Guido Gloor
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The setup doesn't really say much now, does it? That's what the troops thought, too. Since I set them all up myself for this solo playthrough, I of course kind of knew what was where, but gave my best to forget it throughout the game. Even kind of worked, too. I had to count squads towards the end to find out whether the US squad could charge across the open field or not.


The game's setup


I set up the German MG slightly to the back, supported by just one squad, and the other three squads in the first row of stone buildings. The US troops had one MG on the left and one on the right, the rest of the troops are all nearly the same.

For those who don't know the scenario: The US troops only have to kill all the Germans. They have many more troops, but the Axis power has a town they can defend and hide in. The Germans have plenty of Decoys, four of the counters aren't actually squads at all. The US wins if they kill all German squads after turn 6, the Germans win if they can hold out.

I used the Flanking and Sustained Fire optional rules (but actually never used Sustained Fire).

The first turn saw relatively little movement. The Germans gave their best to keep the bonus from hiding in their buildings, while the US laid down some suppression fire and tried to focus fire a path into melee. Without success up to this point. The Germans even had time to bring one troop from the back into the front line when one Decoy "fell".


First bullets, situation after turn 1


The Germans on the other hand had a great second turn. The US MG had revealed in turn 1, and it turned out that the German MG from its back seat had a great view on it It had already hit and reduced the US squad in turn 1. I spent the only German Command Point to make it fire before the American troops. So it fired, and hit hard enough to kill the remnants of the Weapons Team. Quite a setback for the US forces.

The rest of the advance went rather well though. One of the two German squads in the middle went down, and the troops repositioned.


Standstill, situation after turn 2


Turn three saw another Command Point for something that wanted to fire first - the Artillery that's only available for one single turn here. I succeeded with both the Proficiency and Accuracy Checks, and the attack hit four squads (three regular ones and the second MG WT). One squad was Reduced, three total suppressed - not the worst result at all.

The US forces on the other hand were able to discover all Decoys in this turn though, and advanced on the right flank into the stone buildings. A breakthrough was about to happen - but not quite yet; the left flank also wanted to advance, but the spearhead squad was stopped in its tracks when the Germans fired successfully despite being suppressed (the squad had to roll 5 or lower for its morale check in order to be able to shoot at all, and then had a really easy roll of 12 or less to hit the squad in the next space - and rolled low enough to Reduce and Fully Suppress it right away).


The breakthrough in progress, situation after turn 3


The breakthrough on the left flank did happen, with plenty of melee in turn 4. Both the last squad on the German left flank and the one remaining squad on the right flank fell in melee (no Rout checks failed here, though one Command Point was necessary for one of the German squads).

The other German squad had moved early though and already fallen back, together with the MG WT, into a safe house position where they also Concealed themselves again out of LOS, for a -1 modifier on all US fire. This would ultimately prove to be what decided the game.


Two remaining German squads retreated, situation after turn 4


The US forces gave their best to advance as quickly as possible in turn 5, but going through the buildings is not easy (each squad has 5 Movement Points, entering a building hex needs two of those - so two rows of buildings can't be passed in one turn, and standing right in front of the Germans when they're not suppressed is very suicidal in this game).

So they gave their best to advance, Assault Fired on the German position, but none of the squads rolled the 1 or 2 on a d10 needed to even suppress them and get rid of their Concealment.


US advancing, situation after turn 5


In the ultimate turn 6, the Germans again were never hit. A combination of good positioning and bad rolls of the US made sure that nobody could advance into melee - it really made no sense to even try without having suppressed the Germans, they'd hit on everything but a 10 and most probably Reduce or even Elimate any approaching squad without breaking a sweat - particularly with the MG WT and its very lethal fire. The US MG on the other hand (with only 4 Movement Points and no Assault Fire possibility, so it has to remain stationary in order to shoot) couldn't get into position fast enough, and I decided to leave it in the first row of buildings since it wouldn't have an impact on the game any more anyway.


End-of-game position after turn 6


After-action report: The Germans took big losses (three of five squads), but were able to keep their MG team until the end. They also inflicted huge losses on the US forces (6 of 12 teams, one MG team among them) and were able to run away fast enough to make it impossible for the US forces to catch up.

The situation might have been rather different if the second US MG would have survived the first two turns. Hitting 20% more or less often makes a big difference between regular squads and MG WTs, partiularly when that increases the total hit percentage from 20% to 40% - so that loss left a big hole in the US line. Might have made sense to set them up closer to the flanks maybe - or just have Germans that don't roll as good. That might lead to a more historically accurate outcome.

The stone buildings combined with German Concealment makes them really hard to hit. Even the high proficient firepower of the US troops doesn't really help them here, as the frontline is relatively stationary and they can shoot without moving most of the time until they break through the first line of defense.

Do I like the scenario? Yes! It's my fifth solo play, and when I turned the page and realized that this one still has no tanks, I was slightly disappointed, but the combination of positioning in the buildings and the combined forces with WTs and regular squads combined with the Germans fielding first line troops for the first time makes for interesting new options anyway. The Bazooka troops are interesting because I'm sure they were added for historical accuracy, but behave exactly the same like regular Airborne troops when there's no tanks around.

Editorial note: What I'll do different in a next session report is, I'll remove all the "used" counters that visually clog up the board and hide the unit types underneath - sorry about those...
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Kyle Mann
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Fontana
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Gorgeous pics and a great report.

For some reason I'm remembering this scenario having artillery every turn from 3 and on. Am I wrong?
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Guido Gloor
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p4warrior wrote:
Gorgeous pics and a great report.

Thanks a lot

p4warrior wrote:
For some reason I'm remembering this scenario having artillery every turn from 3 and on. Am I wrong?

I actually wondered about that. The scenario book for this scenario says that the artillery is "available at the start of turn 3", while for example scenario 11 says that its artillery is "available starting on turn 5" ... after some consideration, I read that as the artillery only being available on turn 3, and not in later turns. But I might be mistaken...
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Brian Berg Asklev Hansen
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Quote:
The Bazooka troops are interesting because I'm sure they were added for historical accuracy, but behave exactly the same like regular Airborne troops when there's no tanks around.


They have increased firepower vs revealed MG WTs
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Sean McCormick
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Arty is available starting Turn 3 for the rest of the scenario. Not that the Germans needed it in this case. It puts strong pressure on the US to get into the town quickly before they start getting blasted in the open.
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Guido Gloor
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Heh, one of the reasons for my making a session report was that I hoped to find plenty of errors I've made - thanks everybody! Keep them coming
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Andreas Hunziker
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Great session report!
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Since I set them all up myself for this solo playthrough

You know there actually is not really that a shortage of players around here that you NEED to play Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles or Band of Brothers: Ghost Panzer solo?
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Guido Gloor
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hunzirabi wrote:
Great session report!
Quote:
Since I set them all up myself for this solo playthrough

You know there actually is not really that a shortage of players around here that you NEED to play Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles or Band of Brothers: Ghost Panzer solo?

We really have to play this soon, yeah It's more an issue of finding the time when it's not 1am to start playing...
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