April 13, 2012

8000pt Flames of War Battle Report

Well rather than play a 1v1 1500pt Mid War battle last night I ended up in a 4 player free all with everyone bringing 2000pts.  Unfortunately for me, at least so it seemed at the start, the other 3 companies were all Armoured and included:

Tankovy Company - 2 x T34 Platoons, Stuarts, KV's
Tiger Company - 4 x Tigers I's, Recon Platoon, Air Support, Half-Track AA
US Tank Company - 2 x Sherman Platoons, Mech Infantry, Artillery, Engineers, Air Support
Fallschirmjager - 2 x FJ, Pioneers, Heavy Mortars, Mortars, 3 x Pak40, 2 x Flak 38, 4 x PzIIIM

We used a double sized table with 4 objectives in the middle.  Rolling for corners I opted to take the one with the large hill and lots of terrain cover for my infantry.  Turns went clockwise starting with the US, then Russians, then me and finally the Tigers. Reserve rules were in place, no one started dug in and first player to secure an objective by Turn 6 would win.

All the pictures should expand out - ENJOY!!!
Deployment Zones
I started with the Pioneers, PzIII's and a single FJ Platoon on the board and for some reason dropped my minefield down next to the Yanks rather than across the path of the Tigers or the Russian Tank horde.
My initial deployment
FJ advance to occupy the ruined buildings and to achieve defendable positions ahead of the advancing Soviet armour.
Movement started with the US Artillery digging in and the Engineers and infantry cautiously moving forward.  US Airpower failed to damage the Tigers and the US then had to weather a storm of fire as the Soviet Stuarts came rushing up.  Not wanting me to be left out the T34s advanced through the village, quickly joined by their reserve 2nd Platoon, toward my positions.  The FJ went for the ruined church, Pioneers moved forward with the CIC and Puppen launcher toward the village and the PzIIIs parked up in the forest to cover the river crossing (not realising that they had no chance in hell of damaging the Tigers that would come that way).

Tigers cross the River and line up to fire at the advancing Russians & my Fallschirm

Pz III's guarding my left flank and the approach to the objectives
Action to the North as US and Soviet Tanks clash
US Artillery gets pinned down by Aircraft and effectively ruled out for the rest of the game in perhaps the only positive impact Airpower had on the game.  This picture from later in the game also shows the remnants of the US Shermans after being mauled by the Tigers to their front and the KV's to their left.
In the opening stages though all the action was to the North between the three Tank Company's.  While a Tiger did destroy one of my PzIII's they soon moved off to engage the advancing Soviet armour, and to avoid the Pak 40s which had just come onto the board.  The Soviet Stuarts which had rushed at the US Infantry were now sandwiched between US Shermans (coming on from Reserve) and the long range fire of the Tigers - they didnt last long.  This left the Tigers free to engage the US forces as the rest of the Soviets angled toward my Fallschirmjager.  Aircraft continued to buzz overhead but proved completely ineffective for all concerned.

Here they come - T34's advance into range of the Fallschirmjager who are now dug in and gone to ground in a nearby forest and the ruined Church building.  Unfortunately for the T34's the FJ reserves have come on in the shape of 3 x Pak40s and a Heavy Mortar Platoon.

The battlefield action now shifts to my axis as the T34's emerge from the village.  Their fire proves completely ineffective against the dug-in Fallschirmjager whose supporting AT Guns and Mortars now take a heavy toll.  Taking a risk the Pioneers leave their foxholes and assault the T34's in the village - despite cries of "don't do it" from my club mates.  In support the PzIII's leave the left flank and join the AT Guns, Mortars and Puppen launcher in opening fire on the Soviet armour.  In no time at all, the majority of the Soviet armour is either burning or bailed out and only 1 active T34 remains.  The sole survivor promptly fails his motivation check and the entire Platoon flees the battlefield, allowing the Pioneers to assault into their now unoccupied positions and consolidate into the woods next to the village.

"Shooting too successful?  Yes-sir-ree!!!" The Pioneers race ahead and overrun the Soviet armours now vacated positions.  In a great bit of luck the Tigers to their left have also knocked out a number of T34s in the 2nd Platoon.

Deciding to push their luck the Pioneers use the Forest and buring T34's as cover and assault the 2nd T34 Platoon.  Unable to shoot through their own tanks only a single vehicle is able to conduct defensive fire.  In the resulting combat the 2nd T34 Platoon is wiped out and the Pioneers consolidate around the wreckage of over a dozen T34's

Reinforecements are here and just in time as the Tigers have now occupied an objective.  Leaving their positions in the ruined Church the Fallschirmjager advance toward an objective of their own and then dug in again.  Behind them the PzIII's and 2nd Fallschirmjager Platoon advance toward their former positions.  Mortars have also come on the board and these now start to move into position to hit the Tigers with smoke and explosive shells.

PzIII's take position behind the Church Walls to cover the Fallschirmjager.
But unfortunately its not enough, the Tigers have been at the objective too long and the US Aircover, and Soviet KV's (which have just arrived) can't dislodge them - Victory goes to the Tiger Company.
We managed to get to Turn 6 before it got too late and then had to call it quits declaring Bobs Tiger company the winner as they had reached the objective first (a Turn before myself and the Soviet KV's) and occupied it for longer. 

As a lesson in V3 this was a great battle that included pretty much everything - and showed just how good Pioneers can be against Tanks if used properly and supported effectively.   

Another FOW game next week either a 2v2 - 2200pt test of our Panzershrek XI Tournament lists or 2v1 if my playing partner can't make it.

I've also decided to go with something different and take a Panzer Company to the tournament rather than my Fallschirmjager.  I currently have a unit of Forged in Battle PzIII's heading my way from Maelstrom and if they look Ok, Ill grab another set of them (or the BF PzIIIM's) which will give me sufficient for an 8 Tank Platoon.

Probable list at 1100pts will be:
CHQ - 2 x PzIIIM
1st - 3 x PzIIIM
2nd - 3 x PzIIIM
Panzerspah - 1 x Sdkfz 250 & 2 x Sdkfz 250/9
Light AA - 2 x Sdkfz 10/9 2cm AA

This comes to 1105 points, but we can swap upto 200pts between team mates and if mine needs the 5pts then I can drop one tank down to PzIIIN for -5pts.

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