Last stand in StrackenzPosted: June 22, 2013
The German defenders comprised:
- 1 Self-propelled anti-tank gun unit
- 3 Landsturm machine gun units
- 3 Landsturm infantry units (armed with Panzerfausts)
The American attackers comprised:
- 3 Tank units
- 1 Mortar unit
- 1 Machine gun unit
- 4 Infantry units, 1 of which was equipped with Bazookas
The opening positions
The Germans had dug in on the eastern side of the river …
… and the Americans advanced along the road from Strackenz City.
There was no artillery fire by either side, and although the Germans had the initiative, they chose to do nothing. The Americans therefore advanced towards the bridge.
For the second time neither side fired their artillery, the Germans did not move, and the American continued their advance.
The leading American tank unit opened fire on the German machine gun unit that was to the left of the bridge … and missed it.
The Germans chose to do nothing and the rest of the American units continued their advance and began to shake out into line.
The American tank unit fired at the same target as it had previously … and missed! The mortar unit also targetted the same German unit … and also missed!
The American had the initiative and continued to advance of a broadening front.
Yet again the Germans chose to remain in their defensive positions and await developments.
The leading American tank unit and the mortar unit again fired at the dug in German unit to the left of the bridge. The tank unit missed yet again … but the mortar unit was on target and destroyed the German unit despite the fact that the Germans were dug in.
The Germans chose not to react to this loss, and the Americans continued their advance.
The German slef-propelled anti-tank gun unit fired at the closes American infantry unit … but missed it!
The American gained the initiative and continued to advance … and this finally brought the two sides into contact.
A number of battles were fought. Near the location of the German self-propelled anti-tank gun unit an American infantry unit attacked a German machine gun unit …
… and was beaten off.
Near the bridge the German infantry unit fought an American tank unit, supported by an infantry unit. It used its Panzerfaust … but this failed to destroy the American tank unit.
On the other flank the American Bazooka-equipped infantry unit took on a German machine gun unit …
… and pushed them back.
The Germans remained on the defensive … and only movement the made was when the infantry unit near the bridge pulled back.
There was no artillery fire, and the Germans had the initiative. They used the opportunity to pull their vulnerable infantry units back toward the forest.
The Americans now pushed forward with further vigour, and more battles broke out when units form both sides came into contact.
The attack by an American infantry unit on a German machine gun unit ended in a draw, whereas the American infantry unit that attacked the German self-propelled anti-tank gun …
… was forced to fall back.
The German self-propelled anti-tank gun and the nearest American tank unit exchanged fire … and the Tank unit was destroyed!
The American mortar unit then fired at the German self-propelled anti-tank gun … which it destroyed!
The Germans had the initiative, and now that their most powerful weapon was destroyed, the infantry retreated further towards the forest.
The Americans were now free to continue their advance towards Mecklenburg. The last stand in Strackenz was over!
Armoured fighting vehicles were treated as per the ideas laid down in an earlier blog entry (i.e. they move 2 grid squares; they fire at a range of 4 grid squares as if they are light artillery; they may not move and fire during the same turn; and they have a battle Power of 7).
The Landsturm were all rated as being militia and therefore had their Battle Power reduced by 1 (i.e. their battle Power was 4) except for the units armed with Panzerfausts, who had a Battle Power of 6 for the first battle they fought against an enemy armoured fighting vehicle unit (against other types of unit they had a Battle Power of 4). After the first battle against an armoured fighting vehicle unit, the Panzerfausts were deemed to have been used up and the Infantry unit reverted to its Battle Power of 4.
The American unit armed with Bazookas had a Battle Power of 6 against enemy armoured fighting vehicles but did not lose that rating after battling enemy armoured fighting vehicle units as it was deemed to have a plentiful supply of ammunition.
The mortar unit was treated as if it were light field artillery.
The new rules worked even better than I had expected, and the casualty rates on both sides were much lower than I would have predicted. With the introduction of armoured fighting vehicles, I do think that I need to giver serious consideration to increasing the range of artillery … but as the period I was wargaming is much later than that the rules were originally designed for (and military technology had advanced considerably), this does not seem to be unreasonable.
I really enjoyed fighting this battle, although I did have a few problems fitting the vehicle models into the grid squares. (For 1:100th-scale model vehicles the grid squares need to be at least 50mm x 50mm and not 40mm x 40mm as they were in this wargame.) It gave me the opportunity to use some of the Axis and Allies Miniatures that I have acquired over recent years … and I suspect that the rules I used to fight this battle were probably a bit less complex that the ones that come with the Hasbro game.