Devil’s in Action – Chaffees Game 2

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.

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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.
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We set up the table, and Justin picked his side to defend:

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Justin’s left flank – panzerfaust grenadiers in a field

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10.5s guarding the central objective

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‘The Zoo’ – King Tigers and Panthers holding the right flank

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Close up of the cats

 

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My left flank – guarding against a potential tiger advance are one platoon of M24s, my trained TDs and the trained 15cm ‘captured’ guns

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And on the right – the bulk of my force – 2nd infantry, command M24s (not in shot) and Cav Recon… on a road!

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Pre game shot

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and one of my side!

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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.

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Turn one and the recce go hell for leather

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With no ‘credible’ (famous last words) templates in Justin’s army, the right flank bunch up nice and tight

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While the left flank ‘reorganizes’

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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

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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…

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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.

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First blood to Justin

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German artillery tries to get a few more GIs with no luck

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Game changing moment right here – the Kings and Panthers move out to engage me

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Panthers don’t like being ranged in, apparently

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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

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The kings find the shooting rather tough, but bag a Chaffee nonetheless

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Before the central KT storm troopers towards the left objective

Turn two and things start to heat up.

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Audie and his boys unpin and head into the forest for an assault…

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But its the M24s who make it in, losing one on the way in but forcing the Germans back

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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!

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Central KT moves to engage the assaulting Chaffees

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While the command tigers go hunting the other platoon of M24s

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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):

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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.

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Step one – flank shots. Who said AT10 was terrible? One bailed, reluctant KT…

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The two remaining Chaffees get to work on the Panthers, repeating step one – flank shots for the win!. Now you see me…

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… and now you don’t! Reluctant platoon check – ouch!

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I go for all objectives, bail another Chaffee and push the Grenadiers away. They pass their reluctant platoon moral, ex SS guys perhaps?

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Squish!

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The KTs attempt to avenge their fallen cats – bagging a Chaffee…

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With the survivor promptly failing its motivation check. 1-1 on Platoons!

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My infantry and Chaffees finish off the Grenadiers will I pop and move my TD’s to engage the KT

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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!

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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.

 

 

Northern Sydney Stormtroopers Club Session

A bunch of us got together for late MOAB practice the other night, including Adam all the way from the Shire (respect for that mate!). Here’s some of the action:

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Yanks vs ‘Borrowed’ Yanks – Adam’s lendlease brings the pain

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but has a sea of ‘regular’ Americans to combat!

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So. Much. Tankovy.

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SU100s – the only ‘native’ unit in Adam’s list

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Alex takes on James

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The Canadian ‘Arty-Park’

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You can never have too many AFVs…

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Gamers aren’t terribly fashionable – fortunately none of us were responsible for this crime against humanity

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Yanks brace for an onslaught of MGs

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While pegging a few of the Ruskies

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James’ incerdible ability to roll terrible tiger ace skills…

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The Spetz… bringers of victory (in their German Halftracks…)

Devil’s in Action – Chaffees Game 1

First game out with the little Chaffees that could and I’m up against cheatnadian Canadians, run by Australia’s (current) No.1 Ranked Canadian player, Alex.

Alex ran a Rifle Company from Market Garden; two platoons with Kangaroo APCs, a mixed Carrier Platoon (Wasps/Universal Carriers), an Armoured Recce Platoon with one Firefly, 4 M10 17pdrs and 8 25pdr (trained) guns. Ouch. The 25pdrs, with rof 2, AT9 and turntables could pose a massive threat to my paper tanks.

I went with my MOAB Chaffees. I know some people don’t like playing blue vs blue, but at a Grand Tournament like MOAB it’s almost inevitable. This would be a good test to see how I could deal with Veteran opponents (and those with excellent special rules to boot).

Alex rolled Free For All and I won the roll for attacker, picking the heavier forest side to protect my light tanks.

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US left flank – rifles and captured guns

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US middle – Chaffees, Recon, TD’s. The other M24 platoon is on the far right guarding the wheat field objective

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Oh Canada… right flank, infantry, 25pdrs (Land Mattresses moonlighting in this game) and ‘real’ M10s.

Knowing the full potential of direct fire 25pdrs, Alex spread the artillery out between the two objectives. Meaning I’d need to hit the guns either way, to take the game.

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Canadian left flank

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Canada in the middle. Featuring Adam’s painted terrain

I left my right flank minimally defending on purpose; I was hoping to tempt Alex out of the forest with his firefly’s and mounted infantry to swarm my M24 platoon – who would in turn be supported by my other Chaffees and M10s. Alex didn’t take the bait (a rather expensive fishing trip!), so it was up to me to bring the game to him!

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M24s, recce and TD security move out behind the forested cover

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What a juicy target for the AOP to spot… the captured guns hit two M10s and bail one… not a great start for the artillery

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Recce keeping their eyes open

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Alex returned fire on my guns, ranging in and… missing. This would be a common theme

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After remounting his M10, Alex moves them up, wasting the M24 platoon command and bailing another…

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With Alex’s M10s in the open, I pop my TD ambush and waste the platoon. 3 kills, a double bail (Canada passes) and a failed platoon check. 1-0 at the second!

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Chaffees move up to tempt Alex..

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Carnage on turn 2!

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In my haste to find a good ambush location for the TD’s, I failed to account for a) range and b) Semi-indirect Fire. Alex ignores the wheat field Chaffees and brews up the M10s – three kills, one bail (sound familiar?). I pass the motivation check to stay around, but get blasted on Alex’s next turn

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‘Roos move out…

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Canadian recce disengages as I go for cheap kills

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With Alex ranged in on my guns, the AOP goes for the staff team, and a couple of Shermans…

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The staff team save (pinning the arty) and the two Shermans bounce the AT5 rounds… this would also be a recurring theme! The SMG infantry dismount and move up to the objective, while my Chaffees knock the wasps out.

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AOP switches to the infantry, bagging two stands

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Got too close! The chaffees whiff their shots at the infantry, and cop a couple of Firefly rounds in return

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Alex still ranged in…

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… and misses my two (non-dug in) guns

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I clear out the Recce and Wasps to go 3-1 up on platoons – looking to get Alex under, I move up to snipe the Firefly and the other Shermans at range. I kill two…

 

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… but Alex passes motivation… again. This firefly fights on to brew up my wheatfield Chaffees and ice the other platoon. 3-3 at the death!

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Arty update… Alex finally hits my two remaining guns, who fail their save and the platoon runs off, bringing me under half. I promptly fail my motivation, 4-3 Alex!

As with all of our games, Alex and I really gave each other a bloody nose. I failed to use my infantry in the game, and really need to get them into the mix. Chaffee speed was quite useful (expected) but their gun… proved better than expected. Having played most of my games with AT 14 or above, I was concerned at the comparatively weaker AT 10, but with stabilisers boosting the shot volume, the Chaffees had no problem picking up a few kills.

I’ll need to use the TD’s more successfully too – it was a waste just going after Alex’s M10s (especially when I could have ambushed them where they wouldn’t get seen) – but using these takes practice… exactly what this game was for!

Not another Aces List!?

I’ll be honest. Unlike my colleagues here at AOA I wasn’t too interested in the Aces battles. The idea seemed cool, but timing (tournaments coming up and MidWar painting project on the go), and a lack of painted minis had not inspired much enthusiasm. I had played a couple of games as a bunny, but it was really just ‘making up the numbers’.

That was until Mitch gave me a look at his copy of Road to Rome. As the US Infantry player, prior to ROR coming out, I had to contend with Devils Charge lists or something from a PDF. I was keen, especially fielding trained Chaffees, but still had no real motivation to get involved any more than a ‘bye buster’.

Enter the 3rd Infantry Division from Road to Rome. These guys are just your normal US Infantry with a few ‘extra toppings’ to make them just that bit more interesting to field.

The get sharpshooter rules – nothing flash, but could come in handy, but most importantly they receive the excellent Medal of Hono(u)r Winners rule – effectively giving my platoon a second chance to fight in an assault after being pinned in defensive fire after a successful roll of a 3+ (to become a Medal of Honor Winner) and a motivation test to counter. Get Some!

With that in mind, I picked the following 500 pointer:

Company HQ 15pts
1 Rifle Platoon, with extra rifle in command section (9 stands total) 165pts
1 Rifle Platoon, with extra rifle in command section (9 stands total) 165pts
Four 1917 HMGs 140pts

Bringing me a grand total of 475 (maybe those extra 25 points will come in handy soon!)

Sure – it’s three platoons which will hurt, but it has some good firepower, Truscott Trot (which, incidently, the 2nd Infantary Division from Devil’s Charge lost in favour of Winter Training), automatic rifles and the aforementioned Medal of Honor Winners.

It also has some interesting options for support in the 700 and 900 point battles ahead.

And lastly, Sean had initially decided to run this as an Italy Aces Campaign, so it’s nice to run a company from that front, unlike someone else…

My Infantry Aces List

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At the club, we’ve been running an infantry aces campaign. I’ve been running Gebirgsjaeger from the new Italy book. My list at 500 points is:

HQ, Coy Comd and 2ic teams, both SMG panzerknackers.

Combat platoons, 2 full Gebirgs platoons.

Weapons platoons, HMG platoon with command team and 2 x MG42 HMG’s.

Mortar platoon with command team and 2 x 81 cm mortars.

So the photo above shows the painting progress so far, with my 2 HMG teams completed, with a little more grass to go, then some dull coat.

Not sure what the 700 point list will be, but I need to start thinking about it…

Inter Club Challenge AAR Round 2

Game two was against Justin who was running the 442nd from Road to Rome, with his list including two bazookas with the HQ teams, two full rifle platoons, 81mm mortars (along with a weapons platoon mortar section), pioneers with bazookas, 57mm AT guns with… yup, more bazookas, a rifle recon platoon, four 105mm guns and four M10s to round out the army. I was running my Panzer Ausbildungs Verband (with Veteran)-1. The random roll brought up Hasty Attack and Justin chose the “village” side to defend. game 2.a The board had really good terrain for my army, with big forested areas covering my approaches. With one objective in the village and the other two towards the left of the board, I stacked heavily on the left flank, with only the 88’s on the right flank, covering the area with their massive anti guns perched on a hill. My hetzers, pioneers, recce and anti aircraft half tracks all started in reserve as Justin had no air support to worry about. Justin kept the TD’s in reserve along with the 57mm guns – which I thought at the time was a big call against a tank force like mine. He ambushed an infantry platoon on the left objective and spread out wide, thanks to my lack of (meaningful) artillery or air support.

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Left flank objective. So many stands of infantry!

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German deployment – all armour tied to the left flank

The game started rather nonchalantly with me moving up the left flank, bunching tight together to fit all of the hulls.!

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Panzers on the move

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Smoke!

Justin decides to smoke my approaching tank horde. With me needing 6’s to hit anything with the bunker busters, its a quiet first turn. Turn two and I’m almost in range – but due to the tight space, I’m confined to just a few shots (which do nothing). I am at this stage, worried about the 105s and my light hulls… Justin gets his reserves – tank destroyers! But they come on the wrong flank! Fortunately the jeeps can take advantage of the road through the village; they are still woefully out of position however.  Justin smokes my tanks again – I’m thankful as this will (hopefully) keep my tanks concealed; where as his infantry are already concealed and I don’t suffer further penalty!.

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Turn two and more smoke..

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TD Security Section – these boys need to get into the game fast

Rather unfortunate for the TD’s, my hungry 88’s now had something to open up on. The chance cube deities were kind to me, however, allowing me to blow up two of the vehicles. I was actually hoping to force the M10s to pop there, being miles from my armour and unable to take advantage of the road.. On the left flank, the 105s direct fired on my artillery, leaving me with the command and staff teams only; who both promptly fail their enjoy the war rolls and desert the field of battle. The Brums, Panthers and command tanks open up on the guns and infantry crowding the objective and claim quite a few casualties. With the TD’s miles away, the left flank is starting to look ominous for Justin. I’d brought my recce and AAA up from reserve on the right of my armoured flank, to put some MG shots on the infantry platoons surrounding the middle and left objectives, while my Hetzers had come up the middle. Justin ambushed the tank destroyers and moved them forward to engage, but the range was too much for the 3inch guns. His artillery slammed into my recce, killing one and bailing the other. I responded by blowing up two M10s with the 88’s, still enjoying the ‘high’ ground on their little hill. Things had become desperate for Justin; starting the turn with no teams contesting the left objective, which my Panthers had parked near.  With his infantry double timing it over to the left objective (still out of range – just – to contest), I failed to do any meaningful damage thanks to their space marine 3+ saves. It was all down to his reserve roll – could the AT guns arrive on time? Justin obliged and got his 57mm AT guns on from reserve and completely blew the game open…

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Can the AT guns rescue the game?

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The AT guns save the left flank!

The 57mm guns ripped open the side armour of my Panthers, and to make matters worse the bazooka teams assault, wiping out the Panthers and the 2IC and promptly securing the left flank. With my armoured thrust in tatters and another platoon down, it was time to take stock of the situation and find my own rabbit to remove from a nearby hat. Keen to bring the game back into German hands, I swing the Hetzers up the middle of the board and push for the central objective – Justin has left this rather exposed, with only two M10s holding the objective while the infantry moved out to protect the left flank.

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Its not a party until the Hetzers are Hetzin’

To keep the infantry in place my Brums stay put and rain breakthrough shell death on the 105s. My CO Panther does the right thing and bogs crossing the forrest, while the Recce and AAA move forward to pin the infantry.

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HQ tank bogging in the woods? How original…

My pioneers had done nothing all game, however, I’d brought them forward to protect the 88’s from an unlikely assault. This nearly proved costly…

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Recce!

Justin’s recce came on late in the day and sped forward towards the German soldiers. With both forces perviously close to breaking point, he decided to force the game and machine gunned them. I was fortunate to lose just the one stand.. My Hetzers surged towards the objective, nailing the M10s and bedding down for the inevitable counter attack.. Justin’s infantry and their bazookas ran towards the objective, desperate to assault and hold the game for another turn. It wasn’t to be however, despite bailing one Hetzer, the combined firepower of remote control MGs proved to be enough, not only pinning the platoon but forcing a morale check, which they failed, handing the game to the Germans, 4-3 and the end of the battle.

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Hetzer Victory!

Justin did well to claw this game back – had it not been for the M10s getting lost on their way to the party, my left flank assault would have taken a very different approach. The Brums were excellent in this game – shaking off AT rounds and 105 shells, and squashing their fair share of infantry and artillery alike. They really do struggle with one shot to score their points back, but the big guns are quite useful and more than a little intimidating. As much as Justin played well to get back into this game, I was also very lucky – not having any realistic threat from the M10s all game, and sneaking past the infantry blockade to steal the middle objective. I got punished for my overconfidence with the total annihilation of the left flank forces – I’ll need to be more mindful of reserve deployment in the future.

Inter Club Challenge AAR Round 1

International Star Wars day saw the Northern Sydney Stormtroopers trek out to Penrith’s Mega Games to compete in the Inter Club Challenge, run by locals the Penrith Panzer Angriff Club. NSS brought 7 of our regulars in the hopes of breaking the Western Warriors’ iron grip on the trophy. Could the new boys do it?

The games were randomly determined by the team captains, with round one being Free For All – a good one to start the day. I was running my Panzer Ausbildungs Verband (with Veteran)-1 and was not confident, having played two practice games in the lead up to the event with Sean, and getting annihilated both times (Road to Rome’s Naval Gunfire Support seeing to my tin cans easily).

The Stormtroopers would face off against host club Penrith Panzer Angriff in round one, and I was drawn against Damien who was running the nearly unpronounceable Gvardeyskiy Tyazhelyy Tankovy from Red Bear. Damien’s list included a swarm of Churchill IIIs (9 in total), a short reconnaissance platoon, 5 KV-8s (more on these later), a huge artillery battalion comprising 2 PTRD AT rifles, 4 122mm howitzers and 8 76mm field guns, some Katyushas (BM-13) with AA and limited Shturmovik support.

Damien won the roll off and we set up:

Soviet right flank

Soviet right flank

Soviet left flank

Soviet left flank – wall of steel

Damien left some artillery pieces in the woods and just prior to the first turn recalled the rules regarding arty shooting bombardments when inside forests… we quickly agreed to rectify that deployment allowing the big guns to bring all of their might at once.

German right flank

German right flank – a wall of… aluminium? 

Given the terrain and the horde of heavy tanks facing me, I set up fairly aggressively, leaving clear firing lines for my 88’s and plenty of cover for the bulk of my armour to hide behind as they move toward the objectives.

Pioneers holding the objective in the centre

Pioneers holding the central objective

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German left flank – bunker buster madness

That said though, I did nothing on my left flank. I had intended to move out all of my bunker buster/breakthrough guns together to start shooting some tasty Russian Artillery. That plan changed pretty quickly though…

Game 1

KVs and recon advance to the village…

 

 

 

Game 1

…only to be met by Hetzers and Panthers!

Turn one was fairy uneventful, bit of moving from Damien but no artillery or Air Support due to the meeting engagement rules. Damien’s wall of tanks moved slowly towards my lines, bringing the fight to me. With an armour advantage (at least from the front) and very big guns, the Panthers moved into the village to take up shots on the advancing KVs and Churchills. My Hetzers hetzed up the right flank, keen to use their small size and guns to pin the Soviet advance. I think I popped on Churchill and bailed the command KV.

Turn two and things got a little interesting…

Game 1

Air support shows up…

 

Game 1

… and busts the bunker busters!

 

With my bunker-busting plans in tatters, thanks to my idiotic deployment (and to be fair, the idea was pretty terrible anyway), I moved the remaining Wespe and spread the platoon out, eager to avoid an early platoon kill. Since the brums are on this flank (and are packed together nicely), I drove them up to the Soviet lines, though they’re too far away to engage any targets.

Recce taking a beating

Recce taking a beating

Despite putting good hits on my light units – the Hetzers, Recce and AAA, Damien wasn’t getting the firepower rolls he needed. He did, however, manage to range in on my 88’s (who I decided were not worthy of digging in…) and with the combined firepower of the Katyushas and the Battalion Artillery, knocked out both guns. I passed a reluctant moral test, before failing the “last man standing” check.

Another Churchill explodes!

Another Churchill explodes!

Damien pushed on, driving his tankers right up to my armoured line. Lucky for me the Panthers took full advantage of the situation, decimating the Churchill platoons, knocking one platoon out in turn two…

 

Platoon kill 2!

… before killing the other platoon in the third turn. While Damien had targeted the Brums with his air (and managing a kill and a bail), the platoon command tank took aim at his Company Command and blew his CO sky high. Things were looking grim for the Russians…

In the sights of the Brums

Brum-revenge

Damien’s KVs and infantry kept the pressure on my right flank, nailing a couple of Hetzers but failing to assault – this would cost the Soviets dearly.

Germans engaging the Soviet advance

Germans engaging the Soviet advance

With the infantry in the open, and the Churchill threat diminished, the Panthers turned their attention towards the remaining KVs. My Hetzers pivoted to engage the infantry and everything else decided to hide. I started my fourth by machine gunning the Soviet foot sloggers, bagging my third platoon before shooting at the KVs.

KVs tracking the Hetzers

KVs… before the ‘fire storm’

The Panthers and a Hetzer (I believe the 2IC) opened up on the KVs…

Game 1

…wiping them out and forcing a company morale check on Damien and breaking his army.

This wasn’t a great match-up or scenario for Damien – not having Air or his artillery on turn one hampered the Soviets and allowed me to position my units closely together without fear of bombardment doom. The drillings did their part, scaring the Shturmovik away from my Panthers. The heavily armoured but relatively poorly armed Churchills were a poor match for the Panthers, who relished facing trained targets for once! Winning the game 5-2 was a great way to start the proceedings, especially doing it in four turns, but I was disappointed in losing a platoon the way I did (though thankful it wasn’t the ‘expected’ soft kills of my recce and anti-air).

Damien’s army was eye catching – the bronzed Churchills really stood out, but it was the beautiful KVs that really got my attention.

KVs tracking the Hetzers

 

Having seen the tanks up close and admired their dusty snow, I wanted a platoon immediately!

Round one was a most enjoyable game, Damien was a top opponent and I did my best to convince him to attend our NSS Saturday sessions (if you’re reading Damien, 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month!)

Inter Club Musings

.51Cal posted recently about the upcoming ‘Inter-Club Challenge’ hosted by the Penrith Panzer Angriff Club, to be held in Penrith. The challenge pits various Sydney clubs (so far we have the Stormtroopers, the hosts, Panzer Angriff, the lads from Hall of Heroes and three time defending champions, the Western Warriors, against each other to see which team is the best from Sydney.

Inter Club was actually my first ‘tournament’ – driving Sean all the way to Campbelltown and fielding KG Hummel – with some success (we played two games, one was a 4-3 loss and the other.. my first win, 6-1!).

This year, hopefully the Stormtroopers can shake it up; we have a fair gang of players, all keen as mustard. No doubt Mitch (who is our nominated Captain) will have some AAR’s from the event – now its just time to work out a list and roll some chance cubes. KG Bake, anyone? (I wish!)

After much deliberation – including having my original list of 8 Peiper Panthers rejected by team captain and his advisor, I settled on this: Panzer Ausbildungs Verband (with Veteran)-1

12 tanks, 6 bunker buster/breakthrough guns, good AAA support… and 8 platoons (well done Sean).

We’ll see how it goes on the battlefield! Not looking forward to Ryan’s Tigers, or anyone brining NGS…

 

 

 

 

AAR – Afrika Schutzenkompanie vs Armored Rifle Company

At the last club session – sometime in the beginning of April, the Stormtrooper’s newest member – Rob, offered to bring his custom made Wadi Akarit table for a game. Rob suggested we play a reenactment, of sorts of the battle of Wadi Akarit, meaning I’d be bringing Mid War Americans! to the front. The battle to be played would be in the 1750 region – steep for Mid War. As such, I had a tonne of stuff to bring, all lovingly painted and provided by Sean for my enjoyment (as my Americans were/are still in the process of being painted – at least some of them are undercoated!).

Zer Germans would boast an impressive force, structured around the 15th Panzer Division, including:

Rommel
Panzerknacker CIC, vanilla 2IC, 2 Schutzen platoons with PaK38s, a truck load of MG teams and some mortars, 2 captured 25pdr guns, Sd Kfz 10/5 (2xm) AAA halftracks, and… 2 Tiger 1Es (with Panzer III Ns as escorts). Ouch.

Somewhat distracted by coordinating so many different units (plus – it was a first for me playing mid war USA), I didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked. Apologies in advance!

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American Deployment

With the Germans having no air support or meaningful artillery, it was safe to clump up in deployment. Plus… the deployment zone was a little tight!

We rolled breakthrough – which further hampered my deployment zone (as attacker). I was a bit careless with my choice of reserves, thinking that as Rob had no Air, and plenty of tasty infantry options, I’d bring the AAA on from reserve – in hindsight however, this really should have been the tank destroyers – at least getting 4 shots at short range on the German behemoths.

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German Deployment – top corner

Lots of open space for the Germans to establish a good defensive line.

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German deployment – bottom corner

I also made a rather inexcusable mistake – a real brain-fart – by sending one platoon (and later, the assault guns) after the ‘top’ Germans, when the rest of my force (and the avenue of my attack) was focused on the bottom Germans.

So, onto the action. This was a real quick game. I started by digging in the observes/staff teams and sent else upfield. I got air support on turn one, targeting the bunched Tigers/Panzer IIIs, killing on escort and… bailing a tiger (stupid firepower rolls). That was as close as I got to nailing a big cat. I ranged my artillery on the tigers, trying to punish their

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Americans Movin’ on out

5

Ranged in Tiger (and friend)

Throughout the battle I was very indecisive as to what to do with my Tank Destroyers – I kept the security section on, but never ‘popped’ them – until Rob destroyed all three vehicles, forcing my hand. The TD’s were very poorly used all game, starting from not using them as reserves, and culminating in their late, late arrival – opening up on the tigers, having the hit (yep… just the one shot found its mark) allocated to the tank escorts, and failing the firepower.

My artillery impressed Rob – to the extent that he always moved when I ranged in…

8

Tigers – post ranging in…

Which would have been good if I could capitalize… and I didn’t.

7

US Infantry moving up for the win

6

TD’s popped in the open – then proceed to miss 7 of 8 shots at the Tigers

One thing that was consistent (and good… for me), was my ability to pin Rob’s main infantry platoon closest to the objective – the same platoon I sent the majority of my army towards. Despite not killing very many (read: any), and with an eye on the clock, I decided to launch an assault and get those Germans out of their fox holes and into the grave.

9

The Americans before I launch the game-changing-assault…

Unfortunately, pinned Germans are better than the unpinned variety – Rob’s defensive fire took a massive toll on my charging infantry. Everything in front of the small hill died, leaving me the command team and, well not much else.

We were close to time out (club sessions need to be finished/packed up before midnight) , I’d lost the majority of my force (including anything that could realistically dent anything in Rob’s army) and I’d barely scratched the Germans. The game was called and we packed up.

I know I made some glaring mistakes in this battle – getting to know the army would have helped – but this was a fun game to play. The board was a peach – looked amazing and made the game really challenging from the start – especially considering the scenario. Rob and I had agreed that all of the ‘river’ crossings were either very slow going or required skill tests to pass, changing the dynamic.

That said – I’d be back on this table, with that army, in a flash. Next time I’ll give Rob an actual game and challenge those Germans to a real fight!

 

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