This was very much a ‘work in progress’ game. My (Late War) Aufklarungsschwadron company is from the 2nd Panzer Division, and Richard has been working on a US Airborne Company (one of PP’s Black Boxes) … the inspiration for the Americans has, all along, been Dick Winters’s Band of Brothers.
Fortuitously, it is entirely possible that the two forces ran into each other round about the 19th – 20th December 1944.
Lead units from 2nd Panzer ran into the Bastogne perimeter around Foy and Noville on the 19th December 1944, by which time the 101st had been trucked in to shore up the bare defences of the hub town.
From what we know, 2 PZR’s recon battalion pushed around the north of Bastogne (in order to open up the road and by-pass the defences), while Easy Company was sent up to their celebrated fox holes in the woods around Foy.
So, historically, my PBI company force and Richard’s may have missed each other by half a mile or so, and maybe half a day … but it may be that some elements of the respective units did fight each other on or around the 19th/20th December …
(Work in Progress: Peter Pig figures painted by Richard Lockwood)
We are both working on some frozen terrain for the winter scenario, but this was very much a test game … so we gave the units a trial on a more generic battlefield.
The game itself was relatively quick … these German reconnaissance companies deploy a massive amount of firepower, and the Americans had deployed a little too far forward. They just took too much incoming MG42 fire in the opening phases to be able to get off the back foot, and the main attacker objectives were seized almost before the defenders could respond.
I suspect all fellow wargamers will know what happened when the paras hit their ‘5 down’ break test … After all, they were rated as Veterans …
So, although the game clock showed plenty of time left for the action, time was running out for Easy Company who were falling back to find a less exposed position on which to make a more determined stand.
So this was a one-sided but useful test game: Richard is going to make some tweaks to the American organisation, and we will be working on some winter terrain tiles to get the look and feel right.
Nevertheless, an inspiring game of an action very close to the historical narrative – and one which left us both browsing and investing at Warfare the following morning …
We need more trees …
By the way … I caught a film on Satellite the other day … Battleground – a close parallel to the modern Band of Brothers TV adaptation with which so many of us are familiar. I suspected it would be a load of old …. But I found myself quickly drawn into a very engaging treatment of the story. Well worth a look if it pops up on your listings.