Sunday, November 25, 2012

World at War - Eisenbach Gap: First Moves

This marks my 100th post on this blog and I thought for a long while about how to make it a little special.  The first wargame I ever bought was World at War: Eisenbach Gap and "First Moves" was the first scenario I ever played and for that reason, among others, it remains one of my favorite scenarios to haul out after a long day at work.  I'm not sure what it is about this scenario that keeps calling me back but it could be the beautiful simplicity of it, the raw power of T-72s vs. M1 Abrams tanks or the fact that it's the very first step into the World at War universe.

In any case, I do remember doing a very short AAR of this scenario a while back and I've always thought that it deserved better.  So here it is - a fully detailed AAR of First Moves for Eisenbach Gap.

American Setup:  I put the two Abrams platoons back on the hill south of Eisenbach while the infantry goes way back into the city to avoid it getting pulverized from Soviet artillery.  The ITV is there more as a hope than a real threat.

The Soviets set up on the other side of the board to the west and they get first impulse.  Yahoo!

So the Soviet T-72s moved out to nearest hill, taking cover from American opp fire.

Lucky for the Russians, they pulled their chit and activated twice in a row.  It was off to Eisenbach they went!  Unfortunately, one platoon got massacred by an Abrams platoon as it reached the hill crest.

And although another platoon got destroyed by the American ITV while capturing Bergengipfel, these were acceptable losses for the Soviet commander.  The first objective was completed.

The first turn ended with no American activations and the Soviets danger close to Eisenbach.  Things were looking up for the Warsaw Pact.

Turn 2:

The US activated first in the turn.  The ITV outside of Eisenbach fired at the nearest T-72s but the fire was completely ineffective.

Yankee HQ and one platoon of Abrams on the hills south of Eisenbach fired at the T-72 platoon on the hill to the east of Eisenbach, reducing and disrupting it.

Meanwhile, the other Abrams platoon shifted towards the edge of the hill, hoping to find another field of fire.

Too bad for the Americans, the 1st Guards Tank Division activated and immediately pushed towards the city of Eisenbach.  Two platoons of T-72s completely obliterated Yankee's ITV without taking any casualties.

The Soviet commander pushed another several tank platoons into the city and assaults the US infantry, getting badly hurt in the process with one platoon in T4 eliminated and the other reduced.  The Soviet HQ and tank platoons ended up moving to hex S4 just outside the city to help back up next turn's assault.  Surely a single platoon of infantry couldn't stop half a dozen T-72 platoons!

Turn 3:

Yankee activates first and immediately puts the hurt on the Americans, destroying the remaining Soviet tank platoon in T4.

The American commander decided that there was strength in numbers...

and moved his HQ and Abrams tank platoon to join up with the other Abrams tanks sitting in U7.

The Soviet commander decided to push more tanks into the city.  Again they assaulted the US infantry.  Again they were repelled.

Two more platoons moved through the south of the city and came under opportunity fire from one of Yankee's Abrams platoons on the southern hill.

One T-72 platoon was reduced and the other decided to go with a fake and hit at the American HQ instead.  The assault went poorly and the T-72s were completely destroyed.  Yankee took no casualties.

Mustering all his remaining strength, the Soviet commander took his HQ and 2 tank platoons and followed up the assault with his own.  He disrupted the two American tank platoons and reduced their HQ.  The Soviet units were disrupted but suffered no reductions.

Yankee got the final activation of turn 3 and although it failed to rally its disruptedAbrams, the infantry in Eisenbach crushed the adjacent T-72 platoons.  Somehow the Soviet fortunes had swiftly soured.

Turn 4:

Yankee activated first and still had no luck rallying its Abrams platoons.  The US infantry, however, moved south and took out the remaining Soviet tank platoon sitting in the city.

Tough luck for the Russians.  Yankee activates again, the Abrams rally and they assault the adjacent Soviet tanks.  Since the Russians are disrupted, they can only hit on a "6" in assault.  On the other hand, the Americans are at full strength.

Yankee HQ inflicts four hits on the two disrupted T-72 platoons, eliminating them completely.

Turn 4 and the game is already over.  I don't think I can blame this one on the chit pulls or luck.


I think this AAR demonstrates just how bad of an idea it is to send AFVs into a city with undisrupted infantry there.  Also, you can see the danger of splitting your objectives when you only have a limited force.  The Soviet player rushed into Eisenbach despite having lots of time to achieve his goals. It would have been much better to line up the HQ and pour artillery on the infantry and then assault the city or to have just gone around the city, eliminate the US HQ and then leisurely take Eisenbach...but one or the other!  What's really interesting is how you can see the Soviets basically winning the game in the first couple of turns due to repeated activation and smart positioning but by the end of turn 3, everything went to hell because the armor rushed into the city without any support.

As an aside, I'd like to say a big thanks to everyone for reading and supporting this blog.  There have been times when I wondered if it was really worth it but the comments and Facebook likes as well as the traffic have really kept it going. Thank you!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lock 'n Load: Alternate Settings / Possible Conflicts

One of the great things about the Lock 'n Load squad-based tactical series is its ability to provide interesting new settings under the same ruleset.  The fact that a new LnL game can be played right after you pull it out of the box keeps a lot of players coming back to the series.  It also helps that Mark H. Walker has done a good job of choosing settings that are distinct enough to keep the new games fresh and interesting while at the same time keeping enough new products coming out to keep people interested in the series.

So far in the LnL series, these settings have been covered:

WW2 - western front (Heroes of the Blitzkrieg, Band of Heroes, Swift & Bold, Noville, In Defeat Defiance)
WW2 - eastern front (Dark July, Not One Step Back)
WW2 - North Africa (Mare Nostrum)
WW2 - Pacific (Heroes of the Pacific)
Vietnam War - (Forgotten Heroes: Vietnam, ANZAC attack)
Yom Kippur War - (Heroes of the Faith)
Falkland Islands War (A Ring of Hills)
1985 European War (Heroes of the Gap, Honneur et Patrie)
Somalia, 1993 - (A Day of Heroes)

I know I'm forgetting something...Anyway, it seems that the LnL series has covered a considerable number of conflicts from WW2 until 1993.  Some of these conflicts, such as the Falklands and Somalia, have not been covered extensively by other game companies.  What other conflicts might serve as potentially interesting settings for LnL in future releases?

1.)  1991 Gulf War: Desert Storm

Although it was a particularly one-sided affair, there is actually quite a lot of compelling historical material for LnLP to use in a squad-based game set during the 1991 Gulf War.

First off, the Battle of 73 Easting could be covered in a series of scenarios.  The fierce tank battle that took place on Feb. 26, 1991, could feature a close up series of squad-level engagements between American armor and dug-in Iraqi tanks and men.  Before you jump in and claim that open and flat stretches of desert and long range tank battles don't generally make for interesting and playable scenarios, take a few minutes to research what really happened in this battle.  There were sandstorms that limited visibility and range, berms, buildings, and dug-in positions along with hostile desert terrain. For more information, check out this declassified military report on computer simulations based around the battle.

The Battle of Khafji, the first ground combat of the Gulf War, was also quite interesting as it provided the first real test of Coalition ground forces versus experienced Iraqi troops.  There were a nice mixture of fighting vehicles present at the battle, including the AMX-30, LAV-25, and the V-150.  The Iraqis brought along T-55s, T-72s, and T-62s along with BMPs.  Some of these units rubbed shoulders in Honneur et Patrie already and it made for some excellent battles so I'm sure the same would be true of a game set in a desert town instead of France.

Finally, the Battle for Kuwait International Airport is just begging to be covered by a squad-based tactical game.  On 27th February, the 1st Marines fought it out with elements of the Iraqi Army for control of the airport.  The fighting was fierce and, hey, an airport map would look amazing coming from LnLP, I'm sure.

2.)  Carribean and Central America:  1980s

In the 1980s, the White House was using Low Intensity Conflicts (LICs) along with overt invasions (Grenada and Panama, for example) to try and bend governments in that region to their will, either to stop the spread of communism or to fight drug trafficking.  Of course, the US involvement in places like Honduras and Nicaragua could be covered (Nicaragua has already been a setting for the scenario "An Act of Valor") and the Forgotten Heroes: Vietnam maps do a nice job of substituting SE Asia for Central American jungle and heavy forest.

For those who say there were not enough notable battles fought in these wars, I would counter that there are actually so many it's hard to choose what to cover. From the Invasion of Panama alone, the nighttime airborne assault on Fort Amador as well as the intense special forces assault on the PDF HQ in downtown Panama City (where 2 US special forces helos were shot down and another was forced to crashland in the Panama Canal) would both provide excellent material for an LnL module.

3.)  Operation Iraqi Freedom; 2003

The March 2003 invasion of Iraq is recent enough to make for some interesting material for a game.  The actions that took place at Najaf, Nasiriyah and in the northern part of the country with the Kurds and American special forces working together would be very interesting to examine.  Of course, the huge tank battle between the British and the Iraqis near Basra could also be covered across several scenarios.

One particular scenario I would like to see would be based on the Battle of Umm Qasr, involving the Poles, the US Marines, and the Royal Marines in an amphibious landing followed by heavy fighting that lasted several days.  I think LnLP could do a particularly good job with this product and really bring this recent history to life through its series.

Conclusion:  I'm sure there are dozens of interesting and compelling settings provided by potential, fictional, and real conflicts where the material would be different enough to attract gamers to the series again.  In this article, I've stuck mainly to historical settings that involved American forces but there's no reason the LnL series wouldn't do a terrific job of creating a popular module based on conflicts like the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union in '39-'40 or a near-future Korean conflict.  The beauty of the LnL rules are their flexibility across multiple settings and I hope to see LnLP continue to take full advantage of that in the future.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dawn's Early Light: Southern Thrust - Soviet Setup Options

In my previous post, I talked about two different setup options for the NATO player for the scenario, "Southern Thrust" in LnLP's brigade level WW3 game, "Dawn's Early Light".  In this article, I'd like to look at the Soviet setup.

The Soviets get a big advantage here since they set up after the NATO player.  Therefore, a smart Soviet player is going to need to watch carefully how the NATO player splits his forces in order to find a weakness and exploit it.

In the previous article, I gave an example of a static "forward defense" setup for NATO that probably won't work.  If the NATO player decides for this kind of setup, the Soviet player can easily just split his forces evenly and drive for Eisenbach on the right and the three cities on the left.

The Soviet player sends the 33rd Motorized Rifle Division down on the left.  They should have the Canadians either defeated or badly hurt by the afternoon of Day 1.  After that, it's a simple matter of splitting up your brigades into two separate forces.  One force should rush for the cities.  You'll probably take Jungweiler without much of a fight and then grab Schneiderberg and Mittelbaum without much resistance.  The other Soviet brigade should be sent down towards the southwest to cut off NATO reinforcements entering the board.  A more cautious Soviet player may want to keep a couple of token units from the 33rd MRD up near Stahlhammer AFB just to protect it, but it's probably not even necessary.

The 1st Guards Tank Division to the east can easily outmaneuver the US armor elements.  Simply send a brigade or two to tie up the Americans while the rest of your armor slips around them and heads towards Eisenbach.  The Soviet player can also send some reinforcements over the bridge in the center of the map just to help out the 33 MRD in the unlikely event that it runs into trouble or delays in taking out the Canadians.  It might be worth sending a couple of units down towards A17 where the NATO player can send in reinforcements.

With this kind of approach, it's highly likely the Soviets will be able to win.  Use your artillery assets to take out Eisenbach and the other cities and if you get the 2nd Airborne, land them into any newly captured cities, which frees up your other units to attack any stubbornly-defended NATO cities.

Let's look at another possible NATO setup and some possible moves for the Soviets.

The above NATO setup creates considerable problems for the Soviet player.  Although reaching the objectives is going to be much easier this time, there are some careful NATO traps set for the Soviets.  Furthermore, NATO basically has control over the bridge in the center of the map, which makes it harder for the Warsaw Pact units to help each other out, while making it easier for NATO to do the same.

With the standard two-pronged attack as outlined above, the Soviet player, unless he is very lucky, will probably not take 3 of 4 cities on the left flank.  NATO's tighter defensive positions around Jungweiler, Schneiderberg and Mittelbaum probably mean that the 33MRD will need to commit all of its brigades to taking thos cities.  This means that NATO reinforcements will enter the map from the southwest with no resistance and then damage the 33MRD beyond repair.

On the right flank, things don't look so rosy either.  Sure, the Soviet player will get forces down to Eisenbach easily and probably even take the city.  However, the NATO player will probably send his full-strength armor units down to slaughter the 1GDT tanks and men as they assault on the city. There's a very good chance that the Americans will re-take the city at some point after inflicting some horrifying losses on the Russians.

The ideal approach for the Soviets here may be to simply abandon one of the flanks, set up a defensive force around Stahlhammer AFB and put the combined strength of the 33 MRD and 1GDT together for one big push. Personally, I would recommend hitting the right flank and going for Eisenbach.  The left flank with the forest and rough hexes are slow-moving and the units are hemmed in between the mountains and the edge of the board.  The right flank near Eisenbach has plenty of open ground for maneuver.

In this situation, the 1GDT goes directly for the tanks of the US 5th while the 33MRD goes straight for Eisenbach.  The 1st Guards Tank will probably defeat the US armor, while the Canadians will probably rush straight east to defend the bridge crossing hexes or even Eisenbach itself.  Either way, things work well for the Russians.  Eisenbach cannot be held under an assault by a full division.  The US 5th will be tied up by the entire 1st Guards Tank Division and, if the Soviets can manage to crush the US armor quickly enough, they can rush the survivors over the bridge to take the now-undefended cities to the west.

The NATO player could counter this kind of approach a few different ways.  A savvy US player will see the Soviet trap after setup and withdraw the US 5th tanks east across the river and defend the crossing.  The Canadians could let the 33MRD take Eisenbach and focus all their defense efforts on the bridges.  A particularly daring NATO player can send NATO reinforcements up towards Stahlhammer AFB to try and steal it from under the Soviets' noses and garner a victory point.

As you can see from this article and the previous one,  using different setup options in DEL and abandoning the tired static defense/standard attack patterns makes the game much more interesting for both players.  Good players of DEL will immediately recognize the importance of controlling the bridges on the map and throwing the opponent off guard by taking some gambles during setup.  Of course, selecting and using assets, having your different forces work together, and determining where and how to commit reinforcements are other important aspects of the game and I'll be covering these in future articles.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dawn's Early Light: Southern Thrust - NATO Setup Options

"Southern Thrust" is the name of scenario 3 for "Dawn's Early Light", LnLP's brigade-level combat game set in the World at War universe where the Soviets are rolling through West Germany in 1985.

In "Southern Thrust", the NATO forces, consisting of the US 5th Armored Division the 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (4CMBG), are harassing the Soviets on their southern flank in the Eisenbach gap as the Soviets push through towards the Rhine and on towards France and world domination.  The Soviet 33rd Motorized Division and the 1st Guards Tank Army are sent to take care of these pesky varmints and have a few objectives to complete on the way.

The Warsaw Pact forces start north of row M on the map while NATO sets up south of row I for a classic north-south battle where the Soviets will try to capture Eisenbach along with any three  of four cities to the west of it.  If they can inflict some serious losses on the NATO units along the way and preserve their own force, they can earn some extra VPs.  The Soviets also need to keep hold of Stahlhammer AFB, which they captured on their initial push through the gap.

Both sides start out feeling the pressure.  The scenario is only two days long, which puts the pressure on the Soviets to move fast and get quick results while NATO has only limited resources to deal with the Soviet push south.  The fact that both sides start with a reduced number of armor brigades doesn't make it any easier for either side.

I'd like to look here at a few possible set up options for NATO and the Soviets.  Since the NATO forces must set up first, I'll look at them.

With limited resources to start out with, the NATO player has to be a bit crafty and play the odds that the Soviets are going to try a two pronged approach from the south to try for both Eisenbach and the four cities west of the river near Eisenbach.

A basic NATO setup that might work is to just set the 4CMBG to the west and the armor of the US 5th on the right flank, stack some infantry in the cities and hope for the best.  This isn't a bad strategy and it has worked for me on occasion.  The problems with this setup are twofold:

1.)  The 4CMBG will probably be crushed by the Soviets rather quickly.  With only three units (albeit with tough infantry), the Soviets will probably apply enough pressure to come down through the forest and rough hexes, overwhelm one or two Canadian combat elements and then saunter down to capture the cities to the east of the river.  They will probably also send a nice little force to the southwest in order to stall or block your reinforcements from arriving in a timely manner.

2.)  The US 5th Armoroed Division tanks will probably fall and even if they don't, it really doesn't matter.  There is enough open ground south of hex I to tear a a pile of brigades down towards Eisenbach and take it while the rest of the Soviets in 1GT tie up the remaining American tanks.

The beauty of this setup for the Soviet player is that he/she doesn't need both plans to necessarily work.  If one fork succeeds in its push towards its goals, it will apply enormous pressure on the NATO forces on the other flank.

So how about an alternate setup?

I find that the above setup, although not ideal, is much more realistic for the NATO player and provides a much greater chance of preventing the Soviets from achieving their goals.

First off, the Canadians are set much further back in a defensive position that centers around three cities, Jungweiler, Mittelbaum, and Schneiderberg.  With the road network that exists between the cities, the infantry and tank forces can move much faster to block approaching Soviets and reinforce cities where NATO resistance is crumbling.  Keeping the two very tough Canadian infantry brigades in closed defensive city terrain certainly makes the Soviets' job much harder.  The Canadian tank unit can be used to move up quickly on the roads and strike at isolated Soviet units.  To make up for the Canadian lack of numbers on the left flank, I usually direct any airstrike or gunship assets to this side of the board.

On the right flank, the US 5th has set up next to the river, keeping the door wide open for the Soviet tank forces to rush at Eisenbach.  The plan here is simple.  The Americans will let the Soviets approach the beleagured city and then rush at their forces, closing the gate in the process.  The Soviets have a major disadvantage when attacking Eisenbach, which is the difficulty in surrounding it due to the river.  The Americans have purposefully set up near a bridge to block Soviet access to the western bank, forcing them to take a bad approach to assaulting Eisenbach.  While the Soviet forces pile up on the east bank, the US will send its M1s to hurt vulnerable units.

By using movement, defensive terrain, and smart use of assets, the NATO player will have a much better chance of keeping the two prongs of the Soviet attack from linking up by using this setup rather than the more obvious (but highly vulnerable) "forward defense" setup proposed in the first part of this article.  Next up, I'll examine the Soviet setup options!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Star Wars Miniatures: Hoth Mini-Battle

With the recent Disney purchase of Lucasfilm and the announcement of new Star Wars sequels on the way in 2015, I thought I would take a little break from modern warfare to have a little fun in a galaxy far far away.  Star Wars Miniatures was a Wizards of the Coast collectible miniatures game released in 2004 and discontinued in 2010.  when WotC let the license go, much to the disappointment of the game's small but loyal fan base.  I don't play miniatures games very often but they're fun to haul out once in a while and I feel the need to mercilessly occupy some serious real estate in our tiny apartment for the better part of a day.

Anyway, without further ado, here's an AAR of a Star Wars Miniatures Hoth Battle.  I used figures from the base set, the "Battle for Hoth" expansion, and the booster packs to create a simple scenario.

I start out purchasing 160 point armies for both the Rebels and Imperials  That makes this a medium-size skirmish.  Faced with the choice of buying really big powerful stuff or lots of little things, I decided for a mix. 

 The Rebel Alliance had lots of ground troops, Leia, Han, and a nice snowspeeder to help it out.

The Empire went with an AT-ST trooper from "Blizzard One" task force, along with heavy e-blaster and a ton of snowtroopers to carry through with the main assault.  The Empire's objective was to find and enter the hidden Rebel base while the Rebels tried to hold them off for six turns.

Simply put, the Imperials start off at one end of the map, setting up within 5 hexes of the map edge while the Rebels do the same at the other end of the map.  I rolled initiative and the Rebels won.

The Rebels started off big, sending off their snowspeeder to hit at the AT-ST.   On its first pass, the snowspeeder missed with both shots and the AT-ST immediately shot it down with a die roll of 20.  The first turn was not even finished and the Rebels had lost 1/3 of the points from their forces.

It was time for the Imperials to rush their troops forward.  Two squads of snowtroopers rushed towards the base entrance, firing at anything that moved.

By the end of the first turn, the Imperials had covered half the ground they needed in order to reach the Rebel base entrance.

Not to be defeated so quickly, the Rebels took up positions behind cover and waited to ambush the oncoming Imperials.

The two sides converged around several rocky outcroppings.  Blaster fire filled the air.  Stormtroopers started dying.  The Rebels let loose with their anti-vehicle cannon in the rear, damaging but not destroying the AT-ST that clanked towards them.

Han Solo, riding a tauntaun in the center of the map, picked off a couple of stormtroopers as they rushed by.

Two rebels leapt into the trench near one of the base entrances and started returning fire against the oncoming squad of snowtroopers.

The Rebels in the trench take out one of the snowtroopers while Han takes out two stormtroopers on the other side of the map.

The trench provides great protection from Imperial fire and another rebel soldier jumps in and helps deliver heavy fire at the snowtroopers.  It's turning into a bloodbath on the Imperial left flank!

The AT-ST starts picking off rebels.  Han Solo is taken out by a barrage of fire from the AT-ST's linked cannons.  As a Star Wars fan, it hurts just to write that sentence!

On the next turn, the AT-ST turns it's attention on the Rebel troopers in the trench to its left.  At this point, it is simply a death-dealing machine.  Unfortunately, the Imperials do not have the numbers to follow up with any assault on the base entrance.  The Rebels have been very effective with their ambushes and deadly accurate with their fire.  Dead snowtroopers and stormtroopers litter the battlefield.

On the remaining turn, two remaining stormtroopers make a dash for the base entrance near the edge of the map but they are killed by Leia and a rebel trooper.  The game ends after the sixth turn and the Rebels have just managed to hang on.

Conclusion:  The AT-ST was very effective in solving the big problems (Rebel snowspeeder and Han) but trying to use it on the Rebel troopers was like trying to hit a fly with a sledgehammer.  Leia's special ability is that non-unique characters (i.e. "cannon fodder") that are killed get a chance to re-enter battle again on the next turn with a roll of 16+.  This basically saved the day for the Rebels as they could get guys back into the fight as fast as they were taken out.

The lack of any special leader for the snowtroopers or stormtroopers (save for officers who got picked off right away by Rebel ambushes) meant that the Imperials could only shove guys at the Rebels and hope for a lucky break on one of the flanks, which never happened.  Given a second shot at this scenario, I would choose Vader instead of an AT-ST, which gives considerable benefits to the stormtroopers and snowtroopers.  Vader's force powers are also impressive and would have been able to take out the big stuff just as effectively as the AT-ST.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Line of Fire 8: Lock 'n Load - Fiery Baptism

Going through some of my back issues of LnLP's Line of Fire magazine, I found a little gem that I had missed the first time around and decided to give it a go.  "Fiery Baptism" is a scenario that takes place in Algiers in 1943 at the start of Operation Torch, the British-American invasion of North Africa.

Despite their attempts to covertly contact the French commanders in the region and request they join the Allies, not all the French military leaders in Algiers could be persuaded. As a result, the Americans found themselves under fire from French forces on some of the beach landing sites. "Fiery Baptism" pits the French and Americans against one another on a beautiful map included as part of the issue (which can also be used for a scenario for "Island War").  

The French set up on the north part of the map with a handful of troops and a machine gun.  In the west part of the map, there are some 1-6-4s in a house while over to the west, there's a machine gun and a hero with another squad.  The French will try to make their stand here.

Further out on the east side of the map is Adc Decotes and a squad.  There's not much cover here so they sit out near some low crops and await the American arrival.

The Americans make a beach landing with Lt. Lewis and several 1-6-4s on the left flank.  Captain Steel is in the middle.  The US objective is to take all the buildings on the map in six turns.

Cpl Barks and a lone 1-6-4 squad are on the right flank.

So here's a final look at our map, positions and the general direction of intended movement over the course of the game.

The French get initiative on the first round and the machinegun rips into Cpl Barks and his men on the beach.

Lt. Lewis on the left flank advances up off the beach and occupies a small house.

On the right flank, the lone 1-6-4 squad moves off the beach and comes under fire from Adc Decotes and his men but the Americans are unharmed.

By the end of the turn, Cpt. Steel, in the center, has made it just off the beach and into a house while he advances a squad up towards the French stronghold.  A French hero, Felix, sneaks up to the American position.

Lt. Lewis sends a squad up to a small building full of French soldiers and the Americans are eliminated.

Adc. Decotes fires on the lone American squad on the right flank but only succeeds in creating a US hero!

Lewis sends more men towards the house on the left flank.  Despite shaking up a squad in the house, a French hero is created, making the American job much harder.

The hero adjacent to Captain Steel eliminates the nearby American squad in melee.  Captain Steel directs his men to fire their .30 cal MG and a BAR rifle at the house to the north.  Meanwhile, the lone American squad with the hero on the right flank scurry into the nearby house.  

Descotes decides to try and cover the American approach to the French stronghold in the center of the board.  Over on the left flank, Lt. Lewis is trading fire fruitlessly with the French in the nearby building.  Neither side can seem to gain any advantage.  The US commander decides enough is enough on Turn 4 and melee the French troops.

Lt. Lewis and his platoon enter the nearby building (on the left), soaking up opportunity fire from the French machinegun and the squads sitting to the right in the French stronghold.  Unharmed, Lewis and the men start to cut down the French in close quarters combat.

With no threat from opportunity fire and having eliminated the nearby French hero, Captain Steel and his platoon advance towards the French stronghold and engage in melee with the French machine gun team.

Cpl. Barks has been sitting on the beach since the beginning of the game, trying to rally his squad with no success. Disgusted, he takes the BAR automatic rifle from his shaken squad (which is actually a no-no as per the FAQ, I later found out) and advance up the beach himself.

Adc Decotes sees an opportunity to take back the previously held American buildings.  He runs into the nearby building but a US .30 cal MG opens up and shakes his squad.  Cpl. Barks eliminates Adc Decotes and his men shortly thereafter.

By the end of turn 6, Cpt. Steel and his men have taken the French stronghold in the center of the map.

However, one French hero has managed to avoid elimination in melee at this point.  With a lone French soldier still contesting one of the buildings, the Americans lose the scenario in an agonizing defeat.