Having played the first introductory scenario I wanted to find out how the game plays solo. Would it be interesting and tense? How much would the game support solo-play? Would the result be a forgone conclusion with the Germans standing no chance to fend of the mighty US forces?
Planning for the Battle of Aachen
With the preset VPs it is quite obvious that the Americans need to attack with their point of main effort south of the Aachen Forest. The 3rd Armored Division is to attack on an axis from RAEREN towards KORNELIMÜNSTER. 1st Infantry Division will support this attack by covering the left flank of the 3rd Armored by attacking the enemy in the Westwall positions south-west of AACHEN. 9th will support the attack by advancing towards Vennwegen to cover the right flank of the 3rd Armored.
The doughboys of the US 26th Infantry Regiment push back the German defenders but get a bloody nose. They loose 2 SP the Germans lose one and take an Effectiveness Check that it fails. Both sides take losses with no ground gained or lost.
The US 1st Infantry Division makes a first breach into the Aachen Forest. After some fierce fighting the badly organised German infantry succumb to the experienced US troops. The situation is stabilised when the Germans send in the 3. Panzer-Division with their superior Panther tanks.
On the north rim of the Eifel the 9th US Infantry Division advances unopposed and gains the town of Roetgen. Only weak German forces are blocking the way towards Kornelimünster and Stolberg.
In the northern sector of the US VII. Corps the 1st US Infantry Division breaks through the Aachen Forset at several places. This gains the Americans 10 VPs. Aachen is now well in sight of the US elite division. The Germans rush more infantry and armour to plug the gaps in the defensive line.
In the southern sector of the US VII. Corps the US 3rd Armored Division is well established beyond the Siegfried line. The division accouts for 10 VPs. The US 9th Infantry Division have taken several smaller towns adding 20 VPs.
This first attempt to play scenario 2 ends in 40 VPs for the Americans. This is just enough points for a draw. In hindsight I think the US player needs to be more aggressive. The US generals were quite routhless when it came to drive forward their combat troops. The rationale was that risking lives now would shorten the war and thus save more lives on the long run. Moreover many US generals were keen to make a name of themselves.
Alltogether I like the game mechanics even though handling the Current Combat Loss markers can become somewhat fiddly. The Formation Activation works well, the combat results make sense, the Combat Multiplier markers create a fog of war that I find especially useful in solo-gaming.
I certainly owuld liek to play this game face-to-face. Moreover given the local color of the Battle for Aachen I presume this game will find its way on my gaming table every now and then.