The Last Hundred Yards After Action Report, Mission 6.0 “Tiger in the Pen”

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Below is an After Action Report for The Last Hundred Yards Mission 6.0, “Tiger in the Pen”. Enjoy!

The American forces, consisting of the 1st and 3rd Infantry Platoons from Able Co. led by Lt Murphy and Smith, supported by three Sherman 75mm tanks from the 1st Tank Platoon, are tasked with capturing a farm complex defended by the German 2nd Infantry Platoon led by Lt Koch, supported by a single Tiger I heavy tank. The Americans begin with the Initiative and have a +2 Initiative DRM, provided they had the Initiative in a previous Game Turn, when determining Initiative in subsequent Game Turns. The German Casualty Differential Limit is [3] and the American Casualty Differential Limit is [4].

The Mission ends at the end of the Game Turn the American Forces have taken all buildings within the stone wall compound, or either side reaches its Casualty Differential Limit or the Final Score is > 41.

Germans initial deployment has the Tiger within the walled compound flanked by two infantry squads.  The remaining infantry squad and Lt. Koch are in reserve in the farmhouse.

The Americans split their forces with the 1st platoon on the left, supported by two Shermans, and the 3rd platoon on the right supported by the 3rd Sherman.

The Americans on the left advance cautiously, with the infantry sticking to the forests/hills, while the two supporting Shermans hold back. The Sherman on the right advanced at maximum speed around the hill on the right in an attempt to flank the Tiger.

Americans maintain the initiative and continue to maneuver forward.  One squad pushes to the edge of the woods and fires on the Germans behind the wall, and the Germans return fire. Neither fire being effective. The Tiger decides to fall back and withdraws behind the farm buildings to avoid encirclement and as it does so the two Shermans on the left rush up along the German’s left flank.

This time, the Germans win initiative and take the fight to the Americans. The Tiger stops and fires it’s 88mm cannon at the fast moving Sherman on the right flank, but misses.  The German infantry behind the wall opens up on the American 1st platoon in the nearby woods and the supporting American squads return fire.  Exchanges of small arms fire see one German and one American squad disrupted.

The Germans win the initiative again. The Tiger split fires against the two flanking Shermans on the left, scoring a hit and destroying one. In return, the Tiger receives fire from the remaining Sherman on the left and flanking shot from the Sherman on the right and is Shocked.  The infantry from both sides continue to fire. The two German squads behind the wall are disrupted and a one of the Americans disrupted squads is Casualty Reduced due to a subsequent disruption result.

American’s win back initiative and continue suppressive fire against the Germans units behind the wall and manage to casualty reduce one of the disrupted German squads. Other American squads pile over the wall assaulting the other German disrupted squad. The Americans easily win the assault but the German disrupted squad manages to retreat with no further losses. In the mean time, the Tiger crew manages to recover from shock and their tank’s heavy armor saves them, shrugging-off additional shots from both front and flank by the two remaining Shermans.

Americans hold initiative and ‘rinse/repeat’ … some of the American squads pour suppressing fire into the Germans units behind the wall, who fail to recover and are reduced due to subsequent disruption results. The remaining Americans units advance, Assaulting the reduced disrupted German squads. Americans win assault but this time the Germans are unable to pass their cohesion check and the reduced squad is eliminated.  Meanwhile, the Shermans continue to blaze away at the Tiger from both the front and flank but with no effect  (luck seems to favor the German tank crews in this battle). The Tiger returns fire with deadly accuracy, destroying another Sherman on the left, and then turning his full attention to the ‘flanking’ Sherman that’s been firing those pesky enfilade shots on him.

Americans hold initiative and consolidate, moving up and putting fire on the remaining German infantry skulking in the farm buildings.  The Sherman fires a last frantic round into the Tiger, which again bounces off. The Tiger returns fire destroying the hapless remaining Sherman.

The Germans win initiative but it’s looking grim.  Their remaining forces consist of a reduced infantry section in one building and another disrupted squad and Lt. Koch in another. The Americans still have five full squads, and one section. But the damn Tiger is still menacing.  The Tiger opens fire with it’s machine guns on one of the American disrupted squads, which disrupts again and is Casualty Reduced. The Germans in the farm buildings desperately try to recover as the Americans pour fire into them and maneuver units up to assault.

Americans win back initiative and continue to lay suppressing fire on the disrupted German units, while Murphy and his squad assault the first farmhouse.  Americans win the assault and the Germans are disrupted /retreat into another farmhouse. The Tiger continues its fire against the American infantry hoping to reduce the pressure on the German infantry.

Again, the Americans hold initiative and rally their assaulting units. The Tiger reacts by pulling out of the ‘pen’ to avoid being in assault range of the threatening American infantry. The American units then suppress the Germans in the remaining farmhouse, while Lt. Smith and his squads maneuver in for the assault. The Americans win the assault, forcing the Germans from the last farm building. Lt. Koch and the remaining men of his platoon retreat towards the waiting Tiger and withdraw, giving up the farm complex to the Americans.  Man did those landsers deserve their infantry badges after that fight.

The total Elapsed Time for the mission was 32 minutes. The German suffered a total of 3 casualty points (3 steps of Infantry) and the Americans suffered 5 points (2 steps of infantry and 3 tanks). The Americans suffered 2 more casualties than the Germans resulting in 6 Casualty Points as listed on the Casualty Track (2 steps x 3 Casualty Points), which in this case, is added to the Elapsed Time for the Final Score. [If the Germans had suffered 2 casualties more than the Americans, the 6 Casualty Points would have been subtracted from the Elapsed Time].

The resulting Final Score was 38 (32 minutes + 6 Casualty Points) resulting in a Draw. The Americans needed a Final Score of 30 or less to win the Mission.

Summary: A great battle – probably our favorite so far – relatively quick, but with lots of nuance and a nail-biter all the way to the end. I played the Americans in this one, and was methodically attacking:  suppress, advance, assault, suppress, advance, assault. Ignoring the part where my Shermans got shot to pieces, I figured my infantry had this in the bag – but I just didn’t advance fast enough. I won’t forget the smile on my opponents face when we calculated the victory points…we will definitely have to have a rematch soon.  Really a great scenario!

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