Panzer Grenadier Battles on December 13th:
Arctic Front Deluxe #4 - Gathering Darkness Little Saturn #5 - Back to the Don
Heroes of the Soviet Union #3 - The Bloodiest Fight Red Warriors #20 - The Bloodiest Fight
Errors? Omissions? Report them!
Bocholz
Battle of the Bulge #3
(Attacker) Germany vs United States (Defender)
Formations Involved
Germany 26th Volksgrenadier Division
Germany 77th Grenadier Regiment
United States 109th Artillery Battalion
United States 447th AAA Battalion
Display
Balance:



Overall balance chart for BaBu003
Total
Side 1 7
Draw 15
Side 2 9
Overall Rating, 32 votes
5
4
3
2
1
3.28
Scenario Rank: 351 of 588
Parent Game Battle of the Bulge
Historicity Historical
Date 1944-12-16
Start Time 10:15
Turn Count 9
Visibility Day
Counters 17
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 2
Maps 1: 10
Layout Dimensions 43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
Play Bounty 41
AAR Bounty 84
Total Plays 31
Total AARs 12
Battle Types
Kill Them All
Urban Assault
Conditions
Terrain Mods
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Battle of the Bulge maps + counters
Introduction

As the German infantry of the 26th Volksgrenadier Division infiltrated west through the American lines on the morning of 16 December, American artillery positions close behind the front came under direct attack. Near the village of Bolcholz Battery C of the 109th Artillery Battalion, 28th Infantry Division found themselves assaulted by German troops.

Conclusion

The German infantry halted when they first sighted the American halftracks. The crew waved them on. The infantry must have assumed the American vehicles to be crewed by their comrades and continued their approach. When the Germans were less than 100 yards away, the Americans opened fire. Each halftrack carried four .50-caliber machineguns, and this firestorm decimated the German grenadiers and preventing the overrunning of the artillery position. It was only a matter of time before more force was brought to bear and the artillery overwhelmed, but this battle had been won and that was enough for today and bought some time for tomorrow.


Display Relevant AFV Rules

AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle
  • Vulnerable to results on the Assault Combat Chart (7.25, 7.63, ACC), and may be attacked by Anti-Tank fire (11.2, DFT). Anti-Tank fire only affects the individual unit fired upon (7.62, 11.0).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Open-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables, but DO take step losses from X and #X results (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT). If a "2X" or "3X" result is rolled, at least one of the step losses must be taken by an open-top AFV if present.
  • Anti-Aircraft Weapon Carrier: apply a -1 modifier to an air attack if within three hexes of the targeted hex (15.14).

Display Order of Battle

Germany Order of Battle
Heer
United States Order of Battle
Army
  • Foot
  • Leader
  • Mechanized
  • Motorized
  • Towed

Display Errata (1)

1 Errata Item
Overall balance chart for 20

The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)

Display AARs (12)

Bocholz
Author 10leopard2
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2011-07-23
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

At turn one the German player rolled 1x6 and 2x5 for three Gren units. When the units entered the map they immediately advanced to the fields on map 10. Again three Gren units entered the map at turn two, and also advanced to the fields to support the other Grenadiers. At the third turn the German player finally managed to get the HMG on the map. At turn four all German units where on the map. And the first four Gren units reached the outskirts of Bocholz. At turn five the M16 fires at two Gren units and scores a "X", and demoralizes the lieutenant. At the beginning of turn six the German player scores 3 activations. And moves two Gren units adjacent to the 105mm. As reaction the American M16 moves adjacent to the 2 Gren units with the demoralized lieutenant. At turn seven the two Gren units with the demoralized lieutenant attack the M16 with the reduced INF and score "-". Then the two other Gren units adjacent to the town attack the 105mm and score "X" eliminating the 105mm. At turn eight the demoralized German lieutenant recovers to disrupted. After that the M16 and the reduced INF attack the German Captain with the Gren and the HMG units and scores "M" with no effect. At turn nine the German player activates the Captain which activates the lieutenants, and assaults the M16 with the Captain two Gren and one HMG. German player scores: "M2" American player scores: "M1" The German units are fine, and the American lieutenant and INF are demoralized while the M16 is disrupted.

Game ends, and the German player has destroyed the 105mm (his objective), and the American player does not control all town hexes. So the German player wins.

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Silence that gun!
Author Bart
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2010-12-05
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

Played solo (as usual..) Played within an hour.

Great short and small sized scenario. The Germans are fighting against time, a M16 and the entry odds. In setting up I totally forgot the hill an the south side of the board, so I put the 105mm (and leader) in the southeastern part of town to cover the road (and what I thought at the time, also the southeast of the board. Boy was I mistaken. I put the halftrack in the middle of the town, the infantry (with leader) up north in town and the trucks savely in the back but close enough to tow away the gun just in case. On turn 1 only one German unit with a Lt managed to get on the board, on turn 2 however, 3 more appeared. I decided to let them all enter on the south edge of the board, so I could make use of the LOS blocking hill. With the 4 units/2 leaders already on board in turn 3, with 2 more entering, I hurried towards the west staying out of sight. The Americans could not move, so seeing the errors of my ways, I couldn't tow away or support the vulnerable artillery pieces. Moreover, they were positioned adjacent to the hill and (assuming that the hill contour hex is also at +20) wouldn't be able to see the Germans until they were adjacent and even then I had positioned the other Allied so badly, that they couldn't even cover that with opportunity fire. Oh boy, oh boy..

What I feared happened indeed. The one front German unit was on top of the 105mm in no time. Due to the higher init (getting 2 impulses), the M16 could not react immediately. The assault however was too weak to take any effect. Moreover, to compensate for the sloppy Allied setup, I didnĀ“t use my best leader (a 1-10-1 Lieutenant). He was with the second group of units and too far away to influence right now.. Now it was the M16's time to react and it entered the assault hex from adjacent. With a whopping 24 DF, it reduced the lonely Grenadier unit, but the other step did not break..

Turn 6 was for the Germans again with 3 impulses they could move all units before the Americans. The Germans immediately reinforced the assault hex with 2 extra Grenadier units initiating a second assault with 15 DF. Did I hear the halftrack commander say: Nuts!? Anyway the defenders seemed invulnerable to any fire. Their defense roll however was devastating. The Germans lost another 2 steps, with the leader demoralised and the other units disupted. The top German leader mentioned above, in the meantime occupied a town hex and captured a truck in doing so.

To be short, although the Germans supported the main assault hex in the following turns, the 105mm was never really threatened. Both sides lost 4 steps of infantry, the Americans were denied their victory conditions, but the Germans couldn't silence the gun. A Draw was the result.

Great learning scenario in which good tactics can make the day..

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Nail-biter Deluxe!
Author vulcan558
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2012-12-29
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

Well, this is PG as it should be! The Germans made a strong entrance, with all but one Grenadier platoon entering within the first two turns. Although the American M16 caused severe carnage, the Germans were able to press in close and engage the artillery battery by fire, eliminating its infantry cover and transport in short order. Attempts to destroy the battery itself by fire also failed, and it was down to the last activation of the last turn to decide the result. Although the Americans won the initiative, the M16 was unable to drive the Germans off, and a desperate infantry assault wiped the howitzers out, handing victory to the Volksgrenadiers, albeit with a hefty butchers bill.

The Germans were helped by lashings of luck, with most of the troops getting on-board early and the Americans doing some awful shooting. Definitely a very good scenario, and one worth a replay and/or F2F play

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Quick and Easy
Author LaxCoach
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2013-01-19
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

I gave this a high rating because it was a quick and fun scenario. The Germans slowly trickled onto the battle field not allowing all of them enough time to storm the town. The few platoons that did arrive in time came under heavy machine gun and artillery fire the whole way to the town. One platoon reached the center of town sneaking passed the Americans in an undefended corridor and one platoon reached the edge of town while two others got just in range. Through the individual firings of each platoon they managed to demoralize the artillery crew, but it was too little too late.

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We are not who you think we are!
Author deleted
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2013-06-22
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

Ok, so this one I'll keep short. I've played this scenario before, but always played it like a normal PG game (the players know I am there and know I am the enemy). This time, I played the Germans as the history suggests; that the Germans did NOT know it was the enemy and walked right into it. I played the US as not being able to move until they spot the Germans, but I just held them there, waving the Germans on until they were exactly 2 hexes away, then opened fire. Needless to say, the first stack of 2 units was cut in half and demoralized instantly. In addition, I chose that time to being bombarding the other units on the road (I had a double initiative due to a horrible roll by the Germans). The Germans instanly scrambled to the woods on either side of the road, and what followed was a series of moves by them to round the town using the woods. The problem was, the M16 would move them as soon as they entered the clearings, and by the time they were able to assault the town, they were mostly gone already. It was an absolute, quick, decisive victory. US lost nothing at all, just some disruptions. Fun game all around, and it was enlightening to see how sad I was for the Germans walking into this, even though I typically "try" to beat them...

2 Comments
2013-06-22 14:55

Thanks for the AAR. We homeschool and I will likely use this scenario, with the same restrictions you used, to show the boys how dangerous it was to run into a trap.

2013-06-23 08:36

Thanks! I was happy to see a comment as 1: never sure that people read these things, and 2: I homeschool my 2 boys as well here in Florida. 3: I almost always play it solo as my best friend is a teacher and we can never get together...

This was the quickest scenario I think I've played. I mowed them faster than a front lawn in a trailer park...

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Sometimes it's better to lay low and piss yourself than to try and rally the men!
Author Shad (1)
Method Face to Face
Victor Germany
Participants unknown
Play Date 2008-12-27
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

Shad's Note: I'm dumping in a bunch of my old BGG AARs. If you've followed my "work" on BGG then you've read these before...

Idiotic initial placement by the Americans (me) resulted in Germans quickly closing on the guns. A head-on assault managed to demoralize the artillery, but the American M16 APCs were able to clear the area. More Germans then poured into the assault hex and the American commander made a critical blunder - he tried to rally his tired forces. The demoralized artillery unit failed to rally and was forced to flee. Artillery units cannot flee - they are eliminated instead! The Germans had their victory due to American cowardice!

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AA guns rule the day
Author campsawyer
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2010-01-01
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

This is another short scenario that is great for learning. In the scenario the Germans must destroy the American 105mm gun. The problem it will be defended by a nasty self-propelled AA gun and the Germans don't have anything to deal with it. (Later note, if infantry AT rules are added this tips the balance heavily in favor of the Germans)

The Americans setup in the town to give maximum defensive advantage, the Germans must units on a roll of 5 or 6, meaning they will enter piecemeal. With only 9 turns, the Germans must move fast so it was hard to coordinate an attack. The M16 is just deadly with 24 factors for direct or Op fire. In my play, it was Op fire that ruled. Several step losses and demoralizations as soon as the German infantry got into range. Putting them in hex 0808 and they will rule the day. Only bad dice rolls can hurt the Americans. By turn 5 it was over 5 step losses for the Germans with one leader, the only one with a morale bonus, gave the Americans a decisive victory. The Germans were not going to be able to recover and mount any more attacks.

This was an early learning scenario so I have have not known the best tactics for the Germans, but a subsequent play after infantry AT rules were added in RtB, this made a big difference. I was able to get one German unit into an assault and us the AT on the M16. From that point on the Germans had the game.

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Rush the machine guns, boys!
Author J6A
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2012-03-13
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

This is a very quick scenario. 9 turns and only a handful of units. In my playthrough, the Germans approached along the hill, and the Americans basically did nothing for about 5 turns until the Germans began the assault on the town. The M16 quickly killed 1 step with opportunity fire, but was not able to cause casualties on its second. On Turn 6 the Germans assaulted the M16 with little success, but pinning it freed units to move in on the 105mm. The M16 decided to withdraw from the assault to reinforce the 105mm, but lost a step and, worse, was demoralized for its troubles.

The M16 had disrupted a German LT, which made it hard to organize an assault on the 105mm, especially since the German captain and last GREN platoon didn't enter until turn 7. However, a weaker assault was arranged on turn 8 which disrupted the US infantry, but didn't kill anything. The M16 failed to rally and fled the assault, leading to a final, stronger assault on turn 9. Unfortunately, both sides rolled terribly and the 105mm survived. However, the Germans occupied most of the town, so the Americans didn't achieve their goal, either. leading to a draw.

Overall, I think the German victory conditions are easier to achieve than the American ones, and I also think that this will most often be a draw.

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Tiny
Author Matt W
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2012-11-09
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

Ever since I first saw the M16's 24-7 DF I have been itching to use it to good effect. Unfortunately, up til now I only had it in offensive situations where the defender had some nasty AT capabilities so my M16s generally dotted the landscape as visions of fire scarred performance art. In this scenario, the M16s are in a defensive role and the attacker doesn't have any AT capability. Finally a chance to see what can happen.

One platoon of M16s, some artillery and a few infantrymen are defending a town against two companies of grenadiers with some HMG support. The town is six hexes large and the defenders cannot defend it all so success in "holding" the town depends on stopping the grenadiers before they get to the town, in this the 7 hex range of the M16s will come in handy. The Germans enter along the road and the first unit get destroyed upon entry (certainly a lucky "2" roll on the 22 column, but it forces the rest of the Germans to take a more leisurely stroll through the woods.

As the Germans approach the town the artillery performs its role beautifully disrupting some of the Germans while the M16 continues to chew them up. One platoon of Grenadiers finally gets to an assaulting position on the artillery but is demoralized and pushed away by the handful of infantry in the town. This incursion, however, causes one hex of the town to remain German "controlled" as the Germans were in good order when they passed through even though they are no longer in good order. The M16 could not recover the location as it would require an assault and they were pinned in place by the remainder of the German force.

Therefore the scenario was a draw even though the Germans lost fully 1/2 their force and the Americans took no casualties whatsoever. This is an interesting little situation but once set up there is very little for the American player to do but to roll the dice. Still, it is fun enough to rank a "3" even without a lot of maneuver.

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Good Game for Snow Day
Author thomaso827
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2014-02-05
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

After trying to work my way through the scenarios in order, I finally decided to look for the shorter ones and work my way through simpler scenarios then go back after having a better understanding. Scenario 3 seemed to be a good, one-board scenario with few units but new types with the M-16 and 105 howitzer elements.

The game started out slowly as the Germans only managed to get a single platoon on the board on turn 1. Although the edge of the table is in range of the 105, and a single hex move puts units in range of the M-16, assuming you start them on the east side of town the way I did, my US troops held fire on turn 1 allowing the Germans to close the range and see what the next turn brought in. On turn 2, the German Captain with 1 platoon, a Lieutenant with another platoon, and another single platoon enter, staying along the edge of the wood to north and south of the road, allowing the lead platoon to act as a scout element to draw out any enemy fire from the town. As the scouting platoon moved forward, it did indeed draw fire from the M-16 disrupting that platoon. On turn 3, the disrupted German platoon moved back to the edge of the northern woods, putting it near the Captain and the platoon he was leading. Another German platoon joins the encounter entering the table and heading along the edge of the woods to the north of the road. The LT with a platoon to the south of the road advance and trigger op fire from the M-16, disrupting the LT. The German Captain moves forward with the idea of joining the disrupted scout element and triggers the second op fire from the M-16 to no effect. The Captain succeeds in getting to the hex with the disrupted German scout element. As the Germans advance carefully to north and south of the road, the crews of the US 105 battery decide to join in, to little effect outside of showing their position. At this point, the Germans decide that advancing along the woods isn't nearly as safe as going along the ridge where they cant be seen from the town. The scouting German squad stays in the edge of the north woods to try to keep the US gunners occupied, the German Captain tries his luck and makes a dash across the road and open ground hoping to guide the attack across the ridge but his luck runs out, exposing him and the units he's leading to fire from the 105s, causing his disruption, one step loss and demoralizing of the 2 platoons. The M-16 takes another shot at the scout element in the north woods to no effect.

As the German HMG element joins in the attack, moving from the board edge to the south side of the south woods and towards the edge of the ridge, while the others on the south side of the road start their way along the ridge. As initiative passed back and forth, the Germans managed on turn 8 to be in place to assault two town hexes on turn 9, hoping to clear the hexes for a win at the last moment. The US infantry platoon with an LT moved through the town to occupy one of the two town hexes that were in danger. Turn 9 gave the Germans the initiative with 2 activations before a US reaction could take place, but the two assaults only managed a single step loss for the US infantry platoon, while the other assault between a German platoon with LT against the M-16 came out with both sides missing each other.

End results - two town hexes are contested, preventing the US from having complete control of 5 hexes, but the US 105 is still intact. I rate that a draw.

Having the hindsight of the game now, I know to focus a German entry more along the south side of the road, probably still keeping one or two platoons on the road or to the north of it to give the US troops something to shoot at and expose themselves to. I think having occupied the 3 eastern town hexes with the infantry platoon, the 105 and the M-16 from north to south, with the trucks taking up 2 of the 3 western hexes, was still the correct setup for that side. I look forward to doing this scenario face to face with another player in the future.

One question did come up that I couldn't sort out. I had an understanding that a reduced platoon that was already demoralized and took another demoralization would reduce to nothing, but when I looked through the rules, I couldn't find the words that gave me that impression. I chose to leave the demoralized unit in play as it didn't have much impact on the rest of the game at the moment.

1 Comment
2014-02-05 17:54

With the reduced demoralized unit it is covered with rule 14.11; that if a demoralized unit, whether full strength or reduced, fails a further morale check by 3 or more points it suffers a step loss but if it only fails it's morale check by only 1 or 2 points then it just remains demoralized. Glad you are getting through BotB, it was my first PG game years ago -good luck!

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The Battle at Bocholz
Author dreierj
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2015-06-30
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

The US placed the M16 platoon so it would have a clear field of fire from the town. The 105mm platoon was positioned in the west end of town to make it a little more difficult to get to. The Germans needed to get those guns, so their strategy was to get into town quickly and have surviving units assault the 105mm position.

Despite the presence of the M16 and artillery fire, the Germans were surprisingly successful (lucky) to get most of their platoons to Bocholz. They got into position and assaulted the gun position during the final two turns. However, during that 30 minute period of time, luck was on the US side, as the artillery platoon survived the assaults. This encountered ended as a draw.

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Battle of the Bulge Scenario 3
Author triangular_cube
Method Solo
Victor Draw
Play Date 2017-01-03
Language English
Scenario BaBu003

The Germans rolled well for reinforcements and had all bodies on the Map on turn 3. To take the town, they have to outmaneuver the Americans, which isnt that difficult due to the Americans only having 2 direct fire units. The Germans split into 3 groups, one going up each flank, and one up the center. Those who ran up the center cut cut up by the M16 fairly well, and the 105 kept the southern group at bay. The north walked into town, overpowering the half step INF unit there. Game ended in a draw, as the Germans were unable to take out the 105 in time, but occupied the town.

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