Panzer Grenadier Battles on February 24th:
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St. Vith: Help Arrives
Elsenborn Ridge #11
(Attacker) Germany vs United States (Attacker)
Formations Involved
Germany 1st SS "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler" Division
United States 7th "Lucky Seventh" Armored Division
United States 9th "Phantom" Armored Division

Overall balance chart for ElsR011
Side 1 7
Draw 1
Side 2 4
Overall Rating, 12 votes
Scenario Rank: 100 of 609
Parent Game Elsenborn Ridge
Historicity Historical
Date 1944-12-18
Start Time 09:00
Turn Count 24
Visibility Day
Counters 63
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 0
Maps 2: 22, 25
Layout Dimensions 86 x 28 cm
34 x 11 in
Play Bounty 90
AAR Bounty 129
Total Plays 12
Total AARs 6
Battle Types
Meeting Engagement
Road Control
Off-board Artillery
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Elsenborn Ridge maps + counters

While three German divisions jostled for position to attack the vital crossroads town of St. Vith, two American armored divisions tried just as hard to jam reinforcements through the tidal wave of retreating men and vehicles streaming to the west. The two American divisions had little coordination, and when separate task forces found themselves heading up highway N23 to battle the advancing SS they joined up to give Hitler's favorites a nasty shock.


As often happened during the Battle of the Bulge, the wandering American troops were perfectly willing to fight - as long as someone pointed them toward the enemy. Lt. Col. Leonard Engeman picked up some anti-aircraft halftracks along the way and tasked the 7th Armored tanks with providing fire support while his own went right at the SS. Stunned by the sudden violent resistance, the hardened Nazis fled in panic. Their division commander, col. Wilhelm Mohnke, decided that he really didn't need to pass through St. Vith after all and turned his troops to the west.

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.
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • Tank: all are closed-top and provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable
  • Assault Gun: if closed-top, provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable
  • Tank Destroyer: do not provide the +1 Assault bonus, even if closed-top (SB)
  • Anti-Aircraft Weapon Carrier: apply a -1 modifier to an air attack if within three hexes of the targeted hex (15.14).
  • APC – Armored Personnel Carrier: These are Combat Units, but stack like Transports. They can transport personnel units or towed units. They are not counted as combat units for the +1 stacking modifier on the Direct Fire and Bombardment Tables (4.4). They may be activated by regular leaders and tank leaders (1.2, 3.34, 4.3, 5.43). They do not provide the +1 Assault bonus (ACC).

Display Order of Battle

Germany Order of Battle
  • Mechanized
  • Motorized
  • Mechanized
United States Order of Battle

Display Errata (5)

5 Errata Items
Overall balance chart for 47

All SPW 251s have an armor value of 0.

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Overall balance chart for 424

The reduced direct fire value of the SS HMG is 5-5 in Beyond Normandy and Road to Berlin.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Overall balance chart for 408

The Units in Beyond Normandy were misprinted with a movement factor of 5. The movement factor should be 8.

(rerathbun on 2012 Mar 21)
Overall balance chart for 408

Liberation 1944's counters are mislabeled 'PzIVF2.' The counter's ratings are correct (Armor 5, Move 8, DF 11-6, AT 6-8).

(rerathbun on 2014 Feb 14)
Overall balance chart for 25

The M18 has a special rule in Battle of the Bulge but it applies globally: "A two-step M18 unit can fire one anti-tank shot and move half its movement allowance (retain fractions) in a single impulse. The order in which it does these two actions is the player's choice."

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)

Display AARs (6)

Need Help: Tanks Keep Blowing Up!
Author patman
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2009-03-10
Language English
Scenario ElsR011

OK, this is going to be a little hazy because I played this more than a year ago, but I have my record sheet to help me. My first (solo) play of Elsenborn Ridge was #11 St. Vith, Help Arrives. I think I saw Jay Townsend's AAR of this scenario in the Consimworld AAR folder, and it inspired me to try it out, with the winter boards, of course!

As I recall, the US rushed out with their armor to get out to the treeline and hill at the south end of board 22, to obstruct the progress of the SS, who want to clear out the whole N-S road. The poor infantry had to catch up on foot. Unfortunately for the U.S., the Germans used the "Tank Riders" rule to get their infantry up to the front quickly, and therefore had a combined arms thing going. That and armor values of 3 meant massive destruction for the U.S. armor. My notes tell me that I had to put the game away after turn 9 because of an impending conference at work, but I wrote that a German major victory was all but assured due to the nearly complete elimination of the U.S. armor. The U.S. was within 1 German step of meeting their minor victory condition, but were unlikely to stick around long enough (barring some extreme luck and/or gamey "rush the road on the last turn" tactics) to reach major status for the draw.

Overall, interesting, but I clearly have to learn how to handle thin-skinned American armor better.

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Speed and Daring
Author Greg SW
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2010-10-28
Language English
Scenario ElsR011

The Americans won a minor victory, though coming very close to a major one. By having the initiative the first two turns they were able to rush forward to board 22 and make the Germans advance across open ground. The Germans rushed the Americans, leaving their tanks to provide fire support if the Americans opened up during opportunity fire. The Americans did not but fired and moved with their M-18's. Eventually it came down to close combat. By the time this transpired, however, the Germans had lost all their armor and therefore did not get the combined arms bonus. This hurt them as the Americans were mostly in woods hexes. When the game ended the Americans had lost most of their armor, the Germans over half of their infantry, and were only able to prevent a major American victory by moving a unit on the rode (board 25) at the last minute.

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Help certainly did arrive: SS avenges volksgrenadiers
Author Poor Yorek
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2012-03-16
Language English
Scenario ElsR011

This is the third of five St. Vith scenarios following up the "First Assault" which, in my play, ended up with a disrupted and demoralized reduced regiment of Volksgrenadiers. Here, an angry reinforced battalion (or two two-thirds strength battalions; however one wants to think of four companies) of Leibstandarte panzer grenadiers backed up by elements of their panzer and assault gun battalions runs headlong into a company of foot slogging US infantry and armored elements of the US 7th and 9th Armored Divisions. These elements include a company of M18 tank destroyers.

Germans get initiative on turn 1 and enter the north edge dropping off their truck/lorry-borne infantry just south of the towns and parking their armor in the town LT. The US pushes their armor forward, especially the quick moving M18's. Over the next two turns, US tankers trade jabs (as both sides slowly unveil from their LT positions) with the SS panzer crews whilst the grenadiers push all-out to the south to close with the sharp-shooting US tankers. The US commander is conflicted: clearly, German armor is going to wait at longer range and not engage in open terrain with the deft M18s and M4/76's: yet, they have to make a stand somewhere and they hold a light woods edge. What essentially happened is that the Waffen SS was well lined up such that a single activation moved a hoard of units ... US OF simply got overwhelmed; the Germans gained initiative on turn four; and suddenly US armor unsupported by INF were in three assaults. Some fair rolling on assault columns for the Germans along with a few panzerfaust shots suddenly found the US M4/76 elements smouldering ruins. It was clear the SS obersturmbahnfuhrer in command was simply going to take his time moving south with his armor well-screened.

The remaining US forces then fled southwards hoping to establish strongpoints on the road along the 20-m hill on the southern board. The SS, never known for its march discipline, took a few turns to reorganize, and the swath moved again southwards. US armor just never had much to shoot at - finally, the remaining two M18's went "kamikazi" rushing PzIVH units in a dash for a flanking bonus. Amazingly, one platoon skirted several grenadier platoons (read survived four 22-col DF OF rolls) only to get disrupted (i.e. one step destroyed, the survivor disrupted) by OF from the panzers. The second unit managed to get in a kill on the "type IVs," but to their dismay, the SS held morale. The StugIIIG's were not far behind and the brave M18 that had survived all of the OF shots in its mad dash, was swarmed by shadowy SS-troopers in camouflage.

Determined US attempts at dug-in strong points with an INF or HMG + M16 or M4/105 held well for a while, but the SS simply had to bring up their remaining armor, shoot out the US mechanized units, then move in their infantry. It was all over by Turn 15.

The US did gain a minor victory killing off a tenth German step on the final assault. The Germans had a major victory, however, as the road to St. Vith was now open.

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El Leibstandarte AH gana una sangrienta batalla
Author enrique
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2014-10-01
Language Español
Scenario ElsR011

En este escenario un batallón de panzer grenadier, apoyados por una compañía de tanques (PzIVH)y cañones de asalto, dos secciones de morteros y artillería fuera del mapa (2 x 16), pertenecientes a la 1ª división SS, atacan a una fuerza americana compuesta por dos compañía de tanques M4 en sus diversas variantes, una compañía de los velocísimos cazatanques M18 y una batería de cañones autopropulsados M18. El enfrentamiento se produce en los alrededores de Saint Vith.

Los alemanes avanazan encabezados por sus tanques PzIVH, que cometen la imprudencia de adelantarse demasiado en terreno desconocido, por lo que son blanco de los letales cazatanques M18 enemigos, que destruyen dos steps de PzIVH y dos secciones de semiorugas SPW 251. Los germanos aprenden la lección y organizan sus fuerzas para llevar a cabo un ataque lento y metódico. Hacen avanzar a sus panzer grenadier hacia los blindados enemigos con objeto de hacer que éstos disparen y manifiesten sus posiciones, lo que permitiría que fueran localizados y destruidos por los tanques y cañones de asalto que avanzan detrás de los panzer grenadier.

Para resistir el ataque de la infantería alemana, los blindados americanos se concentran al máximo (tres secciones en un hex), lo que les permite hacer un fuego de oportunidad letal, que produce numerosas bajas entre los asaltantes. Sin embargo, este fuego revela las posiciones de los blindados americanos a los panzer, que con un fuego antitanque preciso y efectivo van destruyendo paulatinamente los vehículos enemigos.

Con esta sencilla táctica aplicada sistemáticamente los alemanes van destruyendo y arrinconando a los blindados enemigos, aunque pagan por ello un precio terrible. Cuando los tanques americanos son destruidos quedan solamente las posiciones de la compañía de infantería, fortificada en una encrucijada de carreteras, pero el fuego de la artillería fuera del mapa y de los morteros alemanes mina su resistencia y son finalmente aniquilados en furiosos asaltos de los panzer grenadier.

Los alemanes cosiguen así la victoria, pero a un precio altísimo, ya que pierden la mitad aproximadamente de toda la infantería. Los americanos obtienen una victoria menor, pero los alemanes consiguen una victoria mayor y con ella la victoria definitiva.

Buen escenario. Si los americans hubiesen dispuesto de artillería fuera del mapa tal vez el resultado habría sido distinto.

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Bulge II: Elsenborn Ridge, Scenario #11, St. Vith: Help Arrives
Author JayTownsend
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2010-01-01
Language English
Scenario ElsR011

I am playing this scenario, as it is a quick one, and my time is short today. After one turn of play, I have rushed my M18's into a blocking position, hopefully they will get to activate first next turn? The American have very little Infantry but lots of armor. The Germans on the other hand have tons of Infantry and enough armor to make them dangerous. Both sides really need to try for the Major Victory conditions first because if both get minor one victory conditions, it will be a Draw. So the fight should center around the Northern part of board 25. Without very much Infantry, this looks tough for the Americans but if I can quickly take out the German armor, I should have a chance.

Those 14 movement factor, really makes the M18's a fun TD to move across the map board first and get into position and this scenario you get to use 3 full strength counters/Platoons of them.

This ended in an American Minor Victory. The Germans never could not get it together to make a finally push. They had terrible recovery dice rolls. I threw in the towel with about six turns left. The American did what they needed to do to get a minor victory but had little chance to get a Major Victory with too few Infantry units and no Artillery.

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St. Vith falls to the SS
Author campsawyer
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2010-07-23
Language English
Scenario ElsR011

Continuing on with Elsenborn Ridge, scenario 11 St. Vith: Help Arrives pits several battalions of German SS against a adhoc group of American troops. The strengths of the Germans are number of units, better armor, artillery, morale and mobility. The American get the victory conditions, just destroy 10 German steps without the Germans gaining control of the north-south road up to and including the crossroads on board 25. The German strategy was to just move down the road and kill anything in the way. There movement can be controlled as there is enough trucks/halftracks to keep up with the tanks. Even dismounted the Germans must resist the temptation to rush the tanks forward. Steady, constant movement and firepower. For the Americans, a straight up battle is out of the question with the German strengths. The Americans must hit and run, use the their tank mobility to find and hit weak units and get around the advancing Germans to threaten the road link to the north.

From the start the Americans had problems. The Germans were able to score impressive kills on a couple of advance M18's causing the Americans to lose an initiative point. This lead to the Americans losing most of the initiative rolls and the Germans to match their tanks against the Americans with the Germans taking more kills. 8 to 1 kill ratios we the norm for the Germans as the American weak armor shows why the Americans need numbers to destroy Germans tanks. The American platoon of infantry and HMG tried to digin but the German infantry was able to close and get 3 to 1 assaults on the platoons. The bright spot for the Americans was that a M4/76 dugin on the hill on board 25 was able to disrupt and demoralize the German infantry trying to capture the crossroads. As a final defense the M24 tried to kill the SS as it approached, but it was soon dispatched with a panzerfaust. The final score a German minor victory with the capture of the crossroads on board 25. In terms of step losses Americans 24, Germans 5.

This scenario is one I would play again as the German dice rolls were too good and the Americans we so bad, this seemed to make the difference. I feel a Americans need to be more choosy about the attacks and use the mobility to get around and spread out the German assault.

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