Wednesday, June 15, 2022

'Advance' to Hill 192, Part 2 - 'O' Group AAR

The usual crowd assembled at Ted's this past Saturday to finish the ongoing game of 'O' Group. As Chip unfortunately couldn't make it, John stepped in to take his place as the third American commander. 

With less than half the allotted turns left to cause 6 more section losses to the Germans, Ted suggested a strategy of using our orders to focus on one flank per turn; sort of a 1-2 punch solution, rather than diluting 

We started by tackling the platoon in the BUA that had nearly wiped out one of my platoons. A couple turns of focused fire reduced the German platoon to a single stand (and forcing another FUBAR onto Steve), but it tenaciously hung on. John and I readied our platoons for an assault. 

Meanwhile, a poor morale roll saw my platoon that was assisting Ted's company retreat behind the woods in had been taking cover in. 

John managed to remove another stand from one of Steve's platoons with a long range engagement from his Sherman platoon. 

With both battalions having lost two order dice each, the turns were moving fairly rapidly; this could have meant a victory for the Germans if the Americans didn't do something to break the stalemate. 

It was Ted who led the attack, suppressing the German platoon that had been holding the industrial BUA for most of the game and then risking a sprint across open ground. 

With a roll of 11" for movement, his platoon leapt into the assault and managed to beat the German defenders, removing another stand and forcing the Germans to retreat.  

Steve spent his orders rallying his troops and firing back at the Americans who now occupied the industrial BUA. 

With only a couple turns left before the end of the game, John and I readied our companies for an attack on the remaining German forward position (which Steve and reinforced with another reduced platoon and one of his two company commanders). 

Unfortunately, a tactical error (i.e., forgetting one of his orders) left a suppressed German platoon out in the open. The Americans spent their last remaining HQ orders to order the Shermans to fire twice at the platoon, which removed the final two sections that the Americans needed to win the game!

Had Steve moved that platoon into the cover of the nearby woods, this game may have ended in a German victory. While I didn't do much (all of the action ended up on the flanks), I did at least pin down some of Steve's platoons which allowed Ted, Chip and John to focus on engagements that favored the Americans. Even so, Steve's dice rolling and defensive tactics meant he was able to hold out against a determined attack for 17 of 18 turns. 

This was an interesting (and as always, fun!) scenario to compare to the other's I've played in. Those scenarios usually had the defenders set up in a multi-sector BUA. Having a more strung out setup meant that the defenders couldn't stack their units all into one area, but it also meant that the attackers couldn't concentrate as well. 

If we were to revisit this scenario, I'd like to see it played out with the more standard "2 forward, 1 back" approach that was used during the war, instead of attacking on a broad front.

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