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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Panhard Redemption (French Recon vs Schutzen)

Tom and I had scheduled an EW game tonight. I really really wanted to redeem my Panhards, so I decided to take a whole mess of 'em. I kept my list secret from Tom (and in turn told him I did not want to know his list ahead of time) to make sure there was no meta-game going on. Tom showed up and saw that I had set up a fairly heavy board. In fairness I figured the nice road net for my recon teams was mitigated by the creek and immense number of buildings. Upon seeing the board Tom decided (fairly!) to switch from his 38(t) list (which would've been a beast) to an infantry list (which I think my mechanized list was a bit stronger against).

To make matters worse, I allowed Tom to roll for the mission and he rolled Free For All. We even re-rolled it, got Breakthrough, and I let Tom choose which one he would rather do. He chose Free For All.

Read on!

HQ Hotchkiss Long
5x Panhards
5x Panhards
5x Panhards
Hotchkiss Recon (1 long)
Hotchkiss Recon (1 long)
5x SOMUA S-35
Fusilier Portes (CT, MG teams)
Fusilier Portes (CT, MG teams)

Shutzen Platoon
Shutzen Platoon
Light Pioneers
5x Panzer 38(t)
4x Panzerjaeger
Stuka Schwere.

To make matters worse, after deployment, even though Tom had a +1 to roll to go first, I won the dice off for first turn. Before the game started I pushed all 5 of my recon teams their max distance on the recon move, decided to either win quickly or painfully lose slowly. With that, I had top of 1.

The board prior to my recon moves.

Recon races across the right hand bridge.

And the middle bridge.

SOMUAs line up, ready to roll out once the recon has secured the way across the river.

Tom deploys schutzen on the french left objective.

And hides his 38(t)s, Panzerjaegers, and mortars from the swarming Panhards.

He then loads his light pioneers and schutzen on the French right objective.

On the top of turn 1, the Panhards are solidly in the German deployment zone with MGs blazing.

Hotchkiss tanks (in a recon role) provide heavier support for the Panhards. Despite being totally caught off guard, the Germans make an insane amount of infantry saves losing no one (but pinning all!)

Panhards and Hotchkiss flank both sides of the church, as the other recon elements surge forward in the center.

Meanwhile on the French left, the 3rd Panhard platoon also swarms across the bridge.

SOMUAs cross the bridge.

On the French left, the schutzen is pinned.

The French right.

The Panhards on the left flank boldly assault into woods!

Despite the company commander's urging, the schutzen fall back and form a defensive line.

The Panhards ramming their way up the center also assault! The light pioneers take some losses, then fall back. The Panhards then breakthrough assault the Schutzen but are driven back in defensive fire.

The Panhards consolidate across the church walls, miraculously bogging no one! Both of the Schutzen platoons and the pioneers are maimed before even getting a turn.

Panhards take a hull down position, ready for the impending armor counter attack.

On the German turn, mortars bring smoke to the bridge. Two Stukas swoop in and range in on the SOMUAs but the bombs fall harmlessly into the river.

38(t)s and Panzerjaegers come racing out to counter attack the swarm! Their fire is largely ineffective, but they do bail a single Panhard. The Panhards in the churchyard then fail their motivation check and are forced to disengage! The Light pioneers then try to assault them (As reorganizing troops do not get defensive fire) but fail their motivation check to assault tanks!

Top of Turn two. You can clearly see the 3 pronged attack made across the bridges by the French coming into effect. You can also see both french infantry platoons drinking wine on the french objectives.

Panhards on the right swing around to let loose with their MGs.

SOMUAs move up the French left to support the attack. The Panhards MG the schutzen who have now dug in, but fail to pin. The Panhards decide not to attack.

Panhards assault the pioneers and schutzen. Both German platoons break off, and the pioneers break and flee the board. The Panhards consolidate to the low wall for cover. One Panhard bogs in the woods.

A SOMUA that did not move gets a lucky shot and knocks out a panzerjaeger!

The German bottom of turn two is absolutely abysmal. A handful of shots are taken due to moving, but with concealment (and gtg in some cases) of the recont troops, no damage is done.

Top of three.

Hotchkiss plow through the churchyard wall, Panhards move up with MGs blazing.

SOMUAs hook around the Germans preparing to assault.

return fire from the GTG Panhards eviscerates the Panzerjaegers, destroying all 3. 2 38(t)s are knocked out by the Hotchkiss, and a 3rd bailed.

The Hotchkiss tanks crash into the schutzen, capturing the objective and breaking the schutzen platoon.

Panhards and SOMUAs prepare to assault, but Tom, clearly running out of options, decides he can't let any more of his boys die and concedes.

CLOSING THOUGHTS: WOW! This was truly a perfect storm for the Panhards. I can think of a million other scenarios where they would've failed miserably here. But my god, when they work they work!

I apologize to Tom- I know he had zero fun this game. We talked about starting a 2nd, but it was already getting late.

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