Airborne - IE #1
|(Defender) Germany||vs||United States (Attacker)|
|Germany||1058th Grenadier Regiment|
|United States||507th Parachute Infantry Regiment|
|Overall Rating, 42 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 549 of 573|
|Parent Game||Airborne - IE|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Airborne - IE||maps + counters|
Paratroopers of the 505th and 507th Parachute Regiments landed on both sides of the Merderet River in the early morning hours of D-Day. Planners believed the Merderet to be merely a small wandering stream, but pre-invasion photographs did not reveal the inundated ground on both banks for most of the river's length. As the paratroopers struggled to determine their positions and gain their objectives, the Germans began to stir. The first group to attempt to grab the La Fiere causeway was led by Captain Floyd "Ben" Schwartzwalder, the future national champion head football coach of Syracuse University.
Working their way through the unexpectedly sodden ground, the paratroopers soon ran into stiff resistance. Despite repeated attacks toward the La Fiere - Canquigny bridge, the Americans could not seize the objective. The paratroopers needed more men and soon got them.
|4 Errata Items|
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Strongpoints are single step units and can be eliminated with X results like any other single step unit.
(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
The standard mix of strongpoints may be downloaded from Avalanche Press:
This is the standard mix found in Airborne, Airborne-IE, and Edelweiss Expanded. The strongpoint mix in Cassino '44 is different from that of other PG games.
(plloyd1010 on 2012 Feb 01)
Strongpoints are affected by the terrain in their hex just like any other unit.
Even though they can't move, they can attack using Assault Combat if an enemy unit moves into their hex.
They may not dig in or benefit from entrenchments.
(rerathbun on 2014 Apr 21)
|Airborne Scenario 1 The Battery Position at Holdy|
As at tribute to my late friend and colleague John Hanlon who was an Officer in the 502d PIR who dropped into Normandy as a staff officer at the Regimental HQ and ended up commanding the 1st Battallion of the 502d during the Battle of the Buldge. I'm going to play all of the scenarios from Airborne and the B.o.B. that feature the 502d. Any of the PzGrenHq members who would like to know more about "Long John" can contact me via my E-mail address.
TO THE SCENARIO: The Axis set up 1 Gren, 1 105 Battery 1LT (10-1-2) dug in in hex 0605. 1 Gren, 1HMG (reduced) 1 Capt. (10-0-1) and 1wagon in hex 0803. 1 81mm mortar platoon and 1 Lt (7-0-0) dug in at 0802. The Allies start at 0608 and manuver into the hedgerows north of 0605 suffering a disruption on the forced march. Meanwhile the axis sent the wagon down to pickup the 105 Battery to move it out of harm's way to 0803. The move is successful but the Allies end up adjecent to 0605 with their 11am reenforcements. The Allies get the better of the subsequent exchange of fire. The Axis end up loosing a Gren step and having the HMG disrupted. The Artillery failed to activate (for the 2ed time!). The Axis Gren activates and decides to fall back to the foxhole line in 0605. At 1130 the Allies were set to threaten both 0604 and 0803 threatening the newly established battery position which had no infantry protecting it. The Allied force was poised for and assault but they failed to activate and in the following activation the Axis were able to get a Gren platoon into the position before the Allies could assault. Then the Battery fired disrupting and demorlizing the Allied assault force. From this point on the Allies were never again in a position where they could make an assault under favorable circumstances. They missed key activations and failed to recover needed units. During all this the Axis 105 battery were pounding Allied units. The allies lost another 3 steps to a combination of direct and bombardment fire. The Allies had finally captured 0604 at 1415 with the help of the reenformement group coming up from the beaches. At 1445 the Allies made a last ditch assault on 0803. The assault was a failure with the Allies loosing one step putting the Allies over the loss limit. Axis victory. This was a really good scenario. Both sides have their problems and strengths. It could go either way. The Axis came up with exceptional leadership in this scenario which I think in the long run made the difference. This was the first PzGren scenario that I ever played. It was the one that got me hooked on the system. It still stands up as one of the best.
|The Orange Masacre|
This was the first scenario I have ever played with PG. This scenario went pretty quickly. Primarily because we didn't read the special rules about the train tracks blocking LOS.
I played the Americans, and since I thought all my guys started in plain site, I immediately ordered my men to take out the first strong point. It was occupied and with some amazing opportunity fire on me half my force was disrupted. The Germans quickly reinforced and began laying down very accurate fire resulting in a step loss. The next turn all my fire was off target and all the Germans fire was again right on target resulting in another step loss thus ending the game.
This was a quick bloody game for the Americans, but it was a great learning experience as it was the first scenario we had played.
|It Was All About One Hex|
Played this one against my son. His Americans won the initial activation and moved adjacent to the objective town. I did the same during my turn 1 movement phase. His first unit to enter the hex was his reduced Para but the Germans were unable to eliminate it via assault. The Americans then reinforced the hex as did the Germans. For the balance of the game each side rallied and replaced units in the assault hex. The game came down to the initiative roll for turn 10. If the Americans had won it they probably would have been able to eliminate the sole remaining German unit in the hex and win the game. As it turned out, the Germans won the initiative and were able to reinforce the hex and force a draw. All in all a fun, fast little scenario.
|The Orange Hero in France|
After having received Airborne I.E. in the mail from a fellow gamer, my son Christian (9 years old) and I decided to take a walk through the scenarios. The first one is "Orange Hero":
On June 6, 1944, the Americans 505th and 507th PIR attacked the La Fiere Manoir to hold the bridge across the Meredet River. The Americans' goal is to seize La Fiere Manoir or to eliminate 2 1/2 German steps (strongpoints not included).
The Americans moved out under the cover of darkness. Captain Schwarzwalder led his 2 American platoons as fast as he could to take the La Fiere manor house and have a decided position over the bridge. Lt. Marr takes the rest of the men and move toward the northern farm village, where there was a reported German bunker. After doing some quick scouting, Marr found that no Germans were actually there. The German Captain, sensing something wrong, ordered a fearful Lieutenant (morale of 6!) and a grenadier platoon to come with him to check out the bridge and make sure defenses were OK. Finding no one except the bridge guard in the La Fiere Manoir, they decide to stay and have breakfast with their friends.
Due to some missed communication with as to what the attack plan was, Capt. Schwarzwalder and his two platoons arrive in a field across a hedgerow from the Manoir. Upon reconnaissance of the bridge area, they find a fortified strongpoint at one end of the bridge. Unfortunately, the Germans in the dining hall see them and quickly take up defensive positions. Gunfire from the Manoir ranges out to the paratroopers, but misses its mark in the darkness. Schwarzwalder realizes he is running out of time and needs to take the bridge now.
Schwarzwalder gives the command to advance and attack, and all 75 paratroopers climb and stumble through the maze of shrubbery and trees in the hedgerow. The Germans try to pick them off, but the American Airborne are not to be denied. The paratroopers storm the Manoir, but the Germans tenaciously keep them at bay. Meanwhile, Lt. Marr is waiting behind to give words of encouragement (or shame) to any men that decide the Germans are too tough.
The Germans, alarmed at seeing so many Americans, call for reinforcements. The Engineering platoon in Cauquigny races down the causeway while the mortar platoon starts searching for a more optimal position to rain down harassing fire. The American's attack coalesces and manages to blow up the bridge’s covering strongpoint. The loss of the defensive position stuns the German commander.
As dawn breaks, the sound of gunfire draws a lone platoon from the countryside to the fray along the river. Lt Marr sees the men and moves in their direction. The engineer platoon finally arrives, reinforcing the Germans at the Manoir. Their close assault training starts to make an immediate impact as they take down a half a platoon of Americans and sends the other half packing for cover.
Lt. Marr meets up with the newly arrived paratroopers and leads them to assist Capt. Schwarzwalder at the La Fiere Bridge. He hopes to arrive in time to be of help. Meanwhile, Schwarzwalder does not like how the battle is progressing. The Americans are hard pressed but they hold on.
Another fifteen minutes of battle and the American are beginning to suffer at the German firepower. Another half platoon is gunned down as a flanking attack is conducted. As Capt. Schwarzwalder's forces are whittled away, there is less chance of the Americans actually kicking the Germans out of the Manoir house. The Germans, hoping to end off the contest, decides that they need yet more firepower. The last Lieutenant sends the HMG platoon toward the bridge in hopes of breaking the stalemate at the Manoir. He also sends the mortar company into the swamp area, as they would be able to target into the hedgerow country just north of the bridge. Lt. Marr sends the squad toward the Manoir, hoping against hope that these reinforcements are in time to bolster the American attack.
With the newly arrived German HMG platoon, the German defense gels and the German counterattack begins. The presence of so much firepower has immediate and dire consequences on the Americans as the reinforcing platoon of paratroopers are gunned down unmercilessly. The last of the paratroopers, seeing their comrades fall to the Germans, become totally demoralized. Capt. Schwarzwalder manages to talk them back into a somewhat cohesive fighting force, but they are still shaken. Back at the tracks, another platoon of paratroopers show up and Lt. Marr moves toward to order them up to the front line.
The Germans, sensing final victory over the American invaders, launch another assault. Again, the fighting spirit of the last platoon is broken. Even Capt. Schwarzwalder can’t get them to stop running for the hedgerows. Fortunately, the German marksmanship doesn't hit as they leave the Manoir, but the battle is already lost for the Americans.
END RESULT: German victory, which was expected, from what other people have posted here.
Overall, the scenario seems to deteriorate to a single assault. Both Christian and I noted that the whole scenario seemed balanced until the engineering squad came in and started hammering on the Americans in the assault hex. Time for a breather, then we start “Scenario 2: Battery Position At Holdy”.
|Heroes are made, not born|
NOTE: For a long time, I played the morale rules wrong, with units just needing to roll their morale or less to recover, not less than their morale. This is reflected in some of the commentaries.
The Germans have two strongpoints. One turned out to be a 3-4, one turned out to be unoccupied. I put the 3-4 in hex 0613 and the unoccupied one in 0412, figuring that the other troops could help defend that, and that the 3-4 could slow up the American advance. I started the Captain (8-0-0), the HMG and the GERN in 0409 and the 2 LTs (9-1-1 and 9-0-0), the ENG and the 81mm in 0509. My basic plan was to defend the town strongly with 2 the ENG and HMG and to send the GREN to get behind some hedges and cause trouble. The mortar would add some extra fire where possible.
For the Americans, I put the 1st LT (9-1-0) and a full strength PARA in 1014 and the CAPT (10-0-1) and the other 3 steps of PARA in 1015. My general idea was to have the 1014 units sneak through the swamps and take out the 1st strongpoint and then move through the hedges to 0412, with the other units heading down the road to approach the town through the hedges to the east.
With these few units, initiative isn’t critical, and its still nice to go first. On turn 1, the Americans had a 2 initiative advantage, so they moved all 3 units first. The solo unit climbed the railroad embankment, the other 2 units rushed to 0716 where the hedgerows would block LOS from the town at 0412.
As planned, 2 German units head for the town, and the GREN goes to 0413, heading for the cover of the hedgerows. I decide not to take a 3 hex pot shot with the strongpoint and reveal its strength.
The American reinforcement does not arrive.
The Americans get the first move (just 1) and the PARA on the embankment disappears into the swamp. The Germans move the GREN to 0314 for hedgerow protection.
The Americans rush towards 0516 and the HMG opens up with opportunity fire at 3 hex range. Against the reduced strength unit a 2 gets rolled, eliminating it. The Americans only had 3 units to start, and now they have 2! The other unit makes it safely to 0316 and the turn ends.
The American reinforcement does not arrive.
Again the Americans have the initiative and can move all units. The 1st LT and PARA move to 0714 and the strongpoint opens up, getting an M result which the units shrug off. The other PARA fires at 0314 to no avail.
The GREN returns fire, again getting an M, however both units pass the test. The 81mm also fires and has no effect.
The American reinforcement does not arrive.
The Germans actually get the initiative, and start off with the strongpoint firing on the PARA with an M result. Both units pass and assault the strongpoint. The strongpoint gets first fire and another M, and both the 1st LT and PARA pass again. Their return fire also produces an M and the stronpoint passes.
The GREN then opens fire on the other PARA to no effect, and the PARA crosses the hedges to prepare for an assault. The Germans attack them with the mortar, which misses.
The American reinforcement does not arrive.
The Americans get 2 activations, and that leads to 2 assaults. The first against the strongpoint continues the stalemate. Against the GREN in the hedges, both sides miss. I decide not to reinforce from the town, making the Americans come after the objective and up against the HMG.
The American reinforcement does not arrive.
The Americans have the first activation and continue the assault on the GREN, getting an M2, and both the LT and the GREN pass. The Germans miss their shot, but then promptly assault back, getting an M2 while the Americans miss. However, the Americans pass the M2 and there is still a stalemate. Over at the strongpoint, neither side hurts the other.
The American reinforcement does not arrive.
The Germans grab the initiative, and the Grenadiers assault the PARA. Both sides get M1 results. The GREN rolls a 12 and gets demoralized, a tough blow. The PARA passes and assault back against the demoralized GREN, which misses while the Americans roll a 6, reducing the GREN. In a bit of desperation, the 81mm attacks the assault hex, however it inflicts no damage on either side. Over at the strongpoint, things remain status quo.
The American reinforcement does not arrive. 7 rolls, no 6 yet.
The Americans have initiative and launch another assault on the GREN, eliminating it and chasing the leader from the hex to 0313. The 81mm fires ineffectively at the PARA. Meanwhile, it’s the same old, same old at the strongpoint.
Still no sign of reinforcements.
Again, the Americans have the initiative. The PARA assaulting the strongpoint leaves the hex, giving the strongpoint a parting shot which misses. They move next to the town, triggering opportunity fire on the 22 column which produces an M2 result, which disrupts the 1st LT and doesn’t slow down the PARA. The strongpoint uses a regular activation to fire ineffectually. The other PARA advances next to the town, and again displaces the German leader to 0412. Without the protection of the hedgerows, the HMG and ENG fire at it on the 30 column, getting an M1, and the PARAs survive. The mortars fire at the PARA and disrupted 1st LT to no effect.
And with one final failed roll, the 3rd PARA platoon never shows up.
The Americans have the initiative, and all the units go for one desperate assault to 0412. The Germans are on the 24 column while the Americans are on the 5, not a good sign. The Americans miss and the Germans get an M1 disrupting on PARA. They then assault back, now on the 13 column, and the Americans are on the same column, and both units end up missing.
The game ended up a draw. The Germans retained control of at least part of the town, but only killed 1 American step. The Americans neither controlled the town nor killed 5 steps.
Overall, the Americans had an uphill battle. They lost a step early, and the extra unit never showed up. Had it shown up, I’m not sure it would have changed things. The Germans can pretty much hole up in the town, and had I put the 3-4 strongpoint there, it would have been an even tougher nut to crack. The only real chance I see for the Americans is to get the reinforcements early, and to have weak (or unoccupied) strongpoints. With 3 of the 6 strongpoints being unoccupied, there is a 20% chance of this happening). The Germans can just sit back and make the Americans rush the HMG and assaulting the ENG in the town is tough. A nice introductory scenario, it plays very quickly, and a tough one, too.
|Even a hero can have a bad day|
In this scenario the Americans need to capture the town in 0412 to win. A secondary victory condition is harder as they need to destroy 5 German steps. Setup for the Americans is restrictive and I start the all the Americans in hex 0814. This gives them a chance to get near the town in 0613 and take it before the German reinforcements get into position. The Germans get strongpoints in both towns, 0412 and 0613, and combat units around 0509. The GREN, HMG and ENG setup in 0409 so they can rush to reinforce 0412 and the MTR are in 0509 for support. The wildcard is the strongpoints, if the Germans get a good random pick it will be a long day for the Americans.
The Americans get lucky and are able to rush the empty strongpoint in 0613. Germans move there units to 0412. They will keep all their units in 0412 as they have little to fear from the shift for stacking yet have a good defensive group in the hex. The Americans move to 0513 and are hit with Op fire and disrupted a second unit moves in an survives. Germans mortars start their bombardment for the advancing Americans. At this point the strongpoint is revealed and it is the 4-3 strongpoint. Very tough for the Americans.
The Americans try a few turns of DF but in the exchange the Americans lose a step and have both infantry units demoralized and retreat back to the town in 0613. American reinforcements arrive in 0213 and move into cover at 0314. The next assault has the Americans move into the swamp to try to use it for cover. DF fire from 0314 is has no effect on 0412 while the others move. German Op fire is weak and the Americans are in position for an assault.
The Americans attempt some DF fire and disrupt the HMG before the assault. The Germans can't rally and the Americans move in. In the assault the Americans get bad rolls and lose another 2 step while just disrupting the GREN. At this point the 0513 move to assault, but to get bad rolls and lose a step.
At this point the Americans don't have much of a chance with just half platoons to assault with, so the scenario ends with a Germans win. Historically, this shows how the Americans had a tough time with the initial assaults after the airdrop. From a game perspective this is tilted toward the Germans. I would look to remove the German HMG which would give the Americans more of a chance.
|Attack along flooded river|
As Americans sent leader and half squad and leader across bridge and down opposite bank of riiver. Americans took some harrassing fire from mortar and machine gun as they crested railroad embankment. Germans concentrated on moving units into objective town hex which also had a defensive strong point. American reinforcing para squad came on early near objective and placed some ineffective fire into town. The American reinforcing para squad then became demoralized under heavy German fire, and spent a couple of turns retreating towards American occupied town hex on southern bank of river. American Captain set up final assault through hedgerowsntowardsnobjective town hex but suffered disruption and a demoralization among his platoons. Further close range fire and mortar fire finished off Americans with two casualty steps. If Americans obtained initiative during last two turns then game would have ended in close assault combat in objective (Americans held initiate eight out of ten turns and averaged an additional back to back action each turn. Close combat could go either way because of presence of German engineer in town. Balanced scenario.
|Stopped dead on the tracks|
I went into this scenario not expecting much, especially for the American paratroops to meet their victory conditions given the task. What ensued was a perfect example of Murphy's Law.
Play began with the Americans safe behind the railroad embankments, out of enemy spotting range. Once they skipped over the tracks they discovered that the strongpoint in town hex 0613 was occupied with a 5-3/2-3 rating, took some brief opportunity fire but for no effect. Meanwhile, German ENG and INF units advance forward to meet them. On the second turn, American reinforcements arrive right away at hex 0517, behind the embankment so American forces skip back over the tracks and link up with the extra para. In turn, German foot units advance to meet them at the tracks while the one HMG stays in the objective town hex(0412)with the strongpoint, which is also occupied with a 3-4 rating. On the third turn American forces attempt to cross the tracks again and brave opportunity fire from the German forces awaiting them in the hedgerows and take a step loss. Turn four Americans return fire and manage to demoralize one of the two German lieutenents but the one with the morale modifier is unaffected. Then everything goes south for the Americans and they move no further toward the objective town hex. In fact, they not only suffer another step loss but by the time this brief and fatalistic engagement is over all units have fled from failed morale checks and are at the very edge of the map at hex 0318 in a hedgerow. German units cross the tracks to pursue them, spot for mortar fire and the battle is over.
I actually enjoyed the brevity of this scenario and with both strongpoints occupied, especially the one in hex 0412 coupled with a HMG, there really was no real chance of the Americans winning this one; especially with the German welcome committee coming out to greet them. It was the worst case of bad dice rolls for the Americans as well. They had good leaders and a few shots at inflicting enemy step losses but nothing worked for them. I expect that this scenario can turn out a lot different with each play though still heavily in favor of the Germans. It was a fun little exercise though so I give it an average rating. Plus, I really like the map features which was quite a change from desert terrain
|Luck of the Draw|
My take on the number of times I've played this scenario is that a lot of it comes down to the strongpoints drawn. If one of them is an empty strongpoint, then the US has a very good chance to win. Otherwise, it's gonna be a bloodbath.
|D-Day, the Day Nothing Happened|
6:15am. Elements of our paratroop division (two and a half platoons)fell amongst the hedgerows just north of our objective.
The whistle of mortars cried out, demoralising our half platoon. Lt. Slaughter took his platoon towards the enemy strongpoint. Was it empty or full? The sound of a light MG answered that question.
Lt. Slaughter moved in for close assault. Grenades, small arms fire and other battle noises filled the air. But no screaming. This exchange went on for about an hour, while the mortar kept our demoralised squad suppressed and Cpt. Binky exchanged fire with the German Rifle and HMG platoons. Cpt. Binky eventually joined in the assault and we finally forced the Germans out of the strongpoint at 8:00am.
At 8:15am we advanced to the second strongpoint hex to find the bunkers abandoned. Return fire from the German HMG took out two squads of our platoon. Seeing no way to capture the second (primary) objective, Cpt. Binky and Lt. Slaughter retreated behind the hedgerows.
At 8:30am, the two German platoons made a small counter-attack to inflict one more casualty on us. Unfortunately, they don't know how to advance and fire on the same move, so they order their 81mm mortar which misses.
The battle ends in a draw.
3:15pm - Our final paratroop platoon finally lands.
This scenario is very light. Too few units to make it interesting. Mostly just roll dice, and periodically make a morale check. There isn't enough firepower to do any real damage on either side. (These were my thoughts 2 years ago when I was first learning the PG system)
|Orange Hero (my first game...)|
The paratroopers have just hit the ground. As dawn breaks, a small force of US paras attempts to grab the causeway and bridge over the Merderet river (hex 0412). Two strongholds protect the bridge while the remainder of the Axis troops are on the far side of the river.
The US Captain decides that the best action is to rush the stronghold before the Germans arrive. In a mad dash, the airborne charge to the city, intent on getting there before the enemy can reinforce it. They reach the city and prepare to assault. The Germans can be seen rushing across the causeway but can't reach the first pillbox before it falls. Unfortunately for the US, they do get close. A grenadier unit has rushed forward with some engineers and are on the outskirts of the town. The Germans station a HMG unit to keep the bridge nice and safe.
The Axis troops are afraid to storm the city hesitate, not wanting to take on a superior US force in the city. Mortars start falling on the airborne, but to no avail. The Airborne hope that the chutes they saw in the sky just before the attack will come to their aide, but for now, they know they can't wait! The Axis leader's hesitation was costly, for the paratroopers have only one goal and now and they immediately bullrush forward. Tens of minutes pass and the issue is finally settled. The Paratroopers have pushed out the Germans, but not without getting bloodied. They need to rest, but time is short... Unfortunately, time is too short...
Summary: This scenario only has 10 turns and the US has to get right at it if they hope to get the bridge. I never did get the reinforcements, which really hampered my ability to assault toward the end. The Germans ended up with 4 step losses to no US step losses, but kept the US from taking the bridge thus resulting in a draw. I bet that if the US had two turns to rest and recover, they could have gone against the bridge with a good chance to take it.
I also used this scenario to try out different opening moves. I tried sending a squad up the rails and to come at the mortar from behind. Unfortunately, it would have taken 5 turns to get there, and would have resulted in at best getting one step. That was just too much time to spend for such a small unit. And with only an 8 bombardment, the mortars really weren't much more than a nuisance. After trying several different opening moves, I realized that the best move was straight forward. Another thing that made a big difference here was having to actually take out the bunkers. They're randomly selected and I picked the two strongest bunkers. If the first bunker had been empty, then the first real fight would have been at the bridge. If the second had been empty, well... the outcome could have been much different!
|Learned the basic mechanics, but not too exciting|
This scenario was, of course, a good introductory scenario. Otherwise. The US player has to avoid any piecemeal assaults. If the German draws good strongpoints the US player is at a disadvantage.
|Four go in, One comes out|
Playing: solo Time: ~30 minutes
For my first scenario since launching PG-HQ I wanted to break into AirI, which I bought as a ziplock from AP when they were clearing them out a while back. I've got this silly itch to play all of AirI straight through in chronological order (this varies slightly from the scenario order) but dunno if I'm gonna commit to that just yet.
I flipped all the strongpoints facedown, jumbled them a few times so I wasn't sure which was which, then lined them up and rolled a die twice to select the ones to be used.
I decided as the Germans that I wanted my HMG and 81mm platoons to get into the town first, and I drew a nice Captain, so things were already looking bleak for the Americans.
The Americans won initiative and revealed the first strongpoint, which turned out to be occupied. Rather than waste time trying to remove it - which did not count towards their victory conditions - they decided to swing wide around the hedges and avoid it.
The Germans raced down into the town, the 81mms traveling limbered so they could move 2MPs at a go. The remaining ENG and GREN brought up the rear.
On the following turn the ENG joined the now-setup 81mm and HMG in the town to form a potent defense led by a jacked-up Captain. The German Lieutenant took the remaining GREN into the hedges adjacent to the town to help cover the road approach. Getting into that town was going to be costly for the Americans.
Dead Men Walking
The Americans advanced into the 4-hex hedge block just SE of the town, and took some incoming fire but managed to hold it together. Time was running out, though. On Turn 7 they advanced through the hedges and stopped adjacent to the town - two PARAs in one hex led by the 1st LT and the remaining PARA platoon in the road hex led by the Captain. The Captain was of the 0-10-1 variety, and I correctly assumed that he would draw the coordinated German fire and probably be able to shrug it off.
The Germans, having patiently waited for the American advance, opened up with a brutal coordinated attack on the American CAPT and his one PARA platoon, but all morale checks were passed.
On Turn 8 the last PARA platoon floated down into the battlefield, too late and too far away to do anything but watch their compatriots bravely rush into the town against a hail of bullets.
In three rounds of assault (one each on Turn 8, then one final German assault on Turn 9) the Americans lost two platoons of PARAs and their CAPT. The remaining active PARA platoon had been disrupted just prior to the final assault and left out on the road. Therefore, the sole assault survivor for the Americans was the 1st LT, who ran erratically and in a demoralized fashion straight out into the swamps to hide.
The Germans held the town and inflicted 4 steplosses (and a leader loss, though those are uncounted) on the Americans. Total German Victory
Airborne gets a lot of grief for being most "un-introductory" and many of the scenarios being rather staid affairs. After setting this one up I spent some time considering what attack options there were for the Americans. The best approach would probably be to swing wide and then attack through the swamp, where you're protected from German fire until you're adjacent to the town. That may not be possible with the 10 turn time limit, however. I wouldn't play this scenario again, and boiling victory or defeat down to one (or 2) long-odds assault rolls isn't very fun, but if your goal is to introduce someone to basic PG infantry play you'd be ok.
|Plenty Of Manouever And Some Collateral Damage !|
Game Played Face-to-Face
A short 10 turn punt this turned out to be.
In our match-up, the German strongpoints were both unoccupied, and thus, being in a 'spotted' position from the 'off' they disappeared before battle was joined !
This of course meant that the actual German platoons had to do all the donkey work and thus we bedded down to some hedgerow hopping, pot-shots and house-damage as splinters flew from the buildings that were 'tea-bagged' by the sheer number of 7.62mm rounds blatting into them.
But for all that, neither side inflicted one step of damage, meaning that barring a few scratches and splinters, the game ended in an honourable draw for the two reticent commnaders.
Oh yes, and if your American, never believe in promises of reinforcements .... They never arrived !
|Lots of nothing happened|
After finishing our pre planned battle so quickly Vince and I decided to bashout a couple of the airbourne scenario's out. We decided to play them in order. I knew that the first one ws pro German and I (as the Americans) decidid to do very litle unless my reinforcements arrived early. I advanced towards the victory hex and managed to get rid of two dummy strongpoints but by then the Germans had moved in and would be very hards to dislodge. No way ws I going to move adjacent to the village and suffer -3 column shifts so all that happoned for the next 6 moves was long rage firing for little effect. I withdrew in the hope that Vince would follow upto closly and I would get a chance to fire at better odds but he is too good a player to fall for that. The game ended in a draw and I never got any reinforcements anyway.
|Some things improve with age|
This was my second play of this scenario and surprisingly, even with my vastly improved knowledge of the game and its tactics I still ended up with every piece I could grab shoved into the same assault hex and watching the results be "no effect".
As a teaching scenario this is worthwhile. As a playing scenario, not so much.
|A Long Range Firefight|
Played solo in 30 minutes.
The Americans moved 3 hexes away from the objective hex and exchanged long range fire with the Germans while awaiting for their reinforcements. As they failed their reinforcement roll again on turn 8, I moved 1 1/2 platoon away to draw Germans away from the town. The first two German units which came out were disrupted by Opportunity fire from the lone PARA unit which held its post. The Germans won the initiative on turn 9 and both disrupted units recovered. A few more shots were exchanged but with no result.
I gave this one a "1" as I don't see how the Americans can win without putting themselves in a very likely position to lose.
|Hopeless American Assault|
In my humble opinion, this scenario is pretty useless. Good that is no longer scenario #1 in the Airborne remastered edition. In my game the Americans had to bypass one good strongpoint, only to be last in the Assault hex because of the initiative roll. There they had to attack at bad odds against a good defensive position and quite naturally got shot up.
|Ever see Gallipoli?|
Both German strongpoints were unoccupied, not that it mattered. The Americans moved around behind the railroad embankment. They then crossed coming down along the south side of the road, to stop behind the hedgerow. That is where the Germans began shooting, getting one step with each Op-fire shot. The Americans are down 1 full strength and 1 reduced para platoon. The rest was like in the movie.