This game from a week or two back was a bit of a rematch with Fraser against his slightly altered Heavy Panzer list (link to last game).
Venue: NWGC, Stockport, UK.
LW 1750 – US 3rd Infantry Division (D&D) v German SS Heavy Panzers (E&S)
Mission: Hasty Attack (Mobile Battle) P284 of the v3 rulebook.
This was going to be another slog. Last time I managed to hang on by my fingernails against the Tigers and their infantry support and gain a 5-2 win. That time was in favourable terrain and a helpful mission. This time Fraser had honed his list, dropping some of the half-track infantry in exchange for another Tiger and Wittman! As he said, it wasn’t really a Tiger list, but now….(!)
Here are the lists:
US: (US 3rd ID, Confident Veteran) (1750 pts)
HQ with two bazookas (bazookas attached out to rifle platoons)
Assault Rifle platoon
HMG platoon with 2 bazookas (all attached out to rifle platoons)
Sherman platoon (3 M4/M4A1 tanks)
AT gun platoon (2 57mm guns)
Armored rifle platoon (5 half tracks)
M-10 Tank Destroyer platoon (4 TD’s)
Germans: (SS Heavy Panzer Company, Fearless Veterans)
Schwere SS-Panzerkompanie HQ (1735 pts)
– 2 Tiger 1E
(Replace Company Command Tiger 1 E with Warrior and Company Command team Michael Wittman in his Tiger 1 E for +100 points.)
Schwere SS-Panzer Platoon
– 2 Tiger 1E
Schwere SS-Panzer Platoon
– 2 Tiger 1E
Schwere SS-Panzer Scout Platoon
– 3 Scout Squads
The objectives were placed in accordance with the rules. I kept my ARP in immediate ambush and the AT guns, TDs and Sherman tanks in reserve. I placed one objective on the wood on the axis side with the hope of making a run down the right hand side and cutting across toward it.
The axis placed an objective on my far left in the wood. I placed my other one in the centre on the hill and used my first rifle platoon to defend it. The axis placed their second objective on the right of my flank where they could get a fairly clear run toward it. I used the other rifle platoon to defend that one.
The Axis then got to remove one of their three objectives on my side. Removing the centre one (surprise) and leaving the one on my far left now exposed [EDIT: it now seems the defenders objective is not one that has to be removed – MRBv3 page 284 ‘Preparing for Battle’, section 6] . I think Fraser (and myself) were expecting me to deploy my immediate ambush around the far left exposed objective in the little wood (see 1st pic ‘AAR’) – I didn’t. I put the half tracks for the ARP on the far right behind the big hill. My aim being to use the ARP as a strike force against the unexposed objective on the Axis side. My aim – win big – or lose big (as I said to Fraser at the start of the game).
The Axis got first turn and got off to a fast start. They kept in and around the village in the middle of the table. Luckily for me I had not wasted points on aircraft. I only remember once a tank being away from trees or buildings!
The Axis moved a tank or two over toward the objective on my side as a counter to the US ARP that threatened their objective. Later, their reserve MG team infantry came onboard in their watertight jeeps and then parked their infantry on the wood over the objective. For the rest of the game, Fraser kept one tank and the infantry platoon on that objective and pretty much stopped me from moving in the Armored Rifles. When I did try moving in the LMG guns they got cut to bits. THe ARP pretty much stayed in the large wood, digging in and just threatening the axis objective to keep them occupied. Not my plan at all. Fraser then concentrated on taking out my arriving TD’s. The TD’s were the lucky unit of the game. They should have been wiped out twice but survived. The flaky Tiger near the axis objective whiffed a few times!
For my infantry. The right hand objective stayed firmly secured my dug in rifles with their HMGs and bazookas (3 of). In the centre I made the mistake of moving the US rifles who no longer had an objective to look after. I tried to get them up behind the village, but the Tigers back into then down through the village and moved to get LoS and cut them down. Gradually, despite digging in later, the Tigers moved through the village, pouring 88mm and MG fire into them and breaking them.
When my AT guns showed up all they could do was whiff against the sides of the tigers as they came out of the village and headed to the exposed objective. I tried to move them after that to get LoS past the hill to get rear shots, but they did nothing useful after that.
Finally my Sherman’s arrived and made it to the wood to defend. but with 4 Tigers headed their way, it was easy to see where the victory would go that day. The Tigers whiffed on turn 8 and left one Sherman standing then blew it up on turn 9 and consolidated near the objective.
6-1 Victory to the Germans.
Well I had said “win big lose big” at the start. I did lose big. If I had just sat the ARP on the left hand objective “as expected” I might have lived to tell the tale! Oh well. Against this list I will need more heavy AT firepower. It was a good game and Fraser played extremely well. Well done!