Another long turn benefits the Soviets as they advance with all forces. The Chaos chit awards Field Repairs to Ghost Troop thus flipping an Abrams to full strength.
The 65th Tank starts out by calling in artillery on the Ghost Troop Abrams positions disrupting both units. They then skirt around to the right heading for the bridge at Hoogven.
The 68th activates next launching devastating assaults against Ghost Troop destroying its HQ and tanks.(the previous disruptions meant no op fire from the tanks as the assault went in) Some TOWs from Bradleys hit their mark against the advancing BMPs but there are simply too many up close. Outrider also throws in it’s firepower inflicting losses, but the 68th still has a lot of strength left to counter. Echo Company joins the fray entering the map at Boekel. An A-10 sorties over the battlefield but is shot down by the Tunguskas as they target fully loaded BMPs by Grande.
Finally, the 68th also gets the DF chit and advances through Grande. BMPs attempt to bum rush the Abrams in Granderheide which results in just a mutual disruption. Artillery is also called down across Outrider positions disrupting their mortars as well as the hilltop ITVs. This suppresses American op fire and allows unhindered advances into the open.
Overall American losses are mounting with a total of 7 so far. Twelve losses is a Soviet victory condition.
The situation is beginning to look grim for the Americans in the sector as losses mount, and the Soviets are seemingly able to maintain their momentum in the main attack towards Rausdorf/Witzhave.
The Scouts are all that are left of Ghost Troop. They continue to fall bak in the forest on the American left maintaining their delaying mission. Echo Company lends fire support calling in the last available artillery against Soviet infantry and taking out a BMP with long range tank fire. They are careful not to move within the range of the Saggers.
The FSE enters the forest by Sonnenberg trailing the last remnants of Ghost Troop.
The 143rd follow the FSE in the vicinity of Sonnenberg, committing themselves to a flanking manuever through the woods. The 68th continues its attacks taking out yet another Abrams and HQ in Granderheide Op fire from the remaining Bradleys of Outrider prevent the Soviets from entering Witzhave. The 68th does run into some trouble with its attached artillery out of command for the turn.
Finally the Chaos chit grants the placment of a US hero.
Turn 8 goes quickly with Echo Co, and the 143rd skipped, while the 68th and Outrider only activate once each. The mortars of Outrider fall back into Rausdorf. The Leader moves in towards Witzhave with his platoon. The Ghost scouts fail their command rolls. The 68th continues its advance but has become a bit strung out with several platoons out of command as well as continuing difficulties with its artillery.
The Americans finally though DO catch a break with the 68th MR skipped for the turn. The FSE plunges ahead down the forest road and assaults the Ghost Troop scouts pushing them off the bridge at the cost of one disruption.
The 65th advances out of Meine and takes fire from Echo Company. The American shooting is poor though and results in only 2 flips and 4 disruptions.
On the other hand for the Yanks, Outrider is also skipped.
The Yanks luck doesn’t hold out. The 68th activates twice in turn 10. Even after an MLRS mission falls short and inflicts two hits on Soviet infantry, the follow up platoons enter Rausdorf and kill off the HQ and mortars holding the town. Echo Company begins moving to retake the bridge but fail to activate a second time. The 68th also moves in strongly to take Witzhave after the Leader stack directs fire to fend off the FSE threatening from the woods.
Well it is coming down to the wire! What a turn of events! As many of you that have already played WaW know, the scenarios often take all kinds of twists and turns. It has looked grim for the Americans but it now all comes down to the last turn to see who is quicker on the trigger.
First off the Chaos chit makes an appearance and it brings in another A-10 air strike into the cup.
Echo activates and attempts to rally the one unit but fails. The HQ and one unit fire into Rausdorf which disrupts the infantry. The 3rd platoon attempts to move closer but gets disrupted by op fire from the 65th.
Outrider activates and no longer has command issues since there is a leader and still a reduced HQ. They destroy the BMPs on the bridge and then the Leader directs fire that also KIAs the adjacent Soviet infantry. The Ghost Scouts manage to KIA the remains of the FSE platoon in close assault. Outrider then activates again and takes out the second adajacent infantry with the leader and infantry then proceeding to kill the BMP on the near side of Witzhave. Ghost then fails its command roll.
Finally the Soviets react with the Designated Formation. The HQ and recon units move close so that they may spot for artillery next round. One infantry stack goes into close assault but fail although they do inflict a disrupt on the infantry and Leader.
The 143rd moves up close against the Scouts but do not have enough movement to assault them.
The 68th activates then. Artillery is called down with no effect made.The HQ + BMP (reduced) + Tunguska go in for the close assault. They inflict one hit flipping the American infantry but are themselves both disrupted and retreat onto the bridge.
The 65th activates and fires on Echo compnay inflicting one disruption.
The A-10 then makes an appearance. It’s a tough call but they go for the bridge wiping out the HQ, Tunguska and BMP.
Lastly, Echo Co moves in closer to Rausdorf and destroys one infantry.
So with one turn left the Soviets have killed 10 American units and hold the bridge at Rausdorf. Will they kill two more or capture the bridge at Witzhave to win?
The Soviets smile as the final turn starts with the 68th activating. It runs into troubles right away though as one artillery battery is out of command and the other two fail to inflict any damage against the American infantry in Witzhave. One of the two stacks of infantry in Witzhave rallies and goes in for the assault. This results in mutual annhilation. No one else in the 68th matters at all towards victory. American losses are at 11, and they still control the two western bank hexes of Witzhave.
Ghost activates but fails its command roll. The Chaos chit arrives and grants the Volley Fire marker to the Soviets. Then the 143rd activates. It uses the Volley Fire marker and rolls 5 dice at 3………. and hits only once which then is cancelled by the Bradley’s armor roll. Two more platoons move up in the hopes the DF chit comes out.
The 65th activates and moves towards Echo. The FSE which is now down to one platoon moves up as well. Then End of Turn. TF Outrider is next and the Bradley moves in to occupy one of the Witzhave hexes adjacent to the bridge objective. Then EOT.
By a hair, the Americans win the scenario since the Soviets only gained one objective.
1) Overall The US killed 23 units with another 11 step losses.
2) American losses were 11 dead, and one step loss. They also lost one HQ and an A-10.
3) My dice were very streaky. A few times all hits, all misses, or all saves.
4) The big mistake for the Americans was playing too close in the center allowing the Soviets to close assault the Ghost Troop tanks.
5) Another mistake was bringing in Echo Co near Boekel. They should have entered near Kronshorst directly behind Rausdorf.
6) It was hard keeping all of the 68th together in the end. The effort got divided between Rausdorf and Witzhave. The artillery lagged behind as well leading to command problems and them being out of the action for a good part of the last few turns.
7) The 143rd perhaps should have assaulted the Ghost scouts on the last turn instead of using direct fire. The dice were poor in either case so it may not have made a difference, but the Soviets could have followed up with a second assault from the other two platoons.