2nd Armored Division Armored Rifles vs German Festungskompanie in the bocage.
** HOLD THE LINE **
Lists right around 1250 or so:
US: HQ, 2 combat platoons, 4 shermans, priests, L4 grasshopper
Germans: HQ w/ faust & mortars, 2 snipers, 3 combat platoons, 3 Stugs, HMGs, artillery battery
** Again I apologize for my pictures. My office where we play is very dark... I really need to just go buy a ton of free standing lighting I guess.
The Festungskompanie (which had no time to prepare any fortifications) chose the Northern half to defend. The objectives were placed around the church (just used 2 large bases... don't have my Festungskompanie objectives done yet)
The previous day, the Americans had captured the small town of Amelie du'Fromme, but in the night the Germans had fortified their position near the church on the outskirts of the town. The terrain was very rough bocage country that the Americans had come to despise.
The Germans deployed their artillery across the volga, and one grenadier platoon on the board. The Stugs are in ambush.
The Armored Rifle platoon on the left flank races up the road as the advance force of the attack. Shortly thereafter the General advance order is given. The ARP (2nd Platoon) on the right drives up to the bocage, preparing to unload the blitzdoughs into the fields. The Shermans advance up the road, and the left most ARP (1st Platoon) platoon dismount into the Western fields.
-Get ready to move out boys!
-The Shermans nervously advance up the central road of Amelie du'Fromme.
-The view from the South West. Troops move into the western most fields.
To kick off the attack, the grasshopper flies low over the tree tops, and immediately spots an enemy position. A well placed Time on Target barrage manages to cause some casualties, and keep the defenders hunkering in their slit trenches.
-The Piper Cub moves into position
-And within seconds artillery rains from above
The Germans manage to get their first reserve platoon, and elects to bring on the HMGs. They move them south to contest the eastern most objective.
Just as ARP 1 begins crossing the bocage, a pair of snipers who'd taken residence in a farm house open up, pinning the US troops.
-Sniper fire comes from the yard and the building, further slowing the American's advance in the West.
The U.S. manages to unpin ARP 1, and everyone continues moving forward. ARP 2 in the right is now deep in the bocage, but going is slow.
-2nd platoon in the bocage fields.
-The Shermans continue their cautious advance
A Repeat barrage from the priests causes some more light casualties on the troops in the woods.
German artillery opens up on the tanks in the road. A few nearby infantry are killed by shrapnel, and one of the tanks is lightly damaged.
-The view at the bottom of turn 2.
-The shot was shaky because artillery rounds were landing everywhere...
The Piper Cub moves over to interdict the German reserves (an HMG platoon and a grenadier platoon). Artillery fire from the priests manages to pin down both platoons, but fail to cause any casualties.
The Shermans exit the bocage and launch a daring assault on the snipers to clear the way for the infantry, and manage to remove both of them.
-The Shermans take position after clearing the snipers for the infantry.
Suddenly, 2nd platoon is hit without warning from well concealed stugs on the edge of the bocage. The firing kills a few men, and forces everyone to hit the dirt, but most of the platoon was protected in the dense bocage.
Artillery again ranges on the shermans, managing only to bail another.
-The Audience/Judge/Occasional participant. AKA CAT BREAK!!!!
the U.S. is now bogged down. 1st platoon fails to unpin. 2nd platoon unpins but faces a stug battery directly ahead of them. The Shermans spread out from the artillery fire. some half-hearted shooting occurs, but not a single hit is scored on the enemy.
-The priests cannot seem to range in on target this turn.
-The Sherman gunners are all off the mark
-"You take that church or I'll find someone who will!"
German artillery continues to wreak havoc on 1st platoon in the West. The Stugs fire their MGs again, but have backed away from the bocage and cannot cause any real damage.
-German reserves continue to be poured onto the Eastern objective.
Captain MacLauchlan continues to scream at 1st platoon, but they fail to budge. MacLauchlan sacks their platoon leader, and assumes command.
The Shermans, now through the bocage and clear of any AT obstacles advance forward in an attempt to first seize the high ground and then sweep behind the enemy, and stop the reserves from reaching the forward objectives.
-"Let's get this hill boys!" (note yes that is a tobruk bunker... it is acting as an observer. Haven't painted the arty battery yet)
Just as the tanks begin to rumble up the hill, 2 of them simultaneously blow tracks, bringing the capture of the hill suddenly into a nightmare, as an enemy infantry platoon is no more than a few hundred yards ahead.
The East is faring much better. The Priests manage to range in on the stugs and knock one out, while the plethora of bazookas bail a second stug. The platoon commander gives the order to attack, but the men decide they're happy to let the artillery do the work, but leave a few of their comrades exposed on the other side of the bocage.
in the East, the german reserves are nearing the front lines, fortifying the woods near the objective. In the west, an expertly coordinated infantry assault manages to wipe out 3 shermans before they know what hit them. The platoon commander falls back towards the company commander. The company commander motivates him to stick around, but the tank crew is so shaken they barely do anything for the rest of the battle.
-Lights the first time, every time!
In the East, 2nd platoon acts on it's momentum. Bazooka fire knocks out a 3rd stug, leaving only a badly damaged one in their way. Meanwhile, Platoon 1 continues to flounder in the bocage.
2nd Platoon charges over the bocage and manages to knock out the remaining stug. But they don't stop there! Lt. Polonofsky pushes his troops to continue on, and attack both the HMG and grenadier platoon that is now intermingled. Fortunately, moments before the Americans reach their line, artillery fire thrw the enemy position into disarray, and the assault makes it through the sporadic defensive fire! Casualties are heavy on both sides, but as the smoke clears the germans have fallen back to the tree line and the US holds an objective for the first time!
-2nd platoon moves onto the objective.
the Germans muster a counter attack on 2nd platoon, but is thrown back by defensive fire (7 dice, 6 hits... ouch) even after laying a blanket of smoke from the HQ mortars and calling in an artillery fire mission on the now ragged Armored Rifle Platoon.
By now the Efforts in the West are hopeless. Still 1st platoon manages to advance just to force the Germans to remain there and hold the objective.
But 2nd platoon, at the urging of their brave (or crazy?) platoon leader yet again assault a mixed force of grenadiers and HMGs. Fortunately, the L4 grasshopper, having realized they need all the help they can get, continues to ensure a steady rain of steel on the enemy. Again the assault drives back the germans, but this time they don't stop falling back! The few survivors flee the field of battle. Despite holding the Western flank fairly solidly, the panic erupting on the other side of the church is enough to make the rest of the Germans think better of this. Many retreat, the rest are captured.
-2nd Platoon holds the objective, winning the battle. Several service medals were given for this action, including a bronze star for lt. Polonofsky.
US: That game was a LOT closer than the 6-1 score would indicate. Initially, the assault on the right flank was a bit of an act of desperation. Frustrated with how slow I was moving (bocage + snipers + artillery), and the loss of 3/4 shermans put a damper on my plan. I had originally planned for the Shermans to break through and interdict reserves, knowing my ARPs would take forever to get through. I did not expect 2nd platoon to assault and defeat 3 platoons in 2 assaults (with some help from the AFAB and the Piper Cub of course).
GERMANS: this was the first time I had seen A) a festungskompanie and B) snipers in action. They were played by my friend Dallas who had almost no experience running infantry companies. He's a quick study though, and I think made way more great decisions than bad ones like most n00bs. I am excited to try my Festungskompanie with some fortifications.
All in all, a very very close and fun game.
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