Panzer Grenadier Battles on February 25th:
Desert Rats #8 - Cavalleria
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Failed Orders
Winter Soldiers #2
(Attacker) Germany vs United States (Defender)
Formations Involved
Germany 1st SS "Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler" Division
United States 202nd Engineer Battalion
United States 526th Armored Infantry Battalion
United States 824th Tank Destroyer Battalion

Overall balance chart for WiSo002
Side 1 11
Draw 0
Side 2 2
Overall Rating, 13 votes
Scenario Rank: 387 of 609
Parent Game Winter Soldiers
Historicity Historical
Date 1944-12-18
Start Time 07:45
Turn Count 14
Visibility Day
Counters 46
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 1
Maps 2: 12, 9
Layout Dimensions 86 x 28 cm
34 x 11 in
Play Bounty 128
AAR Bounty 122
Total Plays 13
Total AARs 7
Battle Types
Bridge Control
Enter & Exit
Urban Assault
Off-board Artillery
Terrain Mods
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Battle of the Bulge maps
Elsenborn Ridge counters
Winter Soldiers book

Obersturmbannführer Jochen Peiper was unwilling to admit he had fumbled his chance to take Stavelot by a coup de main the previous evening. His excuse to higher headquarters claimed his men were confronted by enemy armor as they approached the town, while infantry circled around to attack his flanks. This was later contradicted by his tank commanders who insisted the Americans were withdrawing. In any case, the pause allowed the Americans to rush reinforcements into the town during the night. His assault today would be tougher.


Headquarters had ordered the engineers stationed there to blow the bridge over the Ambleve River. Demolitions were set but their commander failed to give the order to blow the bridge allowing the Germans to capture it intact. Soon Kampfgruppe Peiper was once again racing towards the Meuse with the Americans scrambling for a way to stop them. If the bridge had been destroyed as ordered chances are Peiper would have been stopped then and there.

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)
  • 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
  • Mechanized
  • Mechanized
United States Order of Battle
  • Mechanized
  • Towed

Display Errata (3)

3 Errata Items
Overall balance chart for 47

All SPW 251s have an armor value of 0.

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Overall balance chart for 424

The reduced direct fire value of the SS HMG is 5-5 in Beyond Normandy and Road to Berlin.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Overall balance chart for 25

The M18 has a special rule in Battle of the Bulge but it applies globally: "A two-step M18 unit can fire one anti-tank shot and move half its movement allowance (retain fractions) in a single impulse. The order in which it does these two actions is the player's choice."

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)

Display AARs (7)

Proper Paid the Piper
Author thomaso827
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2016-12-18
Language English
Scenario WiSo002

A company of US infantry, 1 of engineers, a 3inch AT unit, an M18 and some half tracks hold Stavelot against 5 Panthers, half track mounted panzer grenadiers, engineers and HMGs. Germans have 1 81mm mortar and 2 16 factor oba, the US have an 18 factor oba. The Americans deployed in the city with one engineer and one infante dug in on the one bridge hex capable of holding tanks. The AT gun and M18 set up on the southwest corner to try to cover the bridge against attacks by German tanks. Some really good leader draws gave both sides some great leaders, like an appropriate 10-1-2 for Proper, and an 11-2-1 captain for the Americans. Proper wasted no time attacking with Panthers and panzer grenadiers going for the big bridge while more panzer grenadiers and engineers head to the northern, lighter bridge. An armor overrun succeeds in getting past the bridge defenders but are killed by very lucky dice in counter assault. Proper leads a combined arms assault on the US AT position and nearly succeeds in overpowering the defense, by hot dice roll a 2 for leader loss in an otherwise moderate assault result. This turns the tables on the SS attack, and the Panther platoon in the assault falls in the next round. By turn 8, the Germans were up to 17 steps lost, including 3 of 5 Panthers. The assault on the north bridge falters, keeping the panzer grenadiers from easy access to the road west out of town. In the end, the US troops retake the bridge, the Germans are still stalled in assault and the German engineers are having difficulty moving anything across a fording point. Germans fail to get any of their objectives and Proper is dead before the attack really gets started. Great game.

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Winter Soldiers #2 Failed Orders
Author PatC
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2011-07-05
Language English
Scenario WiSo002

The Allies set up on Bd 12 in the village with one platoon in the town hex on the east bank. The Allies made an error on the initial set up by not having the U.S. TD in a town hex with a line of sight to one of the Axis approach routes. That in conjunction with the 57mm ATG Battery could have possibly gotten a crossfire shot on one of the Axis's Panther platoons. As it was the U.S. set the TD up in the town center where it had to move to get a line of sight to an axis armored unit thus giving the Axis the first shot. The allies had given up their biggest advantage, shoot & skoot.

The Axis barged into town but the Allied infantry proved to be pretty tough. They beat off several Axis attempts to take both bridges. The lone Allied platoon in the town hex on the east bank though reduced and disrupted held out to near the end. When it collapled finally so did the rest of the Allied position. The numerous shots from the Panthers finally wore the Allies down to a nub. They were just too much. Maybe if the TD had been better placed it could have made a difference because time is on the Allies side. Maybe.

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Winter Soldiers #2 Failed Orders
Author Hugmenot
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2012-03-11
Language English
Scenario WiSo002

My fourth PG scenario. It took 3 1/2 hours to complete, but only because I spent much of my time looking up specific rules.

I set up the Americans in the town except for 2 platoons and a lieutenant in the east bank village.

The Germans quickly overran the village on turn 2 when the Americans rolled 12, 11, and 11 on a morale check, and failed to recover in their activation phase. The Germans eliminated the demoralized units and then decided to assault the town for a major victory. This proved to be easier said then done as the remaining American were very resilient and inflicted 10 step losses on the Germans before they were pushed into the most western town hex.

It came down to the last roll when a demoralized American half platoon had to make a morale check of 5 or less for a minor victory. They failed and thus had to flee out of town.

German minor victory.

I learned from this scenario that when attacking on a narrow axis, the stronger force has several units idle as they have nowhere to go. After the early German success, I should have sent a German detachment to bypass the town and exit the map in order to secure an easy minor victory.

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El Kampfgruppe Peiper llegó, vio y venció en Stavelot
Author enrique
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2012-07-09
Language Español
Scenario WiSo002

En este escenario una potente fuerza blindada alemana (5 secciones de tanques "Panther"), apoyadas por una compañía reforzada de Panzergrenadier atacan la ciudad de Stavelot, junto al río Ambleve. Esta población en manos americanas está defendida por una compañía de infantería y otra de ingenieros, apoyados por una batería AT (3-inch) y una sección de cazatanques M18.

La batalla tiene poca historia. Cuando los alemanes consiguen destruir los M18 americanos y neutralizar la batería AT mediante un asalto, se limitan a concentrar sus "Panther" para ir debilitando sistemáticamente a la infantería enemiga por medio de un potente fuego directo concentrado. Una vez debilitada o desmoralizada la infantería americana, es asaltada por los panzergrenadier de la SS, apoyados por secciones de transportes blindados SPW 251.

Al final del turno 12 los americanos son completamente aniquilados y los alemanes consiguen todos sus objetivos.

Fácil victoria mayor alemana.

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Failed Defense
Author campsawyer
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2012-08-14
Language English
Scenario WiSo002

After seeing all the plays with wins for the Germans, I need to see what this scenario was all about. This is a typical early Bulge attack with the Germans having the advantage of armor to overwhelm the Americans. But I thought that there might be some defense that can win this for the Americans. But it seems to require more than that and then some.

The Americans seemingly have a good defense with a good amount of INF and ENG plus support weapons that include a 3in AT and M18. But they are facing two companies of SS GRENs and five SS Panther platoons. Leaders on both sides were good with a number of leaders with modifiers.

The American defense setup forward of the town of Stuvelt. Digging in the light woods allows the Americans to maximize their defensive bonuses and fight the Germans outside of the towns for a short time. Flanking the main defense of HMG, 3in AT and INF's are ENG's and M3's. This is to prevent the Germans from trying to push through the woods to the north and south of the defense. The M18 setup up in the woods on the northern hill. A lone M3 remains in Stuvelt for any defense when the Americans need to retreat.

The Germans look to find a angle that they can take to attack the American defense. They setup most of their force on the wooded hill on the south end of board 9. Panthers and GREN's are grouped for a combined forces attack on the southern American flank. This will give the Germans the best chance of capturing the bridge and cutting the Americans off on the east side of the river. Two platoons of Panthers are stationed to the north to keep an eye on the M18.

The attack starts with the Germans advancing down the slopes and into the woods on board 12. American OP fire is accurate and several GRENs are disrupted and demoralized quickly. But the Germans close on the Americans and open fire on the dugin troops. Scoring demoralization's on the left American flank that are able to force the units back. Panther and SPW251 units score the first blood with the reduction of an ENG unit. But American fire is good too. They OP fire on a key advancing group of Germans and score a kill and demoralization on the remnants. The Germans quickly move troops forward to try to press the advantage.

The Americans react by shifting the units from the north side of there defense to Stuvelt. Using an old wooden bridge, they are able to shift INF's, ENG's and 3in AT into the town. The Germans dash two Panther platoons over the other bridge to capture the bridge and a town hex. But American OP fire keep the GREN's at bay and the American Major launches an assault on the isolated Panthers. His attack is a success and one Panther step is destroyed. But the other Germans press forward against the American defensive line on the east side of the river. This rolls them back and removes the OP fire threat from the bridge, but the Americans are tough and still hold the small village and deny them the road.

To the north the Panthers shadow the M18 looking for an opportunity to destroy it, but the quick M18 keeps them at bay and even get a few close shots at the Germans. But the Germans catch up with it after the "cat and mouse" moves and are able to eventually destroy it. But this keeps two Panthers from flanking the Americans and hold up the attack.

Eventually the German GREN's make it over the bridge and are able to destroy the INF's and ENG's holding the town. The 3in AT is demoralized and eventually the crews flee in the face of the German attack. The Germans move some of the Panthers and SPW251's off the board, while the ENG's and other Panthers provide security for the captured town and bridge. A major German victory.

Although the Germans have the victory, I believe that they have a lessor victory, Why? First, the Germans lost 6 steps, 1/2 Panther, 1 Gren, 1/2 ENG, and SPW251. For there forces in battle this is significant. Second, the Germans need to leave 2 Panthers, ENG's and SPW251's back to cover the American remnants. Both of these seriously diminish there advancing forces. The units that did make it off were 2 1/2 panthers and a couple of SPW251's without GREN support. I would believe that the VC's would need to have the Germans including some GREN's in the exiting troops as well as having the number of troops left on the board contributing to the American VC's rather than just a strict unit losses.

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SS showing off for Obersturmbannfuhrer Peiper
Author Poor Yorek
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2012-08-26
Language English
Scenario WiSo002

US set-up tried a bit of a forward defense:

Dug-in INF + M3 in 1008 (lt woods + hill hex) to defend the track and approach to the personnel bridge across the Ambleve into Stavelot. Inf + 3-in gun in the eastern back hamlet (thought to put the gun forward to keep the SPW's honest - which it did for a while). Dug-in INF + M3 in 1011. The ENG + HMG's were in Stavelot warding the road/track with one holding the personnel bridge hex. The M18 was dug-in on the 20-m hill hex 0317 covering the main bridge at a range of 7 hexes (I thought to "cover" the bridge this way vis-a-vis the Panthers, but in the end used this to attack SPW's that had looped south to aid the Grens).

The first three turns looked well for the US as the Waffen SS got a bit crowded up and out of position, perhaps reflecting some poor march discipline (or the player just not thinking very clearly). Turns four-seven though were disasters as the Germans took advantage of some devastating die rolls on large DF attack columns. Whole hexes of US troops disappeared in a matter of minutes in contrast to the fizzles on the first few turns; that and US survivors were spent recovering morale rather than returning fire.

The SS also sent an engineer + gren + ldr to loop around the southern woods and make a river crossing in 0712.

The M18, after shooting up some SPW's attempting to force the main bridge, finally ran into the town as the panthers, having reduced the eastern hamlet to rubble, moved SW to cross. The dart and shoot ploy worked for one step (rolling a '10')of PzV's before the M18's were sent to their reward. German DF continued to roll extremely well, which is to say, extremely accurately for their commander.

Other key elements were the obersturmfuhrer 10-1-2 draw which made morale failure on the Germans a challenge and the Germans won initiative every turn.

Although a Major German Victory, had the German DF rolls not been so devastating (even with town or dug-in advantages), with time running short, more risky assaults would have been necessary. Final step losses were six for the Waffen SS (including one step of PzV); sixteen steps to the US.

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Winter Soldiers, scenario #2: Failed Orders
Author JayTownsend
Method Solo
Victor Germany
Play Date 2011-06-07
Language English
Scenario WiSo002

*Winter Soldiers has so many interesting looking scenarios that I wanted to play one and this one looked to be a one sitting types of play! So I picked this one first and will play more later.

*This didn’t turn into a good Memorial Day battle for my Americans. The highlight for them was taking out a step of Panthers tanks with the 3-inch AT Gun rolling a 12 but since there are 10 steps of these monsters, just a small dent was made. In fact the miss use of my M18 tank destroyer contributed nothing to the American cause. Once the American AT units are gone, the Panther can park across the river adjacent to the town hexes of Stavelot and with 33 DF factors pounded the American infantry and then add the 2 x 16 artillery off board, to soften up the American Infantry before the German Infantry assaults across the Bridge hexes joined by the German armor & halftracks.

*The Germans won a major victory in this one but it was still fun to play. Not that it makes a difference but I assumed that the bridge hex #0808 which restricted German tanks still accepted German Halftracks. Bridge hex 1011 was open to all types of armor anyway, and the Germans cleared it pretty early.

Played May 30th

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