Saturday, 2 July 2011

Dom Bütgenbach

I was over at Geoff's house for a WW2 skirmish game last weekend. The idea was to use some free rules called "WW2 Skirmish (Platoon Commander)" (I think) but I didn't get very far with them on the bus because I'm a bit pedantic when it comes to rules and expect to be able to understand most of them on first reading.

Anyway, the upshot of this was that in the end we just decided to use Rapid Fire, which we normally modify for tank battles by using the good old Airfix AT rules (not that they were required in this game)
The scenario was supposed to be Dom Bütgenbach, adapted from one of the many useful WW2 scenarios provided on the Fire and Fury/Battlefront website.  However, due to limited time (and space) Geoff decided that we would only fight out the central bridge-crossing section of the action (see map above made with MappingBoard) using about three platoons of infantry each, although the Germans would also get a lone PzIV.  The table looked like this.  As you can see, it's Geoff's kitchen table with scenery on it.  Simple but effective.
Basically the scenario was that on 20 December 1944 Kampfgruppe Kühlmann of the 12th SS Panzer Division would try to push elements of the US 1st Division out of the aforementioned village.  However, with the scenario now only having one way to get into the village I could see that the SS (my forces) would be lucky to succeed.

As expected, things did not start well as within the first move I was taking casualties from a mortar somewhere in the village. However, I usually don't hang about when I'm attacking and like to push forward manfully.  So, here is my PzIV pushing forward manfully.
It's by Raventhorpe I think.  Anyway, I kept up my advance returning fire when I could and quickly got one of my platoons onto the bridge, whilst managing to silence the not very well concealed (but nicely scratch built) 6pdr with some accurate mortar fire of my own.
Supported by the PzIV which was firing HE at everything and missing, my aim was to rush the trench on the right.  However, before I could do that a suicidal flamethrower guy popped up and roasted a few of my men on the bridge.  Nice.
Here's the same move from the reverse angle.  You can see that the place is well defended.
Following that rather warm welcome things started to go a little better as I managed to grenade the trench on the right and get my troops into it in short order.
Sadly this minor success was short lived as they were cut down almost to a man by the HMG on the hill and also by some deadly accurate mortar fire.
Despite taking heavy loses I realised that the defenders were also suffering and only needed a few more casualties before they had to take a morale test.  So I pushed on, throwing my last troops across the bridge.
However, despite destroying the US HMG with mortar fire and whittling down the defenders the last moves were a disaster.  The defenders managed to immobilise the panzer with a bazooka round and again I lost more men.  At that point we both had to take morale tests and although the defenders' passed theirs, my troops had had too much and were forced to retreat.
Overall, it was nice little skirmish and I am not surprised that the SS attack was beaten off.  Frontal assaults across narrow bridges against well defended villages do not often carry, although I have had my successes in the past.  Next time I'll discover a ford that Geoff doesn't know about so that I can outflank him.

German figures are Revell and US troops are mainly Esci (the HMG is Revell).


Service Ration Distribution (Hobby) said...

Nice, clear AAR. Glad I found this blog.

The Wishful Wargamer said...

Thanks - I don't get to play that many games so I make the most of it!