Saturday, July 6, 2013

Battle Planning Cradle to Grave PT 1 One - Defense

(I'm typing this post and the next one in advance of my next game, and scheduling them to be posted during the game, lest my opponent gain any advance intel.)  

 For my upcoming game of J154 Cradle to Grave, ..I know I said that I can't really try to guess what Jim will do, and it's true he has lots of options, but ...come on. I'm only human.  How can I not take a guess?

  In setting the boards for the first time, I'm taking a look at the allied forces and trying to figure out how I would defend if the tables were turned. First of all comes the optional piece of the Partisan OB. I think you take the dummy counters for sure. In a scenario where keeping Partisans alive is the VC, keeping the Germans shooting at ghosts seems like a no brainer. I think I would also take the 2DCs, giving the Partisans another AT weapon at their disposal (they also have molotovs by SSR.)

   I think you could also make a case for taking the 12 AP minefield factors, although the "building or woods" setup restriction mitigates their potential a bit. The 2 lmg option is ridiculous. The Partisans are already under ammo shortage making the B11 Russian pop-guns even less durable and effective.   

  The Partisan force is allowed to set up as far north as row D, but that seems unwise. The German force is very mobile, and the likelihood of getting cut off and trapped is high. I expect any Partisan stacks placed near the northern side of their setup area will be mostly (if not all) dummies. The real Partisan troops will likely setup as far south as possible and immediately start heading for the town .

(East Edge)
   The American troops in the south have the three level two hill hexes east of the town in their setup area. Those positions, while not dominating, are pretty good. You can see a lot of the town from up there.  However, the initial American force is pretty thin. Again, I can't imagine Jim will try more than a token resistance on those hills. Instead, I expect the Americans to mainly stick to the stone buildings in the town, and employ more of a reverse slope defense on the hills. That might very well  involve some bore sighting by his mortars and tank destroyers on those hilltops.

    The only slam dunk mortar position is 10U4. From there is LOS to at least two of the three level 2 hill tops. In addition there is LOS to some of the woods along possible German approach routes, and two of three stone locations in the northernmost building cluster. Beyond that, I don't have any idea where the 2nd mortar or the two tank destroyers might be. You could make a case for 10 different places, none of them especially good.

  I think the Allies are best off making this into a street fight in the village as quickly as possible. The 5FP and 6FP Amis have a close combat edge in a one-on-one fight, and the partisans have stealth on their side. That kind of fight would mitigate the German armor advantage and maybe get the maquis' molotovs into action in a meaningful way. 

   That's what I expect. I am prepared of course, to be totally wrong. 



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