Whenever I want to play a wargame which will give me a lot of fun, crazy events, a game which I will not be afraid to lose as I like it so much that the sheer fact of playing is more important than the result, I am reaching for Combat Commander. Yes, I simply love this title and play it regularly over past years. My main opponent in those games are Konrad (already 18 scenarios played) and Kuba (11 sessions together). Today I would like to look back to one of our meetings before the forced lock-down begun.
Some of our more exciting Combat Commander firefights: #1 Fat Lipki #3 A Midnight Clear #4 Closed for renovation #6 One Steppe Beyond #8 Breakout Dance #10 Barbarossa Unleashed #11 Hold the Line #6 Paralyzed from the West Down
This time we were reaching to one of the Combat Commander Battlepacks, i.e. expansions which bring new scenarios and new maps to the game. One of my favorite ones is the “Paratroopers” one and that we decided to play.
As for the scenario – 025a – Fields of Fire – this is pretty interesting depiction of one of the most heroic events of US army during WWII. For sure on the Western Front and during the Battle of the Bulge.
Yes, the skirmish takes place during the infamous though surprising German offensive in Ardennes during December 1944. The German infantry is tasked with the orders to clear all the US roadblocks / infantry resistance points so the King Tiger tanks of Joachim Peiper’s 1st SS Panzer Division can swiftly advance. One of such battles was fought near the village of Lanzerath where US Intelligence & Recon platoon – in total 18 men (!) was placed to observe enemy moves and report back. Americans spent time well, enhancing their defensive positions. Still, once German column approached, it was clear that they face hundreds of enemy soldiers.
They fought bravely, being able to delay Germans for a full day. For their actions, all the Platoon members were awarded medals, becoming most decorated platoon of WWII.
Will the post be able to repeal the German onslaught again? Would they buy precious time for the other US units to prepare the defenses? Let us see!
And now actions of the game:
(1) Right from the start, US troops open a very effective fire against advancing enemy
(2) Konrad advances his troops through woods, which provides nice cover for them
(3) Still, this is not enough and even woods cover does not prevent further German causalities, including a leader
(4) On the left we observe another fanatical advance of the Wehrmacht troops…
(5) …finished at the small clearing in the woods, perfectly spotted by US Machine Gunner who kills enough Germans there to end the game.
It will not be an overstatement, that in our first attempt we observed complete obliteration of advancing German troops. Konrad immediately asked for a re-match, as he would like to test new tactics.
So we restarted:
And so it was much harder for US troops – details below:
(1) and (2) – German units successfully infiltrate the US positions, avoiding the devastating US fire
(3) Some of the fanatics (units I get zero VP for killing) are not so careful in their zeal – I quickly take advantage of this, sending them to lost units track…
(4) and (5) – Konrad meticulously plans his advance, using in large numbers the smoke grenades. Fortunately, I manage to at least get one of attacking squads. Still, the danger is real and closer and closer.
(6) Time of Crisis for US troops. Another batch of smoke grenades and fourth VP objective is being captured by Germans. They are really close now.
(7) A perfect, coordinated attack – Konrad advances on the other side and what is more, his two units become veterans!
(8) At the end of turn some of the smoke disperse and I manage to halt the offensive on my right with accurate fire….
(9) as well as on left. Uff…
At this moment in time we roll for Sudden Death, we re-roll like 4 times with initiative card and the game finally finishes – I really needed this.
That was close – and really, only the Sudden Death rolls saved me. Konrad used much better infiltration tactics, using the terrain to his advantage as well as smoke grenades. Later on we played continuation of that scenario (#025b – Fields of Blood), but this is for another session report!
I must admit, this is one of the more static and difficult (for Germans) scenarios. Not my favorite type but it is good to play something else from time to time. Still, big thanks to Konrad who did not lost heart after first game!