J154 Cradle To Grave - AAR

von Marwitz

Forum Guru
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
12,323
Reaction score
6,519
Location
Kraut Corner
Country
llGibraltar
J154 Cradle To Grave - AAR

16127


This scenario looks very promising as the attacking Germans have an interesting mix of vehicles and an Infantry force with a punch to obtain its objectives. The Allies are a mix of Americans and Partisans that do receive some further reinforcements by US troops with a pair of gyro-stabilized M4A1's. The tactical objective for the Germans is to capture more stone building hexes than Partisan VP remaining in the game. As the German force is required to enter split into two forces, the idea behind the scenario is obviously for some of the Germans engaging the Partisans, while the rest tries to capture the stone buildings in the village.

For the game to play out as envisioned by the designer, I believe that players should mutually agree to limit one of the entry areas for the German forces to the northern edge of board 10 and scratch the possibility for them (and maybe the reinforcing Americans as well) to enter on the northern edge of board 18. Furthermore, when doing so, the setup area for the Partisans should also be modified to the general woods area of northern board 10.

If left unchanged, the scenario has issues. I will discuss these in this paragraph, so if you want to play this and with the above tweaks, you should omit this paragraph and maybe this AAR altogether until you are done playing.
What will make the scenario extremely hard for the Germans to win is if the Allies forfeit the Board 10 Woods and set up as close to the village as possible. At the first opportunity, they rush into the village and disperse there. In +3 Stone Building TEM, they will be very difficult to root out, especially, as there are many Row Houses around. Their MOL capability will make them dangerous when the Germans have to cross streets and it poses also a danger to the German AFV within the village. Very likely, the Germans will run out of time clearing the village/killing Partisans under these circumstances.
At the same time, if the Partisans set up in the Board 10 woods area, as the Germans it might be best to simply ignore them. Make the 'Eastern' group of the Germans stronger and have the 'Northern' group haste along the Board 18 road to reach the village ASAP. You might be able to hinder some partisans falling back into the village and arrive there before the opponent does. The at start Americans alone cannot hold up the Germans.


Situation at Game Start:

16188

My opponent elected to set up the Partisans in the bd10 wooded area much to my relief, so I felt I would have a chance not to lose this one outright. Despite the Partisans lurking in the woods, I still had concerns if I could prevent them from falling back into the village in force before I had reduced the American garrsion there. So my basic plan was to push up (westward) from the bottom (eastward) agressively into the village and fill the void left behind by the German 'eastern' group with what arrived from the German 'northern' group (right). The 'stragglers' of the 'northern' (right) group would at the same time form a rear guard against the US reinforcements which might chase them entering on their Turn 3 also from the North (right).

If it weren't for the Partisan MOL capability, I might have considered punching through the Partisans in the woods - which is probably the design idea of this scenario - but I wanted to avoid being sandwiched between Partisans and US 'northern' reinforcements. Note, that MOL can't be used, if the attack is through an orchard or woods hexside (i.e., a hexside shared by two orchard hexes or by two connected woods hexes) [EXC: across a road hexside vs unit on the road] per A22.611.

My two Panthers were to spearhead the attack from the east (bottom) as they basically did not have to fear anything frontally except Bazooka deliberate Immobilization or the M10 Tank Destroyers finding APCR. If they did, it would be bad, because losing the Panthers would be a grave loss.


Situation at the End of German Turn 1:

16189

I spent quite some time and thought on how to best enter my bottom (eastern) force and arrived more or less where I intended. An annoyance was the fact, that somehow the US halfsquad on the hilltop contrieved to survive all fire unharmed and in Good Order, denying my Concealment and being in the way.

For the right (northern) group I was quite afraid that some of the Partisans might be hiding somwhere on bd18, but to my relief none made their appearance as I charged towards the village.


Situation at the End of Allied Turn 1:

16190

In the Allied Turn 1, as was to be expected, the Partisans immediatly fell back from the woods. To my surprise, most to them did not directly head for the village, though, but into a south-easterly direction. The 9-2 Partisan Leader Cpt. Clin somehow overlooked that the hill he was moving up to was covered by Germand fire and a MG burst sent him wounded to the ground to limp back into the woods from whence he came.

In the south (left), the pesky halfsquad on the hilltop which should already have been dead, proved to be a very irritating nuisance. After being shot at, it rolled snakes for HoB, Battle Hardening to 1st Line and creating a hero. The 'Dummy' on the hill proved to be another halfsquad which also survived unscathed. These units were now blocking my advance.

The walled village center 10Y5 held one of the M-10 Tank destroyers as expected. I shelled it with my MTR halftrack using spotted fire without being able to harm it. In turn it fired back at my Spotter. To my delight, LOS existed from my Panther in 18AA8 to 10X1 through which a US HS with a BAZ tried to pull back. The HS was cut down by the Panther's MGs leaving the BAZ out in the open up for grabs.


To be continued in subsequent post...

von Marwitz
 
Last edited:

von Marwitz

Forum Guru
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
12,323
Reaction score
6,519
Location
Kraut Corner
Country
llGibraltar
Situation at the End of German Turn 2:

16191

In my German Turn 2, first of all, I continued to move the 'northern' (right) German force towards the village as fast as possible, beginning to take into account the future placement of some pickets along the bd18 road, should the Allies decide to have their American reinforcements along that way. The SPW 251/sMG removed its AAMG as a dm HMG to take position in the stone building in 18R10 with the intention of interfering by Fire Lane with the Partisans attempting to reinforce the village and to keep them away from my AFV.

I was not happy with the progress of my 'eastern' (bottom) force, as there hardly was any. Still, I could not harm the Hero and accursed HS, by now in 18Y9. The other US HS had been broken and routed back. I was hesitant to bluntly pull up with a Panther next to the M10 GMC which had popped up in 10Z0 just where I had expected it. Next to the tank destroyer, I 'found' the second 81mm MTR, as well in the exact position where I thought it would be. By means of the SMOKE laid down by the Pz IV into 18CC10 some lines of fire into the village were now hindered, but in this turn I found an infantry charge across open ground still to risky.


Situation at the End of Allied Turn 2:

16208

Allied Turn 2 began with with a ROF tear of the 81mm MTR in 10AA1 by which it managed to lay down a WP Smoke screen of no less than three hexes, very effectively blinding more or less my entire 'eastern' (bottom) Germans force. This did not bode well, because as a result, I could hardly affect anything by my defensive fire nor would I be able to do so in my upcoming Prep Fire Phase from my current positions.

In the 'north' (right), the Partisans kept closing in, still seemingly more headed towards the center rather than the village.


Situation at the End of German Turn 3:

16209

In my German Turn 3, I found that my 'eastern' (bottom) Kampfgruppe had been held up for too long and thus it was time to take some risks. First, I drew fire of the BAZ halfsquad in 10EE1 which unfortunately cost me my 8-1 Leader who was lethally wounded. Then I moved my Panther down the hill, stopped it right in front of the M10 GMC, hoping that he would not find APCR, which it didn't. Nor could it harm the Panther with AP. In turn, my Panther shot it into its face, blazing it and subsequently broke the ADJACENT 81mm MTR crew by MG fire, started up again to move to 10DD1 to prevent the escape of the BAZ halfsquad in case it would break in the AFPh. If not, it would be held or killed in CC by superior odds. With the second Panther, I VBM froze the defending 546 in 10BB1.

With this, I had bludgeoned open the way into the village. One squad moved AJACENT to the US Hero, now shrouded in the M10's Blaze, a big stack moved next to 10BB1 to blast the 546 within in AFPh and to take it out in CC. The Pz IV broke into the village to re-DM the broken G.I.s there.

More Infantry from the 'eastern' (bottom) Kampfgruppe left the hill for jump-off positions in the Gully. The 'northern' right) Kampfgruppe took position in force in the woods line on the edge of bds 10 and 18, while those elements further back took up picket position.

Dreaded friction of war now kicked in: Unfortunately, I malfed the MA of the Pz IV which had taken aim at the second US 81mm MTR. I eliminated the 546 in 10BB1 in CC, however my 9-1 leader got wouned in the process. Worse, the cursed BAZ halfsquad in 10EE1, which had already killed my 8-1 rolled snakes to infiltrate out of CC into the rear of my parked Panther, which would now almost certainly be hit and killed in the next Allied turn by the BAZ. I did kill the US Hero in CC, though.


Situation at the End of Allied Turn 3:

16223

Allied Turn 4 brought in the US reinforcements. The Infantry entered either passing through the bd10 woods or skirting its eastern (bottom) edges. The two tanks elected not to use the 'fast track' of bd18, daring my pickets, but rather skirted the woods as well, staying closer to the Infantry and Partisans.

No US units rallied, but I repaired the MA of my Pz IV, much to the frustration of my opponent. Its formerly malfed MA was probably one of the reasons, why he entered the tanks where he did. In the event, it did not matter, as the Pz IV contrieved to malfuncition the MA immediately again on its next shot: "Herr Leutnant, I might have forgotten to retreive the wrench from the mechanism before firing..." Some loud words were emanating from within the Pz IV thereafter, as Partisans some 80 meters off later reported...

Sure enough, the US BAZ halfsquad had killed my sitting duck Panther in 10DD1. Being honorable, my Germans shot up the bastards immediately thereafter but did not kill them, when they subsequently begged for surrender. From 10BB5 the broken HS and the Leader wanted to cross the street into the 10Z6 building. But they were sniped at by my PzA III/IV from 18U4 with its 150mm Gun, which rattled them through, though they did survive. In the RtPh, they had to return to where they came from as this was the shortest way in MF to reach cover. That was fun!

So the G.I.s in the village were quite shaken up and the rest of the Allies could not yet do much this turn nor inferfere with the Germans in my upcoming Turn.


To be continued in subsequent post...

von Marwitz
 
Last edited:

von Marwitz

Forum Guru
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
12,323
Reaction score
6,519
Location
Kraut Corner
Country
llGibraltar
Woods/Orchard, not Woods/Building. (A22.611)
However, it does seem a MOL attack across a Woods-Orchard hexside (or Orchard-Woods hexside) is allowed.
Thanks for the correction, Bruce. I will amend this in my AAR.

Good spot, Eagle4ty! But probably not really a conflict in the rules as I cannot recall any hex on a map in which the woods depiction directly touches the hexide of an ADJACENT Orchard hex.

For all interested - here is the citation of the relevant rule:

A22.611 vs UNARMORED TARGETS: Any Personnel unit may make a MOL Check dr after declaring a PBF/TPBF attack but prior to resolving it, provided the attack is not through an orchard or woods hexside (i.e., a hexside shared by two orchard hexes or by two connected woods hexes) [EXC: across a road hexside vs unit on the road].

von Marwitz
 

von Marwitz

Forum Guru
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
12,323
Reaction score
6,519
Location
Kraut Corner
Country
llGibraltar
Situation at the End of German Turn 4.

16224

In my German Turn 4 I pushed deeper into the village. The M10 tank destroyer in the walled hex of the village center fired his last round of APCR into the wall behind which mit remaining Panther had taken a hull down position, nor could it do any damage with regular AP. My Pz IV with the malfed MA overran the second 81mm MTR and destroyed it in the process by Random SW destruction, remaining in its hex. In the village, the Americans now had the M10, a 666 and a strong stack with an 8-1 and 666+MMG left. The rest of his forces were eliminated or broken, yet managed to avoid surrender. In 10X1, unfortunately my halfsquad was Pinned in the process of attempting to pick up the enemy BAZ.

Though I was not yet entirely in position, the Partisans would have a difficult time to approach the village without punishment. My greatest concern now were both gyrostabilized M3A1 tanks, which were fast, small and dangerous for my Infantry and AFV as well.


Situation during the MPh of Allied Turn 4 - Game End:

16227

At the start of Allied Turn 4, no US units in the village rallied. US Prep Fire in the village was mostly ineffective - two German squads were Pinned, the M10 tank destroyer could not do anything to the Panther in its HD position.

First, the M3A1 tanks moved, the first of which attempted to shoot my Pz IV in 10U4, which managed a Motion Attempt, presenting the thick side of its hide to the Bounding Firer, which could not penetrate its armor. The second M3A1 hooked around on the east (bottom) of my pickets, targetting my PzA III/IV in 18W10 but missed with its MA. The subsequent CMG shot triggered the German Sniper, which picked the commander of the very M3A1, which it Stunned for subesquent Recall.

At this point, my opponent conceded.


Review:

As we had foreseen, with the Partisans not setting up very close to the village to reinforce it quickly while the Germans ignored them, throwing everything at the village as soon as possible, the Allies had too tough of a time. Losing one of his remaining key assets, on of the M3A1's to a Sniper Recall deprived my opponent of the means to endanger my thin skinned vehicles with this tank and to be a general PITA in my back.

Once the German 'northern' (right) forces managed to get themselves between the village and the Partisans, the latter reaching it would probably have cost victims, reducing the German number of stone building hexes were to Control. The Germans had so far avoided the MOL Capability of the Partisans, which is more powerful when on the defensive with the enemy coming at the MOL-toting units rather than the other way around.

With some tweaking, this scenario might get more into the direction, the designer had probably inteded for it to play out.


von Marwitz
 
Last edited:

wrongway149

Elder Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2005
Messages
9,011
Reaction score
1,188
Location
Willoughby, Ohio
Country
llUnited States
With some tweaking, this scenario might get more into the direction, the designer had probably inteded for it to play out.

von Marwitz
What would you suggest, for future reference? (I tend to like these more 'fluid' battles for scenario subjects).
 

von Marwitz

Forum Guru
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
12,323
Reaction score
6,519
Location
Kraut Corner
Country
llGibraltar
What would you suggest, for future reference? (I tend to like these more 'fluid' battles for scenario subjects).
I agree about the more 'fluid' battles that include some room for maneuver to solve things. I like such scenarios.

With regard to this paritcular scenario, see the 2nd paragraph of my OP:

For the game to play out as envisioned by the designer, I believe that players should mutually agree to limit one of the entry areas for the German forces to the northern edge of board 10 and scratch the possibility for them (and maybe the reinforcing Americans as well) to enter on the northern edge of board 18. Furthermore, when doing so, the setup area for the Partisans should also be modified to the general woods area of northern board 10.

I seem to have a bit off with my assumption for 'intention of the designer'. You apparently had the 'fluid battle' in mind while my guess had been the 'double sandwich situation':

US in the village and Partisans in the bd10 Woods. Village pressed from the 'east' (bottom), Partisans pressed from the 'north' (right). Then depending on the situation, the Partisans might get 'sandwiched' if the 'eastern' (bottom) German force makes it into the village quickly in their back, while being pushed from the 'north' (right) by the second German force. In turn, the second German force gets 'sandwiched' by the Partisans and the US reinforcements entering in their back.

von Marwitz
 

Eagle4ty

Forum Guru
Joined
Nov 7, 2007
Messages
5,250
Reaction score
2,973
Location
Eau Claire, Wi
Country
llUnited States
In my game my opponent defended the level 2 hills with his M-10s (can get HD status relatively easy) and at least 1 Mtr with many of the Partisans close to the western edge of their set up area. The few partisans deployed forward in their AO (Area of Operations) were more than sufficient to generally delay any quick incursion into the MBA with the rest scurrying back into the village area and the protection of their big well armed brothers. Though the M-10s were dealt with by the Panthers rather early, enough time was gained by the defender to prohibit movement of the other armored assets to rapidly influence the critical battle for the village and gained time for the Partisans to ensconce themselves with the Americans. With the reinforcing Americans prowling their rear areas (especially the Stuarts) and involved in a grudging battle for the village, enhanced by the MOL capacity of the partisans, the Germans simply ran out of time to accomplish their mission. If the Germans can't kill enough partisans and the Americans & partisans are able to coordinate a reasonable defense of the village, it's a VERY, very tough row to hoe for the Germans in this one. I feel your opponent in this one chose to deploy his partisans too far forward and as the say in Indiana Jones, "He chose poorly".
 

von Marwitz

Forum Guru
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
12,323
Reaction score
6,519
Location
Kraut Corner
Country
llGibraltar
I feel your opponent in this one chose to deploy his partisans too far forward and as the say in Indiana Jones, "He chose poorly".
Well, indeed he realized where the Partisans should be placed for a win before his setup. Just like you did. He deliberately placed them in the wooded area to see, if more of a game would result. So it was not a poor choice but rather a constructive attempt for an altenative approach. The approach taken did not work either, as I with my hooking around the wooded area it took too long for the Partisans to fall back to the village nor were they fast enough to block me during the approach - which is what I believe he tried.

This is why I think that in its current form, the scenario might 'produce' a close game most likely in the case that some Germans attempt to pass the woods. In case the Partisans set up close to the village, it is - as you state very tough for the Germans. If they set up in the Woods but the Germans ignore them, then it seems to be the Allies having the tough time.

von Marwitz
 
Top