August 10, 2013

Call to Arms AAR 4/5 - Fallschirmjager vs. Shtrafnoy Company

Day 2 and I'm aiming for 2 solid wins from my last two games to get up near the top of the table.  The first match of the day is against Paul Waechter's Shtrafnoy Company which I think is Russian for 'Horde of Infantry' or less politely 'Holy Shit thats a lot bodies'.  2 Platoons of 20+ bases each all SMG's that can't dig in and motivate on a 2+ and a small Platoon of assault guns.  I have more mobility, more Platoons, the advantage of strong template artillery and an opponent lacking any AT capable of hurting my Tigers.  Tigers get Stormtroop on 2+, I'm the attacker and get the first turn.

Just for a bit of fun I've played around with the photos for these last two reports to make look older, clarity goes down but it looks kind of cool

(Read the Soviet account of the battle here)

Deployment - objectives on the extreme right and left on both sides of the table on my side, on my left and the centre on the Soviet side.  Paul has one Soviet Platoon spread across the entire width of the batlefield covering both objectives with some Mortars in support.  His 2nd large Platoon goes down with his independants after my entire force is deployed.
Rockets and a FJ Platoon dig in on the right flank.
Assault Guns deploy in the centre ready to move right or left, or to head for one of my objectives.
Tigers also in the centre where they have good line of sight to both sides of the table and a clear approach to the central Soviet objective.
Oh Bugger!!! That blob is one Platoon and its on my extreme right flank along with the Soviet Assault Guns.  I now have to shift my forces right to counter the threat as I dont have enough troops there to defend against this.
German armour moves up Tigers pushing slowly toward the centre while the StuGs loop around keeping the large hill on the right flank in LOS.
Turn 1 and I decide to gamble.  The 2nd FJ Platoon abandons the left flank objective and double-times to my right flank to counter the Soviet blob.  The aim is to have the Tanks tie the Soviet infantry down while this 2nd FJ Platoon gets into position.
The blob moves forward and Paul displays show solid tactical thinking splitting the super-Platoon into an assault element - advancing through cover, and a supporting element to counter my armour. 
Sorry what!?!! With my left flank denuded of defenders save for a few AA guns Paul does something unexpected and moves his 2nd Platoon forward to threaten that flank.  I should have realised that not being able to dig in his infantry would be better attacking - particular as their size and 2+ motivation makes them basically impossible to pin down.  The FJ quickly shift back to the left but get stuck in the open and soon 24" range Soviet HMG fire pins them down.
Soviet gamble time - Paul double times his Assault Guns around my extreme right flank hoping to use the wheatfield to cover them.  But they haven't seen the large gap in the bocage - this gives some of my StuGs clear LOS to them.  Double-time tanks means double-shots and after some minor movement I take 14 shots needing 5's to hit.  Result 2 dead and 2 bailed Soviet vehicles. 
Meanwhile in the centre I decide to move the Tigers toward the nearest objective - some lucky shooting as taken out the only Soviet AT guns (not that they could hurt a Tiger) and its a risk I need to take.
The Soviet blob moves up and the StuGs have to stormtroop back as they were getting to close the infantry concealed by terrain.  Infantry in the open also make better HMG targets.
Tigers keep advancing shooting as they go - behind them though the 2nd FJ Platoon has had to dig in amongst the buildings and they're being shot to pieces by Soviet HMG fire - consequently the FJ on the right flank cannot rely on their support.

Here the come!!! Paul's still playing a good tactical game - there are simply too many targets for the Assault Guns and the FJ dont want to remain GTG until the last possible minute.
Tale of two battles - In the centre the 2 Tigers begin their assault on the central objective... while...
On the right the StuGs aim to beat back the advancing Soviet infantry to defend my objective and give the Tigers time to capture theirs.  4 StuGs get 12 shots onto Soviet infantry moving in the open - this could stop the Soviet attack dead
Needing 3's to hit this is what I roll.... Soviet infantry also keep making save after save.  Adding up multiple Nebelwerfer and Assault Gun attacks I must have hit them 30+ times but only killed 5-6 squads.
The Tigers begin their assault and the Soviets begin a number of tactical retreats breaking off everytime to buy time.  Motivating on a 2+ I could only beat them by driving them back multiple times or by killing a lot of them in the assault.  But Paul out thought me here and I didnt realise what he was doing until too late...
On the right the other Soviets are all concealed by terrain.  The Assault guns cant see them and can't approach them or risk being snuck up on.  The FJ at the bottom of the picture now know the attack is coming.
The Soviet assault goes in but only after a barrage of Mortar, Tank and SMG fire wipes out the Nebelwerfers and kills 1/2 of the FJ defending the objective. 
Helfe Kamarden!!! Das Panzer ist nicht Kommen!!! The StuGs are too far way to provide defensive fire!!! Only 1 can help out the FJ who are being overwhelmed by a Soviet force that outnumbers them 3 to 1.
Round 3 of the assault and the FJ are valiantly holding on but it can't last as the Soviets keep coming.  The FJ try one more time but break... the CIC attempts to rally them but fails and joins his men in running away.  The Soviets have the objective.
Last throw of the dice - the StuGs have to retake the objective - the go in, 1 bogs down. Round after round of assaults take place but then disaster the Assault Guns are forced to fall back.  The Soviet infantry have prevailed.
The final position on the right flank - only 3 Soviet infantry teams are left alive out of the 15-20 that went into the original assault on the dug in FJ.  But those 3 have prevailed.
Meanwhile in the centre the Tigers have captured their objective but they can't kill the Soviet teams fast enough or drive them back far enough to prevent the Soviets from contesting it.  But their efforts have come to late
Damn this was an enjoyable game.  Right down to the wire... the last desparate assaults to capture and recapture objectives.  The Tigers were 1 turn away from holding their objective unopposed and the StuGs nearly, nearly pushed the Soviets off the objective the FJ had lost.  But it was not to be...

Throughly enjoyed this match I lost it 1-6 and Paul deserved the win as he played extremely well.  But it was oh so close... would love a rematch...


Danisnotatree said...

Great report and pictures. Knowing Paul, and following his progress at CtA made it all the more enjoyable.

Red Dog said...

Great report John, love the photo's too. It was my most enjoyable game of the weekend too, the outcome was in doubt right up until the end. I rode my luck hard in this game! I'd be up for a rematch for sure :-)

Scott said...

Excellent report John and fun reading if from the other perspective, to Pauls report.

Indeed oh so close... oh, Paul has a bit of reputation for passing infantry saves round here ;-)