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Welcome to the site where the story of the battle is as important as the battle itself. Here we will focus on men thrust into extraordinary situations of life and death. They must lead other men with duty and honor to meet their countries objectives. Some will be blessed with great skill, some will carry great shortcomings. No matter what nation, no matter what war, no matter what theater, they are all called to move their Platoon or Squadron forward!

These are their individual stories as played out using my various campaign rules . Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you to use your own troops, airmen and sailors to accomplish your own great heroics.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Parker's crossroads Dec 1944

 Sometimes you just want to play a Battle of the Bulge scenario.  My brother plays some wargames and likes straightforward historical stuff.  He wants US/German in normandy or the Ardennes.  German/Russian at stalingrad; you get the picture.  He always shakes his head at my ethiopean battles or my Romanian navy.  Well John, occasionally I can play a straightforward battle too!  

Battalion Forward is coming along and I think I have the defend scenario mapped out.  I have some work done on the meeting engagement and haven't even started on the attacking scenarios.  [ Stuart, let me know what wars you primarily play.]  So to take a break from playtesting I modified a scenario I found on the Battlefront website called Parker's crossroads.  I am guessing that most readers know this was an ad hoc defense of vital crossroads by Maj Parker during the battle of the bulge.  In my reading they didn't have as much stuff as presented in the scenario so I chopped some stuff out.  In defense I had a glider CO plus a platoon of 37mm ATGs + Shermans.  The rest of the sherman company would follow.  Attacking would be 2 companies of panzer grenadiers with 2 platoons of Pz Ivs and 2 platoons of Stugs with my lone Panther coming in as a platoon.  

US forces     I didn't have enough Shermans painted up yet so Lee's had to substitute.  The TDs never made it onto the board.

German forces    Not enough Pz IVs so Pz IIIs substitute.  Still not sure if I am going to go with 6mm or stick with 15mm for WW II so am not buying anything until I decide!

The crossroads looking from one of the two german entrances.  US puts a platoon of infantry in each collection of buildings.  Shermans cover each road.  

Closer look at the defenses.  

US position 1

US position 2   [ the near buildings will be reduced to rubble shortly by german artillery killing 1 squad.]

Position 3 including battalion HQ

German battalion HQ sets up

After an opening bombardment the germans lay down smoke and 2 companies advance.

The Germans move to position 2 with 2 platoons of tanks and 1 platoon of infantry.  [ told you the near buildings got rubbled.]  The shermans take a side shot at a Panzer IV...

Bingo!  Surprise gone the sherman backs up through the rubble and gets stuck! 

Early stage of the battle top to bottom:

1st company supported by Stugs attacking position 1.  1 stug KOed by a 37mm gun hiding in ambush.  The Stug platoon is having trouble coordinating their support. [ bad manuver die rolls.]  1 infantry platoon dismounted and ready to advance.

  2nd company charged with taking position 2 and 3.  1st platoon taking casualties in front of village.  3rd platoon dismounting and being hit by light mortars. 

 2nd platoon is trying to take 3rd position by coup de main and finding that it is defended by an ATG and full platoon of infantry.

  2nd platoon 2nd CO having trouble with their coup de main.

A picture of 1st company's attack

With tank support 1st platoon finally close assaults the glider troops in front of position 2.  Both sides are badly bruised but it is the para's who break first and run away.  [ Being outnumbered 2:1 probably contributed some.]

1st CO also assaults the outer defensive works of their target but are not as successful.  

After their outer defenses fall, survivors from position 2 retreat to position 1.  As the shermans fall back across the road shots ring out brewing them up.  Where did they come from???

I see three panthers have entered the battlefield!  

1st CO finally occupies the outer defensive works of position 1.   2nd platoon is now ready to enter the fray.  

Meanwhile second CO reorganizes and prepares to assault position 3.  [ Company border is between position 1 and 2].  The CO/CC requests smoke so he can cover the 350 yards.  Top left, another platoon of shermans arrive and find hull down positions near position 3.  they start to trade shots with Panzers occupying postion 2 in the village.  [right]

Close up of the sherman platoon near position 3.  The sticks indicate hull down status.  Artillery shells position 3 in preparation for the assault by Company 2.  

No picture but the panther destroys 2 shermans and the other 2 flee to position 1.  

The assault begins!  2 Panzer IVs are taken out by the shermans across the village.  

Meanwhile 1st CO infantry has not been stellar.  A US bazooka armed squad moved up and took out 1 stug plus a squad.  The germans are now down to 2 reduced squads [ I play that squads can take 2 disorders before elimination.  In addition each disorder result is 1 vehicle KOed.]  They make one more valiant attempt to take the position.  Just a little harder...

It fails with one squad KOed and the other in retreat.  But this picture shows it was a near run thing.  The US had 1 reduced squad pinned on the ground floor, 1 in the courtyard and MGs and company HQ upstairs.

Back to the assault...

 Alas the US wins the initiative and the battalion CO calls down artillery on the advancing germans 100 yards away.  It is not pretty.  

The 2 US squads were depleted by previous artillery but still had enough guns to mop up what was left of the attack.  Parker's crossroads were safe for now!

Great game that really showed off the system.  I really felt like I was controlling companies and trying to get armor to coordinate with the infantry.  In the actually battlefront scenario the Germans had another company of infantry and more tanks but I thought this worked fine.  15mm worked well though the armor seemed close together.  I just don't know if it is worth buying all new stuff.  I don't have enough WW III or desert so that makes sense.  I have alot of western WW II though. 

 Just a couple of other pictures of other games I have played recently...

  This is for Jack if he is done with baseball.  Marines in Iraq. [ here 15mm is beautiful] 

 Falcons against some Mig 23s I just painted up.  The above result was not unexpected.

Haven't got this on the board yet but my first french ship ever painted up.  1/700.  Can fight my british or my americans.




  1. Great post Joe, looks like it's really coming together how many scenarios are you thinking for both attack and defend?

  2. Stu, sorry just saw this. Probably 6 or 7 right now. Don't know if hasty attack and attack will be separate or just a variation.