Posted 02 Feb 2010 at 23:33
Table from the South-west
That is Don Anderson in the photo - he played the US left
We played your scenario with 6 players. I have attached the map and the short battle report for your entertainment.
You will note that we used unit operational area lines for the Germans. The US was required to place within the dotted lines as per the scenario. Also note that if one player lost the initiative on a side, the initiative shifted to the other side- we did not play that all 3 players on a side needed to loose the initiative.
I did not have a M36 - we used an M10 (it turned out not to make a difference).
The dark of night and random fog combined to screen the German early moves into Falize and their march along their right to the woods and crest lines south of the RR embankment. When ever anything was spotted, the US 105’s opened up but with very little effect. The mine fields did suppress a German stand or two but were soon cleared by engineers. The M10 was knocked out by a Panzerfaust in Falize as it tried to destroy the suppressed Germans in the field near the mines. The US Engineers were essentially destroyed by the HMG Company stationed in the forward buildings of Falize.
Major Action in the Game
By the time the Fog had lifted and the sun was out, the Germans were well established in Falize and in the woods south of the RR embankment. They tried an end-around with the schwimwaggen but that stand was suppressed and the Germans did not feel that it was worth the potential lost initiatives to rally it. The Fog was no longer a factor, but the 105’s were just about out of ammo and the fight had to be taken to the Germans by small arms only.
The US B company began the game occupying the RR embankment but retreated behind it as the Germans moved up. (The idea was that if the Germans could not advance to the embankment, the US last possession of it would count as one of their victory points!).
The Germans however moved their armor up to the embankment where it was knocked out by a 76mm AT gun. The burning tank and further rounds of smoke from German mortars screened the advance of their D company who thus acquired control of the embankment mission objective.
On the left the Germans suppressed then close-assaulted the TD House and Paper Mill, occupying them. At this point the US artillery was completely out of ammo, the units on the top of the hill were suppressed and time ran out.
The US retreated from a complete German victory.
Dick's comments after the first game
On further thought, I should point out that I used your modified tank firing rule that greatly reduces the ability of buildings, bunkers and emplacements to withstand Tank fire. This made a significant contribution to the German victory - I won't use it in subsequent games!
Also the US artillery had abominable dice - out of 30 rounds of 5 or 6 dice they got 2 suppresses and 4 pins!
I feel that part of the problem with the Americans is that they used up their 105's on targets they managed to catch between episodes of Fog! When the fog lifted, they did not have enough ammo to do any real damage to units that may have been pinned down in fields, etc. The minefields could have been better placed and were able to be taken out by German engineers without the engineers having to move and thus take fire. The 105's are ineffective against German armor in the "vanilla rules" perhaps the US needs at least one AT gun they can place on the south side of the RR to balance the scenario a bit.
Finally the M10 was wasted, but I can’t see how in its required placement, it could be very effective against German armor coming up the Falize-Paper Mill road.
I ran the scenario at a local convention a couple of weeks ago. The game was full with several
This time I omitted the fog but increased Dark Time by 1.5hrs. The result was draw. The Germans took the Road bridge, but could not take the RR bridge and embankment. The defence set up was much better than the first try but he essentially did not use the mine fields, placing them on the extreme left and right rather than on the bridge approaches. The Germans essentially ran out of troops due to more effective use of the off-board artillery by the US. If The US had anything left and we had been not out of time a counter attack would have pushed the Germans away from the RR bridge but could never have re-taken the Road Bridge. May be additional points based on casualties might be of advantage.
The M36 (M10 in my case) was again totally ineffective, being too far forward to engage before the Germans can knock it out. It needs more latitude in its initial placement.
In summary ...
I think that it is fairly well balanced except for perhaps the required placement of the M36. This replay was done without the Fog but an extended period of dark. I thought that under such circumstances, I could have added a point system for casualties but, in retrospect, I think that it went well enough and that is not needed. I removed the use of Fog as at a convention we have a more limited time period to play(4 hours) with only 1/2 hour to set up and take down. I beat the set up time by using a 4 X 6 felt ground gover and literally pinning the wooded areas and field in place. I only have to place the hills, buildings, river and road (simply a sand-colored model RR sand that I trace the road out with. It only takes about 20 minute set-up.