B coy CP, Le Bourg St. Leonard

Who wouldn't want to drive tanks around in such constricted terrain?
Who wouldn’t want to drive tanks around in such constricted terrain?

Here’s my rendering of the old center of Le Bourg St. Léonard. More than with the other maps I’ve had to commit some sins of scale and, for playability’s sake, sacrifice outbuildings (hence the gardens). M15 is B/359’s CP 15/16 August 1944. I’ve written the observation post rules to be very simple. If you can occupy M15 or keep a unit adjacent to it, you may observe artillery to the range printed on the map. (Twenty hexes in this case.) No, you needn’t calculate LOS, as the fall of shot can be observed from shell bursts, the height of which are sometimes materialized in other tactical systems. However, LOS may be traced only through the indicated (yellow) hexsides.

These hexes are something regimental and battalion commanders worried about historically. They do not serve as likely spots for installing ASL-like “death stars”. This impacts game play quite a bit, especially in built-up terrain. I can find no doctrinal guidance about using buildings as cover. During this battle, US corps command prohibited deployment in buildings out of CIMIC concerns. 359IR’s executive officer, who wrote the best account of combat here, explicitly mentions the advisability of doing so in his lessons learned paragraph. However, it is just as easy to find anecdotes of more experienced troops (75th Rangers in the Hurtgen Forest, for example) preferring to defend built-up areas from newly-dug foxholes with trenches communicating to buildings.

Former town hall (marked "Mairie" on the game map), Brendan Clark, bottom left. Note bullet scarring still visible on its façade.
Former town hall (marked “Mairie” on the game map), Brendan Clark, bottom left. Note bullet scarring still visible on its façade.
Vic. hex P15. Note the density of buildings and the narrow streets. 359IR's XO CPT Hickman reported tank engagements taking place at 40 yards here.
Vic. hex P15. Note the density of buildings and the narrow streets. 359IR’s XO CPT Hickman reported tank engagements taking place at 40 yards here.

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