Sunday, August 25, 2013

US Airborne vs Germans, Normandy '44

    So I got in a decent sized game of US paras taking it to the Germans in Normandy, circa June 1944.  An understrength Airborne Platoon, minus many of it original members but having picked up 'cats and dogs' from various other units, was moving on its way to its assembly area when enemy activity is detected.  The Lieutenant quickly forms the ad-hoc platoon into a base of fire element and two maneuver elements.

 Far left, clockwise: Plt Sgt, 60mm mortar team, bazooka, Lieutenant, .30 cal. MG team.
 4 rifles and two SMGs.
 Three rifles and three SMGs.
 German HMG team.
 German understrength rifle squad.
 Another German squad.
 Initial US deployement.  Bottom left is 60mm mortar, top left is Lt with Bazooka, SMG, and 3 rifles.  Center is MG team with NCO and rifle, and right is Plt Sgt, 2 SMGs, and 4 rifles.
 The whole board, with US forces in bottom left and the white poker chips representing German blinds.  There are four dummies and three 'real.'  I'm not sure if you can tell, but I went with a bigger board this time, going 3' x 3' instead of my usual 2' x 3'.
 Overview after Turn 1: The Lt took his group up the left side, uncovering a dummy blind, while the MG team moved up into the treeline atop the hill in the center.  All the action was on the right, where the Plt Sgt's team spotted the German HMG team.  The Krauts opened up, and with some really atrocious die-rolling, only managed a couple pins, while the 60mm mortar dropped an HE round, but it landed right.
 The Plt Sgt's team (left) facing off against the tripod-mounted MG-42.
 Overview after Turn 2: The mortar dumped one right on top of the MG-42, killing its NCO and rifleman, and pinning the gunner and A-gunner.  The team splits, with a few Joes staying in the treeline to lay down fire and a few running left to the wall, which spots another dummy blind.  The MG-42 lays into the guys in the treeline, killing the NCO and a rifleman.
    The Lt's team continued moving up.  (The photo is not oriented as normal; at top is the German MG-42, with Plt Sgt and a couple guys behind the wall and dead guys in the treeline just below it, MG team at center, and Lt's team on far bottom left).
 The situation on the right, where the German MG has lost two men but just taken down two men.
 Turn 3: The German MG-42 is able to activate first, and gets a couple pins on the Plt Sgt's group, though this hardly slows them down.  The Plt Sgt and another Tommy-gunner move up and eliminate the MG-42 crew, while two others move left to begin scouting for the Germans.
 On the far left, the Lt's team has gone as far as they can go without breaking cover, and a German blind is looming in that house to its front, with another to the top right (off camera).
 Turn 4: Well, time to get too it, so the Lt sends a scout forward, causing the blind to flip, revealing a German squad, which absolutely lays into the GIs, killing the scout, the Lt, and the SMG, and putting pins on the bazooka and another rifle, but the heady paras are quick to respond.
    The mortar responds, killing the A-gunner (a rifleman took over his duties), then the MG team opens up, getting a few pins but no kills.  The bazooka man manages to activate, and pops a rocket into the side of the building, killing three, and the two rifles finished off the German machine gunner, leaving only an MP-40 in the house.
 On the right, the Plt Sgt's boys take an operational pause to rally off pins and get reformed.
 Turn 5: On the left, the remains of the Lt's team shoot it out with the German MP-40 to no effect, though they force him into LOS of the MG, which guns him down.
 The Plt Sgt's boys move up on the last German blind.
Turn 6: Plt Sgt and a rifle move right, into a treeline, spotting the last German squad, which promptly kills the Plt Sgt and rifleman.  As per usual, the 60mm mortar is quick into action (and very accurate today) and kills the LMG team, followed by the .30 cal. MG gunning down the German NCO.  This is enough for the last two German rifleman to decide they've had enough...

The game was... okay.  I decided to go with all German forces on blinds and went with a bigger board, so what this meant was that the Germans operated in a very uncoordinated fashion, with the three German units essentially going down in three separate, unrelated fights.  In particular, this allowed the US forces to engage their supporting fires on each and every German team, i.e., there was never a 'do I use the mortar over here or over there?' moment, as the German teams popped up one at a time, allowing me to focus the full firepower on each.  Not a bad time, just the situation was never really in doubt, despite some pretty bad rifleman casualties.


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