Breaking Fortress Holland No. 5

The Endgame

0415

Guderian’s plan wins with one vote (to zero to zero), so the 481st Regiment cancels its attack along the Mill axis and receives its orders to exit the map at the northern exit point.

0455
The leading elements of I/454 have exited the map, but the rest are taking a nap, maddeningly near the exit point. (They’ve been working hard for thirty-six hours, though, so I’m content to give them a pass for a few hours. They’ll get off in time.)

0600

II/454 had orders to move exit the map, attacking as necessary, and so they’re providing security for our move off the map, attacking an infantry gun battery. III/454 moves past them.

You’ll notice the 481st Regiment’s HQ is highlighted, and its route is showing on the map. Unfortunately, the 481st’s staff planned the the move before the morning brought more of the enemy into view, and chose rather a poor route. It’ll take them longer to replan the whole move from the starting point than it will for them to bypass enemy positions, so I’ll leave it be.

0700

III/454 is well on its way off the map, one of its companies having exited already. The other two are still on the way. II/454 attacks the headquarters unit southwest of the track our troops are leaving along, which has been firing on us repeatedly.

Earlier in the day, I gave orders to one of the pioneer companies attached to I/476, holding the south flank of our penetration, to head for the exit point. It’s currently underneath the counter for the 454th Regiment HQ, also well on its way.

0845

III/454 has exited the map altogether now. The other pioneer company attached to I/476 receives its orders to exit.

II/454 engages the enemy east of Trent, and they’re rapidly overwhelming the HQ unit there. The leading elements of the 481st Regiment engage a headquarters west of Langenboom. Airstrikes and artillery support both assaults.

1015

An hour and a half later, II/454 and II/481 have defeated their associated headquarters. The 481st Regiment replans its move, bending further south from the remaining Dutch unit to the north.

1115

All of the 454th Regiment except its headquarters has exited the map, and we’re very close to finishing the objective. Whether or not we do will hinge on how quickly the front of the 481st Regiment can cover the last two kilometers.

1130

The 5th Company of the 481st Regiment double-times it off the map, finishing off the objective.

1200

The scenario ends with a minor victory, which will give us minor advantages starting the next scenario. Our troops made a good account for themselves, exacting a casualty ratio of about 6.5 to 1.

The final situation reveals that the Dutch have a reasonably hefty force able to contest the Cuijk bridge. I figure the follow-up elements will take care of them, given that they’re likely in poor supply.

That’s Melee at Mill. I’m gratified to report that following your directions bought me my best-ever result in this scenario. I had a look at the starting positions of the next one, and man, is it going to be tricky. Not only is the map eight kilometers longer (a full thirty across), we have a very small force on the map to start, slower reinforcements, stiffer opposition, and the first French units to contend with.

Look for it to start sometime in mid-January. I’ll let you know when.

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2 Responses to Breaking Fortress Holland No. 5

  1. Tim James says:

    That’s the annoying thing about Command Ops. You take every major objective only to see the little glasses half-full of victory point juice because you didn’t take them early enough.

    • Fishbreath says:

      Never let it be said that the German high command was big on realistic timetables!

      That aside, there are some scenarios where it’s important to hold ground at the end, as opposed to holding it over time. IIRC, during the Bulge AARs the last two Christmases, most of the American objectives were completion instead of occupation, or at the very least had a completion component—hence why I ended up with a minor victory instead of a decisive one at Bastogne, because sneaky Germans infiltrated into the perimeter around Bastogne.

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