Sunday, February 12, 2017

AAR: Probe before Panzer Attack on the Western Front 1944

A Chain of Command Battle Report in 28mm



Awhile back we found time for a WW2 game using the Chain of Command ruleset from Too Fat Lardies. If you are not familiar with the Chain of Command rule set you can find good instruction videos on Youtube posted by Too Fat Lardies. Its a great set of rules.

We set our scene on the Western Front in the late summer of 1944 with a US rifle platoon trying to hold a vital crossroad as a SS Panzergrenadier platoon tried to secure it before a larger German counter attack. For this we used the Probe scenario from the Chain of Command rulebook. For the attacker to win they had to exit a unit off the defender’s table edge. For some extra nerve we kept our support choices secret until they were deployed in game.

Opposing forces

The Germans were the attackers in this scenario. The regular panzergrenadier platoon had an adjutant and a Unic halftrack as support.

The defending US Rifles platoon, also regulars, were supported by an 81mm off table mortar battery and its Forward Observer.

The German Panzergrenadiers
The US Rifles

The table

The game was played across a 6x4' table. The patrol phase, and alot of interviening terrain, resulted in the Jump Off Points being quite close to each other and the Germans having claimed alot of ground before the game even started.



A 6x4' table.



The Game

A squad of Americans was in position in a ditch by the crossroad and the church, waiting for the German advance that would surely come.

Sure enough, using a forward jump off point a squad of Germans appeared by the ruined house by the central road and opened up on the US soldiers in the ditch. With the Germans two MG42 guns it was an uneven firefight and it got worse as the Germans had their commanding officer deployed keeping his men firing and in order. The US squad was in good cover but both shock and casualties were mounting.

The first Germans on the scene...
...with the Americans just visible down across the road.

To keep the US rifle squad in the fight the US platoon sergeant arrived on the scene and rallied the men and helped in keeping the lead flying. To further counter the Germans supperior firepower a second US squad deployed on the road behind a hedge and it also took up a fire fight with the single German squad by the ruins.

Both sides deploy more men on the scene.

For a moment it looked like the US soldiers were getting the upper hand but then an Unic halftrack came rumbling up the central road with its machine gun firing.  Suppressing the Americans it rolled up the road and later also deployed a German squad in the ruin across the road from the church.

As both sides committed even more men to the field it was clear that the Germans supperior firepower was getting the upper hand.

The German Unic halftrack arrives...
...making the Americans keep their heads down in the ditch.

The Germans deploy from their halftrack.

Up close and personal.

All would change however as at a critical moment the American spotter in the church tower managed to call in a 81mm mortar barrage right on target, hitting the Germans hard. The barrrage continued until the Germans were seriously weakened. 
The American Forward Observer, high up in the church tower...
 
 
...calling in a a very well timed American mortar barrage...
...catching the Germans in a very bad spot.
With the Germans in disorder and close to breaking they tried a last desperate attempt to smash trough the American lines. The Unic driver got the engine going at full speed and drove straight up the middle of the battlefield. But the Americans were ready and a well placed bazooka shot destroyed the halftrack and put an end to any German hopes of achieving their mission.

The Germans retreated from the field leaving the Americans bloodied but victorious.

The last desperate attempt to break through
the American lines is stopped by a bazooka.
Conclusion

It was a very fun game - although we were rusty on using the rules and made a few mistakes.

The German firepower were starting to take its toll on the Americans and they were making themselves ready for the final push through American lines when that vital mortar barrage was called in. After it finally finished the Germans were no longer a real threat to the Americans. Their mission could still have been achieved though with that last desperate gamble with driving the halftrack forward. But a well positioned bazooka put an end to the game.

7 comments:

  1. Wonderful report, congrats to the American boys! Beautiful terrain, love the church tower...

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  2. Exellent looking game and a very nice AAR !

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  3. Great game! It would be cool to now play the followup Panzer attack, but with the US having some advantages for having defeated the recon probe

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  4. That looks superb!! I never got on well with CoC but still really enjoyed your AAR. Thanks for posting.
    Matt

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  5. Thanks for your nice comments! Much appreciated.
    It would indeed be nice to link som games together - maybe using the At the Sharp End supplement. Or simply put a lot of tanks on the table for our next game. :-) I suspect that next installment will be on the Eastern Front however. /Mattias

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  6. Great looking game, and with an exciting finish!

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  7. Wonderful and very realistic looking terrain, superbly painted figures, a great set of rules and a close run thing. Gaming at its best.

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