August 8, 2013

Call to Arms AAR 3/5 - Fallschirmjager vs. British Paras

How's this for a match up British vs. German Paratroopers - doesn't get any better and Sam Page the British player is a hell of a nice guy (2nd best sport score of tournament).  I played him at NATCON and thoroughly enjoyed our match up there and this game was exactly the same the guy just kept smiling the whole way through.

Our respective forces were matched in terms of infantry but thats where the similarities ended.  To defend Sam had a lot of PIATS, a Platoon of 6pdrs and a big artillery park with 8 howitzers plus some limited air support.  While great on defense my two armoured Platoons gave me a huge advantage for attacking  especially as the reserves rule kept platoons on both sides off the table. Tigers had ROF3 again!!!!

My plan was to be as aggressive as possible.  The scenario required a diagonal attack across table corners with Sams forces able to deploy right up on the edge of my deployment zone.  I was hoping that he would deploy as far forward as possible allowing me to mass my troops and charge into contact in the opening turns.  Sam had one advantage in that he got to deploy an entire platoon with his independents...

Deployment -  To the right of the railway line Sam has Colonel Frost, General Urghuat, a Platoon of Paras and his 6pdrs dug in behind a hedge.  The buildings overlooking the crossroads are full of PIAT teams and a 2nd Para platoon is rushing toward the objective (top of picture).  The artillery is ranged to cover the objectives and my reserves deployment area - but not my opening deployment zone.
First moves - an FJ Platoon and my Tigers go down at the extreme edge of my deployment zone 16" away from Sams dug in Paras & 6pdrs, although when I deployed only the 6pdrs were there as the Paras went down with Sams independents.  StuGs are on the road and had intended to rush up the middle but the PIAT park in the railway station and nearby houses puts a stop to that. 
1st turn and the Germans open up enmass against the dug-in Paras.  First the Nebelwerfers successfully range in knocking out a couple of Para squads and pinning them and the 6pdrs.  The Tigers then open up with main guns and HMG fire taking out more British while the FJ advance full tilt toward the British positions.  AA Guns dug in behind the FJ also add their fire to the attack.

The assault goes in and the Brit Paras are forced back.  Forced to fight or die the remaining 6pdrs are destroyed and only a few squads manage to escape.  Turn 2 and Sam's on the back foot already.

Meanwhile the StuGs have moved left and opened up on the Paras mortar platoon aiming to lessen British fire support.  They are also staying out of PIAT range of the train station.  Taking a gamble I opt to cross the hedge with all 4 StuGs making it through safely they move into assault the few mortar teams not killed by their HMG fire.

The FJ attempt a 2nd assault against Sams Paras but this time get the worst of it and lose 1/2 their number before being pushed back.  They only just pass their motivation and dig in waiting for the Tiger tanks to come up in support.  British air power meanwhile has made an appearance only to be shot down by the AA.

One Tiger stays put to offer fire support while the other heads for a gap in the hedge to assault. 

On the left things haven't gone as well.  The StuGs after their success against the British mortars have moved up to threaten the Paras dug in around the objective.  My reserves aren't far off coming on and ideally they should have sat back and shot the British up.  But I opt to keep up the aggressive approach and assault the dug in British.  Before I can though PIAT teams from the railway station sneak up on the StuGs and knock out 2.  The remaining 2 assault guns continue their assalt but are knocked out. 

With the StuGs gone and my only combat platoon too weak to attack anywhere its up to the Tigers.  They charge into assault Urghuat, Frost and the few remaining Paras from their platoon.  Success is achieved and they barrel through.

The Tiger assault continues this time into the dug-in British artillery.  While widely spaced out it lacks any real defensive fire of note and has nothing that can hurt a Tiger tank.  Being gun teams they must also fight and die and the Tigers should be able to roll them up easily.  Behind them the few remaining FJ teams and the CIC opt to move into the buildings and take out the British Paras garrisoning them.

Turning Point!!! My reserves come on along in the form of a full FJ Platoon.  The FJ Sniper also deploys and succeeds in pinning down the Brit Paras defending the objective.  The FJ then assault the British positions and force the Paras off.  Meanwhile the other FJ and the CIC have been engaged in shoot/assault duel with the PIAT party in the village - but they come off 2nd best and opt to runaway.

The Tigers continue their advance through the British artillery park and the 3rd British Para platoon which had been guarding the other objective opts to leave its positions and move into position to assault them, or at least get some PIAT shots at them.

The reserve FJ Platoon supported by the Sniper and Neb fire continues to batter the Paras guarding the other objective pushing them back slightly but not knocking them out completely.

The Tigers are rampaging through the British artillery and have succeeded in destroying most of it.  With their CIC and 2IC gone, and 3 Platoons gone they are close to breaking point.  Air power is useless against the Tigers as they are too close to friendly troops.

The last British artillery piece is destroyed and with 4/6 Platoons gone the British company breaks and runs.
This was one of those games in which I had a good plan and stuck to it.  The result a solid 5-2 win but one that came close a couple of times to falling apart (1) when the StuGs went up and (2) when the first FJ Platoon nearly went west with my CIC.  But without his 6pdrs Sam had nothing capable of knocking out a Tiger and they simply ran riot through his positions.  Talking after the game he said that he hadn't expected me to charge his positions right from the outset like I had.  Losing Urghaut and Frost in the 2nd/3rd assault didn't help him and after that it became increasingly hard for him.  But he kept trying and did everything he could to try to hold on and managed a 5-2 result rather than a 6-1. 

So Day 1 was over and after 3 games I was sitting on 10pts which for me is pretty good.  Casual chats at the end of the day suggested that I was pretty close to the top 3rd of the table so I headed out thnking intently about what I could do the next day...

1 comment:

Scott said...

Well done John, a solid performance. Perhaps a little rash with the StuGs against the Paras at the end though... I have learned the hard way that tanks against paras is rarely a good idea... but it no doubt tied up that platoon which would make your reserves job a lot easier?