To Hell and Back with Flames of War   Leave a comment

I was inspired after watching Audie Murphy’s To Hell and Back to play another Italy themed battle.  I tried the US 3rd ID against German Grenadiers a couple months ago at 1500 points, so I upped the points to 1750 and kept similar army structures.

For the americans I added another Rifle Platoon

The Germans replaced the Brummbars with Tiger IEs

I used the new terrain I created recently to add to the ambiance of the battlefield. 

Objective of the battle is to take the house on the hill using the Flames of War Hold the Line scenario.  US forces are coming from the coast through some wetlands. 

German forces are holding the high ground with fields and some light forest in their area of control.

The US 155mm battery ranges in on the first turn, kills one grenadier platoon, and pins the platoon.  The 105s were able to pin the second german grenadier platoon despite being gone to ground and dug in.

German infantry hold their fire on the first platoon.  However, the mortars were able to pin the US second platoon for what becomes a decisive move for the game.  No reserves on turn 1.

The US continues the advance on the second turn.  Killing another german infantry team.  The AOP ranges in the chemical mortars and they are able to pin the German mortars.  Mortars wont be able to unpin until turn 5.  Here the TDs try to dislodge the german infantry without getting too close.

The Germans hold fire during the second turn and the mortars and one infantry platoon are pinned.  They were able to call in a platoon of nebelwerfers.

 

The US closes in on the third turn, but they are still too far away to assault the German positions.  A stream seperates the German and US forces.  The US forces need to be right up against the river before they can launch an attack.  Second platoon is still pinned down.  The CO is too far away to help unpin the unit.

The Germans received both the Herman Goering Assault Gun platoon and the SS panzer grenadier platoon on turn 3. 

German grenadiers open up on the US 1st platoon on the 3rd platoon and were able to pin down the platoon and kill two teams.

My daughter watches on as the Germans make their way into position.

Turn 4 gives the US artillery a target rich environment.  The AOP zooms in on the German armor and SS infantry and calls in the 155mm guns.  Artillery is able to knock out one StuG III, bail one StuG III, and destroy 2 of the german trucks.  The SS infantry successfully make their +5 passenger saves!!!

US Chemical mortars hit the Nebelwerfer platoon destroying one vehicle.   The rocket launcher makes the +5 passenger save.

US infantry make ready for an assault across the stream.  1st platoon is makes a successful assault against the pinned German Platoon holding the house.  Losing one team in defensive fire, they were able to remove three german teams from the game by the assault.

The Second US infantry platoon is still pinned down.  The Third US infantry platoon tries to assault the unpinned German second platoon and are forced back and pinned down losing two platoons. 

Germans were able to roll in the Tigers from reserve at the beginning of Turn 4.  The mortars are still pinned down.

The German second platoon decides to leave cover and move to assault the house on Turn 5. 

On Turn 5 the US First Platoon assaults the house and takes control of the objective.  TDs kill the command team and one Nebelwerfer.  Artillery rains down on the bailed out StuG to destroy it and one SS infantry team.  The Tigers get lucky with the US failing a firepower test.  Second Platoon becomes unpinned and moves forward thanks to the help of the US company commander.

German 1st platoon fails it’s leadership even with the CO present and is removed from play.

The Germans push forward on Turn 5 with the remaining two StuG IIIs attacking the US forces in the house.  They do nothing!  The German mortars do unpin and drop shells back on the thid platoon pinning them down with no casualties. 

The combined attack has the German second platoon going in for the assault.  They lose one platoon to defensive fire, but are successful in the assault.  The US platoon fails the platoon morale check and flees the battlefield.

US forces rush the unblooded second platoon forward to try and recapture the house.  The US Third Platoon fails to unpin on this last turn.  With the 2nd platoon too far away and the 3rd platoon there is no way for the US to assault the house on turn 6.   The next picture shows just how close the US came to winning the game. 

US artillery does successfully range in on one of the remaining StuG IIIs and destroys it forcing a platoon morale check that the Germans fail.

The TDs zoom ahead and assault the mortar platoon wiping the platoon off the map.  During the consolidation move the are able to get close enough to the house to contest the objective.

The Germans hold the house on turn 6 with US forces nearby poised to launch another assault.  I have no doubt the US forces would be able to successfully assault the house on Turn 7, but it was late because we took a break and watched the Walking Dead Season 2 premier so the game was called using the turn 6 rule.  The German Tigers and SS infantry were not in a position to immediately help the last remaining platoon in the house.

Overall it was a fun take on the exploits of the 3rd Infantry Division trying to take that lone house where German observers were raining artillery down on Allied forces.  German forces lost 3 platoons while the US only lost one giving the Germans a 4-3 win. 

I liked the map I put together so much, that I assembled a British force to attempt to retake the house.  The Germans reconstituted their forces with HMGs, artillery, and AT guns.  Stay tuned for details!

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