On Tuesday I had a fun battle against Andy (AndyGI). I used my US 3rd ID with seven platoons, but outsourced (!) the HMG and bazookas platoon to the rifle platoons leaving me with six to play with.
The Axis list was new to me. Mainly Stugs with a platoons Nebelwerfers, AA guns, mounted recon and one MG teams platoon. This seemed like a more evenly matched battle than usual and I was not to be disappointed.
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: (StugBatterie tank company from Grey Wolf, Confident Veteran, 1750 pts)
HQ: 1 x StugG
Combat 1 = 2 x StugG G, 1 StuH42 (with Tank rifle escorts).
Combat 2 = 2 x StugG G, 1 StuH42
Combat 1 = 3 x StugG G (with Tank rifle escorts).
Sturm Platoon = 1 cmd panzerfaust SMG + 6 x panzerfaust MG teams
Sturm Scout Platoon = Cmd MMG Team, 2 x MG teams – all on motorcycles.
Rocket launcher platoon = 3 x NW41 Nebelwerfer, Observer, command.
Sturm AA platoon – Cmd SMG team, 3 x Flak 38 gun.
Sporadic Air – Stuka 87G
Warrior – Von Sauken in SdKfz250.
The objectives were placed in the Cauldron area – you can see them in the first picture one on the road junction at the head of the village, the other further down the road near the wood. I used both rifle platoons to defend each of the objectives. They had two HMGs each and three bazookas.
The Axis were lucky and got the weight of their forces on my right flank to make an attack through the wooded area into the right side objective. In response I played my ARP (Armored Rifle platoon) on the right behind the wood as a response to the Stugs massing on that side of the board (along with Von Saucken). This gave me 2 HMG, 2 LMG and 8 bazookas near the right side objective plus a shed load of rifle teams and my 2ic. The 1ic hid behind a building within 6 inches of both rifle platoon command teams.
The Axis also brought on a Stug batterie with a breakthrough gun onto the hill overlooking the front of the village near the oher objective.
I was not looking forward to a breakthrough gun with firepower 2+ hitting my dug in troops!
My tanks, TDs and AT guns were held in reserve. Axis as far as I recall played their three Stug platoons on the table along with their 1ic Stug and Warrior Dietrich Von Saucken.
The Allies got first turn and sat on their backsides waiting for turn 3 reserves to potentially arrive.
The Axis attempted spent the first three turns trying to manoeuvre around to the right side objective with the Stugs. Over to the left, the Sugs on the hill tried to dig out the infantry with the stuH gun. It was only the arrival of the Nebelwerfers as reserves that later started to have an effect on the infantry defending the right hand side objective, causing several casualties. The Tank Destroyers arrived in turn 4 behind the stugs/stuH on the hill and shot and killed two of them. The other survivor scooted off toward the edge of the board and out of sight of the TD’s.
The Axis Stuka tried to dive bomb the Td’s in the open but the single plane missed. The TDs then moved to hug the wood and did not take any damage from the Stuka.
On the right, the 1iC Stug and the two platoons of stugs gave up on trying to take the right hand objective and moved back across to the centre behind the little hill. Von Sauken stayed where he was to keep the objective within 16 inches. After that, the nebelwerfers and stugs made use of stormtrooper moves to move further each turn.
The US Shermans arrived on the back nearer to the back and sides of the exposed Stugs in the centre but failed to do much damage at all, in return, the massed stugs now took their toll and eventually destroyed the Shermans.
On the US left flank, the Axis reserves brought on the Recon and AA guns, using them in tandem to remove gone to ground on the defending US rifle platoon near the road junction. The US started to take a little damage from the AA guns fire.
The US reserves brought on the AT guns in the centre rear and moved them down the wood to try and get a line to the Stugs. The AT guns whiffed and did no real damage at all this game. The Axis Stuka got lucky and ranged in on the AT guns even though they were next to the wood. They lost two guns one turn then another the next. The Command team hung tough and failed to rout.
The Axis brought on their Sturm Platoon hoping to come across the hill on the US left flank then bear down on the Tank Destroyers or just into the US infantry near the road junction. The US had moved the platoon back toward the village to get away from the AA guns and recon but the HMG guns got a bead on the Sturm platoon and killed two stands from four shots.
The Tank Destroyers retreated into the villag hoping to help defend against the stugs after the loss of the AT guns and Shermans. The Stugs moved around the village and managed to kill tow TD’s. At this point we had played to the end of turn 10 with no obvious win for the axis. We had been going all but three hours.
We called this a friendly draw as the game had to end because of time (I checked on the WWPD forums and for competitive play it would have been a 5-2 Victory to the Allies as the Axis had failed to reach their objective for the mission and it was not a fair fight mission).
For my part I felt the game was well-balanced. Andy played the force he had pretty well IMO. I just had to hold the line in defence. By having so many troops and a long baseline to bring on my reserve, I seemed to have a decent advantage here. I would not want to be a tank force stuck in the cauldron with the attacker coming from all sides! It may suit heavy tanks to do this though…?
I think if the game had gone on a couple more turns my HMGs on the left would have destroyed the Axis recon platoon quickly and that would have forced the Axis to make Company checks. On the other hand, it looked set to drag on for a while as Andy was playing a cautious attack strategy (IMO) while waiting for the moment to strike home. His nebelwerfers were really pounding my dug-in vet’s on my right flank causing them to try and move. Their failure to rally from being pinned a few times stopped this. fortunately I still had the ARP to assist if needed.
I enjoyed this game against Andy as it felt much more equal in terms of out forces and the mission at hand.
Pictures: (apologies for the poor quality / blurriness – I was using my Nokia C3 camera)