Saturday, December 24, 2016

Screaming Eagles at Foy

     As the year ends and my collection of Late War Battle of the Bulge Panzergrenadiers (LW BOTB PGs) expands, I was able to play the Foy scenario from the Battlefront Miniatures website.  The scenario attempts to recreate the well know attack of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, on the German held town of Foy during the Battle of the Bulge.  The battle is better known from the miniseries "Band of Brothers."  According to the semi-official history of the division, Rendezvous with Destiny, there were several battles of Foy as the town changed hands several times.  The book suggests that the town was essentially indefensible as the high ground around it dominated the village.  When either side really put in the effort to take it, they did.  The Battlefront scenario tries to recreate the American attack on the 13th of January when the 506th attacked and was able to take the village through the heroic actions of Easy and I Company.

     The scenario gives a decent map and suggests forces, but is not explicit on the composition of the sides.

Battlefront scenario map for the Foy attack.  

We used a 1485 point level as that was the amount of LW BOTB PGs I had painted.  I had to proxy the MG teams as with Rifle/MG teams and Assault Rifle teams for the forces, though in the end it really didn't matter much.  I used the Volksgrenadier (VG) lists from "Nuts" as the 26th Volksgrenadier was in the area.  I also used the Confident Veteran side of the list, though rereading Rendezvous with Destiny, Reluctant Veteran may have been more apt.  In any event, the German force contained:

VG Sturm Platoon with 4 panzerfaust assault rifle and 2 panzerfaust MG teams
VG Schutzen Platoon with 6 panzerfaust Rifle/MG teams
VG Machine-Gun Platoon with 4 MG42 HMG teams
VG Mortar Platoon with 4 8cm mortar teams
VG Scout Platoon with 4 Rifle teams
SS Panther Platoon with 3 Panthers (these were Fearless Veterans FV)
Sniper team ('cause there HAS to be a sniper in this scenario!)

The Americans had:

Three Parachute Rifle Platoons with Easy Company
One Parachute Rifle Platoon with I Company
Parachute Mortar Platoon with 4 81mm mortar teams
Parachute Field Artillery Battery with 4 75mm pack howitzers
Lieutenant Speirs

I deployed the Shutzen platoon, the Machine-Gun Platoon and the Mortar Platoon.  The scenario has delayed reserves and the SS Panthers are the last Germans to arrive.  In the event, NONE of the Germans arrived in time to do anything of note, other than to look cool.

The village of Foy looking south.  The German HMG platoon and mortars are deployed in the edge of town on the left.  The one Schutzen platoon and HQ stands are deployed in various houses in the town.  The sniper is in the church belfry (of course!).  The Americans mass to the south, though I company is pinned down at the start of the game (upper left) and won't move until Lieutenant Speirs comes to their rescue.  

I company awaits Speirs.  

Paratrooper mortars and 75mm pack howitzers provide support to the attack.  

Easy Company is the main effort (of course!).

Easy Company moves out toward the German positions in Foy.

Another Paratrooper platoon moves up from the woods.

Easy Company dodges the hay stacks as it gets closer to the Germans.

German HMGs are ready to fire at Speirs but he stays out of range!  

German mortar fire pins down one platoon but the other surges ahead.

Speirs moves at the double to get I company moving.

The Americans exchange desultory fire with the Germans in the village.

Time is wasting!  The Americans need to move fast before the six turn limit is reached.

American artillery shell German positions in the houses but don't do much.

The mortars are equally ineffective.

One American platoon gains the cover of the center woods and trades fire with the Germans in the center of the town.

Two American platoons fire at three German panzerfaust rifle/MG teams in the large gray house, which is also the target of continuous artillery and mortar fire.

I company moves to assist the attack, carefully staying outside of the range of the German HMGs in the woods to the lower right.

Easy Company has lost a couple of stands due to German mortar and rifle fire but is still fearless.  It is THEIR miniseries after all . . .

There are a LOT of FV Americans moving into Foy.  The German house has been hit by artillery and mortar fire so often that it has been rubbled and set on fire.  The valiant Germans are pinned but remain.  

Paratroopers move at the double into Foy.  Since no German reserves arrive until turn 4, there is little to stop them.

The Germans lose a panzerfaust rifle/MG team as their positions start to crumble.  

Easy Company continues to take casualties as the attack fires at the Germans.

Things don't look good for the Germans, but the clock is ticking.

Turn 4 and the Germans FINALLY get a Sturm Platoon for reinforcements.  They force march into town but the Americans are a ways away.  
The Americans decide that the German position can be successfully assaulted.  

Another view as it looked really neat!

The Mortar Platoon Forward Observer doesn't survive the assault.  

The Germans lose two of the three teams in the house and fall back.

One Easy Company platoon has had enough and breaks after the successful assault, apparently going to look for Lieutenant Dikes.  

Meanwhile the mortars and HMG teams fire at the Paratroopers moving down the road and kill a team.

The Americans realize that they are just too far away from either objective and need more than Speirs to help them out.  

The beginning of turn six and the end of the American hopes.

German VGs move into town to get to church to sing O Tannenbahm and reassure the sniper in the belfry. 

Too late.  The Americans realize they cannot achieve their victory conditions and concede the game.  Foy will have to wait for more tank support.  

Of all of the Battlefront scenarios I have played, this was the most unbalanced.  Even with only half of the German force on the table, I was able to slow down and prevent my arch nemesis American Paratroopers from even getting close to their objectives.  Any time you have the chance to force the opponent to have to dig you out of houses, it is going to take a LONG time.  Six turns just isn't enough to do this.  The Americans don't have any bunker buster weapons to destroy the Germans in the houses, and even FV Paratroopers only move so fast.  If they had moved at the double my HMGs and mortars would have caused more casualties.  Perhaps one should limit the number of houses or increase the number of turns allowed.  Either way, it just did not seem achievable for the Americans unless we were really missing something (which is quite possible!).  On the other hand, it was fun to use the snow setting and the LW BOTB PGs, so it was fun.  Just not as much for the Americans.

1 comment:

Phil said...

Nice report, a great looking game, beautiful buildings ans minis, and this winter atmosphere is really superb!