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AAR – Battle Report – FoW – 1750 pt LW – HG Panzergrenadiers v US Tank Destroyers

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Fraser wanted to try out his Blood, Guts and Glory based US Tank Destroyer Company. So what better than trying it against a non-tank Infantry force. Yay… Maybe I was on for a win here. I had been working on a Herman Goring Panzergrenadier force since my last defeat versus Dan. I stripped down some of the options to try to get 11 platoons. The aim to have 6 on the table where reserves are used (most of the missions I seem to play). I made a 2ic Kampfgruppe with the Panzerschrecks to make 12 platoons. Fraser had 6 platoons, 2 of them being those “teleporting” TD security sections at the start.

The lists:

My force was the Herman Goring PanzerGrenadier Infantry Company.

Axis: (from Dogs and Devils, Confident Veteran)

HQ:

1ic cmd SMG Panzerknackers with Kubelwagen

2ic cmd SMG panzerknacker with 2 Panzerschrecks (kubelwagen and truck)

Panzergrenadier platoon (cmd SMG with panzerknacker plus 6 MG teams (with car and trucks)

Panzergrenadier platoon (cmd SMG with panzerknacker plus 6 MG teams (with car and trucks)

Panzergrenadier platoon (cmd SMG with panzerknacker plus 6 MG teams (with car and trucks)

Pioneer MGs (with supply truck – minefield at the ready!)

Nebelwerfer platoon (cmd SMG plus 3 Nebs)

PAK40s (cmd SMG plus 2 AT guns)

PAK40s (cmd SMG plus 2 AT guns)

Recon Light Panzerspah patrol (Kfz223, 223 x2)

SP AA gun platoon (2 x kfz 10/5) (guns need replacing!)

Heavy platoon (cmd SMG team plus 2 HMGs)

US: (from ‘Blood, Guts and Glory’, rated Confident Veteran)

HQ 2x M20 scout cars,

SP Artillery platoon and observer (3 HMC’s)

TD platoon (4 x Hellcats) with security section.

TD platoon (4 x Hellcats) with security section.

TD Recon (2 jeeps, scout car)

ARP platoon (14 stands / 5 half tracks)

Stuart tank platoon (4 x)

AOP (represented by a small pink circle on the board as the real one had flown off somewhere!)

Setup:

Scenery was already set up on one of the 6×4 table with a village slightly to one of the long sides, roads, woods, river and hills. The mission chosen at random from the FoW rulebook was No Retreat (rulebook p. 279).  I chose the hilly end of the table as opposed to the woody end. Would that be a liability? The objectives placed onto my side were mine in the wood to one side near the village. Fraser placed his about 13 or 14 inches forward of mine on the road at my end of the village. All to one side of the table. I guessed this meant all the action would be on one side, and was right.

I placed 5 of my platoons on the table, keeping one unit of Panzergren’s in Ambush. As I had a pioneer platoon with a supply truck, i placed a minefield partway up the village to help slow the advance of vehicles on that side.  It was a defensive setup. I had pioneers and one panzergrenadier unit to support the At and infantry gun platoons. The nebelwerfers were at the back on a hill. The observer was on my end of the village on the top of a little ruin. My Nebs could not quite reach the back of the other side of the table. With my At and infantry guns covering the village and the centre of the table, I was confident. The pioneers had the village covered, what could go wrong?

Action:
We all started the game dug in, which is essential for defending with anything, let alone those 7 stand German infantry platoons.  I put the minefield over to the left to help with an end run by fast recon or tanks.

Fraser as the Attacker got the first turn. He pushed forward putting most of his force on the right (the village side and where the objectives were). He used his AOP and Artillery to try and take out my Pioneers. Fraser made a mistake (later spotted) that his recon used “Eyes and Ears” after having moved to take GtG (gone to ground) off my Pioneers. I then responded with a successful reserve roll and brought on my AA gun trucks. That made him pull back the AOP next turn! I responded by not moving but putting the AA guns across the back of the table to give maximum coverage. There was a blind spot on my far back left next to the wood. I hoped Fraser would not realise it!. I used my nebelwerfers to range in on Fraser’s ARP half tracks. Two fell under the template. One was hit and bailed. The HT transports ran off to the rear, leaving the passengers safe and sound on the end of the village.

Next turn, the US ARP teams moved into the village. Fraser used Recon “Eyes” again and removed GtG off my Infantry guns on the hill behind the village. His Artillery ranged in and killed the platoons guns in one go. The German CO failed his sole survivor test and ran off. At least I had 9 or more platoons so didn’t lose a point at that point. The US tanks (Stuart’s) moved into the wheat field next to the village). I got my Reserves and brought on  PAK40s at the back field (oh dear – too far back). My already in situ PAK40’s managed to hit a couple of Stuart tanks, bailing one and kill one). My Neb’s ranged in and killed off two US ARP teams in the village. I popped my ambush and brought on the Panzergrenadiers on the back of the little hill near the village.

One US TD platoon decided to de-cloak and join in the fight. The Artillery ranged in on my Nebelwerfers and killed two, putting them beyond any real use. The Stuarts gunned down one of the pioneer teams in front of them. US TDs took out my AA guns.  The ARP now assaulted my pioneers. Three stands were charged. Two of the attackers failed leaving one bazooka stand facing a lone Pioneer SMG command team. At this point the bad dice rolling became infectious and the whole thing became handbags at dawn….. It took 5 rounds of attack and counterattack to resolve. At the end. Both stands needed a 3+ to kill their opponent. The US team missed 5 attempts, the Axis, 4. Finally, the Axis failed a roll to motivate (the US tanks wer less than 6 inches away behind the village). The command team ran back behind the hedge to reload their guns with fluffy toys….
that has to be the worst combat ever seen from CV forces.

My reserves arrived, three units! Recon platoon, Grenadiers and HMGs arrived. The road onto the board was filling up! My Pioneers (Rifle/MGs) took down one or two teams of Armored Rifles.

The US decloaked the other TD platoon . I was facing 8 Hellcats, 3 Stuarts and a few scout cars and Jeeps. They had the centre of the table covered and were close to the nearest objective. Fraser pushed his ARP into assault but list a number of teams with some bad dice rolling. Eventually they broke (turn 4). He tried to gun down my Recon Armored Cars (front armour 1) and managed to bail two of them (lucky again). I now lost a PAK40 to the TDs. The artillery hit the Panzergrens on the back of the hill killing a stand or two along with the Pioneer Supply truck.

I got my last reserves, the 2ic with panzerschrecks and tried to get him up the far left toward the hill and the objective under threat. The wood was in the way so I had to hoof it. No chance of getting them their soon.

At the end of turn 5,  the time was late and we had been playing a good 2.5 hours so I took a view from here… it was going to be a slog while my force was slowly decimated by the US artillery. In a tournament I think this would have been 2-1 to Fraser as I lost a number of platoons and he only lost one. As it was a friendly, and his armour was bearing down on the objective (with 3 tanks and 8 TD’s it was only a matter of time – I had no real AT left that could do much before being ranged in and crushed). I shook on a win to Fraser,  5-2 to him. A fun game on a great table. I learned a lot.

Next time, I think I will revert to 10 platoons!

Summary:

Fraser set out his objective and force to really make use of the village terrain i think. He came in a little cautiously, trying to let his Armored Rifle platoon do the grunt work and make it to the objective. As it was, he had some of the worst dice rolling ever seen. The ARP was whittled down for the loss I think of only three pioneer stands. However, his artillery on the backfield along with that pesky AOP flying around were the stars of the game. They took out my AT gun platoon, Infantry gun, Nebelwerfers and a fair whack of the panzergrenadiers near the wood. In time, this unit can just work through the army, tearing it apart. I got lucky with Fraser’s dice rolling or I should also have lost the Recon platoon. Several shots from TDs and Stuarts managed to bail two of the little recon cars (front armour 1).

Things to take away….

Keep more defence around the objectives. Once the game is underway, moving infantry across the battlefield is suicide. I left too much of my force sitting in reserve or defending the backfield, with enemy tanks and artillery on the prowl, i felt I couldn’t move forward.

Spread out! My nebelwerfers, AT guns and infantry guns were all under one 6 inch square and took maximum hits. Find a way to spread out and live a bit longer!

AOP are again the cheese. Once I lost my AA guns, I had no way to stop the AOP spotting anything it wanted. Watch out for dead zones where your AA can’t see. The AOP can sit and spot you! Get more AA or perhaps some aircraft to shoot it down early on.

Deal with their artillery. Those HMCs(?) have range and firepower. Find a way to deal with them. Take them out with your artillery (decent range needed)  or send a lone fast platoon out to deal with them (not practical this game as I only had my recon vehicles with wheels versus river crossing etc.) or… hide your own forces better. The AOP makes that hard, but try.

Don’t use 2 gun AT platoons. It was not enough to silence the enemy. I only killed one Stuart tank with one PAK40 platoon. The other platoon should not have been in reserve. Too slow!

Next time I will go with larger PAK40 platoons (again) and cut down to 10 platoons.

Photos:

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