Tiger Attack! - Games Played
© 2014 Louis R. Coatney
Had 2 *excellent* games of Tiger Attack!, last night at Oslo Ares, with fellow grognard Fred Forde. It was his first game(s) of TA!, and we played 2 5-turn games in 4.5 hours. I was the U.S. in the first game, and Fred brought Bayerlein north of the Ourthe River and, along with Peiper, overwhelmed my northern forces. (The points within the Ourthe River arc are now Off Limits to Bayerlein! :-) )
With both schwerpunkt leaders in the north, I thought I had Bastogne safely secured in the south, but he had taken my Spa fuel dump and had enough panzers and local infantry to take Bastogne too. He got a panzer off the board from Eupen for a victory point, and could have done the same for at least 1 more at Liege but didn't, not realizing I could then still attack down from the Liege-north route, which I did ... with 3rd Armored Division, no less ... retaking Liege and securing the north. He settled for a draw in the 5th turn.
Then, we switched sides. I have established "follow on" rules for (an equal number of) attacker's units to advance right behind units actually attacking, so - as historically - it pays for the Germans to attack cross-river with infantry to take any Disruptions/losses, leaving following panzers UnDisrupted, to exploit. Things blew open for me, since Fred concentrated 9th Armored Division, instead of dispersing it to speed-bump-stop major breakthroughs. (Even then, it seems the U.S. is 1 unit short to stop a major breakthrough *somewhere*.)
Thus, I already had Peiper and 2 panzer kampfgruppen (KGs) all the way out on Parker's Crossroads and Bayerlein bearing down on Bastogne on the first turn! I had left (my independent 2-factor) Skorzeny (unit) to attack the 106th Infantry Division's fortified regiment in St. Vith and cut off the retreat from Schnee Eiffel of its 2 infantry regiments there - historically surrounded, isolated, and captured - but Skorzeny let me down, and during the U.S. turn those regiments were then able to truck/ESCAPE all the way back to Houffalize. (I scratched Skorzeny off my 1944 Christmas list.)
On the other hand, although I had Peiper and those 2 panzer kampfgruppen (KGs) all the way out on Parker's Crossroads on the first turn, his concentrated armor attacked my panzer KG on my supply line point Vielsam, cutting off Peiper (as happened historically but in a different place) from supply during the initial phase of the second turn.
And on the second turn, Bayerlein broke past Bastogne, but was then waylaid by the blonde and beautiful U.S. Army nurse - think Scarlett Johanssen - and didn't exploit ... militarily, anyway ... when he otherwise might have gotten out into the highlands around Rochefort and Marche, threatening major victory point gains and a crushing victory!
Back in the north, my initial attacks re-opened the supply line to Peiper's weak (and vulnerable) group, so I had Peiper kick the fugitive 106th regiments out of Houffalize (back down into Bayerlein's path). All I had left to exploit with then was the ill-reputed Skorzeny, so I had him make an impossible-odds attack on 2 Disrupted infantry regiments in Spa - although being Disrupted they had no firepower themselves, they still get their 1-point-each mountain/Elsenborn Ridge terrain bonus - to try to grab the fuel dump and refuel my attack momentum. The first two battle rounds, and neither side could score any hits. But on the last round, I rolled a 6 for Skorzeny and eliminated both units, while no hits were scored on him again, and he could advance on into Spa taking the fuel dump! (See the end-of-German-second-playerturn photo. Skorzeny - my hero.)
The battle wore on with the threat of eventual good weather and curtailed German fuel/offensive growing, but with all the fuel I was getting, I did get a panzer unit off from Eupen for its victory point, and the "freed" Bayerlein and a powerful schwerpunkt (of 5 panzer KGs!) out onto Rochefort (with a well, garrisoned St. Hubert supply line). Fred counterattacked it with a mongrel assortment of infantry and armor, but I sacrificed rather than Disrupting panzers, hoping to have at least 1 left UnDisrupted, to then attack and possibly eliminate his 1 infantry unit in Celles, enabling me to exit at least 1 panzer unit via Namur for another, this time winning victory point. The Battle of Rochefort went down to the final, third round, and while I held the town, I lost 2 of my panzer KGs and all 3 of the survivors were finally Disrupted.
We then agreed on a 5-(German)-victory-point draw after the 5th game turn. (In that, Fred invoked Patton's Prayer, but I still rolled a 6-then-5 for bad weather and had plenty of fuel, but after my losses at Rochefort, which was my last real breakthrough opportunity, I decided to call it a night).
As simple as the game mechanics are, both Tiger Attack! games were tense ... even desperate ... and highly enjoyable with great historical flavor. The ability of infantry to fortify and absorb hits in smaller increments - in contrast to the more powerful but brittle armor/panzer units - succinctly and vividly manifests the tactical differences and different advantages of those combat arms.
And I have incorporated some of Fred's suggestions about the game, including making Verviers the 1-point victory exit instead of Eupen, which he knew to be a dead-end to Aachen instead of a gateway to north of Liege and then Antwerp.
Tiger Attack! is free on my CoatneyHistory webpage, to print off, assemble, and play.
More comments by myself and others about the game can be read on ConSimWorld and/or on BoardGameGeek
If you are a friend, and/or if you would like to share info and ideas about military and naval history and game designing and cardstock model shipbuilding, and/or you have any questions about Tiger Attack!, feel free to e-mail me at ELCOAT@Hotmail.com