October 8, 2010

FOW Battle Report 1750pt FJ vs. US Tank Company

Had what was probably my last night at my club last night as cricket season starts next week so gaming has to go on hold till March/April next year. 1750pt battle using 3rd FJ Division from Hells Highway up against a US Tank Company. Modified my list again once I saw what I was up against dropping the HMG Platoon and adding in 3 CHQ Panzershreks. Lists for the battle were:

Pictures should all expand when clicked on - taken with my phone so quality isnt always great

3rd FJ Division
- PF/SMG - 3 Panzershrek - 1 Mortar (to use the points)
FJ Platoon
- PF/SMG & 3 PF/Rifle/MG Squads
FJ Platoon
- PF/SMG & 3 PF/Rifle/MG Squads
FJ Pioneers
- PF/SMG, 3 Squads & Supply Truck
FJ AT Platoon
- 4 Pak 40's
FJ Mortar Platoon
- 2 sections
FJ Assault Gun Platoon
- 4 StuG G's

US Tank Company
- 2 Shermas
Armoured Platoon
- 4 Shermans
Armoured Platoon
- 4 Shermans
Armoured Platoon
- 4 Shermans
Scout Platoon
- 5Stuarts
Mortar Platoon
- 4 Halftrack Mortars & Sherman spotter
Artillery Platoon
- 4 Priests
Air Support
- 2 Aircraft

We played the 3rd scenario I think which used Fair fight, delayed reserves, scattered reserves and mobile battle special rules. I ended up being the attacker ?!? but sat back in my zone. I choose to leave the StuG's, Mortars and Pioneers off in reserve which in hindsight was a mistake would have been better to keep the StuG's on to maximise my AT firepower.

The terrain we played on I deployed on the right of the picture with both objectives in the right hand half of the board. The Americans deployed on the left with the objectives equally spaced on either side of the board. Terrain was all standard although we agreed that the hills completely blocked LOS to any unit behind them.

1st FJ Platoon and AT guns deploy across both objectives.

1st FJ Platoons deployment - note the Paks to the left of the forest which blocked LOS to the Shermans moving up on the right. They should have been placed in the forest.

I deployed my 1st FJ Platoon across both objectives with the Paks equally spaced among them. The Panzershreks got attached to the FJ Platoons - 2 with the 1st Platoon that dug in around the objectives and 1 with the 2nd Platoon that deployed out on the left flank. Majority of british armour went on my right flank across from the objectives. Only exception were the Stuarts which went on the left. All of the US artillery was in reserve along with the 3rd Armoured Platoon.
US Armour gets ready to advance

FJ look across the battlefield at the massing Shermans

To late I realised I had deployed my Paks badly giving only 2 guns a clear LOS to the right flank as a forest blocked LOS to the other 2 guns. Josh carefully kept his Shermans outside range of the 2nd gun meaning he could mass fire his main guns at the only Pak capable of hitting him back. Luckily I had dug in everybody and his fire proved ineffective and I suffered no casualties from the Shermans opening onslaught. The Paks did better brewing up 2 Shermans and causing the rest to move forward to close the range and improve their chances of hitting.

US Stuarts move up on the left

The 2nd FJ Platoon bravely sacrifices itself trying to hold up the advancing Stuarts

On the left things went badly as well. The FJ Platoon got chewed up by the Stuarts who stayed out of sight of my Paks and out of PF range of my infantry. Constantly pinned down and unable to hit back my 2nd FJ Platoon got systematically wiped out. However, it did its job in holding up the Stuarts for 3-4 turns and preventing them from moving in on the objectives.

Achtung Jabo!!!

US air support then came crashing in attempting to take out the Paks that were stoicily resisting the Shermans massed fire. However, US airpower proved completely ineffective for the entire battle and failed to destroy a single team on my side.

Achtung Panzer kommt!!!

View from the US commanders perspective

Now where are my damn reserves?!? Its Turn 3 and nothing turns up, Turn 4 and nothing, Turn 5 and yes finally on come the StuGs and not a moment too soon. The US armour has now rushed in toward my dug in FJ and the Paks which are still holding out, but have now last one of their number. US losses though have been heavy, the Paks taking out more Shermans and the Panzershrek crews bravely rushing out into the open to take out a few more. The surprising casaulty toll causes one US Armoured Platoon to break and flee the battle.

Getting the StuGs was a lucky break as the US armour finally took out the Pak guns on my right flank. Even luckier was rolling a 6 to have them deploy right next to the objective. Soon more Shermans are brewing up with only a single StuG crew being forced to bail out in return. The Panzershrek crews continued to cover themselves in glory and the Stormtrooping StuGs jumped in and out from behind the concealing terrain to terrorise the advancing US armour.

However on the left things arent going well - my 2nd FJ Platoon is dead and now the Stuarts have been joined by a 3rd US Armoured Platoon. 4 Shermans and 5 Stuarts are now advancing full tilt at 2 Paks and 5 FJ teams holding down the left flank. Unfortunately both Paks are unable to draw LOS on the advancing armour!!!

On the right things are going better though as my Pioneers finally come in right next to the objectives. I now have a ton of firepower on this flank and the Shermans are getting severly beaten up. With the StuGs and Panzershreks laying down covering fire the Pioneers advance to assault positions on the remaining Shermans. By now there are only 2-3 left and US CHQ has been destroyed so its not looking good for the Americans.
US armour crests a hill as the StuGs and Panzershreks move in - all the US armour would soon be either burning or abandoned by their crews for my FJ to capture.

Eventually all of the Shermans are destroyed and I can now redirect the StuGs toward the left flank which is dangerously exposed. Unfortunately at this point the US artillery & mortar reserves come on and blanket my infantry positions and my StuGs. My teams get pinned down, the Pioneers lose several teams and the StuG crews bail out in shock. The Pioneers also get a bit of blood lust and rush past the burning US Armour toward the undefended objectives. However, the rush through a barrage of US artillery and then get chewed up by the 50 cal HMG on the US Mortar Half-tracks.

American Panzer is kaput!!!

Further disaster now strikes. The StuGs and remaining Paks which had managed to take out the Stuart Platoon are now decimated by the 3rd Sherman Platoon, the Paks all die and only a single StuG remains to take on the last few Shermans.

The battle near the midway point looking across from my right flank

The battle now comes down to the wire with my FJ Company now reduced to less than 50% strength the Paks, StuGs, Pioneers & 2nd FJ Platoon all dead - but they manage to pass their Fearless morale check. The result will now be determined by the fight on the left flank where 2 US Shermans are all that remains faced by the remaining FJ Platoon who are desparetly trying to get into assault range, and a single StuG.

The StuG eventually dies but does enough work to allow the FJ to assault the remaining US armour ending the battle as the leadersless US company fails its morale check, breaks and runs.

Final thoughts
Once again deployment cost and the whole reserves special rule is causing me problems. In hindsight I shouldnt have put the StuGs in reserve and should have deployed the Paks first as its difficult to remember to leave gaps for their large bases. The Mortar Platoon is also proving a waste of time but that could be because I am always playing against armoured companies rather than infantry - does anyone play infantry? or is it just me?

On another bright note I had asked my club mates if they had 4 large bases spare so I could make up my FJ Artillery Platoon. Instead of 4 bases I got a bread bag full of 40-50 small, medium and large bases. Enough for me to make up a full Artillery Platoon, a Heavy Mortar Platoon and some objectives.


indierockclimber said...

Very nice- good use of your FJ. Gotta be aggressive with those fearless vet units. Congrats on the well deserved win!

Chevalier de la Terre said...

Excellent report!


laparsons said...

Have you tried using the mortars to do smoke bombardments?

John said...

Cheers for feedback everyone and yeah I like to lay down lots of smoke but as the mortars didnt come till the battle was nearly over they didnt offer me much here.

I will probably still take a full platoon and the 3 HQ mortars in most lists. But will add in the LG or 75mm as well