The weather is bleak wintry fog soup with a side of nasty. US air is grounded and no one is expecting any movement. Then the guns begin drumming from across the river and suddenly nightmare weather gives way to nightmarish numbers of German troops on a counterattack.
The US forces near the Our River just a day's march north east of Bastogne are overwhelmed as 8 infantry divisions and 5 armored divisions come pouring across the river.
Four brigades of artillery are dissected like dead frogs due to lack of infantry screens and the middle of the front collapses. The 106th is quickly pushed to the river and only about half its strength makes it across. The 14th Cav brigade that was acting as advance scouts is lost, presumed dead.
To the north near Eisenborn and Kalterharberg the 99th and 2nd infantry divisions begin a careful retreat hoping to hold on until the 5th and 7th Armor Divisions and 1st ID can arrive.
To the south the 28th ID is driven off the line but manages to maintain its strength if not its battle lines. In the extreme south elements fall back to Ettlebruck as they begin to be separated from the rest of their Division.
A few garrison units move up to try and delay the German breakthrough but without more US reinforcements the future looks glum.
My in-laws moved here back in like March of last year. One of the plusses from their move is that we have been able to play board games regularly and in between semesters we've been able to get through quite a few.
Here is the game we are currently playing on Day 2, Mid-day, German Turn, US Barrage phase. I'm about to respond feebly with my artillery(I am the US) after he has burst through the feeble defenses I start with.
The blue circles are the supply depots that I have and will be attempting to defend. The Grey lines are my perception of his planned attack vectors.
He rolled quite well on his first turn and managed to wipe out entirely 4-5 of my artillery units before they fired a shot. Additionally he overran several of my blocking infantry leaving the middle of the map wide open to exploitation.
I am pretty concerned because compared to the previous games we've played this one seems like a pretty bad position.
I have a TON of reinforcements coming though and I've been advised the German player is playing uphill in this setting.
Still.... that's a LOT of Germans with no-one to stop them.