October 10, 2011

Battle Report: Fallschirmjager vs. British Mech Infantry

Up against Grant's Desert Rats in a 1500pt MW battle using the 'Hasty Attack' Scenario.  Basic rules for scenario are:
  • Defensive Battle w. prepared positions.
  • Delayed & Scattered Reserves
  • Defender Immediate Ambush
  • Defender places 1 objective, attacker 2
  • Defender deploys entire force, attacker then removes one objective.
Mid-Wars turning out to be quite enjoyable as it seems more balanced i.e. no uber-heavy tanks although armour is very expensive.  I used the North Africa source book and took the following list:

Fallschirmjager MW 1500pts
CHQ - 2 x Panzerknacker
Combat Platoon - Panzerknacker + 3 Squads
Combat Platoon - Panzerknacker + 3 Squads
Pioneer Platoon - SMG + 3 Squads + Supply Truck
Mortar Platoon - 2 x GW42
Light Gun Platoon
Tank Hunter Platoon - 4 x Marder II

On the defensive they were facing the following:

British Mechanised Infantry MW 1500pts
Combat Platoon
Combat Platoon
Tank Platoon - 3 x Grants
Tank Platoon - 2 x Churchills
Artillery Platoon - 6 x 25pdr
Scout Platoon - 3 x Armoured Cars

(Photos are all pretty big so should expand out when clicked on)
The Battlefield from the defenders (my) side of the table.  Objectives are the wrecked Shermans marked with smoke near the forest on the left, and in the cornfield to the right of the road - the 3rd which was removed went in the forest on the right.  A FJ Combat Platoon digs in around the left hand objective while the Pioneers, protected by a minefield, spread out across the two right hand objectives.  Marder II's (proxied by StuGs) deployed in ambush in the tree line between the cornfields.

 British Armour begins its advance supported by artillery and a single infantry platoon.  The British assualt would suffer from the consistent failure of their reserves to arrive on the field.  The advancing armour also suffered when 1 Tank was destroyed by the ambushing Marders and a 2nd became almost permanently bogged down in the treeline. 

 The ambushing Marder II's draw first blood as the Fallschirmjager dig and wait for the inevitable assault.  However, their initial success was short lived as the semi-indirect fire from the Grants 75mm guns easily knocked them out.  This coupled with the firepower of British Artillery saw the Marder Platoon quickly destroyed.  The Marder Platoon Commander didnt help himself by electing to shoot at the British Artillery rather than finish off the Grants.
With their only long range AT weapons out of commission the FJ were left to fend for themselves against the British armour.  Luckily it continued to remain bogged down and British Artillery was unable to range in on their carefully prepared positions. Those few barrages that did come through also proved ineffectual the Fallschirmjager riding out each barrage with impunity.
Luck continued to swing my way as my reserves came on well before the British.  Mortars arrive first and immediately began bracketing the Grants and a nearby artillery observer with smoke.  This forced the sole British infantry Platoon to advance across open ground toward the dug in Fallschirmjager.  Scenario Victory conditions meant that the defender would win if the attacker had no units on the defenders half of the table by Turn 6.
More reinforcements arrive in the shape of the Light Guns and 2nd FJ Platoon.  Using the cover of the Mortars smoke screen the quickly deploy blocking the main approach routes.  However, its already too late for the British as by Turn 6 they have been unable to reach my half of the table.  The only Platoon able to try, a unit of Infantry, was quickly wiped out by the dug in Fallschirm.  However, we elect to continue playing regardless - and actually end up going to about Turn 14 or so.
All of the British reserves are now on, and the Grants finally get unbogged and begin their advance with Churchills, Infantry and Scout Cars on their right.  Mortar Smoke continues to bracket them, and then the Light Guns deploy to block the Grants advance.

The British assault fails - badly - one Churchill is knocked out by the Fallschirmjager and the 2nd is forced to retreat.  But it can't go far enough and the Fallschirmjager launch a breakthrough assault and finish it off before returning to their prepared positions. 
Meanwhile the re-deployed Light Guns start firing at the advancing Grants knocking out one and forcing the crew of the 2nd to bail out.  The supporting Fallschirmjager then attempt to assault it but keep failing their Tank Terror - 3 times they move to assault the single bailed out tank and 3 times they sit cowering in the open.

Meanwhile, the advancing armoured cars easily take out the Light Guns while the remaining British Infantry Platoon bravely advances to assault the dug in Fallschirmjager.

The assault ends up as a long bloody affair but only after defensive fire decimates the advancing British who are eventually wiped out by the dug in Fallschirmjager.

Meanwhile in the centre of the battlefield the 2nd FJ Platoon finally pluck up the courage to assault the bailed out Grant - whose crew steadfastly refused to get back into their tank - and knock it out.  At the same time Mortar fire takes out the British CHQ and the British are reduced to 2 Platoons - their Artillery and the Scout Cars.  At this point we call the game off.
Replay this week with same scenario and slightly modified lists with the Fallschirmjager once again on the defensive.

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