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Subject: Utah Beach rss

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Kenneth Howe
United States
Massachusetts
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Well my good friend Dr. Mike Powell ( Board Game Geek user name Bent Prop ) and, I played yet another game of Situation #1 Utah Beach in Panzer Leader. I lost yet again but, this time playing the allies.

Mike set up my German defense. ( See Mike Powers and, my articles on the strategy portion of Panzer Leader Forum. ) Mike adjusted several units to " improve " my set up. I secretly wrote my objective down and, did not reveal it to the end of the game. Mikes set up with the majority of his forces set up between Nece and, the bridge at Artain. He had four German infantry platoons strung out between Merden and the road to Nece. Two of the platoons started in Merden proper.

As for me and, my Allied Airborne Battalion I set up two companies in the Artain area and two companies near the Southern woods between Nece and, Artain. Mike put two infantry platoons in this stand of trees but, he deviated from my setup and, suffered the penalty. ( The penalty was that on the first turn these two platoons were pounced on by Cat attack on the very first turn. ) The lone Allied Artillery piece set up in the town of Khun. This gave it a clear line of site to the German Mortar on the top of the hill located between Nece and, Artain. My objective was the bridge at Artain. My thought process was that "He'll never see it coming!"

On turn one I opened up on the German Mortar piece on the hill with my Mortar. At 1 to 2 odds I had a 1/3 chance of a dispersal. I was successful and, this was the case for the entire game with exception of one turn till I was able to dispatch the the unit. This was key in the early stages because it kept the Germans from spotting my every move so to speak. I close assaulted against various German units with three out of four companies. This yielded great success. Mike did not know my objective and, he was not sure which way to turn. I feinted toward Nece to keep him confused. This would later prove fatal. As the game went on two things became clear. One, the cat was out of the bag; my objective was the bridge. Two, the Germans were getting chewed to pieces. I wondered at one point if Mike would have any units left at the end of the game.

The Germans were handled in an excellent fashion. Mike managed to get his engineer platoon into Artain. Despite his many efforts he never managed to get his infantry into the town to turn this unit into an offensive weapon. His efforts were valiant but, I was able to stop any such effort. This was excellent play on my part or, so I thought..... Mike in the most devious fashion baited me and, I swallowed it hook, line and, sinker. He loaded a wagon unit up with an infantry platoon. Then he proceeded to send it in plain view up the the hill in front of two companies of my airborne troops to cause a road block for my troops. I opened up with opportunity fire and, blasted the loaded German wagon into the stone age. Proud of myself Mike grinned for his plan worked. He stopped the American company for a turn. All that to save just six minutes. Brilliant! Mike maneuvered infantry to get in front of my units. I had been tricked by the master. Mike sent his Ack Ack guns into the town of Merden to blast my troops off of the side of the hill. He only managed one shot during the game because unfortunately for him I had sent a company to suppress the batteries. Mike Howled with frustration at his bad die rolls and, the lack of units to move due to my attacks.

I was fully confident of victory. Mike was fully confident of his defeat. So, what happened? It was during the last two turns of the game that I realized "Hey I think I may loose this. I had three companies engaged with the business of taking the bridge. The company in town was keeping the engineer in a constant dispersal. They did not have the strength to kill the 10 defense factor road block. They were going to need help. The two companies on the hill were making short work of the German infantry platoons and, trying to help there brethren in town get rid of the pesky engineer. The road was clear for my infantry to join the fight. Wait a minute, not so fast! Mike in true Dr. Mike fashion sent his lone armor piece to tie up my infantry for yet another turn. Six more minutes! The armored car platoon was no match for the American engineer supported attack on it. Mike grinned yet again for he started to see that he could win the fight. For the final fight of the game two companies Cat attacked the engineer and, it too vaporized. Game over, out of time, German Victory.

In the end, the Germans had suffered 66% casualties of the original order of battle. The Americans suffered 0%. So What happened? It was a matter of poor generalship versus great generalship. During the game there were at least three turns of the ten ( 18 minutes of 60 ) where the Americans were not headed for the bridge. Two turns were the result of Mike's excellent delaying actions against superior forces. One of it was my running around trying to be fancy ( the feint towards Nece ) and, taking my eye off of the ball. This left my forces on the one yard line with the goal to go and, no time left on the clock.
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Michael Power
United States
Virginia Beach
Virginia
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Kenneth,

Dude!?

I thought we agreed that an American objective of the Artain Bridge, against the Howe Defense (I named it after you. Cool uh?), was suicidal. That's s-u-i-c-i-d-a-l (definition: relating to or likely to lead to suicide). What changed your mind to go after it? You must have known the Doctor was aware of this German set-up. You mentioned it when you introduced it.

Did any of the German forces, which partook in the defense of the Artain Bridge, come from outside the immediate area? If so, do you think a more convincing bluff for Nece may have given them pause to consider Nece as the true objective?

By getting so close to the winning objective, the Doctor's set-up must have been greatly modified from the one you introduced. Was it?

What lessons are learned here? Is the Artain Bridge a viable objective?
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Kenneth Howe
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Yes he did deviate from the set up quite a bit. Most notably was the infantry set up in the South woods. In my set up no allied units can set up there. He allowed two companies to be in striking distance on the very first turn. I choose the bridge because like I said " he'll never see it coming". I thought his intimate knowledge of my set up he would totally ignored that objective. The feint may have hurt rather then helped. I'm not sure really. He did move in concert with me towards Nece. The trouble was I had to beat feet and start for the objective. In other words I could not spend more then one turn heading towards Nece. I did send one company because I knew that was the spot that his big guns would set up shop. He had the road. It gave him the ability to out pace my men towards the bridge. He said that he thought if I went straight for the bridge I may have taken it. Thanks for the naming of the set up after me. Yes your right! Pretty cool.
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Kenneth Howe
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I should add that I have lost many times as the Germans in this scenario. At this point though I feel I can take on any allied player and, win with the Germans.
 
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Kenneth Howe
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Since a picture is worth a thousand words. The first picture is Mike's set up and, the second is my set up. This is the Eastern part of the map.
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