradicated early. If they decided to fall back, they would save the Germans the fight and allow them to pursue them directly being finally nailed against the 'invisible red line' of hexrow T.

Jagdpanzers would follow along the Board 5 woods road when it was secured. For the outset, I dispersed them to keep the Americans guessing a bit what the vehicles might be up to. In any case, they would not expose themselves to danger.

The German force to enter Board 32 was considerably weaker but I used a number of halfsquads to make it appear more powerful to appear as a credible threat. With the easternmost frozen Stream posing an unwelcome obstacle for attacking Infantry, I found that the main push on Board 32 would have to pass through 32K1 to 32K4. Of course, this was a rather narrow front which could be well defended by the Americans. The main objective of the 'Southern Force' was to keep the Americans on Board 32 honest and busy and to be ready to follow them on the heels should they decide to fall back early so that they would not be able to take up positions in the rear area undisturbed.


Situation at the End of German Turn 1:

17092

In German Turn 1, the pre-planned movements were executed without incident. Most of the German forces in the North were still out of LOS of the defenders or merely moved into LOS during the APh, so that the Americans could to nothing about it. 5H4 and 5J8 were duly threatened - it would remain to be seen if the Americans would fire or rather decide if prudence to fall back was the better part of valor.

In the south, the Germans reached their destinations as well and could discover two American Elite squads without doing any damage.


Situation at the End of American Turn 1:

17093

During US Turn 1 the Americans fell back in the North as I had expected. However, I was positively surprised to see that they left the central woods with its clearings mostly unblocked which would allow my assault to make good headway in my upcoming German Turn 2.

In the south, the Americans mostly skulked. I could merely Casualty Reduce one Elite Squad and break the surviving halfsquad along with eliminating one Dummy.


To be continued in a subsequent post...

von Marwitz
 
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Situation at the End of German Turn 2:

17094

In the North (Board 5) German Turn 2 brought a breakthrough in the Pine Woods. German Infantry was everywhere, dominating the clearings. I was somewhat surprised to find two full US squads as the token force on the northern edge of the woods. They were now quite isolated and as they had no Leader, they would inevitably go down earlier or later. In the southern patch of the northern woods, the entire US force was in grave danger to be cut off from retreat and to be encircled early. To avoid this, the American would have to move in their upcoming turn, which meant they would not be able to fire. I way very content with these developments as my assault went faster than I had expected.

Things were different in the South. My most powerful stack in 32F4 failed to achieve anything and the rest of my Infantry was not strong enough to be risked in American Point Blank fire. Investigating the US stack in 32K1, one of my halfsquads was broken and could just barely extricate itself by routing in the American backfield.

Overall, the Germans suffered 2.5 squads broken while the Americans lost a halfsquad while the German Sniper broke another.


Situation at the End of American Turn 2:

17096

During American Turn 2, the enemy yielded a lot of ground in the northern woods, probably more than necessary, leaving only a single stack behind in 5J1 which fit into a 1S Foxhole. I would have preferred if the G.I.s had decided to stand and fight, but they were prudent enough not to do that. On the other hand, once again, my 'Northern Force' would be able to keep up the assault at the double and soon the space for such a fast retreat would run out for the Americans.

In the South, I could once more not make much progress with my powerful stack in 32F4 falling behind expectations once more. The US 'Center Force' decided to move towards the South. I welcomed that as it would make the German position on Board 5 even more dominant. At the same time, it meant that my 'Kampfgruppe Süd' would be stopped cold. I was fine with that because the further to the East the Americans would be moving, the further away they would be from areas where they could interfere with my later exit.

The German Jagdpanzers were still mostly idle, biding their time, or merely firing some AP shots at enemy Infantry.


Situation at the End of German Turn 3:

17097

In German Turn 3, 'Kampfgruppe Nord' surged forward again, enveloping the northern enemy token force in a way that it would be suicidal for them to stand and fight. I made a mistake there, though, that would cost some of my troops a turn later by not moving teh 9-2, 658+MMG to 5G9, which would have cut off the retreat of the two US squads. 5I3 proved to be a stack of US Dummies which had done their job convincing me that at least a Bazooka was lurking there. With the 'threat' gone now, the first Jagdpanzers made their way into the northern woods. I had made good progress in the North but I knew that things would soon get hairy as the G.I.s would not be allowed to fall back much further by SSR and I had figured that they had the .50Cal, an MMG and at least their 9-1 Leader in the area. Moving up to anything of that into Point Blank fire would be a messy affair.

In the south, I could finally eliminate a Bazooka toting enemy Elite HS in 32J4, and then take possession of its position with a German HS. Yet, the Americans could hold me back with surprisingly little. Some of the American forces began falling back while I could not follow up immediately as I had intended.

The Americans had suffered another halfsquad eliminated but besides that no losses occurred on either side.


Situation at the End of American Turn 3:

17099

In US Turn 4 the two-squad token force in the northern Woods managed to extricate themselves once more due to my failure to have moved my 9-2, 658+MMG to 5S9 in my last Turn. I was cursing myself for not having done this. The rest of the US Northern Force had now reached the western edge of the forest. Moving up now would become bloody dangerous but it had to be done in my upcoming Turn. I now realized another mistake: I should have moved off at least two more of my Jagdpanzers towards the northern woods road last turn. They would not be able to have a great impact in the South but whenever I emerged with my AFV from the western edge of the northern woods, I'd want as many Jagdpanzers as possible to be present to overwhelm the Shermans guarding the exit. This would now prove difficult to bring about.

In the South, the Americans pulled back somewhat, finally providing an opening for me to follow up. With some 'routing art', my re-DM'ed halfsquad contrieved to avoid capture and to extricate itself to 32L0 back towards the German line.


To be continued in a subsequent post...

von Marwitz
 
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Situation at the End of German Turn 4:

17100

In my German Turn 4, I could finally cause some casualties to the Americans. Up north, I finally cornered the enemy two-squad token force, breaking them both with one squad surrendering and the other one at long last stuck in a place where I would be able to catch up with it to force it to surrender as well - unless it managed to self-rally without a Leader under Desperation Morale. Yet, this came at the price of too many units of 'Kampfgruppe Nord' being tied up with this when they already could have threatened the US 'Alamo' on the western edge of the woods. Being quite impressed be the US firepower I knew was lurking there, I only dared to move ADJACENT during the APh, retaining Concealment. With the two Shermans posing a very real threat to my Jagdpanzers with APCR of which I had too few around, I figured that I could not just waste German Infantry or have them break in any greater number as this would cost me too much time. The 'Alamo' would best have to be overwhelmed in one fell strike. If the Americans would dare to fire in their upcoming Turn 4, then they would expose themselves to return-fire from various angles. With not may US forces left, I rather leave that tough choice for him to make. In Close Combat, I eliminated a BAZ toting enemy Elite HS in 5P4, thereby finally clearing the woods road LATW threats. Meanwhile, two more Jagdpanzers moved up and in my next Turn, they would finally be able to rush forward along the Woods Road in earnest. Only a single Jagdpanzer remained in the South, but the better choice would have been to move it northwards as well.

In the South, I finally moved boldly to finally take out the last remaining 667 enemy squad in 32J5 - and was duly punished for it with two of my squads being broken in the process with nothing to show for it except having those gum-chewing bastards Encircled. A lucky shot broke an enemy 8-1, 667+MMG.

Overall, the Americans lost 3 halfsquads in this Turn with another squad being taken Prisoner and 2.5 squad equivalents and a Leader broken. The Germans had two squads broken in the South, but so far no German unit had been lost completely.


Situation at the End of American Turn 4:

17101

In their US Turn 4, the Americans finally opened up from their 'Alamo' on the ADJACENT German units there were, killing two halfsquads and breaking a squad thus 'clearing' the Pine Woods around them with fearsome firepower. Gulp! In my next Turn there would be no alternative for me but to send more troops forward into the meat-grinder. Turn 4 was the first turn in the game, in which the Germans had not captured any significant amount of real-estate in the North. I could not afford to have things slowed down now, much less maybe let some G.I.s escape across the 'invisible red line' with a .50Cal in their Turn 6 to screw up my exit across open ground.

In the South, the Americans formed a firm defensive line in hexrow N of board 32. Let them, I was fine with it! In this turn, the Americans should have pulled out at the double leaving behind a screen of speedbumps. If they had done so, they could have been ready to run towards the edge of the woods from 32EE10 to 33X10 at the start of their Turn 6 from 32T5 causing me great pains during my exit. I was greatly relieved that this didn't occur to them. My defensive fire finally broke the Encircled 667 in 32J5 which surrendered. Now, a single defiant 7-0 die-hard enemy Leader survived there...


Situation at the End of German Turn 5:

17102

During my German Turn 5, I had the alarming feeling that I was not getting anywhere. In the North, I managed to break the enemy 9-1, Squad+MMG in 5R6 which retreated to the 'Alamo' in 5S6 but with what was remaining I doubted that I could overcome Point Blank fire by the menacing .50Cal holed up in the Foxhole there. So I determined to make escape from 5S6 as impossible as I could - which meant not impossible at all as the way to 5S5 remained open. Yet, I brought up the first two Jagdpanzers, while the others trundled slowly behind with the few 11 MPs they had. My plan was to 'freeze' the 'Alamo' in my next turn, likely sacrificing one Jagdpanzer in the process and then overrun the place with everything I had, eliminating the position before the Americans were allowed to move away. To screw up potential Rout paths, I sneaked over a HS to 5U2. Some Infantry moved to 5W8 getting closer to the board edge while avoiding the LOS of the two Shermans. Furthermore, the US 81mm MTR had not made its appearance yet - a dangerous weapon which could wreak havoc on my infantry when crossing open ground. I had some hunch that it might hide in 5CC6, but it could be somewhere on the edge of the woods on board 32 just as well. In the RtPh, the broken US squad in 5T10 was forced to surrender.

In the South, at long last I killed the defiant 7-0 in 32J5. I began to move some forces northwards with the plan to bring them towards the southern edge of the Board 5 woods to prevent any attempt of the Americans to cross over into that direction. If they had tried, I would have been to late, I suppose. A 9-1 arrived in G5 to rally my brokies there as unlikely as they were to have any meaningful impact on the game anymore. A 8-1, 658+MMG took up position in 32K6 taking aim on 32O6 to be ready to interfere with the Americans pulling back which I expected for their coming turn after they had not done so before.

Despite my position looked powerful in the North, I felt that the game hung in the balance at this time. A few decent shots by the Shermans taking out two Jagdpanzers and the yet hidden 81mm MTR scoring some hits on my Infantry crossing the open towards the board edge could screw me up big time. And if I would not be able to eliminate the 'Alamo' in 5S6 with its .50Cal, any attempt of running across the open seemed doomed. Last but not least, the two Shermans had their MG armaments.


Situation at the End of American Turn 5:

17106

At the start of US Turn 5, the broken 546+MMG in the 'Alamo' rallied. Now the Americans had an 8-1, 666+.50Cal in the Foxhole a 546+MMG, a 347 and a broken 9-1 in there. Sobering firepower to move ADJACENT to... These Americans fired to R7 where I had my concealed 9-2, 658+MMG, 658 lurking. I knew the LOS was blocked from a previous shot in the other direction which my opponent had apparently forgotten, so the Americans could not cause harm. Had they remembered, all they could have shot up was a German HS which I was ready so sacrifice to maybe provoke a Malfunction (I think we forgot about the Ammo Shortage of the Americans almost completely) or to deny Concealment in the case my HS would survive unbroken, which now happened to be the case. The broken 9-1 Leader routed to 5T4 where previously the 347 had taken position during its MPh.

In the South, finally the Americans pulled back - at least one turn too late. I got off my shot on 32O6 just as I had planned killing an enemy squad, its MMG clattering to the frozen ground.


To be continued in a subsequent post...

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Situation at the End of German Turn 6:

17116

German Turn 6 proved to be crucial. In the North I moved a German HS guarding two Prisoner Squads next the the menacing 'Alamo', but of course, this bait was to cheap to be swallowed. Next, time was up for a Jagdpanzer. It moved to S9 where it turned towards S6. I had been very anxious that my opponent would have tried to take it out by the 'Street Fighting' SSR or by firing the .50Cal into its soft side. My opponent did nothing of the sort, instead being focused on his Sherman in 5GG4 which I had not foremost on my mind. The Sherman missed its shot, which was not that surprising. More importantly, it rolled a 9, exceeding even the raised APCR Depletion number of 7. This meant that subsequent Jagdpanzers could now confront that Sherman without much danger as long as they presented the heavily armored front. But first things first: My surviving Jagdpanzer in 5S7 now entered the 'Alamo' of 5S6 for its remaining MPs, passing the Bog Check and remaining in Motion. That surely was lucky. Maybe my opponent was confused by this audacity - in any case he did not attempt to take it out with Reaction Fire. Now bound by Target Selection Limits, the 'Alamo' was doomed: I could move up ADJACENT unhindered one concealed stack of my 9-2, 658+MMG, 658+LMG, 658 and another one consisting of a 8-2 and 3x 658+LMG combo. Another HS moved ADJACENT to the enemy 9-1, 347 in 5T4 surviving their Defensive Fire unharmed. The second Jagdpanzer emerged from the Woods Road to confront the Sherman which had failed to bring APCR, shrugging off normal AP shot. The third Jagdpanzer also approached to team up on that Sherman when it was fired at by the second Sherman. Luck continued to shine on me as that one also had brought no APCR. Now, I just parked in LOS of both Shermans being quite confident to win the shoot-out. Sure enough, my Jagdpanzer was not harmed by normal AP shot (though it was too close for comfort...). My remaining Infantry in the North moved forward as fast as they could taking some pains to avoid possible exposure to the still hidden US 81mm MTR. Straggling Infantry and the last two Jagdpanzers moved through the Northern Woods as fast as they could manage.

During the AFPh, the Jagdpanzer with my Armor Leader just rolled what it needed to kill one of the Shermans while a second Jagdpanzer acquired the other. Things now looked grim for the remaining Sherman with two 75LL Guns and superior armor pitted against it. During the RtPh, I declared to quarter as not to burden myself with more Prisoners from the fallen 'Alamo'. My valiant HS advanced into CC with the enemy 9-1, 347 in 5T4 which resulted in Melee. More German Infantry moved ADJACENT to that Melee to make sure the Americans there would have no chance no matter what happened. With this, the Germans completely dominated the western half of Board 5 except for the still hidden enemy 81mm MTR.

In the South, my Germans there pursued the retreating Americans. My 8-1, 658+MMG in 32K6 was taken out by US Defensive Fire but this was of no great consequence any more as the Americans had lingered too long.

Unless some freak events were to occur, the Germans now had very good chances to win the game.


Situation at the End of American Turn 6:

17117

During US Turn 6 in the North, the fate was sealed for the remaining Sherman. It's gun could not penetrate the Jagdpanzers' thick frontal armor and their return fire destroyed the Sherman and then killed its surviving crew with a HE Critical Hit. Still no sign of the 81mm MTR which I now suspected to be somewhere on board 32.

In the South, the Americans ran along the Woods Road at the double but they did not yet reach the edge of the woods and would thus be unable to interfere with the Germans' movement in their next turn. in 32N5 the rear-guard 666+MMG advanced into CC with a CX German 447+LMG which resulted in a Melee.


Situation at the End of German Turn 7 - Game End:

17118

German Turn 7 would see the 'mad dash' towards the board edge towards the exit. The sole remaining concern was the whereabouts of the still hidden enemy 81mm MTR which I now suspected somwhere on the northern edge of Board 32. However, I had always had some sort of hunch that it might be in 5CC6. So it was time for the notorious 'volunteer halfsquad' to find out. I ran two of them through the open ADJACENT to 5CC6 but I was missing one MF for a Search dr. Of course, this bait was too cheap for the enemy MTR to fire at - and it also had a minimum range of 3 hexes. At this point of the game, the MTR was obviously waiting for the most juicy targets.

So my plan was to move the four forward Jagdpanzers to places beneath which I could advance with as much Infantry as possible to exit the board in my next Turn by Armored Assault. This plan still allowed me to 'freeze' 5CC6 just to make sure. And indeed, my hunch had been correct! The 81mm MTR was Hidden there. Its crew could not harm the 'freezing' Jagdpanzer and as now my hordes of Infantry could move up unhindered, they formed a blob-type firegroup to break it in the AFPh after which it was eliminated for Failure to Rout. Four stacks of German Infantry converged beneath four Jagdpanzers in range to leave the board next turn. The fifth Jagdpanzer could also make it before game end.

In their next turn, the Americans could reach the edge of the Board 32 woods with an 8-0, 346 and a 9-1, 666+DC. Provided these units would survive the defensive fire of the Germans stacks and of some of the Jagdpanzers, they would be the only ones which could interfere with the German exit. But even if they survived they would be too few to affect all the Germans around. Thus my opponent conceded at this point.


Review:

Although our playing appeared to me more or less a constant beating up of the US forces, I believe it was actually closer than one would think. ROAR has it currently (including this playing) 6 German wins vs. 3 American ones. In hindsight, I believe the scenario might even be pro-American. I think my opponent made three main mistakes and leaving out any one of them would have put me into trouble:
  1. He conceded ground in the Northern Woods a tad to quickly. Otherwise, passing through would have cost me another Turn in any case. This might have enabled US Infantry to be in position in time for flanking fire.
  2. He fell back too late on board 32 so he could not reach the edge of the forest to cover the open ground which I had to cross for the exit in time. Again, otherwise he would have been in position in time for flanking fire.
  3. The Shermans and the 81mm MTR might be better placed on the northern board edge of Board 32. There, they come they cannot be affected by the Geramans until they begin to cross the open ground (or if the US delaying force on Board 32 had failed). The Jagdpanzers would have make the tough decision to turn towards them for an engagement or to present the very vulnerable side armor if going for the exit. The 81mm MTR along with the Shermans' MG armament can put out plenty of punishment on units crossing open ground.
Another thing that might have screwed me even in this playing is if the Shermans had brought APCR. Had I lost two Jagdpanzers, which seems to be quite realistic, that would have cost me 14 Exit VP which I would have had to substitute with something else. Quite a number of Infantry squad equivalents...

What the Germans could do wrong is to put their Jagdpanzers at risk early. They can't do much to impress enemy Infantry as soon as they are out of HE Ammo. The threat of HE Ammo might be preferrable to actually firing it. While passing through the Woods, they are very vulnerable to Bazookas and might go down even to a lucky 'SSR Street Fighting' attack.

Futhermore, the Germans must not allow the Americans to fall back in Good Order across the 'invisible red line' (i.e. the T hexrow) beginning in Turn 6. They will probably unable to achieve that on both flanks but they must succeed at least on one flank IMHO. As such, there is no time to be lost pushing the US towards that 'invisible red line' quickly. And for this, the Germans will probably need to form a Schwerpunkt on one of their flanks.

For the initial turns, this scenario is surely more fun for the Germans to play. But if the Americans do it right, they will be enjoying the final.

It would be interesting to see how the scenario would play if the Germans would put their Schwerpunkt on Board 32. I think Board 5 is the better choice, but of course this also depends on the US defensive setup.


von Marwitz
 
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buser333

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My opponent did try a strong push on Board 32 (though no Schwerpunkt), as I had strongly defended the north and middle (which I think the Americans must do). Board 32 is a rough go with the meandering woods road and dry stream, and it doesn't take nearly as many American bodies to slow the Germans down here (though the pine woods does make it slightly easier). Not to mention it's the long way to the goal line. The toughest part for the Germans is going to be getting off the one squad equivalent. Against a weaker American player I think it's a fairly easy German victory though, as the American needs to play a skillful fighting withdrawal. Overall I found this to be a very fun scenario which I would gladly play from either side.
 
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