A small (550 pt) game using the Wacht Am Rhein book and its Roadblock scenario.
I’d be commanding a German reconnaissance battlegroup moving over the Ourthe river and encountering an ad-hoc US infantry battlegroup forming the roadblock at the hamlet of Misramont, around its castle-like chateau and church. Here are the two force lists:
GERMAN FORCES - SCHNELGRUPPE VON BATTENBURG (Attacking)
Armoured Recce Inf Platoon 181 pts 16-r Scout 2
2 men + stretcher team in Sdkfz 250/1 Off, Mortar Spotter
4 MG teams (4 men) in Sdkfz 250/1s
with MG42s and a Pzfaust 36 pts
SdKfz 234/1 armoured car 22 pts 1-r Scout
SdKfz 250/8 aemoured car 27 pts 1-r
Panzer IV Platoon (3) 150 pts 9-r Off, Mortar Spotter
Grief Team 31 pts 2-v Scout 2, BELs, Disguise
3 men in Jeep with demo-charge
Captured M8 Greyhound 21 pts 1-r
2 x 80mm mortars 54 pts 0 off-table
Timed 150mm Nebelwerfer Barrage 30 pts 0 Turn 3, on school house
Totals 552 pts 30 BR 2 officers, 5 scouts
US FORCES - TASK FORCE ARTHUR (Defending)
Wild Rumours 10 pts +0 Roll D6
FHQ (3 men in Jeep) 23 pts 3-r Senior Off, Art Spotter
Infantry Platoon 80 pts 7-i Off, Art Spotter
MMG Team - 3 men 16 pts 1-i
Bazooka Team - 2 men 15 pts 1-i
57mm AT Gun- 3 men with loader team 46 pts 2-i Beep tow
Light mortar team - 2 men 12 pts 1-i
M4 Sherman Platoon (3) 140 pts 9-r Off, Art Spotter
Improvised Barricades x 2 10 pts 0 4+ cover
Foxholes for 20 men 20 pts 0 3+ cover
Minefield x 1 20 pts 0
Improvised Roadblock x 1 5 pts 0
AT gun dug-out x 1 20 pts 0 3+ cover, for AA gun
Supply Truck x1 8 pts 1-i resupply
90mm AA gun with loader team 69 pts 2-i in dug-out
and M4 HS tow
2 x 2nd Priority Artillery Requests 20 pts 0 3+
Totals 544 pts 27 BR 3 officers, 0 scouts
Before the battle began, the roll for the US Wild Rumours resulted in no BR change and the Low Cloud Cover meant all air attack chits would have to be re-rolled (if an aircraft arrived). That suited the Germans just fine.
The Germans began, entering the table on the left and right led by their Pz IVs, avoiding the central killing zone of that 90mm AA gun. Only the disguised vehicles entered here, hoping to sneak into the US lines and cause some havoc (and some pinning). This didn’t work out. An ambush fire .30 cal MG team rolled a 6 and opened fire on the suspicious jeep and wiped it out at PB range. The rumbled captured M8 made a dash for cover but was caught by a Sherman on ambush fire, hit and burnt. Damn, the ruse had failed badly and cost me 3 counters in the process.
Other things had started to go wrong too, after its initial fire my supporting mortars went quiet. In fact, 1 stonk was all I got on 4 more failed comms tests (good grief) and the spotter was pinned in his SdKfz 250 for 2 turns… so that was it for mortar fire. On turn 3, my timed Werfer strike hammered down, caused pinning, and a few infantry losses, but again, less than an amazing impact. My support fire had not got the Americans well pinned for my attacks.
The attack on my right started well, my Pz IV KO’d a lurking Sherman with it’s first shot, and then droving clean over US foxholes, ignoring their grenade throws to pin it. It was round the back… until a 90mm AA shell winged its way and rolled a 6! Hit - dead! I was hoping to have that thing well pinned down in the first turns. Still, it needed 6s to hit, how many can it roll?
On my left, my tank's HE got his 57mm AT gun pinned and hosed down his infantry with MG fire. When another Sherman nosed forwards by the schoolhouse, we traded AP shots, missing until a Sherman shell glanced off the Pz IVs armour and stunned the crew inside. German APC MG fire was raining on the defenders now, but good cover saves were keeping them firing back, trying to pin my open-topped APCs. One BAR squad was wiped out by heavy pintle-MG fire. On counters taken it was even(ish).
That was the last of the good news. US reinforcements had arrived, more infantry and another Sherman. With no targets the M4 HS tow moved up to drag the 90mm gun into a new position, at the rear of the walled paddock. My flanking reinforcements refused to show, I couldn’t roll a 4+. Time was now running out, I was taking a counter each turn. I couldn’t wait, so was forced to push forwards against my better judgement. The US troops were largely unpinned.
In response, the US FHQ got on his radio and called for some fire support. His divisional 105s quickly responded, with lethal accuracy. Smack on target (1” of deviation), the guns caused multiple direct hit, destroying a Pz IV and my 250/11… I was close to breaking now. Then the 57mm AT gun, for so long pinned, had the final say, 3 shots (with loader team) - 3 hits! My last Pz IV was KO’d in a fusillade of 57mm fire… and that was it. With the tanks all gone, my battlegroup pulled back to find another route, and ask some stern questions of their mortar support (WTF guys?).
I broke on 31 from 30 BR, the US had only reached 21 from 27… so a solid(ish) win in the end. That artillery impact was decisive, a heavy stonk, very timely and crushing.
That's it for 2020, a year to forget. Stay well all, and Happy New Year, lets hope it's better one.
|90mm gun in the centre of the table. Bushes represent it is dug-in (I don't have a position large enough for the model)|
|On ambush fire, in a dominant position. IDF would usually deal with that... but not here. |
|Last resort in the school house. |
|The Germans arrive, led by a Pz IV on the right|
|Pz IV rolls right over them... following infantry carriers will deal with the guys in the foxholes. |
|Lurking by the chateau. It hit, but was unlucky to be KO'd by accurate return fire from the Pz IV on a Heroic Action. |
|On the left, the first tank noses out of the woods to open fire with suppressing HE. |
|Captured M8 burns after the Sherman targeted it. |
|57mm AT gun pinned by HE fire. It took a while to get back into action, then scored 3 hits in open Order, and killed the command Pz IV in a furious volley of shells. |
|Chateau Misramont, held by a rifle squad. |
|.30 cal MMG in foxholes. It spotted the disguised Grief team and filled them full of holes at PB range. |
|German armour on the left, in the woods. Support fire into the village from the Pz IV and SdKfz 250/11. |
|Trading fire with them, a Sherman, which broke down after being pinned in the werfer barrage... badly shaken up I guess. |
|Sherman commanders tank arrives and covers left, where half tracks are appearing. |
|Werfer impacts on the schoolhouse, killing a few infantry inside, but not breaking them. |
|Victim of the 360o field of fire we allowed the 90mm gun. It weas a lucky hit tbf, it's only one all game. |
|Trying to clear-out dug-in infantry, a 250 is pinned by return fire.|
|half tracks and armoured cars, using 20mm fire to try and suppress the village, not very effective. |
|Do or die... the infantry carriers press in from my right. A desperate gamble with time running out. |
|The other US artillery strike, just pinning, but enough to slow me down. |
|US FHQ arrives and parks up. 'Pass me that radio!' Two words - "Fire Mission".|