Friday, January 28, 2011

AAR DB077 Speed, Shock and Surprise.

Trying to prepare for an air drop scenario is a little like planning how you're going to spend your lottery winnings. You can plan all you like, but the chances that you'll ever get to carry it out are slim to none.

The Drop

And so, the troops of SS Fallschirmjager Bataillon 500 jumped from low altitude, hoping to land on or near their assigned drop point. A few did, most did not.

The drop was not horribly bad. The wings that missed their drop points, generally all fell in a decent concentration around the east and southeast part of the map. More importantly, none(!) drifted off the map. (My greatest fear going in was that one or more wings might drift far off map and be essentially out of the war).

The one piece of bad luck on the drop was that three sticks fell onto occupied building locations. Between taking -2 ground fire and the 1MC required for landing in a building hex, two of the three sticks were broken before they hit ground. Unfortunately, these sticks contained, respectively the 10-2 and a 9-2. They, and the squads that accompanied them were easily dispatched during close combat.

The Fight

As expected, several squads failed their landing 1TC and deployed. Turn two was spent mostly gathering up the LMGs and trying to recombine squads while moving east into the town. One wing had landed north of the town and was moving south with the cover of the blazing buildings. On turn two I lost the other 9-2(!) on a 2 flat residual shot that resulted in a wound, followed by another snakes on a 3 flat Final fire shot and a failed wound severity dr. The Germans have a lot of good leaders in this scenario, but my three best were gone, and at this rate Sgt Schultz would soon be leading the assault.

The factory (overlay) on the south edge was firmly in German hands.

Through turns three and four, progress continued. The German troops kept pushing in from two directions. The commissar and his squads were holding onto the buildings in row P. The partisans in the partially rubbles row R factory were falling back. The partisans' tank platoons came rolling up from behind the assault.

  By turn five things were on the edge. On the plus side, the commissar and two squads were broken trying to pull back across the row Q street. Even better, when the leader in the factory location they routed to tried to rally them the commissar went Berserk! He soon took everyone out on a mad charge where they would be vaporized by a 30-3 shot.
  Two of the little Italian tanks had been flipped (one by a LMG shot, the other in CC), but two were still roaming about.
  On the downside, my first attempt to cross the street into the buildings in Q4-Q5 had been beaten back, and now would come the wave of partisan reinforcements.

Through five and six the partisan reinforcements entered from the logical point on the south edge and attacked up both sides of the row Q road. Those on the east side were stopped, but those on the west side were easily able to reinforce the three stone locations in Q3, Q5, and R4.


Meanwhile I absent-mindedly walked a half squad into bypass directly in front of one of the remaining tanks.

A lone partisan squad on the southern edge of the row P factory overlay heroically overcame the odds to kill one of the two SS squads facing him in CC, and keep the other tied up. In my impatience and with a morale advantage, I decided to fire into the melee. Want to guess how that went? It was unraveling.

There was a futile last ditch charge on turn seven, that never really had much chance.

Although I certainly could have used a few -2 leaders in the endgame, I really can't complain about the drop, which really left me in as good a position as could be expected. The reinforcements that the partisans get on turn five is a seriously strong force, and the SS really have to have almost all of their work done before they enter. I fell behind schedule at some point.

Definitely a fun scenario with high reply value. Jim enjoyed it as well. I hope to play the next in Tom Morin's Operation Rosselsprung series, the somewhat smaller Demolition Men, sometime soon.

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