Panzer Grenadier Battles on February 24th:
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Grasping at Straws
Roer River Battles #9
(Attacker) Germany vs United States (Defender)
Formations Involved
Germany 47th Volksgrenadier Division
United States 1st "Big Red One" Infantry Division

Overall balance chart for RoRB009
Side 1 3
Draw 0
Side 2 2
Overall Rating, 5 votes
Scenario Rank: 408 of 609
Parent Game Roer River Battles
Historicity Historical
Date 1944-11-20
Start Time 03:00
Turn Count 18
Visibility Night
Counters 36
Net Morale 1
Net Initiative 1
Maps 1: 25
Layout Dimensions 43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
Play Bounty 131
AAR Bounty 150
Total Plays 5
Total AARs 3
Battle Types
Road Control
Off-board Artillery
Terrain Mods
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Elsenborn Ridge maps + counters
Roer River Battles book

All the previous day, the battered 104th Grenadier Regiment had fought to deny the Americans the key village of Heistern. Whoever controlled the village also controlled the valley beyond, with unimpeded observation all the way to Langerwehe. Knowing his regiment would never stand another day's fighting, shortly after midnight Colonel Josef Kimbacher personally led his survivors against the Americans encircling them to the north.


The German regiment had been reduced in strength to less than a battalion, and had little success against the veteran Americans. Casualties were heavy and the colonel himself was captured. Soon the village would be in American hands.

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

Display Order of Battle

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

Display Errata (1)

1 Errata Item
Overall balance chart for 20

The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)

Display AARs (3)

Oberst Kimbacher Draws the Long Straw
Author Poor Yorek
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2014-03-10
Language English
Scenario RoRB009

Night scenario (1-hex visibility) and MUD. No hill terrain as per scenario mods.

US Set-Up: Attempted to set this as though I did not know that entry would be on the south board edge. US sets three groups strung along the N/S road whose control is the primary scenario victory condition. 2xINF at 0905; 2xINF at 0714; INF+HMG 0709 (crossroads); HMG at 0811; 57mm 0808; 81mm 0607. Rationale is that these groups were set to block the road north from infiltrators that had circumvented previous groups.

German Attack: 6xINF + 2xENG up the east edge thence NW to attack the crossroads units via approach through the light woods. 2xHMG + 1xINF + 1xENG + Hetzer + 81mm north along the road.

After an alarming friendly fire episode demoralizes an ENG platoon, an '11' on the 22-col not only kills a US INF step in the southern roadblock, but DD's both surviving platoons. Germans set off in pursuit of these fleeing units. Eventual German assault prevails, but an HMG and the Hetzer are DD'd; US also rolls a '2' on the 8-col BF table DDing another platoon. By Turn Eight, the VGs have the road and southern board clear, but require several turns to recover morale; regroup units w/ leaders. The Hetzer does not recover to good order until Turn 16 (game decided by then).

The Middle-Board battle initially goes well for the US. The Americans are frustrated at the lack of X results, but the Volksgrenadiers are consistently repulsed by morale failures and a recovery/approach/take fire/flee/ ... cycle begins. In the meantime, the two US INF platoons from the north move south, one to spot/attack the morale recovery "park" and the other to reinforce the 57mm hex.

Not until units from the south arrive do the VGs finally get a break. Two weak "M" results lead to compound demoralization on the lone US HMG. With initiative the next turn, the Germans assault and, whilst killing a US step and ejecting the survivor, the Germans units themselves are morale hurt. Taking a chance, the US sends its HMG+INF crossroads units into this assault hoping to take advantage of the weakened Germans: they roll a '1' and the Germans avoid compound demoralization step losses and are themselves demoralized by German defensive fire. After two turns of both sides recovering or, on the German side, exiting and refreshing, a MAD assault turn with carnage on both sides. Unfortunately, the US cannot sustain this.

This assault hex persists in a weakened state and the Germans assault the INF to their North. They can run a lone platoon north along the road to claim control whilst both sides wear down in the two assaults (they already control the south).

Net result is a German Victory.

PS I placed the US set-up from the perspective of a simulation rather than play-my-side-to-win: hence the somewhat piecemeal defense in depth along the road rather than a line barrier along the south edge. Will be interesting to read AARs from alternative set-ups.

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German Leaders Take the Flipping Advantage
Author KirkH
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2011-11-10
Language English
Scenario RoRB009

GI's set up dug-in in the light woods hexes skirting the southern end of the road while the 81mm mortar occupied a woods hex to the north. The German infantry and the Hetzer entered the board at the road hex and slowly (because of the mud) moved northward. On turn 3 the Germans hit the dug-in Americans and quickly began to dispatch them with ease. The German leaders all had high morale and good morale modifiers which negated the American morale advantage for the most part. The Wehrmacht troops also received the benefit of lots of timely dice rolls, one of which eliminated an 11-2-1 US leader on what appeared to be a relatively harmess shot. Over the next few turns the Wehrmacht troops benefitted from incredible shooting and their superior leaders and were able to sweep thru the southern allied defenses. They then gradually moved north and systematically eliminated the remainder of the US forces to take an easy victory. Although this one was a lopsided affair I can see things going better for the Americans with a little more luck, better leaders, and a better defensive strategy.

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Mayhem in the mud
Author waynebaumber
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2017-02-26
Language English
Scenario RoRB009

After a break from PG I decided to pick up the reins again with this fairly simple night battle, This scenario has elements of the "Big Red One" defending against a German breakout tot eh north. The US set up dug in around the crossroads on board 25 and await the German attack.

The Germans stormed up the road and began to outflank the US position while pinning the US forces on the crossroads by assault. This assault was repulsed and the units involved had to regroup under their Col. The flanking units fared better apart from the HETZER unit which was ambushed by tank hunters and wiped out. By GT10 the Germans had units in the rear to the US positions and wee ahead in VP (just). The overconfident German commander went for the kill launching an assault on the last three US positions one of which was the MTR platoon. The assaulting troops took casualties from OF on the way in and the dug in Americans fought bravely causing more losses in vicious hand to hand combat. The US commander even managed to detach a small force to deal with the German units in his rear taking back most of the road hexes captured by this unit. With every German unit either DEM or in Assault hexes the battle ended quickly and after the dust was settled a major US victory was claimed.

This scenario is solid standard PG fare, limited set up options and not much room for any great maneuver but even so this game could have gone either way a good way to kick start back into PG

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