I got a second (and most likely, final) chance to run the Chaffees pre-MOAB this weekend. Justin has been salivating over Bridge at Remagen heavy German tanks (and their associated dirt-cheapness) and we fought it out with Fighting Withdrawl.
This would be a good opportunity for the both of us; for Justin, the chance to see how four tanks defending (with removing platoons/objectives) was important pre-tournament. For me, well – I was desperate for the chance to run up against heavy armour (albeit… veterans in this case), especially in a scenario of always defends forcing me to come around the sides of the Kings to pop them, whilst minimizing casualties…
Justin was taking three King Tigers (two command tanks, one riding solo in a platoon), three panthers, two 10.5cm Artillery, panzerfaust-rifle grenadiers and sporadic Focke Wulf. My list would be the same MOAB-planned list.
We set up the table, and Justin picked his side to defend:
Justin’s left flank – panzerfaust grenadiers in a field
10.5s guarding the central objective
‘The Zoo’ – King Tigers and Panthers holding the right flank
Close up of the cats
My left flank – guarding against a potential tiger advance are one platoon of M24s, my trained TDs and the trained 15cm ‘captured’ guns
And on the right – the bulk of my force – 2nd infantry, command M24s (not in shot) and Cav Recon… on a road!
Pre game shot
and one of my side!
With Justin not having any recce – it was straight over to me. Cav recon didn’t make full use of their road advantage – but still look sweet!
Post recce move – (Audie decided to stay with his platoon) it was on for the first turn.
Turn one and the recce go hell for leather
With no ‘credible’ (famous last words) templates in Justin’s army, the right flank bunch up nice and tight
While the left flank ‘reorganizes’
The AOP ranges in on the Panthers but I fail to hit (having ranged in on the last attempt..) However the Chaffees make full use of their available ammunition and smoke the ROF 3 company command King
Pinned reluctant infantry – yay!
That was a quick first turn – my decoy worked; the TD’s lured both command tigers on the already heavily defended left flank. Utilizing their speed and small size, both the TDs and the Chaffees make a bee-line for the middle of the table. Realising the right objective is one assault away from being captured, Justin calls the Luftwaffe and…
No credible templates… oops
The FW (Stuka) swoops and and kills one stand – go infantry saves! Importantly, he’s potentially bought some extra time by pinning my confident troops.
First blood to Justin
German artillery tries to get a few more GIs with no luck
Game changing moment right here – the Kings and Panthers move out to engage me
Panthers don’t like being ranged in, apparently
With his left flank exposed and outnumbered, the platoon KT moves toward the far objective – popping some shots at the recce but failing to hit
The kings find the shooting rather tough, but bag a Chaffee nonetheless
Before the central KT storm troopers towards the left objective
Turn two and things start to heat up.
Audie and his boys unpin and head into the forest for an assault…
But its the M24s who make it in, losing one on the way in but forcing the Germans back
After shooting up one gun, the Cav Recon get ballsy and charge the remaining 10.5cm. The KT sees it off… with a re-roll of course!
Justin responds by moving the cats up… again!
Central KT moves to engage the assaulting Chaffees
While the command tigers go hunting the other platoon of M24s
Caught between a rock and a hard place, the Chaffees take another casualty.
I actually start turn 3 in possession of the central objective, thanks to these little guys (the KT had moved up field):
90 points of victory!
Winning the game 6-1 without even scratching the paint. Well, Justin’s paint anyway. Since neither of us got much out of a 5 turn game, we decided to push on, and I see how my little tanks can go against three hungry Kings.
Step one – flank shots. Who said AT10 was terrible? One bailed, reluctant KT…
The two remaining Chaffees get to work on the Panthers, repeating step one – flank shots for the win!. Now you see me…
… and now you don’t! Reluctant platoon check – ouch!
I go for all objectives, bail another Chaffee and push the Grenadiers away. They pass their reluctant platoon moral, ex SS guys perhaps?
The KTs attempt to avenge their fallen cats – bagging a Chaffee…
With the survivor promptly failing its motivation check. 1-1 on Platoons!
My infantry and Chaffees finish off the Grenadiers will I pop and move my TD’s to engage the KT
Despite four M10s and one stationary Chaffee hitting it – the KT shrugs everything off, before the 2IC at the rear scores a bail… one reluctant double bail check later… 3-1 on platoons!
After three turns of ranging in and being bounced, team 15cm-AOP score a direct hit, on the King of Kings, Command Tiger
Losing a third platoon – Justin starts his fourth turn under half strength, and promptly fails that check too.
What surprised me in this game, was how versatile this list is – everything, even the cheap recce, can contribute significantly. What didn’t surprise me, was how much effort it takes to crack a KT. 210 points for a 305point monster is a great trade (15cm guns) but that took five turns! The reality is, I got lucky with Justin being so aggressive. Had he played defensively as all good “always defends lists” can, I’d have been up for much more pain.