This AAR is from scenario FBH020: Little Round Top from the All American Expansion.

All American Expansion

Neuville-au-Plain, France, June 6th, 1944, 1245 hrs

Historical Background

Lieutentant-Colonol Vandevoot had broken his leg on impact. This did not deter the leader from commanding his men on the battlefield. Moving around in a farm cart, Vandevoot was determined to carry out his D-Day objective of securing the Northern approaches to Ste. Mere-Eglise. The 505th was also tasked with providing a roadblock at Neuville-au-Plain on Route Nationale 13. Receiving conflicting communications, Vandevoot decided to dispatch a force under Lieutenant Turner Turnbull to set up a defence at Neuville. Neuville was a hamlet surrounded by orchards and bocage, an excellent place to set up a defence. After twenty minutes Vandevoot appeared in a jeep and deposited a 57mm anti-tank gun recently arrived from the glider forces. Just then, elements of the 1058th Grenadier Regiment arrived and the two forces engaged each other.

The table is split east-west and north-south by two crossing roads. The small hamlet of Neuville-au-Plain sits at the crossroads. At the west end of the table is an orchard and the east side is covered with bocage. Please see the pictures in the photos game setup.

Elements Company D, 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Regiment, 82 Airborne Division, under Lt. Turnbull set up using the hidden unit rules. One HQ squad consisting of about 10 paratroopers, Lt Turnbull and the M191A4 MMG set up in two houses facing the Orchard. The group also carried two Hawkins AT grenades. One support group with a bazooka set up outside the north house facing the crossroads (waiting to ambush any AFV's). A final 10 man squad sat in reserve at a house near the bocage. This squad also had a BAR. Finally a 57mm anti-tank gun was set up on the road hidden in the brush near the bocage. It had a clear lane of fire directly down the east-west road.

The Germans, 3 squads of the 1058th Grenadier Regiment supported by two Panzer IV's of the 100th were to enter anywhere on the west map edge. The objective was to kill or capture American paratroopers, or take two buildings, or exit an AFV off the east table edge. The tanks could arrive any time during the game.

Note on Setup: I made each deck 33 cards. I like smaller decks as the turns go faster. It is the standard set up - one card per action per man. All soldiers had two cards. For the Germans I made one deck for the tanks, and one deck for each squad (total 4 decks). This was run by one person! For the Americans I made three decks, one for main squad, one for the reserve squad and one for the support team and the anti-tank gun. Since the Americans were hidden two players ran the US forces.

Note on Sheets and Counters: The only play sheets required were the moving guide and QRR 3/4. I had sheet 5/6 for the vehicle damage (when required). I also give each player a little pile of counters - prone, fatigue and shaken. Otherwise I knock figures over for INC or KIA and sometimes will use a mishap counter (jam, reload). Other morale counters are used when needed.

Note on Stances: I do not use the three stances for most of my games. Also, I only use the prone stance in the open (so you cannot be prone in a doorway). Makes for easier and faster play. If a figure is at a window and not engaging the enemy (i.e. not a target), I turn the figure around. These are little tricks I use. Hey, whatever works, IMO.

Note on Spotting: The German player, when an action comes up for a soldier, picks a location (e.g. a doorway) and rolls a skill check. Or they could pick a general location like a section of bocage.

Turn #1

The first turn starting with the Germans advancing through the orchard. Immediately they were fired upon by the MMG and other small arms from the two buildings of the HQ squad. 7 Germans were down. Almost all Germans took there actions to fatigue move and move to ground (go prone). So no Americans were spotted. Once to ground the Germans were harder to hit (+30). The Germans started to use their actions to spot. The Americans were easy to spot since they were close and firing. The first unit to be spotted was the MMG in the doorway of one of the house. All German fire cam down on the MMG unit and it was taken out. The rest of the American forces were waiting in ambush for the AFV's.

Turn #2

On turn two, the Germans started spotting a few more soldiers. Some firearm action was exchanged with a couple of German and American casualties. A misguided attempt by the American player running the MMG was to keep remanning the gun when a soldier was INC or KIA. Since the German squads were concentrating on the gun, they quickly dispatched any soldier brave enough to reveal himself. As well, German soldier managed to sneak up to the house (no facing windows) and started to lob grenades inside. 3 American paratroopers went down. The Americans decided to vacate that house and regroup further east. The ATG and Bazooka teams were still not ready to reveal themselves by providing HE or HEAT fire into the orchard. I am not sure if that was a good or bad decision.

Turn #3

On turn three the second house occupied by the HQ force was under fire - but holding well. The German player decided to bring in the AFV's. I placed two Panthers on the table to freak out the American players. The tanks were actually Panzer IV D's, but I figured everyone saw Panthers and Tigers! The tanks rolled straight into the hamlet firing HE at the buildings. American casualties mounted and men were pulling back. Lt. Turnbell positioned himself in the middle of things to give actions to the ATG, and the reserve squad. The ATG fired twice and missed both times at the lead tank. The tank swerved behind a building. Just then an American with a Hawkins AT ran towards the second tank and placed it in the tracks. The grenade exploded ripping the tracks off the tank. It stopped. The second paratrooper with a AT grenade ran out and placed it in the top of the hull (with a PF of 29 it could rip into the tank). Just then the anti-tank gun fired and scored a direct hit on the front hull. A massive explosion ensued knocking the tank out and killing the brave paratrooper.

Turn #4

Turn four saw the Americans pull back and regroup near the bocage. Some more casualties were inflicted on both sides. The second AFV was pulling back since it was stuck in the south side of the hamlet - very vulnerable to a close assault or bazooka fire. At the end of the turn both sides had done a marginal victory - in effect a draw.

Game End

Both sides said they would have set up or deployed differently. Such is the fun of gaming. I really like hidden unit scenarios and infantry vs tank.