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Monday, April 11, 2011

Escadron De Reconaissance vs Mittlere Panzers in Encounter

Absolutely RIDICULOUS Flames of War game tonight!

Seriously, I felt like I needed a cigarette after this game. I ran my French Escadron De Reconaissance vs Tom running Mittlere Panzers (the gorgeous Panzer IIs are all mine! :P) We rolled for Encounter.


French Escadron De Reconaissance
  • HQ (long barrel Hotchkiss) + Air Interception
  • 5x Panhard AMD-35
  • 5x Panhard AMD-35
  • 5x Panhard AMD-35
  • Recon Platoon (3x Hotchkiss short)
  • 4x SOMUA S-35
  • All Terrain Towed 75mm Battery
  • Colonial French Infantry
  • Fusiliers Portes

Mittlere Panzerkompanie
  • Panzer Befelshwagon + 2 Panzer IIs
  • 5x Panzer II Late
  • 4x Panzer II Late
  • 3x Panzer II Late
  • 3x Panzer IVd
  • 3x Panzer IVd
  • *Kamfgrupped such that he had 5, 3, 3, 3 panzer II platoons

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DEPLOYMENT AND TURN ONE

I admit that this game was so tense I was fairly lax at getting pics- I'll try to fill the gaps in text, but just know that it was intense!

I started with 75s, SOMUAs, colonial infantry, and Panhards. Tom started with a platoon of Pz IIIs and his Pz IVs.


Colonial Infantry.


Panzer IVs deploy.


75s and Panhards


Panzer IVs move into the wheat on Tom's right.


On the other flank, my Panhards move into the wheat.


Tom's Panzer IIs probe my right flank.


75s drop smoke on Panzer IIs.


SOMUAs foolishly move into range of Panzer IVs.


COMBAT CASUALTY SUMMARY

FRENCH
none

GERMANS
none

TURN TWO




Panzer IVs pop a SOMUA.


The SOMUAs decide to pull back.


Panhards and Panzer IIs have an uneasy standoff on my right flank.


Before a smoke barrage isolates one Panzer II and the Panhards pounce!


COMBAT CASUALTY SUMMARY

FRENCH
1x SOMUA S-35

GERMANS
1x Panzer II

TURN THREE




Panzer IVs continue moving forward, pressing the SOMUAs.


The first German reserves arrive- 3 Panzer IIs.


75s fire a barrage, bailing a Panzer IV.


The SOMUAs continue to play it safe.


Panhards shift left.


COMBAT CASUALTY SUMMARY

FRENCH
1x SOMUA S-35

GERMANS
1x Panzer II

TURN FOUR


Note the French fusiliers that arrived from reserve last turn on the objective in the bottom center.


More German reserves arrive on Tom's extreme right flank.


Panzer IVs continue to nose through the wheat


COMBAT CASUALTY SUMMARY

FRENCH
1x SOMUA S-35

GERMANS
1x Panzer II

TURN FIVE


It's now a game of maneuver. Panhards advance laterally in the center. SOMUAs again push forward under a smoke barrage.


Another Panzer IV scores a lucky shot and knocks out a second Panhard!


Panhards continue advancing towards the crossroads.


COMBAT CASUALTY SUMMARY

FRENCH
2x SOMUA S-35

GERMANS
1x Panzer II

TURN SIX




The Germans keep pushing the center and right.


On Tom's left, he pulls the Panzer IIs back as a response to 10 Panhards getting braver.


Finally the game heats up as Panhards arrive behind Tom's advancing right flank! A smoke barrage frm the 75s isolates 2 of the Panzer IVs, though the 25mm guns of the Panhards only bail one Panzer IV!


COMBAT CASUALTY SUMMARY

FRENCH
2x SOMUA S-35

GERMANS
1x Panzer II

TURN SEVEN




The French begin massing on the right flank.


The return fire is brutal- 2 dead and 1 bailed! My poor panhards!


Their commander decides to disengage and pulls them back after receiving a beating!


My colonial infantry attempt to launch a great assault! 2 bailed Panzer IVs, and panzer IIs obscured by smoke! Only 6 shots in defensive fire… and… pinned Drat!.


COMBAT CASUALTY SUMMARY

FRENCH
2x SOMUA S-35
2x Panhard AMD-35
2x Colonial Infantry Stands

GERMANS
1x Panzer II

TURNS EIGHT AND NINE


Note the developing situation in the bottom left- French Hotchkiss (freshly from reserve), SOMUAs, and Colonial infantry plus reorganizing Panhards square off against 6 Panzer IVs and 3 Panzer IIs.


The situation. Not the Jersey shore character, my left flank.


Panzer IIs assault, forcing back my colonial infantry!


After spending a turn reorganizing, my Panhards race back out and torch a Panzer IV!


COMBAT CASUALTY SUMMARY

FRENCH
2x SOMUA S-35
2x Panhard AMD-35
4x Colonial Infantry Stands

GERMANS
1x Panzer II
1x Panzer IV

TURNS TEN AND ELEVEN




Panhards move forward on Tom's right.


And also up the center.


On my left flank, the Panhards take more casualties, but hang in there!


Panzer IIs on my left flank, reposition and head towards my central objective guarded by Fusiliers Portes!


In defiance of my Panhard, Panzer IVs stormtrooper to the crest of the hill exposing their side armor…


Panhards continue skirting the swamp on the right flank.


A smoke barrage on the left denies much of the German armor shots.


Panhards in the center move forward.


The German tankers pay for their arrogance as the one remaining Panhard torches a second Panzer IV. The 3rd tank in the platoon has enough and splits! The first platoon is broken!


COMBAT CASUALTY SUMMARY

FRENCH
2x SOMUA S-35
4x Panhard AMD-35
4x Colonial Infantry Stands
1x Fusiliers Portes Infantry Stand

GERMANS
Panzer IV Platoon
1x Panzer II

TURN TWELVE (ish?)




The last Panhard on my left flank is knocked out :(


It's on now in the center! The Germans strike and… bail one Panhard!


Tom makes a bold strike for the objective, forcing the Fusiliers back! FOUR out of 6 Panzer IIs bog down.


SOMUAs are forced to hastily reposition as the objective is poised to fall.


A Panzer II platoon is wiped out!


COMBAT CASUALTY SUMMARY

FRENCH
Panhard AMD-35 Platoon
2x SOMUA S-35
4x Colonial Infantry Stands
3x Fusiliers Portes Infantry Stand

GERMANS
Panzer IV Platoon
Panzer II Platoon
1x Panzer II

TURN THIRTEEN (ish?)


The game is very tense right now- in the bottom center Tom has 2 platoons of Panzer IIs threatening my objective. In the top center and right I have 10 Panhards pushing against a smattering of Panzer IIs and an open objective!


Panhards inch ever closer as they navigate the swamp!


A lone Panzer II assaults (his 2 mates are bogged)


And the Fusiliers knock it out, running the entire platoon!


But the Fusiliers also retire!


Meanwhile, on my left flank, the 3 remaining Panzer IVs assault the Colonial infantry! Hotchkiss short barrels knock out one Panzer IV in defensive fire!


The colonials fall back but survive!


Panhards pounce on the Panzer II platoon. Another goes up in smoke!


Panzer IVs contest the right objective.


One SOMUA crashes through the forest to contest the objective. The other lights up the bogged Panzer II.



COMBAT CASUALTY SUMMARY

FRENCH
Panhard AMD-35 Platoon
Fusiliers Portes Platoon
2x SOMUA S-35
4x Colonial Infantry Stands


GERMANS
Panzer IV Platoon
Panzer II Platoon
Panzer II Platoon
3x Panzer II
1x Panzer IV

TURN FOURTEEN (ish?)


One way or another this is set to be the last turn! Both armies are severely bloodied. Three objectives are contested, and numerous platoons stand on the brink.


Panzer II return fire leaves the Panhards unharmed but the french Company Commander brews up!


And then tragedy strikes!Both of the surviving Panzer IIs crash through the woods to take a side shot on the SOMUA, bailing it. The SOMUAs then break! With no one in range of the objective, the French must break the German company or else lose the battle!


Two Panhards remain stationary, 2 chase down the German company commander in his little wagon! The French now solidly hold the objective.


The Panzer IIs take a beating! The platoon is knocked below half, but with one remaining tank pass motivation.


And so the Germans start their turn in posession of an objective giving them the game. 4-3 to Tom.


All I can say is- Jebus I am exhausted. That was a hell of a game!

15 comments:

pudson said...

Why I love Flames of War...

"Six shots in defensive fire ... for the pin!"

"After a turn reorganizing, my Panhards race back out and torch a Panzer IV!" (Then kill another soon after!)

"Tom makes a bold strike for the objective, forcing the Fusiliers back! FOUR out of 6 Panzer IIs bog down."

... it ain't over 'til way after the fat lady sings.

I will never forget my first game of FoW. I had a lot of experience in a lot of other games, and felt like there was no point continuing a game against a friend of mine. He convinced me to continue and - well, a lot of stuff happened just like what happened in Steve's and Tom's game.

Just out of curiosity, if this had been at Nationals, would it have ended with a 1-1 draw?

indierockclimber said...

Yeah man, this is what keeps FoW so exciting!

Actually, probably not, although it would've been close. We started around 6:00 and ended around 9... so 3 hours tops, but that included general tomfoolery. Tom and I have played each other so often that we play very quickly. It's not surprising for our games to reach the 10+ turn limit in 2 hours.

Neal Smith said...

14 turns? WoW! That was a great game! Love all of the EW stuff! American Paras are almost done... Time to get back to my EW stuff! :)

AKCraig said...

Go Germans!!!

Tom de Mayo said...

Tom here. Random thoughts:

1) Panzer IV Ds rule in EW. At least against the French. Matildas may be another matter.

2) I don't know if the French are tournament worthy. Their infantry is mediocre in an environment where infantry already plays at a disadvantage. Their tanks are tough, but they are sooo slow. By which I mean: they move normally, but because they cannot move and fire they are slow to concentrate and to place their fire where it's needed. Panhards are fast enough but they are made out of cardboard, and have awful fp.

3) Why do trees hate me? So many ones....

pudson said...

@Tom:
1) Funny you say that about P.IVs. Losing 300 points of tanks to a couple Panhards seems to tell me that they're pretty tough to use effectively. I definitely believe that the 7 AT and 3+ FP are head and shoulders above the rest, though...
2) I feel like infantry exists in EW only to mess with Matildas and Chars. Panhards are freakin' great - 33 points/vehicle - period.
3) Hate that it happened to you, but love that it happened. I play FoW because crazy stuff like that happens. Who knows what that fight would have looked like if all those P.IIs had made it through the woods?

Blake said...

I have a question. You said a hotchkiss killed a Panzer IV in defensive fire, but aren't main guns never fired in defensive unless its AA with a bazillion shots?

Johnnyutah said...

Blake I believe main guns can't fire at assaulting infantry but tanks are a different story.

indierockclimber said...

Yep, he's right.

So having some tanks backing up your infantry is a great maneuver! AA guns with ROF 4 or more CAN fire against infantry in defensive fire, however.

Neal Smith said...

Yeah this comes up with tank riders and such too sometimes. It was a nasty shock to my opponent when I was able to get an "extra round" of tank fire on his T-34s one time. :)

Kage said...

where do you guys get those carpets that you use for wheat fields? I see everyone has them but I can't find anything that looks like that.

Tom de Mayo said...

@Pudson

Re: the Panzer IVs.

Yeah, I let the Panhards get behind me and got punished for it. Still, I don't think that a simple points killed vs points cost ratio is the only or best metric to use when evaluating a unit's effectiveness.


The two Pz IV platoons had Steve's center and left flank locked down for the entire game. By so doing they permitted the two platoons of IIs to race into the center and take the objective there. I don't think the Pz IVs killed points equal to their value, but that's not the point. They presented Steve with an insoluble dilemma just by existing. In our last game, his Pz IVs countered and neutralized my Chars. Same theory and application

You may notice that the Somuas spent most of the game backing away, while losing tanks. Before we added the Pz IVs to our lists, the French medium and heavy tanks could move with impunity, and basically prevent my lighter tanks (38ts and IIs) from coming within line of sight. The Pz IVs have reversed that equation in our recent games.

Basically, the Pz IVs are sniper tanks, and the Pz IIs are assault/general purpose tanks. Ideally, the Pz IIs would face Panhards and infantry, and Pz IVs would engage higher armored targets such as Hotchkiss, Somuas, and Chars.

Encounter's random reserves meant I was leading on that flank with Pz IVs. Not an ideal situation.

pudson said...

Please don't take that as a criticism of your play. The results obviously showed that you ran the company masterfully. I'm trying to find their role, is all, and this batrep combined with your explanation helped a lot. I definitely intend to try them out this weekend.
Thanks!

Rabid Monkey said...

Kage: I got one at Ikea last week. Only $8.

Tom de Mayo said...

@pudson: I think you'll find the Pz IVs a useful addition. They give the Somuas out there something to fear, which in turn prevents them from forming a gun line and blasting away at you.

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