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Panzer Grenadier: Airborne Introductory Edition
Scenario 14 – Line Infantry
12 June 1944
Southeast of Carentan the 327th Glider Regiment, less 3rd Bn and Company G, faced west and launched an attack on the German-held village of Le Mesnil in an attempt to clear the relatively open ground to the east of the city. All of the American airborne formations stayed in the line longer than planned due to the tenacious German defense. The Americans showed they could be pretty tenacious themselves.
Game Length: 12 turns
First Turn: 1315
Other: Units may not enter hexes in row ##11.
Elements, 352nd Infantry Division
Set up first, within two hexes of any of the following hexes: 0302, 0603, 0905, 1206. Units in two hexes may begin Dug In:
2 x GREN 1 x GREN (reduced)
1 x HMG (reduced) 1 x 81mm
1 x 50mm 1 x Truck
Leaders: 1 x CAPT (9-1-1), 2 x LT (8-0-1, 9-1-0), 1 x SGT (8-1-0)
Initiative: 3 (lowered by 1 every 2 step losses, truck doesn’t count)
OBA: 1 x 16
2nd Battalion, 327th Glider Infantry Regiment (less Company G)
Set up within two hexes of hex 0310 or 0510:
6 x INF 2 x HMG
1 x PARA ENG 1 x M4
Leaders: 1 x MAJ (10-0-1), 1 x CAPT (9-0-1), 1 x 1st LT (8-0-0), 1 x 2nd LT (8-0-0)
Morale: 8/7 (tank) 8/8 (all others)
Initiative: 4 (lowered by 1 every 3 step losses)
OBA: 2 x 16, 1 x 24
The American player wins if at any time hexes 0604, 0803 and 1001 are American-controlled at the same time. The German player wins if at the end of play at least five American steps have been eliminated. Any other result is a draw.
The US strategy is to hold back on assaulting initially and let the artillery pound 0604 until turn 5. Then send in the tanks and engineers to overwhelm the Germans. Meanwhile, a smaller force will threaten 0803 to keep troops there from reinforcing 0604.
For the Germans, the strategy revolves around a gradual withdrawal. Wait until the Americans get close to 0604, leave one unit and have the other retreat to 0803 where the 50mm AT is waiting to take care of the Shermans. One GREN platoon and one reduced GREN platoon are left on the flanks to slow up flanking moves.
Turn 1 sees the US advance and call down a barrage on 0603 which misses. For the first couple of turns, I only gave the US 48 points of artillery instead of 56, which meant a one column shift difference. Based on rolls, it wouldn’t have changed much.
On turn 2, the artillery manages to disrupt the HMG in 0604, but it quickly recovers. German artillery misses, and German opportunity fire isn’t able to stop the Americans advancing on the right flank.
Turn 3 is also relatively uneventful. One American leader is disrupted, and the sides trade ineffectual fire. However, the Americans are in a good position to quickly rush the towns.
End of Turn 3
Turn 4 has the sides trade more fire that disrupts a few units that rapidly recover. So far, this is not the world’s most dynamic scenario. However, that’s about to change as the Americans hit launch time. The Germans grab initiative on Turn 5 and first pull out of 1005 to 1004 to avoid being assaulted. US OBA disrupts the HMG in 0604, but it recovers. The GREN retreats to 0803, leaving the HMG to its fate. The Shermans, the Engineer and an INF move into assault position. German OBA demoralizes an INF in 0905, and Fog of War ends the turn early (Note: This is about the smallest scenario where I’d use FoW).
On turn 6 the US gets the initiative with +2 impulses. Instead of risking scatter on the OBA, the US assaults the HMG in 0604 immediately. The Americans are on the 30+ column while the Germans are on the 9 column. Bad luck for the US, as the Americans roll a 1 (M2) and the Germans roll a 5 (M2). The HMG is demoralized, while on the US side the M4s, the Captain and the Engineers are all disrupted.
The Americans then send 2 INF and the 1st LT to assault 1004. The Germans get first fire on the 9 column and get an M result and disrupt both INF units. The disrupted INF are not able to harm the Germans. The Americans begin to advance on 0803, while the Germans send a reduced GREN to 1004 to reinforce the troops there. The German 50mm fires ineffectually at the Shermans. The Demoralized HMG in 0604 fails its morale check and flees, and the American free shot rolls another 1 for an M2…however, the HMG’s luck runs out as it dies of compound morale failure.
End of Turn 6
Turns 7 – 9
The Germans grab the initiative and assault in 1004, hoping to take out the disrupted INF there. They are on the 13 column while the US is on the 9. The Germans roll a 1 and miss, the Americans a 3 (M), but no Germans are affected. Meanwhile, over in 0604, the disrupted leader recovers, but the Shermans and the Engineers do not. German OBA slams into the HMGs in 0606 and the 2nd LT is eliminated by being demoralized a 2nd time! The US returns the favor when its OBA hits 0803 and rolls a 12 for an X result which reduces a GREN and eliminates the truck. One GREN is disrupted, the other demoralized, but they each recover a step of morale.
On turn 8 the US OBA misses. German AT fire comes dangerously close to eliminating a step of Shermans, which in turn finally recover morale (although the engineers do not). The US assaults in 1004 and both sides are on the 13 column. The US rolls a 3 (M1) while the Germans roll a 5 (1). The German LT and reduced GREN are demoralized while the full strength GREN is disrupted. On the US side, an INF is reduced, and when a 3 is rolled, the 1st LT is killed! The US is down to 2 leaders on the map and the troops are in disarray. The German GREN recovers morale while the reduced GREN fails and flees the assault hex.
On turn 9, the demoralized INF flees the assault hex. The Germans choose to assault in 1004. They are on the 9 column while the US are on the 3 column. The Americans roll a 2 and miss, the Germans a 6 (1) and eliminate the reduced INF platoon. OBA is mostly ineffective, causing disruptions, but units quickly recover.
End of Turn 9
The Americans are short on time and leaders, but the Germans are running out of warm bodies. They need that demoralized Grenadier to recover. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen on turn 10. Meanwhile, the assault force (M4, ENG, INF) closes in on 0803. German opportunity fire misses, and the USA OBA demoralizes the AT gun. Other Americans filter around the town, heading for 1001, and there just aren’t enough effective Germans to hurt them.
The Germans have the initiative on turn 11 and the units in 0803 and the mortar in 0802 fire away, disrupting an infantry in 0903. The US begins the assault on 0803. They are on the 24 column, while the defending Germans are on the 9 column. The US rolls a 4 (1) while the Germans roll a 3 (M). This eliminates the GREN in the hex (highest morale) but all other units pass. For the US, the Captain and the Shermans are disrupted. The Germans desperately assault 0904 hoping to break through to the town, but roll a 1 in the assault and don’t hurt the HMGs.
On the last turn, the Germans are on the 3 column, the Americans are on the 18 column. The US rolls a 3 (M2) and demoralize the AT gun, while the Germans roll a 4 and miss. The German mortar reinforces the town, while the AT gun recovers to disrupted. Meanwhile, in 0604, the GREN loses a step when it assaults, and then the Americans assault back and eliminate it completely.
The scenario ends in a Draw!
End of Game
Wow…this scenario did not go as I expected it would. I thought the German AT guns would be able to at least reduce the Shermans…instead they missed all game. I expected the massive US OBA to really soften up the towns. They had minimal impact. And the US losing 2 leaders was a real kick in the pants. It really brought home how important leaders are to an advance. I think this is a tough scenario for the Germans, without some very good die rolls, they will be hard pressed to inflict 5 step losses. At the same time, with slightly better luck, the Germans might have had a much more secure position in one or both towns. Still, opposing combined arms and Engineers makes towns much less valuable defensive positions.
The advance went well until late in the day when heavy German artillery firing over open sights halted the glider infantrymen. The Americans would not stay halted for long, however. A day later, more energetic attacks drove the Germans back.
We don't stop playing when we get old, but we get old when we stop playing.
Very good review!