Like a Dose of Salts
West Wall #10
|(Defender) Germany||vs||United States (Attacker)|
|Germany||275th Infantry Division|
|Germany||344th Volksgrenadier Division|
|United States||4th "Ivy" Infantry Division|
|United States||70th Tank Battalion|
|United States||803rd Tank Destroyer Battalion|
|Overall Rating, 4 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 588|
|Parent Game||West Wall|
|Maps||4: 10, 23, 25, 9|
|Layout Dimensions||86 x 56 cm
34 x 22 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Battle of the Bulge||maps|
|Elsenborn Ridge||maps + counters|
Both sides had been bled white trying to control the Hürtgen Forest. Taking the town of Grosshau would allow the Americans to finally free themselves of this bloody hell and utilize their mobility. With so much at stake, a plan utilizing all three battalions of the 22nd Infantry Regiment was drawn up. It called for the men to go forward at dawn without an artillery barrage in hopes on surprising the enemy. The Germans also went forward at dawn.
The 3rd Battalion easily blunted the German attack and went through the enemy "like a dose of salts." After reorganizing in the woods just short of Grosshau they advanced into the clearing just before noon. Major Kemp called off the attack at 15:00 with the Germans still controlling the village. The day's frustration was completed when the 1st Battalion was stopped just 600 yards short of Forsthaus Grosshau (the town on Board 23).
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|5 Errata Items|
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Strongpoints are single step units and can be eliminated with X results like any other single step unit.
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
The standard mix of strongpoints may be downloaded from Avalanche Press:
This is the standard mix found in Airborne, Airborne-IE, and Edelweiss Expanded. The strongpoint mix in Cassino '44 is different from that of other PG games.
(plloyd1010 on 2012 Feb 01)
Strongpoints are affected by the terrain in their hex just like any other unit.
Even though they can't move, they can attack using Assault Combat if an enemy unit moves into their hex.
They may not dig in or benefit from entrenchments.
(rerathbun on 2014 Apr 21)
The movement allowance on the counters in Airborne is misprinted. It should be "3."
(rerathbun on 2012 Jan 30)
|30 Turns - And Every Darned 'AS' Of It Required|
This was played ftf and skype over 3 sessions with Wayne Baumber and is my 9th battle from the Westwall pack. Getting quite used to the role now of having to defend small towns over tracts of German land against bigger than I'd like enemies, this one on initial glance looked tougher than most. Far too many GI's, tanks and OBA and far too much terrain to cover. Worse still, most of the German force is Volksgrenadier. Onto battle !
Grosshau had been garrisoned by men from the Volksgrenadier Division and some mortars and AA flak guns, but were promised some reinforcements from the nearby 3rd Grenadier Division before an American attack came to Grosshau again. The Americans were advancing from the west, a whole regiment of them designed to overwhelm the scant and inexperienced defenders. Orders for the day to the defenders was ‘Fight to the last’ in order to stop this US steam-roller. The Germans had posted a StG platoon forward to put off US armour, but other than that, only an artillery OP and the reinforcing 3rd Grenadiers to the north were out of the Grosshau area. Mines, albeit very few of them (2pts divided amongst 4 counters) were scattered to the north of Grosshau‘s perimeter. The idea being to channel the Ami attack to advance to come from the west and south over the more open and boggy ground. Strongpoints had also been placed where possible in important sectors of the town.
At 0800 hours the Americans launched their advance. Within minutes, an accurate OBA mission had disrupted the forward StG platoon, placing the German defenders on an unexpected early back-foot. However, their own OBA and and the mortars and AA guns in Grosshau were managing to take an early toll on the US advance too. But at no point were they able to hold the Americans back. The StG was taken out by the US armour very quickly for the loss of an M10 step. The Americans slowly positioned themselves to envelop the town, whilst at the same time, to the north of it, they had troops fighting it out with the 3rd Gren. Division that was trying to reinforce. Here the Americans proved very successful as they completely stopped these veterans from reaching Grosshau AND inflicted heavy casualties. Also, another, and the final StG platoon was demolished for the loss of the same amount of M4’s.
At the town itself, the battle was now being fought in earnest. Americans were all round it, with HMG’s and infantrymen pouring in their fire. And, when the Volksgrenadiers were able to pop their worried heads over the ramparts, they likewise poured plenty of fire out at their attackers. Over 3-4 hours, these greenhorns held their line as their morale proved stronger than the Americans expected. At the same time, the Americans had plenty of uninterrupted time to carry out their operations against the town. This meant that by 1215 hours, neither side could safely say they would be victorious. American casualties were mounting unacceptably, but the town defence was slowly being whittled away.
With the German line failing to break easily, and with time edging on (one battalion commander had bet Grossahau would fall by 1245), the Americans would need to press even harder. American GI’s edged nearer closely supported by tanks and engineers. The Germans shot out engineer troops where seen and continued to cut down some of the GI infantry. But they struggled due to a lack of hardware to do much against the enemy tanks. This combined attack finally entered the town and began taking out the defending troops. Success was eventually wrought in the main town, but the casualty count for the attackers had been too high. To pay that off, they would need to report a bigger success and so, other detatchments were sent north to clear up remaining defending positions.
Even here, progress was slower than hoped, but the Americans were able to continue grinding forward along the road and through the woods. With the attack planned to be called off within half hour, the last throes of the battle involved these detachments manically scrambling to take out remaining German hold-outs. Using OBA to assist, this was achieved at 3pm on the dot (turn 30). The American’s had gained a last-gasp victory in the final minutes. In the end, there was a US Major Victory versus a German Minor Victory for an overall US Minor victory. Losses were high for the Germans: 27 Foot, 10 leaders, 4 AFV and 9 Guns. The US suffered 16 Foot, 4 leaders, 4 AFV and 2 Guns.
A thouroughly exciting battle all-in-all. And with varying trains of thought from me on it. I think Wayne is being generous saying the Germans can not win. To be honest, I think they can and I didn't ? Our result came about through many ifs and buts, and in a game comprising 1000's of dice rolls, things level out and each sides gains plusses and minuses in their fate
For example, I might say that there was barely one of the whole 30 turns that ended early. However, to balance that, I have got to say that my Volksgrenadiers morale held out uncannily long as they showed great spirit (via dice rolls) against a higher moraled enemy and I was also pleased with the amount of enemy I took out, which I did not expect to be that high. Then there are the variables. The value of the mines and strong points drawn and the leader quality. I had some good leaders, poor mines and a real spread of strongpoints. Some games each of these will be weaker or stronger than others. Maybe tanks will perform better or worse and what about initial deployment and where reinforcements are sent ? In the end, all these variable landed in a final, last turn loss.
No, I think upon reflection, there will be German wins, just not this time. Wayne's attack was good, but if only I could have snatched just one early FOW in the last 5 turns then that may have thwarted the final push into a draw. Good win Wayne
|US triumph in marathon mud wrestle|
Played over three sessions against Herr Hughes this scenario has a large combined arms American force battling against Volksgrenadiers and regular army units. The US have to take a town while minimizing their own losses for a minor victory or clear all town hexes and road hexes on all four maps for a major victory. The US have overwhelming forces, good OBA and plenty of time to achieve a minor victory, the Germans have terrain in their favour, weather (mud), strong points, mines and their minor victory condition are to eliminate 20 US steps. The US plan was a steady advance to the front and use fire power to whittle away the German defenses in the town before making any direct assault, the idea being not to lose 20 steps and claim the minor victory. The German units start separated from each other and the German commander then has to make a early tactical decision whether to reinforce the vital town or keep a reserve for a final defense to prevent a major US victory. The German commander in this case chose to try and reinforce the town, in fact very few of the regular units got into the town as they were met by US flanking units and were destroyed eventually in the woods to the North of the town. The US slowly surrounded the town, helped by a lucky artillery bombardment which disrupted some STUG's which were then destroyed by Sherman's. By then US MG's were combining to pour lead into the town however the Volksgrenadier's were refusing to retire and held their ground for several hours, all the while accurate German artillery fire kept causing US losses. Eventually superior firepower won out and the German front line crumbled and the US forces swept into the town, but as they advanced more losses meant that the German's has secured a minor victory, thus forcing the US to try and clear the whole board of undemoralized German units. However the US commander had already made some provision for just this eventuality and several INF platoons had been dispatched north to make a start of rooting out the scattered enemy units, tank units now moved quickly to support these units. The final phase of the battle was a tense affair as Vince tried to delay the advance by withdrawing down the road one hex at a time and using his artillery to disrupt leaders and INF as best he can, this very nearly worked and by the last turn a single 75IG still held out in the northern village, regrettably though this unit dismally failed a morale check and demoralized and as it had rallied earlier in the turn this gave the US a major win. A really great scenario in so much that it went to the wire, I only had two more shots at the 75IG to take when it demoralized, it only gets a 4 rating because the Germans will find it very hard to win a draw being the best result they can hope for. Vince was unlucky in some ways that FOW played little part in this one a couple of small game turns would have made it impossible to get units in position for the endgame. For myself I was pleased that the initial plan of attack worked well, using combined HMG stacks to pound the front line defenses while INF and M4's surround the town, is a solid tactic and if it was not for those stubborn VG units and the strong points supporting them the town would have fallen earlier. This was a tense exciting game highly recommended.
|Build a fire, to make a cave, as the glacier covers you|
The Germans have 2 under-strength battalions holding off a U.S. infantry regiment, which has good armor support. Oh yeah, there is mud, a long march in the mud.
The Americans enter on board 9 (marching through the muddy wood), to German infantry block at the crossroads. The infantry block (a VG company), was quickly overrun (over-slogged?) with little disruption. The march continued to board 10. The Americans go to setup their own block at the north end of board 9. Otherwise the march across the map will take about a 1/3 of the game.
Rather than try to force the U.S. on block, the 275th Infantry contingent challenges the Americans to a snail race to board 10. The Americans mostly win, but deployment and flanking the town allows most of the Germans to slip by. The Americans go about creating firing lines and start blasting the Germans.
For quite a while the attrition and suppression is proving too much for the town’s defenders. The Germans are losing twice the number of steps to the Americans. Losses climbing to over 25 steps. It looks as though the Americans are going to neatly dismantle the town. That outlook changes when the Germans manage win the initiative twice, have 4 lucky rolls, and the Americans have 4 unlucky rolls, all over 3 turns. The American timetable is pushed back, though not outside the time limit, but casualties have gone to 22 steps.
The game ends with board 10 virtually clear. The butcher’s bill is 37 steps for the Germans, 26 for the Americans. Both sides have achieved their minor victory conditions. The game is a draw.