We played a D-Day scenario authored by Richard Clark in 2006 as modified by the Devon War Games group in their excellent and beautifully annotated AAR here. I'll dispense with much of the historical background as it's very well laid out in the Devon War Games group AAR.
The German Commander knew that his small force sat astride an important road through the flooded fields inland from the beaches. The little village of Pouppeville he held had to be taken by the invaders coming ashore on the beach before they could go inland. He could not yet know that the world will always know that beach thereafter as “Utah”. The pre-game briefing informed the German Commander, Lee, that there were paratroopers in the area and he must take precautions against that but that the main thrust was up the road and through Pouppeville. He wisely chose to set up in a manner that would allow him to pivot to the rear if necessary.
Lee was informed that he would be annihilated but the victory conditions we're driven by how long he held an intact un-shocked unit in one of the stout Norman houses along the main road through the village. Unknown to him and the Americans, I was giving him twn turns with the chance of that number going up or down by one each turn.
The German Commander had two platoons of good and stubborn infantry from the 3rd Battalion 1058 Grenadier regiment, part of the 91st Luftland Division. A couple medium machine guns, a panzerschreck team, a platoon of three 50mm mortar teams, and a sniper helped make this a tough little force. The German had two Blinds as well.
The airborne Americans under the command of Mark R. deployed three Blinds on the inland end of the board immediately after all the German Blinds were set down. They began with one dummy Blind on the right side of the road and two platoons of paratroopers primarily from the 82nd Airborne Division on the left side of the road. The remaining portion of the American Force led by Mark D-- a couple more platoons and three Sherman tanks-- would not come up from Utah Beach until turns five and eight.
This is a historical scenario. The commander of the paratrooper force was the lieutenant colonel later portrayed in the movie “A Bridge Too Far” by none other than Robert Redford. As befits a handsome dashing Robert Redford and the actual officer he portrayed, the paratroopers boldly pressed the back end of the village through the woods on the left immediately getting into a firefight.
The Germans had a couple of turns to react shifting their forces toward the back end of town, getting a good run of the chips. But the force was irresistible and soon, although shot up from the buildings, and having a junior officer killed and one squad put out of action, another squad rushed forward, wiping out one German squad in the street and a German medium machine gun facing down the road away from them in the crossroads. This fight caused a German ammunition truck parked at the crossroads to explode (the referee asked the players to name a percentage chance for this occurring, they did, and then we rolled 1%) cooking off 50mm mortar bombs and forcing the German to vacate the house and send his second Platoon across the street, while the smoke covered his retreat.
Meanwhile one airborne squad broke off and crossed the road and probed forward along the right side along with a dummy blind. The squad took fire from the village, killing its accompanying sergeant. The dummy Blind revealed the German mortar platoon and evaporated. At this point all the forces, except the undeployed German sniper, were known to the players.
Once the Germans were driven entirely away from the left hand side of the main road, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Redford moved up his other squads into positions where they could support him while he moved forward vigorously in pursuit. The German Commander was killed in close combat in the open and the remainder of first platoon and the headquarters platoon were scattered, running into the remaining buildings.
By this point the infantry from the beach, part of the 8th Regiment, were deploying. They brought the mortar platoon under fire, and forced the recently deployed German sniper to run for cover. They then pressed the remaining Germans who had not gone to cover yet. The vigorous paratroopers got to them first. The Lieutenant Colonel and a squad from the 82nd ran across their front to try to get to the backside of the German buildings, drawing intense fire and taking a number of casualties. Lieutenant Colonel Robert Redford was untouched. At this point the Shermans came up from the beach and into the action, machine gunning the routing troops and putting 75mm HE fire on the holdout squads. Two intact but leaderless German squads remained on the main drag.
Time was running out for the Americans. It was turn ten, only one more turn to go. At this point the referee told everyone how many turns were left and more fully explained the Victory conditions. The first chip drawn on turn eleven allowed the German the next move. Lee, acting more Japanese than German perhaps and knowing that the jig was up, decided to send one squad out to close assault the only airborne squad between them and breaking out down the causeway. The attack was a miserable failure but one intact squad remained in the sole stout Norman house still occupied by the Germans. It didn't take long for the nearby paratroopers and the tanks to put some fire on them but the coup de grace was delivered by the foot sloggers from the beach who dashed up to annihilate the remaining defenders in close combat.
Great game and well played by Lee, Mark R and Mark D. Everyone was bold, decisive, tenacious and had a good grasp of the IABSM mechanics and used them well.
We had given the Germans the designation stubborn and the airborne troopers the designation aggressive, so close combat was especially savage. The Germans had good cover and the paratroopers had big ten-man squads and great leaders and the result was a lot of blood.
That was a close one and came down to the wire!