So we played out the last of the Devils Charge scenarios. Panzer Kampfgruppe Peiper is trying to get off the board so they can make it to the Muse and divide the Allied armies in half.
On turn turn one the SS start to bring in their column, it's three platoons per turn same as before. A platoon of panthers along with Peiper and some AA for defense came down the west road, while a platoon of 4 panzer IVs came down the east corridor (The 2 platoons had been consolidated). On my turn I rolled for reserves and got none, but I did get air support. So as you can see my Typhoon is making an attack on a Panzer 4, trying to stay just out of range of the German AA which would likely destroy them.
The allied air support had a special close air support rule which lets the role 2 air craft dice so this was a very dangerous plane with it's rockets, although it did no damage in this case.
On the following turn the Germans kept pushing hard, the Panzer IVs drove down the road fast and some Panthers came in behind them, on the western road things really god bogged down, but the Grille mechanized artillery guns came in along with a platoon of panzer grenadiers. They were get really bunched up now, but were confident that the AA net would protect them.
On my turn I got 1 reserve, and brought in a full platoon of tanks. I fried the 76mm shermans at the panthers hoping for a few kill but got none, the remaining three 75mm shermans took out the AA thou. This allowed my plan which came in again to fly by and blow up to of the Panthers on the east road. A pretty effective turn for me really.
But of course the SS were quick to react, the teams on the west road all spread out and put a devastating amount fire on my tank platoon destroying all of them. I had figured this would be the result when I deployed them there, but I thought it would give me a good chance at a panther or 2 and take down the AA so it was worth it in my opinion.
On my turn I brought up my scrap yard tank platoon to help cover the west road, which was the most dangerous. On the east side I got another reserve and had to bring in a platoon of paratroopers. I was still a bit concerned about the platoon 4 tanks, I had the engineers around the bridge like a cork, but any assault is dangerous so I thought it was possible an assault with all 4 might get through. So I decided to use the paras to pick at the tanks and try and get a few kills out of it. With very careful position I was able to bail 1 Panzer IV with a bazooka shot, and then assault with only 3 tanks involved. This limited defensive fire to only 7 dice, so I lost a few teams but got in with 2 or 3. These guys were able to destroy the panzer and then the rest broke off.
I used my paratrooprs in a bunch of tournaments so I had gotten a bit of experience picking at tank platoons like this.
On the west road my heroic typhoon came in yet again and blew up a few teams. the Germans had a bunch of self defense AA machine guns, but these are far less effective then the real AA and didn't manage to do anything to my plane.
At this point the SS were getting a bit nervous about the plane so they decided to come closer and try to slip by. We ruled that the tank couldn't fit by along the river without killing the outer most couple of infantry teams that were dug in around the woods, but it was very close. So they decided to try an assault. My bazooka team took out 1 tank in defensive fire, and then I was able to counter attack with allot of teams. So the Germans decided to break off the assault fearing that it was a bit too dangerous.
The panzer grenadiers and coming up in their half tracks thou to give it their shot.
On my turn I got in the last tank platoon, and decided to be a bit more conserative and fight the panthers head on (this may have been a mistake). My scrap yard guys put a good amount of fire on the half tracks and destroyed 2 of them really cutting down the effectiveness of that platoon. I am starting feel safe on that side now the panthers are the only real problem left. On the other side the tanks blasted my paras away with machine guns and advanced a bit. I was only able to get 1 tank with this platoon but it also bought time and I think it was worth it. Being assault by 3 tanks is allot safer then 4.
On the west road the Germans decided to be a bit patient and lay down fire for a bit. The assault guns killed a team or 2 but nothing serious, the panthers thou had no trouble gutting my good tank platoon, and I was not able to get anything for me trouble. So it seems I should have been aggressive after all. But the rest of my guys reduced the infantry to 2 teams making them pretty ineffective.
On the east the Germans kept advancing, and my typhoon kept on destroying them, another Panzer Iv was killed one turn, and a half track the next.
But you can see that they are creeping up to my bridge and the combat engineers defending it. But the typhoon has done it's work and they are feeling pretty confident by this point.
So we had another couple of turns of fire with not so great of a result. I was able to get my last platoon of paras on from reserve and put them at the end of the west road to plug that off and keep the panthers bottled in. The Germans only need to get 1 platoon off to claim a win!
I decided to invite them in a bit and made a gap in my infantry platoon. I put the bazooka up to try a shot at a panther, and just moved the infantry team out of the way. By now we were running out of time thou and the SS were feeling the pressure, for the break through to succeed they need to start taking some chances.
Everyone was in close range of my teams now so it was no longer safe for the typhoon to do his work.
On the very last turn the SS decided to go for a few last ditch assaults to try and escape off the board. All the teams on the east side finally managed to pin down the engineers to make it worthwhile (they had been trying for a few turns), and sent in the remains of the panzer grenadiers and felschimjagers (we had consolidated them into 1 platoon), with a mounted assault. But I was still able to push them back with defensive fire. They had killed a few teams with machine guns in the last turn thou so it was a possibility.
Finally on the west road the two remaining panthers took their chance as well (Peiper was to far back out of range). They got in past my defensive fire, but didn't manage to kill anything with their first round. On my turn I counter attacked with the full platoon of paratroopers and luckily killed both tanks. This was super close to the edge so if I had not the panthers would have been able to break off through my platoon and head for the Muse.
So in the end a very close run battle but the SS were not quite able to achieve their strategic break through. But to be fair they still had a number of platoons left on the table, though all were now at very reduced strength. Tons of burning tanks and casualties on both sides.
I found this to be a very interesting and fun series of battles, especially the last one. Very different from normal flames of war games as they are all linked and the losses really count against you. The Germans had a big advantage in points most of the time, but the snow rules kept them on the roads allot, and made it hard for their whole force to be effective. You almost need to hold a few back so you get them full strength in the last battle, but the time limits in the early games really put on that pressure.
So for me this was a great series and thanks to Serge for playing the Germans and dealing with the evil unlucky SS dice. Big thanks to the typhoon who came in every turn and kept killing stuff!