Sunday, August 27, 2006

Pegasus Bridge Campaign - Part II

Ed Beekman

Night III, Sean Harris:British, Ed Beekman:Germans

As reported earlier, Sean and I have been playing CG I of Pegasus Bridge and the AAR on the first two Night scenarios is listed earlier. Here is what happened in the final night scenario.

I figured Sean would have to muscle his way across the bridge. I would have to keep him bottled up as long as possible to prevent him from busting loose all over my side of the canal. To achieve this I set a trap at the bridge exit. A leader and a squad with a MMG were set up in each of the two Café’s that would encircle any units coming off the bridge with point blank fire. I left my conscripts and wounded 6+1 leader in Le Port just in case the Brits got free of the confines of the bridge and ran rampant. I left a mobile reserve near the western crossroads consisting of my last tank and a couple squads with a 6+1 for added MF. Everyone else encircled the bridge and the approach to the crossroads to the west.

Sean dug many foxholes along the canal to put flanking fire on the far side. Nothing else could be gathered from his set up due to cloaking.

The Scenario began with Sean trying to blast my defenders out of Café Gondree. The dice were not good for him. His main Prep Fire success was a kill stack south of the bridge breaking one of my LMG squads with good defilade fire capabilities against the bridge. Then, failing to place smoke, he assault moved some units forward. The defensive fire had a squad, MMG and 10-2 adjacent to overstacked squads on the bridge and I ended up getting a 1KIA with ROF. Two rate rolls later the Brits were still had a GO squad there. Sure I killed one squad outright and eliminated another half squad due to double break (they’ll be back later as walking wounded). But Sean rolled snakes on the first ROF attack MC and created a fanatic squad. The on the second ROF attack the fanatics broke but another MMC got snakes and generated a hero.

I spent my first turns skulking. My 10-2 moved into position to rally the broken squad and swap out unconcealed squads with concealed squads in the Café. We were reminded how hard it is to rally units at night since DM is not automatically lost; even the fanatics took a while to rally.

The Brits kept pushing forward and a squad fell into my trap. I encircled and broke a paratrooper squad who surrendered to my troops in Café Picot. After two British turns Sean still did not have any non-prisoners on my side of the canal. But you know ASL and how quick things change…

I was doing my skulk tricks again when a British Starshell lit up my end of the bridge revealing my skulkers. Sean’s most effective kill stack, 3 paratroop squads, 3 LMG and a -1 leader, got on a roll, breaking (including the 10-2!) and pinning every MMC that could reoccupy Café Gondree. On their next turn the Brits charged off the bridge breaking all who stood in their way. The best I was able to do was break an 8-0 leader. I lost a 7-0, MMG and a squad to the Hero and two squads of Paratroops. My turn saw me putting some distance between my troops and Sean’s to prevent my whole position being overrun. I just didn’t like the odds of poorly led 2nd line garrison 4-4-7’s outnumbered about 2:1 by well led 6-4-8 Elite paratroops.

The 10-2 rallied on the first try although none of the two and a half squads with him did. The Brits lit up just about everything with an IR. A little Prep Fire, 12+2 and 16+2 attacks, resulted in no significant effect due to high die rolls. The Paratroops and Hero moved to clear more houses to the west of the bridge and took heavy fire, the Hero wounded and then was eliminated by a second break while a replacement Hero was simultaneously generated. Several squads chased my 10-2 and broken MMC to the south but their AFPh fire DR was a 12(!) and the Germans escaped without further casualties. Amid the houses and orchards several squads Advanced (vs. Difficult Terrain) into CC with a couple of my squads. Luck (I’ll take it over skill any time!) was with me and I got ambush on both rolls. In both cases I chose escape over a glorious death.

As I continued to withdraw, two squads broke – including one casualty reducing to a Conscript HS. Using dummy stacks and one remaining GO squad, I deployed into all approaches to my last rally point along the west road. One unit rallied and generated a Hero who led the withdrawal/retreat back to Le Port. My rearguard fulfilled their goal and all my remaining units successfully escaped into Le Port. The road through the woods into Le Port, occupied by the tank, was the rally point. As an aside, a wounded British 7-0 on the east side of the canal was killed by a Sniper.

Sean started pushing hard up and down the canal road, about a half dozen squads pushed south to keep pressure on the fleeing 10-2 led broken Germans. A smaller group pushed north to try to seize the canal road entry into Le Port. The remainder cleared the way to the western crossroads.

In Benouville, the 10-2 quickly rallied all the troops (including one HS BH to 1st line) and sent them to protect the town’s approaches. I got even luckier, rolling a 1 to end the game at the end of the German Turn 5.

The short clock prevented Sean from really steam rolling me. His pushes up and down the canal would have resulted in strategic gains for him if the game had lasted another turn or longer. He might have established a foothold in the chateau. That could have been a major feat since he could have put a German MMG on the roof overlooking most of the map with an Ox and Bucks squad to man it without captured use penalty! In the north I only had a couple Conscript squads and a wounded 6+1 leader nearby to hold off two 6-4-8s and a 10-2 leader – talk about a mismatch!

During refit Sean scrounged the only not burnt out wrecked H39 to add a German (f) LMG to his OB but had a Para HS turned into Walking Wounded during an Escape. The Brit wounded 9-2 was cured but the German 6+1 remained wounded. A squad of British Paras was marched off to a Stalag.

This scenario could have easily been much worse for the Germans; Sean had some really lousy rolls on several attacks where even average rolls would have lead to PTCs and NMCs. I also avoided crippling casualties when I achieved ambushes to escape melees where Sean would have needed 9 or less and at best I would have needed a 4 or less to inflict casualties. And of course the premature ending of the game was the worst roll for the Brits.

For Dawn, Sean receives a few reinforcements and I get to purchase mine. I’m thinking Infantry and something that can shoot smoke and put some hurt on infantry. I really can’t afford to pay the premium to bring units on further north on the map so I’ll probably buy a Panzergrenadier company and platoon. This will give them time to make the long march toward Le Port. I also like the GSW 39H (f) with its 105 gun (H4, S7). The PzA LrS (f) has more kick with the 150* gun (H4, S8) but its B9 vs B11 for the GSW 39H makes it less worth the cost. Heck it only carried 8 rounds, I don’t think I should spend about a quarter of my CPP to buy one or two vehicles that may only get one or two shots off. That’s at least a CPP per shot that won’t hit the target half the time.

We are looking forward to the sun rising on more action around Pegasus Bridge and will let you know how it goes at a later date.


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