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"The Battle of Biazza Ridge I" Topic


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Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP20 Mar 2022 4:58 p.m. PST

All,

Had some fun today, and man has it been a long time coming! Pulling the scenario from my buddy Steve (SOUND OFFICERS CALL!: A Biazza Ridge Scenario for Battlegroup Ready for Your Playtesting!), and with a fresh set of rules (more on that later), the boys and I headed upstairs and got a game in. First time in over a year for me, though I guess I still haven't actually gotten a game in as I really just umpired for the boys, with the elder playing the Germans and the younger playing the Americans.

I changed Steve's scenario in two ways: first, I played on a 6' x 4' table rather than a 4' x 4' table, and then I eliminated the medic from each side's order of battle as 1) I don't have any German medics and 2) the rules I'm using don't have any mechanism for using medics.

So what did we do? It's July 11, 1943, on the island of Sicily, where American paratroopers are facing off against tanks and troops of the Hermann Goering Panzergrenadier Division. The paratroopers have landed inland to screen the beaches as infantry come ashore, and they're being put to the test at a place called Biazza Ridge as the Germans mount a counterattack, advancing towards Gela in order to push the Yanks back into the sea.

And yes, this is listed as "The Battle of Biazza Ridge I," because we're planning on there being a "The Battle of Biazza Ridge II."

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Overview, north is up, with the German baseline to the west (left) and US to the east (right). Biazza Ridge runs from south-southwest to north-northeast across the center of the table, with scattered fields, orchards, hedges, and olive trees scattered across landscape. There is a bombed-out church in the northwest (top left) and a stone farmhouse in the southeast (bottom right), which represents the only hard cover on the table.

The initial dispositions, with Yanks at bottom center right and bottom right and the Germans at center top left and left. The US paratroopers have their 1st Squad (a rifle team and an LMG team) in the field at center bottom right and their CO and engineers near the building at bottom right. The Germans have their 120mm mortar team behind the woods at top left and their three rifle squads at center left/center left top.

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The opposing forces, with US on the right and Germans on the left. Both sides will start with a small proportion of their overall force on the table, the remainder coming in as reinforcements on subsequent turns. And while the US force looks a bit paltry, in the end a Naval Gunfire Control Party is coming onto the table in order to direct the fire of offshore battleships and cruisers.

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A ground level view, where you can see the contours of the ridge, with rises to the south (top left) and north (top right), with the road running through a saddle between them.

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The fight begins with the Germans pushing a squad up onto the crest (far left top), into a very nice position on the north spur of Biazza Ridge in the cover of some olive trees, with a commanding field of fire into the US side of the table (top right/far right).

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The Yanks react by pushing their 1st Squad towards the south spur of Biazza Ridge, but they're Army so they're lagging and only the rifle team gets atop the ridge (top center right, from field at bottom left) while the LMG team is stuck in the trees below (left, with Germans visible at top right, on the other side of the ridge).

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The US rifle team soon finds itself in trouble; isolated and pinned down, the German 3rd Squad sweeps uphill and close assaults them into oblivion!

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General Jumpin' Jim Gavin leads the US counterattack on the south spur!

To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
link

The game was a lot of fun, but I really screwed up the reinforcement piece of it, so we're going to simplify things a bit and give it another shot ASAP. Hopefully you enjoyed the batrep, we certainly did, and we look forward giving it another go as soon as possible.

V/R,
Jack

Legionarius20 Mar 2022 5:31 p.m. PST

Great! Sicily is a great campaign. Our gaming group is currently play testing a large scale game of the entire Sicily campaign where a division is made up of two stands. A great campaign with Americans, British, Canadians, French (and French colonials), Germans, and Italians. Both sides had decent air support and the mountains and rough terrain gave the defenders many advantages. Play on!

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP21 Mar 2022 12:42 p.m. PST

Legionarius,

I agree, and that sounds like quite the campaign, possibly putting both the US 7th Army and British 8th Army on the table at that scale. I've got suitable forces except for the French, which I'm looking to rectify. The real difficulty for me is modeling the mountainous terrain (here and Italy).

V/R,
Jack

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2022 2:08 p.m. PST

Jack,
That was great! Best part was playing with your kids I am sure. Side note I think umpiring counts as playing.

Enjoy

Joe

Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP23 Mar 2022 5:35 p.m. PST

Hey Joe, thanks! And yes, of course, I don't even mind umpiring for them at all, plenty of fun. The funny part was, they actually wanted to team up on one side and have me play the other! I know boys are bound to challenge their father at some point, but 12 and 7??? ;)

And amen! Umpiring absolutely counts, thanks for supporting me against that dastardly Australian! ;)

More to follow!

V/R,
Jack

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