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Subject: Scenario 9 - Holding the Lock rss

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Joshua Gottesman
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Panzer Grenadier: Airborne
Scenario 9 – Holding the Lock
7 June 1944


Back at the La Barquette Lock, the paratroopers of the 501st Parachute Regiment had been unable to move from their positions all D-Day night and most of the second day due to heavy enemy fire. At 1500 in the afternoon of the 7th a large force of German was observed approaching their position from the northeast.

Game Length: 20 turns
First Turn: 1600
Other: Ignore the road railroad and the bridge in hex 0412. The bridge in hext 1013 is in play, just not the railroad and embankments leading to it.

German OOB
Elements, 919th Infantry Regiment
Set up first, within one hex of hex 1009.:

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


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

Morale: 7/6
Initiative: 1 (lowered by 1 for every 2 step losses)
OBA: None

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 CAPT, 1 x 1st LT (all para)

Morale: 8/8
Initiative: 1 (lowered by 1 for every step loss)
OBA: The American player rolls one die at the start of each turn. On a result of 5 or 6, 1 x 18 is available this turn.

Special Rules:
1. The Germans were shaken by their sudden change in fortune. The American player may ask the German player to surrender at the beginning of any turn. When asked, the German player rolls two dice, subtracts his or her current initiative value and adds the current number of German eliminated and demoralized units (not steps) and leaders. If the result is more than the morale value of the highest ranking German (or more than 6 if all German leaders have been eliminated), play ends. If the result is greater than the leader’s morale, the Germans do not surrender, German initiative increases by 1 and play continues.

Victory Condition

The American player wins if the German player surrenders, or if at the end of play hex 1013 is American-controlled. The German player wins if at the end of play hex 1013 is German-controlled or five American steps have been eliminated. Any other result is a draw.

**********
Initial deployment
**********

This is a very small scenario, and rates to be confined to a small part of the board. The Germans start just outside or inside the swamp, and the Americans are in the swamp, so visibility is essentially 1 hex until untis start firing. With the +1 shift for direct fire into a swamp, there are going to be a lot of high column shots from relatively low firepower. The Germans have to take 1013 or inflict a lot of casualties to win, so subtlety is not an option. They are just going to charge ahead and hope they can pass the surrender rolls.

The Americans do very little here. They are going to sit back and wait for the Germans, hope to inflict some casualties or demoralizations, and force the Germans to surrender.

Because of the small number of units in the scenario, I did not use Fog of War.

Set-up:


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

The Germans advance adjacent to the paratroopers, and the GREN and HMG platoons that enter 1011 from 1010 promptly get demoralized. The OBA is ineffective; however the German mortars do manage to disrupt a paratrooper platoon.

On turn 2, I decided against calling for surrender. Even with a +1 to the die roll, with a “9” leader floating around, that would require rolling a 10 or higher (1/6 chance) or have the Germans add 1 to their initiative. As it turns out, the Germans get initiative this turn anyway and start to recover units, and the Americans don’t get their OBA. By the end of the turn, some paratroopers have shifted to face the Germans who are coming down the south side of the lock.

Turn 3 sees the US receive OBA again and grab the initiative. They manage to kill off a step of German heavy machine guns, and are otherwise are unable to harm the Germans, who are now in contact with most of the American force.

End of turn 3:



***********
Turns 4-5
***********

The Americans get their OBA again on turn 4, making it 3 out of 4 turns they have made a 1 in 3 chance. They also get the initiative and a lucky break when a shot from the paratrooper platoon in 1013 (the reduced platoon is digging in and doesn’t fire) kills a step in 1013 and demoralizes the grenadier. The units in 1012 fire at 1112 on the 30 column and also kill off a step of grenadiers and demoralize the major and one of the grenadiers. The major ends up routing back to 1111. At the end of the turn, all US units have been spotted and several of the Germans have recovered. However, the major and a reduced HMG are still demoralized at the end of the turn.

On turn 5, the Americans call for surrender. German initiative is zero, and there is one demoralized leader and one demoralized German unit on the board, for a +2 to the die roll. The major was the highest ranked German leader, and since he’s demoralized, his morale is only 8. So, if the German rolls 7 or higher, they surrender. There is no question as a 6 and a 5 are tossed, and the scenario ends in an American victory.

End of game:


************
Final Thoughts
************

As can be seen by the brevity of this session report, this is a very quick scenario. I have a hard time seeing the Germans winning without some luck. The Americans just have to time their surrender checks carefully and I think they should wait until at least 2 German steps are dead to reduce German initiative to zero. Unless the Germans have a leader with a 10 morale, the US probably won’t need to roll more than 7 or 8 for the surrender. On the other hand, with a little luck, the Germans may be able to get a couple of very high column shots at the paratroopers, and the loss of just 1 or 2 could be a disaster for the Americans.

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


Intent only on escaping the American forces advancing off the beaches and surprised by the heavy fire, the Germans went to ground and fought half-heartedly. After exchanging fire for a few hours, the Germans began to surrender. If not for a particularly zealous leader, they would have given up more easily. In all, 350 Germans were killed or captured.
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Drew Heath
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Dude you are absolutely PLOWING through these!

Swimming in geekgold!

Keep it up!
 
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Joshua Gottesman
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Shad wrote:
Dude you are absolutely PLOWING through these!

Swimming in geekgold!

Keep it up!


Well, this one took maybe 20 minutes to play, start to finish. I've got 10 set up, I'm typing up the framework for the AAR now, and won't actually start playing it before tomorrow at the earliest.

And thanks!
 
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