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Combat Commander: Europe» Forums » Sessions

Subject: From the Front this May of 1940 rss

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Paul Trad

Alexandria
Virginia
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-a small, critical bridge in Holland


'Our noble fathers marched these same roads in 1914. Their sacrifices were betrayed, their rightful glory diminished. General Schliefen was wise to swing our mighty right fist then, but delays at bridges such as this slowed that Schwerpuncht. No such failure shall be tolerated this time, not under der Furher's eye!'

'Secretly though, I hesitate. The enemy enjoys plunging fire, his troops are numerous and well outfitted; ihs leaders are resolute. My own are excellent and loyal perhaps, but cover is broken and any man wading versus a defended shore is cowardly. Even our Company mortars offer scant hope. But Corp needs this bridge and road. The British have blocked it most severely, yet I shall not turn aside from my duty.'

'Reports have it that a small fort has been sited by those British at the bridge, led by a fanatic young leader. He caries a satchel of grenades for copious use. How the hell am I to deal with this, while also maintaining the schedule!?'

"Schnel, you men, get the ünderstaffel to my tent, SCHNEL!!"


__________________€__________________



Crawling slowly, bellies coated in mud, as the heavy mists of May give way, the anxious German squads sight their distant targets. Two British squads guard the northern stream in this sector, under tree cover and elevated for a sweeping view. These Brits lack heavier weapons, but promise a hard fight regardless. Each German squad boasts an LMG, with the house behind them containing two Company mortars.




Within sight to the south, all along the wooded road, is the assault element and the Pioneer squad. This kamphgrüppen will draw fire to get the Pioneer onto the bridge schnel, in hopes of its clearance and use later. All assault units have orders to wade as a preemptive measure, further drawing fire. Casualties are expected to be severe but sustainable.

Leader elements have orders to follow in all sectors.

The German left flank is refused. No activity is expected in this area, with the British holding to their cross-stream fortifications.



------------------/-----------------


Last minute adjustments and a runner's footfalls signal the battle's commencement. A British HMG, well led and tucked into the mountainside, opens an exchange with the German's right flank. Men who have not ever pulled a trigger in anger, or felt a woman's warmth, lay forever now in the cold Dutch mud.

German mortars answer, but target the enemy's frontal squads. The privates of both armies bear-up under the fury of these modern weapons. Replacements move forward as stretchers go back, the machinery of modern war continues screaming overhead. Leaders coax their men forward a centimeter here, a meter there. Blood pays the butcher's bill.

The British guns target every twitch of movement on the German right, but even modern weapons must reload, positions need to shift, leaders assess. In that ethereal moment, the German left flank charges forward, covering 100 meters like Olympic athletes. They earn an exposed position, they see hidden enemies arrayed strongly on the other bank, and they have no orders.

Confusion and panic rein.

But then the German right charges into enemy rifle fire. They have discovered a weakness in the Brit defenses. The enemy HMG does not have LOS/LOF to the north! While the British Commander fixes this chink in his armor, their hero is dismayed and confused.

Before the opportunity is lost, young Germans push across the stream and engage the new enemy squad. The Brits throw down their rifles and surrender! Now the bunker is unmasked to its right flank. The enemy hero reaches for the first of many grenades - too late! He and his team are engaged in desperate hand-to-hand combat. The report is that all these Brits were killed, but that damn satchel was not found. What could this portend?




Behind the stream, the Brits have a secondary command hutch. This falls in another desperate melee. Although my men were very lucky to get across the stream without loss, and win all these melees, they are still surrounded by veteran Brits in fortifications. The bridge needs critical minutes to clear.

The German right flank picks this moment to Jam all their LMGs! Even the mortars miss. Training never envisioned all this iron mud.

Long moments pass as my commands are ignored.

All along our front indecision and fear take hold. Men Cower, sniper fire rips into a squad, vision is blocked. Unable to respond to the enemy HMG, now properly situated, my right flank adjust slightly south, right into a Minefield and then Wire. Our mortar HQ takes a massive airstrike, breaking everyone. Even my medics and chaplains fail to respond.

Men die.

This is war.


I clear the radio channels and have my staff sit a moment. Coffee is brewed. My boots need cleaning.

What is that, some good news? The bridge is finally cleared.

At least those Pioneers are professionals.

- - -

The German right is pulled back and ordered onto the wooded road as a second assault element. The surviving mortars' crews leave their weapons in place and join the shift.

At this juncture the enemy commander shows real balls, moving his right flank to the stream, attempting his own breakthrough. We have only the forward elements to respond, so they are ordered to shift South again, away from their mountain target. This prevents a disaster.




Many painful moments come, are endured, and then pass into memory for both sides. The full weight of the concentrated German assault cracks the British center and drives their command element back into the mountain's dark recesses.





The critical moment came as the Pioneer approached alone, offering glorious melee. The English second-in-command came off the mountain to accept with his loyal bodyguard squad. The ignoble enemy HMG got involved, breaking our valiant Pioneer, who Suppressed rather than rally. The cowardly Brits then Advanced at 7:3 odds - and lost! This German bravery and trickery will long be remembered in song.




Victory was finally decided by British heavy casualties, not territory held.


'Long live the glory of the Wehrmacht.'







Crono Campaign Count is now 12/2(?) P/D and 8/6 Axis/Ally
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Chick Lewis
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Claremont
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GREAT WRITEUP !!

Wow, you won a melee at -4 fp for the win !
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I Think you should have gotten a lot more thumbs for this Paul, its a fantastic session report.
 
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Dan Huffman
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Gunderian007 wrote:
-a small, critical bridge in Holland


The critical moment came when the Pioneer approached alone to offer melee. His second in command came off the mountain to accept with his loyal bodyguard. The enemy HMG got involved, breaking our shining Pioneer, who Suppressed rather than rally. The cowardly Brits then Advanced at 7:3 odds--- and lost! This German bravery and trickery will be long remembered.


Crono Campaign Count is now 9/2 P/D and 6/5 Ax/Al


I agree that this was the critical moment of the scenario. It is when the Allied personal morale was squashed. However, in game time, it happened about halfway through. This could be slightly influenced by the fact that before this event, we were emailing. Afterwards we were live. We both have bought every (me) or almost every (Paul) module and magazine related to CC ... and here we are playing it out on Vassal in the same room!!! LOL

The British led in VPs almost the entire way....but the onslaught of German Moves/Advances was countered with Recovers and out of position Fire Orders. I argue that the HMG should be placed forward or on the 2nd level hill. I tried to get too cute putting him on the Level 1 hill. All that did was guarantee the the Germans could easily and quickly gain the bridge. With extraneous units soaking my fire cards.

By the time I realized this, I was in no position to come forward, as his 2 leader was there making me scared. Paul drew the cards that he needed when he needed them....but he also spent a lot of time setting up good hands before he acted. So The good hands were not lucky, they were designed. It is bad enough to face a lucky opponent, it is worse to face a thoughtful one.


PS the Chrono is actually 8-6 Axis/Allies .... Somehow I have neglected to count how many I have lost. .... haeh
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Paul Trad

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Have we really played 14 scenarios?? I really do not know.

Is it 12 / 2 p/d? Got no clue.

All I see when I close my eyes are body parts flying thru the air.


The fact the non-winner gets to choose sides is wearing me down emotionally. So much death and long odds, it's brutal.


huffman123 wrote:


...

It is bad enough to face a lucky opponent, it is worse to face a thoughtful one.




Wait, are you saying I have GOOD luck!? Is it not true I have the worst luck overall?

Let's review:

* lost leaders to bad move-moral checks,
* then they failed to rally on 9s.
* My Fire rolls were abysmal,
* LMGs all broke and then Elim by random hex,
* not one German Sniper hit,
* the air attack was brutal on Command center; now a common game event,
* the plague of units missing morale checks
* & lousy shooting versus your exit moves.

The only good rolls, and they were all just barely good enough, were the 5 melees. Let's mention that your Brits won a melee too.

In retrospect, I was willing and ready to almost max out my Surrender Level, just to get a good melee group forward. Your flank harassment kept delaying this cause.

If I seem to plan (over-tool my hand) it is because the gods of CC force this meticulous Germanic trait on me.

It was very tough!


shake

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