Wednesday, April 26, 2023

BAR Fight - Chain of Command AAR

With a desultory showing from the previous campaign game, the Americans sent in a fresh platoon with extra support in an effort to dislodge the Germans from their defensive position. 

This time, I had Steve and John commanding the Americans alongside me, with Chip and Ted in charge of the German platoon as usual. 

After last game's poor performance of the support options, I wasn't going to bother with any off-table units or snipers. We brought along two Shermans, an HMG team, a MMG team, a light mortar team, and extra BARs for each of the rifle squads (which Ted had painted up over a couple week gap between the last campaign game and this one. Thanks, Ted!). 

I got very lucky during the Patrol Phase and managed to get a Jump Off Point up behind the hedgerow that the Americans struggled to even reach in the previous game. This helped immensely, and we deployed a rifle squad straight off. 

Ted and Chip countered with a MMG team in the same building, but the American squad escaped without any casualties. We followed this up with a second rifle squad deployed further back and the HMG team, which did take some casualties.

The Germans also deployed a reduced infantry squad to bring another machine gun to bear on the Americans. 

However, the amount of direct fire the Americans could bring to bear (at this point in the game, it was two rifles squads with extra BARs, the HMG team, the MMG team, the mortar team, and a Sherman) was fairly deadly. We concentrated on the German MMG team in the building and broke it, sending both the remnants of the team and the Germans' Senior Leader fleeing. 

We also made better use of Covering Fire, keeping the other German unit from hitting on anything but 6s. 

The Americans failed to capitalize on the retreating MMG team's lack of cover, which gave Ted and Chip the chance to remove all of the shock from the team and keep them from breaking. 

Facing a storm of lead, Ted and Chip also pulled back their infantry squad, rather than keep it in line-of-sight of so many American units.

With no other Germans shooting at us, I decided to order the lead American infantry squad over the hedgerow to put them in a position to move forward. 

That plan was immediately dashed to pieces when Ted revealed an entrenched MMG team off to the side of the building, which opened up on the advancing Americans. I got lucky again and escaped back behind cover with only a couple points of shock. 

Unlike last time, the Americans were pouring onto the battlefield. I deployed a second squad on the advance JOP, and called up the third squad to meetup with the rest of the platoon. I also asked Steve to bring a Sherman forward to support the infantry. 

In the top right of the above picture, you can see John's firebase of the two machine gun teams, the light mortar, and the platoon lieutenant directing their fire. 

Regrettably, the Germans had more surprises for us. Apparently there were a couple of Marders in the next town over, keeping watch on the Americans approach. As Steve brought the Sherman out from the orchard, the tank took a direct hit and was knocked out! Luckily for the infantry it didn't blow up. 

The game ended rather abruptly with a string of bad luck for the Germans. Chip and Ted were trying to pull the infantry squad back from the courtyard, which placed them near the entrenched MG team. They had also brought over the German Senior Leader to give the MG team more chances to fire. In one round of American shooting, however, the Germans lost a rifle team, the infantry squad's Junior Leader was killed, and the Senior Leader was injured.  

With three knocks to their force morale and an infantry squad lost, the Germans decided to retreat. 

The dice were definitely with the Americans for this game, and having the Jump Off Point further up the table made a huge difference. It was still a long-range firefight, but the Germans did manage to delay the Americans for a turn. We'll see how the next scenario unfolds. 

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