Situation: Only a few days after D-Day a US parachute platoon from the 101st Airborne finds itself at the center of an attack by the 6th Fallschirmjager Regiment. Using the Flames of War Ruleset the US list was taken from D-1 US Parachute Company list. The army (1750 points) consisted of 3 Parachute rifle platoons, one mortar platoon, field artiller battery (CT), and 3 Sherman tanks (CV). The Fallschrimjager list (1740 points) was taken from the website list for Normandy FJ. The FJ list consisted of 3x FJ platoons, one mortar platoon, a light gun platoon, field artillery battery, and three StuG Gs.
My son choose the location and the armies to fight. I wanted to test out my newly painted FJ company based for North West Europe. This gave me the best opportunity. Soon, I will try out an Irish Guards vs. Fallschirmjager battle to test their mettle against an armoured foe.
The Map was set up to have First platoon of the US para in the Town toward the Axis side of the table. The US second and third platoon were on the far side of the table with the objective of saving the first platoon. The Germand initially started with the first and second platoon on the map as not to overwhelm the US Paras holding the town.
First turn commenced with the FJ platoons advancing through the little town. Only a few shots rang out and no casualties occured on either side. Neither side received reinforcements either. The second round had the germans setting up for an assault on their next turn. They were able to snipe one US para team for the first casualty.
Third turn began the excitement with a coordinated assault from both FJ platoons. The bloody attack was repulsed with losses on both sides. The battle was going to become one of attrition. The third turn also saw the first reinforcements arrive with US mortars and another FJ platoon.
During the fourth turn, the Germans were only able to unpin one platoon. The FJ platoon made a valiant effort to attack the buildings held by the US para platoon, but were repulsed yet again. Maybe if there had been two platoons, the attack would have been successful. The US side was able to get priority from a field artillery battery beginning after turn four. The Germans had no luck with reinforcements.
The fifth turn the Germans were only able to unpin one platoon and elected to hold off the final assault until at least two platoon were available. The FJ third platoon had to be maneuvered away from the center of action to stall a flanking move by the US third platoon on the German far left. The US gained a platoon of three shermans this turn and the Germans saw the arrival of a light gun platoon and a platoon of StuG Gs.
A change of luck came to the German side the Sixth turn as both FJ platoons in the fray were unpinned and made a successful attack into the buildings held by the US first platoon. The US teams made a run for it to the woods behind the house row. However, two teams were still in range to contest the objective and thus the game continued. The germans had their artillery arrive this turn. Also the the Shermans and StuGs duked it out with no loses due to the extreme range. The FJ third platoon did take some loses to mortars.
During the Seventh turn the Germans diverted all their attention to the two US para teams that were resisting a german victory. The StuGs and FJ fired all they had into those two teams with no results. The US teams were hunkered down in their foxholes knowing that reinforcements were on the way. Those reinforcements made significant gains on the Seventh turn. The US second and third platoon made successful assaults against the FJ third platoon which all but destroyed the platoon. The Shermans tore up the FJ first platoon. Both platoons were forced to make a morale check and both failed. The FJ CO had to make a choice which platoon to save and choose the third platoon because of the panzerschreck was needed to slow the Shermans. The only bright note for the Germans was one Sherman was bailed out.
The Eighth turn brough about more bad luck for the Germans as the first StuG was destroyed and the third platoon ceased to exist with the exception of the platoon leader. Trying to avoid decimation by the US third platoon, the FJ mortars made a run for it. However, US artillery was brough right down on them with no mercy. The game was called as the Germans were unable to hold.
There were a couple pivotal points in the game. The first assault being repulsed allowed the US to hold on for reinforcements. Had the FJ been successful the US platoon would have been driven back and the FJ would have been able to create a solid defense. The second moment was the FJ third platoon getting unlucky in being able to stop both the US second and third platoon. A better roll of the die would have seen the US para platoon stuck in the open fields. The most important moment for the US was being able to continue to contest the main objective. The Fallschirmjager had to yield the field to the US para giving them a record of 0-1. Hopefully the coming battle against the UK Guards Armoured will see a victory!