Tuesday, 27 November 2012

AAR - ASL SK Scenario #S43 - Clearing Carentan

Moving into Carentan
S43 Clearing Carentan
Attacker: American (506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division) (GaryB)
Defender: German (Fallschirmjäger Regiment 6) (GaryG)
Turns: 6 Players:
OBA: None  
Night: No
Date(s) Played: 20/11/2012
Carentan, France 1944-06-12

Starting Board Position
For full details on set-up, please see our introduction blog entry for S43.

Turn #1
A very tough first turn for the Americans who as yet are unaware of the immediate German threats from their hidden squads (D6 and F5) and artillery markers (G7 and F7). They open up with some area [A] fire vs. building hex J5, trying to uncover and hidden units there. The roll has no effect and they remain uncertain of who or what is in J5.

During the movement phase they CX (double-time) an 8-0 leader with and 7-4-7 squad crossing open ground at B5 to the east of Carentan [B]. It was early in the game, but I had to reveal one of my hidden units, an 8-1 leader / 5-4-8 with LMG, in D6 to fire on them. I score a hit and break both his leader and the 7-4-7 squad [B]. 
American Turn #1
The Americans have an easier time in the west of Carentan [C], advancing their 9-1 leader and two 7-4-7s through building hexes to close in on J5 (where GaryB believes I have a hidden squad). They take some light fire from my German 2-3-8 squad, but it has no effect.

Centrally [D] the Americans move into position to cross the street and settle into F7 and G7, critically my hidden artillery targets. With movement over, I defensive fire at the American 7-4-7 / 3-3-7 stack in G7 breaking both of his units with heavy fire from my 5-4-8 / MMG / 2-3-8 in I4. Not a great start for the Allies as nearly half of their squads have been broken already!

In my German turn I call in my artillery during prep fire targeting building hexes F7 and G7 [E], but both rolls have no effect. That could have been a game finisher if the rolls had gone the German's way. Other fire during the turn had no effect, but I did manage to move my 8-1 leader / 5-4-8 with LMG from D6 and initiate close combat in B6 [F]. The Americans lost a 7-4-7 and an 8-0 leader in this assault.

German Turn #1
Turn #2
In turn #2 the Americans licked their wounds and rallied some of their troops creating an 8-0 leader with a 1,1 roll during rally phase. In movement they evacuated [G] building hexes G7 and F7 to avoid further artillery hits, leaving only the broken 3-3-7 half-squad behind. Needing to keep the pressure up and counter some of their losses, they advanced a 10-2 leader and 7-4-7 squad with DC into building hex D6 under the cover of smoke [H]. Again though the German defence was strong (with a 1,2 DR) and they broke both units as they entered the building. Disaster for the Allies as their best leader was broken!
American Turn #2
I wanted to press my advantage and used more artillery fire on G7 [I] to eliminate the broken American 3-3-7 half squad there. From the east I assault moved my 8-1 leader and 5-4-8 with LMG into C6 to force his broken stack out of the building hex D6. During advancing fire I managed to casualty reduce the broken American 7-4-7 in D6 [J] and they used low crawl to flea into an open hex at D7.

The American stack in building hex E8 was still strong (the new 8-0 leader 2 x 7-4-7s and 1 x MMG) and they continued area-fire vs. E5 to try and uncover my final hidden unit, presumably before attempting to cross the street [K]. Other fire was exchanged in the centre of Carentan, but with no effect.
German Turn #2
Turn #3
Turn #3 saw the 10-2 leader escape to join his friends in E8, but the 7-4-7 with him was killed under heavy PBF from my German stack in D6 [J]. Otherwise exchanges of prep fire and defensive fire had no effect. The Americans were running out of time and bogged down in repeated prep-fire due to the losses they had sustained so far.

Turn #4
More prep fire from the Americans broke the German 8-1 leader in D6 [L], but held up their strongest squads for another turn. In movement phase a 7-4-7 crossed the street successfully into building hex J3 [M] taking ineffective fire from the German 4-4-7 in N3. Buoyed up by this success the 9-1 leader / 7-4-7 in J5 move to follow them, but are broken by MMG fire from H4 and forced to stop in building hex K5 [N]. Nothing seems to be working out for the Americans.
American Turn #4
I'm sorry to say that this game looked ripe for the German plucking and it pushed me into some questionable moves as I tried to finish MrBingers off... :)

I began with some prep fire from my 5-4-8 / MMG / 2-3-8 in H4 [O] at his broken units in K5*, but malfunction my MMG in the process with a 6,6 roll. In movement I pushed two fairly weak units into positions really close to the enemy and in one case [Q] directly into close combat.

A 2-3-8 was moved into I3 [P], but took fire on the way at I2, fortunately for me the Americans missed. Separately I moved a 4-4-7 from N3 into L5 to prepare for close combat with his broken units in K5 [Q]. The resulting close combat would fail for both sides.

German Turn #4

Defensive firing the Americans successfully broke (and casualty reduced) my 5-4-8 in D6 [R]. Nothing terrible here for the Germans, but the moves in turn #4 would cost them heavily in turn #5...

*I need to make a rules check as I believe that firing here from H4 to K5 was enough to automatically DM the American units there. We played that it didn't, but I need to review.

Turn #5
The game was really closing out now and we both knew that it was all but lost for the Americans, but they did have a few parting shots to deal with first. During rally phase they successfully brought back a 9-1 leader / 7-4-7 in K5 completely swinging the balance in that building hex [U]. 

American Turn #5

Forgoing prep fire for once they moved their big stack (10-2 leader, 8-0 leader, 2 x 7-4-7s, 1 x MMG and 1 x DC) from E8 to C7 under the cover of smoke [V]. They also successfully fired on D6 breaking the half-squad there and forcing them to rout across the street to safety [W].

Three very winnable close combats at [T], [U] and [V] played out in favour of the Americans with the Germans losing a 4-4-7 in K5 [U], an 8-0 leader in D6 [V] and a 2-3-8 in I3 [T].

These final few close combats couldn't however change the result and the Americans surrendered at the end of American turn #5.

RESULT: The Americans (GaryB) conceded to the Germans (GaryG) at the end of their turn #5.

Historical Aftermath
Once established in the town, the paratroopers divided up into small groups each of which began neutralizing German positions in buildings and alleys. Major von der Heydte, commander of the Fallschirmjägers and in charge of the defence of Carentan, had withdrawn most of the defenders from the town during the night to avoid being surrounded. The rearguard that remained, however, were seasoned troops a fought skilfully, including the pre-registered key positions for artillery and mortar bombardments. 

Through the course of the morning, the paratroopers took position after position until the remaining Fallschirmjägers were forced to retreat out of town. While the next day would bring another German counter-attack, this time featuring the feared SS, they would never again control Carentan.

GaryG - A good scenario, which was more than slightly impacted by the poor first few turns that the Americans suffered. We did get it closed off in one evening's play though, which is good. We intend now to play the same scenario again this time switching sides.

GaryB - I will have to mark this one up as a learning game. I was happy enough with my set-up but made a critical mistake CXing the units on the left in the first turn. My original intention was to move the units to D6 to support the main force crossing the road in the centre. The right flank went better and I was able to move them to the J5 building where I was concerned Lt Gardner had deployed a hidden unit. It was a couple of unfortunate rolls which scuppered my progress early on, these were in response to errors on my part however ASL SK punishes you severely and I got knocked about very badly. I was very lucky in hindsight to survive the beautifully targeted artillery blasts in the most part. I did much better in the later stages of the game when perhaps GaryG felt he had the game won and was able to be more adventurous. On the round, I have to report, "Must do better - See me after class"

1 comment:

  1. Some very balanced comments MrB. It's tough to get into a game having taken some very early hits, but sometimes the dice-gods can be fickle and turn in your favour. Well worth sticking in there!

    It'll be interesting to see how the defensive and attacking set-ups change as we switch sides for a follow-up match. How much will the original set-up influence game 2?

    Let's see if I can take Carentan! ;)