First big game with my FJ last night against a Soviet Tankovy Company led by Derek. I decided to use the 3rd FJ Division from Hells Highway as I really like the way the list is balanced out and partiuclarly the ability to bolster the trained infantry with PF. As Derek would find against his tanks a unit of dug in Veteran FJ all armed with PF is just deadly.
3rd Division Fallschirmjager 1750pts
CHQ - SMG/Panzerfaust, 2xPanzershrek, 3xGW42
FJ Platoon - SMG/PF, 3 Squads PF/MG/Rifle
FJ Platoon - SMG/PF, 3 Squads PF/MG/Rifle
Pioneer Platoon - SMG/PF, 3 Squads, Truck
Assualt Gun Platoon - 4 Stug G
FJ AT Platoon - 4 Pak 40s
FJ Mortar Platoon - 4 GW42
Against this I was facing (from memory)
Heavy Mortar Platoon
T34-85 Platoon (10 tanks)
Recon Platoon (3 armoured cars)
Light tank Platoon (10 Stuarts)
Heavy Tank Platoon (4 KV's? with tank riders)
Heavy Tank Platoon (4 KV's?)
We were playing Hold the Line which put me on the defensive. A FJ Platoon and the Pioneers went onto the table with the Pak 40s ambushing. Everybody else was in reserve waiting to come on. As it turns out they didnt arrive for quite some time.
I put the FJ Platoon right forward strung out across the width of the terrain, dug in and concealed with an attached Panzershrek and a minefield protecting the centre of the board. The Pioneers went to the rear around the two objectives with the 2nd Panzershrek. HQ Mortars to the rear.
Either way Derek would have to funnel left or right of the centre away from the minefield and try and guess which side the ambushing Paks would pop up on.
Soviets moved first rampaging forward, recon elements unmasking the FJ and letting the Mortars begin bomarding my positions. But being dug in nothing was getting through. Opening salvos from the tanks did little as did my Panzershrek.
First major move was the T-34 Platoons assault on the 1st FJ Platoons right flank, away from the Panzershrek. This turned out to be a bad move as all of the FJ teams had Panzerfausts. The opening barrage of defensive fire took out 2 tanks, bailed 4 more and then 2 got bogged down. Only 2 made it into the assault and these were destroyed in my counterattack.
Smoke from my Mortars then blanketed the KV's coming in on the left preventing them from seeing and assaulting the left flank, as the rest of the 1st FJ Platoon joined the assault (leaving their prepared positions). After more back and forth more T34s went up in flames but I began to lose teams with the Platoon nearly dropping to half strength. But the Soviets were forced back leaving 7 burning or captured tanks in their wake - even with the intervention of the other heavy tank company in assistance.
Enter the ambushing Pak 40's who popped up in close range and blasted the remaining 3 T34s before bailing the incoming Heavy Tanks and the Soviet HQ. With only 4 teams left the 1st FJ Platoon had held off superior Soviet numbers and stood its ground. It would continue to hold out for the rest of the game.
Where are my reserves?
As the right flank held Soviet armour poured through the gap left by the FJ teams that had moved to join the assault. With the Pioneers the only unit in that area I was counting on the reserves turning up, they didnt, for 3 turns. But somehow that was long enough. The Panzershrek attached to the Pioneers held on bravely single handedly holding up the Soviet advance as Pioneers died around him. An Assault by the Soviet light tanks failed miserably as the PS and the Pioneers destroyed 6 of the 10 attacking tanks and the Pak 40s bailed the rest.
The KV's and their accompanying infantry though took a heavy toll. The Pioneers had been forced to move out of their dug in positions to counter their advance and now Soviet machine gun fire was decimating their ranks. When it appeared that they were about to break my reserves finally arrived in the form of the Assault Gun Platoon.
Achtung Panzer!!! (Well, whatever the Russian is for it)
On come the StuG's who gave the Pioneers some respite and managed to hold off the KV's and help finish of the Stuarts along with the Panzershrek. The Soviets though were still chopping through my infantry who kept failing to dig in and soon the Pioneers, like the 1st FJ Platoon were down to only a few teams.
On the right the Pak 40s were being killed off by Soviet Mortar fire but not before they continued to brew up more Soviet armour. The StuGs also suffered loses but not before my 2nd FJ Platoon came on.
Stalemate and end game
With time running out (it was getting late at the club) the battle was ebbing into a stalemate, but one slowly starting to favour the Russians. With the majority of the Soviet armour destroyed along with 2 - 3 Platoons they had taken heavy losses. But, my infantry kept failing to dig in leaving them exposed to machine gun fire. The Paks and remaining StuGs could only bail the odd KV and we ended the battle with a comprehensive German victory - all of my Platoons were still on the board.