Even after spending some time brushing up and analyzing the scenario in blog posts here and here, the rust was still as thick as a ...I don't know a Texas... thing in a...something else. Look, I'm bad at colloquialisms too.
Jim surprised me by actually contesting the main hill. My eastern group (whom I've dubbed Kampfgruppe Suck) was surprised to find a tank destroyer and a mortar sitting atop it, with the other TD in the grain just south. The mortar hit a stack of two squads bypassing a board edge woods hex and broke them with the deadly airbursts. Later two of those squads would cr on subsequent hits, a remaining half squad would die off on a fate result, and the leader they were with would go berserk. That was a very costly beat down.
I moved up a panther and a PZ IV from different angles to engage the TD on the hill. By itself not a terrible idea, but moving them both up inside it's CA was not a championship quality move. I lost the PZ IV in that exchange.
My panther kept firing at the other (hull down) TD and kept putting round after round into the wall. This TD would eventually successfully disengage and take up a position closer to the town, but not before taking out a halftrack.
Meanwhile I moved a leader in to CC the TD on the hill despite the fact that his accompanying squad failed their PAATC. He survived the CC and ended up tying down the TD just by staying in the hex. The TD disabled its' MA on an in hex intensive fire shot, and was recalled. But not before breaking the leader in the bottom of the turn, (and eventually killing him for failure to rout.)
The American machine gunners on the outskirts of the town did a good job of breaking any Germans appearing in their LOS. After three turns, I had achieved the hill, but it was too slow, and at too great a cost.
Meanwhile, the group entering from the North (Kamfgruppe Lame) came on board with the infantry moving through the woods, and a panther and a PZ IV skirting them to the east. The infantry encountered a few partisan half squad speed bumps, but no major resistance. They moved through the woods and approached the town through the orchards and grain fields.
At one point, the panzer IV moved ADJACENT to a partisan squad rather than risk giving a rear shot to a reinforcing American tank and got flamed by a molotov for it's trouble. The panther moved up to engage the well positioned mortar in U4. The panther suffered a shock result, and went out with a whimper rather than a bang, going down via the SHOCK/UK/DEAD route.
The infantry approaching the northern buildings got HAMMERED. The biggest blow was a 10-2 directed point blank spraying fire shot that wiped two squads from the map. Ugly.
Back in the east, I managed to get a few squads into the town late game, but never really came close to threatening. The lone highlight of the game for the bad guys was smoking an American tank at long range with a HEAT round from a Hummel on the hilltop. It was like when you stick that 5-iron approach shot 2 feet from the pin from 170 yards out on your way to shooting 140. At least there was one thing to feel good about.
So, Jim's water's edge defense on the hilltop really surprised me. I still think that's a pretty risky defense, but I failed to adjust and make him pay. In the north, as Jim pointed out, the infantry really need help from the German tanks to close ground and chase the partisans back to the village.
Still think that this is a really interesting scenario, and would love to try it again sometime when my atrophied skills are a little more toned up.