14 Jun 1944
The beachhead strongly established, it was time to drive across the Cotentin peninsula and isolate Cherbourg to the north. On the 14th, a general advance west by 90th and 9th Infantry and 82nd Airborne Divisions began around mid-day. On the far left flank the 82nd Division had elements of two regiments advancing on a narrow front along the bank of the Douve.
The American players wins if at the end of play no German units are present within 2 hexes of hex 0406. The German player wins if the American player does not OR if at least 7 American steps have been eliminated (tanks count double). If both or neither wins, the German player wins.
Note: Why does it mention that tanks count double? There are no tanks in this scenario.
As with the last scenario I played, I didn't have sufficient chits to set up the units as described. I was short a German HMG unit. Again, the argument for stricter playtesting to identify these deficiences needs to be brought up. The deeper I play into this scenario book, the more problems I find. It's not the end of the world (that's scenario 75 in an upcoming expansion), but it lowers the quality of the presentation. Avalanche Press, if you read these, I'm happy to playtest for FREE if it means a sharper product will make it to the consumer.
Anyway, the Germans must set up in or west of hexes numbered 08## and within two hexes of hex 1008. Since the American objective is to take 0406 and force the German units at least two hexes from there, I didn't see any need to fortify 1008, but it made a nice place to stash a few 81mm mortar teams. The remaining German forces were heavily clustered around 0406 with the imposing German leader with the +1 combat and +2 morale modifier near the center to offer his morale bonus to just about everyone. Four units may begin dug-in, and so I dug in most of the units in and around 0406.
The American forces enter 1101 or 1201. Since you can't violate stacking restrictions, you have to enter them in turns one and two. Fortunately, the Germans didn't have a clear LOS (the town in 0803 was blocking the view) so the Americans were able to deploy without fear of incoming artillery rounds.
Speaking of Artillery, the germans have 1x16 and the Americans 2x16 and 1x24.
For the Americans, this is a difficult situation. You have to extract a dug-in foe (armed to the gills with rifles, artillery, 75mm gun batteries, a 20mm gun battery and mortars) without sustaining heavy casualties on your part. Easier said than done! Nevertheless, the Americans put on a show. They spent the better part of four turns getting into position. It's slow going when you're dragging HMG equipment through the hedgerow, but they were finally ready.
Interestingly, the Infantry contemplated going after the German mortars in 1008, but decided that: one, they couldn't see them and might not suspect they would be there (always go for realism!) and two, what harm could come from a couple of mortar teams? In previous scenarios they are a bit of a joke and are often ignored while the real battle is waged. Boy, this time the Americans were in for a suprise. In fact, those two mortar teams accounted for two of the step losses the Germans needed to win (but I'm getting ahead of myself).
The battle was largely a back-and-forth game of catch with high explosive artillery rounds. The Americans finally charged through the hedgerow after a few rounds of bombardment had softened the enemy and were devastated by the 75mmIG gun and attached HMG and grenadiers. The Americans flanked the German-held ground and began to inflict casualties of their own, but the Germans weren't going to budge (and didn't). A combined attack from two hexes (involving the 20mm battery) was the final blow, and the Americans lost after losing too many men.
The Germans won in turn 11 after inflicting 7 step losses and sustaining three of their own. The Americans had the Germans in the classic Pincer move, but the attrition was too high. In retrospect, do the Americans even have a chance in this scenario? Likely not, but then again, if you want a fair fight, go play Uno.
The advancing Americans drove the defenders back slowly throughout the afernoon. After consolidating their gains late in the day, an evening counterattack pushed the 507th back a bit. Nonetheless, the German defenders had been hard-pressed all along the line as American pressure everywhere drove them back and bled their already understrength units even more.
This brings me to the end of the Airborne Introductory Edition scenario booklet. I haven't played all the scenarios (13 out of 20), but I played those that interested me and that wouldn't require more than a few hours time. At this point, I think it's time to leave the Normandy countryside (at least until I start playing scenarios from Beyond Normandy) for the colder climate of the Ardennes and the epic Battle of the Bulge. My rating for this expansion of the Panzer Grenadier system remains at an 8/10. It is truly a fantastic game, is not as difficult as people think (just try it and fumble through the rules for a few scenarios and you'll come out on top) and it teaches many of the basics.
- Last edited Fri Nov 3, 2006 6:09 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Nov 3, 2006 5:34 am
Nice AAR. I'd love to see more written up like this.
I love the PG system...very nice rules.