Sean Harris and I have been playing the Pegasus Bridge Campaign I (8 scenarios) and have completed two Night scenarios. Here is a report of the action so far.
We practiced by playing PB1 “Ham and Bloody Jam”. Sean took the Brits and I had the Germans. Sean landed his gliders away from the bridge on/near the road and stealthily approached the bridge. My conscripts were consistently forced to retreat to the wooden house behind the pillbox and eventually eliminated for failure to route since Sean cut off all possible retreat and the Brits have invoked No Quarter by SSR. However due to the cautious approach to the bridge not much time was left to take and clear the bridge. My reinforcements of a 2-3-8 HS and 8-1 Leader took over the MMG in Café Gondree freeing up a Conscript HS and 7-0 to delay the advance over the bridge. Eventually the 7-0 blocked the win by taking up position on the west end of the bridge. To remove him would require Infantry OVR and use up too many MF to gain all the needed LCVP. It was a fun learning experience and we were ready to do it again in a campaign setting.
The first TC was to roll for sides with Sean’s high DR of 10 giving him the Brits, I again got the Germans. My 5 yr old daughter rolled for my MGs, tanks and Leaders. My bridge defenders received one MMG, a pair of 8-0 leaders but no additional LMG. None of my Panzer-Pioneers in LePort or Benouville received HMGs. The Benouville garrison received a 7-0 Leader and a LMG. The first leader roll for LePort was boxcars – great, a 6+1. In true ASL style the next roll was snakes giving me a 7-0 and a mighty 10-2. The tank platoon was at full strength giving me 3 Hotchkiss and one Somua tank.
I set up with wire over the pillbox and protecting the AT Gun approaches. Trenches were used to create a bunker complex with a route under the wire and another across the river to give an escape from Café Gondree. A HS and 8-0 manned the MMG in Café Gondree and another squad occupied Café Picot. A HS occupied the bunker and a squad protected the bunker from the Trench. The other 8-0 and more conscripts manned the building behind the bunker and the final squad guarded the trench back door to the bunker.
The glider landing was a die roll disaster. Two gliders missed their landing hexes with one destroyed and the other damaged with half the occupants broken. We both agreed that such bad initial rolls would doom the fun of the campaign so we agreed to start over. The second attempt was much better with only one glider being damaged with a leader, some MMC broken and a PIAT lost.
Sean attacked with a pincer against the bunker. He forced his way into the bunker through the communication trench and ground down all the east bank defenders. The 50L was captured in CC; I think it became known through civilian interrogation. Only a HS and the leader, reduced to 7-0 quality, escaped through a swamp to cower in fear out in the irrigation ditches to the north of the bridge. My Fallschirmjager reinforcements drove along the canal and into an IR. They were hit by intense fire from the other bank, the 8-1 broke and the HS was eliminated due to boxcar Fate. The Brit Sniper eventually finished off the Kubelwagon, I claimed that in their haste to gain cover the parking brake wasn’t set and it rolled into the canal.
The Brits rushed the bridge, clearing it as they moved. The defenders on the far side were eventually reduced to two leaders manning the MMG and a broken HS in Café Gondree. The game ended for me with a disaster and a mercy. The disaster for the Germans was that the NVR dropped twice in a row to zero so the Brits just marched up to all the remaining positions and wiped them out in Close Combat. The mercy was that the game ended immediately upon the death of the remaining defenders, thus not allowing the Brits to claim more strategic terrain to consolidate their bridgehead.
Night I scenario ended with the entire German garrison eliminated except for a 7-0 and conscript HS who escaped into LePort during refit. The British suffered no permanent casualties, only an 8-1 and a HS of each squad type becoming walking wounded. The downside for the British is that they only controlled three strategic locations on the west side of the canal (W18, X18, and Z17) and they were isolated.
My goal for the German counterattack was to retake the western side of the canal. I split my forces to follow the two roads to the bridge out of LePort. The force attacking along the canal road consisted of two Hotchkiss tanks, a 7-0, a 6+1, and about half my infantry. The force attacking from the crossroads had a Somua, a Hotchkiss, a 7-0, and the MMG and LMG in a kill stack with the 10-2. Sean manned his airborne MTR, covering the north of the bridge, and the 50L AT with his walking wounded HS. His reinforcements were slowed by wounds to his leaders (one walking wounded and the other an early sniper victim). His western force deployment was dictated by their isolated status. To my advantage the NVR quickly rose to 4, thus making my SMT tanks more effective, although towards the end of the scenario it dropped back down to 3.
I scouted along the river with a conscript HS and a 6+1 for added mobility. They succeeded, the Brits revealed themselves by eliminating the HS and wounding the 6+1. The lead Hotchkiss tank then found the PIAT team and created a fiery beacon to guide all to the bridge. As the battle developed around Café Picot, I infiltrated concealed units into place to rush the cafe. One concealed squad was lost to snakes on DF. In return I pinned his 9-2 and broke one defending squad, then on a subsequent attack I broke the other squad but the already broke squad got HOB, rallying, going fanatic and creating a Hero. The broke MMC fled to Café Gondree while the Hero attempted to Gammon bomb the other Hotchkiss (dying in the unsuccessful attempt). Half the fanatics died and the British 9-2 was wounded in Melee. Reinforcements charged across the bridge and reinforced the melee, eliminating two of my squads. I threw more troops at the Café and Sean pulled out into the smoke behind the café. My other Hotchkiss overran them but was then knocked out by the 50L AT across the river, an incredible shot through the bridge, at a moving small target by non-qualified troops at night (+7 -1 for acquisition)! I broke one of the remaining three HS and the wounded 9-2 around Café Picot, who fled across the bridge, and killed the remaining two HS in melee at the cost of another 2nd Line squad.
The fight around Café Gondree took longer to develop since my units had farther to travel. The Somua attacked down the road only to be caught in an IR and destroyed by a critical hit from the 50L AT. The Hotchkiss came through the fields on the plateau overlooking the bridge, over the hedge and into the irrigation ditch behind the café only to become bogged. Supporting troops followed up including the 10-2 16FP kill stack (which was revealed by those pesky French civilians as it was about to attack ). The attack drove the broken refugees from Café Picot south down the canal road with an 8-0 leader and out of the fight. The 10-2 and his troops made quick work of the defenders and took up positions to defilade the bridge with some serious firepower. Sean’s reinforcements rushing across the bridge were stopped by their defensive fire.
Having achieved my initial goals of driving Sean from the western bank and having lost ¾ of my armor and ½ my infantry I offered to end the scenario. Sean, having only a couple GO squads ready to cross the bridge agreed.
Sean will attack in the next scenario. I will have 13.5x 2nd line squads, 1.5x conscript MMC, 4x LMG (one is British), 2x MMG, 3x 7-0, 2x 6+1 (one is wounded), the 10-2 and a Hotchkiss tank to defend. Sean has 4.5x elite rifle squads (one is sapper), an elite SMG squad, 8-0, 7-0, wounded 9-2, 2x LMG, a PIAT, an airborne MTR, and the 50L AT. He also has as walking wounded 2 elite SMG MMC, a HS of elite riflemen, an 8-1 and a 7-0. But Sean is smiling because he gets 18 squads plus a plethora of excellent leaders and SW to charge across the bridge and wipe out my defenders. We are looking forward to more hard combat over the vital Pegasus Bridge and will let you know how it goes at a later date.