The particular campaign chosen is the Lehr Counterattack campaign of six linked games that recreate the attempt by Panzer Lehr to counterattack American forces threatening to engulf St Lo in early July 1944.
Having suffered 30% casualties facing off the British in front of Villers Bocage, Panzer Lehr were rushed in to bolster the front in the US sector. The first game "Hauts Vents" features the German Kampfgruppe Heintz (see orbats below) in front of Hill 91 which overlooks St Lo attempting to hold back a thrust from US 3rd Armoured Division, prior to the arrival of Panzer Lehr. The next two scenarios are also fought on this map, so Steve and I plan to carry on to the next game taking the consequences of the result of this one. As this was a linked game it was important to both sides not to take a heavy loss, as this might impact heavily on the prospects for the entire campaign.
The map shows the terrain with north at the top. The table represents a valley in between two ridges, the highest being the Hauts Vents village on top of point 91 at the south map edge. The Germans were able to occupy all the ground except the six hexes in the top right corner, the US entry area. In addition the US armoured infantry had the option to enter from the top left four hexes. The two buildings in the valley floor were the American objectives.
The table threw up several challenges for both sides but principally the US having to attack. The buildings and bocage were considered "closed terrain", requiring massed firepower to kill enemy groups in those hexes. The long table enabled the Germans to position OPs and AT guns on hill 91 and be able to see US units maneuvering and cover large areas of open terrain. These problems together with muddy ground due to recent rainfall, causing wheeled vehicles to bog, and a pesky German PaK 40 on the eastern board edge able to fire at US vehicles ending their movement in open fields on that flank, forced the US troops into prepared killing zones and required a level of circumspect before moving.
The Germans were set up with full hidden placement, and fortunately the US were able to field two mobile recon platoons that enabled them to spot these ambush sites more effectively.