Venue: NWGC, Stockport, UK.
LW 1750 – US 3rd Infantry Division (D&D) v German SS Heavy Panzers (E&S)
Mission: Dust Up (Fair Fight) P278 of the v3 rulebook.
This was going to be an interesting match up. Lots of (my) US Infantry versus a Fearless Veteran SS Tank Company commanded by Fraser. The mismatch in size of armies was obvious from the start. 1200 points for 5 tanks ate deeply into the Axis budget.
Here are the lists:
US: (US 3rd ID, Confident Veteran)
HQ with two bazookas.
Assault Rifle platoon
Weapons platoon (2 LMG, 3 mortars)
HMG platoon with 2 bazookas
81mm Mortar platoon (2 mortars for smoke)
Sherman platoon (4 M4/M4A1 tanks)
Recon platoon (3 Jeeps)
AT gun platoon (3 57mm guns)
Armored rifle platoon (5 half tracks)
Germans: (SS Heavy Panzer Company, Fearless Veterans)
1ic: Tiger 1E (250)
Combat Platoon 1: 2 x Tiger 1E (480)
Combat Platoon 2: 2 x Tiger 1E (480)
Weapons Platoon: Schwere SS-Panzer Pioneer Platoon (190)
Weapons Platoon: Schwere SS-Panzer Armoured Scout Platoon (350)
Table quarters were marked out and the US won the roll for attacker/ choice of quarter. As the Mission was the same for both sides it was just a case of finding the best place for my Rifle Company to deploy and wait for the Axis to respond. Having to keep half of our platoons in delayed reserve was worse for the Axis. The Tigers all went on the board as best you can with 5 tanks. The Axis strategy seemed to be to keep one Tiger platoon back to defend the two objectives. The 1IC tank floated about to support the attack on the village (US quarter). The other Tigers moved toward the village to take pot-shots and wait for their reserves.
The Rifles had chosen the corner with building along one flank. My Rifle, Pioneer, AT guns and Armoured Rifles platoons all went down in a defensive way. The ARP were there to bait the Tigers a little and be flexible as attacker or defender. I needed my other 5 platoons to come on in reserve and try and threaten the Axis quarter later in the game.
The Axis got first turn and went on the advance. The US ARP spent 3 turns trying to break out into the rest of the table but ultimately failed pulled back where they lost the mortar HT to a Tiger. The ARP dismounted and reinforced the other platoons creating a block of infantry around the objectives.
The Axis got their 2 platoons of reserves on time and pushed hard at their objectives. This hemmed in the US defenders creating a ‘them and us’ across the roadway. All the time the US AT guns kept silent despite losing one team.
The US reserves failed to materialise until turn 5. When they did, I sneakily double timed the Intel and Recon Jeep platoon to the far side of the wood in the Axis half of the table. this kept them safe from the Tigers on the other side of said wood.
The Axis player realised too late that this might be really bad and then pushed his attack on the US quarter and also moved the Tigers across the wood to try and stop the Recon Jeeps from gaining an objective in two turns (they doubled so could not take it this turn). Unfortunately, both Tigers in the platoon bogged on the edge of the wood.
The US Jeeps (Intel and Recon) dismounted their small stands and moved/assaulted the bogged Tigers killing them both with their pistols/carbines while the crews tried to unbog! Scratch 480 points of Tigers for an 85 point unit of infantry in jeeps.
The Axis 1iC Tiger then spent the rest of the game trying to defend two objectives from the oncoming US reserves as they in turn made their way to both objectives. He did manage to kill the Recon teams in the wood. Scratch one US platoon.
The US Pioneers tried to help the game move along my moving out of the village buildings and across no mans land. They didn’t do anything after that, but in the end it didn’t seem to matter too much!
The attack on the US objectives saw a bloody assault, killing half of the Axis infantry, some HTs and the other platoon of Tigers (falling to bazookas assaulting side armour).
The US lost over half of the Rifle and ARP platoons. The ARP were killed to a man (scratch a second platoon) but the Rifles held (down to 4 teams) along with the AT guns. The remaining Axis infantry remounted their HTs and tried to use position and MG fire to keep control of the US objective.
Unfortunately for Axis, on the US turn 9, the recently arrived HMG platoon took the Axis rear objective and won the game. The Axis would have need to get to their next starting step to declare victory. It was a bloody game with a lot of US infantry casualties and a few dead Axis Tigers and half-tracks.
Finished in Turn 9. US won a 5-2 victory (they had 9 platoons so the first loss does not count).
With hindsight, the Axis player probably should not have palced the other objective behind the wood in their deployment zone. Keeping it nearer the one placed by the US would have been easier to defend.
The US player was able to use the greater number of platoons to push the reserves at the relatively undefended Axis table quarter. In the end, the small Axis force was overwhelmed and could not be in enough places.
Still, it was pretty close. The Axis “Zombie Half Tracks” really put paid to a lot of US infantry stands and were really close to victory after pushing home the Assaults.