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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Battle Report - 11th Armored Division Vs. German Grenadiers (Market Garden Campaign Game)

Up here in Danbury Connecticut, where my local club is located, we are in the midst of a Firestorm Market Garden Campaign.  So Far, the Germans are kicking butt and taking names...and as the overall Allied Commander, I'm doing my best to reverse our flagging fortunes.

Through 2 Campaign Turns, our situation is becoming desperate.  Eindhoven isn't taken yet, and this map below shows the battles marking the end of the 2nd Full Campaign Turn.

My Friend Shane was good enough to come over to my place and give me a game. We rolled off for attacker and defender, and he won, electing to attack the Fabled Groesbeek heights.  Not having any american airborne, there was some proxying going on.  I am also, embarrassingly low on Jagdpanthers so when you see a stuG...that's what those are.

The lists:

Shane's Panzer Grenadiers (Bridge by Bridge)

Tom's 11th Armored (Market Garden book)

It should be noted, that since this was a firestorm game.  I had an additional american paratrooper platoon available (bringing my platoon count to 7.) And Shane had an 8.8 gun troop. Germans roll on a randomization table to see what their reinforcements are. Shane rolled a 6, and got himself a platoon of 2 confident Veteran Jagdpanthers in addition to what you see on his list.

The Mission was "Hasty Assault" - Which is out of the Market Garden Firestorm book.  Its a Version 2 mission that seems like it was a prototype for some of the stuff in the FOW rulebook for V3.  Basic rules are, defender picks a long edge. Places one objective in their deployment area, and 1 in the attackers half. The Attacker places 2 in the defenders area.

The attacker gets reserves, and the defender gets delayed reserves and one immediate ambush. once the defender is deployed, the attacker pulls an objective.

The game ends if after turn 6...
1. There are not any attacking teams in the defenders half of the table.
2. The attacker has taken any of the objectives at the start of their turn.

The Board:

I would wind up selecting the right side as my deployment area.

 The View from the German deployment area.
 Some Sarissa Precision Houses, they went together easily, and were fun to paint.
The Center of town, looking from the German deployment area.

I elected to keep my huge platoon of 12 paratroopers on the board, along with a smaller platoon of paras.  I held one of my trained Cromwell platoons in immediate ambush.

By the end of our maneuvering, the deployment looked as follows...

 The Allied Right Flank, Tanks face off against a platoon of Grenadiers. The Right objective can be seen center (A bofors gun.) and serving as an objective is generally all they are good for in my experience.
 The Allied Left Flank, A Paratrooper Platoon, and the 1ic and 2ic hiding behind the woods on the left.
 The Germans prepare to race through the town.
Germans chilling behind a hill, waiting for some reserves.

Turn 1: The defender had the first turn ,but I did very little, I double timed the paras no longer guarding an objective on my left flank (since it had been pulled by Shane) and tried to get them over where they would be of some use.

 Double time boys! no one can MG you, enjoy the breeze!
 1ic and 2ic position behind some woods to Machine Gun the Grenadiers next turn.

Panzer Grenadiers advance through the town.

Turn 2:
 The Germans advance through the town after the command tanks try to intercept them.
 the two cromwells zip around the woods and between the buildings, firing at the infantry in the open and...whiff....they hit 2 of 8 shots.
 unfazed and passing tank terror the first platoon assaults, only to be pinned down by defensive fire.
 The second platoon bravely plunges in, bails the 2ic, and watches as his comrade decides to bug out, leaving the crippled tank to be mopped up by the grenadier platoon.
They swiftly consolidate into the building. Their comrades nearby will fail to unpin for 4 consecutive turns. The commander has escaped..for now.

Turn 3 - The Defenders first reserves arrive.  With no tanks on the table to fire at yet, the Allies elect to bring on some dingos as scout cars, to MG some infantry in the open. Both of these dingos will eventually fall to MG fire and terrible saves. but it will take a few turns for the volume of fire from this house to tear them down.

 Dingos advance.
 on the German half of the turn, Shane rolls to bring in 3 reserve platoons.  Enter Artillery, Jagdpanthers, and 2 Pak43 guns.
Shane takes some pot shots at the Gone to ground Cromwells, but misses both shots. They decide on their next turn to try making a run for it.

Turn 4 - Things start to go badly for the British...

 In the allied turn, the tanks attempt to bog check..the Challenger makes it, but the 3 cromwells roll 1s. They will suffer for that mistake...dearly.
 On the left flank, some more armored cars show up to add to the volume of fire going into the building with the grenadiers.  The Grenadiers are forced to take morale, but pass.
 During the German turn, they range in their artillery, and pin down both Paratrooper platoons, but there are no losses
The Pak43s take aim, needing 6's and roll...

 3 6's. And they pass their firepower rolls. the platoon fails its morale and runs.

Turn 5 - Things get worse for the British...
 Panthers arriving from reserve zero in on the 1ic
 Supported by Jagdpanthers, a platoon of grenadiers takes up shelter in a building and closes the noose around the rightmost objective.
 An Artillery bombardment can't slow down the grenadiers. Heavy mortars coming in from reserve don't do much damage.

By the end of turn 5, the Germans look to be in an excellent position to finish off the British.

Turn 6 - The Tide Turns....

The Paratrooper platoons move into assault range, knowing this is their only chance. They leave their foxholes and prepare to charge.
 60mm mortars fire direct fire smoke at the Jagdpanthers and grenadiers in the house.  Rifle and MG fire pins the defenders down.
 The first platoon passes tank terror and charges in.
 A bazooka team bails one Jagdpanther, and the other will bog down during the assault.  Grenadiers pass morale, charging from the building and annihilating what remains of the assaulting paratroopers, despite some attrocious rolling by Shane.
 The Germans, consolidate towards the objective, but are pinned down from the beating they took in the assault. A second larger paratrooper platoon charges in (with no tank terror, now that both are out of action)

 Vicious hand to hand fighting ensues.  But the paratroopers are victorious, destroying both the grenadier platoon and capturing the Jagdpanthers in the process.
 They fall back to the objective and try to catch their breath.  Panthers and an MG platoon are coming for them.

Turn 7...The Issue is decided.

Allied Turn: The last of the reserves arrive, and pincer around the grenadiers on the allied left flank.
 Crashing through the house, and erasing the other platoon in a hail of machine gun fire, the Cromwells destroy a third grenadier platoon. Bringing Shane's total losses to 4 platoons out of 8. He is at half strength.

 Turn 7: The Germans move in to destroy the paratroopers. The Panther do enough damage in shooting to force a morale...which the paratroopers fail.
 At this point, the British have lost: 1 cromwell platoon, a scout platoon of dingos, and a paratrooper platoon.  They are at 4 out of 7....close to a check.  And their 1ic and 2ic are both dead. At this point, it dawns on the British, that they should have minded their surroundings more carefully.  The tanks eagerness to assault have left them vulnerable to side shots from the German artillery.
They don't miss.....

Without someone to roll for morale, and the allies below half, the game ends 4-3 for the Germans.
It was an excellent hard fought game, with both of us having some amazingly lucky dice, as well as some terrible luck. The German juggernaught rolls on in our campaign.

Tom Mullane (aka Captainecho on the forums) is a new contributor to WWPD.  He is a High School History Teacher in Brewster, NY and lives in Danbury CT, he has been involved with Flames of War since 2011.

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