It's late December 1943, almost Christmas, and Easy Company is back in the line. After the heavy casualties taken during the Battle of Three-Stripe Hill the survivors were pulled back to refit and regroup. Replacements were plenty, though the quality left much to question with regards to combat effectiveness; with US resources strained while still trying to get on a solid war footing, warm bodies were at a premium, so rear echelon troops at battalion, regiment, and division level were being stripped away to serve as riflemen, so Easy is now inhabited by cooks, bakers, and candlestick makers.
Nevertheless, another hill needs taking and Easy Company is up to bat. The dogfaces moved up to the line of departure under the cover of darkness and went into the attack at first light. Immediately the green GIs began taking casualties as German machine guns on the high ground took them under fire, and Kraut mortars weren't far behind. The head-on assault wasn't working, the men were pinned down.
The newly minted Sergeant, Frank Rock, new something needed to be done, and fast. He pointed to a squad, already beat up and down to seven men, and ordered them to follow him. Rock got to his feet, Tommy Gun hammering at the enemy in the distance, and he led the GIs to the left into a shallow depression. There they moved at a low crouch, working their way around the German flank.
Nice shooting, Rock thinks. And what's with that guy having a red beard, anyway?
That's three rally attempts, rolling a 1, 6, and 6, when he needed a 2-5 each time.
"You can call me Wildman."
"And you can call me Bulldozer."
"I don't recognize you guys, you weren't with Easy from the start were you?"
Bulldozer: "Nah, I'm a truck mechanic."
"You're awful quiet. Where did you come from?"
Wildman: "The brig..."
A quick, decisive fight, and this one wasn't solo, the boy played the Germans. He did not like the fact I had 8 guys and he had 5 at all (we both started with four then rolled 1D6), but I let him know each fight was going to be different. It was fun, but not super fun; I think the scenario was a good one, and I think the 12" x 12" board can work, it's just not that great for the desert, needs more terrain (and yes, I know those peaks took up a lot of space, but it wasn't really terrain for maneuver, it just channelized the fight). I must meditate on this; and maybe there's not an answer, maybe it just doesn't work for the desert but will work fine once we get to Sicily, where we can fight with trees and buildings (and yes, I know that's possible for North Africa, but I'm going for a really desert look, so no village fights, no orchards, etc...).
In any case, four more fights to write up and post, so stay tuned. The next one is the second fight for Last Fifty Yards, Canadians vs Germans in Normandy, and then I've got three you won't be expecting. It happened totally by accident (the last thing I need is another project/campaign); I've been using Ivan Sorensen's "Five Men at Kursk" (5MAK) quite a bit lately. As always, I've been tinkering with them; I had an idea and wanted to try them out, so I set up a quick table and and grabbed a couple forces. I had so much fun I ended up playing three games before I even knew what happened! I think you guys are really going to like them. Any guesses on what this new campaign might be? ;)