Read on for the report!
HQ + Panzerknackers & Panzerschreck team
(x3) Panzergrenadier Platoon
2x Tiger IE
Italian Paracadutisti Platone (FV)
US RIFLE COMPANY
HQ + Bazookas
(x3) Rifle Platoons
Weapons Platoon (1 LMG Section attached out)
HMG Platoon (all HMGS attached out)
Combat Engineer Platoon
(x2) 105mm Batteries
M10 SPTD Battery
We rolled up "Encounter", with the Panzergrenadiers as the "attacker".
The Panzergrens elected to start the game with 2 PzG platoons, the HMGs, and the nebelwerfers on board. The Americans started with their 155s, a battery of 105s, Combat Engineers, M10s, and a rifle platoon with attached HMGs.
The German left flank. Nebelwerfers in the bottom left, HMGs covering both views down the road in the bottom center. Panzergrenadiers on the bottom right. US 105s and combat engineers in the top left around the 1st objective. All 3 observers deployed on the bridge. Behind them are the recon teams for the M10s. In the top right a US Rifle platoon and 155s.
The German right flank. The German HMGs defend the center objective, while another panzergrenadier platoon covers the right. In the North, the US Rifles and 155s on the ridge cover the second US objective.
American 105s and Engineers.
German machine gunners.
Sea of Americans
Panzergrenadiers move out.
Nebelwerfers attempt to range in on Tom's crotch, but miss and hit the artillery battery instead, knocking out one gun.
US 155s return fire and pepper the dug in Panzergrenadiers with HE.
Persistence pays off! The Americans fire a repeat bombardment and knock out a stand in the following turn.
The first reserves arrive in the form of US 105s. The early turns of the game are relatively uneventful as reserves are slow to develop and both forces are reluctant to advance.
The Panzergrenadiers are continuously hit with 155 fire.
More US reserves arrive!
A 3rd Rifle platoon comes on the board. The yanks have had all the reserves luck!
Finally the German reserves arrive with Tigers sneaking up the flank.
And Stugs racing up the middle.
Combined fire from Nebelwerfers and Tigers knock out 2 more guns in one 105 battery.
The huge mass of Americans on their left objective.
The left flank.
Stuarts arrive from reserve!
The US left flank.
155s knock out a tiger in a time on target barrage!
105s range in on the Stugs, but do no damage.
More axis reserves arrive! Italian paratroopers! Avanti!
And the last of the German reserves arrive with the last Panzergrenadier platoon.
155s and 105s hammer the Tiger and Paracadutisti. Despite being bailed, the Tiger fights on!
The Italians charge a 105 battery.
Killing their command stand and one gun before pulling back.
But they are never safe from artillery. The 105s retire after this barrage, deciding this is a fight for the Germans.
Stugs shift to the German left flank, and knock out 2 guns in a 105 battery.
The Stuarts attempt to cross the creek, but leave themselves open to assault as they throw tracks.
Two are knocked out.
The M10s spring their ambush, but 2 bog down in the woods.
Unfortunately, the Stugs are unharmed!
The Stugs are tantalizingly close to the objective.
Stugs return fire, knocking out 2 M10s.
The Panzergrenadiers charge forward at the urging of the company commander and finish off the Stuarts.
M10s and artillery bear down on the Stugs.
The German right flank
The M10s knock out another Stug at the cost of one of their own.
The Tiger finishes the last of the 105s. 2 105 batteries down!
Nebelwerfers range in on the infantry on the ridge.
The stugs spread out to avoid artillery fire.
The last M10 knocks out another assault gun.
But is quickly dispatched. The recon teams of the M10 platoon hold on.
The Tiger starts opening up on the freshly arrived Weapons Platoon mortars.
Panzergrenadiers push deep into enemy territory, swinging far to the right.
The first assault of the ridge under a smoke barrage from the nebelwerfers kills 3 american teams including a platoon commander. The Germans play it safe and pull back into the slim treeline.
The Stugs charge the observers on the bridge, killing two.
And then push deep behind enemy lines, MGing the recon elements of the M10s, knocking the platoon out.
Under a smoke barrage, two panzergrenadier platoons charge the ridge!
And prepare to knock out the 105s. The American tractors move forward to provide MG cover.
The Germans capture the ridge, chasing off a rifle platoon! MG fire from the other panzergrenadier platoon destroys most of the 155 transports.
The Stugs pull back across the creek to push the other objective.
The American engineers assault the lone tiger and knock it out, but suffer several losses on the attack.
The Germans finish off the 155s, and fight back the remaining Rifles.
The final fight for the objective is on!
The Americans counter assault!
American mortars smoke the Stugs and Engineers rush forward.
A panzergrenadier platoon breaks!
Stugs escape an Engineer assault.
The Germans send the two remaining panzergrenadier platoons forward- it's all or nothing!
After a bloody assault, the Americans are pushed back. If they can't unpin, it's game over!
And the Americans fail to unpin! Leaving the objective in German hands. 4-3 for the Germans.
What a bloody game! I've really come to like Encounter- it used to bug me, but every game I've played of it lately has been an absolute blast. This was a slow, plodding battle, which I think accurately captured the mood of Italy. In all, the Germans lost their Tigers, a Panzergrenadier platoon, and their Italian paratrooper allies. The Americans lost all 3 artillery batteries, their M10s, their Stuarts, and 2 rifle platoons.