Umpire's Report 1
Photos added, AAR to follow tomorrow as it's late here now. Suffice to say that the Axis were ready for the troopers and the troopers really wanted the bridge. The attack stalled just as the dairy was reached. Both sides had taken unacceptable causalities and, with so many officers down, the Allies had to regroup. Tactically a win for the Axis, but at great cost. For the Allies, their first, bloody lesson in the hedgerows.
Umpire's Report 2
With what I must assume was a combination of the long holiday weekend and turkey hangovers the number of players dropped to one, myself. I was determined to play out the scenario I received. Digging into my bag of tricks, including the Charlie Don't Surf (CDS) system, I devised the following solitaire system with game progress determining Axis motive and movement.
Ten Axis Blinds were laid out in probable positions. The content of the Axis solitaire Blinds system was determined randomly with a d10, 1 to 4 being a dummy, 5 to 1 0 being various combinations of the six squads and the three Big Men. As each Blind was spotted or wanted to reveal and deploy, a d10 was rolled determining if it was a dummy or actual troops. The Axis Sniper and MMG were set up on the second floor of the dairy, where for the first 14 turns only long range pot shots were taken, resulting in a limited amount of causalities.
The random die dropped three Axis squads and a leader right in the first line of hedgerows. Which led to the 82nd being shot up pretty good at the start as the first Allied Blind move onto the board consisted of one die of movement and spotting with the remainder, disclosing the Axis at short range. Following Allied Blinds scooted left and right in an effort to out flank the Axis position, but the additional Axis squads that deployed on a random basis halted the first wave of Allies. By turn 4, all but one Axis squad was deployed in a forward defensive position.
Axis losses were minimal at first, with three of the six Allied squads at half strength. Losses included two Allied and one Axis leader.
Using CDS ideas, the Axis were under orders to fall back at certain strength levels, and by turn 8 the Axis began hopping from hedgerow to hedgerow as they leapfrogged back towards the dairy. Turn 10 saw the arrival of the 3rd Allied platoon, which then circled left to take the most direct route to the dairy. This unit stayed on its blind right up to the edge of the dairy before being spotted, the Axis right was empty of troops and the Rapid Deployment card was used twice to move this blind quickly to its objective. The US 4th Platoon deployed on the next turn and moved right to take on the stronger Axis positions and attempt to destroy them outright.
By this time the Axis force had only two effective squads on the right but held good defensive positions. An assault by a squad of the US 4th Platoon was thrown back after a vicious close combat in the hedgerows while another Airborne squad was cut in half by some long range fire from the Axis MMG in the dairy. After these fire fights and assaults, the US 4th Platoon was stalled as a Big Man tried to rally and consolidate the below strength squads. Amazingly the Airborne held up as elite troops, hardly failing any of the morale checks deemed needed at the time.
As the US 3rd Platoon deployed just this side of the last hedgerow before the dairy grounds, a quick assault led by a Big Man was attempted. One Airborne squad took the small building just inside the dairy grounds as the other two squads and leader dashed to the dairy. Insufficient movement dice left them in the open like a brace of quail. The MMG in the second floor and the remaining Axis full strength squad across the road opened fire and suppressed both squads with numerous causalities. A lone US Big Man (Lt. Flory) left standing in the open amazed that he wasn't hit then used the Heroic Leader card to assault the dairy, and climb the stairs to close combat the MMG team. In losing his life unselfishly he managed to take the MMG down to one crewman.
With the turn of the twentieth "Smoke Break" card the game was called. The Allies were down to a lone full strength 4th Platoon squad hunkered down in the dairy complex and two consolidated squads of the 4th Platoon having to cross open ground under the guns of the Axis last lone leader and a full strength squad. The squads of the 1st and 2nd Platoons of the US Airborne were either wiped out or laying low in small isolated groups. Losses overall were 66% for the Axis and 75% for the Allies. Damned bloody.