I lined the platoon up again this morning and got after it. The platoon was in pretty good shape: the HQ element was full strength (PC, Plt Sgt, RTO, and two-man bazooka team), 1st Squad was 100%, 2nd Squad was one man down, and 3rd Squad was two men down. Lt Shepherd and SFC Ford huddled; both were very anxious regarding the new 3rd Squad leader, SSgt Miles. As 3rd was missing the Asst Squad Leader, they decided to temporarily switch Sgt Glenn, the hard-charger they just picked up from Easy Company, over to 3B to bolster leadership in 3rd Squad. This also meant moving Pvt India from 1B to 2B, and promoting PFC Nancy, the 2B automatic rifleman, to Corporal, and he would function as the 2nd Squad A/SL.
The fight is over the north half of the board I fought on last time (with the 'new' northern third being newly rolled up). Last fight (on 10 July) took over a key German position in "Objective Y," some of 82nd Airborne Divisions initial objectives. On 11 July, PzGren Herman Goering Division attacked, trying to breakthrough to the US beachheads near Gela. They just roughed up Dog Company's 3rd Platoon all day on the 11th, and just broke them at ~1300 local time on the 12th, so Capt Linus is committing 1st Platoon to the counterattack to retake the line. The Company Commander wasn't sure what was left up there holding the line, if anything, but he seemed to think a single 57mm anti-tank gun (ATG) was all that was left. In we go...
I rolled up my pregame deal and got "Get Moving!" which was cool (in my rules I put an extra card in the deck and one team got to make an extra move each turn). For my assets, I rolled no on everything except Artillery, but then I forgot to use it!!! Meanwhile, the Germans started off (officially) with 10 Type A blinds, 1 Type B blind, and 2 Type C blinds. However, I wanted to simulate PzGren Hermann Goering Division's attacks (trying to breakthrough to the beachheads near Gela), so I gave them two Tigers. I placed four blinds, two marked dummy and two real ones (after shuffling them so I wouldn't know which was which), and placed them as normal. Then I placed the As and Bs as normal. Then I rolled all of them up as normal so I could start with all forces on the table. Actually, all forces except for one A, one B, and one C, which would enter later (determined by dice roll) as enemy reinforcements. Regarding Force Morale (FM), I actually started the Germans off higher as they had armor, had just whooped some butt, and were about to whoop some more (theoretically), while my paras are lightly armed going up against some man-eating Tigers that already roughed up one of their fellow platoons.
So, let's get to it.
Turn 4: I swear I'm shuffling these cards, but this turn started with 6 straight German cards, and they only have 8!!!
At the end of Turn 4, we've got US Force Morale and German Force Morale tied at TWO, meaning one more negative event could end it for either side. To make matters worse, it's time for the German reinforcements to come on. Now, you guys are going to think I'm screwing around, but I rolled them correctly: all three German blinds ended up being ghosts. So, on to Turn 5.
It will sound terrible, but the Lt and Plt Sgt are quite happy to be rid of SSgt Miles (the RTO swears he saw Miles grin when the 88mm shell took off his hand, saying something about a 'million dollar wound'). Far more concerning is Sgt Glenn's performance. Ford is convinced all the talk about Glenn being a hard-charge apparently came from his performance in garrison, while the Lt is trying to be a bit more even-keeled. Shepherd was in the central position, and well remembers the feeling of being targeted by two German MG-42s, a German rifle team, and two Tigers.
Shepherd isn't happy, but he's not ready write off the young Sgt just yet. After all, there is still a whole at Squad Leader (3rd has lost Squad Leaders back to back in the last two fights) that needs to be filled. Ford is incensed that Shepherd wants to make Glenn the 3rd Squad SL, but the Lt pointed out that, of the other three men who ran with Glenn, one was a recent replacement, but the other two were original members of the platoon that had been steady under fire. Ford said of course they ran, they saw a Sergeant take off, and it will happen again.
Shepherd is sticking to his guns, partly out of necessity, though he will do his best to shield 3rd Squad and Sgt Glenn during the next fight. Ford told him he's lost his mind, that so far the fighting has been too intense to be able to hold anyone back. For his part, Sgt Glenn is feeling the heat and is praying for a chance to redeem himself. Next game I intend on trying to hole Glenn/3rd Squad out, but I will put in a separate card just for Glenn, who will be looking for a shot to be a hero. If it goes like he wishes, he's either going to be a hero or he's going six feet under.
The Germans lost:
5 POW (Tiger crew and German Plt Commander)
2 Tiger I tanks damaged (later destroyed with thermite grenades by 2nd Squad).
The three ATG crewmen on the board were WIA/KIA.
Sgt Desmond Hume (1st Squad SL) *Shot in foot, Purple Heart (1); *Shot in bicep, Purple Heart (4);
Pvt Farr (2nd Squad) *Repl (3/4); *Shot in shoulder, Purple Heart (4)
SSgt Miles (3rd Squad SL) *Repl from Supply Bn (3/4); WIA, evacuated, Purple Heart (4)
PFC Romeo (3rd Squad) *KIA (4)
Private Tango (3rd Squad) *For manning an ATG and knocking out a German Tiger under intense enemy fire.
Private Uniform (3rd Squad) *For manning an ATG and knocking out a German Tiger under intense enemy fire.
Sgt Glenn (2nd Squad, though temporarily assigned to 3rd Squad) *Ran in the face of the enemy (4);
Pvt Girardo (3rd Squad) *Repl (2/3); Ran in the face of the enemy (4);
PFC Whiskey (3rd Squad) *shot in hand, walking wounded, Purple Heart (2); Meritoriously promoted to E-3 by Plt Cmdr, named Acting A/SL; Ran in the face of the enemy (4);
Pvt Xavier (3rd Squad) *shot in foot, walking wounded, Purple Heart (2); Ran in the face of the enemy (4);
7 -The battalion S-1 is an old college chum of Lt Shepherd and wants to tag along on the next mission.
9 -While Sgt Hume is back at the BAS getting bandaged up, he runs into the 1st Sgt for Weapons Company. They get to chatting and discover they are from the same hometown. The 1st Sgt for Wpns Co has a favorable opinion of Sgt Hume.
The next fight will be Card L, "Set Piece Defense."
After stabilizing the position with their counterattack, the platoon spent the night manning the line. There were numerous skirmishes between their outposts and enemy patrols all night, but at first light (on 13 July) the Germans attacked again...