Panzer Battles: East of the Orne - Part II AAR

Game:  Panzer Battles Normandy by Wargame Design Studio
Scenario designer:  David Freer

Turn 13 zoomed out shot of 90% of the battlefield.  You can see the Canadian para battalion (lighter brown battalion) is fighting to secure the Merville battery.
To read my Part I AAR click here.

A German counterattack is underway as the 21st Panzer Division moves forward towards my drop zones.
After posting my first AAR, I received a great tip from David Freer the scenario designer and Wargame Design Studio chief to start combining my platoons into companies to gain the benefits of fatigue recovery.  That's quite a challenge given the scattered drops of the division.  I have managed in places to do so and I am benefitting from the cohesiveness of my 13th Para Bn around Herouvillette as the 21st Panzer counterattacks there.  I would also add that my knocking off the Merville battery closer to the beaches was due in large part to having a well organized Canadian battalion give it a go.

With Merville secured and the German counterattacks against the landing zones of 6th Airborne less heavy than expected, I send a flying column east for the Robehomme objective.

Casualties are piling up but so too are my objective point totals.  

The fighting for the Merville battery objective is over.  My Canadians carried the day here with an assist from some 3rd Brigade paras who dropped too far north.  
The undefended Bures objective was just 750 meters away from my flying column of Paras when the game ended.  That is the difference between a "Draw" in game turns and an "Allied Minor Victory."

This 21st Panzer division counterattack is hammering my positions through Herouvillette at scenario end.  I had to move my division AT gun batteries into the woods and the village itself to turn back the two columns attacking me. Had I continued playing beyond the scenario limit it would have been a rough afternoon.
I managed a "Draw" with heavy casualties.  
Final Thoughts:

This is a great scenario.  A night parachute drop over heavily defended Normandy turned out to be a meat grinder.  I took command with over 700 casualties after turn 1.

Rallying my men at night proved to be difficult.  My units ran into small units of German defenders and made me believe for half the scenario that it was a much larger force fighting me.  It wasn't until daylight that I started to take more risks with the men I had.  The Robehomme attack and the Bures flying column came late in the scenario and had I launched them sooner I would have achieved an "Allied Minor victory" instead of a "Draw" most likely.

The counterattack by 21st Panzer Division against the LZ is a serious threat.

I should have sent Howard's advance force across the Orne bridge at Benoutville during the night.  Instead I sent them to the east and had to make a daylight crossing with heavy casualties.

Unit cohesion is important and fatigue can make some troops useless.

I liked this scenario so much, I started work on a short what-if scenario covering Operation Mallard (the later afternoon drop of the 6th Airlanding brigade).

Thanks for reading!



Anonymous said…
Permainan Judi iz best super game collection here iz it
Permainan Judi
Bert Saerens said…
Bad luck on getting the draw. Good effort though as it seems a tough scenario.
Chris said…
It is a tough scenario. I am in th eiddle of playing the 40 turn longest day scenario which includes British 6 airborne as well as both american airborne divisions.
Anonymous said…
Hi, I just discovered your blog and it looks like a fine thing to read over morning coffee :) Just a question about the game. My experiences with JT games are limited to Napoleonic titles from years ago and those games left me with impression that they've had worst,basic AI ever. I feel those games were practically unplayable in single player. Is it better now? What are your thoughts on AI in this scenario?
Chris said…
Hi Anon thanks for the comment I do think the Panzer Battles game AI is better. There is a demo if you want to test it. You can find it at! Thanks for reading.
Unknown said…
Hey, I love this game with its unique platoon level combat. I find parachute scenarios to be very frustrating with the losses often sustained on the drop also the disruption of almost all units. I guess it really emphasizes the struggle and general disorganization after a large airborne landing. I remember watching an interview of veterans who served in the 101st Airborne in Normandy talking about how they had these leg bags that would hold their primary weapon and ammunition. They said most of the men who jumped lost those leg bags during the jump so many landed without a firearm! I dont remember the exact Quote but it went something like this "I climbed out of that tree with my jump knife and a few candy bars ready to take on the German army.".