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Subject: Scenario 8 - Second Try (part 1 of 2) rss

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Joshua Gottesman
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Panzer Grenadier: Airborne
Scenario 8 – Second Try (Part 1 of 2)
6 June 1944


Though his division fought very well on D-Day despite its scattered landings, Gen. Taylor remained concerned that his troops failed to blow up or even attack the road and railroad bridges across the Douve River north of Carentan. Although the lock at La Bourquette and the two wooden bridges to the east were in American hands, the German-held highway bridge was an open door to Utah Beach’s southern flank. Taylor ordered the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment to attack.

Game Length: 52 turns
First Turn: 0830
Other: Ignore the railroad, but not the bridge in hex 1013 (it represents the La Brouquette lock).


German OOB
Elements, 709th and 352nd Infantry Divisions
Set up first, within one hex of hex 1016.:

3 x GREN 1 x HMG (reduced)
1 x 81mm


Leaders: 1 x CAPT, 1 x LT

Within one hex of hex 0412. May begin Dug In:

1 x GREN (reduced) 1 x HMG (reduced)
1 x 50mm


Leader: 1 x LT

Within two hexes of hex 0604. May begin Dug In:

3 x GREN 1 x GREN (reduced)
1 x HMG 1 x 75mm IG


Leaders: 1 x MAJ, 2 x LT

Within two hexes of hex 0608:

2 x GREN 1 x GREN (reduced)
1 x HMG 1 x 81mm


Leaders: 1 x LT COL, 1 x CAPT, 1 x LT

Reinforcements

Starting on Turn Three (0900), the German player rolls two dice at the beginning of each turn. On a result of 10 or more, the following units all immediately enter at hex 0517:

3 x GREN 1 x ENG
1 x Motorcycle 1 x PZ IVF2
1 x Sdkfz 251* 1 x Truck


Leaders: 1 x MAJ, 1 x CAPT, 2 x LT

* - This unit doesn’t exist in the Airborne counters. I used the Sdkfz 222 that is in the counter mix.

Morale: 8/7
Initiative: 3 (lowered by 1 for every 3 step losses (tanks count double; trucks don’t’ count))
OBA: 1 x 16

American OOB
Elements, 501st Parachute Regiment
Set up within one hex of hex 1013. May begin Dug In:

3 x PARA 1 x PARA (reduced)
1 x PARA HMG


Leaders: 1 x COL, 1 x 2nd LT (both para)

Elements, 2nd Bn, 506th Parachute Regiment
Within two hexes of hex 1201:

6 x PARA 1 x PARA (reduced)
1 x PARA HMG 1 x PARA ENG
2 x 57mm 1 x 75mm
1 x 81mm 1 x Jeep


Leaders: 1 x LT COL, 1 x 1st LT, 1 x 2nd LT (all para)

Elements, 1st Bn, 501st Parachute Regiment
Within one hex of hex 1107:

2 x PARA 1 x PARA (reduced)
1 x PARA HMG (reduced)


Leaders: 1 x CAPT, 1 x SGT (both para)

Elements, 1st Bn, 506th Parachute Regiment
Enter within one hex of hex 0901 on Turn One:

5 x PARA** 1 x PARA** (reduced)
1 x PARA HMG


Leaders: 1 x MAJ, 1 x CAPT, 1 x 1st LT (all para)

** - There aren’t enough PARA units in the Airborne counter mix for this. I’m using regular INF units (treating them as PARA) and will replace them as PARA units are eliminated and become available. Avalanche Press has confirmed that this is the correct way to handle the situation.

Elements, Company A, 746th Tank Battalion
Enter at hex 1101 on Turn One:

1 x M4 1 x M5

Morale: 8/7 tanks, all others 8/8
Initiative: 4 (lowered by 1 for every 3 step losses (tanks count double, jeeps don’t count)
OBA: The American player rolls one die at the start of each turn. On a result of 4 through 6, 1 x 24 is available this turn.

Special Rules:
1. The American PARA ENG unit may destroy the bridge in hex 0412 by spending one turn in the hex doing nothing else and remaining undemoralized and undisrupted for the entire turn.

Victory Conditions

The American player wins by controlling hex 0412 at the end of play or by destroying the bridge in hex 0412. Any other result is a German victory.

**********
Deployment
**********

This is the first really big scenario in Airborne, and has all of the elements of Panzer Grenadier. Infantry, tanks, on board and off board artillery, fog of war, etc. The German group in 1016 has a 10-1-0 lieutenant and a 9-1-0 captain. Their objective is to interfere with the troops from the lock and keep them from infiltrating through the swamps and also to attempt to reinforce hex 0412. The group in 0412 has an 8-0-1 lieutenant and they have an easy job…just sit in the town and wait for the Americans. The group in 0604 has a 10-0-1 major, and lieutenants with ratings of 8-0-1 and 8-1-0 along with 1 ½ grenadier platoons. Another grenadier platoon, the HMG platoon and the 75mm IG along with an 8-0-1 lieutenant are set to defend 0803, while another 8-1-0 lieutenant and a grenadier platoon dig in in hex 0805. The group in 0608 has a 9-1-0 lieutenant colonel, a 10-1-1 captain and a 9-0-0 lieutenant. The lieutenant and the mortar set up in 0509, the captain, a grenadier platoon and an HMG in 0708, and lieutenant colonel and 1 ½ grenadier platoons in 0707.

On average, the German reinforcements should arrive by turn 6. By this point, there is a 625/1296 chance that they will arrive. The general plan is for the tanks and armored car to cause as much damage as possible and then fall back into 0412. The only way for American armor to approach the town is over the embankment, and the Germans will get point blank shots on them.

For the Americans, the troops at the lock will try to slow down German reinforcements heading for 0412. Because the lock doesn’t figure into the victory conditions, I’m prepared to abandon it if the need arises. However, right now it does give a good enfilading position on German troops. I am going to send the colonel (10-1-1) and 2 platoons towards 0412, while the 2nd lieutenant (9-0-1) stays at the lock with the reduced platoon, full strength platoon and HMG.

The 1201 group has a 10-0-1 lieutenant colonel, a 9-0-1 1st lieutenant and a 9-1-1 2nd lieutenant. Using the hedges for cover, they are going to circle towards the two northern towns with the turn 1 reinforcements. The mortar and 75mm are just going to pound the town, getting at least one shot over open sights, while the jeep will shuttle the 57mm anti tank guns to where they are needed. I later realized that I had made a mistake and put the 75mm behind hedges on all sides, so the jeep could never get in there to move it to a new position. Its 40 hex range covers the entire map, I just wasn’t able to combine it with the mortar for a better shot after a while. It’s a priority to keep the engineers out of harm’s way as long as possible as if they can blow the bridge, its an instant victory for the US.

There are no step loss issues in this scenario (past lowered initiative) and the US has a significant step advantage (53 steps available compared to 42 German) so the US will attempt to rush forward and blow away German troops and not worry so much about casualties.

Set up:


***********
Turns 1 -3
***********

On Turn 1, the Americans do receive their OBA, however the German OBA makes the first impression, demoralizing a battery of 57mm guns. Meanwhile, the troops in 0803 kill off a step of paratroopers and when US on board and off board artillery returns fire, it disrupts or demoralizes most of the units in the town. Americans swarm towards the town, hoping to catch the Germans in a poor morale state. On turn 2, the US gets on board artillery again and it targets 0803 but misses, giving the Germans a chance to recover, and all units improve a step (2 of them thanks only to the presence of a leader). The US closes in for an armor assisted assault. On turn 3, the German reinforcements do not arrive, and the US does not get OBA. The Germans have 3 initiatives before the Americans move, and they start off by assaulting 0803 with a platoon of paratroopers, a paratrooper HMG platoon and the Shermans led by the 2nd lieutenant. They have 26 firepower points and fire on the 24 column, while the Germans fire back on the 18 column. Each side inflicts a step loss, with the Americans reducing their HMG and holding morale, and the Germans taking a step loss of grenadiers and seeing everyone but the infantry gun get demoralized. They attempt to recover, and only the leader does, while the HMG and grenadiers fleet the town (the lieutenant voluntarily demoralized to go with them) leaving only the 75mm IG to defend 0803. Both sides trade other fire, mostly ineffective.

End of turn 3:

Note: The Demoralized marker represents the assault hex in 0803 detailed at the top left of the picture.


***********
Turns 4-6
***********

The Americans don’t receive OBA again (now 2/4) and the German reinforcements don’t appear. The Germans get 2 initiatives on the Americans, and attempt to rally the troops from 0803. The leader and grenadier rally, the HMG does not and flees to 0705. On the 2nd activation, a captain and 2 platoons assault the paratroopers in 0614. The US gets first fire and disrupts both platoons, and the Germans miss completely. Back at 0803, the US assaults the infantry gun and it holds tough, and in fact demoralizes the paratrooper and HMG platoons in the hex. Even though the gun is valiantly holding on, its not stopping the Americans from slipping around the town, and they assault the troops that fled to 0804, demoralizing the leader and the grenadiers. The paratroopers lose another step advancing on 0603. Fog of war ends the turn after 8 German and 6 US activations.

On turn 5, the US OBA is nowhere to be seen (2/5) and neither are the German reinforcements. The Germans grab the initiative and assault 0614 again, losing their captain in the process. The Americans finally clear 0803, capturing a lieutenant. Fire from dug-in Germans in 0705 is a snake eyes and gets a 2X on the troops in 0704, resulting in a 2X! Nothing else big happens, and the turn ends after 7 US and 6 German initiatives.

Turn 6 shows no signs of either the German reinforcements or the US OBA (2/6). The Germans grab the initiative and expend a lot of ammo on the US troops to little effect, while the US spends most of the turn rallying and moving for position. The turn ends after 14 US and 9 German activations (the Germans passed a bunch of times). Step losses at the end of turn 6 are 5 for the US and 3 for the Germans.

End of turn 6:


Note: The opportunity fire marker represents the hex where the assault is detailed to the right of the picture.

***********
Turns 7 – 9
***********

On turn 7, the US OBA finally decides to show up (3/7), not so the German reinforcements. The US also gets 2 initiatives on the German. Tanks and paratroopers begin blasting away at the dug in paras. The tanks roll an 11 with 17 firepower and the paras roll a 12 with 11 firepower, killing a step of greandiers and demoralizing others. The Americans lose a step advancing on 0509 and then the German OBA takes out another step by rolling a 2. The turn ends after 9 US and 6 German activations. Step losses are 7 for the Americans, 4 for the Germans.

Turn 8 sees the US OBA show up again (4/8) while the German reinforcements miss their 6th consecutive roll (only a 33% chance). The Germans grab the initiative and recover in 0705. The Americans are now assaulting back in 0614 and take out a grenadier step. Other than that, its not an exciting turn, despite 13 US and 8 German activations.

Turn 9 has more US OBA (5/9) and still no German reinforcements (28% chance). Fire into 0509 demoralizes the HMG and disrupts the grenadier, and when the Germans reinforce, that GREN gets demoralized. The German forces in 0705 and 0604 combine fire on 0704 and get to the 45 column (23 firepower + 2 shifts for adjacent) and rolls a 5 to kill another step of paratroopers and a captain. The Shermans are disrupted and the remaining paratroopers demoralized and they flee the scene. The turn ends after only 7 German and 5 US activations, with step losses at this point 8 for the US and 4 for the Germans.

End of turn 9:


***********
Turns 10-12
***********

The US OBA makes another appearance (6/10) while the German reinforcements are still sleeping in (only 23% chance of taking this long to enter). The Germans have 2 initiatives and the 45 column attack goes off again, demoralizing the HMG and disrupting the leader and then return fire from the Shermans demoralizes a platoon of grenadiers and the lieutenant colonel. Other than that, there are no major events, and the turn ends after 12 American activations and 9 Germans activations. Turn 11 has no US OBA (6/11) and no German reinforcements, and its now down to a 19% chance this would have happened. The Germans are starting to worry that the reinforcements may get there too late to help the battle. The feeling increases after the Stuarts and 2 full platoons assault dug in but morale deficient Germans and eliminate more grenadiers. The Germans abandon 0604, leaving 1 reduced platoon in the town to buy some time. The turn ends after only 9 US and 7 German activations, although thanks to subordinate activation, virtually every unit was activated anyway.

Turn 12 sees more US OBA appear (7/12), which is nice, although it hasn’t been all that effective. And finally the German reinforcements appear on the 10th roll It was only a 16% chance that it would take this long, and the Germans really need these guys. The Americans continue to assault 0705, eliminating an HMG step. After coming under heavy fire from 0509, the Americans withdraw to wait for tank support. The German reinforcements stream up the embankment and towards 0412. The turn ends normally, with each side having taken 8 step losses so far.



Note: The opportunity fire marker represents an assault in 0705 and is in the left assault hex at the top of the picture. The right assault hex is the assault in 0614 (demoralized marker)

***********
Turns 13-15
***********

The US finally clears 0705 on turn 13, destroying the HMG and capturing the lieutenant colonel. 0604 is also cleared out. For the 2nd straight turn, fog of war does not end the turn. On turn 14, the USA OBA makes another appearance (now 8 of 14 turns) and both sides take a breather. Troops begin to dig in and prepare for the next phase of the battle. In 0614, the US tries to clear out the stubborn grenadiers and doesn’t dislodge them, however another reduced grenadier platoon is eliminated. The US gets OBA again on turn 15 (9/15) and with an initiative advantage continue their advance. The Shermans lead an assault on 0607 and eliminate an HMG step. The Germans evacuate the hex, leaving the disrupted HMG to cover their withdrawal. The grenadier in 0609 refuses to recover. On the German side, 0614 is reinforced with another reduced platoon. German mortar fire disrupts 2 platoons in 0507 and follow up fire from 0509 eliminates a paratrooper step. However, as happened so many times, the rest of the paras keep their morale intact. Combat in the swamp intensifies, all at point blank range, and there are morale checks galore. The turn ends normally, and at this point the step loss count is 9 for the Americans and 12 for the Germans. With the Germans having a smaller force in the first place, this is a strain on them.



Note: The top left assault hex is the disrupted marker in 0607, the top right is the demoralized marker in 0614.

***********
Turns 16-18
***********


The US continues their luck with the OBA, with it appearing again on turn 16 (10/16) and the US also has the initiative and reinforces the assault on 0614. The Germans get first fire and demoralize a platoon, so the assault is effectively the same. The remaining US troops then assault, and the reduced platoon, which did not get first fire (it was not dug in) also fires back, only on the 3 column. The Americans roll a 6 and get a “1” result, killing the reduced platoon and demoralizing a lieutenant. The grenadiers roll a 5 for an M1 and disrupt one platoon, and the US dodges a bullet as the demoralized platoon rolls 2 over its adjusted morale (3 over would have caused a step loss). Then, the turn ends on the first fog of war roll before most units have moved. Turn 17 sees no US OBA (10/17) and once again the US has the initiative and renews the assault on 0607 while the leader recovers. The Americans kill off the HMG and clear yet another hex. And for the second turn in a row, the turn ends on the first fog of war roll! Again the US advance is stymied.

Turn 18 has no US OBA again (10/18) and for the 3rd straight turn, the Germans and Americans roll the same number for initiative, however the Americans still get a +1 to the roll and get first activation. They close in on 0509, coming under heavy German fire. After a lot of back and forth, this turn goes the distance, with 10 activations per side.



Note: The top right assault hex is the ongoing assault in 0614, now marked by a standard PG “Dug In” marker. This was the first scenario where I didn’t have enough markers from Airborne itself.

************
Thoughts at the 1/3 mark
************

At 52 turns, 18 turns in is about 1/3 of the way. The US has 28 units left (11 PARA, 5 PARA (reduced), 1 PARA ENG, 2 HMG, 2 HMG (reduced) and M4, an M5, 2 57mm, 1 81mm and 1 75mm) for a total of 92 infantry firepower points and 2 AFVs, 2 ATGs and 18 on board artillery. They have suffered 9 step losses of 53 at start. The Germans have 17 remaining units (7 GREN, 1 GREN (reduced), 1 ENG, 2 HMG (reduced), 1 MTC, 1 PZIVF2, 1 Sdkfz 222, 1 50mm ATG and 2 81mm). That gives them 63 infantry firepower points, 2 AFVs, 1 ATGs and 16 on board artillery factors. They have lost 14 of their initial 42 steps. They have been pushed back to the swamp and the Americans are grinding them down. The Germans have a defensive advantage, however the US has superior numbers and superior morale and superior leadership. Can the Germans hold on? The late arrival of the reinforcements likely cost the Germans, as their tanks are better than the US tanks and the armored car and motorcycles were never able to use their mobility on the far side of the swamp. The armored car especially could have been dangerous, as nothing on the US side is close to its speed, and it is immune to small arms fire, meaning it could have caused havoc in the US rear areas. The 57mm ATGs might have kept it at bay, as they have otherwise been pretty useless. This scenario is far from decided at this point.

************
Historical Conclusion
************


German resistance halted the advance before the paratroopers even reached St. Come-du-Mont. The fighting raged all morning around the hamlet of Les Droueriers and ended with the withdrawal of the American force.
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Drew Heath
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Nicely done. At this length you were wise to divide it. The mods don't read em anyway!
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Shad wrote:
Nicely done. At this length you were wise to divide it. The mods don't read em anyway!
Some do...
 
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Drew Heath
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Wulf Corbett wrote:
Shad wrote:
Nicely done. At this length you were wise to divide it. The mods don't read em anyway!
Some do...


Outlier! yuk
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Wulf Corbett
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It wasn't this review actually, but I have finally actually modded a review/session of a game I own - one of the other PG sessions. Even modding other wargame sessions is a bit difficult - detailed reports of unfamiliar wargames are hard to fathom without the rules!
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Drew Heath
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This is true. In my limited modding I've skipped many such AARs/Revs because I wasn't familiar enough to judge them.
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Guess what - I just modded part 2 of this report

Joshua - how about shrinking those pics in future?
 
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Joshua Gottesman
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Wulf,

Up until this one, I had been shrinking them, then I saw that BGG shrunk them, so I stopped. I have no issue with making them smaller.
 
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Wulf Corbett
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BGG shrinks the display once they've loaded, but the full-size pic has to load up first. With this many pics on my slow connection I'm waiting a couple of minutes to read these.

Part 2 is up now.
 
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Joshua Gottesman
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Cool, I'm doing Scenario 9 later today, so I'll shrink them on that one.
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