Friday, June 24, 2011

Panzer Campaigns Salerno '43 AAR: Kampfgruppe Graser

Aprilia, "The Factory", 10 miles north of Anzio, February 7th 1944: A lull in the fighting on February 5th increased the tension all along the Allied line. Two days passed with only minor actions along the front. A German assault began on the night of February 7th around Aprilia, this was a major counter-attack by KG Graser. The objective was to smash through the Allied defenses to Anzio using the Via Anzate. Initially, the German infantry infiltrated through units on the front line and set up in their rear waiting for the main attack.

This scenario started out hot and heavy just like the description stated. I was playing the allies and all along my front I got hit hard on the very first turn. So hard that it took the computer about 2 minutes to finish its turn.

As of the start of the game here is my situation:

The British were heavily dug in all along the line. The Germans were stacked high with panzer grenadiers in each hex and some armor and self propelled guns in many of the middle hexes adjacent to an area called The Bowling Alley. First turn saw attacks all across my lines. I decided to sit tight and see how the AI would react so turn 1 simply consisted of me firing my AT guns and trying to damage what I could. Some German engineers were clearing obstacles. Obviously something was going to pour through that gap but with Fog of War on...who knows what! Red lines to the sides here point to what is in the stacks for the Axis.

I do have two Allied Warships off the coast however and I will use those to hit German vehicles and artillery if I can. They are the HMS Mauritius and the HMS Orion.



Turn 2 saw me assaulted all across the line on the west side of the board Panzergrenadiers of the 65th Infanterie Division moved around the men of the American 45th Infantry. Not sure why I left that hex open but now I have to rectify that issue but a massive amount of my men and material are FIXED units.



I open up with firing chemical mortars at the German unit to soften them up. Green units are of course American units, the light blue unit is my target. 24 guns open up lets see what kind of damage I can do. Dark Blue units are Luftwaffe and British units are tan/beige.



10 German soldiers lose their lives, but in the Fog of War settings in the Panzer Campaigns a "XXX" for unit size means that unit in that hex is still huge. I may not be able to break them and get that hex back. If that is the case I will have to pull those Americans east or risk being flanked. That blue snaky line along the hexsides? Not a river. That is a stream. It may be possible that the Germans can come across that.

The Brits of the 2nd Infantry Brigade put some pressure on the Germans by launching an assault against disrupted 4th Fallschirmjager Division and take the hex, with minimal casualties. This releases the American right and gives them some leeway. The Germans lose 26 men in the assault, Brits 5 (pic below)



In a daring move, I actually ASSAULT west with the Americans. I have 300 men there and decide to use them. I lose 20 but the gamble pays off and low and behold the gap is closed and now the Germans are totally cut off and surrounded and about to lose 2 stacks unless they can break out next turn!



The rest of my attacks are AT Guns against German armor and some infantry firing on targets. Nothing too exciting. To be continued in the coming days!