|(Defender) Germany||vs||United States (Attacker)|
|Germany||352nd Infantry Division|
|United States||327th Glider Infantry Regiment|
|Overall Rating, 5 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 368 of 573|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Airborne||maps + counters|
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.
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.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|2 Errata Items|
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
The morale and combat modifiers of German Sergeant #1614 should be "0", not "8".
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
|Learning the Ropes at Les Mesnil|
This was my first Panzer Grenadier scenario. It's an excellent learning scenario, particularly if you are learning solo. It is short, with only a few units, so you can play it multiple times and try out different strategies over a weekend. It has infantry, tanks, anti-tank guns and artillery, giving you the opportunity to use and learn all the major rules.
I played this scenario quite a few times. I would set up the Germans in the towns, and then work out different strategies with the Americans. The Americans lost the first few games, but I kept working out different approaches until I could get a win with the U.S. fairly regularly.
In this scenario a smallish German force is defending against a reduced glider battalion supported by tanks and a substantial amount of OBA. The Germans also have some OBA and a 50mm AT gun to try to cause some problems for the American tankers. This is also a short scenario in which the Americans are tasked with the need to clear two towns and an exit from the board. As in many Airborne scenarios, the defender primarily has to keep their head down, shoot Opportunity Fire and hope to survive the ensuing assault.
The addition of some powerful OBA gives this scenario a different feel from many of the other scenarios and the OBA was able to do two critical jobs for the Americans.
First, it caused the 50mm AT gun to become disrupted permitting the American to feel comfortable moving the Shermans up to assault the town hex and the resulting column shift from combined arms helped to take the first town. The Shermans did ultimately take a step loss but only after severely compromising the defense of the town. Simultaneously, the Americans were able to advance against the second town and gain LOS on some defenders who were blocking the exit. Once the LOS was established the OBA removed the exit defenders and the remaining American force with the aid of some engineers were able to clear the second town with little trouble.
I gave this scenario a "3", not because it was a stellar play in my version but because the normal result will be much closer than mine. The American has some tough choices as to the development of their attack and these choices will leave them open to artillery and Opportunity Fire from the Germans which can severely disrupt their assault schedule and with the short scenario length this will leave the result in doubt.
|Lots of action and fun...for the American...not so much for the German...|
The Germans set up in and adjacent to the two towns, leaving the entrance/exit hex unguarded. The Gren/HMG units were either in 0604 or dug in adjacent to 0803, two per hex. The ATG was dug in between the towns to improve spotting opportunities, with the truck and 81mm in hex 0803. The Americans began a cautious approach, leaving the M4 unit tucked out of sight. German OBA on the first two turns caused several disruptions, while the American OBA had no real effect despite the hailstorm of incoming rounds. American recovery rolls were also less than ideal.
That changed on turn 3. The massive OBA bombardment blew the ATG to smithereens, taking the Lt with it. The Americans moved within one hex of 0604 through the hedgerows, while the M4 lumbered up the road. The Americans, realizing only time was the enemy, decided to risk one more OBA strike before moving adjacent. Excellent choice, as the Gren in the town died a 2-step death, also taking the Sergeant. The assault two turns later slaughtered the HMG. A flanking unit took control of the exit hex, and the majority of the American force cautiously approached 0803, knowing there were still six turns remaining. Another arty strike on the town killed off the half step Gren unit that left its dugout to defend the town. The Captain was also demoralized, and the mortars disrupted. An attempt to recover led to the desertion of the Captain, causing a decapitation that froze the remaining Gren in place and prevented it from reinforcing the town. The Americans gang-rushed the town, got initiative on the next turn, and assaulted for the victory. I let the German player attempt to retake the town with his remaining Gren, but it was destroyed and the Lt killed in the attempt. No American losses.
Okay, I rated it a two, but I was having a bad day and thoroughly enjoyed wiping out the German force. It was a blast…for the American player. The German player had little to really do, which is common for one side or the other in this box. Great scenario for a newbie to learn some attack skills while under time pressure, but not so good as a two player scenario. While I rolled great turn 3 and beyond, the American OBA is at devastating strength. 56 points deliverable as a single attack. With only eight combat steps, a couple of good rolls ends this scenario before the German has much chance. Nothing survived on the German side, no American step losses, and all in nine turns. It was a secret pleasure, but the rating reflects that I suspect a serious balance issue, and I need to be fair.