WaR 9.21 Big Bonus Playtest

George Kelln

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War 9.21 Big Bonus playtest v. Ernie Cameron; the first scenario of the Wacht am Rhein 2nd Edition Volume 2; completed 2.5 turns of 8.

The Germans’ mission is to capture the buildings (mark with “V”) located inside the road circle on Board 24.

At the start, the Germans have the remnants of a Volksgrenadier Regiment (4x 5-4-7, 6x 4-4-7, 9-1, 8-0, 2x LMG, MMG, 2x PsK) located in the eastern (north is right side of boards) wood line that must cross the open ground. On Turn 3, reinforcements (6x 4-6-7, 8-1, 7-0, 2x LMG, & 4x Panther VGs) enter along the southern edge of Board 24.

The Americans have elements of an Engineer Battalion (5x 6-6-7 AE, 9-1, 8-0, MMG, 50-cal HMG, Baz’44, 3x DC, dr+3 “?”, 48x Minefactors, and 4x Wire) with orders to protect the warehouse filled with supplies. The American reserves (2x M8 AC, 3x M5A1 LT, 5x M4A3 MT, 3x M7 HMC) arrive on a random dr on turns 3-5.

The first 2.5 turns saw the German eastern force tentatively advance westwards towards the town, the American .50-cal HMG located in the (19H10) woods laid a 6FP fire-lane stretching down the road and out to 19Y2 slowing the advance, while MMG in the (24S1) house shot up the Germans moving out the (24T2) woods. The net result of all this firing was 3 Germans squads KIA’d, but the German advance continued and managed to cross open ground. The German in the centre managed to first pin down an American 6-6-7 in (19Q9) Woods and then Ambush it and then killing in CC.

Thus far both sides have lost about one-fifth of the Squads (US 1 of 5, Germans 3 of 16).

When we start again, we will see if the American reserves of Task Force Tucker show up.

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George Kelln

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WaR 9.21 Big Bonus playtest v. Ernie Cameron; tonight, played Turns 3 & 4. Both side’s reinforcements have arrived on Turn 3.

The Germans forces have merged to make their main push into the village from the southeast (north is on right side of map) while the Americans have slowly withdrawn back into the village while their armour has pushed up between the gully and the hedged field, splitting his force to enter the village and flank around the gully.

The last half of the game (5-8) is starting to look like it will be a cauldron in village with the few American Engineers trying hold off overwhelming numbers of German infantry while the German Panthers will try to neutralize the American armour before it can lend its support to the infantry.

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George Kelln

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WaR 9.21 Big Bonus Playtest v. Ernie Cameron; Turn 5.5 completed of 8

The Germans have made a northward pushed through the middle of the village capturing the warehouse and 2 of the 3 buildings; all the while, rushing units up for the southeast. The Germans have amassed at least 2½ platoon in the middle of the village while the Americans have 8-0, 6-6-7, DC & .50-cal HMG left in the stone building at the north end.

The tank duel in the west has ended with the Panther first getting Shocked by a M8 Greyhound’s AP shell striking the rear of the turret, resulting in an Unconfirmed Kill. The M4 Sherman in Motion then followed up with a hit in the rear of the Hull destroying the Panther, and as its crew Bailed out, they where machine gunned down by the M4 (4FP -2) and then the M8 (16FP -2).

Meanwhile a M4 Sheman (43T8) manoeuvred into position to get an unobstructed shot at the side of a Panther in the village (24T4). First shot acquired it and subsequent 2 shots first hit it n the turret and then in the hull but failed to destroy it. The other armour of Task Force Tucker is manoeuvring around the flanks while some are moving into the village to lend support to the Engineers.

Casualties are: Germans (23 CVP) 6½ squads of 16, 8-1, and a Panther VG v. Americans (9 CVP) 2 squads of 5, a M8 of 13 AFV.
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George Kelln

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WaR 9.21 Big Bonus playtest v. Ernie Cameron; result is an American victory at the end of the Germans’ Turn 8 MPh. This game came down to one thing – infantry surviving.

At the end of Turn 6 the American had a 2x 6-6-7, 2x 3-4-7 (of the original 5 squads), and 9-1, 8-0 infantry left with only a 6-6-7 manning a 50-cal HMG in the (O5) stone building; the remainder of the infantry was outside the road circle and would have to find away back into the circle. The American still had 5x M4A3 Shermans, 3x M5A1, 1x M8 AC, & 2x M7 HMC. The Germans had suffered about 50% infantry casualties (8 of 16 squads) but still outnumbered the American 3 to 1 in squads along with 9-1, 8-0, & 7-0 left. The Germans still had 2x mobile Panther VGs and an immobile Panther VG with Malf’d MA in V2.

Start of Turn 7, the first mobile German Panther VG having survived a couple of hits from a M4 Sherman, fired from an obscured hex filled with +2WP hit the Sherman and brewed it up. The second mobile Panther VG rumbles forward to VBM the 6-6-7+50.cal in the (O5) stone building but not before it laid down residual fire (8FP in each adjacent hex), while a platoon of infantry moves north from the (R4) warehouse to capture the P4 and P5 buildings – but the 7-0 leader Pinned and the 4-6-7 squad broke in (P4) building. A 2-4-7 moved into P5 but was pummelled by a nearby M4 Sherman’s MG (10FP) resulted in a 2MC and the HS breaking. The other immobilized Panther VG in the (W2) road fixes its MA and proceed to destroy an M5A1, with crew bailing out.

Turn 7 American DFPh and all hell breaks loose, first with the Bogged M4 Sherman in the (O6) Woods, turned its turret and Deliberately Immobilized the Panther VG in bypass of the (O5) stone building containing the 6-6-7 & 50-cal. The following infantry not wanting to fired at by the American armour stayed out of LOS while it regrouped to make another attempt to reinforce the Panther in bypass. In the APh the Germans moved a 2-4-7 HS up to the 7-0 in the (P4) building. During the ensuing CCPh, it went very bad for the Americans; CCPh the American 6-6-7 + 50-cal & DC v. an Immobilized Panther VG in the (O5) stone buildings; Americans go first CCV (Squad 5, Assault Engineer +1, Immobilized AFV -1) = 7 or less to destroy it and DR = 8 (D’Oh!) The Panther VG returns CMG 5FP vs. 6 = 1:2 (4) and DR = 3 (Double D’Oh!); a cdr = 1, random selection results in both 50-cal and DC being destroyed (Triple D’Oh!).

American Turn 7: things don’t look good for the Americans, with no infantry inside the road circle and Germans in the (P4) victory building and the (Q5) lumberyard, the Americans must get some infantry up there to at least contest the buildings. The American rallies back a 3-4-7 HS with MMG in S8, but not the 3-4-7 in N7. The Germans still have about 6 squad equivalents in the warehouse and the lumberyard with a 7-0 and 2-4-7 in the (P4) victory building and an immobilized Panther VG in the (O5) stone building and victory building.

First in PFPh, M8 HMC in 43P4 fires WP at warehouse Pinning 4-6-7+MMG and obscuring 2-3-7+Psk; next the M4 Sherman in 19Y7 fires and destroys the Panther VG in T4 and its MGs Pin and BU the Panther’s crew in W2; after which it Intensive Fires, managing a turret hit (TK 14 – Turret APV 14) = no effect. Next the Sherman in O8 fires is MGs Breaking a 4-6-7 and 2-4-7 in (O5) Lumberyard, then 75mm MA hits resulting in a 2MC and breaks all double (breaking the 2-4-7). Now MPh, and some fancy tread work by the American armour. A M8 Greyhound driving out of bypass of the (U7) woods whips around the (S7-T6) building pops a Smoke Pot into (W6) road and drives like crazy along the road to get in behind the immobilized Panther VG in bypass of the (O5) stone building, surviving a PF attempt by the 2-4-7 in the (N3) building. Panther spins its turret to face the rear to fire – but Americans declare Gun Duel (DRM = German 4 v. American 1) The Greyhound fires first and hits in the hull TK (12 – 5) = 7, DR = 6 and destroyed Panther. The M4 Sherman in AA6 rumbles around the (Y4-Z3) woods and stops in M5A1 wreck hex, the Panther doesn’t fire keeping its sight on the M4 in 19Y7. American Bounding First Fire TH = 6 with a DR of 4 (Hull Hit) TK (14 – 5) = 9, result 6 and with its destruction the last of 4 Panther VGs eliminated. Now the Americans move up the 9-1, 3-4-7, MMG from the (S8) stone building surviving a 7FP +2 attack from the warehouse to recapture the (P5) building and then advance in the (O5) stone building. The remainder of the American armour has moved up to cover any approaches to the buildings on the northern side.

Turn 8, no much in the RPh and PFPh, all attempts by the German to move forward was lamb-basted by the American armour with the German 9-1 and 4-6-7 breaking the (Q5) lumberyard (4 residual FP left). With no infantry close enough to reach the buildings at the end of MPh, Ernie conceded the game.

In discussion afterward, Ernie revealed his concerns about crossing the open ground on Board 19 and his relief of only losing 3 ½ of 10 squads in doing so. This force added to his 6 squads and 4 Panther VGs from the south gave him a good-sized force to capture the buildings. By Turn 5 of 8, the Germans had captured the S5 Warehouse and was pushing northwards to the last 3 buildings and was confident that he was on schedule with sufficient forces.

Conversely, as the American, I was worried about not have enough infantry to not only hold the buildings, but contest them. The American armour firepower is devastating and once the Panthers were contended with, it could then turn it against the German infantry.
While first I thought the scenario highly favoured the Germans, I now think the scenario is pretty even – both sides must shepherd their infantry (American more so), using their armour to support them. If either side can win the armour battle, the other side will be at a disadvantage.

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