11th of September 1944 Lt. Allen Morgan decided to make a stand.
Later that day, he was soundly defeated. We can put all the blame on the delayed arrival of Sgt. Harnshaw.
While Harnshaw was attempting to make a do with his maps, in Bar-le-Duc brave Morgan was fighting for his life against piecemeal German forces. I took the Germans to try out how attack goes for a change. German forces come in four random installments. First one was Group 2, which had a Stug IIIG with second line troops to pave a road, followed by heavy hitting Group 4, StuPz IV and PzIV with two squads. Third one was the 250/10 halftrack from Group 3 and at last the infantry only contingent in Group 4. This did enable me to do a very nice armored spearhead that pretty much vacated the key areas for my foot troops to exploit.
I kept the armor closely supported by infantry, and made good use of half squad probing. Approach was a systematic one. Position big guns for a threat, cut retreat as much as possible, probe positions, enter with force and exploit vacated ones, and repeat. Further away I could vacate the proximity of the road, better chance I would have to win by the victory hex. By the midgame hiatus the rate I was causing casualties to U.S. was far too slow to win by vacating the board 10.
My Pz IV occupied the walled roundabout in the middle, HD from all angles, yet having excellent field of fire while the rest of the armor swept from the right and pushed to clear the road to the bridge. Instead of challenging my newly gained position the U.S. Sherman decided to avoid engagement and fell victim to my panzerfaust fired from a inside house in desperation(!). I was ready to sacrifice the trooper to the cause, but remarkably the squad did get away with it at no cost in lives… Burning Sherman created nice permanent smoke field masking the arrival of my major infantry contingent, which made it to the center of the village in all haste.
Elsewhere the half-track took a long route around the right behind the open topped GMC. I could not really hurt the GCM from the front, but I could force it move out of position. Eventually I did manage to immobilize the GMC at the cost of the halftrack.
Around the time I solely occupied the synagogue in the center, a hiatus set in, and I had to spend some time to regroup and re-align the attack. I knew that I had enough time, but if I would push on into the narrow slit of forrest, my forces would be soundly repulsed. On that token, I could not storm in with the armors either because of the need to secure the victory hex and make sure that no mr. Harnshaw’s units got through. To go around this problem, I first secured the bazooka crew, and moved around on the left to cut out rout paths. This development caused quite distinct failure on the personal morale of my opponent.
He was in really, really dire position, and when Harnshaw finally found his way, it was already last turn and there was little to overcome my strong position around the victory hex. On the map 10, there was only single unbroken half-squad and my opponent conceded. I probably would have given the last units one more attempt instead of conceding. That said, I have to admit that it would have required quite an exquisite luck.
I wasn’t very aggressive with my armored support, and did not pick fight with the opposing armors but rather tried to box up the enemy vehicles – or avoid them. I thought to deal with them by infantry means. Brumbär did destroy the GMC with HEAT, but it was out of necessity, not because I wanted to riskily engage. Success of my armor should be credited more to my opponent’s desire to avoid direct engagement (his tanks did suffer from ammo shortage with circled B11), than my superb tactics. I guess at the end I was quite happy that my opponent did not wage mobile engagement type of war.
Total losses for the Germans, besides of some ELR’d second liners, I lost a squad and the halftrack. Of these, one half-squad fell victim to a friendly fire in melee. My die rolls were not particularly good, but just good enough on those few shots that really mattered. For a sniper activity, there were not a single active sniper in the game (we did use the balance for Germans because of the ROAR data suggesting that the scenario is quite favorable to U.S. A hindsight, the PF usage was one, and I did not really roll fives so balance did not matter that much).
Overall the scenario was very good one. It is also really tough for both sides but for completely different reasons.
Note to self: U.S. Player did not remember to use bore sight for his armor, nor MMG although eligible to do so. Also, if no quarter is not in play, low crawl cannot be used if unit starts routing from adjacent location and the rout can be interdicted. U.S. player would have lost several squads as prisoners.