The Americans get what they deserve
The German Dairies
In the Christmas mists of the battlefield, the Americans emerge from their momma-boys hiding places to face real men, the Germans. They try again to wrest control of the sanitarium from our iron grasp. The Americans gathered strength, and attempt to pit their 110 CCPs with our 40.
They came on as we planned. A heavy mechanized presence in the north, infantry plus a few "armored" "tanks" from the west. Their approach was a cautious one. Pickets searched for mines and bounding fire to locate us before we killed them.
North: Assault Gun Pltn, Armd Inf Pltn, Armd MG Ptln, 4 x Inf Pltn
West: 1 x Chaffee group, 1 x TD group (M10 GMC), 5 x Inf Pltn, radio.
Splitting the forces into three groups (Forces A/B, C and D), the Americans came. The south-most (A/B), several infantry and the three tanks, crossed the gully, into the open plains. A small German force was able to pin them in. The three tanks (A) made a daring dash to the extreme southern woods and surrounded a broken SS squad, killing him. In the process, one vehicle bogged, another broke its MA and the only threat to us, the M10 76L, was summarily destroyed by the two PzIV and the Panther waiting for it. The German infantry pushed what few infantry that made it out of the gully back into it (B). After three turns, only one unit remained alive, although the two crews of the destroyed tanks certainly are being a pain.
The center group (C) fared no better although for a moment it looked promising. Coming head-on through the forest, the German defenses comprised two 3-squad foxholes, loaded with men both sitting behind hidden minefields. One American squad, a 667/MMG, moved into a minefield, passed the MC without pinning, passed a 3MC DF attack, without pinning, caused a 1MC from AFPh, breaking all three Fanatic SS squads (rolling 10, 10, 11) advanced in, passing the final 1MC as it left the minefield. My PFPh did nothing more than Battle Harden the unit and in close combat later ambushed my unit and killed it. Typical Robert luck.
That was the best thing to happen to me for awhile. The next two turns were literally murder on me. A string of bad die rolling has made me shell-shocked and devoid or any confidence. The turn I lost that foxhole above, I missed seven of nine MCs, with the other two units pinning. Keep in mind, our elite SS are Fanatic this game, the troops with leaders need a 10. In addition, I broke three captured MMG and broke two of my LMG. The Americans were walking through me as if I was not there.
The north group (D), on the north side of the ridge, did equally impressive. Matched 4 1/2 squads and the single remaining 9-2 leader the Americans went against 3 1/2 German squads. The dense forests and my concealment should have favored me, but like the other fronts, horrific die rolling on my part and some key rolls for him melted my defense. At one point, he hit my last defense, two half squads. Likely now, the Americans were threatening to turn the northern flank. Doing so, would unhinge the entire German defenses as I would have to fall back and the lose the fortress of the ridge. Could a smaller, less organized force actually do this kind of damage? Figuring the odds unsettled me since I would have to roll badly for three turns and the Americans would have to roll well for those same three turns. Inconceivable, I thought.
It was about this time, I tried a new strategy - let Phil roll my dice for me. I pointed out the attacks and Phil rolled. This idea worked. Phil could not roll anything but 5s and 6s, but that was enough. The Americans cracked along the entire line. Those two half squads managed to pin their attackers, thus allowing me that one turn, to rally and reinforce the line.
It was that one series of attacks that was needed. Completely routed in the south and center, my Germans advanced for the first time this game. That 667 that menaced me so earlier had broken and I forced him back into the minefield whence he came. I surrounded units, forced them to rout, split them up; it was like the Germans were an actual fighting force. After two turns of this, the Germans are clearly attacking and the momentum has shift. Too early to claim utter victory, I am hoping for a long game this time.