The Sad Sack Affair
Elsenborn Ridge #31
|(Attacker) Germany||vs||United States (Attacker)|
|Germany||12th SS “Hitler Jugend” Panzer Division|
|United States||509th Parachute Infantry Battalion|
|United States||75th Infantry Division|
|Overall Rating, 5 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 529 of 579|
|Parent Game||Elsenborn Ridge|
|Visibility||Day & Night|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Elsenborn Ridge||maps + counters|
Not quite ready to abandon their offensive, the Germans launched a night attack into a gap in the lines of the green American 289th Infantry Regiment. The attackers apparently became disoriented, and found that their radios would not work. The defenders also got lost in the dark, and their radios would not work either. A confused fight broke out around the tiny crossroads of Sazdot, known to the American soldiers as "Sad Sack."
The fierce firefight known as the "Sad Sack Affair" erupted in the wee hours of 29 December and continued until late morning, when American paratroopers finally closed a ring around the SS companies that had penetrated to Sazdot. Daybreak brought improved communications, and artillery fire rained down on the SS who were eventually wiped out.
|1 Errata Item|
The reduced direct fire value of the SS HMG is 5-5 in Beyond Normandy and Road to Berlin.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
|Sad Sack Affair|
This was a short scenario made shorter by some fortunate rolls by the US.
The initial US force set up at the base of the hill just north of the crossroads (victory point location). The Germans entered from the south, and the US paras entered from the west.
The German force proceeded north along the road, and the US paras spread out and into the woods along the western side of the road. The Germans started firing at the paras as they moved into the eastern edge of the light woods on the western side of the road. The US INF force moved down from the hills towards the top of the German force. Neither side closed the range, but then a two hex US attack scored a 2X result on the lead German force. Soon after, the US paras socred a 1X on the western most Germans and demoralized the remainder of the hex.
Before the Germans could recover, some more paras closed to prepare to assault the demoralized SS. The Germans were able to inflict a 1X result on a stack of paras, but another US stack assaulted the demoralized German units, and inflicted another step loss. At this point, the US had inflicted six step losses on the Germans and held the intersection with having lost only one para step. I don't see that the Germans can regroup and take the crossroads, so an American victory.
|Sad Sack - A Sad Ending for the Germans|
This was a smallish scenario that I had started before getting into Skype play and finally got a chance to finish. I wanted small and quick and this looked like it until I actually got into the game.
The Americans dug in around and in the crossroads while the Germans setup to enter from the south along the road. The paras were set to enter from the western road.
The broken radio rule initially did not cause alot of issues as the Germans slowly marched up the road. With Visibility at 2 hexes, there was little chance of encounters until the units were almost on top of each other. The advance took about 2 hours (8 turns) until the each were in range. As the Germans needed to take the roads before the artillery was availabie, I basically charged ahead and attempted to gain a favorable assault in at least 1 or 2 areas. Getting them engaged would also prevent artillery bombardment (unless I wanted to inflict the +3 column shift for the VT Fuzes on the Americans as well). The paras were For the next 3 hours both sides fought fiercely, but several times, rally rolls or key movements were negated by the broken radios. The total step losses on both sides was even at 9 for the battle, however, the Germans lost 2 leaders to leader loss rolls and the ranking leader (STBNFR) was engaged trying to rally several units that had routed from Assault. Finally, 7:00am rolled around and the artillery was called. The Americans won initiative, dropped bombardment on a hex with the STBNFR leader and ended up killing him and any further attempts by the Germans. I called it at that point.
RESULTS AND OBSERVATIONS
On the surface, this seemed like an ideal solo scenario - small counter mix, one map, simple objectives (Kill them all/crossroads) - however, when playing, it seemed that there was no option other than to go forward as fast as possible to get to the crossroads and hope to get into assault. However, the broken radio rule started to show its face as the intiative level was reduced and I found I could do almost nothing. Doing this with one side is somewhat frustrating, doing it with both sides became a real chore. Still, when I looked at the results, other than the leader loss, the fighting was fairly even.
I found it interesting that the broken radio rule did prevent me from rolling a rally roll for demoralized units several times at key points in the game - thus avoiding the flee result described and discussed in the forum under "Abusing horses and trucks". In any event, I rated it a 3 but would have rated it a 2.5 if I could as I did not particularly get engaged in the scenario but I do believe that played against a live opponent, it may provide some interesting situations.
|Groping around at night|
A short night action that left me a bit disappointed due to the lack of mobility of both forces. There is a heavy restriction of Broken Radios which requires units to roll a die to potentiality move and during my play there was a lot of low rolls. But to start from the beginning, this scenario is a all infantry affair where the Germans are attacking the dugin American troops holding the road. They need to take the road and kill the Americans. The Americans must kill Germans and retain the control of the road. The Americans have the setup and reinforcements. Both sides have good artillery but cannot be used until dawn and morale is about the same. The leader draw gave the Americans a slight edge with morale bonus for the leaders. Oh and by the way the Americans get VT fuses so the Germans need to get control of the road before dawn.
For the setup the Americans digin at the crossroads and plan to put down heavy fire on the advancing Germans. The Germans advance from the south, but it takes several turns to even get the units on the board and up the road. Halfway though the Germans are finally close to shoot at the Americans but the Paras by that point had enough troops moving to get on board and put up a flank attack on the Germans. Continuing to struggle with movement restrictions the Germans attacks are stopped before they can get close. Dawn finally arrived and both sides fired OBA at each other with the Americans inflicting casualties on the SS. The German fire was ineffective and left the Germans needing more to attack, but time ran out. Final score Americans 10vps Germans 0vps.