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Scenario 1/10: Opening Moves – In the Desert where the Eighty-Eight Rules

The British objectives:

1. Control the road
2. Exit units off the west side
3. Inflict casualties

The Germans are trying to do the opposite

Time = 4 hours (16 turns)

Opening Thoughts

Wow. The Germans need to put quite a bit of thought into their set-up. Entrenchments need to be spread out along the hill, there are minefields and the rest are dug-in. Have two 88s and a couple other AT guns.

This is interesting even from a set-up point of view! Germans put their AT guns in the entrenchments and make a line of minefields and troops.

Now the British need to decide how to enter!

BATTLE SUMMARY

Format: (British losses – German Losses)

The Battle

British move in from the east with some infantry to the north and the rest near the road in the south.



Immediately the British are met with a hard choice. They can’t see them (not spotted) but they need to cross that hill in the west. How do you advance against some eighty-eights (and some other AT Guns) with a handful of armour units and platoons in APCs? Oh yeah, the Germans also have a Hetzer dug in on the hill.

Do you…
1. Charge with everything then quickly disembark? Problem is that you’re bound to lose probably at least 5 APCs loaded with infantry from Op Fire on the first turn. That is 15 steps of casualties already!
2. Have the infantry move on foot and the APCs and armoured cars and tanks all advance together. You’re going to start losing some APCs and armour pretty quickly, but at least you’ll be able to spot the 88s. Problem here is that you’ll give away quite a few armoured vehicles for little gain. You’ll spot the enemy but your off-board artillery is pretty weak (2x13) and with the 88s in entrenchments (or at least dug-in if you were playing blind) you actually have little chance of disrupting/eliminating them.
3. Have the infantry advance on foot. When they reach the enemy race the APCs and armour up to support. Problem is this will take some time and you’ll be susceptible to artillery and direct fire while advancing.
4. Have the infantry advance on foot and take out the eighty-eights. Then, and only then, move the APCs and armour up. Problem here is with only 4 hours, this plan really doesn’t seem to have enough time.
5. Something else? Problem here is I couldn’t think of anything better!

Poll
How would you, as the British, advance?
Charge with everything as quickly as possible!
Walk the infantry with the rest accompanying.
Walk the infantry on foot. Have the APCs and armour race up at the last moment.
Walk the infantry and clear out the 88s. Then move the APCs etc forward
Something else?
      25 answers
Poll created by GeneSteeler


Well, I opted for option 3. The British began to advance unimpeded (except for some OBA) as the Germans refrained from low chance long-range fire to avoid being spotted by the approaching infantry.



The British charge as their armoured forces race up the road. The German Hetzer knocks out two full strength armoured car platoons! The German guns are all spotted.



British move to breakthrough the German line as the 88 takes out the Stuarts. German AT guns begin to pick off the Brens as the last armoured car is destroyed. British assault the dug-in Hetzer. (22-2) Huge British casualties!!!



At the halfway mark (2 hours) the British begin to break through the line as the Germans move south to intercept.



The British get some small victories as the Hetzer is reduced in close assault and the 88 by the road is eliminated by combined direct fire!



At 2.5 hours the first 2 RIF platoons exit the map. The Hetzer is eliminated in assault and the British take the entrenchment by the road.

British 40mm AA gun takes out a German SPW.

A third British RIF is about to exit but it is eliminated by OBA and mortars before it can do so! One hour to go.



Another German APC is hit by the 40mm AA gun as a third RIF exits the map. But down to 30 minutes the British can’t get any more troops off.



British AA gun is eliminated by German OBA. The British are now outnumbered and get squeezed on the road as the Germans advance on the few remaining platoons. Their fate is saved by the bell.

Scenario Over.



Time to tally the score:

British VPs = 11 for casualties, 6 for steps exited = 17 VPs
German VPs = 49 for casualties, 5 for the road and 10 for limiting British exit = 64 VPs

GERMAN MAJOR VICTORY

Aftermath

This was a very fun scenario full of decisions and choices from the set-up to the final conclusion. Plus I like minefields. The British had constant choices to make (ie try to exit, try to control the road, try to do both, how to advance… The only thing that stopped it from getting a 5/5 was the final score suggests that it may be a tad imbalanced.

Scenario Rating: 4/5 – Very fun scenario in a tight little 16 turn package.
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Jason Cawley
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(1) infantry advance dismounted
(2) armored cars and carriers can do recon by death
(3) best use of OBA would be smoke (realistically even HE would kick up enough dust to act like smoke in addition to suppressing guns)
(4) armor stays concentrated and hits only a piece of the enemy line cut from the rest by smoke

As an historical quibble, incidentally, the Germans never had any Hetzers in the desert. Marders yes, Hetzers no.
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Australia
Sebastopol (Ballarat)
Victoria
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That's Karl on the left. Eternity on the right.
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I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
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I forgot to mention at the beginning that "DAK '44 is a supplement for the Panzer Grenadier system based on the potential battles of the continuation of action in the western desert after Alamein."

So it includes Tigers, Panthers, Hetzer etc. in these "what if" scenarios.

Thanks for your comments Jason.
 
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