Sunday, May 1, 2022

Peiper at the Gates - Scenario 2 Splitting Timber

 NUTS 4th edition

I decided to give the new rules a try while playing through a Battle of the Bulge campaign

The second scenario of Peiper at the Gates involves a US static defense of a narrow forest path. My squad is led by a REP 5 leader while the 2 engineer half squad, .30cal MG team, bazooka team, medic and infantry half squad are all REP 4. The Germans (All REP 4 for ease of play) entered on the muddy road. The Germans must exit as many forces as possible off of the opposite table edge. To make matters worse there is a snowstorm in effect and all visibility is limited to 8 inches and infantry movement is halved. There is no road bonus for vehicles either. The US must prevent the Germans from exiting the board and will try to place roadblocks by felling trees and moving them into position.  

The Germans activate first and move in 2 PZIV tanks and an SD251 holding an MG 42 team. The 2 assault engineer half squads are riding the tanks. With the snowstorm masking their movement the infantry feel safe riding the tanks for now. 

The US forces deployed in the house and in the woods which was too conservative considering the slower movement and lack of visibility. The Germans are able to move freely for 2 activations. I decide to move the bazooka team and half of my squad forward to cover the rod and try to ambush the lead tank. 

The units trudge up the hill to get a good shot. The German infantry disembark and move forward.  As the column comes into view the Americans win the in sight check and open fire on the infantry killing one soldier. The Germans return fire and cause the Americans to duck back behind the hill. The Germans duck back behind the tank as they fail their man down check. When the lead tank activates the Bazooka team wins the in sight check and shoots, and misses. The Coaxial machine gun cuts him down while his loader ducks back behind the hill. 

As the lead tank carves a path the second tank and half track follow close behind. The infantry is now on foot and their progress is slow, their quick move attempts result in a partial success of 6 inches of movement. They are getting left behind, and may leave the vehicles vulnerable to assault. 

Meanwhile my squad is assisting the 2 engineer half squads. The engineers were able to drop some trees near the road and are attempting to drag the trees across the road. They may not stop the tanks but it worth a chance as the tank might bog down on the trees. While the trees are being moved into position the lead PZIV rounds the bend and fire a machine gun burst killing one engineer and causing the other to duck back. The other teams working see their comrades take fire. 

The next activation is critical, the tank cannot see the other teams working. If the US wins and can activate they can place one, possibly 2 trees in the path of the tank increasing the odds to win the scenario. If the Germans win the tank will activate and attack the squads placing the road blocks. 

The US wins the activation and the teams finish moving the fallen trees across the road but are exposed. Those that finished moving the trees last activation break for the safety of the tree line.

The teams in the road hope the roadblock offers protection. As the rest of the German column moves up they fire on an MG team that popped up. The Gunner is killed and the 2 other crew are driven out of their position. 

The infantry are bringing up the rear and engage in a firefight as the US occupy the hill once again. They drive off the US half squad causing them to Duck Back. The MG 42 is suppressing the enemy quite effectively. 

The head PZIV approaches the first felled tree and spots 2 engineers. The shot misses but the hull MG causes and OOF result. The driver is able to push the first tree by passing the driving test at a -1 to his REP. He will need to do this 2 more times in the next 3 turns. 

He is successful on the consecutive turns and the armor is able to exit on the final turn. The US infantry could only wait in the woods. 

Conclusion: I should have been more aggressive in setting up the US defenses. The Bazooka should have been set up at the roadblocks as well to get a side shot on the lead tank. The 4th edition NUTS! rules play more easily in regard to fire combat and "In Sight" checks. 

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