St. Vith: First Probe
Elsenborn Ridge #9
|(Attacker) Germany||vs||United States (Defender)|
|Germany||18th Volksgrenadier Division|
|United States||7th "Lucky Seventh" Armored Division|
|Overall Rating, 26 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 217 of 579|
|Parent Game||Elsenborn Ridge|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Elsenborn Ridge||maps + counters|
The town of St. Vith controlled a vital crossroads, but the German Fifth Panzer Army did not at first assign major forces to capture the town. Only on the offensive's third day did a Volksgrenadier division bring up its "mobile" battalion and advance half-heartedly on St. Vith. The disorganized defenders - the senior American officer had abdicated command to a junior general - had flung a cavalry squadron out to provide a thin screen northeast of the town.
The Germans made some initial progress, as the cavalrymen had little answer for the assault guns. When a company of tanks from the 9th Armored Division answered the cavalry's frantic calls for help, the balance shifted and over half of the German vehicles were left burning on the battlefield. There would be no easy capture of St. Vith.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|St Vith: First Probe|
Another good scenario from this excellent module. A sharp tank battle north of the town gave the Germans the edge in this close fought battle.
|St. Vith: First Probe AAR|
This was one that I did a while back and just getting back to putting in an AAR for this. I gave this a 4 as a rating because it did give a nice turn of events that make the game enjoyable.
The US player needs to defend the town in the center of map 25 and the Germans need to assualt and take the town. The forces for the Germans look to weak to mount an attack and the first rush to the village proved this correct. The Germans lost an ENG and a Lieutenant in the rush. But the Americans are weaker than they look. The M16 is deadly to the German INF but well placed StuGIIIG can force this to only get one shot. One the Germans get close assualts are the order, especially with stacks of INF, ENG and StuGIIIG. The Americans have a tough time defending against this. Soon all the American infantry was on the road to destruction by assualt. Units were forced to retreat giving the Germans the town and a German victory.
|St. Vith: First Probe|
I played the Americans.
Germans won pretty handily. The American M4 reinforcements never arrived (didn't roll a single six for that check), so the German StugIII's had their way on the map. Artillery helped the Americans out somewhat, but not enough to stop the German tanks from clearing out numerous allied vehicles and knocking my initiative down to zero. That helped the German infantry and artillery take the town proper and force my scant remaining forces out to the woods. There were enough German forces to prevent my from attempting to take a road hex near the end of the game to sneak in a victory (I wouldn't have felt good stealing a cheap victory like that either).
Had a great time with this one. This is only my third game of Panzer Grenadier (and my first in months) so I was definitely rusty on the rules. I was also teaching the game to a new player, so I'm not sure I crossed every T and dotted every I. A perfect introductory scenario for Panzer Grenadier. Tough to comment on the balance. Without the M4's I can't see how the American's could win. A string of bad reinforcement rolls on my part sealed my defeat.
|Good introduction game|
I had the pleasure of replaying this scenario with Josh Brumley over Skype last night. This scenarios is a good introductory scenario for the game system. Not a lot of counters or special rules, but you do get to push around both infantry and armor as well as some serious OBA. I was the Germans and Josh was the Americans.
He setup in the town area with his infantry and light armor. I moved onboard from the east. The Stugs moved down the road, while the infantry moved into the light woods south of the road. With some initial success by the Stugs in destroying some of the M8's and M3's, the Stugs then moved toward the south of the town to try to take on the M16. The Stugs cleared the M16 to pave the way for the GREN's and ENG's to move into the town. But then the American OBA came to life. An initial barrage against a lone Stug resulted in a demoralization that kept him out of the battle for about 5-6 turns. The second was a strike on a infantry forces moving up to assault the town. Initial disruptions were shaken off, but OP fire by a stack of American INF's resulted in a 2X kill. This paralyzed the German group with a LT. and remaining ENG and GREN demoralizing.
More infantry moved into the town, but OBA and DF kept the Germans disrupted and demoralized. At one point all three German leaders we demoralized. But the Germans kept going and capture a lone Americans LT who had been spotting for the artillery and bringing there own OBA down on the Americans, resulting is disruptions and demoralizations to them as well.
American M4's made an early entry and moved to blast away at the Germans in the west of the town. One German Stug was able to hit an M4 in the open destroying it. The others moved behind the town to continue to fire at the German infantry. The Stugs regrouped and recovered moved into the town from the east. They tried to fire point blank at the American infantry but American OBA struck again and disrupted two of the Stugs after their initial shots. The American infantry began to waver when one of the demoralized INF's failed and had to flee out of the town. The German infantry was still hampered by disruption and demoralizations and could not recover their leaders. The GREN's and ENG's continue to take pot shots at the Americans but without leaders they were stuck. In the end the Americans were able to hold out with the help of low German morale.
A good game with Josh. Always a twist and turn that throws you off. I looked good to start but American OBA and good dice rolls slowed and then stopped the German advance.
|Decisive US victory - it is about removing assault column shifts|
This was a PBEM using double blind rules.
I played the Americans. Mission: Defend St. Vith in order to Deny Germans use of the crossroads. Leader Draw: Studly LT 10-1-1, and mediocre CPT 8-0-0. Set-up: 1. Company CDR (8-0-0) in hex 1105, with M3 and INF PLT. Purpose was for the Commander to have a commanding view of the battlefield in order to call off board artillery the entire game. The INF PLT and M3 were a tactical reserve. 2. In the town. 1 x LT, 2 xINF PLTs, 2 x M3, 2 x M8. Task was to defend 0809, 0710 at all costs (or adjacent hexes). 3. On the north hill, 1 x M8 in Hex 0715 to screen the concealed approach through the woods. The M16 was set up on 0913 to provide direct fire support into the engagement area in front of St. Vith.
Plan: The Americans would use its massive artillery support to target Engineers and disrupt STUG IIIs. M8s would engage infantry and move to harass enemy flanks, with M3s and M16s shooting to disrupt the tempo of the enemy infantry. Infantry would remain hidden and try to compel the Germans to commit their Stugs into the town unsupported before my armor reinforcements showed up.
Result: The plan worked like a charm. The Germans committed his entire force forward of the town in the open. The OBA broke up his attack and on successfully demoralized one of his Stugs too. Once his direction of attack was known, My M8s collapsed the screen and moved back into the town. My M16 was disrupted by his arty, and it retreated behind the town to recover. As his demoralized troops retreated to the southern woods, I used 1 M8 platoon to move rapidly to hex 0404 to force him to leave the protection of the forest.
I mistakenly left an M3 and M8 platoon in 0707 to shoot at infantry and his Stugs destroyed them in turn 1. However, the heavy arty, broke up his attack and he pulled his infantry back while committing 2 x STUG platoons into 0710. Here 2 x INF platoons and the LT and M3 assaulted and destroyed 2 x steps, even without infantry AT weapons. Throughout the rest of the game, he never made it deeper than 0710. He had to pull out, but destroyed 1x M3 in the process. This was helpful as with 3x wrecks in the hex, he could no longer close assault into the hex with armored vehicles.
The rest of the game was spent with him trying to flank the town or gain a foothold. Each time, massing OBA and opportunity fire sufficiently kept him from organizing an attack. He successfully rallied a STUG platoon and got into the rear of St. Vith, destroying my M16.
With some lucky shots and and a 12 recovery roll on his part, all his leaders became casualties about 2/3 of the way through the game. Now with only 1 1/2 STUG platoons, no leaders to drive and reorganize the assault, and with his Engineers demoralized, he had to call off the attack.
My reinforcements did not arrive until the last four turns (11:00). The used strategic movement while covered behind the covered hill and emerged at hex 0704 to effectively decimate the remaining STUG platoons.
At game end the Americans lost 10 steps, but held St. Vith. The Germans lost 14 steps, all their armor and leaders.
Recommendations for playing the Americans: 1. Success comes from removing his combined arms advantage. Target Engineers, leaders, and Stugs to deny him column shifts. 2. Off board Artillery. Do what ever you can to keep it coming in every turn, it is your best and most powerful weapon. -If you can afford it, place one of your leaders in 1105, which is key terrain for observation, and his ability to commit forces to detect and engage the hex only takes them away from his main effort against the town. - Max your arty. Every OBA attack should have at least one attack on the 55 column to maximize damage probability against his infantry and if you should use it against the stugs, getting an "X" result is the only way to force a morale check. 3. M8s. There is no value in using your M8s to try to engage the Stugs. Use them to harrass his flanks in the woods. Their superior speed should be able to hide in the light woods, and deny the use of the terrain as safe havens for his demoralized units, forcing them to run further away and not recover. 4. Close assault. I made the mistake of exposing my M16 early. I should have kept him hidden in the town, like hex 0809 as a counter attack force. This powerhouse unit, when paired with an Infantry unit and leader will max out close assault values! - Again, deny him the use of positive column shifts. Take out engineers and leaders, and dislocate his infantry from his Stugs to deny combined arms advantages. - don't forget to roll for infantry antitank weapons. I never succeeded in getting them, but if so, they would have packed a wallop against his Stugs. - Use your higher morale to your advantage to conduct assaults. A leader and your higher morale will negate the -2 column mod for attacking in a town. - mass your firepower with infantry and M3s, which do not count against your stacking. - Create an "alamo" You will lose your softer vehicles to the Stugs, put them where you can get 3 wrecks in hex 0809, or hex 0710. This denies the German the ability to close assault with his Stugs, and if you have successfully denied his use of engineers or leaders, he will constantly be challenged to overcome the -2 town modifier. 5. finally, your plan cannot depend on your reinforcements. If the M4s ever arrive, use them smartly en masse to shoot off 6 x armor efficiency shots against the Stugs. Get up on the hills to add a -1 mod against the stronger Stug firepower
The two suggestions for the Germans are to make use of the northern covered and concealed approach in the light woods to get in close to St. Vith. Also, consider task organizing a shock force of Stugs with infantry and engineers and a leader or two riding on tanks to get to the town quickly in a combined arms formation that will max your column shifts before the American can widdle you down with artillery fire.
|Vith you were here...|
I played the Americans in this battle as a first via Skype with Vince Hughes. St. Vith: First Probe is one of the smallest scenarios in Elsenborn Ridge but it does allow for combined arms play and does not overwhelm. One of the other AARs labeled this a good introductory scenario and I have to agree wholeheartedly. It did help that I got commanders that could rally stones to throw themselves... but that is a story for another day.
I setup my forces to defend the eastern sector of St. Vith - the Captain and an INF platoon with M3s defending the eastern road into St. Vith (0710), the Lieutenant and an INF Platoon with M3s defending the town north of the road (0610), an INF platoon with M3s defending the town south of the road (0709), an M8 platoon and M16 platoon (0810) and two other M8 platoons (0809) in town to be ready to support where needed. The Germans approached from the east with a company of StuGIIIGs on the road and two companies of Grenadiers and a company of Engineers looking to move through the light woods just southeast of St. Vith.
The Germans moved into the vicinity of St. Vith by moving the StuG company down the road along with the Grenadier and Engineer companies making for the light woods. Early American artillery fire was enough to disrupt the StuG company and several of the grenadier platoons. This emboldened the American commander to order his mechanized units to pop-out of town and attempt to fire on the StuGs and the M16 to fire on the infantry. several shots missed completely and then the StuGs answered with devastating shots to eliminate all mechanized units but one of the M8 platoons, which was damaged, within the first 30 minutes of the day. With rumors of a company of M4s roving in the area but not expected before 0900, it looked grim as wrecks welcomed the Germans to St. Vith. Once the mechanized units were destroyed, The Germans moved hastily through the light woods, facing ineffective artillery fire, aiming towards the southern part of town in order to setup for assaults. The Americans continued the artillery barrages and added rifle fire from the platoons to try and stop the advance but were unable to do so. The Germans methodically moved into positions and finally launched an assault from the southern road (0608) at 0845 (Turn 4). While the Germans Grenadiers engaged the Americans, a platoon of StuGs was able to circle the north side of town and get into position to defend the west against any reinforcements. The battle was back and forth in the trenches but American artillery fire was uncannily accurate during the entire battle and helped to stem a larger assault from occurring. At 0915 (turn 6), the call was heard and a company of M4s came onto the scene, approaching from the Southwest over the hills. As the Shermans made their appearance, the StuG platoon moved to intercept, with the intent that they could gain the initiative (having driven the American init to zero).
Meanwhile, The American infantry was holding its own in town, with 'Captain America' (as Vince called him) directing the battle and American artillery continued to hold the Germans at bay without damaging friendly fire. At one point, The Germans had amassed several platoons and leaders to assault the American positions and it looked as though the luck was going to run out, but a minor string of bad luck rolls (and this is a MAJOR understatement) for the Germans put them in the position of having to flee an assault with no covering fire AND when they brought an artillery barrage down on the center of St. Vith, the Germans ended up being better at hitting Germans than Americans. (As an aside, several of the moves during the game were to illustrate certain situations rather than to "Play to Kill" so I know that there would not be some of the opportunities that were apparent here). Time and again, the officers in town moved their troops to halt the assaulting Germans.
The StuG platoon had been able to dispatch a platoon of M4s but there were just too many and the StuG was eventually overwhelmed. Once cleared, the M4s made for St. Vith to support the cavalry squadron. The Germans made one more attempt to rally enough troops to take St. Vith but the M4s were able to move into positions to prevent further incursions from the east and the Captain and Lieutenant rounded up the troops and made a final assault and finally broke the German attack. The Germans called it at 1045 as they had lost too many steps to artillery and counter assaults.
This battle was played over two sessions and after the first one, it looked like I was going to be dispatched fairly quickly. I lost all but 1 step of an M8 armored car platoon and was surrounded in St. Vith at the end of Turn 5. In speaking with Vince after the sessions, we discussed some of the lessons learned:
There were several others that I can't think of now but for my first Skype game (and first PG game against a live opponent), I really enjoyed it. Whereas playing solo does allow for a player to try different things and study the game and learn the mechanics, I feel that playing head-to-head really makes you think about the troops you are moving and does make it much more tense and interesting. I will continue to play some solo games but I will actively seek to play more games FTF (via Skype or actual FTF). I rated this 4 as it was fun and gave many opportunities for different kinds of combat (direct, bombardment, AT and Assault). Also, Thanks to Vince for not only being a great opponent but taking the time to instruct. I had a blast.
The Americans were set up with most of their forces in the town, but kept an infantry unit (along with a leader) and the M16 tucked away in the wooded crestline to the north. It was a good thing too...
The German advance came from the southeast, using the woods as cover. Once they broke into the open, they rushed the town. They soon were engaging the Americans, and the STUs made quick work of the paper-thin armor in town. By 9:30, the only Americans left were in an assault with a stack of Germans (who strongly outpowered the Americans but still managed to roll 1's in assault). This holding of that last hex kept the Germans from being able to commit their forces north to the remaining units until after 10 AM.
Just after clearing up the town, the Germans moved north. Then the American artillery did their duty, raining down pain time and time again on troops as they tried to cross the somewhat open territory (60 points of offboard artillery has a 3, a 2 and an 11 on 3 consecutive rolls). Then, just as the Germans found the relative safety of the woods, 3 Shermans appeared. Caught totally committed to the north, the German armor was quickly caught in a crossfire and eliminated. Soon, all that was left for the Americans was to mop up the stragglers.
This was a fun scenario, and with a low counter density, a great scenario for teaching newer players. Artillery barrages, assaults with AFVs and ENGs, tank battles and coordinated attacks... this one has it all in a small package. It seems that German success depends on quickly dispatching the units in the town and praying that the Shermans are late in arriving. If they are, then the Germans should win. If they arrive early, the Germans will have trouble. This "luck" factor keeps me from rating this higher.
|M16 in assault|
I haven't played the defence for quite a long time: let's say 5 or 6 scenarios... In this one, as the defender, you get just 3 INF + 1 M16 "meatchopper" + some halftracks and M8 armored cars to garrison a small city and the road running through. But then, you also get 1 X 24 + 3 X 18 intimidating off-board artillery. My set up is centered on the city with armored cars on the hills, on both sides. My German opponent (he is REALLY German !) chose to send the Stugs (3 platoons) in front of the city and his infantry (6 X INF + 3 X ENG) on the north side through the Light Woods. I chose to play cat and mouse with the StuGs, trying to give them no target at all and to hide between the buildings. When he finally decided to drive seriously on St Vith, my artillery began to cause him losses, disrupted units and even demoralized ones. He got upset and sent one of his StuGs forward in a city hex to force a decision. At that moment, I realized the "meatchopper" was such an excellent Assault weapon ! I instantly drove one leader, one M3 halftrack and the meatchopper right into the StuG hex, in assault : 30 FP ! I rolled 10 and both StuG steps were wiped out with no loss for the Americans. While he got stuck into difficult and slow infantry assault in the city, I assaulted another StuG with infantry and M8 and demoralized him before wiping it out in the following turn. The losses endured by the Germans gave me Initiative on every turn. On the first possible turn (5), my 3 shermans then entered the fight. He threw his third StuG unit into the fight, moving close to the city. I then used the "Move and Fire" option from 4th Edition rules : one M8 armored car fired on the StuG and then moved away. Later, one sherman entered the board, stopped (half MP) and then fired on the same assault gun from the other side, with crossfire bonus (+2). Killed StuG and scenario won for the US: the German player abandonned on 7th turn.
|Bulge II: Elsenborn Ridge, Scenario #9, St. Vith: First Probe|
I wanted something fast and small, as I didn't have a lot of time, so this was the fix I needed. What was interesting for me, as I didn't think the Germans would win but they did! I just didn't have enough American Infantry to hold up the Germans until the Sherman reinforcements arrived and my dice rolls for the American Artillery was poor. So when the Sherman Tanks did arrive, there wasn't much left of the Americans and they were picked off in detail by the StuGIIIG and the road through St Vith was open for the German Army.
But really, if you want a scenario that you can setup, play & put away in one hour total, this is it. Win, lose or draw I away enjoy playing PG.
The M8's don't have much of a chance but if they roll 12's they can take out a step of German StuGIIIG's and with cross fire they only need to roll 11's or better, so there is a chance to help the Sherman’s before they arrive, but it wasn't the case in this game.
|St. Vith: First Probe 1/2: Solo|
I played this once solo; once vs. live opponent.
In solo play, the Germans advanced on the main town in two groups using cover (light woods) from the NE and SE. The engagement was a violent approach and town assault with German ENGs helping to mitigate the lower morale of the Volksgrenadiere. The US had a spectacular OBA attack on a German GREN/ENG/LDR as they emerged from the woods to the North of the town. Alternatively, on the southerly approach, the Germans made some dire morale checks.
As for the armor, the StuG's chased the M8's around the map for a few turns, particularly as the US Sherman's did not appear on early turns (beginning on Turn 5). Eventually, the StuG's caught the M16 (with its grim 24 DF value) and caught the AC's with OF at long range with some good shooting (rolling).
Essentially then, the German's cleared the town and set the StuG's to waiting for the last M8 step (to come out of hiding) and the Sherman's to appear. The M4's arrived on Turn 15 (next to last, after ten turns of no '6') and the M8 made a dash for the road. A vigorous armor battle ensued, but with only two turns and the M4's ability to enter anywhere, there was a surviving Sherman on the road at game end and, hence an American victory as per the rules.
|St. Vith: First Probe 2/2 live opp|
VS live opponent.
The American player set up such as to appear to bunker down in the main town with some M8's on the hill to the S. The Germans entered in two groups as above. The American player made a desperate attack move out of the town towards the SE group in an endeavor to get a flanking bonus on the StuGIII approaching from that direction. This almost worked; a StuGIII step was hit, but the half step remaining made the 4 or lower required to remain in good order. This StuGIII then removed the impertinent, but brave ACs. After some assault combat with the INF unit that had also "moved out," the Germans then took the town albeit more easily now that their attention was not distracted. American OBA took its toll also.
The M4's entered on Turn ten or so, but with the 2.5 StuGIII steps lying in wait and with several turns to engage (that is, move GREN toward them to threaten assault), the M4's were killed off before the last turn, #16 and the Germans held the field.
The American gambit was risky and certainly made the end-game less intense than was the case in the solo played version. That being said, the bold attack by the Americans had the German player's blood pressure up during those first exchanges before the StuGIII's could engage.
This scenario does offer the American player some different ways to approach the tactical problem and victory conditions and thus, the German player with differing ways to try to wrest and hold control of the road. I find the victory condition though a bit artificial and prone to "meta-gaming" however, since the US wins if it can simply sneak any (undemoralized) step onto the road at the game end. I think I would prefer something more akin to the US having to hold/control a hex for, say, three consecutive turns, or three hexes on the last turn. Something to avoid the die-roll shootout mania on turns 15 &16.
Then again, maybe I just haven't learned enough about the game to quite figure this one out (although I was the German player here)?
US set up in large town with M8 Greyhound platoons stationed on the hills to the north and south. The German STG's advanced west along the road and stopped on the outskirts of town while the infantry advanced from the south through the light woods. The American Greyhounds and M16 couldn't stand up to the STG's and were quickly eliminated but the German infantry struggled mightily against US OBA. The Americans assaulted one of the STG's in the town and were able to eliminate it. The Shermans arrived on turn six and immediately moved toward the German infantry while trying to avoid the STG's. The M4's were able to close on the STG's and eliminate many of them while taking no losses of their own. This allowed the Americans to clear the town of all remaining Germans. The Germans then attempted to regroup in the woods on the outskirts of town, but weren't able to rally and form enough of a force to advance on the town again. The Americans won easily, but I can see this one being a lot closer if the Germans were to have some luck against the M4's.
|They were mown down by dice, I'm afraid|
An American armored cavalry unit holds the town and two companies of Grenadiers supported by a company of StuGs wants the town they hold. The Americans hope to hold on until some Shermans arrive. The StuGs will likely make mincemeat of the armored cars and halftracks which would hold well against infantry.
The Germans enter the board and decide to move strongly towards the town in an effort to overwhelm the defenders and be prepared to ambush the Shermans should they arrive. The StuGs get into the town but the accompanying infantry is delayed by direct fire from the halftracks and armored cars and then the OBA hits causing immediated losses and demoralizations.
The StuGs blow many of the vehicles away but they are now in a town without infantry and a desperate lunge by the Americans causes losses and demoralization. Meanwhile, outside the town the Americans continue to roll insanely, causing many losses. After one hour the Germans had lost 8 steps plus four steps of StuGs. The American losses, although significant (2 infantry, two halftracks and two armored car) left them with superiority over the Germans and control over the town.
The Germans called it quits.
The result hinged on two die rolls, the one that slaughtered the supports for the StuGs and the one that caught them in the town and inflicted losses and demoralizations on the lot of them. The scenario itself, outside of this result, was intriguing given the imbalance between the forces. I give it a "3" for the novelty.
|Never Again !|
This game was played over skype in 2 sessions with Tony Langston. Tony is quite new to PG and wanted a smallish game that would bring armour to the fore combined with infantry. He chose this scenario to do that after we rejected some that may have been too big. The aim was to go through the game with Tony, trying some moves that perhaps normally one might not so as to demonstrate the game mechanics. Having come off as a loser in doing so, I don't think I can bring myself to do so ever again :-) Here's the AAR followed by some post-game thoughts.
At 0800 hours the less than eager troops of the 18th Volksgrenadier Division moved forward, hurriedly looking for cover in the light wooded area slightly southeast of St Vith. Meanwhile, their mobile battalion of StG’s advanced along the main road ready to lay down supporting fire on the company of GI’s in the town and also to stave off any enemy armour that might show itself. Little did they know a whole company of Shermans had already been dispatched to the area by the Americans and were just over an hour away. Powerful American artillery disorganized the StG’s before they got any time to find good firing positions and actually demoralized most of the crews immediately. However, the VG’s advance was going well and they managed, with their numbers, to get close to St.Vith whilst the remaining StG’s dealt with US light armour support, including a heavily armed M16. This armour was knocked out within 30 minutes, and things looked to be going well for the 18th Volksgrenadiers.
What they had not bargained for was the high morale of the few GI defenders and the Germans repeated attacks on St Vith’s outlying houses were being met with determined resistance. These most often ended with the German conscripts coming off second best and being left pretty down-hearted. Furthermore, whilst US OBA was proving horribly effective in damaging the German advance, German OBA spent more time hitting its own men than scoring hits on the enemy ! Nonetheless, the determined attack continued as only the clearing of St.Vith would be an adequate result for the Germans.
Then, at 0915, to the horror of the Germans, American tanks made a surprise early appearance. A StG platoon was dispatched to deal with these adversaries and initially made some telling hits. However, the M4 gunners seemed to be masters in their art, and with a true-aim, were able to pick off numerous StG’s that dared face them. Despite losing half their number, the remaining US tanks rushed to the town, braving further AT fire from StG’s and surviving the ‘running the gauntlet’ to make into St.Vith.
In the town, the fighting had reached a peak in the town square of St.Vith. A vicious close-quarters battle here had the Americans suffering casualties, but the Germans even more. Rather than call in good order and fresh platoons, the German officer here ‘bugged’ out his demoralized troops en masse and in so doing without any support, lost 2/3’s their number in casualties and surrender.
The writing was on the wall. Around half the German infantrymen had become casualties, surrendered or headed for their own lines, and the majority of their assault guns had been hit. The high-moraled Americans, though losing all their original armoured forces had fought tenaciously and refused to budge.The arrival of the armour support now meant it was time for the Germans to re-think the attack and return later with other plans. Losses were 9 INF steps and 4 AFV steps for the attacking Germans and 1 INF step and 10 AFV steps for the Americans.
Well, I didn't enjoy losing, especially as the initial infantry attack went well. That said, I should have seen the writing on the wall early on. Tony's first OBA strike was against the German armour and achieved an X forcing Morale checks. Two platoons were demoralised! My OBA friendly fired 6 times, causing problems on the '7' moraled Volksgrenadiers, and when his M4's entered, needing a 6 on 1 dice on just the 2nd roll, the game was going to be up. I could not break the Americans 8/8 in assaults, and with only one leader with a morale modifier, my troops crumbled. My final excuse was his Shermans never bloody missed a shot. Horrible experience and revenge is in the air when we meet at Huchlen Town ! That all said, we had a lot of laughs (mainly at my expense) and I rate this as a competitive scenario (see overall results) and it gets a '3' rating
|Damnblastit, lost again|
The good news is I keep spreading the PG word... this game was against my sister's husband. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of WWII, especially the East Front, and has claimed to own almost every East Front wargame that has ever been published. I can certainly confirm it's not an idle boast. Anyway, he bought the original PG East Front module when it was first published, but he didn't like it. He was willing to try 4th edition with me and he liked it!
It was a tough day for my Germans. I advanced the infantry and StuGs on the town over open terrain. The abundant U.S. OBA targeted my captain and demoralized him immediately. As I gradually worked on recovering him, the Yanks whacked one of my lieutenants. Consequently the German advance on the town was seriously hampered. I felt I needed to take some chances and advanced two StuGs into the town without German infantry support. The Yanks assaulted the StuGs. I reinforced, creating two big assaults, and the Yanks got the better of the results. Before long it looked like the Germans would not be able to capture the town and I conceded.