|Elements of Kampfgruppe Kruger moving out|
|German command element and support platoons|
|Elements of Kampfgruppe Von Limburg|
|German units approach the ford. note teh smoke stand from the 81mm mortars in the background|
|American ad-hoc platoon waits for the Germans to attempt a crossing|
|American positions - note the FO behind the weapons platoon.|
The Germans forced their way slowly (no halftracks yet ) up to the ford and made it without any significant casualties from American artillery fire thanks to the bad rolling.
However, the Germans starting bunching up at the ford and that's when the American artillery fire got better. The Americans were able to call in a "duration" fire mission on both sides of the ford with 155mm HE as the lead German elements were coming across. (by the way, 2 knocked out AFV platoons effective block the ford from fire).
2 German infantry and 1 German Stug III platoon managed to make it through as the Artillery was falling. My US redlegs close assaulted the Stug but did not manage to do much to it except suppress it. Next turn, with final protective fires falling on the riverbanks, the Germans on the US side of the shore were forced to fight it out with the Americans. 1 German platoon knocked out the US platoon close-assaulting the Stug, while the other German platoon engaged the right US platoon with fire.
|Here Comes Gerry!|
|US close-assaulting the German Stug unit on the near shore|
|Germans close-assaulting the US platoon|
|advance! attack! assault!|
|Trying to get across - us arty fire blankets both shores|
The German commander made a stupid move and tried to move his reinforced company through the ford. (Halftracks would have been critical at this juncture) and KG Limburg lost 75% strength in one turn from US Artillery. Lesson learned.
Next the Germans successfully moved a Panzer IVF2 platoon across the river ford with no issue. They over-ran the remaining US units on the far bank.
|Germans attempt to rally their forces on the far bank. Note the close combat in the background!|
|German AFVs cross the ford - reinforcing the bridgehead!|
|Over-running the final US stand|
The fight was over.
The final analysis - I'm not sure who won - the US Artillery fire would last the duration of the game (from turn 8 all the way to turn 15 so the remaining German infantry could not get across at that point). So on the far bank, the Germans had 2 AFV Platoons and 2 Infantry platoons. 1 more loss and the Germans would have forfeited the game anyways. I think the US team bought some time and because of the scenario constraints, 1/2 of the German units would not be able to exit the map.
Halftracks retain their defensive value when moving in GHQ's rules. So - if you dont want to get chopped up by artillery fire - use halftracks. On the same token, if you're the defensive player and really want to multiply your combat power, artillery is essential.
DONT TRADE ARTILLERY FOR CLOSE-IN SUPPORT OR ASSAULT GUNS! I made that unfortunate mistake and traded in my 150mm Artillery for a Self Propelled 150mm Assault gun. My thoughts were that I could keep out of line of sight of the FOs until I got to the ford, then I could blast the US platoons to hell. Didn't happen that way. THe sIG pretty much remained suppressed/disorganized the entire game until it rallied and attempted to cross the river. It was blown up in the process...
The Germans could have used that smoke to suppress the Americans on the far bank instead of only having 1 stand of 81mm mortars.
Forward Observers should always travel with the main element. In this case I had them back at German HQs...
I need more anti-tank and transport for all of my armies to make a difference in engagements.
Lastly, if you have an armor-weak force, you should conserve your armor. Instead of pulling back my vital Sherman platoon, I brought it forward and it was cut to ribbons by the Germans with their accurate AFV fire... Should have placed them farther back to counter-attack and act as an insurance policy against breakthroughs.
Here is a link to the Scenario from GHQ's page.