While looking over some of my recent ASL purchases, Patch was struck by some of the scenarios in AP8 featuring the 36th Infantry Division in Italy. So, for our next game we went with “Gabriel’s Horn”, which features a chunk of the division getting overrun by the Germans shortly after the Salerno landings, as they were much more familiar with the terrain and infiltrated the American positions at night.

It’s an interesting setup, using all of board 5a, and the middle half of 60. The Americans have seven squads on the hill of 5a, and another five in the dense hilltop town of 60 (both split between 1st Line and Green). The first force has to set up at levels 2 and 3, while the Germans set up anywhere on 5a at least two hexes away from the Americans. The second force has to be within three hexes of 60Q5, which restricts them to a very dense part of town. Both sections have two MMG and two MTR and two BAZ 43s (which have to be used by a crew, or suffer Non-Qualified use penalties; presumably, they’re brand new, and the crews represent the few people specifically trained on them so far). The Germans have fourteen squads (mostly 1st Line, with some elites), the usual MGs, a couple DCs, and some OB-“?” (which the defending Americans don’t get), and four StuGs (two B, two G) enter on turn 2; and they get 80+mm OBA with an Offboard Observer.

The setup allows the Germans to basically surround and cut to ribbons the main American force (who at least get to set up entrenched), who, with an ELR of 2, will tend to collapse. But the Germans have an ambitious goal: they have 6.5 turns to take Control of all the Level 3 hexes on board 5a (there’s 19 of them), and take 4/7 three-hex buildings on board 60, while doing twice as many CVP to the Americans as they take.

Oh, and for another wrinkle, all the Orchards are in-season, while the woods are Olive Groves, and the brush is Cactus Patches (we assumed that both of those should still be Inherent Terrain, since they normally replace Orchards).

I had the defending Americans, and set up in a line mostly meant to try and support itself on the western half of the main hill, though a final three squads were in the east to keep the Germans from setting up there even as I ignored the very easternmost peak. Board 60 set up with an eye to trying to interdict the valley and slow down German attempts to get up to the town. Both MTRs were manned by a HS each, in a square in R6, while a MMG squad in R7 was ready to spot for them. Patch set up loosely around the poor exposed GIs, with two stacks obviously already in position to head into town once securing the hill was underway.

Patch opened with a 16FP shot that only caused a PTC to my hilltop MMG in 5aF4, which had no effect, but that activated his Sniper, who broke one of my MTR HS in 60R6. His third shot hit the same target, and ELRed the squad. The next shot pinned a 8-0 and ELRed the squad in J9. The sixth shot was a ‘2’ on Encircling Fire to wound my 8-1 and Disrupt the other MMG squad. However, that also set off my Sniper, who killed an already-fired 8-1. A pair of ROF shots later, and the BAZ crew in J7 broke.

Patch then went to movement, crawling closer to what was left. In Final Fire, I broke a German squad in H11 who hadn’t fired or moved, and revealed a DC+HS in F6 on a passed 1MC, and my board 60 MMG pinned the leader and squad in P4. Two of my MTRs missed, but one got a solid hit (1MC) H8, which the Germans passed. Advancing Fire pinned my BAZ crew in G6. Overall, both side’s fire rolls were fairly good, and we both felt that it had been a fairly brutal turn.

A HS accepted the surrender of F4, while a different one went in there for CC vs my 7-0, and neither side did anything to the other.

Situation, German Turn 1, showing the full playing area. North is to the left, and the German perimeter markers show where the StuGs are due to come in.
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