WCFD Game 2

Allied Armour awaits a secure river crossing.

Allied Armour awaits a secure river crossing

Date Played: 04 April 2009 11.00am NZDT (03 April 10.00pm GMT); 0630 WCFD Game Time.

Game Report by Errol Hooker (Umpire).

Table is 4′ x 4’ – the whole table has quite dense terrain all over it – woods, rough ground, hills, hedges and the like – plenty of sight blocks. Down the southern edge runs a river. Elsewhere are two buildings and a supply dump.

There must be plenty of cover for entering Americans, so that they do not get mown down just trying to walk onto the table – some of it contiguous with the table edge, and some sight-blocking features not touching the edge, so that it is possible to get onto the table and be out of LOS of the Germans.

German Defenders

Major James Von Mackentopf

One Infantry Company:
Morale: Regular.
1 +2 CC.
1 HMG Stand.
1 8cm Mortar with FOO.
3 Rifle Platoons, each with: +1 PC & 3 Rifle Squads.

One (depleted) Fallschirmjäger Company:
Morale: Regular (because of losses).
1 +1 CC.
1 HMG Stand.
1 8cm Mortar with FOO.
1 Rifle Platoon with: +2 PC & 3 Rifle Squads.
1 Rifle Platoon with: +0 PC & 3 Rifle Squads.

You have been tasked with defending this area. Your left (Southern) flank is well–guarded against enemy tanks and sudden attack by a river, but the land is more open to the front and your right flank. In your sector there are two buildings: your HQ (with radio room), and the other, which has been doubling as barracks and a light repair workshop for trucks and kubelwagens. You also have a small supply dump, with a little fuel, and ammo, food, medical supplies, etc, in your area. You may deploy where the umpire shows you, in a 3’x4’ area covering all the board except the first foot of the western side.

0630: American forces advance onto the table - initially into the woods scattered along the left side of the photo.

0630: American forces advance onto the table - initially into the woods scattered along the left side of the photo

American Attackers

Major David Mison

About two-thirds of an Infantry Battalion:
1 +1 BC.
1 81mm Mortar with FOO (and 18 Fire Missions).
2 Infantry Companies, each with:
1 +0 CC.
1 HMG Stand.
1 60mm Mortar with FOO (and 8 Fire Missions).
3 Rifle Platoons, each with: +1 PC & 3 Rifle Squads.

The weather has been hot and dry for some while now, and it is hoped that some of the rivers in this area have fallen in level enough to be forded in places by vehicles. Your orders are to proceed along the river scouting for a fordable section. Looking is not enough. You will actually have to get in and wade about to get a good idea of the true ford ability of the river. Simple shallowness is not enough – the river bed has to be hard enough to take wheels, and a soft muddy bottom will not do. The umpire will explain how to check the river when you try it in the game. You start with the initiative, and enter from the western table edge.

Preliminaries

We started only five minutes later than intended (11.05 am NZ time) and finished at 1.36 pm NZ time. Thus the game took 2½ hours to play and going on that for the scenario time, we started at 6.30 am Game Time and finished at 9.01 am Game Time.

The one problem that we did face, was the dicing of move times. i.e. after each German initiative, a dice was to be thrown and if it came up a 5 or 6, then the Moving Clock was advanced in 15 minute stages.

However after 9 dice throws at the end of each German initiative, no 5’s or 6’s had come up, so the clock could not be advanced. Which didn’t think that sounded realistic, having that much moving and fighting going on, but with the clock stopped.

So we gave up on that idea and I have just recorded the moves and firing results of each initiative. As I said before, the game was just over 2½ hours long and there were (if I can read my scribbled notes correctly) 42 whole move initiatives. This sounds like a long game, but there were a lot of failed rallies and/or firings. So each whole pair of moves/initiatives (two players) was only around 3.1 minutes long on average. Or just over four pairs of moves/initiatives for each 15 minute period. (I hope I have that worked out correctly).

The Game

0630: The game starts with the Americans advancing onto the table, see Photo #1 above. They try to find a ford at the river bend, but fail. There is firing, reactive firing, and moving on both sides – with the U.S. troops taking one squad killed, then shortly thereafter two more squads killed. Several suppressions and pins occur on both sides.

0645: U.S. troops take another squad killed. They also now manage to find a ford 8″ to the east of the river bend. A platoon crosses over the river. The U.S. troops lay down some mortar smoke, to cover a platoon that is hard pressed and taking a lot of fire. The U.S. troops continue a slow advance, behind smoke in some cases. Suppressions and Pins again occur on both sides, as well as rallying, or failed rallying of same troops.

0700: A German infantry platoon at the centre of the table is in trouble, with two suppressed squads. A U.S. platoon charges into it, killing all the Germans in that platoon.

0715: Rifle, HMG, and Mortar fire by both sides, causes several suppressions & pins to both sides. The U.S. lose one squad.

0730: The U.S. platoon on the other side of the river advances and re-crosses the river at the known ford on the map. It advances on a Fallschirmjäger platoon nearest the North side of the river, fires and kills one squad.

0745: German mortar fire and crossfire groups kill two U.S. squads caught out in the open. Suppressions and pins again occur to both sides. Also successful and failed rallies from both sides.

0800: German mortar fires it’s last round and misses. Both sides continue trading fire (mortars, crossfires, group fires, etc).

0815: U.S. platoon advances into first field, but gets stuck with heavy fire from the Germans in the woods. A PC and squad of U.S. charge into a partly suppressed platoon of Fallschirmjäger, they kill the HMG, also a squad and the PC; but are then killed themselves.

0830: U.S. platoon attempts to charge the last of the Fallschirmjäger, takes pins enroute but enough squads get through to kill the remaining FJs. Across the table other U.S. troops advance on the first of the houses (the barracks). Firing from behind and through a hedge, they trade shots with the Germans inside. The U.S. are losing the shootout until they bring up a HMG in support.

0845: The Americans have secured the barracks and are massing for the final assault on the last Germans, who are holed up in the Machine Shop.

0845: The Americans have secured the barracks and are massing for the final assault on the last Germans, who are holed up in the Machine Shop

0845: Gradually the firing turns in the U.S. favour (with added support from the US 81mm mortar) and the Germans inside the barracks are either killed or suppressed. After several more rounds of fire, the U.S. platoon charges into the barracks, killing the remaining squads, and the Infantry Company’s CC. The U.S. now occupy the barracks and can now pour supporting fire into the machine shop or help their hard pressed friends across the table. See Photo #2 above.

0900: With fire coming into the machine shop from two directions, the German Infantry inside are starting to take casualties, and some squads are suppressed, while others pinned. With the Germans now so weakened inside the machine shop, the U.S. troops charge from the barracks, kill the last of the Germans, and win the game. There are now no Germans left on the table and the U.S. have claimed both buildings as well as the ford.

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