Winter Soldiers #26
|(Attacker) Germany||vs||United States (Defender)|
|Germany||12th SS “Hitler Jugend” Panzer Division|
|United States||6th "Super Sixth" Armored Division|
|Overall Rating, 3 votes|
|Scenario Rank: --- of 586|
|Parent Game||Winter Soldiers|
|Visibility||Day & Night|
|Maps||2: 22, 23|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Kill Them All|
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
6th Armor Division had had a good day with CCA taking Wardin despite losing 15 Sherman tanks and CCB securing Michamps, Oubourcy and Benonchamps. The only setback was at Arloncourt where the enemy stood up to all their efforts to subdue it. Late in the day the Hitler Youth challenged the Americans right to retain Michamps and Oubourcy.
Again the 6th Armor Division was unable to hold on to their gains and all the villages save for Benonchamps were back in German hands that evening. The fighting here had been costly with 6th Armor Division losing 13 killed and 107 wounded with 5 missing while the Hitler Youth had lost 40 killed, 110 wounded and approximately 45 missing.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|4 Errata Items|
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)
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)
|Hitler Youth on ice|
In looking for a solo game, this one popped up as a "game of the day". It taking a look, it seemed to be a good single day effort that might prove interesting. It did. This is one that I found quite balanced by forces, setup and SSR's. My only regret is that this would have been a nice FtF or Skype game. But in the end it did live up to the deserved 5 rating. The are a couple of clarifications that I have outstanding with the developer, but those will not make a big difference to the play and is definitely one to make the effort with.
The Americans are holding a position outside the town of Michamps, Belgium after retaking it trying to reduce the bulge that the German attack had achieved. The 12 SS "Hilter Youth" forced there way back up the road to Arloncourt to threaten the Americans. In the scenario the Germans have a good infantry force with good tank support from Panthers and PzIV's. There leaders were mixed, a good Standfr and a couple of good Hptstfr's and Ostfr's but quite a few X-0-0 leaders. Good OBA and onboard mortars will give them plenty of force. For the Americans, they have half as many infantry and HMG's some M4's and a M4/76 as well as M18 to try to hold off the German tanks. They have the setup, as they are defending the towns which the Germans need to occupy and as always causalities count toward the VC's. American leaders are good a 10-1-1 Colonel leaders four 9-1-1 LT's into battle. First time I have seen that and adds a different dimension to the defense.
Weather is a key to this game as it will effect movement for both sides. This also leads to the title of the AAR as it will be a slippery slide into the towns.
As for the setup, the Americans hold Michamps, the large town on board 23, as well as Oubourcy, the small town on 23. The main focus will be on Michamps as this is closer to the German setup and has more town hexes to control. The Americans position as couple of INF's dugin to the north part of town. With a 9-1-1 LT they should be able to take the initial blows by the Germans. In the town both HMG's are positioned to support the dugin infantry as well as cover the eastern approaches that are dominated by light woods. In these woods are another platoon with an 9-1-1 LT. Making powerful force to try to get by. Hidden in the light woods is the M18 for support. Elsewhere in Michamps the American Colonel positions his HQ right in the town center. From here he can control and influence the fight when it gets close quarters. He has an INF and M3 support. In the south end of town is the 57mm and the M16 covering the road and approaches from the west. In Oubourcy, the 81mm mortars as well as a M4 provide secondary defense. To the west of Michamps, two platoons and a 9-1-1 LT hold the low hill from dugin positions. At the crossroads another 9-1-1 LT and INF are dugin with and hidden M4's and M4/76's on the hill behind them providing support for anything that comes down the road.
The Germans setup in on board 22. They can use the whole board and get to digin. This gives the advantage of starting close to the Americans to help minimized the weather. The German attack will be three pronged to help disperse the American firepower in the town. In the center the Germans with have there reinforced HMG company firing right at the center of the American defense with two reinforced companies of GRENs/ENGs looking to push the center. To the east the Germans will have a reinforced company to push down the road with the help of a Panther and the PzIVH providing support dugin from the fields. The 81mm mortars will join the PzIVH in the fields to support the western attack as well as hit the town with fire. To the west a company of GREN's will try to gain the light woods west of Michamps to attack the town as well. But this will be a tough fight as the Americans will be able to maximize there fire power with Germans only moving one hex at a time.
The Germans start by opening fire on the Americans dugin in front of Michamps. But the fire is weak and yields little results. OBA is called in but it to has no effect as an American LT just shrugs it off. The German forces to the east and west move to push the edges and put pressure on the center to reinforce. To the east the reinforced companies advance slowly to the road but are hit by American OP and OBA fire that draw the first losses. The Germans press for the road and the low hill to the east of Michamps, but the OP fire is to much for one HPSTFR and the attack slows down even more. The Germans advance the Panther down the road for support as well as firepower to attack the hill. With the PzIVH providing cover from the American M4's and M4/76's it moves to position. German OBA disrupts a lone INF on the hill and this gives the Germans the chance to get a foothold on it. The Panther leads the charge with a GREN, but the assault falters as the Panther is demoralized and the Americans hold the ground. This leads to the first mini-disaster for the Germans.
An American M4 on the hill fires on the hapless Panther and scores a hit. Forced to retreat out of the assault the Panther heads back to board 22. The PzIVH covering starts a dual with the M4's and M4/76 but both sides have no effect. As for the low hill, it will be up the GREN's to move up and take it. But this is where leadership hurts the Germans as the STBNFR leading them is only and 8-0-0 and he is quickly demoralized by American fire. GREN's also feel the effect of fire and the lack of leadership as they fail there morale checks. A lone OSTFR steps forward to offer help and he too is demoralized. So the attack to the east slows for the moment.
To the west the German company is hit by well places American OP and they loss two steps in their advance to the light woods. Heavy fire by the 81mm mortars disrupts and demoralizes others advancing slowing there movement. In the center the Germans to advance but they are fought to a standstill by the American OP fire. After five turns the Germans have racked up 7 losses with little to show for it. But there is still more fight in the the Hitler Youth.
The Germans catch a break when DF on the low hill east of Michamps reduces a platoon and mortally wounds the 9-1-1 LT holding the ground. GREN's diverted from the center of the German line quickly storm the hill and overwhelm the remaining American infantry. But there is one more platoon on the hill. It too is lock in assualt, but continues to survive the onslaught by a company of German GREN's. After two hours of fighting it is succumb, but American vengeance is swift as OBA reduces on GREN and disrupts the others. Command also falters for the Germans as move OSTFR and HPSTFR's are disrupted. Eventually the STANDFR will need to step in but for now he is directing in the center.
After two hours of HMG fire in the center the American start to falter with disruptions and demoralizations to the dugin troops. The American LT tries to keep them going but they head back into the town. This give the Germans a chance to move close to the town while the HMG's start to hit the town with fire. To the west the M18 is threatened with discovery and the possible fire from the other supporting Panther so it move out leaving the INF platoon on its own. At first it does well but eventually is demoralized by German fire and flees back to the town as well. But not before knocking out another GREN step and forcing this German force into more recoveries.
Back in the east the Germans look to go after the cross roads and advance some GREN's forward. Braving the fire from the roadblock they are able to close, but an American M4 shows up to deter them from an assault. Several turns later the recovered reduced Panther moves forward to scare away the M4, but the M4/76 is positioned to cover the American infantry hex. This leaves the units to snip at each other while the attack on the center continues.
With the American out of their dugin positons to the north of Michamps the Germans pull together a two GREN assault force that gets into the first town hex of Michamps. The are able to destroy a INF and force an HMG to retreat where it is cut down by fleeing fire. The full strength German Panther is also in support of this attack as well as the PzIVH that has moved from its support position to the east. Providing support fire from the HMG's other GRENs slowly advance, but each advance will draw American OP fire that takes its toll, once again on the command structure. This forces reinforcements back to recover and the STANDFR to take a more forward position to direct their recoveries. American OBA target the low hill east of the town at the rallying point for the Germans. A constant morale battle is waged on the hill. But this has another effect of killing time against the Germans. But they continue to muster forces to attack.
More assaults happen against the town with more German successes. This brings the casualty count dead even by turn 13. But American OBA continue to find the weak units and a see-saw battle of losses developes with each side losing one or two steps then the other. But with the American losses this yields ground to the Germans and the are able to launch three assaults against the Americans in the town for the final push. One is against the M4/76 that has taken refuse after the crossroads fell. It puts up a spirited defense as the Hitler Youth seemed to leave their Panzerfausts at home. In the center the American Colonels HQ is attacked but several good counter assaults leave the Germans contesting the hex. Lastly, to the west of the town the Panther assault group demoralizes the last HMG to capture the second town hex. But time runs out for the Germans and in the end they are able to even up the casualty count at 18 but only have 2 towns to the American 4 and 2 are contested. The Americans win a minor victory.
|Tanks are tough...|
I really enjoyed this one. Playing the US, I set up in both towns and put my arty on the small hill. I also dug in some troops near the woods on both sides and hid my tanks on both as well. My friend lined up the troops after me in basically a front line right on the edge of his board.
When the fighting began (I hadn’t played this in a while) I quickly realized that his tanks were going to roll over me, and at the end of the day, would just do what they wanted with me unless I first combined to get them all. I tried this, with crossfire, etc, while my other troops were holding quite well actually on all fronts. The large town held well, as did the small hill arty, but the panther (or was it a tiger? It was a 7 hour game last night!) just could not be beaten. I eventually lost my tanks at a four to one ratio and even though I held the town, we both agreed that it was only a matter of time until it fell, as he ran his tanks down to the small town to claim the hexes, and just let all of troops assault the large town. I ceded as we could tell his troops would lose, but obviously wear me down enough that his 2 tanks would then just roll in. We were only on turn 12 so he had time to do it. Great game, and I want to do this scenario again to see how I might take it for the US.
|Glacial Approach, Hot Action|
The horrid weather/movement conditions make movement difficult for both attack and defense. Thus the attack and, as usual, urban assaults moved inexorably, though in deadly fashion.
12th SS set up more-or-less in a line across the western half to 2/3 of the board edge. The panzers move forward behind their protecting line of infantry at the western edge allowing them to hold at bay US armored forces. The first six turns sees the SS weather US OF and bombardments leading to a sea of red & black markers. Still, there are sufficient grenadiers to press the attack into Michamps. Two US M4's forced to show their hands in the town defense and holding a light woods copse are destroyed by the SS tankers.
Excitement on turn 7 as the lowly US 57mm sets a crossfire bonus which an M18 takes advantage of at a range of 7 (-1 range, +2 xfire rolls '12' for a full unit kill!). Grim-faced Germans repay the favor eliminating the M18.
Bloody urban assault combat ensues for the next several turns as the US holds defense and the SS use their ENGS. By Turn 13 (of 18), the Germans have cleared Michamps, but are so battered as to be unable (and unwilling) to press the attack against the US forces holding Oubourcy. With dusk beginning to fall, the SS licks its considerable wounds being content with inflicting serious casualties to US forces and capturing the town of Michamps.
German VPs: 5-towns x 2 + 27 steps inflicted = 37 VPs US VPs: 3-towns x 2 + 16 steps inflicted = 22 VPs
Now were there points for DIS/DEM this might have been close!