- Charles "Chick" LewisUnited States
Donna’s 739th game of Combat Commander
I confess, I was a lazy slug and didn’t post Donna’s 700th game, but we finally photographed an iconic, dramatic session. We played #46 Pegasus Bridge four times, and the British won promptly every time in a no-contest-yawner. Even when as Germans I tried retreating from the bridge blockhouse, my boys got all shot up on the open bridge trying to retreat to the ‘safer’ side, and surrendered. Our historical record for this scenario shows 6 British to only a single German victory, (by Donna, on our first play back in 2012). For this game Donna chose the Elite British Glider Infantry and we sat down to play.
Special Night rules are in effect, making off-road movement much more expensive, and adding an inherent visibility hindrance of 1 per hex of range. Night also means that both sides suffer a discard restriction of 'ALL', so players cannot hold desired cards while discarding the worthless.
Both faction postures are Recon, so nobody gets the Time advance points nor the red actions.
The IG18 gun in the blockhouse cannot be eliminated for any reason, and can be claimed by any entering unit.
We forgot to give me the SSR German sniper triggers on every Time advance. Yah, I’ll blame the result on that omission.
I set up my conscript German troops leaving 3 of the 4 forward trenches empty and positioning 2 of the 4 extremely fragile conscript teams in the comfortable hotel on the near side of the canal for safekeeping. I’d decided they were not assets, but really liabilities - simply steps toward my own low initial surrender limit of 5 units.
Donna set up her maroon-beret-wearing glider-bourne units, deciding not to extend into the hex of my wire which is within her setup zone in order to make the largest possible initial fireteam.
British round 1 – Lieutenant Dan Spray Fires into both the blockhouse and trench, but a welcome Concealment action makes it largely ineffective, only suppressing the team manning the IG18.
We wonder how to properly score Concealment in this circumstance. Should we use the -6 cover for the bunker, or the -3 for the Trench/road hex? We used the -3 to firepower, were we right?
The annoying little British mortar, in spite of darkness hindrances, subsequently put NINE smoke on my Blockhouse, skunking Sgt. Schulte’s planned return fire.
German round 1 – Sergeant Schulte Recovers the team manning the IG18, but the team in the hotel, broken by a Sniper, needing a 6 or less, fails to recover, remaining hiding under tables in the dining room. (This conscript team will continue its craven performance through five Recover orders and remain broken for the entire game.)
British round 2 – Excellent 2-radius Lieutenant Dan orders a Move and Schulte Op-Fires in response. The smoke exactly cancels the 9FP from the Blockhouse, so only my forward team and squad/lmg ‘tickle’ the British as they maneuver. Firepowers of between 4 and 2 are much more effective than they should be, and many of the brave glider infantry hit the ground ! Donna’s bad luck continues as FOUR of FIVE of the broken elite units fail to Recover !
German round 2 – Discard all
British round 3 – Recover – only rallys 2 of Donna’s remaining 4 broken units, AND a breeze event blows away that 9 smoke marker !
German round 3 – Fire ! German firepower fails to have much effect on the pair of broken glider units, and the IG18 misses them. But a Rout order sends BOTH team and squad timidly running into the darkness. Surely those couldn’t be Elite Glider-bourne infantry.
British round 4 – A third consecutive Recover order finally brings the two errant British units back to good order. Firing at the Blockhouse results in a TIME trigger, and German reinforcements appear on the map, summoned to resist the surprise glider landing. The annoying British mortar again drops NINE smoke on the blockhouse. Well, Donna deserves a little luck here.
German round 4 – Recover (fail), Rout (fail), Fire (fail)
British round 5 – An Advance brings the well-trained British adjacent to the conscripts manning the forward trench.
German round 5 – Schulte fires only the IG18, managing to hit, and draws boxcars on the fire roll, breaking the British command stack ! This TIME trigger is immediately followed by another TIME from Donna’s defensive draws, which brings reinforcing British units onto her map edge. A Recover order has no effect (craven conscript team 3rd), and I pull back my forward units, retreating them all the way across the bridge to the rear trench. The temporary discomfiture of Lieutenant Dan and the smoke hindrance prevents effective opportunity fire. Whew !
British round 6 – Every British unit Recovers, and a Move order allows Donna’s reinforcements to approach the bridge.
German round 6 – Discard all – I draw four Fire cards, but can’t use any of them effectively due to the scruffy smoke on the blockhouse.
British round 7 – A pair of Move orders slips lots of terrifying maroon berets into the forward trenches adjacent to the blockhouse. Now I really need to get Schulte and his boys OUT of the blockhouse and into the rear trenches! But no Moves nor Advances are available.
German round 7 – Recover (fail, cct-4th), Fire only the IG18 (miss)
British round 8 – I have timed the German withdrawal very badly. Lt. Dan advances into the blockhouse, slightly over-stacked, so even with my Ambush, he eliminates Schulte, squad, and team, capturing objective 5, and moving the victory marker 13 points towards the British side. Current victory point status is only +1 to my Germans.
German round 8 – Lieutenant Huntziger Moves up with his welcome line-quality reinforcements (SO much more durable than conscripts) while throwing two smoke grenades to get cards out of hand.
British round 9 – Discard all
German round 9 – Recover (fail for the 5th time by the craven conscript team hiding in the hotel) and Lieutenant Huntziger moves his reinforcements up into the rear trenches.
British round 10 – Firing everything possible through the 9 hindrance smoke results in only a single German team suppressed.
German round 10 – Fire at the British command stack on objective 5 is is ineffective. TIME again advances on a defense draw, which removes the big smoke marker from the blockhouse, now that the British will have the upper hand in any exchange of fire.
British round 11 – Donna takes a substantial risk. She moves Lieutenant Dan, squad, and team out of the blockhouse onto bridge objective #4, knowing she has a recover in hand, and wanting those eight points and the advantage on the victory display. German opportunity Fire is fierce, breaking all 3. Recover brings the British squad and Lt Dan back into good order, as expected, but the accompanying team remains broken.
In retrospect, I think it was an error for crucial Lt. Dan to accompany these units. Possibly he should have sent out only a para team, with Dan remaining in the blockhouse to eliminate a few more German units using superior British firepower. But Donna is always aggressive, and I’m sure she imagined that Lt. Dan would continue to thrash all Germans adjacent to him.
German round 11 – Lieutenant Huntziker gazes out of the trench towards the glider troopers occupying bridge objective 4. For a brief moment, he and Dan lock eyes. Swallowing hard, Huntziker shouts out the command and Advances into very-overstacked melee ! The advantage changes hands, but at German 19 FP to British 14 FP, the result is German victory. Breathing hard, Huntziker takes cover behind the bloody corpse of Lt. Dan. After the overstacked German team and squad are also eliminated, the VP marker marches 11 points, bringing the advantage back the Germans.
British round 12 – Discard all
German round 12 – Fire ! Wanting the game to end after sudden death, I ‘plink’ with many tiny firepower numbers against the blockhouse, resulting in lots of ‘safe’ defense rolls, including the TIME advance that I desire !! Donna draws a 9 (needing 9 or better) for the 2nd Sudden Death draw, and I forget I have the initiative to force her to re-roll it, so the game continues ! Major command error on my part.
British round 13 – With Lt. Dan’s demise, the forward British find themselves leaderless. Reinforcing commander Lt. Sutherland moves forward into the trenches behind the blockhouse, bringing almost all British units back into command.
German round 13 – With excellent luck, Huntziker has drawn another Advance. But the odds of assaulting the blockhouse are less than even, 10/10, losing on ties, while Donna loves to hoard Ambushes, and a loss will cause German surrender.
No way to win by hesitating. Forward again, into the blockhouse ! Huntziker is again victorious, pushing the German VP advantage to 12, and bringing the British themselves to within 2 units of surrender.
British round 14 – Discard all, (Donna finally draws her desired Advance order)
German round 14 – with Spectacular Luck, Huntziker has drawn a 3rd Advance order ! He and his stalwart Wehrmacht veterans flow out of the blockhouse and down into Sutherland's trench. The 11/9 melee fortunately encounters no British Ambushes, and succeeds, bringing British casualties to their surrender limit of 7, for a German WIN. - - - - Wow, what a finish !
British round 15 – - didn’t happen - - but if it had, the Brit-instigated overstacked melee would have been 17 to 10 in favor of the maroon berets, and the British would have WON by German surrender !!!
So Close !
Luck was definitely with the Germans for most of the game. Drawing Advance orders in three of the final four German draws was crucial, and the odds against that happening are enormous. Without Huntziker’s Luck, Determination and Aggressiveness, the result would have been a German loss.
At daybreak on D-Day, exhausted Lt. Huntziker forms up his sullen British captives. Opels and Hannomags pass wrecked gliders as they carry desperately-needed German reinforcements across Benouville bridge.
Chick and Donna
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- Mark BuetowUnited States
IllinoisMove! Advance! Fire! Rout! Recover! Artillery Denied! Artillery Request! Command Confusion...say what?!
- Great write up and congrats on all those games, Donna! How many have you logged, Chick? I confess I’ve been playing a bunch of other stuff and not nearly as much CC.
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- Charles "Chick" LewisUnited States
Thanks, Malacandra, I'm at 886.
What a great game system this is !!!
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- Joe Tkach(Joetkach)
- I love your write ups bro. I can't wait to get back home and setup my next scenario.
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- César MorenoSpain
About the concealment, I think it's defender choice. You could have used either -3 or -6.
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