A Battlegroup Overlord Battle ReportIntroduction
This battle was the third battle of our five battle mini-campaign using the play-test campaign rules for Battlegroup Overlord. Of course we used the Battlegroup (BG) rules for the battle. Because it was a campaign game, there are a few units that have some battle experience in this battle (such as my Panzer Grenadier squad which was Elite and had the Scout ability).
The battle is taking place somewhere in France after the Allied Breakout. It features a US Armoured Battlegroup vs. my German Panzer Battlegroup. All lists were drawn from the BG: Overlord supplement.
The scenario was drawn from the BG rulebook: Flanking Attack!
I also did a video on my YouTube channel on this battle, so you may wanna check that out as well. Here is the link directly to the video: MEIN GOT!
Since we are playing a "squad" level game (see the BG rules), we are playing our battles on a 4' x 4' table. The terrain was a bit open, featuring a central large hill with a woods. Several fields and trees are spaced in front of the large central hill.
Hedges are everywhere and are NOT Bocage. One small building lies next to a dirt road, and some blown out ruins on the opposite table edge.
The Germans (my side) were drawn from the Panzer Division list.
- FHQ (3 men in 251/1; Reg)
- Inf.: 1st Squad PG (Elite & Scout) with one unit MG42 team (3 men), one Rifle team with MG42, one SMG, and panzerfaust.
- Inf.: 2nd Squad PG (Vet) with one unit MG42 team (3 men), one Rifle team with MG42, one SMG, and panzerfaust.
- Tank: One StuG III G (Reg)
- Tank: One PzIV H (Reg)
- Rec.: PG Foot Patrol (Vet) (4 men) with 250/1, one SMG, and panzerfaust
- Art.: Off-Board 80mm med Mortar Battery (2 tubes)
The Americans were drawn from the US Armoured Division list.
- FHQ (3 men in M3; one SMG; Reg)
- Inf.: Arm. Inf. Squad (10 men with one SMG, Bazooka, and BAR; Elite. Also includes a separate unit of 30 cal. MMG of 3 men; Reg. All in M3)
- Tank: M4 Platoon (two 75mm, one 76mm; includes a Platoon Officer - in 75mm; all Reg. except the 76mm tank which is Vet.)
- Rec.: Jeep Patrol (one Jeep with 30 cal., and three men; one smg; Vet.)
- Rec.: M20 (30 cal.; Reg.)
- Rec.: M20 (30 cal.; Reg.)
- Art.: Off-board 81mm med. Mortar battery (2 tubes)
Germans chose to deploy on the closest left corner, forcing the Americans to deploy on the opposite corner. Germans also chose the closest right corner as their Recon Deployment zone; opposite corner being the American Recon zone.
|The initial forces deployed. Objectives (four) are marked with |
White chips at the moment.
The Germans deployed their StuG and 2nd. PG squad in their main deployment zone on the lower left. The squads MG42 team was mounted on the StuG. Their Recon forces were deployed to their right and included their PG Foot Patrol mounted in 250/1, and PG squad 1 also mounted in their transport 251/1.
|German Main Deployment Zone forces.|
|US Main Deployment Zone Forces.|
The Americans second in all cases for having been out-scouted by the Germans. Their M4 platoon and Infantry (incl. MG team and M3) all deployed in their main force deployment zone. Their M20 units and Jeep Patrol deployed to the upper left corner; the Jeep Patrol taking refuge in the blown out ruins near the fields in LOS of the German main force.
Germans would be going first in all turns. Both sides rolled well for orders and only the US M20's took no orders this turn.
The German squad 2 exchanged ineffective fire with the US Jeep Recon unit in the ruins. The Jeep withdrew to a small hill where the M20's were hidden from view. The M4 Platoon commander rushed up ("Top Speed") to support the recon elements.
|Turn 1: The StuG explodes after a well placed shot from the 76 Sherman. |
The German MG42 team can be seen laying down fire on the
enemy below, and securing the smoldering central Objective
The StuG with MG42 team advanced up the hill towards the central objective. However, as fate would have it, the StuG ground to a halt as it's engine started to spit and sputter, The StuG was helpless as it became immobilized on the hill, in site of the enemy! The MG team riding the StuG quickly disembarked into the woods to secure the central objective ahead on the top of the hill. They then laid down some effective fire on the US MG team ("pinning" it) positioned below next to another objective close to the US deployment zone. However, the MG team would rally shortly after at the end of the turn. The Americans quickly moved up their M3 and disembarked the Elite inf. squad who went on Ambush Reaction behind some hedges in the field. They had a nice LOS to the German MG team on the hill. As the inf. took up their positions, the veteran 76mm, eying the now immobilized StuG, moved up to draw a bead on the motionless beast. With a few well placed shots the StuG exploded and the crew ran for their lives! GONE!
Meanwhile to the far right, the German Scout and Recce units (the PG Elite squad 1 and the PG Foot Patrol, both in their halftracks) quickly moved to cover behind the woods next to the hill. The Recon 250/1 would be close enough to capture the objective to their right. Unfortunately for them, an M4 75 Sherman was advancing down the road to their right and was able to get (barely) a LOS on the 250/1 halftrack and blew it all to hell! destroying it AND the entire PG Foot Patrol riding inside of it!
Turn One Observations
It was just solid bad luck my StuG broke down here. Luck of the draw for the American player as he drew the "Break Down" BR counter. Losing my ENTIRE PG Recon Patrol (which were veterans no less) was another hit for me. All in all though, I did manage to secure THREE of the FOUR objectives, and "pin" that pesky 30 cal. MG team. Both sides were even in BR gain at this point: 11/18 for the Germans, 11/20 for the US. Both sides rolled well for Orders as well (5 for the Germans, and 7 for the US). Pretty much every unit (except the US M20's and the "pinned" MG 30 cal. team) did something.
Both sides rolled rather low for Orders this turn (Germans 3, Americans 4), and no objectives were lost or gained by either side.
The German reinforcements arrived in their Main Deployment Zone in a field enclosed by hedges. This included the remaining forces of the Germans (one PzIV, the FHQ in 251/1, and the halftrack transport of the PQ squad 2). These units promptly moved out over the hedges (as far as they could over these obstacles), with the FHQ 251/1 disembarking the senior Officer in hopes of moving up the hill to get a LOS for some effective Mortar fire. The PzIV also moved up and took a HE Area Fire shot at the pesky M4 moving down the road far to the right. This of course was well off the mark and no damage was done. The M4 itself went into Ambush Reaction instead of wasting any shots through the dense terrain.
|Turn 2: The German reinforcements arrive! Ahead at the |
base of the hill can be seen the three men of the FHQ who are
now disembarked from their 251/1.
Toward the middle, the veteran M4 76 moved forward to get a shot at PG squad 2 position close to the ruins with some effective HE area fire. This resulted in not only the squad losing a man, but also being pinned. The three men in the Recon Jeep Patrol rushed out from the safety of the ruins to join in the fire on the (now) pinned German squad. Too far away to Close Assault this turn, they laid down some ineffective Aimed Fire.
|Turn 2: The M4 76 can be seen putting down effective HE Area |
Fire on the German PG squad 2 position along the hedge.
Meanwhile the American M4 Platoon commander moved up over the hedge he was hiding behind into the fields to a position behind a haystack, letting off some ineffective HE Area Fire on the German MG42 hunkered down on the hill at the center objective. So far this M442 team was holding out with all the incoming fire.
|Turn 2: With the German squad pinned and down a man, the infantry |
of the Jeep Recon Patrol rush out from the ruins to get to
grips with them.
Turn Two Observations
Pretty much an uneventful turn, except for my PG squad holding my left being pinned and losing a man. Seemed to me the Americans were making a much on this flank. I really didn't have much protecting that sector (pretty much just that PG squad). I was getting worried here. Only getting off three orders for the turn was NOT good at this point. I was pretty impressed by the MG42 team holding out so well on the top of the hill at the center. Two turns of HE shells coming in on them and so far so good. As for the Americans, they had their inf. squad and the M4 on the road both on Ambush Reaction. His FHQ arrived on the board, but never did anything, remaining on the edge and out of LOS.
The Germans rolled a solid 5 for Orders and the American's got an even more solid 8! MEIN GOTT!!!
The German halftracks coming on from reserve quickly moved up to cover behind the woods, along side the already hiding Elite PG squad 1 still in their 251/1. The PzIv continued it's slow rumble forward taking some partial cover behind the wreckage of the Recon 250/1. This was followed up by some Aimed Fire at that M4 still on the road. However, the M4 was already anticipating such a move by the PzIV and opened up with it's own barrage of AP shells at the German cat. However, as fate would have it, neither tank did any damage to the other! The M4 would continue down the road to get an even better shot at the Panzer, but these shots as well proved ineffective. It was a stand-off between both tanks!
|Turn 3: The PzIV and M4 75mm duel! Neither one could damage |
Meanwhile, back atop the hill, the German MG42 team opened up on the advancing Elite American Infantry squad below. Again, before any effective fire could be put out on this unit the infantry opened up it's own fire on the MG unit, which proved ineffective at the well covered German MG. The Germans however managed some effective fore and pinned the American squad. The supporting M3 halftrack lingering just behind it's squad opened up at this point and managed to pin the MG42 team at long last! The Germans hunkered down to hold the objective.
|Turn 3: A look from the US Armoured Infantry squad position as |
they make their way towards the hill Objective
(and the waiting MG42 team!).
Over on the German far left, the US Recon infantry made an attempt to Close Assault the German squad which was currently pinned at the hedge line in front of them. However, this was not to be! The American's decided to stay put and take cover (they failed their Experience test to Close Assault and were "pinned"; they were Veterans no less!).
Things were looking bleak for the Germans however, and the FHQ at the foot of the central hill tried to rally the pinned PG squad 2 being engaged by the enemy from the ruins. However, this was to be in vain, and the Tactical Coordination Order was failed (the squad failed their Experience Test), the unit remaining pinned in place at the hedge line.
The American's were not done yet however. Sensing victory, the M4 Platoon commander made a move on the pinned PG German squad 2 at the hedge. getting as close as he could while opening up with another round of HE and MG fire (Aimed!), the entire squad was wiped out under a hail of bullets and shrapnel!
|Turn 3: The M4 Platoon Commander makes his move on the hedge |
defenders, mowing down the Germans in a hail of HE and MG fire!
This left the German left completely unprotected. However, the Germans still held on to the far left objective. This meant nothing to German high command and the order was given to withdraw from the position entirely! The battle was over.
|Turn 3: Overall look at the battle at game end. Blue markers are |
German Captured Objectives (3 in this case).
US BR: 14/20
German BR: 19/18
Turn Three Observations
Turn three was decisive! Losing my left flank like that ended the battle for me. I ended up with a total of six BR counters and exceeded my forces BR by one point! (19 out of 18 BR max). Failing my Tactical Coordination was a huge set back at this point. My PzIV was a let down as well. I made full use of cover approaching that pesky M4 along the road, but to no avail. I just couldn't hurt him at those ranges. The M4 on the other hand was just as unlucky. He put a lot of AP shells on my tank and couldn't even touch him. Cover played a key role here I think.
Overall Impressions of the Battle
For such a short game, this was a lot of fun. The table looked great, not to mention all the nice models. As far as the game goes, I am not sure what else I could have done to secure a victory. Failing to get PG squad 2 to unpin in the last turn (as the result of a failed Tactical Coordination) really was the deciding moment for the battle. I needed to get that unit up and in a better position. I should note that that little 5-man squad had an MG42 as well as a single panzerfaust! I was ready for that M4 tank heading my way. I just couldn't get it un-pinned. Oh well.
On top of all this, I have to also say that the BR counters I was drawing were a little high. Just three counters totaled 13 points. Losing my StuG in the first turn due to a "Break Down" counter hurt. The American's were even more lucky when in the same turn their 76mm rolled up and finished him off!
I do have to say my MG42 team up on the hill really proved it's worth. It managed to stay unpinned even after all those HE shells and fire from the American infantry squad. It wasn't pinned until that M3 laid down effective fire on it. I believe it was an "Open Fire" order by the M3 (that's two shots with a ROF of 5 each). Still, they did manage to pin a couple of American units in the battle.
For the American's all I can say is they played very well. They knew when to make a move when it was called for. They kept the pressure on me the whole battle. Combined with poor to average rolls on my Orders each turn, he was able to keep me on the defensive the whole time. Hats off to that M4 Sherman platoon commander who had the balls to rush my position held by PG squad 2 (remember, they had a panzerfaust!).