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Subject: The Full Campaign, what else! (part 4; 22nd Dec 44) rss

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Henrik Reschreiter
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The story continues...

It has been a while. Moving house (with little children) meant little time for gaming...

Day 7 of Wacht at Rhein

The North is starting to become a serious problem for the Germans. The front is static, and the Allied artillery advantage is beginning to tell. The German lines get systematically thinned out, and in a day or two might become porous enough for an Allied breakthrough at present rate.

Much to the Hitler Youth's shame, they have to give further ground, and will be lucky if they can hold for a while in front of Stavelot. Same story - too much Allied artillery, and good quality infantry divisions...




At Trois point, the Germans are trying to release some motorised troops (F Beg Bde) and fill the front line with poorer quality infantry.

Parker's Crossroads sees s flurry of activity. First, the 82nd AB infiltrates the area, contesting and blocking the main rod. Peiper takes unpleasant losses, and the area becomes a quagmire with close combat along the road. The 82AB however is spread quite thinly, covering more frontage that it should while it awaits the 75ID to be slotted into the line.

In the afternoon, series of German attacks with several very successful barrages punches a hole in the 82AB screen that might become interesting in hte coming 24-48 hrs.
Largely the Allies however can be content as despite the local set-backs, some major German elite formations are stuck in combat instead of motoring westwards. And time most certainly is not on the German side.



Southwest of that slugfest, the Germans are still on the loose, and are moving rapdily westwards with little oppositions. They only make contact in the afternoon with the 517PIR at Marche.
In the depth however, 4Cav, 2Arm, 29Gds and 84ID are converging on the area, and the time for fast exploits westwards will come rapidly to an end tomorrow. Then, then long frontage can quickly become a liability given the plethora of small mobile allied formations.



Southwest of Bastogne, the 101st AB is still trying to extradite itself from the surround attempts by 2PZ and Lehr. They manage to get clear, but the division is barely at half-strength anymore.
4Arm is arriving on the battle-field and is covering the R flank, and CCR/9 races northwards to cut the supply road to the main German thrust to the west.
They did not anticipate the speed of 560VG however, which races down the road, surround the CCR, and decimates it in the process.

2SS and 9SS also arrive in the vicinity, bypassing Bastogne proper to the north, heading westwards as fast as the congested roads permit.



The south mirrors the north. Ample of Allied reinforcements, and superior numbers and artillery and pressing the Germans hard, and force them back while bleeding the VG divisions dry at an unsustainable rate. Trouble ahead...



All in all, the large gaping hole in the Allied front in the Ardennes is getting smaller fast. Several powerful Allied formations will close it completely in the coming 24-48 hrs. Then, German progress will only be possible in head-on fights, as the time of clear roads westwards comes to an end.
Worryingly, the Allied massive artillery advantage is becoming a serious issue, as both shoulders are bleed at a faster rate than replacements become available.

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Henrik Reschreiter
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The next turn starts ominous.

The Germans get the initiative. Lehr is the most pressing formation to activate, as there is still some free road ahead - but it fails the SNAFU badly...

Next up is the 2Arm then straight opposite.

A full activation sees the units swarm towards the southwest. Artillery, and several engagements see the Lehr recon unit decimated (3 both loss results).
All the roads west are now blocked, and several units cut off!



To make matters worse, 2Arm reactivates, and gets another partial.

Further engagements and artillery barrages kill the aforementioned stack, drive 2 further units back, bounce the HQs of 116th and Lehr, and close the roads west for good...



I don't think there is a coming back from this, and I think I might call it at this point.

The Germans have 5 VPs, and the Allied 1VP. The is realistically little to no prospect for the Germans to get any further VP locations.

Parker's Crossroad is precisely on the frontline, so will possibly/likely become Allied over the coming days. Krinkelt in the north is not that secure either. Cutoff is the 26th, so 3 turns from now. I don't think the German count will be 5 VPs then anymore, let's call it 4 VPs at the most.

Trois Point, Stavelot, and Malmedy are all only 3-4 hexes behind the German frontline, so is Bullingen.
Wiltz in the south is the target of several strong formations, with just mediocre infantry in between them (though there are better formations still in the German backfield that could help here).
Parker's Crossroad very likely will become Allied over the coming week as we have said above, and Martelange in the far south almost certainly.

So, the Allied count is then 3 + the northern trio (TP,St, Malm), and/or Bullingen.
Some sort of bad breakthrough either in the north or south could yield furher points from Wiltz and Clervaux in the south, and/or Vielsam or St Vith in the north.

Not sure I have the time, will and energy to find out if the Germans can hold on against those odds...

Those with more experience in the game: what do you think? Is it worth continuing?! Or is this a lost cause?!

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Dean Essig
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A rough go, but I think your Germans have some expansion capability to the west depending on how thick the US line is now around Parker's. Typically, the tide _begins_ to turn in ernest around the 21st, so you should still have some opportunities (it takes several turns for there to be enough US Formations to lock things down heavily).

Things indeed get ugly once the US artillery kicks into gear and there is enough infantry on their side to grind on the German formations. Their weapon is mobility, if they lose it, the war is over.
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Henrik Reschreiter
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I hesitantly continued to play, and am I glad, I did.

The following day's event coming up shortly...

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