Panzer Grenadier Battles on February 25th:
Desert Rats #8 - Cavalleria
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Task Force Benson
An Army at Dawn #40
(Defender) Germany vs United States (Attacker)
Formations Involved
Germany 5th Light Panzer Division
United States 1st "Old Ironsides" Armored Division

Overall balance chart for AAAD040
Side 1 0
Draw 0
Side 2 2
Overall Rating, 2 votes
Scenario Rank: --- of 609
Parent Game An Army at Dawn
Historicity Historical
Date 1943-03-31
Start Time 16:00
Turn Count 14
Visibility Day & Night
Counters 89
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 1
Maps 2: 77, 78
Layout Dimensions 56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
Play Bounty 157
AAR Bounty 163
Total Plays 2
Total AARs 1
Battle Types
Enter & Exit
Kill Them All
Off-board Artillery
Randomly-drawn Aircraft
Terrain Mods
Scenario Requirements & Playability
An Army at Dawn maps + counters

Gen. Bernard Montgomery’s British 8th Army turned the German flank at the Mareth Line, forcing a significant retreat. The Americans received orders to become more aggressive to keep the pressure on both German flanks. This played right into the hands of II Corps’ new commander, General George Patton. He quickly became disenchanted with the 1st Armored Division’s commander, Orlando Ward, over Ward’s aversion to leading his division from the front. Colonel Clarence C. Benson, more of a fighter, soon received the nod from Patton to take over the task force designated to spearhead the breakout.


The new commander delayed the attack until late afternoon to coordinate the various supporting arms. Colonel Benson showed the aggression that Patton had hoped to see, when he pushed the tankers through the gaps in the minefields despite the infantry being unable to follow. The infantry held their ground until relieved the following afternoon. The attack destroyed four dual-purpose 88mm guns as well as a number of antitank guns and six panzers.

Display Relevant AFV Rules

AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle
  • Vulnerable to results on the Assault Combat Chart (7.25, 7.63, ACC), and may be attacked by Anti-Tank fire (11.2, DFT). Anti-Tank fire only affects the individual unit fired upon (7.62, 11.0).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Open-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables, but DO take step losses from X and #X results (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT). If a "2X" or "3X" result is rolled, at least one of the step losses must be taken by an open-top AFV if present.
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • Tank: all are closed-top and provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable
  • Tank Destroyer: do not provide the +1 Assault bonus, even if closed-top (SB)
  • Self-Propelled Artillery: do not provide the +1 Assault bonus, even if closed-top (SB)
  • Anti-Aircraft Weapon Carrier: apply a -1 modifier to an air attack if within three hexes of the targeted hex (15.14).
  • Anti-Tank Gun Carrier: half-track with anti-tank gun, NOT a Tank Destroyer
  • APC – Armored Personnel Carrier: These are Combat Units, but stack like Transports. They can transport personnel units or towed units. They are not counted as combat units for the +1 stacking modifier on the Direct Fire and Bombardment Tables (4.4). They may be activated by regular leaders and tank leaders (1.2, 3.34, 4.3, 5.43). They do not provide the +1 Assault bonus (ACC).

Display Order of Battle

Germany Order of Battle
  • Motorized
United States Order of Battle
  • Motorized
  • Towed

Display Errata (2)

2 Errata Items
Overall balance chart for 20

The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Overall balance chart for 63

The morale and combat modifiers of German Sergeant #1614 should be "0", not "8".

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)

Display AARs (1)

The Planes Are Killer Today
Author thomaso827
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2015-10-23
Language English
Scenario AAAD040

This one has a large task force of infantry, armored infantry, Lees and Shermans, with supporting mortars, gunned halftracks, (half of which I just realized I left off) and air support attacking a spread out line of Germans, who include an 88 battery, a 50mm AT, a 75mm Inf, Panzers III and IV, a Marder III and about 2 companies of infantry. Both sides are equal on OBA coming in on the 30 column. Germans start dug in. The US are trying to take at least 10 steps of enemy casualties, get at least 10 steps off the board and avoid taking 10 or more casualties themselves. I spread the Germans in a line from north to south along the ridges, with the 88 on the 40m hill where he could start shooting to good effect pretty much as soon as US armor started coming on the board, as long as they came in somewhat towards the center of the board. The rest of the AT capable guns got spread out to support the infantry positions. The air support played a much larger roll in this game than my usual run of luck, coming in on the first 3 turns. On turn 1 the P-38s did no damage, but on turns 2 and 3, they rolled 2s, with the B-25s on turn 2 wiping out the 88s and more P-38s on turn 3 killing the 50mm AT gun. This helped quite a bit in giving the halftracks and US armor a bit more breathing room. Even though the US lost half of the Shermans, the Lees moved along the north edge of the board with the goal of getting as much off the board as possible, and the infantry in trucks followed that rout while the armored infantry tried to pin down German troops in the middle. US losses doubled the 10 steps but they still had a good shot at getting a majority of infantry and armor off the east edge, and with having eliminated 16 steps of Germans, including all the German armor and the big AT guns, I called the game a US minor victory at the 9 turn mark. Doing another turn might have eliminated another stack of truck loaded infantry, but it would also have just about doubled the number of steps exiting the board, and the US mortars, OBA and air cover were doing a good job of killing dug-in Germans, especially when a German stack left cover to try to move north and block the US move. While the game didn't last to the bitter end, it was a cliff-hanger right up until the point that the trucks and Lees were past the Germans on the north end of the ridge, so I gave it a 5 as a very enjoyable game.

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