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Aachen: First to Fall» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Notes on Aachen rss

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My first thought on any game is “does it play like History?” I prefer games to be good simulations, rather than being just good games. Sometimes that leads to an exercise in futility, like some the Folio series games from Decision Games, like the Naktong, or Gaza. Where then does Aachen fit in?

For starters, the game should have the US 743rd and 745th Tank Battalions. These were historically attached to the 30th and 1st Infantry Divisions, respectively. I’d make them 3/2/12 (reversed 2/1/12) units.

The game turn track has no date indicators, but the offensive kicked off on 10/2. Next, while I appreciate that it wasn’t called “bloody Aachen” for nothing, only the 26th rgt took the city, which means just three units captured Aachen (well, four, counting the 745th TD battalion). In particular, the 26th regiment worked out armor/infantry tactics to methodically take the city building by building, block by block. Thus, I suggest when the 745th and any unit of the 26th rgt attack together, give them a +1 column shift to the right.

The assault by the 1st ID (26th rgt) began on 10/13 (GT 12); the city surrendered on GT 20 (10/21). On GT’s 10 and 11, the Americans were seriously bombing and shelling the city. The 18th rgt took Haaren and Verlautenheide. The 16th rgt guarded lines immediately east of the city (around Ellendorf), and the 3rd AD from 2020 to the eastern map edge, south of the fortified line adjacent to Stolberg. The CRT is highly attritional! Attackers can count on most attacks having a 50% chance of an Exchange result. The US player can’t afford too many of these, as the game shortens by a GT with each unit lost.

Now, the 30th ID is more intriguing. The division trained on tactics to attack and neutralize the WestWall fortifications, and did so rapidly, crossing the fortified line from 0402 to 0714 in about 6-7 game turns.

According to The US Army Military History map entitled “XIX Corps breaks through the WestWall”, the main advance was performed by the 119th and 117th rgts, from 0406-0408. Ubach (O607) fell by GT2, and this allowed commitment of CC(B?) of the 2nd AD. Bt GT6, the 30th ID and 2nd AD were occupying an arc from hexes 0715-0913-1111-1210-1107-0804-0403-0303.

Thus, they perhaps should benefit from some something better than what Exclusive Rule 13.1 calls for.

Given that the 9th ID is just off the board to the south of the 1st ID, and the 3rd AD took a lot the territory to the east of Aachen, victory point hexes 2531 and 2730 should not be used.

An excellent reference is Steven Zaloga's book The Siegfried Line 1944-45.
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