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J6 Combat - The Odds Donít Tell the Whole Story: A Tale of Two Combats

The raw odds ratio is but one factor in assessing the relative success of any given combat. Numbers count, but troop quality, terrain and firepower are equally important. The basic die roll for each combat is assumed to be 5.

Combat #1: The Allied player has drawn the 82d ABN AM. 505/82 in hex W3522 and 634/VIII (attached) in hex W3624 attack 919/709 (with a Dis-1 marker) in hex W3623. Basic odds are 8 (CS of 6 for 505/82 and CS of 2 for 634/VIII) to 6 for 919/709. The basic odds are 3 to 2 (round up or down to the nearest odds level), which provides a +1 DRM. There are many more DRMs which will turn this undistinguished 3 to 2 attack into a crushing Allied winner. The Allied player allocates two Naval Support markers, and picks out the Nevada and Texas. Each Naval Support marker adds a +1 DRM, so the Allied player picks up +2 for the DRM. The running DRM total is now +3. The 919/709 is within four hexes of its HQ, so it has one arty support point. The 82d HQ is within four hexes of the 919/709, and HQ VIII Corps is within 8 hexes, and has two of its arty support points attached to the 82d Abn, making a total of 3 Allied arty points available. Since Allied arty points are twice as much (three times as much here), the Allied player receives another +2 DRM. The running DRM total now stands at +5. The 919/709 bears a Dis-1 marker; none of the attacking Allied units do. The Allies get a +1 as the attacker for a defender with a Dis-1 or 2 marker (see errata - the table is backwards as printed), so the DRMs stand at +6. Cohesion differential. The highest Allied cohesion is 7 from 505/82. The German cohesion is 3 from the lone 919/709. 7 - 3 leaves a differential of +4, but a max of +3 is all allowed. The Allied DRMs now stand at +9. Multi-hex attack: the two Allied units are separated by one intervening hex, so the Allied player receives +1 DRM. The DRM count now stands at +10. Armor superiority: The 634/VIII has one armor point. The 919/709 has no armor or AT points. The Allied player receives a +1 DRM. Total Allied DRMs stand at +11. The 919/709 occupies a bocage hex, so it receives a -2 DRM for this terrain. The DRM total is now at +9. The combat option chits are flipped, and they show Attacker Assault and Defender Stand. There is no DRM for this combination. Adding the +9 DRM to the die roll of 5 yields a final numerical result of 14. The defending 919/709 has its Dis-1 marker removed, is reduced and retreats (Rule Book 13.73, a single unit takes a reduced result when it receives both reduced and disorder results) . The Allied result is breakthrough, and both units, not being disrupted, must advance. Both must roll for bocage ambush. The 505/82 passes, but the 634/VIII picks up a Dis-1 marker due to those pesky panzerfaust crews lurking in the hedgerows.

Combat 2: The German player has drawn the 352d Div AM. 621 Ost/352 and 30/LXXXIV (attached) in hex E2721 attack the 5th Ranger Bn (attached to 1st US Division) in hex E2821. The basicc odds are 9 to 2 (7 for 30/LXXXIV and 2 for 621 Ost/352 against 2 for the 5th Rangers) which reduces to 4 to 1. The Germans receive a +2 DRM for this odds ratio, so numbers do count. The rest of the DRMs are not favorable. The 5th Rangers occupy bocage terrain, so there is a -2 DRM which offsets the +2 DRM. The cumulative DRM is now zero. The Germans have two artillery support points from the in-range 352d Div and LXXXIV Corps HQs, but the 5th Rangers are in range of the 3 arty points of 1st Div HQ, so the arty sppt DRM is -1 ( and so is the cumulative DRM). The Rangers have a cohesion of 7, as opposed to cohesion of 3 for the 30/LXXXIV. The cohesion differential is -4 (reduced to a max of -3), so another -3 is added to the cumulative DRM, making it -4. Adding insult to injury, the Allied player commits one air support point to the combat and gets an additional -1 DRM (doesn't seem fair to have P-47s straffing bicyclists, but war is hell). The total DRM is -5. The attack and defense option chits are revealed to show attacker assault and defender stand, for no additinal DRM. The net DRM of -5 reduces the die roll of 5 to zero. All attacking units are reduced. The 621 Ost/352 is removed from the map (presumably with most of the survivors marching happily off to Allied POW pens), and the 30/LXXXVI is flipped to its reduced side. The 5th Rangers suffer no adverse results, and with the attacker rout option on this result, could attack the reduced 30/LXXXIV immediately (but do not). Heavily outnumbered, the Rangers still decisively defeat the attackers due primarily to terrain, superior troop quality and better fire support.