Panzer Grenadier Battles on February 25th:
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Crossroads: Panzer Attack
Elsenborn Ridge #17
(Attacker) Germany vs United States (Defender)
Formations Involved
Germany 12th SS “Hitler Jugend” Panzer Division
Germany 560th Heavy Panzerjäger Battalion
United States 1st "Big Red One" Infantry Division

Overall balance chart for ElsR017
Side 1 2
Draw 0
Side 2 6
Overall Rating, 8 votes
Scenario Rank: 24 of 609
Parent Game Elsenborn Ridge
Historicity Historical
Date 1944-12-20
Start Time 06:00
Turn Count 16
Visibility Day
Counters 106
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 0
Maps 1: 22
Layout Dimensions 43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
Play Bounty 94
AAR Bounty 129
Total Plays 8
Total AARs 6
Battle Types
Urban Assault
Off-board Artillery
Severe Weather
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Elsenborn Ridge maps + counters

The Big Red One was adding to its huge list of battle honors, schooling the Hitler Youth in infantry anti-tank tactics. But as the officers of the 26th Infantry Regiment holding the manor farm took stock of their position, the found themselves almost out of anti-tank mines and bazooka rockets. If the Nazi tanks rolled forward again, it would be much harder to stop them.


The tired panzer grenadiers again suffered terrible casualties from American rifle, machine gun and artillery fire. Heavy fog limited visibility, making it easier for the veteran American infantry to stalk and destroy the tanks that once again broke into the farm without infantry support. The Hitler Youth fell back again, and though skirmishing continued throughout the day the battle seemed to have ended. But the 12th SS Division would not easily set aside its hard-won reputation for fanaticism.

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
  • Tank Destroyer: do not provide the +1 Assault bonus, even if closed-top (SB)

Display Order of Battle

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

Display Errata (4)

4 Errata Items
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)

Author splat99
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2008-10-15
Language English
Scenario ElsR017

This was the first non-Airborne PG game I played (and I made one procedural mistake that may have affected things: I let the American initiative eventually drop all the way to -3, instead of bottoming at 0. oops...)

Naturally, the Americans set up in the towns, plus a couple dug in in the open, and the mortars back in the trees. The armor set up as close to the southern and easten board edges as possible, to limit the German approach, and thus most of the Germans were forced to dismount from their trucks right at the southern edge of the board or only a few hexes from the eastern edge. (Don't want loaded trucks blithely approaching within visual range of armor...)

The M18, in particular, played cat and mouse with the German TD's as the visibility slowly increased. But it then made a fatal error by making a DF attack on some approaching infantry, the subsequent half-move leaving it one hex shy of the light woods. The next turn the visibility increased to the foggy scenario's max, 6 hexes, and when the Germans won initiative their first act was to blast the M18 into oblivion with the Jadgpanther. Had the M18 gained the woods, which it would have if it had not fired at the infantry the previous turn, it could have played "shoot and hide" for a while, at least until the German armor got close enough to be able to spot it from 3 hexes. As it was, once the six-hex visibility took effect, the rest of the American armor didn't last too long, though they did manage to take out one step of PZ-IV.

In the meantime, the Germans systematically took the town hexes, although the Big Red One made a stubborn stand. After grinding away for most of the scenario, the germans finally came down to one last town hex to take. I wrote this one up for CSW and Web Grognards some time back:

"Which left Town 0908, the crossroads town. The 10-1-2 Obersturmbannfuhrer, 2 GREN and an ENG stormed into town at the beginning of Turn 13. Their first attack eliminated the reduced INF and demoralized the major and the HMG, who nonetheless rallied to Disrupted. The next turn saw the HMG lose a step, but the ENG did too (morale result.) At the end of Turn 15 the Major and half-HMG still held out, in good order, while one GREN was disrupted and the ENG demoralized. On Turn 16 the Germans first attempted to rally the ENG, who failed and fled. This allowed the leader to pull in a full-strength HMG (which had spent a couple turns adjacent and disrupted, but had rallied to normal in T15) for the final assault...which left the Major and half-HMG untouched! It was looking like an American win...

Over those last several turns the Major had been calling down artillery on units surrounding the town, causing much havoc (and risking friendly fire, which - thanks to the +1 for American artillery, as well as German, resulted in no FF.) So the German casualty level increased.

Finally, in a last-ditch effort to eradicate the town's defenders, the stud OBTSFR called down two artillery concentrations (2x16, 1x20 then 1x16) on his own position. The first (heavy concentration) also affected two adjacent hexes, doing a little morale reduction in them, and resulted in an M2 for all in town. One GREN was demoralized, the other (and both leaders) disrupted, and the HMG left untouched, while both American units were disrupted. The second shot (1-16) did no damage.

So, in a rank improbability, the Americans won!

It was a Phyrric victory, resulting in the loss of 20 INF, 5 HMG, 2 57mm ATG, 1 81mm mortar, 3 M4/76 and 2 M18 steps. Plus a bunch of leaders (1 Lt Col, 1 Capt, 3 Lieutenant.) And a truck. All that survived were a disrupted Captain, a good-order Looie, a truck and the town defenders.

But the attackers were far from unhurt. 11 GREN, 3 HMG, 4 ENG, and 2 PZ-IVH steps bit the dust, though all leaders survived this carnage. But the final town was as yet unconquered. Like elsewhere in the Bulge, the outnumbered, outgunned defenders fought desperately and threw the German timetable further in arrears."

Considering that the German casualties make no difference in the victory conditions, calling down OBA on units adjacent to the town was actually pretty much a bonehead move by that late in the game, and could have cost the Americans the victory. Another lesson learned was that, except in assault hexes, stacks of three combat units should be avoided, especially where "wrath of God" OBA is in the neighborhood.

This one gets a "5" due to the nice mix of units, and the tenseness of the game - this one came down to the last activation. It could have gone either was played solo, and the date given is a wild guess.

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Taking Risks
Author Greg SW
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2010-09-29
Language English
Scenario ElsR017

The Americans won this game by a combination of three lucky roles, taking out the Oz. IV's and the Jg Panz IV early in the game (this unit was taken out using the optional artillery rule...I have just read too many accounts of how artillery stopped tank assaults not to include this rule). The Americans also took some risks by bringing down artillery on assault squares, trusting to their +2 moral leader, to help them fare better than the Germans. They also only had two units in each assault hex, while the Germans had three, giving the Germans an additional plus 1 shift. This along with the Americans focusing on disrupting the German engineers before they could assist in assault combat (and having taken out the tanks...the remaining 1/2 strength Jg Panther was destroyed in its first combat) gave the Americans the victory. The were still holding on to 3 out of 4 of the town squares at the end of the game.

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Hitler Youth tries again
Author campsawyer
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2011-11-15
Language English
Scenario ElsR017

In a solo effort, this small scenario proved to be quite interesting. With a substantial SS assault on the the manor of Dom Butgenham the Americans must hold the buildings while the Hitler Youth needs to occupy the manor to provide an northern avenue of advance. The American 1st Division has plans to stop them.

The Germans have tank superiority as well as more troops while the Americans have a slight advantage in OBA, but both sides of overpowering OBA. Leader selection is evenly matched with no outstanding leaders. The Americans have the setup and the Germans must advance onto the board potentially under fire from the Americans, if they advance too quick. The Americans must hold the towns and the German must take all the towns hexes. I tough job at best. My play was quite interesting as the game went back and forth with the tactical advantage and proved very interesting.

The Americans setup has them concentrating on the central town hexes with the M4/76's and M18s posting it them. The INF's and HMG's setup next to the town hexes both south and east in the fields. Most dig in to await the attack. AT guns are hidden in the fields and towns. Leaders position with the troops while the Major takes the northern town hexes and the Lt. Col posts to the south town hex. The lone town to the west is left alone with the wreck placed in it.

The German advance on to the board using the cover of the heavy fog. The eastern force moves onto the board and quickly spots an American AT. Ordering fire on the the guns proves to be ineffective. The GRENs quickly moved to flank the guns but failing to get the initiative allowed the guload uploadup and retreat back toward towns. American OBA starts hitting the advancing Germans with causalities starting on turn 1. SS GREN's begin to fail morale checks as well as timely kills by OBA throw the German attack back from the fields. To the south, the Germans split there force to try to flank the heavily defended southern approaches to the town. The place a company of SS troops to pin the American defenders while the rest move west to attack the flank. American OBA hit the pinning troopscausalitieslities and demoralizations. But the flanking force moves north west of the towns, right on the weaker American flank. By turn 4 the mist is lifting and the Americans can see the German two companies bearing down on them. Initiative favors the Americans and the call in OBA on the Germans, killing one step of GREN's and a OSTFR while others demoralize a second round demoralized a HPSTFR that is preparing to lead the charge toward the town. At this point the German attaseverelyeverly hampered.

The Americans have the advantage but not for long as German OBA scores some hits on the Americans. Eventually demoralizing units south of the town, German DF provides the final blow and finally an American unit is lost. But this is jbeginningginining. Small bands of German GREN's make it next to the southern town, even under heavy American OP fire. There are eventually assault assualt the town. But the Americans provided enough OP fire to kill more German steps and demoralize key German leaders so that reinforcements to tassault assualt cannot make it to help.

Back to the east the Germans bring up there Jag Panthers to help attack the dug in Americans, but heavy OP fire by the Americans disrupt the German tanks. The fire by the tanks cannot dislodge the Americans that are anchored by a LT 10-0-1. Eventually the tanks back off looking for other American tanks to strike at. Meanwhile the Germans probe the fields to the south east, but American OBA and OP fire put an end to that advance. The German attack looks to the more exposed northeast advance on the town. An OSTFR and HPSTFR take a company of GREN's supported by a HMG to advance. The Americans put down heavy OP fire on the advance, but the Germans make it through and ready an advance on the northern edge of the town. But there is one group of dugin Americans to stop them.

To the west the Germans begin the recovery of the disrupted and demoralized troops while the small bands battle for the advances to the towns. Both German and American OBA fire is very accurate by mid-game. Both sides knocking out a total of four steps in one turn. Leader loss is high with both an American and German leader lost. The southern force recovers and moves to attack the dugin troops covering the south town hex. The American reduced M4/76 fires on them and slows them down, but the German PzIVH' see and opportunity to get an attack on them and move into position for a attack. The M18 moves to fire on them, but misses. In the next turn the Germans win the initiative and the PzIVH's open fire on both the M18's and reduced M4/76 and destroy the M4/76 and reduce the M18. The other German Jag Panthers move to attack from the northern town.

To the south the Germans and Americans assaultked in assualt with the southern town. Germafeeblecks are feable and the Americans score hits on the Germans. This forces the Germans to shift disrupted and demoralized units out and replace them with recovered units. It throughontinue throuh out the game. The Germans eventually get the advantage after a HMGassaultto the assualt. But they never get control of the hex and it stays contested. But to the north the German tanks are able to knock out the other M4/76 and the reduced M18 while losing one step of Jag Panthers.

Germans continue to recover move to attack the northern town, American OBA fires on the advancing Germans with devastating effect. Germans ENG's and GREN's are killed and demoralized. The Germans switch attacks and units in the eastern fields assault defending infantry units forcing them back after losses. By turn 12 the Germans still have a chance, German OBA takes out the a 57mm AT in the town and forces the other units back. The Germans advance into the town, but it is a weak force and the Americans mount a counter attack and force the town to be contested. The Germans continue to push but American OBA is back on target with demoralization and step losses on the German reinforcing units. By turn 16 the Germans have one final chance to clear the two contested tassaultd get an assualt on the American controlled town. But a spoiling initiative roll gives the Americans the initiative and the OBA hits the leading HPSTFR endinassaulthance of assualt. The Americans win controlling one town hex and contesting two others.

Casualties we high with the Americans suffer 19 steps lost and the Germans losing 17 steps. Both sides are still lock in contention for the town so tactically it is a draw, but the bigger picture would have the Germans stopped on their way through the Ardennes.

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Hitler Youth Spanked
Author thomaso827
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2014-12-20
Language English
Scenario ElsR017

Germans enter from both south and east on this one, with US holding town hexes, two in the center and one to the west of the board. With the Germans moving in from 2 directions, and in large numbers, it looked like a pretty sure thing for a German victory. This went just the opposite. Germans took advantage of the 2-hex visibility over the first 2 turns to organize two assault forces to move in and strike the two central towns while a tank and tank rider force moved on the western town hex. US set up the M-18 in the light woods just a few hexes away from the western town to try to prevent the Germans from getting forces to encircle that single hex, and also placed one of the M-4/76s in the woods just to the west of the town. Central towns were stacked up with plenty of infantry, and a 57mm AT gun in each town so there was some chance for some anti-tank work, even with the odds as low as they are with the 57s engaging Jagdpanzers and Jagdpanthers. As the German tank riders came into range to dismount on the west side and set up their assault, they were hit by fire from the two armor units, taking out one step and demoralizing the one tank unit and disrupting the other. The infantry didn't stop to look, they immediately moved forward to be ready to start the assault. The rest of the Germans set up two long assault lines, one facing the southern town and a line of dug-in infantry and armor strung out from the town and the other facing the northern town and another dug-in force to prevent Germans from getting around and trying to attack from behind. Both sides had limited success with the artillery, especially the Germans trying to weaken the town hexes, and tried to walk right in for an assault. US point blank fire really hurt the Germans and broke up most of the assaults, and the few that did strike were damaged by the first fire of the town defenders before they could do much damage. The situation bogged down, with fleeing Germans heading for board edges for lack of safe terrain, German armor getting killed, and even leader loss rolls taking a number of German leaders, while for the most part, US troops succeeded time after time in regrouping, rallying and continuing to hold. By the end of turn 7, the Germans had hit the stage where they no longer had any chance of taking all the town hexes, that western most town just kept up the successful adjacent hex fire and then successful first fire defending against the few SS troops that did make contact. At this point, the Germans had lost 45 steps, including all but a single step of the Jagdpanzer, having already lost the single step Jagdpanther in an unsuccessful town assault. Even the dug-in units holding the town flanks were succeeding in holding out and taking out numbers of Germans, and even the SS Colonel and his stack, as they prepared for an assault, was demoralized by a large artillery strike that even his 10-1-2 power couldn't stay on top of. The surviving German units were more and more surviving single steps, and US fire had just about completely eliminated the German HMG units and engineers. Game called at this point as the SS Youth pulled out to regain their courage for the days ahead.

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Elsenborn Ridge, Scenario #17: Crossroads: Panzer Attack
Author JayTownsend
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2010-08-10
Language English
Scenario ElsR017

Elsenborn Ridge, Scenario #17: Crossroads: Panzer Attack

Time is a factor with only 16 total turns for this scenario, the Germans can't mess around, as they have to control all the town hexes on the map board to win this scenario, losses do not matter for either side, just control of those bloody town hexes.

The German used their numbers to grind this one out. They paid a pricing from Artillery, close combat assaults in city hexes and some AT fire to their armor as well. The Visibility being only 2 hexes the first two turns really allowed the Germans to drive right up close under cover from Artillery fire, setup and charge right into the battle. Also, scenario special Rule #4, Ammo Shortage for the American's short range AT weaponry, allowing only rolls of 6 to have a chance, to hurt them in the urban combat. The Americans held out until the last two turns, when it was over, and they were not an effective fighting force any more. The Germans controlled all the town hexes but at a heavy price! German Victory.

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The Wehrmacht Tastes Defeat - And It's Cold and Bitter
Author KirkH
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2011-01-14
Language English
Scenario ElsR017

US set up with armor in towns and mortar deployed on west edge of board in trees. Other units were dug-in three hexes from the town forming a perimeter around the towns. Germans approached from the east and south and took heavy losses from the accurate American artillery. Four of the seven German armor steps were also eliminated early. The Germans assaulted the southern perimeter defenses but were delayed in two of the three assaults. Great rolling by the Americans and poor rolling by the Germans resulted in massive German losses. All German armor was lost with no losses to the Allies. When the game ended the Germans had no chance for any type of success as they had just lost too many units. Although this game turned out heavily in the US's favor, I can see it maybe going the other way if the German player tries something different and get's a little luckier.

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Errors? Omissions? Report them!