Mark H. Walker kindly made “Birds of Prey”, a bonus pre-order scenario for Band of Heroes. available for all to play last week. You can download it from here.
In this scenario, the 101st Airborne meets up with the German Fallschirmjager patrolling the area near Carentan on June 11th, 1944. It’s an infantry-only scenario that lasts six turns so it’s a great introduction to the LnL system, not to mention a nicely designed match-up between elite American and German units.
The Americans get six 2-5-4 squads with a couple of Satchel Charges and some BAR automatic rifles while the Germans get 6 units and some machine guns to match the Americans pound for pound. Victory conditions are determined by number of buildings held by the end of the scenario as well as eliminated units. Since the setup involves each player alternating their unit placement, things are off to a chaotic and unpredictable start.
At close range, combat is extremely deadly but the Americans manage to hold on, even eliminating one of the German squads in the process!
Major Tom and his BAR riflemen decide not to sit idly by in their house far to the southwest and get into the action. They zip up north and melee a German squad trying to sneak up on the farmhouse. Capt. Weiss has shaken the American inside and there’s no way he’s going to let down his men!
Down south, our humble hero, Cpl Walker, moves towards the melee between the Germans and the Americans in the center of the board. The melee has gone on unresolved for about four turns! Neither side has been able to eliminate the other. Lt. Frietag’s MG42 opens up on Walker as he heads for the melee, wounding him. Despite the bloody wound, Walker pushes on and joins his fellow soldiers in the fray.
Up north, however, Sgt. Hill and his men have poured on very effective fire and Cpt. Weiss and his men are shaken badly. Major Tom, fresh from his earlier melee, approaches Weiss and eliminates the pile of Germans. Another devastating loss for the Fallschirmjager!
It’s the final bit of the last turn. The Germans have nowhere to go and the Americans don’t want to risk losing their hard-earned gains. Both sides call it quits for the day.
The stunning conclusion: The Germans lost and badly. The Americans took out 8 German units for 16 victory points and they also held on to 6 hexes worth of buildings to make it a total of 22 victory points. The fallen Germans include two officers, one hero and several 2-3-4 and 3-3-4 squads.
The Germans manage to hang on to one building hex and take out 5 American units (1 SMC and 4 MMCs) for a total of 11 victory points. 22 to 11. A lopsided victory to say the least. I’d like to try this one again and see if I can’t find better ways to attack building strongholds with the Germans. Rushing a large group of men adjacent to an American machinegun position ended in predictable results. On the other hand, there were several wild cards in the game including a melee that went on for six turns, a number of heroes popping up unexpectedly, and some initiative rolls that could have resulted in very different outcomes. Great stuff!