Chain of Command: Flanking St Germain-du-Pert

The other Sunday, Chip, Andrew, Mark, and I played the third scenario of the 29 Let’s Go! campaign, Flanking St Germain-du-Pert. In this scenario yet another fresh US infantry platoon, with lavish support, makes a flank attack on a German position on the northern outskirts of a village.

In the CoC flank attack scenario, the attacking player gets two groups of patrol markers to move. Mark, playing the Americans, chose to be active with a set of markers on the Germans’ flank, with only one jump off point at the far end of the table. I was the umpire for the game, and both Mark and I failed to notice that Mark counted out 23 support points rather than the allowed 19!

Where the jump off points ended up. I'm not sure that the US one on the left is 'in cover' when I see this shot.

Where the jump off points ended up. I’m not sure that the US one on the left is ‘in cover’ when I see this shot.

The Germans started off with a Force Morale of ten to the Americans’ nine, so they moved first, deploying their first gruppe which began working its way toward some useful looking stone walls on the German flank. Unfortunately the dice were somewhat difficult, so in two consecutive phases the Germans only succeeded in getting strung out in partial cover, although they did get lots of points on their Chain of Command dice. Meanwhile the German second gruppe deployed near the church.

Mark deployed two 60mm mortar teams at the end of the table, and a rifle squad in the open on the flank, which began laying withering fire on the German first gruppe.

The US 1st Squad deploys pretty much on top of the German position

The US 1st Squad deploys pretty much on top of the German position

The Germans deployed their third gruppe which began shooting up the US squad, lightly wounding its leader.

Suddenly the US position in an open field didn't look so good.

Suddenly the US position in an open field didn’t look so good.

Feeling in an aggressive mood, or maybe just figuring that the safest place they could be was the area where the German first gruppe was, Mark laid down preparatory fire with his light mortars and charged the five survivors of the German rifle team, who were by this stage lined up along the stone wall they had hoped to reach earlier. After a vicious fight, the German team was wiped out, but the US had lost four men including the squad leader. The remnants of that squad were ineffective for the rest of the game.

The German gruppe defended their position behind a stone wall bravely but they were overwhelmed by the US squad.

The German gruppe defended their position behind a stone wall bravely but they were overwhelmed by the US squad.

Mark followed up by deploying another squad into the same field.

Chip and Andrew brought up one of their Marders, which began whittling down the US second squad, who followed in the first squad’s footsteps and raced forward for cover.

The Germans brought on some armour, increasing the pressure on the beleaguered US squads.

The Germans brought on some armour, increasing the pressure on the beleaguered US squads.

Luck then deserted the Germans, who rolled plenty of fives for activation, preventing them from following up their earlier success.

Mark brought on one of his Shermans, and deployed his third squad, also out on the flank.

Mark's troops are looking somewhat shaky with all those shock markers. You can just see his Sherman at the top left.

Mark’s troops are looking somewhat shaky with all those shock markers. You can just see his Sherman at the top left.

The Germans continued hitting the US second squad, giving its leader a light wound in a game which was turning out to be quite a Purple Heart earner for the US NCOs.

Mark responded by trying to get into the area where the MG team from the German first gruppe was cowering. His BAR team tried to charge the German team, but they stuck their heads up long enough to mow them down with a burst of MG fire.

The Germans’ blood was up now, and they began moving their Marder around to be able to wipe out the remnants of the US squads. The US tankers had other ideas, however, and knocked out the overconfident Marder.

The Marder crew learn the difference between a panzerjager and a Tiger, the hard way

The Marder crew learn the difference between a panzerjager and a Tiger, the hard way

The Germans brought their second Marder onto the table, which began moving to a firing position rather more cautiously than its predecessor.

Meanwhile the MG team from the German second squad was been firing at the US mortars, which were visible at the far end of the table. Really they were trying to pick off the Forward Observer for the battalion 81mm mortars, who was with them. After a few phases of fire they pinned one mortar team and lightly wounded the platoon sergeant who was also there.

A high value target. In the US favour this did mean the the Germans were encouraged to divide their fire rather than redeploy and brass up the US 3rd squad...

A high value target. In the US favour this did mean the the Germans were encouraged to divide their fire rather than redeploy and brass up the US 3rd squad…

... who were somewhat

… who were somewhat “non-tactically” deployed

Unfortunately this drew the attention of the US tankers, the second Sherman rumbled up, and together they forced the German squad to flee.

The German platoon leader showed his face at this point, and began trying to rally his troops, but more 60mm mortar fire broke them again, and they fled into the field of fire of a Sherman that had been placed on overwatch.

The German Zug commander attempts to rally the 1st gruppe.

The German Zug commander attempts to rally the 1st gruppe.

That was enough to cause the Germans to quit the field. This was a close-run thing as the US were down to a Force Morale of four.

I’m not sure that the extra four support points that the US had was the only thing that cost the Germans the game. I think that the end was nigh for the Germans once the US had their two Shermans deployed and the remaining Marder was in a position where it couldn’t easily contribute to the fight and live. This is the third consecutive win for the Americans, but they were close wins and the next scenario is in more complex terrain where the Germans may be able to hang on just that bit longer…

Thanks to Chip for most of the photos in this post, and to Mark for lugging furniture around while recovering from a back operation.

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2 responses to “Chain of Command: Flanking St Germain-du-Pert

  1. Oh dang! Extra points – how the heck did we make that mistake – I suggest the Germans move a step forward in their efforts to retreat, as a compensator for unintential bad karma.

    • Yes, you counted them out to me and I was saying ‘mm-hmm, yep…’ while you were doing it. Just one of those things. I’m not sure that anyone’s that invested in the way the campaign is going, it’s more a way of actually getting some fun games in. The campaign is obviously set up to give a historical result as the victory conditions are pretty onerous for the Germans… they have to win every scenario 1.8 times in order to delay the US enough.

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