Airborne - IE #6
|(Defender) Germany||vs||United States (Attacker)|
|Germany||795th Infantry (Georgian) Battalion|
|United States||502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment|
|Overall Rating, 15 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 565 of 573|
|Parent Game||Airborne - IE|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Airborne - IE||maps + counters|
The D-Day objectives of the 1st Battalion of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment included the northernmost UTAH Beach exit and a nearby gun battery. After landing badly scattered, Lt. Colonel Patrick Cassidy gathered what men he could and headed for the gun position.
The gun position had already been destroyed and was abandoned, but not so the garrison's barracks nearby. After a stiff fight the barracks area was taken and the western end of UTAH Beach exit number 4 cleared.
|1 Errata Item|
The morale and combat modifiers of German Sergeant #1614 should be "0", not "8".
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
|A Dice Roll, A Dice Roll, My Kingdom For a Dice Roll|
The Germans rolled a 4 and so did not receive the additional Gren and IG units. The other Germans set up in the two towns they needed to hold. The Americans advanced west and south, using the hedgerows as cover. They attacked the town in hex 0604 and the game eventually revolved around the assault in that hex. The Americans couldn't buy a good roll while the German defenders rolled well, slowly whittling down the US attackers. In the end the Germans eliminated four US steps and gained the victory while the US controlled only one of three hexes necessary for their own victory. All in all a fun little scenario that is heavily dependent on a few key dice rolls - as can be the case with all smaller scenarios.
|Mission accomplished but with unacceptable losses|
As most plays will probably turn out with this one the German 75mm IG and GREN units were eliminated before the start leaving just two GREN units and some leaders to attempt to cover and hold a lot of ground. The German leader draw was disappointing as all three had only a morale rating of 8 and only the LT had a combat modifier; none of the leaders had a morale modifier so all German units and leaders were stuck with 8's for morale to start. The American leader draw wasn't too much better; all had morale ratings of 9 but the 1st LT had a combat modifier and 2nd LT a morale modifier which was enough to push odds further in American favor.
At first it seemed too much for either side to reach it's victory conditions as far as hex control went. The Americans start by occupying the German town hex objective and threatening the objective swamp hex nearby. Both sides engage each other right away and direct fire is traded back and forth through hedgerows. Both sides continue firing or recovering until the Germans get lucky enough to inflict an American step loss and leave a stack ripe for an assault the next turn. Meanwhile, Lt Col Cassidy leads some PARAs away to take the American objectives further west after the German units activate. The German assault does not have satisfactory results and American units recover. Soon, after American objective hexes are controlled the units head back to assist their besieged comrades. This happened timely enough before the LT-COL was removed from play at 08:30/turn 12 and by this time the Americans had taken another step loss from direct fire and also had the 2nd LT (the one with the morale modifier) eliminated as well. This just left the American 1st LT in charge of the remaining paratroopers.
From 08:45/turn 13 on, despite the two step loses, American units were able to prevent the Germans from taking control of any side's VC hexes and then consolidated to hammer the hun into submission. Soon, after a successful American assault, the Germans were down 2 steps with the remaining leaders and GRENs fleeing through the swamp. Before it was over both the German Captain and Lieutenant would also be captured. At first I thought it was an American victory because all VC hexes were under American control but the 2 PARA step losses still made the outcome a draw. The situation for both sides was to work with what they had, which wasn't much, and accomplish a lot in short order.
With the scenario set-up this one is usually likely going to favor the Americans as far as unit strength goes but having to cover a lot of ground with the probable loss of the LT-Col at some point still made it a little challenging. On the other hand, if the Germans do receive the extra units at the start of the scenario then the balance swings in their favor. Either way, the scenario is going to favor one side or the other from the start and both have to work fast and efficient with few units and leaders they have. I gave this one a '3' despite a lot of lower ratings because it was what it was and there was nothing broken about it. This was a very fast paced, 20 turn scenario with only a few counters and though it wasn't incredibly exciting it was interesting enough to me for it's brevity. Usually it takes me a day or two to finish a 20 turn scenario as opposed to a few hours. I also believe, contrary to other opinions, that this would be the best starter scenario in 'Airborne' for someone who has not played PG or like wargames before as possibly a warm-up; at least before strongpoints, indirect fire/bombardment and armor rules are incorparated into play. I suppose I also went into this one expecting a '1' rating out of it and found it not too be THAT bad at all for what it was.
|Not much fun in the hedges|
NOTE: For a long time, I played the morale rules wrong, with units just needing to roll their morale or less to recover, not less than their morale. This is reflected in some of the commentaries.
The German guns were destroyed, which realistically gives them little hope of victory in the scenario short of destroying 2 PARA steps. Without knowing the American line of advance, I put one GREN in each town, with the LT (9-0-1) in 0803, the CAPT (8-0-0) in 0704 and the SGT (8-1-0) in 0604.
The Americans split into two groups, one with one PARA, the 1st LT (9-1-1) in 0808 and the other with 2 full strength PARA and the reduced strength PARA, the LT COL (10-0-1) and the 2nd LT (8-1-0) in 0709. Even with the gun emplacement destroyed, I’m assuming that the Americans have to go through 0410 and 0509 to remove German control, so I’ll send the reduced platoon and the 2nd LT to do that while the others advance towards the towns.
Turns 1 -3
The Americans advance on the Germans, who aren’t able to see them through the hedges and just sit around having breakfast. The reduced platoon converts 0410 and 0509 to American control and then goes to join the main force. So far, this is a snooze-fest.
Turns 4 - 8
On turn 4, the Americans move to 0804. The grenadiers in the town take opportunity fire shots on the 11 column. The first shot misses, however, the second is snake eyes for an X results, killing off a step of paratroopers and killing LT COL Cassidy! I guess he won’t be leaving on turn 10! The Americans hold morale and on turn 5, the enraged paratroopers exchange fire with the town and manage to demoralize both the grenadiers and their lieutenant. Grabbing the initiative on turn 6, the Americans assault the town and survive the first fire of the demoralized grenadiers despite a 6 (M) results. They assault back with 13 firepower points and a net 1 shift in their favor (+1 for leader, +1 for higher morale, +1 for all enemy units demoralized and -2 for the town) to put them on the 18 column. A 6 is rolled for a 2 result, eliminating the grenadier and sending the leader scurrying for safety. While the reduced platoon digs in, the German grenadiers in 0604 fire on 0803 and get an M result, but all of the Americans stand firm. Over the next 2 turns, the two towns exchange in effective fire.
Turns 9 – End of game
The firefight continues through turn 11, with the Americans not yet willing to face the opportunity fire from the town and the Germans not going anywhere. With the early conquest of 0803, it appears that time is on the Americans side. Finally on turn 12, the reduced paratroopers force an M result on 0604 (on their 2nd straight 11) and the grenadiers become demoralized. The paratroopers in 0803 rush to assault while the grenadiers recover to disrupted. The assault begins on turn 13. The Americans have 13 firepower points and one positive shift for a leader and 2 negative shifts for the town. The Germans have 4 firepower points and 1 shift for the leader putting them on the 5 column. The Americans force an M1 and the Germans an M. The German captain is disrupted and the sergeant is demoralized, however the grenadiers stay at disrupted and the Americans all pass their morale checks. The Germans get a big break on turn 14 and grab the initiative (rolling a 4+2 = 6 while the Americans have a 1+4 =5) and are able to recover morale before the Americans assault again. Now both sides are on the 9 column. For the next 2 turns, the assaults continue with a few units disrupted on each side. The Germans use their activation to recover from morale hits inflicted in the assaults.
On turn 16, the Americans rest to recover their troops, so they can spend the last hour clearing the town. However, on turn 17 the Germans get the initiative again and get all units to full morale before the American attack begins. For the next 4 turns, the Americans and Germans trade close range fire, however neither side is able to dislodge the other. The game ends with the grenadiers still holding on in the town and a draw result.
This was a pretty dull scenario, and playing time, not taking notes, probably didn’t exceed ½ hour. The early loss of the LT COL hurt the Americans as it took away their tactical flexibility, and at the same time, taking hex 0803 on the first turn of assault might have countered that. The game really turned when the Germans grabbed the initiative on turn 14 and were able to recover from disruption before the Americans assaulted again. With an 8 morale and a 1 leader, it was difficult to put a permanent morale hurt on the Germans, even with an M2 result, and the Americans could never roll that 6 they needed on the 9 column to inflict a step loss. It could have gone either way and the Americans used up their luck early. Had the gun emplacement been in place, this would have been a much more difficult scenario for the Americans. With the need to take this out, the Germans would have had plenty of time to defend one town with both grenadier platoons and the Americans probably couldn’t have won. As is, this is a tough scenario for both sides to win. And it was also mostly just rolling one assault over and over with no maneuver, so it really isn’t one to which I’m likely to return.
|Clearing the guns, maybe|
This scenario has a random setup of German units that can turn the balance in favor of the Americans. At the start there is a die roll where the Germans can loose troops, which happened in my play. This leaves the Germans with just 2 GREN units to try to take their victory hexes. At this point the Germans best bet is to stall for a draw by controlling the American victory hexes. I dislike draws in a game so I will have the Germans try to rush the GRENs into the towns.
The Americans move first and get their paratroopers into position to rush the town at 0604 as well as defend 0509. Three paratroops move into 0607 which sets up a nice protection from the Germans running down the road as well as being able to move up to 0607 for an assault. The half para-platoon moves to 0609 to prepare to occupy 0509. The Germans run both GRENs down the road, but only get to 0508(no Forced March rule in play). The next turn the Americans with the initiative and fire on the Germans demoralizing them. After a rally they are back to disrupted and the Americans move into 0509. Continuing with the initiative, the Americans fire again at the Germans demoralizing them, which recover to disrupted. The next turn gets a step loss on the Germans and demoralization for the other unit. Rallying fails and the units start the run back to 0604. American units follow and assault the Germans in 0604, inflicting another step loss. The Germans run out of the town to 0803 and the Americans follow. In another American assault, the Germans loose another step and run again. At this point leader loss kicks in as the German Captain is lost. The American Lt. Col. is removed but is not a lose for the Americans. In the end an American victory.
I am a little leary on this scenario as it is decided before it is fought. I have not tried with the extra German troops but I believe if the Germans get the reinforcements they can have a chance at their victory condition towns.
|Sometimes it just feels futile.|
Americans approach the village housing the Germans and are reduced by defensive fire!
Americans initiate an assault (13 vs. 13) and lose their reduced parachute platoon.
German win condition is fulfilled! With equal morale, Americans have little hope in ousting the Germans
Americans continue to assault and eventually 1 Grenadier platoon flees. Americans continue to attack, but to no avail. The Grenadier platoon rallies.
Americans lose another half platoon and the Germans send their recovered troops back to the village.
Too little firepower, the Americans have little hope. On the offside chance of success they push the assault as Lt Col. Cassidy is recalled.
Now outgunned, with little hope of controlling the objective, the Americans concede.
I played out the last 7 turns, with the Americans forcing the assault as the Germans had already obtained their victory condition. As expected the Americans fared poorly and only half a platoon survived.
I can’t imagine the difficulty for the Americans if the naval bombardment wasn’t a success!
|Faster than a teenager on prom night...|
Played: Solo Time: ~5 minutes
The German player (Herr Shad) made his roll and the Germans got the gun emplacement.
The Americans have a variety of geographic objectives in this scenario, and start with fair strength, but the Germans win if they can inflict only 2(!) steplosses... so the Americans have to tread lightly.
Herr Shad decided to let his gun emplacement fight for itself, and keep his remaining men to the west to guard the other 2 objectives. As the Americans, I headed for the emplacement in a roundabout fashion, using hedges and swamp to stay out of sight.
My goal was to appear adjacent to the emplacement en masse, survive one pointblank volley, and then assault and hope that my superior firepower (20 to 11, including leader mods) and morale would carry the day.
On turn 6 my GIs bravely rushed the German emplacement and braced for incoming fire...
I had not been pushing counters for more than 5 minutes at that point. Nevertheless, keeping in mind Genesteeler's similar result I endeavored to keep playing. I had my remaining men assault as planned on turn 7 and... another steploss, disruptions for everyone, and another leader with a bullet in the brains.
Crushing German Victory After Pickett's Charge Part II
Dice rolls, as always, average out over time. But in a scenario like this where you're almost certain to make less than 10 rolls the entire battle... tossing a 2 is going to bring things to a crashing halt.
On another day I might have set it back up and played again, but I didn't find this scenario especially gripping to begin with and won't be coming back to it.
|Cassidy's Battalion-Where is Sgt Summers?|
This is the next scenario in the 502 PIR series honoring "Long John" Hanlon.
The initial setup is restricted to setup hexes. The Axis battery was koed by Naval Gunfire before the scenario begins leaving only 2 Gren platoons. Over the next 45 minutes (three turns)the Allies took all victory hexes except 0604. This is where the Axis were held up. The Allies made repeated advances trying to end next to the Axis position. Repeated disruptions and demoralization and step losses made the Allies attack collapse by 0845. Axis victory. Historically this was a Allied victory, thanks mostly to Staff Sgt. Harrison Summers and a miss dropped 83ed airborne Lt. with some fire support from others. The pair cleaned out a group of buildings know on their maps as Objective WXYZ. Sgt. Summers wasn't present today though. This scenario is really tough for the Allies. They just don't have enough strength. For Sgt. Summers the German's at times seemed almost comatose. That is just about what it would take for the Allies to win this scenario.
|Cassidy's Battalion - or Why A-IE isn't the best introduction|
The scenario rules state that before setting up, the Germans roll 1d6. On a result of 5 or 6, add 1xGren & 1x75mmIG. Well, the Germans didn't get the additional help so they were hunkered down in the two towns at 0604 & 0803 with one Gren in each and 3 leaders between the two.
The Paras moved toward the towns. One officer ran over to 0407 to claim it for the US, but then headed toward the towns also. They came at the towns through the hedgerows, so it took several turns, but I don't think that had a big outcome on the game.
On about turn 5 (out of 20), the US was on the outskirts of 0803 in two stacks (0804 & 0904). One of the US leaders had a +1 attack, so the stacks could be combined. Once the Germans were sure of which city was going to be the focus of the attack, they moved the second Gren unit in. So the game came down to 15 turns of 18DF firing into a town vs. 12 DF firing out. Round after round after round. The Germans focused on the hex that wasn't in the hedgerow, for maximizing damage. There were disruptions and an occasional demoralization, but no steps were lost and one German leader failed a demoralization recovery roll. No other step losses on either side and the only victory objective the Paras received was 0407. This officially went down as a German victory, but it was really just a stalemate where both sides kept shooting off their cap-guns at each other without doing any damage.
|Boring draw fails to lift my morale|
When Vince and I play FtF and finish early we tend to play the next unplayed Airborne scenario. So after kicking my but earlier I reached for some light relief. None here in one of the most boring, monotonous games I have ever played. Before setting up the German rolls one die which if he get a 1-4 means half his units have been wiped out by Navel gunnery. Vince rolled his dice lost his units and therefore stacked his entire force (2 GREN 3 LDRS) in a town hex which was a victory condition hex and said "OK come and get it". I marched to the nearest woods and started to blast away on the 7 DF table getting any closer would have meant facing 22 shots and the option of losing two steps in very short order. So in effect I was hoping for a double 1 or at least some morale failures where I would rush the town and hope to wipe out the defenders in assault. There were some morale failure but not enough to get me too excited.I did sneak a reduced platoon into the assault but I realised that even if I could reinforce the attack there was an equal chance of getting defeated and I backed off on Turn 18. A draw was the result and would be the result I think most of the time unless one player really took a big gamble in going for a win. That is why this game is rated a 1. A newcomer playing it would be really put off PG which would be a great shame. No minds gambling for a win after playing a satisfying scenario which has ebbed and flowed but this was just mind numbing tedium.
|A Bloodless Bore ! - IMO A Terrible Scenario|
*Played ftf with Wayne Baumber. As part of our time fillers when the 'main feature' ends earlier than expected, we moved onto the next numbered scenario in the Airborne Box-set. A 20 turn 6 unit action. My Germans get off to a bad start by rolling a '1' for the check on whose been 'hit' by earlier naval bombardment..... Thats half the defenders gone before battle is joined !. Onto the short report.
German positions had taken a battering from the earlier naval bombardment and around half their troops here had been neutralized. All that remained were just two platoons of grenadiers and they had taken position in one of the villages that they believed would be one of the enemy’s immediate objectives. True enough, the company sized US Paratroop attack force soon made their way towards this defended village.
What followed was four hours of skirmishing from both sides around the village and through the hedgerows. Occasionally, it appeared that the Americans might break the local resistance, but the defenders kept themselves together each time. Around 0930, the Americans sent forward an exploratory half-platoon of volunteers and after weaving through the hedgerows under some accurate enemy fire (M2 MC's), they managed to enter the village and take part in some low-level house-to-house fighting. Casualties were extremely light on both sides and although the rest of the US Company came forward, it was decided not to engage until perhaps reinforcements came up later in the day. No advantage to either side. Draw.
Quite frankly, if a newbie chose this from the so-called Introductory box-set, they may well not pick up another PG scenario again ........ Its awful ! Low odds andvery hopeful shots dominate the game and unless one opponent is of a mind to commit suicide to his troops, there will not be too much bold action, and so it was here. The Germans couldn't advance to their winning hexes without being shot to bits and the same applied to the Americans. We could only hope on getting a double-one to shake things up a bit and that never happened.