Narrative of Mission 13.0 – Chance Encounter – This Mission involves a chance encounter along a road in sector 9 between an American and a German (Enemy) Infantry Company. Neither player has a favorable Initiative die roll modifier in this Mission. There are 7 Mission Objectives consisting of 3 building hexes and 4 separate Woods (grove of trees). The Mission ends at the end of any game turn if one player controls 5 of the 7 mission objectives. The player controlling the 5 mission objectives wins if his Final Score is < 25.
In this Mission, I (Captain Whitley) was the American player and my brother Gary was the German player. The following is a brief account of the action.
Play begins with Captain Whitley, Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, having been ordered to proceed down the road toward the next village. The company had been on the move since before daylight. At 7:00 AM, as Baker Company rounds a bend, the enemy is sited on the same road approximately 450 meters to their front.
7:01 AM: Captain Whitley orders the 8th platoon to take up positions in the small wood to the right of the road. Captain Whitley, along with the 7th Platoon immediately break into a run across the open ground to take up positions in the two farmhouses forward and to his left. As he departs he orders the 9th platoon along with the two MG teams to set up in the Wood to left of the road behind the two farmhouses and to be ready to provide fire support. As Captain Whitley was deploying his forces, the enemy split their force sending one platoon into the wood on his right, one platoon in the wood on the left and another deployed on both sides on the road near the farmhouse between the two Woods.
7:05 AM: Having reached the two farmhouses, Captain Whitley instructs the 7th platoon to defend the two farmhouses and returns to the position of the 9th platoon in the Wood behind the two farmhouses. He sends one of the MG teams to the two farmhouses to support the 7th platoon, and sends one squad from the 9th platoon to support 8th platoon with instructions for the 8th platoon to immediately attack and drive the enemy units from the larger Wood to his front.
In the mean time, enemy units began to appear in the wood line 100 meter across from the two farm houses occupied by the 7th platoon and could be seen deploying in the Wood opposite 8th platoon.
7:10 AM: 8th platoon, reinforced by the squad from the 9th platoon, immediately crosses the narrow opening and enters the enemy occupied Wood while one squad is sent around the Wood to the right against the enemy’s flank. Within a few minutes, they encounter the enemy in a hastily prepared position. The flanking squad is caught in the open by a well concealed enemy MG and, taking casualties, immediately withdraws. The rest of the 8th platoon is repulsed in their first assault attempt and withdraws back to their original position in the small Wood.
Meanwhile, a brisk firefight breaks out between the 7th platoon and enemy units in the wood line to their front. Due the concentrated fire from the 7th platoon, the supporting MG and the remainder of 9th platoon, the enemy fire from the wood line across from the two farmhouses is silenced. Hoping to take advantage of the faltering enemy units in the wood line, Captain Whitley orders the 7th platoon to attack immediately and drive the enemy from the Wood to their front. He then orders the remainder of the 9th platoon to maneuver into the two farmhouses.
7:15 AM: The 8th platoon, attempting to regroup after their failed assault, is suddenly assaulted from the Wood to their front. But fortunately for the 8th platoon, the enemy is hit with withering enfilade fire from the 9th platoon and the two supporting MGs now occupying the two farms. The enemy attack falters, suffering several casualties and withdraws in disorder back through the Wood to the North.
7:20 AM: The attack by 7th platoon, initially successful in driving a disordered enemy several hundred meters through the Wood suddenly encounters stiff resistance and is repulsed. The 7th platoon, running out steam, withdraws to back to the edge of the wood line and under cover of the 9th platoon, attempts to regroup.
Although having suffered several casualties, the 8th platoon makes one last effort and immediately counterattacks the withdrawing enemy in the Wood to his front and with the help of the supporting fire from the 9th platoon is successful in routing the enemy. Sargent Wilson, 1st squad, 8th platoon seeing the enemy retreating into the farmhouse near the road between the two Wood immediately leads his squad to take the farmhouse. Although outnumbered, Wilson leads his squad the last 100 meters and captures the farmhouse from the enemy. Realizing the Americans now hold the favorable terrain, the enemy withdraws.
In game terms, the Mission ended with the Americans capturing the last farmhouse giving him 5 of the 7 mission objectives. The total Time Lapse for the Mission was 20 minutes. The American player lost 6 steps and the German player lost 4 steps resulting in a Casualty Differential of two steps (the American player having two more casualties than the enemy). This Casualty Differential is added to the Time Lapse resulting a Final Score of 26 [20 minutes +6 Casualty Points (2 steps x 3 point for each)] resulting in a draw as the victor (the player capturing the 5 mission objectives) needed < 25 for a win.
This was a very fun and exciting mission. The initiative (momentum) changed often because neither player had the advantage of an Initiative die roll modifier. As a result, it seemed to reflect the chaos that one might expect in a chance encounter where neither player was able to hold the momentum very long.