Friday 26 March 2021

Bloody Bucket Campaign Turn 6 scenario 2 The Outskirts of Consthum

The Germans made their first attack of Campaign Turn 6 on Map 2 in the previous game. Here they tasted victory for the first time in the campaign and as a result they had the option to 'blitzkrieg' and advance immediately onto the next map. That attack must be made with whatever force is available at the end of the scenario, without replacement by a fresh platoon and without any additional support. 

This is a tempting opportunity to squeeze one more game into a campaign turn, but in the end Dave resists that temptation. He had a Volksgrenadier Rifle platoon that was at full strength backed up by a PzIV, but his other support, a leIG18 infantry gun, had lost three of its crews as casualties. He knows from bitter experience that Map 3 Holzthum Village is held by a full American platoon backed up with two 30cal MMG teams. His men have also seen a Sherman make its way along Skyline Drive into the village. That would make it a tough nut to crack. With the Volksgrenadier rifle platoon the weaker of the available Volksgrenadier platoons and the infantry gun on the verge of losing its crew, he has decided he lacks sufficient force for the task.

That means we now move to Map 4 The Outskirts of Consthum for the second attack of the campaign turn. This will be carried out by a Volksgrenadier Sturm platoon coming from Assembly Point D. The men have already been in action and were roughly handled during a failed attempt to take Holzthum Village in Campaign Turn 3. Since then the platoon has infiltrated to a new assembly point from where they can launch this first assault on Consthum. However the platoon is below strength, short of four men they lost during the abortive attempt to take Holzthum. This has meant the rifle grenadier team has been disbanded in order for the men to make up the numbers in the squads.

Like so much of the agricultural landscape in the area this attack must be made across open fields, making for yet another tough assignment for the Volksgrenadier platoon. The Americans will be holding the small cluster of buildings at the road junction and the Germans will come from the opposite side of the table. They have opted to fight this as an Attack & Defend scenario and so must force the defenders from the table to win.

The Americans start with three free moves at the start of the patrol phase and are able to quickly pen the Germans into one corner of the table. As a result their jump-off-points are grouped close together. 

This will be the first combat for the defending American platoon who are at full strength. Among their supports are two minefields. These have been placed to deny the Germans access to the nearest buildings and to channel them into the open ground.

The Americans will start with their force morale at nine while the Germans will be at eight. The minefields are then placed and the Germans announce that a pre-game barrage is in effect. 

Dave shares his thoughts on how he plans to make this attack:

'For this attack on Map 4 I am initially thinking of a similar attack to the one I conducted on Map 3, but after the patrol phase when I see how bunched the US JOPs are, and that there is a road leading from my board edge straight into the American position, I decide to be a bit audacious and try a coup de main with a captured vehicle. The M8 is not available so I have to settle for a jeep. But if I can fill the jeep with men and drive down the road at full speed before the Americans can deploy through the barrage, who knows?'

As the attacker the Germans have the first phase and they open with something that takes me by surprise. From one of the roads a captured jeep appears packed with men (in our case this is represented by a Kubelwagen). It comes barrelling down the road going flat out, racing towards the road junction and the American jump-off-points. 

The jeep is carrying a junior leader and a Volksgrenadier rifle team that has been called in as a support (by the way, the plume of 'dust' is used to record that the vehicle has moved flat out, as it helps us remember to apply the modifier if it's fired on in the next phase, however, I'm not sure the wintery roads of the Ardennes would generate anything like this much dust, so you'll have to forgive a touch of artistic licence).

The squad's LMG team deploys near the other road where it is joined by an Unterfeldwebel, who has been brought in as a second senior leader to assist the platoon. 

Well, that's an interesting opening. The captured jeep means that the Americans will not necessarily be able to determine if it is a friend or foe. There's a 50% chance that when they first try to target it they are unable to decide and hold their fire. And that's assuming the Americans are able to deploy through the barrage in the first place. 

Dave is clearly trying a coup de main here. The speed of the jeep, the uncertainty of it as a target and the delays caused by the barrage all present an opportunity to enable a rapid closing down or capture of the American jump-off-points. I could find myself punished for having all my jump-off-points grouped close together.

In the American phase I'm fortunate that one of my squads can deploy through the barrage. They take up position in the barns either side of the road and form a welcoming party for the jeep's occupants. There are only a few windows and so the squad leader has the BAR team placed at one and a rifleman and the extra BAR gunner from the rifle team at another.

Having overcome the barrage the next challenge is to identify the jeep's occupants as friend or foe. Once again fortune favours the Americans and the men from the squad determine that while the jeep may be one of theirs the men riding in it are definitely not. They open fire.

Unfortunately the fire has no effect, but at least the Americans have men in place to try to prevent the Germans from capturing their jump-off-points. 

That may be easier said than done - the next German command roll is 66552. While the threat of a double phase presents quite a problem at least the jeep won't be moving in this phase. Nonetheless one of the Volksgrenadier Sturm squads deploys in the road with the clear intention of making a dash towards the American positions.

German good fortune continues with their next command roll of 66541. They are about to enjoy a run of phases that could see the American position unhinged.

The Unterfeldwebel moves with the LMG team along the hedge towards the road. 

Once there he orders the squad to move at the double down the road. 

They set off at a dash and cover a lot of ground.

Over on the other road the driver of the jeep keeps the accelerator pedal pressed to the floor, travelling flat out and covering 22" in the phase. They may yet pull off their coup de main.

The next command roll is 63331, which may mean an end to the run of phases but it will see the Germans able to activate a number of units. The platoon's LMG squad deploys across the road and both teams are placed on overwatch.  

Even more menacing, a leIG18 infantry gun deploys alongside them and fires off a round of HE at the barn. Unlike the LMG teams the gun crew don't need to see the American infantry at the windows, it's enough for them to know that enemy fire has been seen coming from the building. 

Despite two hits the sturdy stone structure provides good protection and the Americans are unscathed. 

Once again the squad in the road moves at the double bringing it close to the minefield and the road junction. 

The squad's Obergefreiter hurls a smoke grenade forward to provide the men with some cover. 

The jeep driver seizes the opportunity to continue driving flat out and he races past the men in the barn before they can react. 

That brings the vehicle close enough to prevent the Americans deploying from the jump off point near the road junction. This has been an audacious move by the Germans, not to mention very risky, but they might just pull it off. They have taken full advantage of the run of phases to put the American position under real pressure.

However the fortunes of war swing both ways and the next American command roll is 66541 which might be just the opportunity they need to restore the situation. The pre-game barrage is still in effect and any decisions on deployment will require a delicate balancing act to ensure the opportunity to deal with the jeep and its passengers does not slip away. Nothing makes that more apparent than when the platoon sergeant fails to make his way through the barrage. 

That means I must activate the rifle team in the barn, it will be the only chance this phase to be sure I can target the jeep. As it requires the whole team to turn and face the opposite direction this will call for a move and fire at half effect. 

It doesn't generate a lot of firepower and the jeep occupants suffer a single point of shock, but at least the rifle team are now facing in their direction and ready for the next phase.

American luck continues with a command roll of 66531. I'm hoping this is my chance to eliminate the threat posed by the jeep. The squad leader is in close enough range to use his SMG and he joins the rifle team in letting loose a volley of gunfire at the impudent Germans. 

The fire inflicts a further two points of shock on the passengers, which is a little disappointing, however there are three 6s in the hit roll, which means this hail of bullets has had an impact on the vehicle itself.

While it doesn't damage the jeep it causes the driver to panic and speed off immediately, going flat out. The movement roll is 18" and as it reaches the road junction there are two directions in which the jeep could travel. We resolve the driver's panicked decision with the roll of a D6, he will either turn right and disappear off the table or turn left in the direction of the German jump-off-points. He chooses to turn left and speeds past the jump-off-point and around the corner.  

With the threat of the leIG18 infantry gun still present the BAR team in the other barn take cover in tactical positions.

The next command roll is 53311, which will see an end to the run of phases. While the jeep is no longer in the line of sight of the men in the barn it still represents a considerable threat. On the upside the panicked driver has propelled the jeep far enough away that the American jump-off-point near the road junction is no longer closed down. I try to deploy another squad from that point but they fail to make it through the barrage. 

I have one more squad left and I'm hoping desperately I can bring them into action. Fortunately they are successful and deploy entrenched covering the road junction.  

This puts them in a good position to cover the flank and yet keeps them out of the line of fire of the German LMG squad and the infantry gun. From there most of the squad can also target the jeep and so once again it becomes the subject of a barrage of small arms fire.

There is only so much fire a jeep can take and this time it's unable to weather the storm. The Americans have rolled four 6s in the fire dice and the end result is catastrophic. The fuel tank ignites and the jeep explodes in a ball of flame, killing all the passengers. The Germans lose a rifle team and their junior leader and that's enough to bring German morale down three points to five. 

With that the German attempt at a coup de main comes to a grisly end after a very entertaining sequence of play. That was a wild ride and one that delivered more than its fair share of cinematic moments. 

With that threat eliminated I now want to be in a position to deal with the sturm squad that's closing in from the road. The squad leader in the barn orders his men to follow him across the road to the cover of the other barn.

The Americans need to prevent the German squad in the road from climbing over the wire fence and making it into one of the buildings.

However that's not something they will need to concern themselves with for the moment. With the failure of the attempted coup de main it's clear this under strength Volksgrenadier platoon is going to find it very tough forcing the numerically superior Americans from their position. Dave decides there is nothing to be gained from a probable defeat and the ensuing casualties. The Germans decide to withdraw.  

That was a short, but highly entertaining game. On another day the Germans may well have succeeded with their coup de main. All the elements were in place - a pre-game barrage, a captured enemy jeep that may have deceived the Americans when they first tried to target it, and not least, a vehicle capable of moving very fast along the roads. Like all these things it also needed a little bit of luck, the one element you cannot plan on. Alas, for the Germans it was not to be.

Dave reflects on how things unfolded:

'Well, the jeep got close, but the Americans defied the odds to walk through the barrage, deploy, recognise the jeep immediately, and then use a triple phase to chase it off and then destroy it. With the failure of that move, victory once again becomes impossible and so I chose to fall back. I have learned that sticking around trying to deplete the defenders for the next game doesn’t really work, as the force morale difference at game end means that they get their casualties back, so I call it a day rather than write down another platoon.'

All the German casualties came from the support squad and so despite the drama both the American and German core platoons come away from this encounter without losing any of their men. The German victory in the first game of the campaign turn and their light casualties in this one has gone some way to improve the men's opinion which climbs from -6 to -4. The Division commander's outlook does not improve though and he goes from Aggressive to Bitter.

The American men's opinion suffered as a result of the defeat on Map 2 but was buoyed by this victory and so it stands at +3.

We now move to Campaign Turn 7 which is the first turn of the second day of the campaign. This will see the level of German support increase for their second attempts to take any of the maps and so the Americans can expect to face increased pressure in the turns ahead. You can find out what happens next in this report.

You find reports for all the games in this campaign and many other campaigns on the Chain of Command Campaign AAR page here.

Sunday 21 March 2021

Bloody Bucket Campaign Turn 6 scenario 1 The Road to Holzthum

We have reached Campaign Turn 6 and the Germans are still looking for their first victory. Now that their pioneers have bridged the Our River successfully the arrival of armour support should begin to make it easier to break American resistance (you can find a guide to following the campaign and reports on all the previous games here).

For the new campaign turn the Germans receive a fresh Volksgrenadier Rifle platoon at Assembly Point A, this roll is done secretly, as is any movement of their units between the various assembly points. 

Any movement the Americans make along the roads between maps are subject to interdiction but, as there are none this turn, there is nothing to do at this stage. With that completed the Germans announce what attacks, if any, they plan to make this turn. Here is what Dave is thinking:

'This turn I decide to attack Maps 2 and 4. Hopefully if I can seize these two, I can attack Map 3 from the more secure approach down the road from the outskirts into Holzthum proper, and open the flank approach to Map 5 which is a better avenue than the main road. Once again I interdict the road between the three clusters of buildings.'

The first game will be the attack on Map 2 by a fresh Volksgrenadier Rifle platoon. This must come from the direction of Assembly Point B, as Map 1 is not yet in German hands.

Turn 6 first scenario Map 2 The Road to Holzthum 
This map is defended by an American platoon that has yet to see action. The support allocated prior to the campaign was four entrenchments, a minefield, a 50cal HMG team and every squad was armed with an additional BAR. While I'm confident that's a force well equipped to tackle German infantry I now face the prospect of German armour and I'm not certain the platoon's solitary bazooka team will be enough to do the job.

The Germans will begin with patrol markers along the table edge at point B and they have two options for how they play this scenario, either as an Attack & Defend, or as a Probe.

There is a real threat for the Americans here as it is always difficult to defend in a Probe scenario when playing across the table. This allows the attacker the shortest distance to travel while the defender has a very wide front to cover. The Germans have a good opportunity here to make an important breakthrough and cut across Skyline Drive to separate Maps 1 and 3. It's a task that should be made a lot easier now they can call on the support of armour, so it comes as no surprise to learn that Dave intends to play this as a Probe scenario. This is exactly what he has in mind:

'For this attack on Map 2, I choose to run as a Probe, which will be easier to win – victory can be achieved by driving a tank off the map. I am fairly sure he will only have a bazooka so this should be a good bet.'

The American patrol markers start clustered together on one flank. There's a distinct possibility that the Germans can outflank them in the patrol phase and, if things go well, it could result in a jump-off-point on the eastern table edge. That might allow for a swift move off the table for a scenario victory. Somehow the Americans have to use the patrol phase to find a way to prevent the Germans moving too close to the farmhouses while at the same time trying to prevent a flank move that results in a German jump-off-point placed on the table edge near the entry point from Map 1.

The Americans have one free move to start the patrol phase and this isn't enough to prevent the Germans working around their flank. As I feared they are successful in placing a jump-off-point only a short distance from the American table edge. This could turn out to be a very short game.

The American jump-off-points are positioned around the farm buildings.

If the Germans can establish a base of fire in the wooded area opposite it will be almost impossible for the Americans to move a unit towards the other flank given they would have to cross open ground swept by enemy fire.

Fortunately one of the supports I had selected for this map prior to the campaign was a minefield. My original intention had been to use it to force German armour coming from Map 1 off the road onto the soft ground where, unless they drive slowly, they run the risk of bogging down. For this scenario I intend to put it almost exactly where I had planned, but this time it will act to force the Germans to move around the farmhouse in the direction of my jump-off-points. That gives them further to travel to the table edge with an increased chance of doing so while exposed to American fire. That's the theory anyway. 

We start with American force morale at nine and the Germans at eight. Before we begin the minefield is placed on the road. 

Despite the threat on my flank I don't want to risk deploying too early, I think that will simply allow the Germans to set up a base of fire to suppress the Americans before deploying a squad on the flank and making the push to reach the table edge. So even though my opening command roll is 66321 I opt to do nothing in this and the subsequent phase.

The opening German command roll is 63222 and they waste no time bursting into action. It comes as no surprise to see a squad deploy on the flank and take up tactical positions.  

In the tree line a PzIV deploys and the gunner and bow machine gunner are placed on overwatch. 

From there it can cover almost the entire width of the table.

Nearby two Volksgrenadier squads deploy and take up tactical positions. 

The Americans have little choice but to respond to the deployment on the flank. A command roll of 65441 doesn't leave many options but it does allow the 50cal HMG team to deploy. 

They have one very obvious target that demands their immediate attention and they open fire on the squad in the open.

The initial burst of fire proves deadly. The Germans lose two men from the LMG team and one from the rifle team with each team suffering a point of shock. 

The German response is swift and the PzIV, whose main gunner is on overwatch, fires a 75mm HE round directly at the American HMG team. 

The round kills one of the crew and inflicts a point of shock.

The bow MG also opens fire and is even more effective than the main gun, killing another two members of the 50cal crew. This has turned into a particularly vicious opening round of fire from both sides.

The German command roll is 65544 and with more units yet to appear Dave wants to keep his only senior leader off the table to ensure they can deploy. Much to my relief the Germans pass on this phase. 

The American command roll of 54432 means the platoon sergeant rushes forward to take command of the 50cal team to keep them firing. He rallies their shock and orders them to continue targeting the squad in the open. 

The 50cal spews out another deadly burst of fire that sees the squad's MG42 team wiped out, the Obergefreiter killed, and, the loss of another man from the rifle team. That leaves two men surviving and they are suffering two points of shock. The loss of a team and the Obergefreiter sees German force morale drop from eight to six. The 50cal may have suffered casualties but in the process has made short work of the flanking attempt.

I want to ensure those two surviving Germans don't manage a lucky breakthrough on the flank (unlikely as it might be) and so, seizing an opportunity to further drive down German morale, I deploy a squad from the jump-off-point at the back of the table. 

The squad pours all its fire at the remaining two Germans.

Another of the rifle team is killed and they suffer five points of shock. With only one surviving member that's enough shock to see him break and rout off the table. That kills two birds with one stone, taking German force morale down to five and eliminating completely that particular threat on the flank.

While that feels like a good start there is no room for complacency. Now the Americans are exposed to German fire and with their only anti-tank defence a single bazooka the outcome of the scenario is by no means certain. Somehow I need to find a way to disable the tank or drive down German morale.  

In the next phase it is clear why Dave was reluctant to deploy his senior leader earlier, he has more fire support to bring to the battlefield. First up a leIG18 infantry gun joins the PzIV at the tree line. 

The tank and the infantry gun both target the 50cal team with high explosive.

The HE rounds crash into their target with devastating effect and the two remaining members of the 50cal team are killed. To make matters worse the platoon sergeant is also hit and wounded, putting him out of action for the remainder of the turn. This turns out to be a real blow to American morale which drops two for the loss of the 50cal team and another two points for the wounding of the platoon sergeant, taking it down to five. This was always going to be the danger of an early American deployment, but there was going to be no other way to deal with the threat on the flank. I may have succeeded in preventing a quick German victory, but it has come at some cost. 

A third German squad and the Unterfeldwebel (senior leader) join the other two squads in the woods.

This puts a full German platoon with the support of a PzIV and infantry gun at the tree line. I'm certain this is the core Volksgrenadier platoon and the squad that deployed on the flank was most likely a sacrificial support squad.

Two of the German squads target the American squad opposite, however the combination of firing at effective range and the hard cover of the entrenchments sees that fire have no effect. 

Lastly, the third German squad puts down covering fire on the Americans to limit the effect of any return fire in their coming phase.

In the American phase I'm faced with a dilemma. I'm not certain there is any advantage to deploying more of the platoon and engaging in a long range firefight. The Germans have considerable fire support in the tank and infantry gun and I can't see any benefit in offering up more squads as targets. That said, it then leaves my single squad left to face the wrath of all the German firepower. What to do?

I decide to hold off on any further deployment at this stage and see if the Germans try to push units forward. For this phase I have the squad target the crew of the leIG18.

The combination of firing at long range, the covering fire and the hard cover enjoyed by the gun crew limits how effective that fire can be, nonetheless the gun crew lose one man as a casualty and suffer a point of shock. With that I decide to wait and see how the German attack develops before reacting any further.

The next German command roll is 66555 yet Dave's excitement at seeing the double six is short-lived once he sees all the 5s. The next command roll of 65433 is much more useful.

The commander of the leIG18 rallies shock from the crew and orders the gun to join with the PzIV and fire at the Americans. This time around the HE is less effective and both teams suffer only a single point of shock. 

The Unterfeldwebel orders two of the German squads to open fire, and the bow machine gun of the PzIV joins them. 

This hail of small arms fire proves far more effective than the high explosive rounds. The Americans suffer two killed, one of whom is the squad leader. That's a further blow to American morale which falls to four. 

Once again the third German squad puts down covering fire to try and suppress the American response. 

With force morale down to four the Americans are restricted to four command dice and it's becoming quite clear that sitting here taking all this German fire is only going to see morale drop further. A command roll of 5421 allows me to organise my response.

First the squad continues to target the crew of the leIG18 crew which loses another two crew members and suffers a point of shock. That's reduced the crew to three men - the gun commander and two crew. 

My best hope lies in driving off the leIG18 crew and dealing with the PzIV, if I can do that I think I may still have a chance to hold off the German infantry. Desperate times call for desperate measures. The only weapon that can deal with the German armour is the bazooka and so the team deploys into the entrenchment recently occupied by the 50cal team. 

This is a long shot in every sense of the word. It is not the easiest of targets and at that range, with the tank in the cover of the woods, the team needs to roll a nine or better to hit. To my delight that's exactly what they do, rolling nine. The bazooka rocket sails through the air and hits the frontal armour of the PzIV. 

I could do with a bit of luck here. The round makes an AP strike of three but it is matched by the PzIV's armour save of three. The result is zero net hits. That's enough for the tank crew to suffer a point of shock and force the tank to reverse out of sight back into the woods. While it is better than nothing, I suspect it offers only a temporary reprieve.

The next German command roll is 66311 and that means any reprieve is likely to be very short lived indeed. The leIG18 fires at the bazooka team. 

The two men are lucky and the HE round inflicts a single point of shock. 

All three German squads then open fire on the entrenched Americans who suffer a kill and a shock in each team. 

Matters take a turn for the worse when the following German command roll is 66312. The PzIV commander rallies the shock from the crew and orders the driver to move slowly back toward the tree line.  

The leIG18 gun targets the bazooka team once again, but this time it has no effect at all. 

Lastly one of the squads fires at the entrenched Americans but much like the fire from the leIG18, it has no effect. 

Despite that, this now puts the full German force back in the firing line and they have another phase to come.

Their following command roll is 65431. It may mean the run of phases has come to an end but it is nonetheless a very useful set of command dice.

Once again the leIG18 gun targets the bazooka team. This time though the HE round falls with unnerving accuracy and kills both of the crew. While American morale remains steady there is no denying the loss of that team is nothing short of a disaster, as it leaves the platoon without an anti-tank weapon. 

The PzIV commander orders the main gunner to turn his attention to the American squad. He despatches a round of 75mm HE in their direction. 

While they suffer no further casualties the shock is starting to build up quickly and with their squad leader killed there is no way to reduce it.  

The tank commander then orders the bow machine gunner to open fire and he is joined by the fire from two of the adjacent squads. The American rifle team lose another man and with an additional three points of shock that's enough to see the squad pinned down. 

Sensing there is little need to maintain their covering fire the third German squad opens fire.  

The Americans lose yet another man which puts the squad perilously close to breaking. 

At this point it's clear my options are limited and it looks increasingly unlikely that I can hold on to this table. The best outcome I can hope for is to inflict maximum casualties on the German platoon. That might prove enough to prevent them following up victory here with a 'blitzkrieg' move - a bonus attack this campaign turn by the same Volksgrenadier platoon on to Map 3. 

The next American command roll is 6332 which would allow other squads to deploy, however, other than the upper levels in the barn and farmhouse, there is nowhere else from where they can fire without decent cover. My best hope is to catch the German infantry if they break cover from the woods and that's going to call for patience on my part. Meantime my single squad must remain the sole target of German attention. In the American phase the pinned squad directs a meagre fire at the leIG18 crew and unsurprisingly it has no effect. 

In the German phase the Unterfeldwebel directs the leIG18 to fire once again. 

The rifle team suffer only a point of shock, but with the squad now down to six men and suffering eleven points of shock they are unlikely to last much longer before breaking. 

The Unterfeldwebel then orders one of the Volksgrenadier squads to open fire.  

One of the BAR crew is hit and each team suffers a point of shock, which is more than enough to break the squad.

The remnants break and rout off the table, which brings American force morale down to three. 

Despite seeing the Americans abandon their entrenchments the Unterfeldwebel decides there is no harm in exercising caution and he orders the nearest squad to put covering fire on the trench. 

With the bazooka team wiped out and confident the Americans may be about to abandon the position the commander of the PzIV orders the driver to emerge slowly out of the woods.

I decline to make use of the American command roll of 621 and let the phase pass. Unless the German infantry moves into the open I can see little advantage to deploying. 

In the German phase the gun commander rallies shock off the leIG18 crew. The Unterfeldwebel then puts one squad on overwatch and has another lay down covering fire once again. 

The commander of the PzIV orders the driver to continue moving slowly - this is no time to have the tank bog down on the soft ground by driving too fast!

At this point it's clear what is about to happen. The Americans have no way of preventing the PzIV from crossing the table and the Germans have no incentive to move their infantry forward and risk losing men to American fire. So in the American phase I decide to withdraw and see if I can pull some men back to Map 3. In the end only five men will make it there, the remainder are dispersed into the hills of the Ardennes or will end up in German PoW cages.

The option to make this a Probe scenario was always going to make it a difficult proposition for the defenders, especially now that the Germans have armour in support. Despite their early success wiping out the Volksgrenadiers on the flank those Americans were left exposed to German fire against which they could do little. In hindsight I could have held back the bazooka team until a more opportune moment came to hit the tank, but that still would have meant the 50cal team and entrenched squad weathering all that enemy fire on their own. It was a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't. It goes without saying that a bit more luck with the bazooka and the elimination of the PzIV would have changed the complexion of the game entirely. Alas, it was not to be.

With that the Germans have their first victory of the campaign. It is one that results in the isolation of the Americans defending Map 1 and opens up the option to attack Map 3 from two different directions. They also have a choice as to whether they use the platoon that just won this game to carry out a 'blitzkrieg' and immediately attack Map 3 with the force it has to hand. It's an opportunity for a bonus additional attack this campaign turn and could help get the German timetable back on track. 

Dave gave this some thought:

'I could take advantage of the blitzkrieg option to attack immediately onto Map 3, but with my force now consisting of a rifle platoon, a PzIV, and a gun with 3 crew left, and knowing what the Americans have defending the village (two 30 cal teams, a Sherman plus fortifications) I've decided that discretion is the better part of valour.'

You can find out what happens next in this report.

You find reports for all the games in this campaign and many other campaigns on the Chain of Command Campaign AAR page here.