So Miguel and I decided to play the 2nd scenario out of the Special Ed of Operations Magazine. These scenarios center around the US paras attempt to take Carentan from the German forces holding the town. Carentan sits between the operational areas covered by Omaha Beach and Utah beach, So before these 2 beachheads could be consolidated, Carentan would have to fall.
Miguel choose to be on defense leaving me with the US paras attacking. The VCs called for the US player to take 3 of 5 hexes on the mapboard. 2 of those VC hexes were woods sitting significantly out front of the main German defensive line. With the artillery bonus when barraging woods, these 2 hexes were an easy choice to make for early capture. I really had enough time to bombard these 2 hexes into submission before I would ever have to assault them. So that was the early plan. Of the remaining 3 hexes, one was in Carentan itself, one was within range of MGs sitting in Carentan, and one was at the very northern portion of the German held area. The problem with this last VC hex is it is covered by 2 88mm ART gun platoons. That was going to make my life tough. So I decided to way until I had taken the 2 woods VC hexes before I decided where to attack next.
The game really broke down into 3 phases. First was the taking of those 2 VC hexes east of Carentan. These hexes were not well supported by any units on the map. Also the US had 2 modules of of board artillery to use to soften the defenders up. And that is what happened. After 2 tuns of artillery barrages, those 2 VC hexes were in a hard way. They were stunned and had lost multiple steps. So the US paras moved in and overran the Germans using Close Assault attacks. By turn 2 or 3, 2 VCs are in the US bag.
The Second phase involved where I would make my push for that 3rd VC hex. It was a tough decision. The Germans still had strong defenders in Carentan. Trying to assault a city hex under those conditions didn't seem the answer. But the 2 VC north of Carentan were still covered by those 88s. So the plan I choose was to have the para infantry creep up towrad the northern VC hexes while I let the US artillery take on the 88s. Well I got very lucky, I mean really lucky. Within 2 turns the US artiilery had eliminated the 88s completely. The German defenders were down to one longer range unit, a MG platoon. So now I could make a dash for the 2 northern VC hexes and see if I could hold one. I easily took the most northern VC hex and had my win if I could hold on.
The last phase of the game was Miguel's attempt to take 1 of the VC hexes back from me. He threw everything he could at 2 of the VC hexes in the hopes of taking one. But between op fires and my artillery, which could hit his units in the open after they left the city, Miguel was never able to really get a good odds attack. The game ended as a US win.
I have to say the US artillery really was the killer in this game. It wiped out a company and a half of infantry, a MG platoons and 2 88mm platoons. Miguel's setup was sound, but after the 88s were eliminated, I never had to even consider attacking into the city. Great game and great system. Thanks for the game MIguel.