The main attraction of this scenario is that both sides have the opportunity to attack and defend. It also has the benefit of eleven turns, which can give one a chance to recover from an error or misfortune.
Jim Bishop did a thorough analysis of this scenario on his blog (https://jekl.com/2021/11/07/scenario-analysis-hazmo-4-kids-these-days/), so I will not go into a lot of detail about the scenario’s aspects. I want only to give an overview of my playing, in which I had the British attacker.
Normally when I play, I try to not do the most obvious attack, but in this playing I did exactly that and I paid for it. The British right offers the most cover on the way to the buildings. My opponent set up the bulk of his assets for that approach. The part of me that wanted to do something else was afraid of the possible Pak 40 AT gun covering all the open ground in the middle of the British side. Remember that the entire German OB starts HIP.
So here is what I could not see, along with my setup:.
My opponent made a very smart setup, I believe, with the Fortified Building Locations; having them far apart made it more difficult to find both of them.
I sent one platoon up the left hand side and the rest went up the right. I had decent smoke/WP shots and guessed well with two out of four of them. Again, I was burnt by not following my usual practice. Normally, when I have a 9-2, he will lead the troops from the front, often with two squads and two LMG. This time, I decided to have the 9-2 direct the the two MMG at the start. I also planned to have the 9-2 deploy the squad holding those two MMG. Well, the squad did not deploy and soon after the German sniper came to that hex and killed the 9-2. The squad failed the LLMC, so a powerful portion of my assets were basically gone for the game. The sniper also wounded the 8-1 leader two turns later.
The Germans withdrew four of their six squads back into the village. A Sherman found the mined road and stopped there and malfunctioned its MA. The Pak 40 appeared only after I had moved a second Sherman into its sights. Surprisingly, the Pak 40 needed several shots to eliminate the Sherman in the minefield. The German 9-1 leader went heroic and Battle Hardened, and led the MMG team back to the church, one of the two fortified locations (which I still did not know about). I sent a Sherman to freeze their fire, but that leader-squad combo eliminated it in a CCRF. I placed infantry smoke on the road in front of the Pak 40 to try to save the third Sherman in sight of the Pak 40; the gun hit and immobilized that Sherman and the crew abandoned it. One HS of the flanking platoon reached the north side of village in turn three.
The bulk of the British troops trying to enter the southern side of the village had difficulty. The northern British HS found a fortified location during the fourth turn. The 9-2 led MMG team dominated its area. My mind-set, unfortunately, expected the two FBL to be near each other, so I sent the troops towards the one that I had found; obviously a mistake when one knows where they are. I searched the other buildings as well. After not finding the second FBL, I started send troops towards the the church, but the 9-2 led MMG team was fearsome. The fire that I brought against them was rarely more than 6 FP because of units breaking. On turn six, the last British reinforcements arrived. I positioned them to prevent easy German exit. The Germans were down to only three Good Order squads, but two of them were in the church with the second FBL. The Germans would get the 15 VP for holding the village. I packed my British in and around the one FBL that they had. I used my first OBA mission as harassing fire to deny easy entry into the village by the German reinforcements.
The German reinforcements mostly entered on the south area of the map, save for two Tigers that moved into the north area. The southern Germans unloaded behind the woods. The Germans in the village church started creeping towards the British in the village while the Tigers tried to prepare the way. In the south, I moved a Sherman there to prevent easy halftrack exiting. The lone Tiger in the south malfunctioned its MA. The Stug3 moved into town to help remove the British. In turn eight, the southern German infantry decided they should help take the village, but the OBA observer stayed in the south. Two of the halftracks also decided to backtrack.
At the end of turn eight, the British had a Sherman and a PIAT covering the north road, the six-pounder covering the center and a Sherman and a PIAT covering the south road, as well as some infantry.
I moved the southern Sherman to the center to threaten the Stug3 so it would move away from the British infantry in the village. That worked, but only for a bit. The German OBA brought down smoke on the southern concentration of British, but did not cover every unit. A German halftrack ran past two MMG to almost exit in the south; it needed another MP. The Tiger with the malfunctioned MA ran by a PIAT successfully to enter the smoke OBA. Another halftrack ran into the hex of the six-pounder to keep it busy; I held fire for a better shot in the DFPh. A northern Tiger tried to get by the center Sherman. The Sherman killed it with a turret pivot and a side hit. After all German movement was done, the six-pounder eliminated the halftrack in its hex, and without burning it. The German infantry in the village continued to eliminate the British positions and would take the FBL on turn ten.
A Tiger moved up behind bocage to threaten the center Sherman. The Sherman fired smoke in its Prep fire, but still being fearful, I intensive fired smoke and broke the MA. An 8-1 leader with a HS tried to kill the Tiger adjacent to it in the smoke; not only did they miss, the Tiger killed them. That Tiger moved to exit on German ten but the six pounder took it out with a CH. The halftrack near the edge managed to exit and a second halftrack moved to almost exit in the same place, but needed more MP. The Stug3 and the last Tiger moved to threaten the northern Sherman. At this point, the Germans have 35 VP and need to exit any vehicle for the win. The British have one Sherman, one PIAT and the six-pounder left to stop them.
In the last British turn, the Sherman manages only to shock the Stug3. The few remaining infantry units in the south move to attack the halftrack that is about to exit. The six-pounder can’t fire north because of OBA smoke, so it too moves to attack that halftrack. A HS dies in its attempt to CC that halftrack.
Then it is the last German turn. The shocked Stug3 recovers. The halftrack tries to exit first. A LMG stuns it. The Stug3 starts up. The Sherman that has it double acquired fires; the MA malfunctions! That decides the game because only the PIAT is left to fire and the Germans have the Stug3 and a Tiger to move.
I enjoyed the game. I wish I had made a different attack, less into the teeth of the German defence. I recommend playing the scenario but be aware it has an estimated play time of over ten hours.
Too bad about your 9-2 MG team. The entire battle looks like a huge mixed up catfight! One PIAT vs a Tiger / STuG at the end. Love it!!
Great AAR! Sorry about the crappy luck! 😦
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I have to say this is the first time I’ve seen the German use Trenches as – essentially – Foxholes. None of the Trenches connect! [insert surprised face emoji here lol]