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Subject: Paratroopers Save the Day rss

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Omar Germino
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Elements of the U.S. Third Army reached the city of Metz in September of 1944. The U.S. command, having broken out of their beachhead at Normandy, felt that the coming battle would be a walk in the park. The field commander noticed that a German heavy armor unit and a couple of SS grenadier formations had brashly begun to go on the offensive, rather than hole up in the relatively well-fortified city.

Sensing an opportunity to wallop a few panzers, and to show his comrades that the "King" Tiger wasn't so tough, the field commander deployed artillery in the form of a 75mm howitzer, a 4.2cm mortar, and a 105mm howitzer. In the center, directly in the approaching Tiger's path, he stationed one of his own heavy tanks, an M26 Pershing.

Soon the German and American armor met on the outskirts of the bocage. The commander of the Pershing decided to open fire. With support from the artillery, the field commander was confident this encounter would go in his favor. Unfortunately, poor aim and a bout of bad luck plagued the American units. The Pershing barely made a dent in the Tiger, which then proceeded to take a chunk of armor off the attacking Pershing.

At this time, the center was about to buckle from the powerful attacks of the King Tiger. The left, covered by vulnerable artillery, was facing an advancing infantry unit. And the right, with another enemy infantry unit, was wide open. Keeping his cool, the field commander quickly sent up another Pershing right behind the first. The left he reinforced with a mechanized infantry squad. On the right, he deployed some Rangers.

The crew of the damaged Pershing did some quick patch-up work, and decided to give the attack another go. This time the aim was truer, and some damage was dealt to the German tank. Unfortunately, the return fire was more devastating, destroying the Pershing. The second American tank quickly advanced to fill the gap.

On the left, a strong assault by the fanatical SS infantry unit sent the American mechanized infantry reeling. And on the right, the other SS unit had advanced into a defensible position in the forest, so the Rangers had a tough time dealing with them. It was a demoralizing situation, and the American fighting spirit suffered for it.

More tanks were ordered in: a Sherman on the left to simply hold the line, and a Pershing on the right to assist with the dug-in infantry there. Finally, after some air support was called in, the Pershing in the center, supported by the mortar and howitzers, destroyed the menacing King Tiger. The battle may yet go in favor of the Americans.

The situation on the left flank, after degenerating into a holding action.

However, the battle against the Tiger left the front-line units badly in need of repairs and reinforcement, and just ahead lay a couple of villages which, as was recently discovered, housed a heavy infantry formation of Stosstruppen and another of surprisingly effective Volkssturm. The field commander decided that now might be a good time to call in the parachute infantry. The embattled armor units withdrew, allowing the paratroopers to deploy around the villages. Their uncanny ability to negate any possible advantage the Germans might have by hunkering down in the villages made the paratroopers an invaluable asset in the battle.

The Volkssturm was dislodged, and a Flak 88 on the hills was taken out. The city of Metz was in sight. The paratroopers continued their advance, with the heavy artillery following close behind. The strong attacks by the parachute infantry, combined with the withering support from the howitzers and a couple of M7 Priest self-propelled guns, caused even the formidable fortifications surrounding the city to be all but useless. The defenders were brushed aside, the enemy howitzers on the hills ignored, and the city center placed under siege. With naught but a Pak 38 anti-tank gun in Metz proper, the final assault was a done deal. All thanks to the companies of heroes that were the U.S. Parachute Infantry.

An attack strength of 28 versus a defense strength of 5? The Pak 38 (center top) isn't getting out of this alive.
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Mathew Anderson
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ogermino wrote:
Elements of the U.S. Third Army reached the city of Metz in September of 1944. The U.S. command, having broken out of their beachhead at Normandy, felt that the coming battle would be a walk in the park. The field commander noticed that a German heavy armor unit and a couple of SS grenadier forma....[/i][/size]


Very nice ogermino! Love the description as you walk through the scenario. Nice to see the Paratroopers saving the day . Poor German Pak 38 with its 3 vs Infantry. Even with a tank attacking, that situation doesn't look good for it.
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Sten Friberg
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Hmm.
Reading your very nice AAR makes me wonder if I played it wrong.
I 'bought' units for my initial 40 points (2 Veterans, 2 M7 Priests and a M26 Pershing). I then placed these units in my home row (Pershing center, Veterans on the flanks).
So during my first turn my veterans moved into the Light Forest in front of them, which left the oncoming Waffen SS to fight from the Clear area in front of the Light Forest.

On my second turn i let the Veterans dig in, in anticipation of the coming fire from the Waffen SS. To avoid being fired upon first I let both the Waffen SS attack my dug-in units.

How did the German get hold of the forest in your game?
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Omar Germino
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As long as you followed the rules in the instruction booklet, you played the game right. It's just a matter of us having two differing strategic approaches.

My starting units had a total "cost" of 39 prestige: 12 for the Pershing, 13 for the mortar, 9 for the 150mm, and 5 for the 75mm. I played the opening to quickly counter the Tiger, using the doctrine of heavy artillery support. (As you can tell from the AAR, it didn't work out too well at the beginning. But by the endgame, well, you can take a look at the caption for the last picture.)

I had these 4 starting units in a line from my extreme left to just shy of the right flank, and so I was able to take the forest on the left, but not on the right. On my next turn, with the SS marching forward, I was able to move the artillery on the left out of the way to deploy a mechanized infantry. But on the right, I could only deploy to my home row, allowing the Waffen SS there to advance into the forest.

In retrospect, I probably could have put my right artillery onto my extreme right home tile rather than the one next to it. This would have allowed me to do the same thing I did on the left, while still allowing the artillery to lend support to the attack on the Tiger.
 
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