July 29, 2013

Panzershrek AAR 3/5 vs. British Armoured Recce Company

I could alternatively label this game the "Watch while my PzIV gets stuck on a hedge for 6 turns".  This was a game that Jeremy and I could have won but me choose the wrong deployment area to attack from.  While it suited us it also suited our opponents as we only looked at the issue from our side of the table and didnt consider things from our opponents point of view.  Anyway we were up against a lot of Cromwells, some Stuarts, and a bunch of 6pdrs and 5.5inch British artillery.

Deployment & opening moves.  Both sides have delayed reserves in our case 1 Platoon of Panthers, 1 of PzIVs and our AA.  Our goal get the objectives in the opposite corner guarded by a plethora of dug-in Veteran 6pdrs and some 5.5inch artillery.
The defenders with Cromwells aimed out our reserves deployment zone - we didnt allow for the speed of these tanks and that really cost us during the game
First moves and this is where things go wrong.  PzIVs move past the railway while Panthers loop around through the fields to their right.  The PzIV commander is in the lead vehicle which then bogs down.

Cromwells move to engage the Panthers or at least force them to adjust their line of advance - the tanks belong to Bob Pearce whose miniatures as just beautiful to look at. 
The bogging starts as 1/2 the PzIVs get stuck as they shift left to counter some Cromwells that have looped around the large hill to our north.  At this point mis-reading the rules didnt help as I didnt realise that bogged down Platoon commanders can switch tanks - if I had the remaining PzIVs could have continued to chase the Cromwells.  Because I didnt they got stuck.
The PzIVs are stuck so the Panther and PzIV CICs move up to deal with them, the Panther gets bogged and stays that way for 3 turns.  We had 3 bogging checks to make this turn and all 3 failed.
Meanwhile British air power is mutilating those few tanks still able to move.
Bogged down and unable to move out of command (due to misread of rules) our tanks cant stop the Stuarts from racing around our flank.

Things have gone pear shaped now.  Our attack on the British objective has stalled - literally - on terrain and now British reinforcements have come on in a position to attack our weakly held objective.
We get some luck though when a platoon of Cromwells is trapped between buildings allowing Panthers coming on from reserve to take out 2 of them - in hindsight we should have aimed them straight for the objective and bulldozed our way through the British artillery park.
All the British reserves are on now and we have nothing except the Nebs to stop them as everything else is tied up elsewhere, bogged down or knocked out.  The only tank in range is the bogged down Panther CIC
READ THE RULES - We though the Cromwells were trapped, but rules dont allow for common sense sometimes, and the British tanks could drive over our tanks without penalty and get behind them... I know silly right, but thems the rules.
Result 2 dead Panthers including their 2IC.  We get payback though when my PzIVs are able to shoot into the flank of the Cromwells knocking both out.
Stupid terrain - this guy got stuck here for the entire game, but at least he survived the battle unlike everybody else
Finally we get more reserves and I opt to go for it - always the best option - so the PzIVs charge in to assault, careful to minimise defensive fire and the ability of British infantry to sneak up on them out of terrain.  But I miscalculate and assault an Observer who I thought was a PIAT team attached to the British infantry platoon.  He wasn't so I go nowhere.
6pdrs kill 2 PzIV's but now the AA has come on the board.  Once again I opt to go for it, especially as British tanks are nearly at our objective and the Panthers are out of action or unable to move due to terrain and British airpower.  The AA begins shooting up the 5.5 inch artillery hoping to clear it off the rear objective.  The PzIV's well... do very little...
WOOT!!! The Panther CIC unbogs just in time to get killed by a mass of Cromwells which have already overwhelmed the PzIVs stuck on the hill.
Game over the British have the objective and we are toast
A disappointing game in the end but a good one in that we learned a few things and picked up on a few rules that we hadn't read properly e.g. Tank commanders can jump out of bogged vehicles and take over unbogged ones in command range.  Also got a great tip from Bob Pearce about movement which seems so obvious now which was - move the Platoon commander first... because if he bogs that determines where everyone else goes and also when picking a deployment zone think about where you AND the enemy want and dont want to go not just you. 1-6 loss not the best way to end Day 1.


Scott said...

Tough game John, but I agree, even a game that goes pear shaped like this, is still worth playing if you learned something from it - bogged/bailed command tanks auto switching out in this case...

Red Dog said...

Ouch. Bob is good at getting the best out of the strengths of whatever army he is playing. It doesn't help when you have to battle against the terrain as well, all that bogging really was impressive!

Simon Switzer said...

Destroyed tanks are considered Difficult going and tanks that are still operational are impassible I thought?

Scott said...

There is some rule about 'narrow defiles too' as I recall...

John Murrie said...

Tanks can move within 2" of enemy teams and move through them but cant stop on them. Infantry and gun teams must stop within 2". Only destroyed vehicles count as slow going. Makes no sense whatever but that's the rule

Danisnotatree said...

Sounds like t was a little frustration. Thanks for passing on the rules, a good game for me with FOW is one where I pick up something I didn't know. I find when things strt going bad and you get frustrated, then they keep getting worse as your frustration grows - having a tank bogged for six turns really is quite an achievement though.