Bud and I finally got day three of the Hatten in Flames CG done. It took some doing. During the fall, winter and spring months, it is difficult for us to get together to play. Summertime is when we get most of our playing done. We were unable to finish day three over the summer and it dragged into the winter months. But we finally got it hashed out.
In the last post on our game, I had won both the first and second CG dates while on the attack with the German side. Day three saw me pick idle, while Bud went on the offensive. I however, had plans of my own.
I had managed to capture four of the objective hexes on the first two dates. In order for Bud to win the scenario, he had to end it with more objectives than he started with, so he would have to take one back. My plans called for an unexpected counterattack in the tradition of the Wehrmacht in WWII.
The Red square would be my objective. Just because you have chosen the idle chit and move second, doesn’t mean you can’t flip the script. It’s something I really need to remember in my regular games, do the unexpected and take the initiative. Force your opponent to react instead of letting him dictate.
I figured Bud would have the objective hex at the top center-right heavily defended and was correct. I gambled that the left, while not lightly defended, would be less of a concern for him.
Things got rolling and in my half of turn one, I got my OBA smoke down just one hex off target and rolled up to kick off my assault with the majority of my armor and all of my reinforcing infantry. Bud had two Bazooka ambushes set up HIP and I managed to drive my halftracks through both of them. He called me a “lucky bastard” and proceeded to whiff on the shots. I did make a mistake by parking a MkIV too close to an unrevealed bazooka, expecting him to fall in my fire phase and Bud put the tank out of action when I couldn’t get the job done.
On day two, I had created a bump in the American lines in the middle, taking a group of buildings there and creating a problem for Bud. There were no victory hexes there but it was something he needed to address. He got his OBA down there and began to push me out.
The assault on my target hex was going pretty good. No reason to complain there. Bud had some units there but they were unable to stand against the overwhelming numbers I sent in. I sent three Panthers that way to back the infantry in their assault, two into the victory area and one down the left side in the open to discourage a Sherman move to flank me. My JgPzIV got up on the elevated road to oversee the area.
Yes, I believe that is Lt. Shelling leading the way.
Bud took the initiative on the right and made a counterattack of his own to try to regain the victory hex there. It was dicey for me for few minutes, but we managed to hold on with some worn out infantry and a StuG and Panther in support. If I had lost that area, I would still have won the scenario, but my job would have been much harder as I would have to re-take it to get to my ultimate goals. When things got sticky over there I had to hot-foot a 9-2 and some grunts that way, but they ended up not needed.
Bud shored up his center and straightened his line a bit, but at the very end, I managed to get a toe-hold back in those buildings I had occupied at the start of the scenario. He knocked out a StuG on a super sneaky LOS that I didn’t see, an irritation and loss I didn’t need.
I pushed a Panther and some infantry down the left side, knocking out a couple of Shermans. At the end of the day, my troops had prevailed, we dominated another victory area, and extended our line on the left, winning the scenario, and leaving me with two dawn assaults in my pocket for the last two dates.
This will be tough sledding though. The remaining victory areas are all very heavily defended and I am actually outnumbered now in infantry and tanks. I have already used up my assault engineers when they got mauled on day two. I still have all four Panthers however and hopefully I have some tricks up my sleeve. I must remember to prepare for a possible counterattack by Bud, as I had just done to him.
My perimeter going into day four:
I’m not sure I got enough done on day one. The other games I am seeing have the Germans far more forward than I was at the end of the first date. I do however, have five of the six victory areas needed for CG victory. Things could go south quickly however, as I am outnumbered and have to assault to get the job done. Digging GIs out of stone buildings is never an easy task. The sheer firepower they generate makes getting close enough a tough row to hoe.
Next report on this will be in the summer as we have suspended our play until around May.
Thanks for reading.