August 9, 2011

FOW Tournament Report - FRACAS Part 2

Game 3 Free for all vs. British Recon Company

The most enjoyable game of the tournament for me despite losing 2-3 because my opponent was a nice bloke but also extremely fair – so fair he kept giving me advice on best to beat him, I also learned a couple of things from him. The most important of these was that CIC do not work like Battle Standard Bearers in Warhammer. With WHFB these guys allow any unit with range to re-roll failed leadership (motivation) rolls, in FOW your CIC attaches to the Platoon he wants to give re-rolls too. End result is if you stuff up the re-roll both the Platoon and the CIC go bye-bye. I should have known this but have been happily playing along using the CIC like a Warhammer BSB – I guess my FV must have never failed a re-roll meaning it’s never come up before now.

Anyway my opponent had:
• CHQ in Scout Cars with a couple of extra independent teams (I think?)
• 2 Scout Car Platoons maybe 3
• A Platoon of Light Tanks
• Battery of 25pdrs

Fallshirm deploy around their two objectives (the 2nd is the tank by the water tower)

Unfortunately from here my memory starts to fail me. Basically he advanced in two groups each heading toward a separate objective with the Stuarts in the middle ready to move to either side.

British Armoured Cars advance as Fallshirm try despartely to dig in

The Light Guns took out one Stuart before being killed while the Mortars kept up a constant smoke barrage. Machine gun fire from the British armoured cars started to hurt me and the 25pdrs took out the Mortars a team at a time.
On the left one Recon Platoon was checked in place, or held deliberately, either works as a valid reason. All of the action was on the right. First British Armoured Cars with supporting independent teams assaulted the dug in Fallschirm. The following melee saw them pushed back after heavy losses on both sides, including an entire Scout Car platoon.
Fallschirm launch a counter assault vs. British Armoured Cars
Resolute but costly defences leaves British armoured vehicles burning but few Fallschirm are alive to return to their foxholes.

The Stuarts then joined in from the centre. The melee that followed saw all of them wiped out in the assault but follow up machine gun fire from the remaining Armoured Cars in the following turns left only the Mortar command team anywhere near the right hand objective.
The 2nd British assault is also beaten back but the Fallschirm all fall in the process.

The sole remaining Scout Car on that flank advanced to take the objective and despite my best efforts the 2nd Fallschirm Platoon couldn’t take it out. Even if they had I remained outnumbered and only 1 team away from being below 50% strength. However, the 1 hour time limit ran out and the game ended with neither of us winning and a 2-3 loss to me.

Game 4 No Retreat vs. Soviet Mechanised Company

Good terrain set up for this game which pitted me against a force of:
• Mechanised Platoon w. Half-tracks & Motorcycles
• Tank Platoon w. 5 British Stuarts
• Assault Gun Platoon w. 3 Su76s
• Recon Platoon w. 3 Armoured Cars

Playing the defender I remembered the mistake I made in Game 2 and started with the Light Guns and a combat Platoon on the board and the Mortars and other FJ Platoon in reserve. With the objectives close together I was able to dig in the combat platoon across both of them. The terrain set up also meant that my opponent had to divert his Recon platoon all over the show trying to reduce my choice of ambush sites for the Light Guns.

The battlefield with the 1st FJ Platoon dug in around the two objectives

The objectives btw were really well modelled. One consisted of a mock prisoner of war camp complete with Soviet prisoners, the other a broken trench line including multiple tank tracks and crushed & mangled Soviet dead. They gave the game a touch of realism – Soviet forces attempting to retake a captured trench and free some prisoners; possibly so they could send them to Siberia or a Penal company afterward if we follow historical trends.

My opponent rushed forward as fast as possible grouping his armour together and trying not to think about where the Light Guns would appear.
Soviet armour and mechanised infantry advance enmass

The Soviet recon moves worked very successfully and I ended up having to deploy the Light Gun ambush on my board edge directly behind the dug in Fallschirm. This turned out to be a good place to put them. By having the Fallschirm go to ground the Light Guns could shoot over their heads and the Soviet armour would be forced to come into range to avoid having to hit the Fallschirm on 7’s and the Light Guns on 6’s. Initial Soviet shooting was ineffectual and took out only a single Fallschirm team, their low firepower ratings not helping them get through their prepared defences. My reserves also arrived in a timely fashion with the 2nd Fallschirm Platoon coming on in the woods to the left.

Reinforcements arrive and deploy to force the Soviet recon elements out of the village
The 2nd Fallschirm Platoon advanced to assault the Soviet Recon Platoon which promptly disengaged allowing them to continue advancing toward the village and objectives. By this stage the Soviet infantry had dismounted and entered the same village and began its assault on the Fallschirm dug in around the objectives.
Soviet mechanised infantry dismount and join their armour in assaulting the objectives

The assault proved rather bloody. The Soviet infantry were decimated by defensive fire and then forced to withdraw from the assault after suffering further losses. The Tanks without infantry support had already lost some of their number to the Light Guns and soon lost more to the defending Fallschirm – the CIC and Platoon commander’s Panzerknackers cutting through their top armour easily.

However, the Fallschirm too suffered losses including a number of teams to Soviet flamethrowers, and they broke and ran leaving the objective undefended and in the hands of the sole surviving Soviet tank.

The 2nd Fallschirm Platoon had once chance to recapture the objective or the battle would be lost. They needed to assault the Soviet infantry which was now in the Village, push them out, and then consolidate toward the objective hoping they got close enough to contest it.

The assault went in and was successful. Soviet armoured cars which were in the village were unable to disengage from the attack and got caught up in the assault as the Fallschirm charged through the village. The Soviet infantry was annihilated along with their armoured cars as the Fallschirm surged through and around the buildings pushing the enemy back. Consolidating a single team came within range of the objective allowing it to be contested.

With their CIC, Kommisar and 2 Platoons destroyed the Soviets were not in a good position, and this became worse when the Light Guns destroyed the sole surviving Stuart tank causing the remaining Soviet Platoon to break and run.

A very close (very – about 5mm in it) and enjoyable game and my first tournament win at 5-2, although for the life of me I still can’t figure out the scoring system as it doesn’t seem to follow what’s in the rulebook.

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