First up, I took care of post-battle business. My 'free-form' event was Lt Shepherd recommending SSgt Ford for meritorious promotion to Sergeant First Class for his gallantry and leadership in the previous two battles. The Company CO is not all that fond of the Lt, but the Bn CO loves Ford, so the Army has a new SFC.
The first fixed event was a character event, which turned out to be a morale test that went negatively. I picked Sgt Hurley, the 2nd Squad Leader. It seems the good Sergeant is a bit depressed about losing so many of his men. Ford's got an eye on him and 1st Squad's Sgt Hume in particular is trying to lift his spirits.
The second fixed event was truly blessed; reinforcements! I rolled well and got enough fresh bodies to leave the platoon only two bodies down. Cpl Carlyle got an assistant for his bazooka, while 2nd Squad got brought back to full strength. 1st Squad is still a man down, as is 3rd Squad. 3rd got two replacements, leaving them down only their Assistant Squad Leader (A/SL), Cpl Pace (wounded, local evac, return in a few days). Pvt Whiskey was promoted to PFC by the Plt Cmdr and assigned as the Acting A/SL (on the recommendation of Sgt Dawson, of course, despite the Lt's personal distaste for Dawson's underhandedness).
As a side note, I really need to paint up some more paras. Right now I don't have enough men to go overstrength for the platoon (a possibility in the post-game events), to get reinforced (a possibility with in-game events), or to deploy more than one engineer (a possibility with pre-game events). Additionally, I only have enough men for the .30 cal MMG and the mortar to be two-man teams.
Along those lines, it's been pointed out on TMP that I should have M-1919A4 MGs in my squads instead of having BARs. I stick by my guns (no pun intended) regarding the fact paras (the 82nd AB in particular) used BARs, but the issue I'm having is that I'm seriously outgunned in the fights (just like real life I suppose). My BAR is rolling 3 dice while the MG-42 LMG (bipod) is rolling five and the MG-42 HMG (tripod) is rolling 7. So, I believe after the Sicily campaign my platoon will be requisitioning three M-1919 .30 cal MGs. I believe they'll retain their BARs, though. Actually, I think they'll go with LMGs only in Salerno and Anzio, and will have decided for even more firepower for D-Day and will add their BARs back to the squads (in addition to the LMGs).
So, with the fortuitous addition of so many replacements, I decided to not cheat (if I didn't get reinforcements I was going to go on the defensive) and roll to decide the mission as normal. I rolled as the attacker and then got Card B, Hasty Attack. For me, I did not get artillery, engineers, or an ATG, but I did get a MG (actually rolled up armor but as there's none available in real life I went with the MG) and the 60mm mortar.
The enemy did not get a bunker or mines, but did get arty (though I'm going to play it as a two-tube section of on-table 80mm mortars with enough ammo for three missions). This plays into the idea of the hasty attack. The goal of the attack is a German strongpoint, known to consist of two MG-42 HMGs in sandbagged positions (hard cover) on a hill and a two-tube mortar section in a sandbagged position behind them. The Germans probably have some supporting infantry on the flanks (4 Type A blinds), and have a local reserve (a Type C blind and three more Type A blinds), which is a bit different than the scenario card as written but helps offset the idea the Germans are starting with at least two HMGs and two medium mortars on the table, which is pretty formidable, particularly with a relatively open table.
Let's get to the action.
The plan was to mix and match 2nd and 3rd Squads on the fly; the two BAR teams (the beat up 2B and 3B) would establish a base of fire from the treeline while the Lt would lead the two rifle teams (2A and 2B) up the right side. The Lt needed did not need both squad leaders with him, and so he ordered Sgt Hurley (2nd Squad's SL) over to lead the two BAR teams (and 2B really needed leaders to pull shock to keep it in the fight).
So Hurley hopped up and began sprinting to his left to join 2B. I figured the chances of 2MG using its overwatch status on one man was pretty slim, but I'll be damned if they didn't open up and gun him down. The Lt cursed under his breath... and then yelled for 3rd Squad's Sgt Dawson to come over and lead the 2B and 3B while the Lt moved right with 2A and 3A. In the photo above, the three bodies at top left are all from 2B, while the lone body out in the open between the road and the knoll is Sgt Hurley. 2A and 3A are on the right.
The 60mm fires on 2MG and gets another 2 shock, while both 1 and 2MG fire on the Plt Sgt's gang (at very close range) and manage only 2 shock (on five hits!!!). The Plt Sgt moves up and fires on 2MG, but they manage only 1 shock (pathetic dice rolling).
Immediately following this, 3B fires on 2MG, getting a kill and 2 more shock, and it breaks also! The Krauts are on the run! 1MG is just one man and his machine gun, and no way to remove shock, but he manages to activate and opens up on the Plt Sgt's group, taking out the platoon runner. The German mortars fire on 1st squad with two 80mm tubes and manage only 1 shock!!!
At this point it time for the local reserve to enter the table as a counterattack. Like I said earlier, there was a Type C blind and three Type A blinds. This s@#$ was incredible. I rolled the C up first and got a 9, so it was a tank (I used a Panzer Mk III). I rolled a Type A and got a 10, so I grabbed another FG with a Plt Sgt. I rolled and got a 6 or 7, which had me roll 1D6, which was a 6, so I had to roll on the C blinds table and got an armored car (Sdkfz 222). I rolled on the last Type A and got a 10, so I grabbed an RG and the PC. Then I rolled to see where they would come on the table, and it was on the German right (where 1FG had been).
However, the Americans were quite far along and the Germans essentially deployed into an L-shaped ambush. I've got to get better about this, as this is the same thing that happened last game, and both were very one-sided. I didn't do any cheating at all last time, and I only did a little this time, but I never saw this coming.
First 3B opened up on 2FG in the treeline, getting only 1 shock, and 2FG returned fire, also getting only 1 shock. Then all of 1st Squad opened up; the .30 cal MMG laid into the armored car, hitting its engine compartment and immobilizing it (surprisingly, the crew stayed). The remaining 1st Squad firepower mowed down all of 2RG and the German PC, which was caught in the open between the A/C and the Panzer.
There was a brief lull as SFC Ford loaded a rocket into Cpl Carlyle's bazooka...
The Germans lost:
3 POW (only the A/C crew, everyone else was a casualty or ran off)
1 armored car disabled
1 Panzer III destroyed
2 80mm mortar tubes captured
Pvt Ignacio (HQ Element) *Repl (2/3); Shot in thigh, Purple Heart (3)
Sgt Hurley Reyes (2nd Squad SL) *Negative Morale Event (casualties) (2/3); Shot in head, Purple Heart (3);
Pvt Cahill (2nd Squad) *Repl (2/3); shot in torso, locally evacuated and treated, return in 5 days (3), Purple Heart;
Pvt Herby (3rd Squad) *Repl (2/3); shot in groin, locally evacuated and treated, return in 3 days, Purple Heart (3)
Cpl Daniel Farraday (HQ Element) *KIA (3); Submitted for posthumous Bronze Star (3)
Pvt Durango (HQ Element) *Repl (2/3); KIA (3)
Cpl Sam Jarrah (2nd Squad A/SL) *WIA, evacuated (3)
Pvt Oscar (2nd Squad) *shot in shoulder, walking wounded, Purple Heart (1); shot in hand, walking wounded, Purple Heart (2); shot in chest, evacuated, Purple Heart (3)
Pvt Edson (2nd Squad) *Repl (2/3); KIA (3)
Pvt Fenner (2nd Squad) *Repl (2/3); KIA (3)
Sgt Michael Dawson (3rd Squad SL) *WIA, evacuated (3)
Pvt Effel (Wpns Plt/Mortars) *KIA (3)
So, the HQ Element is missing the RTO and 1st Squad is still down one man. 2nd Squad, as always, has really taken it in the shorts and is down 50% to only five men. One of the missing is the A/SL. 3rd Squad is also is a bad way. It's only lost three man, but those include the SL and A/SL. PFC Whiskey was the acting A/SL and is now the ranking man in the squad. We'll see if Battalion can spare any replacements...
2Lt Shepherd, Platoon Commander, submitted for the Bronze Star for personal leadership of 2nd and 3rd Squads under intense enemy fire, and carrying out a textbook, fire and maneuver into close assault to destroy the enemy's left flank.
SFC Ford, Platoon Sergeant, submitted for the Bronze Star for leading the close assault on the enemy's key position and directing the main effort to defeat the enemy's armored counterattack.
Corporal Carlyle, HQ Element, Anti-Tank gunner, submitted for the Bronze Star for participating in the close assault on the enemy's key position and for eliminating the enemy's armor in the face of overwhelming odds.
Corporal Farrady, HQ Element, Radio/Telephone Operator, posthumously submitted for the Bronze Star for participating in the close assault which eliminated the anchoring element on their left flank.
Well, another fun, relatively quick game. I hope my cheese at the end doesn't ruin what otherwise was a pretty interesting fight.