Elsenborn Ridge #19
|(Defender) Germany||vs||United States (Attacker)|
|Germany||1st SS "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler" Division|
|United States||30th "Old Hickory" Infantry Division|
|Overall Rating, 12 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 73 of 586|
|Parent Game||Elsenborn Ridge|
|Maps||2: 22, 24|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Elsenborn Ridge||maps + counters|
Having lost Stoumont, 30th Division moved quickly to take it back. Another battalion of the 119th Infantry moved up to replace Fitzgerald's. The tank battalion had just arrived at the front, with crews but no tanks, and Gen. Courtney Hodges of First Army ordered them to scrounge whatever vehicles they could from repair depots and join the attack. The Americans found a number of Shermans sent to U.S. repair centers by trusting British units, and stole those along with a number of duplex-drive amphibious tanks also left by the Brits. Maintenance crews worked throughout the night, cannibalizing vehicles whenever necessary, and when dawn broke 20 "bastard tanks" stolen from an ally rolled out to support the Guardsmen.
Fighting quickly focused on the Catholic-run St. Edouard Sanitorium, a complex of stout stone buildings over looking the road to Stoumont (hex 1105 on Board 24). It changed hands several times, with combat taking on the surreal quality known to veterans of countless battlefields. At one point the Sister Superior and her nuns knelt in prayer, repeating the rosary while a company of SS men charged uphill chanting "Heil Hitler." Snarling North Carolina Guardsmen answered with machine gun fire and then bayonets as the fighting raged from room to room. As night fell both sides had lost hundreds of men and the Americans pulled back to re-organize for another try.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|4 Errata Items|
All SPW 251s have an armor value of 0.
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
The reduced direct fire value of the SS HMG is 5-5 in Beyond Normandy and Road to Berlin.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
The Units in Beyond Normandy were misprinted with a movement factor of 5. The movement factor should be 8.
(rerathbun on 2012 Mar 21)
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)
|Ad-hoc forces win the day|
After seeing all the plays on this one, I thought I need to give this one a try. I played solo and expected the Germans to have a time with the Americans and their tanks. But it turn out to be the opposite with a couple of key dice rolls.
To start the Germans have to defend several towns from an ad-hoc American force. The Germans are SS with good morale and, with my play, good leaders. There were several X-1-1 leaders. In their setup, they have mines to help channel the American attack as well as the ability to setup on the high ground. There the Panthers and PzIVH dugin and were able to cover the advances. The SS GREN's and HMGs setup in the towns on board 22 and prepare to dig in for the American attack.
The Americans have the numbers in tanks but the Germans have the quality. The American infantry has decent morale and the leaders were OK. Some X-1-0 and X-0-1 but that was it. The big advantage for the Americans was the OBA 24 and 3x18 giving some impressive attacks of 30, 42 or 60.
The American attack was staggered with a reinforced company and the M36 and M4/105 moved onto the board 22 by the hill in the southern corner. After several turns moving through the light woods, the INF's look to attack the small town just outside the woods. They have to navigate past the minefields but the Germansmaneuveredevered a GREN and HMG to block their approach. German OBA strikes first with the loss of one INF step, but the Americans come right back and destroy a GREN. American units move up and position for an assault. The Germans send reinforcements in from the towns in the middle of board 22 to the fight. This leaves a small gap in the center of the German lines, but the other town hexes are strong with HMG's and GREN's to hold off any assault down the road.
The Americans maneuver several INF's to approach the town from the north. Moving though a minefield, they are able to bring fire on the town, but not before the Germans SS reinforcements make it in. Heavy fight occurs with the Americans demoralizing and moving back. But this allow the units to the sassault assualt the SS units. Heavy attacks get the better of the losing lossing and HMG step and having the GRENs demoralize and flee. American units are disrupted but pushing on the town. The American M4's appear and look toward positioning on the edge of the woods and push north to take the abandoned town. The German PzIVH moves out of the dugin position to hold the town before the Americans get there. The PzIVH moves in as the M4's can just watch without giving up there cover. But an American OBA spotter targets the other town hexes and scores demoralizations on the HMG and GREN. This brings on the last of the American units down the road which the town defenders are recovering. Some long range HMG op fire falls short and the Americans are looassault assualt the town.
This trigger the PzIVH to fire on the advancing Americans, but it is ineffective. The M4 spots them and fires scoring a step loss and demoralization. At this point the Germanbolsterto bloster the center and southern flank from the American attack. They move a Panther to position that can give long range fire at the M4's. The Amemaneuvers manuevers to possibly get a shot on the Panther from the hill. The covering Panther is at long range and has a tough shot if the M36 fires.
The American M4/76 moves on to the board to attack the SPW251's in the northern towns. It positions just out of range of the Panthers on the southern hill and take out half tracksd halftracks as they fire on the advancing INF's. This opens the northern towns a bit more. Meanwhile the Panther loses sight of the American M4's as they disappear into the woods and the M36 take a shot and kills a Panther step. The covering Panther returns fire but misses and the M36 moves back into the woods. The situation looks better for the Americans as the German losses are mounting but the towns are still in GeAssaultnds. Assualt will be required to take them.
Twouldssaults woudld be hard against tremnantsnd the remnats of the Panthers as will has HMG's and GREN's with good leadeassault first assualt on the southern town has a LassaultingF's assualting a reduced GRENSeveralther. Servassaultsns of assualtassaultsunter assualts yield disruptions but no breakthroughs. But then American bazookas hit the tanks and the GREN's are left to suffer the American wrath. They fall the next turn. One town down.
In the north an array of M4's, INF and HMG fire on the town without effect. The M4/76 contributes fire on one town and demoralized the GREN defending it. They run the next turn abnd the Americans followup and take the town, now the Americans have two. The other town is heavly defended and the heavy fire doesn't yield and results until later in the game.
The tipping point comes as the final Panther attempts to stablize the situation in the south after the loss of the town. It moves forward and forces the M4/105 back but the INF's advance to take it on. They close on it but not before lossing a INF to OP fire. Eventually they are able to assualt it and bazooka teams take it out. At this point the German armor is nullified and the the Americans have enough points to get a major victory.
A very good scenario, but tough to play as you need to have the Americans be patient and force the German tanks to move. At that point, and a little luck, the Americans can knock them out and isolate there GREN's from which they can be picked off by the good American OBA.
|Initial success for the Americans leads to victory|
This looked like and interesting scenario with hidden units looking to ambush the German column moving down the road. The Americans problem is they don't have enough forces to to hold the entire area and the Germans a a good Kampfegruppe that can punch its way through the Americans.
I initially saw the Americans temporarily holding the crossroads on board 25 to slow down the advance while the bulk would concentrate on holding the town and prevent the Germans from getting off the board. The American blocking force of two INF's and LT initial had success killing a HMG riding on a tank and subsequently finishing off the HMG a few turns later. OBA success demoralized and disrupted the advancing Germans, but the number of Germans made differencece. By turn four the Germans had moved next to the Americans and German PzIVH's fired point blank into the dugin Americans. Followup assaults clear them from the cross roads.
At this point the Americans moved to the edge of board 25 thinking of moving into the towns. But given the VC's they shift there forces and moved toward the exit hex on the west edge of 22, just out of range of the Americans. The Americans struggled to move units to prevent tmaneuverever, but a German blocking force held them off, inflicting mcasualtiesites on the Americans. So the Germans had enough units off the board by turn 14 to prevent the Americans from winning.
A decent scenario that might have had a different result with a forward setup by the Americans, but I believe a breakthrough by the Germans with yield a similar result. The Americans have to few troops to cover the frontage required as well as the Germans being able to bypass the towns for a victory. A possible requirement of having the Germans capture at least one town hex might make it a little closer.
|OBA is key|
This is our impression at the end of this one : OBA is key for the Americans. With 1 x 24 and 3 x 18, it can soften the German defenses and make the way easier for the Americans (well, is this not the way it should always work ?).
My opponent realized it a bit late, more or less at the same moment we realized he was forgetting the 1 x 24 module since the beginning of our game ;-)
He did lose many INF units in the woods. This is where I placed most of my minefields, covering a strongpoint, because I was sure the Americans would go through the cover of the trees... My opponent wasn't able to achieve a victory, but I did'nt manage to have better than a draw.
Anyway, the game was fun and we both agree that this is a good scenario. Americans can count on a very powerful OBA. But, on the other hand, he has a poorer armor. But time is probably on his side, and this makes me think that the scenario is maybe pro-American. I don't know, I'm too much newbie in the game...
|Elsenborne Ridge Scenario 19 Bastard Tanks|
The Axis set up as close to the west edge as possible just outside of the village. The allies enter from the west edge and will not be able to beat the Axis to the objective town hexs on Bd 22. So the Allies must take and survive point blank fire from the village in the open. In addition, the Axis armor makes any kind of armored advance very risky. The Allies decide to lead with their infantry only, holding back their armor until the situation develops and the location of the Axis armor is known. If and when the Axis armor fires at a U.S. infantry target the allied armor can come on the next turn and try to create a localized numerical mismatch. This is what the Allies did. On the initial rush to the village with the infantry battalion the Allies took a step loss and some disrupted but got adjecent to the village in fairly good shape. On the next turn those allied units caused several step losses to the axis and demorlizations forcing the axis to rout out of the village. In addition on a special event die roll the Axis second in command Captain was shot by a sniper and killed. In the mean time the axis PzIV platoon was knocked out and a PzV platoon lost a step and was routed by the combined fire of the Allies M36 and the M4/76 on a cross fire rolls. But the allies lost 3 M4 steps in exchange. The allies finally pushed the Axis out of the village hexes on bd 22 except for the southen most which was defended by a HMG and a Halftrack. Time for the allies was now becoming a problem. Should they go all out for the southern village leaving the 10 pt. village on the other board to the Axis. Or do just the opposite? or maybe go for both. The allies decide to go for both with the intention of capturing the southern village and just getting into the eastern most village in assault thus negating Axis "control" of the hex. This is exactly how it turned out, although it was not easy or very timely. The southern most village was pulverized by direct fire and then assaulted knocking out three steps. As the game ended a three platoon assault force under a good LT. were in assault in the eastern village thus preventing the Axis from getting those 10 points. The result was a major Allied victory. This scenario turned out to be a wild one, only because the Allies had such good luck especially at the start. Advancing across open ground, absorbing intense direct fire, taking step losses and passing some M2 morale checks and THEN delivering their own blow which caused enemy casulities and retreats. On top of that winning the tank battle against superior armor. Althouth the allies took 5 armor step losses themselves the entire axis armor force was eliminated. This was a lot of fun but I doubt very much if a similar outcome could be achieved again because of the necessity for the allies of crossing open ground to attack a village position and the incredible luck during the armored engagement.
|Battle of The Bulge 2: Elsenborn Ridge, scenario #19: Bastard Tanks|
*It’s been since August since my last play in Elsenborn Ridge, one of my all time favorite PG games, so I was longing for playing another scenario. I used the winter maps as well!
*This scenario looked tough for the Americans but win lose or draw I like playing this game. The point objectives for both side is for control of hex 1105 on map 24 for 10 points, town hexes on board 22 for 2 points or 3 points depending on which side and eliminated units. The major problem for the American is that the Germans start setup and controlling the board, with a couple of Panther units & a Pz IVH unit with Infantry, HMGs, 81mms, SPW 251 and off board Artillery. But worst of all, minefields, 9 of them! Hey but this will still be fun trying. The Americans have just a few more Infantry units then the Germans but their off-board Artillery is pretty strong. Their armor consists of the following units: 2 M4, 1 M4/76, 1 M4/105 & a reduced M36. No engineers either!
*The Americans enter on the West side with just their Infantry at first, trying to skirt the hills as cover. Once they gather enough strength, they charge up the hill in groups, trying to pry the prized St. Edouard Sanitorium town hex from the Germans but run into minefields, tank/artillery/Infantry fire. The Americans are already taking losses but call in their own artillery fire and bring in all their armor to take some pressure off their Infantry. A lot will depends on who activates first in the next round for the armor part of this battle.
*The Americans do active first but the M36 & M4/76 score zero penetration hits but surprisingly one of the M4 75’s rolls a 12 score and a hit on a Panther unit, as the Panther was also on a hill hex, but hey I’ll take the points where ever I can get them. The Americans also assaulted the other Panther unit, to keep it occupied and took out a German Infantry step and a SPW 251 and the hex # 1105 was a disrupted mess but this was the high level mark for the Americans. The next couple of turns reversed the American gains, as the Germans pulled more units from other areas of the map to reinforce the hex 1105 area. The mines began to take a total on the American Infantry and the point blank direct fire as well. The Panther pulled out the Assault hex, the Pz IVH joined the Battle and the Americans lost the M4/76, M36 & M4/105 units.
*Presently the Americans are too weak to attain any objectives and must pull out with artillery cover and the two M4 75mms or risk totally being destroyed. Time to call the battle; pull the units out, as tomorrow is another day. This is a difficult battle for the Americans, it can be won, but I bet only one in four times. My weaker American tanks survived the Battle but not the higher AT valued armor. The Infantry got pounded trying to get through the mine field with all kinds of direct fire. Yes the American Artillery helped a bit but not enough to carry the battle and the Germans came away with a Major Victory. This said, it was still very fun to play and I called the battle at about 16 or 17 turns, as there was no hope in changing the situation.
|dead bastard tanks|
This particular scenario went til the end of the 30th turn although the US' hopes probably were limited to a German Minor victory or maybe a (lucky) draw since the 20th turn. At set up, I've chosen to completely block the access to the southern woods by minefields. Most of the early fighting was thus concentrated around the center town hexes of board 22. Since the US tanks were commited too early, the panthers' task has been quite easy : they have destroyed all the armor on the map ! Casualties were consequently quite high on the US side and gave me the advantage in VPs. The main US advantage is his powerful artillery (1 X 24 and 3 X 18) but it seemed to never find the right target. The second advantage is a Lt-Col leader with a 11 morale and 1-2 combat/morale caracteristics. However, the other american leaders were soon very few due to casualties : only three remained on the map to control everything. When the German defence of the center town hexes eventually collapsed, I pulled back my troops to map 24 to defend hex 24 1105 (10 VPs !). The American attack momentum was finally broken during the last 10 turns so that a quick counterattack using SPW 251s brought back more town hexes in my bag. The scenario play was fun with a lot of maneuver for both sides. The big problem of the scenario is the poor historical representation : the terrain is completely wrong. What is that 24 1105 important town hex supposed to be ? St-Edouard sanatorium ? Non sense. On real terrain, steep hillsides and woods make a very different difficult approach to the village of Stoumont, from the west side. The road is totally chanelized giving a huge advantage to the defence. Consequently the remaining German forces in Stoumont were much lighter than pictured in this scenario. The '3' note is for the poor historical treatment.