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AAR – Dogs and Devils – HG Schwere Aufklarungsschwadron 1130 v US3rdID 850

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Here are the images from the game on Saturday night (Mike v Hal) –  a training mission on a 4×4 table.

Forces:

The forces were both confident veteran. Mission was a free-for-all with changes as follows.

Axis –

HQ 1icSMG team with staff car

2ic SMG panzerknacker makes platoon with 3 x Panzerschrecks from HQ

1 x Sniper from HQ

Combat: 7 xMG Pioneers with trucks

Combat: 2 x Wespes with command and Observer team.

Combat: 3 x PAK40 with command – no vehicles

Divisional: HG Panzers (1x 4H, 2 x 3M, 1 x 3N)

total: 1130 points

US –

HQ – 1ic carbine team

2ic carbine team makes platoon with 2 x HW bazooka teams

2 x HQ Snipers

Combat:1 x Assault Rifle (pioneer) Platoon (1 cmd, 9 rifles, 1 bazooka) + 1 extra rifle team.

Weapons: 1 x 2 gun 57mm AT platoon

Divisional: Sherman platoon (4 x M4 shermans)

total: 850

Mission:

As the US were outnumbered I chose to let them choose sides as the defender and be dug in.

Note:  I had no tokens made so status was all done by memory or a couple of slips of paper to indicate bailed out / pinned down units. Also, the objective markers were just plain mdf bases (same size as FoW large base).

There was a river dominating the board with two fords. The rest of the river could be crossed as per the rules in the v3 rulebook if desired. The hedges were classed as tall European hedges, not bocage (Italian setting).

Objectives were placed to make best use of the fords across the river.

Deployment:

German player put the PAK40’s on the hill to the right along with the nearby observer for the Wespes and then (misdeployed) the sniper (this was corrected in turn 2 by moving to outside of 4 inches of the PAK 40).

The Wespes were put on the left flank in the wheatfield so they could also defend the objective from tanks.

The centre saw the Panzer’s (2x 3Ms, 1 x 3N and 1 x 4H), the MG pioneer platoon and the 2iC Panzerschreck platoon (3 x screhck teams) all saddled up in their Trucks.

The 1iC stayed out of the action behind a hedge nearer the PAK 40s. He observed the battle from their all game.

The US put the Assault Rifles in the left flank wheatfield and strung across to also watch the right side objective. The 1iC went with them.

The Right side saw the rest on the hill – 2iC and two Bazookas (unpainted), a platoon of 57mm AT guns and a platoon of 4 shermans (Note: it turned out I put the sniper in the wrong place – too close to the firendly units – as this was a training mission, he was redeployed later).

These would try and protect the right flank objective.

Turn1:

The Germans got the first turn and didn’t waste time attacking. The centre untis moved up to the ford and dismounted (MGs and Schrecks). The tanks supported them by going up to the river edge.

The Wespes laid smoke on 3 of the Shermans. PAK40s had no viable targets (range killed them v CV dug in g-to-g concealed teams) – the shermans were over 32 inches from them and were now smoked out anyway.

The US then stayed their ground and shot back at the Panzer tanks with the 57mm AT guns, narrowly failing to bail one (!)

Turn 1 summary picture:

Turn 2:

The Germans infantry units rolled across the ford in  a bid to reach the objective. The US player forgot about the “Stormtrooper” skill in Assault and later in their turn the Germans got lucky and moved to just within 4 inches of the objective. This now pressured the US to do something as they would lose next turn if they could not get a base to wthin 4 inches of the objective – lesson – keep a team within 4 inches of the objective!

The German player failed to make any headway with shooting. The Wespe’s did nothing and the Panzers all failed to damge the US 2iC and his little band of bazookas (these teams being the only ones who could really defend the objective from being taken in the next Starting step!

The US turn 2 now became an exercise in moving a bazooka team on the hill to within 4 inches of the objective. This meant the 2iC platoon lost its gone to ground / dug in status.

The Rifle platoon fired from the right side of the wheatfiled along with the 2iC platoon to try and hit the German MG platoon. They got lucky and killed one team.

The now correctly redployed US Sniper teams – one you can see in the field on the above picturer a few inches from the MGplatoon and the other out of picture on the building to the right – bot shoot at the MG platoon as well, hitting it, pinning it, and killing one more stand.

Turn3:

The German MG platoon unpins and along with the trailing 2iC and ‘schrecks move into the wheatfield.

The Panzers do the double and high tail it across the board to the other ford. They will take on the Rifles soon!

This may have been a bit of an error as it took some pressure off the Shermans and allowed them some freedom to move forward.

The MG platoon open up their reduced ROF on the Rifles in the wheatfield and manage ot kill one team.

The Wespes fail to hit anything again. The PAK40’s try to hit the Rifles as they are no longer gone to ground, but fail to get a ‘6’. the Panzers have used their all to get across the board.

The US Rifles now pour some fire into the MGs along with the 2iC teams and the two 57mm gun teams that are hull down on the crest of the hill (having switched to their Rifles)! The gun team commander is too far back over the US side of the hill to get LOS to the Germans. No casualties.

This stirs the US Sherman platoon into action and they move over the rough hill to get to the forward edge. The use their reduced ROF MG’s on the MG Pioneers but to no effect.

They are now poised to assault with at least two tanks.

The tanks take no damage form the MG pioneers as they move in to assault and kill two more of the MG teams. Their are no more teams in 4 inches so they consolidate forward a little, getting two tanks onto the objective marker. The Germans have lost an assault and the platoon is under strength so they roll for Morale. They fail. Being Hermann Goerring troops they re-roll their platoon motivation and get a ‘1’. The platoon is destroyed.

This is to be a short lived victory for the shermans however…

The US Rifles on the far left are now faced with tanks and no Anti-tank to stop them. They hunker down for the inevitable hosing and assault.

Turn 4:

The Axis bring forward their Panzers across the ford. The 2iC ‘schrecks elect to stay where they are.

The Shermans are now a viable target for the Wespes and the PAK40s. Artillery get very lucky and pops one Sherman, the PAK40’s kill one more and bail another. The remaining tanker fails his morale check and is destroyed.

The Panzers open up with MGs into the US rifles. Two teams fall to their fire.

The US teams can do little at this time as they need to hold the objectives. The right flank has come to their being not much more than a bazooka team controlling the objective with a small platoon of Panzerschrecks at the back of the wheatfield not really sure of what to do.

The ‘schrecks open up with conventional fire on the bazooka team neaest the objective but fail to do anything.

The US Rifles can do little and fail to wound the ‘Schreck team. The other part fo the platoon await the assault from the Panzers next turn…

Turn 5:

The Panzers move to 2 inches away from the Rfiles and open up on them again leaving only three teams to face them.

The German 2iC moves his ‘schreck teams to just within 4 inches of the objective which is now contested.

The Panzers launch and assault on the Rifles, who stay the course but fail to do any damage to them on the way in. The Panzers get 4 hits against the three teams in the combat. As the objective is now uncontested, they take it.

The US Rifles left on the right flank fail a morale check and are destroyed. This leaves just a few teams on the hill on the right who can do nothing to the German 2iC platoon with their pitiful rifle fire.

Turn 6.

The game ends, with a 5-2 win for the Germans. The US still have two platoons left out of four and their 1ic and 2ic intact.

Summary.

The game was unbalanced in points and did not have any ambushes to reserve moves to help later in the game.

Still, I think if the US had deployed a little differently then the result may have been different or at least more protracted.

If the 57mm guns had been deployed on the left behind the US rifles this would hav made the Panzers think twice about driving on over the ford – their “at the double” manouver would have been slowed down so as not to risk having 12 dice rolled against them! The would have had to rely on the Artillery / PAK 40’s and Panzer guns to try and take out the 57mm guns before committing to charging across and taking side shots from an assault.

This would still have left 3 bazookas and 4 shermans on the right to counter any armour.

It seems that the Shermans were very vulnerable. The artillery, PAK40s, MG pioneers and 2ic Panzerschrecks all had a good chance to do serious damage to the US tanks if they got into range.

Perhaps a second unit of 57mm would be useful – and or towed tank destroyers… A wepaons plaootn would be useful too!

Would the second rifles platoon that should be in this list have helped. Well yes, but again, where would they go. Strung out on the hill to the right would have made a target during the game. Putting two rifle platoons on the left would have only delayed the inevitable.

Lessons:

Tanks suffer from AT fire without support to counter the threats.

Rifles without AT support are next to useless against a tank assault.

Artillery / mortars do have a part to play. In this game the Wespes killed less point than they took, bu their ability to smoke opponents denies some shooting which in turn lessons casualties to ones own side.

Snipers come on in Starting step just before Reserves (p110 v3 rules). They cannot fire if within 4 inches of friendly teams.

Thoughts:

A good first game of v3 (after running some assault scenarios) and a sample game last year.

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