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'The Road To Berlin', US vs Germans, 1944

by Michael Pell, 12th November 2006

Game Statistics

We used 2 GHQ Combat Command box set 6mm figures of early German and late US troops with the idea of upgrading both armies in the future with additional equipment such as Shermans, Stuarts, Panthers and Tigers, etc., but for now we used what we had.

The game table was a 2.5 foot x 6 foot surface with a green towel spread atop paper plates and pieces of Styrofoam to create ridgelines, etc. The buildings were created by shrinking down 1/100 scale public domain paper printouts to 1/285 scale and then gluing them to wooden blocks cut out to the proper profiles.

Roads and fields are coloured felt along with cardboard and green scrubbing pads cut to make the hedges. Cobblestone streets for the villages are “football/basketball” print paper and trees from Woodland Scenics and craft supply mosses.

As this is our first time playing the BKC rules, we opted for the ENCOUNTER battle which is a more or less head-to-head bash at each other’s army trying to reduce it’s fighting strength by 25% for a minor victory or it’s breakpoint for a major victory over 8 turns.

After dice rolling to see who goes first, the Americans would commence each player turn. They deployed to the south end of the table while the Germans deployed to the north end. As seen in the following photo.

American Battlegroup

  Command
    CO
    3 x Recce Units
  Formation A
    HQ
    4 x Infantry Units and Truck
    2 x Light Tank Units (M24 Chaffee)
    1 x Support Unit (MG) and Truck
    1 x Support Unit (Mortar) and Truck
  Formation B
    HQ
    4 x Infantry Units and Truck
    2 x Light Tank Units (M24 Chaffee)
    1 x Support Unit (MG) and Truck
    1 x Support Unit (Bazooka) and Truck
  Formation C
    HQ
    4 x Infantry Units and Truck
    1 x Light Tank Unit (M24 Chaffee)
    1 x Support Unit (M16 AA)
    1 x Support Unit (M15 AT)
    1 x Support Unit (MG) and Truck
    1 x Support Unit (Mortar) and Truck

1460 points with a breakpoint of 13.

German Battlegroup

  Command
    CO
    2 x Recce Units
  Formation A
    HQ
    3 x Infantry Units and Truck
    2 x Light Tank Units (PzIII Long)
    1 x Support Unit (MG) and Truck
    1 x Support Unit (Mortar) and Truck
    1 x Engineer Unit
  Formation B
    HQ
    3 x Infantry Units and Truck
    2 x Light Tank Units (PzIII Long)
    1 x Support Unit (MG) and Truck
    1 x Support Unit (IG, 75mm) and Truck
    1 x Support Unit (Mortar) and Truck
    1 x Engineer Unit
  Formation C
    HQ
    3 x Infantry Units and Truck
    1 x Light Tank Unit (PzII)
    1 x Support Unit (MG) and Truck
    1 x Support Unit (IG, 75mm) and Truck
    1 x Support Unit (Mortar) and Truck
    2 x Support Units (ATG, 75mm) and Truck
    1 x Engineer Unit

1435 points with a breakpoint of 14.

Turn 1 and 2

American forces moved along the southern road heading northward through the lower village to the western ridgeline, then turned east through farm country. They had good command rolls and were able to cover territory quickly.

The Germans proceeded southerly through the hills to the north to reach the northern village. Unlike the Americans, the Germans suffered from failed command rolls for the majority of their formations so were slower getting off the mark and as a result did not get into prime locations as quickly. Although Formation C was able to get into position on the west ridge and deploy its guns overlooking the valley below.

Turn 3

American troops deployed from the trucks and headed for cover behind hedges while the tanks moved into forward positions on the outskirts of the northern village. Formation C broke off of the road to move up the ridge on the west flank having observed German activity there. With such a commanding view of the battlefield it was imperative to contest the ridge, not knowing if the Germans had artillery or not.

German Formation C was deployed and firing away at the enemy troops in the distance with their anti-tank weapons. No aircraft or artillery was used according to the scenario guidelines so they set up the next best thing. They also successfully reconfigured their troops to protect the west side of the ridge in case the Americans would send a force there.

American troops took a pounding this turn with a 5/13 breakpoint. Germans were luckier with a 1/14 breakpoint.

Turn 4

The American troops continue to jockey into position with Formation C getting ready to contest the ridge troops that were commanding the field below. With barrels blazing hot lead, Formations A & B were trying desperately to take the north village and get some reprieve from the rain of death coming down off of the west ridge.

German Formation A & B were setting up and defending the north village along with the German CO. Formation C on the west ridge continued to fire away at the American troops below, catching them in a crossfire to some extent, slowing down their progress.

Americans were still 5/13 from breakpoint. Germans were 4/14 from theirs.

Turn 5

The battle rages on with Americans experiencing command fail rolls in the ensuing crossfire panic. Only Formation C on the ridge had any success in getting shots away this turn.

A potential turkey shoot was in the making with all formations firing and maneuvering . Unfortunately while getting the hits, the enemy was able to make good saving rolls.

Americans were now 6/13 from breakpoint. Germans were still 4/14 from theirs.

Turn 6

Almost a carbon copy of the previous turn where all formations except C suffer command fail rolls immediately. Formation C continues to pound away at the German troops on the west ridge trying to lessen their deadly impact on the American troops below.

Likewise this turn, the German Commanders have command roll failures, which help buy the Americans some time. Instead of bringing the hammer down, only Formation C and the CO are able to issue commands, though the Americans defend well and minimal damage is done.

American Breakpoint is now at 7/13. German breakpoint 5/14.

Turn 7

While they continue to move ahead and get a few shots away, they definitely are feeling the effects of the German fire from the ridge. Formation C is making slow progress along the ridge but not as quickly as one might like. Formations A & B, both now getting desperate need to take the north village and shield themselves from the ridge fire.

Realising the slow up of the American forces the Germans open up with all they have. Successful command rolls by every formation wreak endless fire on the hapless Americans. It isn’t pretty for the US forces.

American breakpoint has reached 11/13. German breakpoint 6/14.

Turn 8

Seeing the dire straits they find themselves in, having had too many failed command rolls, the Americans decide to go all out in the hope of inflicting as much damage as they can. Through initiative fire and a reasonable degree of successful command rolls, their guns and troops give it a final effort. Formation C pounds away with concentrated fire at the German troops on the ridge, believing if they could silence them, they might still hold their own. The fire fight has reached a fever pitch as there is no tomorrow on this one.

Sensing victory, the Germans defend well. Though the American fire is now so intense, victory is by no means a given. The German troops on the ridge are pounded heavily by the American Formations B and C with mortars, bazookas and small arms fire. So intense is the firing a defensive covering tree is sheared off by the shooting. Formation A and B cling on to the north village denying the Americans any turf to it, stalemating their effort, while Formation C unleashes a counter attack on the American Formation C troops. When the smoke clears the Germans have held on and have finally broken the American forces to where they retire from the field.

American breakpoint 13/13. German breakpoint 11/14. Germans hold on for the win.


       
 
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