Panzer Grenadier: Airborne
Scenario 6 – Cassidy’s Battalion
6 June 1944
The D-Day objectives of the 1st Battalion of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment included the northernmost Utah Beach exit and a nearby gun battery. After landing badly scattered, Lt. Colonel Patrick Cassidy gathered what men he could and headed for the gun emplacement.
Game Length: 20 turns
First Turn: 0545
Other: No units may enter any hex ending in ##12. Ignore the railroad.
Elements, 795th Infantry Battalion
Set up first, within one hex of hex 0704.:
2 x GREN
Leaders: 1 x CAPT, 1 x LT, 1 x SGT
Before setting up, the German player rolls one die. On a result of 1-4 the following units have been wiped out by naval bombardment. On a result of 5 or 6, set up the following within one hex of 0307. Units begin Dug In:
1 x GREN (reduced) 1 x 75mm IG
Leader: 1 x LT
Initiative: 3 (lowered by 1 for every 2 step losses)
Elements of 1st Bn, 502nd Parachute Regiment
Set up within one hex of hex 0809.
3 x PARA 1 x PARA (reduced)
Leaders: 1 x LT COL, 1 x 1st LT, 1 x 2nd LT (all para)
Initiative: 4 (lowered by 1 for every 2 step losses)
1. Visibility is as follows:
Turn 1 (0545): 8 hexes
Turn 2 (0600) and subsequent turns: 12 hexes
2. Beginning on Turn 10 (0800), the American player rolls two dice at the beginning of each turn. On a result of 10 or more, the LT COL is immediately removed from play (he is needed elsewhere).
The American player wins if at the end of play hexes 0407, 0604 and 0803 are American-controlled. The German player wins if at the end of play hex 0410 or 0509 is German-controlled or at least two American steps have been eliminated. Any other result is a draw.
The German guns were destroyed, which realistically gives them little hope of victory in the scenario short of destroying 2 PARA steps. Without knowing the American line of advance, I put one GREN in each town, with the LT (9-0-1) in 0803, the CAPT (8-0-0) in 0704 and the SGT (8-1-0) in 0604.
The Americans split into two groups, one with one PARA, the 1st LT (9-1-1) in 0808 and the other with 2 full strength PARA and the reduced strength PARA, the LT COL (10-0-1) and the 2nd LT (8-1-0) in 0709. Even with the gun emplacement destroyed, I’m assuming that the Americans have to go through 0410 and 0509 to remove German control, so I’ll send the reduced platoon and the 2nd LT to do that while the others advance towards the towns.
Turns 1 -3
The Americans advance on the Germans, who aren’t able to see them through the hedges and just sit around having breakfast. The reduced platoon converts 0410 and 0509 to American control and then goes to join the main force. So far, this is a snooze-fest.
End of turn 3:
Turns 4 - 8
On turn 4, the Americans move to 0804. The grenadiers in the town take opportunity fire shots on the 11 column. The first shot misses, however, the second is snake eyes for an X results, killing off a step of paratroopers and killing LT COL Cassidy! I guess he won’t be leaving on turn 10! The Americans hold morale and on turn 5, the enraged paratroopers exchange fire with the town and manage to demoralize both the grenadiers and their lieutenant. Grabbing the initiative on turn 6, the Americans assault the town and survive the first fire of the demoralized grenadiers despite a 6 (M) results. They assault back with 13 firepower points and a net 1 shift in their favor (+1 for leader, +1 for higher morale, +1 for all enemy units demoralized and -2 for the town) to put them on the 18 column. A 6 is rolled for a 2 result, eliminating the grenadier and sending the leader scurrying for safety. While the reduced platoon digs in, the German grenadiers in 0604 fire on 0803 and get an M result, but all of the Americans stand firm. Over the next 2 turns, the two towns exchange in effective fire.
End of turn 8:
Note: The opportunity fire marker represents the hex where the assault is occurring.
Turns 9 – End of game
The firefight continues through turn 11, with the Americans not yet willing to face the opportunity fire from the town and the Germans not going anywhere. With the early conquest of 0803, it appears that time is on the Americans side. Finally on turn 12, the reduced paratroopers force an M result on 0604 (on their 2nd straight 11) and the grenadiers become demoralized. The paratroopers in 0803 rush to assault while the grenadiers recover to disrupted. The assault begins on turn 13. The Americans have 13 firepower points and one positive shift for a leader and 2 negative shifts for the town. The Germans have 4 firepower points and 1 shift for the leader putting them on the 5 column. The Americans force an M1 and the Germans an M. The German captain is disrupted and the sergeant is demoralized, however the grenadiers stay at disrupted and the Americans all pass their morale checks. The Germans get a big break on turn 14 and grab the initiative (rolling a 4+2 = 6 while the Americans have a 1+4 =5) and are able to recover morale before the Americans assault again. Now both sides are on the 9 column. For the next 2 turns, the assaults continue with a few units disrupted on each side. The Germans use their activation to recover from morale hits inflicted in the assaults.
On turn 16, the Americans rest to recover their troops, so they can spend the last hour clearing the town. However, on turn 17 the Germans get the initiative again and get all units to full morale before the American attack begins. For the next 4 turns, the Americans and Germans trade close range fire, however neither side is able to dislodge the other. The game ends with the grenadiers still holding on in the town and a draw result.
Note: The 2 lines of units are what each side had in 0604 at the end of the game. The reduced platoon of paratroopers and 2nd Lieutenant were hanging around outside the town having a barbecue.
This was a pretty dull scenario, and playing time, not taking notes, probably didn’t exceed ½ hour. The early loss of the LT COL hurt the Americans as it took away their tactical flexibility, and at the same time, taking hex 0803 on the first turn of assault might have countered that. The game really turned when the Germans grabbed the initiative on turn 14 and were able to recover from disruption before the Americans assaulted again. With an 8 morale and a 1 leader, it was difficult to put a permanent morale hurt on the Germans, even with an M2 result, and the Americans could never roll that 6 they needed on the 9 column to inflict a step loss. It could have gone either way and the Americans used up their luck early. Had the gun emplacement been in place, this would have been a much more difficult scenario for the Americans. With the need to take this out, the Germans would have had plenty of time to defend one town with both grenadier platoons and the Americans probably couldn’t have won. As is, this is a tough scenario for both sides to win. And it was also mostly just rolling one assault over and over with no maneuver, so it really isn’t one to which I’m likely to return.
The gun position had already been destroyed and was abandoned, but not so the garrison’s barracks nearby. After a stiff fight the barracks area was taken and the western end of Utah Beach Exit Number 4 cleared.
Life and death come and go like marionettes dancing on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble.
What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror. Then we shall see face to face.
Nice read. Please keep them coming!
Nice read. Please keep them coming!
I'm out of town until Sunday, so nothing new until next week. Thanks, though.