Sunday, May 7, 2017

A RIVER TOO FAR

     Here is my recent playing of the Beyond the Rhine Grand Campaign. I played this over the space of about 2 weeks.
     On the northern flank, I tried to follow history as much as possible (within the limits of my knowledge). Mainly, I wanted to get the US 2nd Armored Division and the 1st and 9th Infantry Divisions to Aachen as quickly as possible. They were delayed at Liege and the defense congealed at Aachen to such an extent that duplicating history is impossible. In reality, the German commander at Aachen had written a surrender letter to the Americans. It was intercepted by the Germans and the general (I forget his name...Schwerin maybe) was shipped to Italy. The Germans said later that there was nothing stopping the US from simply walking unopposed into Aachen and they couldn't understand why they didn't. Not so in this game.
     Not criticizing, just sayin.
     For the Germans, I strove to keep their Panzer and Panzergrenadier Divisions stacked and in reserve where possible for counterattacking. If nothing else, it made the Allied player nervous and more cautious than he would have been had the Nazis adopted a strictly passive defense. This paid dividends near Liege when 10 SS Pz destroyed an entire armored division combat command.
     In retrospect, the 10th SS should have hit the US armor and then retreated immediately. Instead, they got lucky and weathered a couple of US air attacks while in open ground and were able to save themselves on a future turn. It's important for the Axis player not to spend a lot of unnecessary time adjacent to American units due to the danger posed by spotted air attacks.
     As always, I tend to do what I think will most piss off the other side, which sometimes makes me play over-aggressively. It doesn't always work out, but it keeps the game lively. The move by 4th armored toward the German left took even me by surprise. I usually move the 5th AD, but saw that open area in the south and couldn't resist taking a shot.
     At this point, I ended the game. I wanted to launch Market-Garden, but misread a rule and missed my chance on the Sept 19 turn, but it looked like a losing proposition anyway, even with the Germans unprepared for it. Once the British armor breaches the canal, the Germans are naturally drawn to the area where the paratroopers are going to land. The armor has to be at Eindhoven by the time the drop is made. That just means that the Germans will be there too. Should have given the supply to Patton. Anyway, I'm ready to review this game and what I've seen of this system so far. Look for that in the future.

The northern sector. 2 and 3 Armored overrun German defenders near Namur and race for Liege. An SS division is threatened with being cut off in the forest. The Brits move their armor into the open terrain north of Brussels.

In a surprise move, the US 4th Armored Division advances toward the German left flank near Nancy.

A close-up of the 4th Armored's move. Aside from an understrength 21st Panzer, there is nothing here but empty space.

The entire 4-map playing surface.

The German's respond to the 4th. The 21st Pz and 15 PzG Divs assume blocking positions.

The SS escape the trap in the forest. Lots of fancy footwork was required to keep them supplied and on the move.

The 10th SS Pz Division gives the overextended US 2AD a bloody nose near Liege. Note the heavy German concentration around Aachen.
This shows the position of the US 2AD just before the attack by the 10 SS Pz (per previous picture).

British armor awaiting supplies to move out in force.
Final Dispositions. The British armor is across the Albert Canal. Squint and you can see it.

The Germans are on borrowed time on their left. US and French forces converge from west and south. The Germans spend each turn trying to extricate themselves from one bad situation after another.


2 comments:

  1. You should never attack....it just pisses them off.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh wait....that's what you wanted.

    ReplyDelete