Wednesday, June 8, 2022

'Advance' to Hill 192, Part 1 - 'O' Group AAR

We've continued to play 'O' Group at Ted's, slowly mastering the set of rules as we try different scenarios with a variety of forces. 

This time, Ted set up a scenario from the "1944: The Battle for Normandy" booklet, "Advance to Hill 192." 

This scenario sees an American infantry battalion attacking the town of Saint Georges d'Elle, which is defending by a worn battalion of German paratroopers. 

Unlike other scenarios, the BUAs that make up Saint Georges d'Elle are strung out separately as seven individual sections. To achieve victory, the Americans have to cause 3 FUBARs to the Germans within 18 turns. If they can't, then the Germans win. 

Ted, Steve, Chip and John had already plated another version of this scenario, with a worn American paratroop battalion defending against a German attack. Apparently it went rather quickly, with the American's under Ted's command folding quickly against the German blitz.

Chip, Ted, and I took command of the Americans. I had the center company with Chip on my right. 

Ted had the left flank. 

The Americans advanced with a mix of infantry platoons and combat patrols, moving quickly and hoping to find where the Germans had taken up their defenses. 

We didn't have to wait long. Steve revealed a number of hidden platoons, opening fire on the Americans. There weren't any losses, but Steve was happily handing out plenty of shock to the American platoons. 

I brought on another infantry platoon to assist Ted's attack on the left flank, and Ted received the first of two Sherman platoons that were assigned to the battalion. 

Chip's main effort was attacking the remote farmstead that was defended by a German platoon and an attached machine gun. With one platoon moving to take cover in a copse of trees, Chip sent out two combat patrols to further surround the objective. 

That quickly turned into the largest engagement on the table, as both sides deployed infantry platoons in support. Steve had two platoons against four American platoons (Chips' entire company and my last deployed platoon).

Unfortunately, even with a double set of re-rolls, the Americans failed to call in a potentially game-changing divisional artillery bombardment to soften up the Germans. 

On the American right, Ted was busy dealing with a StuG that had turned up along the road bisecting the table. Not wanting to expose the Shermans, Ted instead opted for the integral AT weapons in the infantry platoon taking cover in the orchard. Unfortunately, it couldn't make the range and missed. 

This was the table about halfway through the game. 

The American advance had stalled, as the Confident German infantry was difficult to shift.

I had made a mistake when deploying an infantry platoon to support Chip, which gave Steve an excellent chance to deploy a platoon into the BUA on the close side of the road and mow down the American platoon. 

Ted's infantry had been forced to fall back, and one of his own platoons had similarly been reduced to a lone section. 

Chip, however, was doing the necessary work and assaulted the farmstead, slaying the defending German platoon and routing the other platoon which had deployed in support. 

Ted could also count a victory, with his AT gun knocking out the StuG, which gave his Shermans the opportunity to advance. 

A lucky round of rolling saw one of Steve's platoons retreating. This ended up being a boon for him, however, as it meant that the Americans couldn't put more hits on the platoon and try to knock out more sections. 

With the farmstead secured, Chip diverted his platoon of Shermans to assist with knocking out the Germans that were pinning down my platoon. 

The left flank had remained fairly static, with both sides trading fire. 

We ended the game on turn 11. The Germans were down 6 sections, while the Americans were down 9; a fairly bloody battle that had seemed pretty peaceful in the first half. 

We'll continue the game this upcoming weekend, and it seems like it could swing either way. The Germans are halfway to losing the necessary 12 stands to end the scenario, but Steve still has reserves left that could hurt the American troops. The Americans have been beaten up, but they still have their tank platoons in good order. They need to be wary of German anti-tank weapons, but they've got the superior range to anything the Germans currently have deployed. 

So we'll see how this ends next week!

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