Battlegroup Wacht am Rhein (10/05/2016 – Tom)

The view from the 90mm AA gun as the first Panther arrives.

The view from the 90mm AA gun as the first Panther arrives.

This was the first scenario we had tried from the new Battlegroup book. We wanted something we could play to a finish in a few hours, so the “Stoumont Halt” scenario (with 4 tanks a side and a few squads of infantry) fitted the bill.

The object was to break the opposing battlegroup and each side had exactly the same BR of 20 – we rolled for sides and I got the Germans. The German forces arrived over the first 4 turns, while the Americans had to roll from turn 3 for their tanks to arrive – their AA gun and infantry (all 6 of them!) started deployed around and in the railway buildings.

On the first turn, a Panther came on, rolled up the road and was fired on by the 90mm on ambush fire – the AP shot missed, but the HE hit and a roll of 12 equalled the Panther’s armour so it was pinned.

Pinned Panther overtaken

Pinned Panther overtaken

In the American turn, the 2nd AP round fired at the Panther failed to spot and the HE failed to dent, but luckily (as they were already pinned) the Panther crew passed their morale test.

Panzer Grenadiers arrive but are pinned as they de-bus

Panzer Grenadiers arrive but are pinned as they de-bus

The first German infantry squad came on in a halftrack straight up the railway line towards the back of the station buildings, but that were pinned by overwatch fire as they dismounted. Return area fire pinned the prime mover as it had an HMG which could ruin the infantry’s day.

The situation around the railway halt

The situation around the railway halt

As American reinforcements arrived, the Germans finally got their eye in on the shooting and quickly destroyed all the Allied armour for the loss of only one Panther.

We drew quite a few events for a change with led to some fun exchanges. For example, the 90mm fired HE at pinned the command Panther – it hit and failed to penetrate, but resulting morale test gave a “Call of Duty” test which was passed, so the Panther machine-gunned the gun crew, killing 3 out of 7. Their morale chit then gave “Call of Duty”, so they fired 2 more shots in return (HE – they were out of AP by this time) but although they hit they couldn’t get a decent morale result. This exchange probably won me the game, because I didn’t have enough morale left to risk unpinning my officer – it was nice of the Yanks to oblige. On my next turn, that Panther destroyed a Sherman.

I was lucky again as another morale chit “Out of ammo” played on a Panther rolled a 1, so I was OK for the rest of the game. The game ended when the American battlegroup broke while the Germans were at 17 and only had 3 left.

Some more photos:-

Panthers block the road

Panthers block the road

American heavy support arrives

American heavy support arrives

First blood to the Americans

First blood to the Americans

Panther commander takes on the M36

Panther commander takes on the M36

M36 brews up

M36 brews up

M10 passes burning M36

M10 passes burning M36

Panther crosses the tracks to line up a better shot

Panther crosses the tracks to line up a better shot

A bad day for American armour

A bad day for American armour

Man of the match - the Panther troop commander

Man of the match – the Panther troop commander

By game end, every American tank is burning

By game end, every American tank is burning

A great scenario and a close result – next up is an all infantry encounter “Breakthrough at Lanzerath” as we play the Battlegroup Wacht am Rhein campaign scenarios in a random order 🙂

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