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Subject: Scattered to the winds - Utah Beach rss

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Mike Heine
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Waconia
Minnesota
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Well, I was very excited to take this game off the shelf after over two decades and have a go at it. The only problem was I hadn't tried to play the game since probably high school and my friend had never played the game. So after an extensive review of the rules we settled into Situation No. 1, Utah Beach. It seemed a likely place to start as there really aren't many units involved in that one.

We randomly chose sides and I ended up as the Germans. I split my forces pretty evenly. First I set the armored car, the truck (for quick transport) and the mortar in Nece. Second I placed a strong infantry component in Artain to guard the bridge. Lastly I put the quad 20mm in Merden with some support (this would prove very useful).

My friend pretty much did likewise and scattered his paras evenly between the three possible objectives.

Once he began to move his force near Nece towards Merden after the first or turn, it became apparent to me that Merden was the main objective. At least I was pretty sure. The Americans made a concerted effort to take the bridge at Artain as well and this kept me guessing a bit. Artain was also the main target of the American mortar, which further confused me.

After a couple turns I decided to move out of Nece as there was no threat there and concentrate all my efforts on defending Merden. I sent my armored car on the road north along with my truck and my lone mortar. Eventually a mixed German infantry force followed them. These units were slowly following a mixed force of American infantry and engineers.

My armored car easily outran the American infantry to Merden and took up position with the defenders. I set up my mortar within range of the city and sent the truck back to Nece to pick up a 20mm cannon. The Americans were assaulting both Merden and Artain at this point and I was still not totally sure which was the true objective. I went with my gut instinct and pulled the last 20mm gun out of Artain and sent it on the road to Merden by horse cart. There it was met by the truck, which drove it the remainder of the way to the hills overlooking Merden.

As my infantry and engineers from Nece arrived near Merden my 20mm cannons began to unleash fire from the hilltops onto the city's attackers. This coupled by the quad's constant firing from the city really gave the Americans a hard time. Up to this point there had not been any serious casualties. This changed as I quickly lost my truck and some infantry units. I replied in kind, however as I kept many of the American infantry dispersed and started to score some kills. It was a slugfest for Merden. Once the supporting American infantry and engineers from Nece arrived, however, they began to slowly whittle away at the German defenders.

In Artain things were even worse. The Americans with the help of their mortar eventually succeeded in wiping out all German resistance and taking the bridge. If this had been the true Allied objective I would have lost the game then and there, but it was not meant to be.

I had been right all along and the objective of the 101st was indeed Merden. The slugfest for the city continued, but once my infantry and engineers from Nece arrived on the scene and the 20mm cannons on the hills had their say, the Americans were unable to muster enough strength before time ran out to take the city.

So at the end of the game the Americans held Artain in force, but that didn't matter as the Germans held the only city that mattered, Merden.

To be honest I did let my friend play beyond the 10 turn limit and he came close to taking the objective, but in the end he had split his forces too much and couldn't bring enough strength to bear where it was needed.

I'm sure we made some minor rules mistakes and it took us awhile to grasp the strategy of it all, but in the end we both enjoyed ourselves. I think we will play this AH classic again. Hopefully soon, while the rules are fresh in our minds.
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Mike Heine
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This session and the game that preceded it are dedicated to the memory of Charles S. Roberts.
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Lawrence Hung
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Wan Chai
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Really engaging after reading the AAR. It seems to me this scenario can be completed quickly. This is a classic that I have to visit since I own the new MMP version but never had an experience with the system before. I was not that into tactical level gaming back then. With the pouring tactical level WW2 games from the major publishers, e.g. Combat Commander, ASLSK, Panzergranadier, Lock n' Load etc., I was drawn into the tactical level for some kind of real and geniune experience on the roads. I hope this game can be a winner so that more scenarios or modules (even historical module like that in ASL) can be made available from MMP. laugh
 
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Steven Bucey
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Quote:
This is a classic that I have to visit since I own the new MMP version but never had an experience with the system before.


"Panzer Leader" and "Hill of Death" really have very little in common other than topic and scale. The units and maps are very incompatible and the rules have substantial differences. They are really two different games.

Although I thought the LOS rules were very muddled and I simply do not like the activation chits, Hill of Death is a better design (though one would certainly hope so give the 35 years difference between the two games). Still, Panzer Leader holds a special place in my collection (literally, as I have devoted a large tote to carry the two copies along with a large collection of additional scenarios and a pile of home made counters and maps) and I rarely turn down a game.
 
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