Ardennes Game – December 16

On December 16, 2017 we played our final game of that year.  This was a 15mm German vs. American battle set loosely during the Battle of the Bulge.

Looking across (long ways) the table. The Germans will enter from the left and try to exit off the right. The Americans will set up (hidden) on the table.

Alex and Ed were given time to secretly deploy their forces and decide where to put their mine fields These anti-tank mine fields played a big part in the American defence.  The Germans had given the possibility of mines no thought.  The Americans had not realized how effective they would be.

German Kampfgruppen on their left flank – Phil’s units. One group is mostly Tiger tanks with a little infantry. The other is an infantry company supported by Stug III’s.

Near the center of the table German artillery has hit a village and set part of it on fire hoping to drive any Americans out into the snow.

Steve's units were behind a hill and weren't taken under fire on the first turn, so he hit the village and some woods with artillery. Jay advanced right into a mine field losing his armor support. Part of the unit was destroyed by mines and the rest knocked out by Alex's M36 tank destroyers which were covering the mine field.

In the foreground Steve’s kampfgroup (infantry and Panther tanks) advance on the German right flank. Editor's note: Yes the photo is rotated 90 degrees. Click on the photo and it will display correctly.

In the center of the battle Jay’s units (infantry and Mark IV’s) have hit a mine field and stumbled upon some of Alex’s infantry in the woods. On the German left the infantry dismounted and were hit by mortar and machine gun fire. The Sturmgeshutzen are trying to push the infantry out of the woods. The Tigers are advancing slowly on the German left..

Steve’s Panthers advance but are hit in the flank when they come around the hill by Ed’s M10’s.

Alex's infantry is able to hold the woods in the center and the American right. Phil's Tigers advance slowly dueling with some Shermans in the woods.

In the center the attack is bogged down. The American infantry hold the village and 2 pieces of woods. They are able to direct a lot of machine gun and mortar fire on the deployed German infantry. American tanks and tank destroyers are taking a toll on the German armor.

Ed's M10s are taken out by Steve's Panthers but cause enough damage that the Panthers are killed by some Shermans. Steve's infantry find more mine fields.

Ed’s M10’s did not duck out of sight after hitting the Panthers and retaliation was swift.

Steve’s Panthers firing up Ed’s M10’s. Some of Steve’s infantry has also stumbled into a minefield.

Ed’s remaining armor (some short 75mm Shermans) take out another Panther and damage the last one.

The German attack never really got going. The Americans hid in the woods and were able to stay hidden until they could get the first shots at close range. The mine fields in the center also took their toll.

At the end the Germans had their Tigers and very little supporting infantry. The Americans still had some Shermans and about 3 companies of infantry.

Atribution:All photos and commentary by Ed Sansing.  Such editing as was done (yes this included the photo on its side) by Jay Stribling.