In preparation practice for an up-coming FoW tournament in Pittsburgh,  Aaron Fitzgerald (Fitzi) challenged me and my Brit infantry to a game at Legions Hobbies, where we game Friday nights. A special rule for the Late War 1650 point tournament is that support platoons (including air and naval bombardment) can’t outnumber combat or weapons platoons, so we had to play around with our normal lists a bit. The biggest change is that we had been playing at 1750 points, so some “thinning” was required!

My Confident Veteran British Rife Company from “Road to Rome”: HQ, Full Rifle Platoon, Short Rifle Platoon, 2 Recce Carrier platoons (base model with no frills), 6pdr (Late) platoon of 4 guns, Heavy mortars (2 tubes), Churchill platoon (MkVII and two IV (late)), NZ Armored Platoon (Sherman III , Firefly, and Sherman IB (105), 25pdr Battery (4 guns), and AA Platoon of 2 40mm Bofors.

Fitzi’s Fearless Trained Wiking SS Division Mech Germans from “Grey Wolf” had Panzer Grenadiers with Half-tracks, a short Panzer Grenadier on foot, 2 HMGs (one attached to each grenadier platoon), 2 Half-tracks with 75mm short guns (attached to first grenadiers), 4 Panzer Mk IV, 3 Panthers with “Kanone”, 6 Nebelwerfers, and a Platoon of two 8-Rad heavy armored cars.

-1aBritSideofBoard

British Side of the battlefield.

The mission rolled was “Hasty Attack” and I picked the south side of the board to defend. The battlefield was a typical village in Belgium or Germany fit for late war with one main village at a crossroads with wood patches, some crop fields and high hills overlooking the town from the South. Some ruins gave evidence of a prior bombardment by air or artillery.

As the defender I chose the side with the hills as I thought it would give me better opportunities to deploy concealed and use the town to shield left-to-right movements of my tanks. His Panthers, especially with the one “Kanone” Ace could kill anything I have, but my AT guns and tanks could do the same if I could get flank shots. The sky was apparently clouded, as neither side had chosen air support.

One of my objectives was placed to left center of the German side and one on my right on the hilltop. The Germans placed one on my left flank and the other at the town crossroads.

I deployed with half my company (Full Rifle platoon, 1 carrier platoon, the Churchill platoon, the 25pdrs, and the 6pdrs in immediate ambush) with the rest as reserves.

1bLeftObjectiveandBrInfPlatoon

Left objective held by British Infantry.

 

 

2CenterObjandBrarty

Center objective (picked up by attacker) held by Churchills.

 

3RightObjand BrArty

Right objective on hilltop held by 25pdr battery.

After spying my deployment, the Germans planned a central attack using the village and woods for cover.  The “Kanone” rolls a 6…and promptly becomes a Superman with Knights Cross with Diamonds. He can re-roll misses and consider moving shots as non-moving! Not good for me…

German right center deployment. Panthers and Panzergrenadiers.

German right center deployment. Panthers and Panzergrenadiers.

5GermanDeployRight

Right deployment. 8-rads and Panzergrenadiers.

6ImmediateAmbush

My ambushing 6pdrs deploy from the left crop fields to the town, protecting both German-placed objectives. The right-most objective was removed by the attacker after the ambush was placed.

7RecceandAtintheSstreet

The third gun of the ambush platoon covers the main street in the town. The recce carriers will move out in the recce phase.

8RecceMove

Carriers move out in the recce phase.

The Germans countered my move with his own 8rads moving down the road. The Germans as attackers had the first move and promptly moved the big Panthers and 8-rads to destroy the intrepid (or stupid) speedy carriers.

A volley of fire gets two hits from the 8-rads which I actually bounce! One carrier is not so lucky as the Panther nails it. In my turn I manage to drop a 25pdr bombardment on a Panther and bail it. I coulda been a contenda….

As a side note. I screwed up here. I knew about the “disengage” rule for recce (Fitzi even asked if I wanted to do it), but assumed I would still take a shot before I retreated. I totally forgot that vehicles or weapons with only one shot DON’T get to fire! Lesson learned and noted. It’s why we practice!

9FirstMoveFirstBlood

First blood as carrier is blown to pieces…

10Guns25pdrsBailPanther

25pdrs range in on the Panther platoon…one bails.

In turn 2, the bailed Panther still cowers but his companion kills a Brit infantry stand in one of the town buildings. The 8-rads dodge back and duel inconclusively with the remaining Brit carriers. My big chance to kill the bailed Panther fails as the 25pdr barrage misses totally!

 

 

 

Turn three starts with the German arrival of the Werfer battery and the Mk IV platoon. The Panthers inch closer into the town. The Mk IVs and 8-rads head to block the carriers, who aim to swing around the left and menace the observer for the werfers and the open objective.  One more carrier bites it, but the tough platoon leader heroically pushes on after a morale check. The Panthers miss all their shots at the concealed infantry and guns. In my turn, the lone carrier assaults and kills the German observer.  A Churchill takes out one of the 8-rads on the road. Part of the infantry platoon attacks the Panthers through a smoke barrage but fail to nail the big cat who withdraws from the combat shaken up but unscathed.

11ReceeDance

Turn three Recce dance one.

12Recce8RadsStalkCarriers

Recce dance two…

13AtvsPanther

Panther standoff…the big cat missed the concealed gun.

14SmokeEm

Blind the cat!! A 25pdr smoke barrage hits the town.

15PantherRetreatsfromAmbush

The infantry ambush fails and the Panther retreats to safety.

Turn four is ineffective for the Germans with no hits scored. Most of my infantry is still “gone-to-gound” or can’t be seen. The werfers fail to range in on my 25pdr battery. In my turn, I drop a barrage on the Panzergrenadiers in the left part of the town. They had moved in swiftly to support the Panthers after the assault scare. The only result was a pinned platoon as Fitzi rolled  saves for four teams and a Panther. The lone carrier shoots at the Panzergrenadiers who just arrived and garrisoned the objective and drops one. I see a huge Panther’s exposed rear in the town (too big to hide behind the building) and take three shots with the 6pdr…

I AM the Diceman! One measly hit which only bails the Panther and probably really pisses him off!

 

 

16BarrageonGermanInf

Turn four barrage pins the Panzergrenadiers.

17ISeePantherAss

I see you Mr. Panther with exposed rear….

 

Turn Five gets nothing for the Germans except a bailed-out carrier. The Mk IVs maneuver and hold the left woods near the town. Fitzi opens up on the carrier with a hail of gunfire from the 8-rad and Panzergrenadiers…and BAILS it!

18MK4Advance

Mk IVs guard the right of the German lines…Churchills down the road!

19Panthervs25pdr

Panther moves away from the 6pdr and advances on the 25pdr…who he misses!

20TenHitsOutof12

Fitzi rolls 10 Hits out of 12 dice!! It doesn’t help when I save on everything. SOMETIMES I roll well!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In my turn, the recovered carrier misses the German infantry. The 25pdrs miss everything. The Churchill platoon leader smokes a Panther in the town after the 6pdr kills two German infantry who were stuck in the open when they found the townspeople had locked their doors! (Fitzi missed two chances to clear the buildings.)  My Sherman platoon arrives from reserves and hides on the hilltop near the objective. The slopes of the hill reduce their movement, so there was no opportunity this turn to stalk a Panther with the Firefly, and the werfers were too far away to hit.

21SmokeThatCat

Smoke it!!

On turn six the werfers drop smoke on the Shermans and part of the 25pdr battery. The big push is on! With time speeding away (about a half hour left) Fitzi has to attack to win. A tracked 75 takes on a 6pdr and misses. The 8-rad misses the carrier. The Panther in the town shoots at the pesky 6pdr on the road, hits it, and fails to kill it when I miss my save. Under smoke cover, the Panzergrenadiers assault the 25pdrs but are driven back by defensive fire, taking 5 hits and two casualties. The final and decisive pinning shot came from the battery command team!

 

 

 

 

At this point we called the game. I rolled for two more reserve units to arrive and Fitzi had maybe one turn left to win within the time constraint. 6-1 to the Allies.

22NebsFire

Nebelwerfers fire a smoke barrage at the Allies.

23GermansSmokeGuns

The smokescreen covers the Allied emplacements (A third cloud is marked at the corners by cotton balls to the left).

24PanzerForward

Panzer IVs push on the left.

25GermanAssault

The Panzergrenadiers assault the 25pdrs through the smokescreen.

26CloseAssaltBeaten

The attack is repulsed with moderate casualties.

 

In retrospect, both of us rolled a lot of low dice! Fitzi failed to hit on many of his shots, even with the “Kanone”, and I kept missing kills after penetrations. The game was very enjoyable, though, and Fitzi is a fun and honorable opponent to play.

Hopefully we both learned some things to help us in the Pittsburgh FoW tournament on September 6.

Come on down and play!

 

 

 

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