Breakthrough at Lanzerath Scenario.
This was the first all-infantry game of Battlegroup we had played. The Americans were dug-in with 20 men, a few BARs and an Armoured Jeep with an LMG, whilst the Germans had a Fallschirmjager company of 3 platoons, the catch being that they arrived one platoon at a time and had to attack in 3 waves. Every time they were broken they had to go back to their deployment zone but got reinforced by another platoon. The American BR was a healthy 18 to start – 10 base plus a 2D6 roll of 8. They added 2D6 for each subsequent assault as well, so this was going to be a real challenge for the Germans who were on around 14 BR at the start of each assault.
The American foxholes gave a 2+ cover save and they were small teams so harder to spot – the Germans had no mortars until the second wave arrived either. The Americans on the other hand had no mortars at all, but had 3 artillery requests which proved crucial in the game.
As the German first wave advanced they were pinned with HMG fire from the jeep and BAR fire from the other foxholes – so much so that the Germans had to take a morale counter to do anything as almost all their units were pinned.
The German return fire was ineffective, so when the American FAO managed to call in a mortar barrage which wiped out a section this took Germans to their breakpoint.
As I said, the German 2nd wave got 2 off-board 80mm mortars which started to make an impression. They pinned the Armoured jeep twice, the second time just after it had taken a morale counter to unpin – ouch – but of course not destroying it. The Germans formed a grand battery of LMGs which succeeded in taking out a BAR team, then they pushed up road with the non LMG sections while deploying the remaining LMG from the 1st wave behind a hedge on the left flank to shoot in the assault. This all came to nothing as the American 2nd artillery barrage was successfully called in, wiping out a German Platoon HQ and forcing the Germans back as they had reached their breakpoint once again.
With the 3rd and final wave on the board, the Germans finally wiped out the defenders to right of road. Their success was short lived however, as the Jeep wiped out a section advancing up road, followed by an American rifle squad wiping out another section with long range rifle fire.
The German mortar fire got lucky at last with a direct hit on the Jeep – needing greater than a 7 on 2D6 I rolled a rolled 7 and only pinned it. Next turn the mortars hit it again, forcing a morale test and on a roll of 1 the jeep was abandoned. It was too little too late however, as the American FAO called in his last artillery strike – he succeeded in contacting the battery (again!) and the resulting barrage wiped out another German section and pinned some more. As the Germans, I only had 1 BR remaining so I took a morale counter as I had nothing left to activate and the game was already lost.
My luck was finally in, as I got a “Confusion” counter, but I played it on squad who easily passed their morale test – typical. In the final act of the game, one of my LMGs opened fire but got hit by American ambush fire and destroyed, with the resulting counter breaking the Germans. The Americans had lost 5 men in total.
It was an interesting scenario but very difficult for the Germans to win, even without the American artillery being the most effective we had yet seen in a game of Battlegroup, with minimum deviation and lots of direct hits. Though the German return fire was nearly as accurate, the protection offered by the foxholes saved the infantry most of the time, whilst the only direct hit on the Armoured Jeep failed to penetrate it 😦
Next time we are back to fielding tanks as the Germans approach either Ligneuville or Stavelot, depending on which forces I have finished painting – although if it is Ligneuville the Americans will get an extra M10 for their victory in this scenario.