Tuesday, July 30, 2013

AP 75 Gabriel's Horn AAR

   After my drubbing in Cat's Cradle, I was eager to get back to the table. I think is probably due to a highly developed self loathing or some brain malfunction. In any case, we settled on this Action Pack 8 scenario.

    This one has a clearly superior German force attacking Texas National guardsmen dug in on a hill and neighboring village. The American troops are a mix of 1st liners and green troops, with a low ELR (2). The Germans are a well armed company with four Stugs in armor support.

    The problem the German side has is that they have a lot to do. They need to capture all level three hill hexes, four of the seven 3 hex buildings in the village, and double the Americans  CVP total.

    The American hill set up gives a lot of options. Do you play for time and set up as far east as possible keeping the German force attacking the hill far from the village? I can certainly see the argument for it. I went the other way, hoping to support my troops on the hill with fire from the village slopes. The hill peaks on the western side also provide for better fields of fire down the slopes of the hill.

    Jim jumped off his attack aggressively. His troops had a lot to do, and he wasn't wasting any time. He brought his artillery down on a well chosen pre-registered hex. The initial mission wasn't too bad on the T-Patchers, but there were many more to come.

    After some ineffective prep fire from two MG kill stacks, his troops started getting right up in the American's faces. We were able to beat back most of the initial advances with mortar and point blank small arms fire. Jim took a few casualties, then took a few more with some unfortunately timed boxcars causing casualty MC and Fate results.

    Meanwhile I moved my two mortar teams in the village out to find positions to fire on the hill. They were both broken by MG fire and routed away without their weapons. So much for supporting fire for the hill defense. .

   Jim moved a few squads into the village and grabbed up the southern victory buildings, which I was not contesting.Those squads would then sit tight and wait for help to arrive.

    Over the next few turns, the German artillery and firepower took it's toll on the Americans. The Stugs entered and added even more power to the German punch. The multi-directional German attack causes obvious routing problems, and soon the Germans were burdened with a lot of prisoners. With the CVP situation already looking grim for the Germans, and prisoners counting for double, the Germans would not be declaring no quarter today. They would be more than happy to take a few more guests back to the Stalag.

    By turn four, the hill had been pretty well cleaned up save for a stubborn MMG toting hero who would hold on for another turn. The German armor began to focus on the village.

    I slipped my bazooka teams down the slope in front of the village, and after holding up to German fire one of them took out a Stug at three hex range. That was a costly loss for Jim. The armor kills (without crew survival) are worth 6 VP each. So for each one lost, the Germans have to score an additional 12(!) CVPs. Losing one makes achieving the VC pretty tough. Losing two makes it close to impossible.

    Up the road came another Stug, stopping three hexes from the same bazooka team. When they took it down in my next prep fire phase, it was pretty much game over. In addition, that crew was named the GREATEST BAZOOKA CREW EVER.

   For the Americans, I like defending the western side of the hill, even if it means giving the Germans a bit of a head start towards the village. The Germans in this one will almost certainly get the hill hexes they need for victory. The issue for them is doing it quickly enough to pivot on the village, and doing it all  without taking too many casualties. And of course, protect the armor.

   It's a fun and complex scenario, Jim and I both gave it high marks.


Kristian said...

Nice to see you writing again. I enjoy your AAR's a lot, as I find them well-written and containing neither too much nor too little information.

Rockford said...

Thanks Kristian! Should have another one this week from FB. Great scenario, too.