Sunday, September 29, 2013

All Americans, Part 2 (Sicily 10 July 43)

     I got another game in this morning.  I got Scenario Card F, "Platoon Attack," and I decided the job would be to go eliminate a mobile AA gun that turned out to be pretty heavily defended.  I had an automatic preparatory barrage from the regiment's 75mm pack howitzers, a 60mm mortar, and an Engineer NCO attached.  My pregame deal was "Take the Initiative," which gave all my leaders a +1 for the duration of the game.
     Following the post game, two members of the platoon were noticed: the Plt Sgt made a name for himself with the Battalion commander for leading the platoon to the staging area, getting them through a fight to get there, and lead an old-fashioned bayonet charge to break the back of the German resistance.  Meanwhile, the Lt got in the Company commander's doghouse.  It wasn't really his fault; during the drop he landed on  the roof of a local cathouse teeming with German soldiers, and thus missed the link-up with his platoon.  He caught up with them at the Bn staging area, but got a good butt-chewing from the CO...

 The table, US baseline at bottom, German at top.  We've got a crossroads with a couple bombed-out buildings (the fly-fly boys were trying to take out the SP AA, but missed, which is why the Platoon is up to bat) on the left with fields and rolling hills to the right.  At top center you can see the truck mounted 37mm AA gun.
 The objective: put the gun out of action.
 The platoon.  HQ element of Lt, Plt Sgt, Bazooka, two-man 60mm mortar, and Engineer NCO.  1st and 3rd Squads are down one man each, while 2nd is down two.  I know you guys probably think I was cheating on the casualty rolls to get such evenly spread casualties, but I swear that's just how it worked out.
 US deployment on left, with 1st Squad's rifle team (1A) and Squad Leader (SL) at left, PC, RTO, and bazooka in center, and 1st Squad's BAR team (1B) with Assistant Squad Leader (A/SL) at bottom right.
 US center, with 2A on left and 2B on right.  At top left, behind the wall just below the fountain is a German LMG team (1st Fire Group, or 1FG), with their Plt Sgt.  At top center, atop the hill, is 2FG with their PC, and at top right is a MG-42 HMG team.
 US right, with 3B on left, Plt Sgt and Engineer at top center, 60mm mortar at bottom center, and 3A at far right.  Across from 3rd Squad is the MG-42 HMG and a Rifle Group (RG), with the PC and 2FG just visible at top left.
 German right (from US baseline), with 1FG and Plt Sgt.  Top right shows the SP AA and a two-man 50mm mortar.
 German center, with 2FG and PC in middle with 50mm mortar and SP AA behind them.
 German left, with HMG on left and RG on right.  Please note the two Type A (white) and 1 Type C (black) blinds left over as they are out of sight of the US troops.  This would cause an interesting situation later in the game.

So, the fight starts with the prep barrage laying into the German 1FG/Plt Sgt on the left (I put it there because there were three German blinds, but two turned out to be dummies), getting two kills.  Then 3B (on the right) opened up on the German HMG to no effect, at which point they returned fire, dropping two men.  The 60mm mortar dropped some rounds on the HMG and got a kill (their NCO), while the German RG got another kill on 3B.  2FG then fired on 1B, but only managed one shock.  The German Plt Sgt and 1FG sprinted right, intent on getting into the two-story building, while the German mortar fired, to no effect.
 Meanwhile, 1st Squad and the PC/RTO/bazooka moved up to the wall.
 Second Squad moved up into the treeline in the center.
    3A fired at the HMG, getting a kill, while the lone survivor of 3B joined 3A (counting as the loss of a team, costing 3 FM points!).
    A new turn saw 2B open up on the HMG and get another kill, while the German 2FG laid into 2A, killing 3 of the 4 men, leaving only the squad leader (-1 FM, quickly down to 6 total).  German RG fired at 3A, getting only 1 shock (the Germans were rolling a lot of hits but terrible for effect).  The 60mm jumped on them, causing two kills.  The German HMG fired on 2B, getting a kill and a shock.
 The Plt Sgt, who's known to be a bit reckless, then leads 3rd Squad out into the field, where it fires on the run, two kills and two shock on the German RG.  The German HMG and RG on the hill have been reduced to one man each.
 The German Plt Sgt and 1FG move upstairs, while the Lt directs Cpl Carlyle to put a rocket into the second story, killing the German Plt Sgt and one other man (leaving only the NCO and the gunner).  1A dashes through the gap in the wall and takes shelter behind the wall nearest the building, while 1B hops the wall and sprints right.
    Next I roll up an in-game event, which turned out to be friendly reinforcements, so I brought the .30 cal. MMG on the table in the center.
    The turn ends with the German mortar getting a kill on 1B...  
 1B and the MMG fire on 2FG, getting 3 kills and 4 shock; the German PC frantically pulls shock off the one survivor (the LMG gunner), and the gunner fires at 2nd Squad, managing only a shock. They return fire, killing the gunner and leaving the PC all alone on the hill (German PC is at top left, alone, while 2nd Squad is at far right and 1B is bottom center-left).
 1FG fires on 1A crouched behind the wall below, but it's ineffective as they've lost so many men and the team is pinned.  1A hops the wall and moves into close combat with 1FG, killing the gunner.  The NCO promptly surrenders.

Now I find myself in a strange predicament.  The Germans have lost 2 NCOs and two teams, which cost them enough Force Morale points to break them.  BUT, they still have three blinds on the table that have yet to be revealed.  What to do????  So, here's what I decided on the fly.
    The Germans on the table surrendered, resulting in 10 POWs (PC, 1FG NCO, mortar crew, 4-man SP AA crew, 1 survivor from HMG, and 1 survivor from RG).  As the Americans are policing up the area and consolidating, a German counterattack force arrives!  I rolled up for all three blinds, and came up with a PzIII (long 50mm), another MG-42 HMG, and a dummy.  But I didn't think the group should be without 'regular' infantry, so I turned the 'dummy' into a RG.
 The table, from the US baseline.  Top left is 1A, then the PC/RTO/Bazooka, and 1B.  The MMG is just off camera at bottom left, while 2nd Squad, the Plt Sgt/Engineer, 3rd Squad, and the 60mm mortar are at bottom right.  The German Panzer is top right, the HMG in treeline at right, and the RG next to the bushes in the center.
Another look, from behind 1st Squad, with 2nd and 3rd at center top and MMG at bottom right.  Germans are top left.

This went pretty quick as the Germans were in a bad spot: PC/RTO/Bazooka, 1A, 1B, and 2nd Squad all moved forward to get in better position while the Panzer plowed ahead into the field.  the mortar, Plt Sgt, and 3rd Squad laid into the German HMG, getting three shock and three kills, leaving only the gunner, who fired to no effect.  The German RG did manage to get two kills on 3rd Squad.

The next (and last) turn saw the German RG get 4 hits on 3rd Squad, which really had me feeling bitter, but then then the hits only amounted to 4 shock (ZERO kills!).  Good ol' Corporal Carlyle licked his thumb and stroked the front sight post on this bazooka, then confidently slammed a rocket into the engine compartment of the Panzer.  The crew promptly bailed, which was enough to get the RG and one survivor of the HMG team to throw their hands up (10 more prisoners).

So, the Krauts suffered:
20 POW
1 captured SP AA
1 disabled Panzer Mk III

Our casualties were heavy as well:
1st Squad Rifleman (kneel SMG) - PFC Baker, Walking Wounded
2nd Squad Rifleman (kneel Mohawk) - PFC Juliet, WIA, evacuated home
2nd Squad Rifleman (crouch carbine) - Pvt King, WIA, evacuated home
2nd Squad Rifleman (port Ardennes) -  Pvt Mike, KIA
2nd Squad Rifleman (shoot Garand) - Pvt Papa, KIA
2nd Squad Rifleman (rush Garand) - Pvt Oscar, Walking Wounded
3rd Squad Rifleman (stand SMG) - Pvt Sierra, Walking Wounded
3rd Squad Assistant Squad Leader (SMG) - Cpl Pace, WIA, local evacauation (3 days)
3rd Squad Automatic Rifleman (BAR) PFC Victor - WIA, evacuated home
3rd Squad Rifleman (rush Garand) Pvt Whiskey - Walking Wounded
3rd Squad Rifleman (crouch carbine) Pvt Xavier - Walking Wounded

Cpl Carlyle again performed admirably (knocking out the tank with a flank shot), but I don't think it was enough for anything more than being 'mentioned in dispatches.'

So 1st Squad is only down 1 man (though half the rest are walking wounded), but 2nd Squad is down to only four men and 3rd Squad is down to six men.  So, my platoon of 35 men has been reduced to 24 men, though one will return in a few days.  We need to see about some replacements...

If I get replacements I will look to make another attack on German positions.  If not, I believe the platoon will move into blocking positions and switch over to the defensive, and await the Herman Goering Division's counterattacks, as occurred in real life.


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