Playtest - Assault on Sommocolonia

George Kelln

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Assault on Sommocolonia

Playtest vs. Ernie Cameron, Session 2, Game Turns 4&5, Duration 2 hours.

26 December 1944, Italy; Winter conditions in the dawn’s early light.

Elite Grenadiers and Pioniers from the German Mittenwald Mountain Battalion, supported by machine gunners from the Kesselring MG Battalion, initiated a dawn attack on the unsuspecting 92nd Infantry Division, the "Buffalo Soldiers," bolstered by local partisans.
The Germans faced initial challenges but successfully ascended the ridgeline to the settlement, surprising many Americans still in their quarters, and commenced their offensive from the northwest. Overrunning the partisan outposts, they encountered wire and minefields on the village's western side.

Compelled to reroute, the Germans, led by their Heroic Hauptmann (9-2) leader and shielded by a smoke barrage, advanced through the central woods. The Americans, jolted awake by the onset of the attack, scrambled to their defensive positions. Despite impaired visibility, the 60mm mortar teams quickly located the German machine gunners establishing a firebase at the woodline's edge. After a few ranging shots, the mortars found their mark, wounding the German leader and breaking their units.

As time pressed on, the Germans intensified their assault, circumventing the minefields and barbed wire to directly engage the pillbox. Although they sustained losses, a German squad, led by a daring leader, managed to reach the pillbox and engaged in close combat. Concurrently, other German units bypassed the minefield, unleashing devastating fire on the pillbox and broke the Americans inside.

The Germans have concentrated their forces in the center, reorganizing their scattered units for their decisive final assault to seize control of the village.

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George Kelln

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Assault on Sommocolonia

Playtest vs. Ernie Cameron, Session 3, Start of US 5 to end of Turn 7, Duration 2 hours.

26 December 1944, Italy; Winter conditions in the dawn’s early light.

At the onset of American Turn 5, the 60mm mortar crew, entrenched and eager, aimed at a sizeable German gathering in the woodline, a previous target of theirs. However, in their hurried efforts, they malfunctioned their mortar, a mistake that would soon prove costly.

In the woodline, the Germans, consisting of an HMG team and two MMG squads under the sharp guidance of their heroic 9-2 leader, targeted the mortar crew and efficiently eliminated it with two precise bursts of fire (24FP +1 & 16FP +1).

On the village's western flank, the Germans advanced swiftly, overpowering the American strongpoint. The rapidity of their movement left the Americans with no chance to retreat into the fortified building, resulting in the Germans securing it.

The centre of the village saw the German smoke screen providing concealment, but it equally offered cover to the Americans. Any Germans attempting to bypass the smoke quickly found themselves in the crosshairs of American defenders.

The American forces in the village centre began a strategic withdrawal to the central buildings, in a desperate bid to retain control of the village.

In the northern sector of the battlefield, a protracted and intense melee, spanning two turns, reached its dramatic conclusion. The fierce close-quarters combat involved a German 2-4-8, locked in a deadly struggle with an 8-0 leader of the Partisan forces. This gruelling encounter, marked by relentless fighting and unwavering resolve from both sides, ultimately culminated in a mutual and fatal resolution, with each side inflicting lethal blows upon the other, resulting in the elimination of both the German 2-4-8 and the Partisan 8-0 leader.

As the German smoke screen dissipated, they opted to employ High-Explosive ordnance. The American HMG team in the stone building, under intense bombardment, broke. This position, previously a significant obstacle for the Germans, now lay subdued, paving the way for further advance. The Americans retreated to the village's easternmost three buildings for a final stand.

In their last offensive, the Germans commenced an all-out effort to expel the Americans and capture the village. An audacious German 8-3-8 + DC, dashing up the road, was swiftly neutralized (6FP -1) with 1KIA; a cautionary tale for the rest. The remaining German forces, wisely avoiding such reckless valour, advanced along the stone wall, engaging the last two American positions and successfully shaking off a Pinned check amidst ineffective American fire. The formidable German "Deathstar" (Heroic 9-2, HMG+2-4-8, MMG+4-6-8, MMG+4-6-7, MMG+2-4-7) manoeuvred skilfully around residual fire to a road position, ready to unleash its firepower.

Initially, the Americans evaded the Deathstar's line of sight, but the squad in the two-hex wooden building soon succumbed to its overwhelming firepower. A broken HS, forced to retreat upstairs, met its end there.

The final blow for the Americans came as the last defenders (8-0 leader, 6-6-7, and a broken partisan squad) in the easternmost building crumbled under relentless German fire.

Acknowledging the inevitable, the Americans conceded. The battle ended in a German victory at Turn 7 of 8. Congratulations to Mr. Cameron for the tactical acumen.

The Italy holiday campaign continues with the German-Italian assault on American positions in the village of Barga.

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TopT

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Well done. You could have added some names and that could have been a write up in a unit history. 👍
 
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