I thought that a little information on the forces involved might be of interest at this stage. It is a fairly small game, involving the equivalent of a couple of battalions a side. The American defenders at the start represent the kind of scratch force hastily put together all along the Ardennes front. The advance force around Ober Emmels consists of a company of engineers with a Sherman dozer in support and a second engineer company dug in on the high ground overlooking the village. Also on the hill is an OP for an armoured artillery battalion of 3 x SP 105mm howitzers which is deployed close by. Another, slightly larger force, is deployed in and around the town of Rodt and consists of a 3rd engineer company, supported by an armoured infantry company, with MMG and mortar platoons attached; a recce group of a Stuart light tank, an M8 Greyhound armoured car and a couple of jeeps loaded with infantry. There is also a 3" anti-tank gun. The company sizes are a bit larger than normal for Rapid Fire! as we find that infantry tend to wither away fairly quickly. The engineer companies are all 12 figures each, whilst the armoured infantry are in 16s.
As the German attack opens, a task force from 7th Armoured Division arrives on the outskirts of Rodt to bolster the defence. This comprises two more armoured infantry companies in M3 half-tracks, supported by a couple of tank companies. Before they can intervene however, they will have to make their way through the town, which is choked with refugees fleeing the fighting.
The next post will detail the German attackers.