After Action Reports & Scenario Analysis

SP 103: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Played this when it was first released, had the German side. The
Americans have some tough choices to make: run for the town in an effort
to beat the German reinforcements to it and risk seeing their forces
shot up if the German MGs get hot; take a more cautious approach
consolidating the airborne and armored forces and try to grind their way

IIRC, my opponent entered the first airborne group as close to the town
as possible. I had the MMG in a upper-level location close to that
entry area in anticipation that he would try that route (also with some
nice LOS into the gully that approaches the town from that side). Seems
like I shot up the 9-2 and a couple of squads (despite some infantry
smoke in the entry hex), they rallied a turn or two later, but it slowed
that group down enough. More importantly, it made my opponent overly
cautious, particularly with his armor + infantry reinforcments (he wound
up using Armored Assault to protect the infantry). He did manage to
maneuver an MMG of his own into a position to at least have LOS to the
closest approach route of my SS reinforcements, but some vehicle smoke
from the StuG's reduced that threat. Since he was pre-occupied with
using his tanks to get the accompanying infantry safely to the town, he
didn't push any armor forward to protect the flank of his armored force
from my armor, and I was able to race forward with a couple of vehicles
and harrass his units as they tried to move on the town.

The Americans pushed the Germans into the town center, easily grabbing
some of the outer buildings to use as a base, but they couldn't then
seem to force their way into the cluster of buildings around the
marketplace. Several attempts were thrown back by the SS
reinforcements, who had themselves already taken up positions.
Highlight of the game (at least for the Germans) was when a StuG with a
broken MA circled around behind a building containing an entire platoon
of broken American paras and a 8-1 leader and eliminated them for
failure to rout. Big score for a hobbled vehicle. Running short on
infantry, time and will, my opponent resigned it shortly thereafter.

If I had the Americans, I think I'd deploy the paras as much as
possible, continuing to do so as I moved on the town and pretty much
push, push, push, and try not to be bothered by early losses. The paras
really need to get into position to interdict the SS reinforcements and
if they can take out some of the German setup force before the SS get
there they reduce the PF threat to their armor (since only these guys
have 'fausts, interestingly enough) and give the Shermans better odds if
forced to use VBM freeze (quite likely) later on.

BTW, this scenario did get some play at this past weekend's Bitter Ender
tournament in Raleigh, NC and I know that at least one playing saw an
American victory, not sure about the other ones.


This page last updated 4/26/04
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