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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Blood Guts & Glory Battle Report!

Sean was eager to try some Reluctant Trained German tanks, and I couldn't wait to try out some of the newer US stuff! We rolled for the mission and came up with Pincer. I knew I'd have a hard time being forced to leave half of my stuff off the board until at least turn 3, but was hopeful that my reserves could arrive and wreak havoc with stabilized 76mm shots!

Sean's Panzer Brigade
  • HQ: 2x Panzer IV J
  • 4x Panzer IV J
  • 4x Panzer IV J
  • 4x Panther G
  • 3x Stug G
  • 3x Stug G
  • Panzergrenadiers (7 Panzerfaust MG teams)
Steven's 7th AD Armor
  • HQ: 2x Sherman M4A3 76
  • 2x M4A3 (late) Shermans, 2x M4A3 76 Shermans
  • 2x M4A3 (late) Shermans, 2x M4A3 76 Shermans
  • M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyers
  • Full Strength Armored Rifles
  • Armored Mortars (2 tubes)
  • Cav Recon (veteran)
*Note: The tanks are slight proxies- they are M4s and M4s with M4A1 76mm Turrets.  I don't yet have any M4A3s!


Sean knew he needed to hit me hard and fast. He expected to take losses, but by concentrating his fire, he thought he could overcome.

His armor ready to roll out.

Sean's Left flank.

Steven's left objective. The US start with 1 tank platoon, M18s, and Armored Rifles on the board. ARs are in ambush.

US Armor set up in the small town.

Sean's Panzer Brigade
    Steven's 7th AD Armor
    • Medium tank platoon
    • Cav Recon
    • Armored Mortars

    Sean's Panzer Brigade: The board is bisected by a tributary of the Meuse river. Sean deploys Panzer IVs, Stugs, and Panzergrenadiers on the northern side, and Panthers, Stugs, and Panzer IVs on the southern side.

    Steven's 7th AD Armor: a tank platoon, cav recon, and mortars start the game in reserve. Armored Rifles in ambush. The US are outnumbered wildly, and need to inflict heavy casualties before they are swamped!

    TURN 1

    Panzer IVs roll out on Sean's right flank.

    Panthers, Stugs, and Panzergrenadiers all drive forward.

    The left flank.


    With the majority of Sean's forces on the left flank, Armored Rifles and M18s spring their ambushes.

    M18s line up on the Stugs.

    And in their first outing, the M18s claim the whole Stug platoon!

    Shermans roll out to engage the Panzer IVs. 8 shots hitting on 4s with AT 13- this should go well!

    5 hits! and FIVE FAILED FIREPOWER ROLLS! Ouch. Sure the Panzer IVs are reluctant, but protected ammo mitigates that quite a bit.

    Sean's Panzer Brigade
    • Stug Platoon: DESTROYED
    Steven's 7th AD Armor

      Sean's Panzer Brigade: The Panzers roll forward with nothing to shoot at.

      Steven's 7th AD Armor: The US engage in a big way. Things are looking good when a Stug platoon is totally eliminated, but the 76s on the right flank fare terribly against the Panzer IVs- failing to cause any lasting harm!

      TURN 2

      The horde rolls on.

      The M18s watch in horror as more and more German tanks appear through the light fog.

      Panzer IVs remount all but one tank and return fire, knocking out 2 shermans.

      The 2iC goes for a flank shot, but misses.

      Panthers move to engage the M18s.

      Shermans return fire, knocking out 3 Panzer IVs.

      One M18 is left behind, and knocks out 2 Panzer IVs. The other 2 move to join the action in the town.

      The Panzer IVs on the right run away!

      Sean's Panzer Brigade
      • Stug Platoon: DESTROYED
      • Panzer IV Platoon: DESTROYED
      • Panzer IV Platoon: 2 Panzers
      Steven's 7th AD Armor
      • Tank Platoon 1: 1 M4A3 76, 1 M4A3
      • M18s: 1 M18

      Sean's Panzer Brigade: Despite some opening losses, Sean presses forward! On the left flank, 2 shermans go up in flames, while on the right his panthers take out an M18.

      Steven's 7th AD Armor: The Shermans stand their ground, KOing the Panzer IVs on the right. 2 M18s pull into the town, while the one left behind opens up 2 Panzer IVs.

      TURN 3

      So many Panzers left!

      Stugs and the flanking 2iC put the hurtin' on the Shermans in town.

      3 tanks are left, but 2 are bailed and 1 is bogged! The platoon then quits the field.

      Panthers push forward and knock out another M18.

      With the CO and 1 platoon knocked out, and no reserves arriving, the M18s pull back in an attempt to hide and await reinforcements.

      The Armored Rifles are still holding strong.

      Sean's Panzer Brigade
      • Stug Platoon: DESTROYED
      • Panzer IV Platoon: DESTROYED
      • Panzer IV Platoon: 2 Panzers
      Steven's 7th AD Armor
      • Tank Platoon 1: DESTROYED
      • M18s: 2 M18s

      Sean's Panzer Brigade: In a very good round of shooting, Sean sees off the brunt of the US right flank.

      Steven's 7th AD Armor: No reserves, and the M18s are one loss from a motivation check which will now cost us the whole game!

      TURN 4

      Can the US hold out now?

      Sean can maneuver one Panther to get a shot on the M18s. It's a gamble with us infantry right behind him, but a gamble that can win the game.

      The single shell bails out the M18 crew! The game now comes down to a motivation check.

      Which the US fail, costing them the game!

      Sean's Panzer Brigade
      • Stug Platoon: DESTROYED
      • Panzer IV Platoon: DESTROYED
      • Panzer IV Platoon: 2 Panzers
      Steven's 7th AD Armor
      • Tank Platoon 1: DESTROYED
      • M18s: DESTROYED

      Sean's Panzer Brigade: Sean pushes forward with everything, and send 1 lone panther after the game winning shot.

      Steven's 7th AD Armor: With no CO and 2/3 platoons destroyed, the game is lost!

      Wow- what can I say? Sean played a great game- he pushed hard with his forces knowing he has the advantage in the shooting step. Defending with armor is not my forte. I might have to consider taking Patton so I can be auto attack! Well played game. We had a good time, and it was over relatively quickly, which is a far cry from some of our epic recent games!

      Generated by WWPD's BatRepper Software.


      Scott said...

      Nice report and very interesting to see Reluctant Trained Germans! Also good to see they can still pull off a win! :-)

      Anatoli said...

      Those M18 kicked ass, wow. And the Shermans, really unlucky with the firepower tests.
      How do you guys feel about the Germans, do you have to change strategy in order to adapt to being hit more easily which I guess will be the main change in games using these army lists?

      Also very nice painted tanks in both armies!

      jmezz382 said...

      Nice game ... gotta love how a game can come down to 1 shot/1 kill.

      minutiaeofwar said...

      I was cringing when I saw the tank force roll out and all the Stugs got popped as part of the first wave. Then to see all of the PIV's taking a beating I thought that it was over. And then for Sean pull out a win made it a dramatic finish. The board looks great, as do both of the painted armies. Looking forward to future BatReps!

      SinSynn said...

      Lol @ missions with Delayed Reserves.
      No Reserves arrive, and the game is over on turn 4.

      Mission Rule.

      Games like this make FoW sad, and Battlefront really needs some help designing fun, playable scenarios.

      bristolscale7 said...

      Delayed Reserves is a bitter pill to swallow.

      Tyler said...

      Definitely agree about Delayed Reserves. Very cool battle though the RT Germans (unsurprisingly) shed VPs like crazy. Too bad there isn't another scoring system for FoW as right now this list wouldn't be considered "competitive". Same goes for British CT recon companies.

      Dirty Jon said...

      Not everything is made for tournaments. I am glad that they stuck to cranking out a historically accurate book. Having said that, I won't be building my next German tourney list out of this -- ick. =)

      TT said...

      "Lol @ missions with Delayed Reserves.
      No Reserves arrive, and the game is over on turn 4.

      Mission Rule.

      Games like this make FoW sad, and Battlefront really needs some help designing fun, playable scenarios. "

      Yeh you could just play "free for all" forever or give up playing flames.

      Neal Smith said...

      It felt like I was watching some of the battles around Arracourt, etc. It really looked like how those battles read in the books.

      In those cases, the reserves usually arrive in the nick of time though. :) Maybe Delayed Reserves needs to start rolling on turn 2 instead of 3?

      Anyway, great battle report and love your terrain setups! They look like real places.

      Enageotte said...

      First of all excellent AAR and I loved the models.

      In regards to the delayed reserves comments, in the missions where you have delayed reserves in my opinion, you have to be much more careful with what you have on board, really limit incoming shots at your troops and delay as best you can in order to have a shot at winning. If you are ab aggressive player then this can be a difficult lesson to learn.

      While putting the hurting on the Germans early was no doubt fun, I would have delayed as best I could with the infantry in this game and kept my armor hidden. and maximized my outgoing fire, while taking as fews shots back as I could manage. If they advance too far and my reserves have still not arrived, it is at that point that I would get aggressive and move to inflict as much damage as possible, but not before.

      Steven MacLauchlan said...

      Agreed 100%- I lost not because of delayed reserves, but because of my overzealous aggression :)

      Dirty Jon said...

      ... and because Sean played well. =)

      Steven MacLauchlan said...

      No dude! it's cause my dice sucked!

      nah, I of course didn't mean to discount that. I was referring specifically to the people talking about delayed reserves :)

      If anyone can play trained panzers it's Sean. The man's become a monster.

      Joyous_Oblivion said...

      Blame the dice!

      Nice batrep guys, I'm quite stoked at finally fielding my Jumbos. I bought them just as their production run ended a few years ago and haven't had any rules for them!

      SinSynn said...

      @ Dirty Jon-
      Unfortunately, most Tournaments will have a mission featuring delayed reserves.
      Losing a game simply because you can't roll a 5up, and not for any other reason, is just poor game design.
      It's an interesting rule for Scenario play, but not for one-off games or Tournaments.
      In one-off games, you want to PLAY with the models you've put work into, not watch them sit in the foam and maybe never see the tabletop.
      In Tournaments....well, the batrep above shows exactly why Delayed Reserves are fail. The Attacking player can frontload his army, and push the Defender off an objective PRIOR to reserves arriving.
      The Defender fails to roll a 5up on turns 3 and 4?
      Game over.

      That's not 'strategic,' or 'tactical.'
      It's just dumb.

      SinSynn said...

      Oh, and that being said-
      Blood, Guts, and Glory won't have a competitive list for me, either. But it'll have some fun stuffs, regardless.
      I always wanted to run a buncha Panthers.

      And it sure will make the Americans more interesting and challenging to play against!
      So I'm looking forward to it.

      xenite said...

      I have been screwed by bad reserve dice plenty of times, but I still like the reserve/delayed reserve rules. You can make decisions in most games to mitigate delayed reserves, and now that V3 has introduced the rule where you will receive at least one platoon when rolling 3 reserve dice, you have a moment to count on getting something in. When units do show up from reserves, they really can get the jump on aggressive attackers. I can sympathize with the frustrations over crap reserve rolls, but I think the missions are fantastic for balanced play. Most of the really nasty cases can be blamed on poor match ups more than the scenario in my opinion.

      Tyler said...

      Just saying that the FoW VP system is skewed to favor certain types of lists over others. It's a little odd to have a the loss of a platoon of Luftwaffa Jagers be equivalent to the loss of 5 Tigers (or Patton for that matter). Not trashing on the game, just a minor gripe.

      As for delayed reserves, I think as a mechanic it actually hurts historical lists the most. For example, the most common German list (by historical proportion) should really be CT grenadier companies with nothing more armored than a platoon of Marders or a platoon of Stugs. Try holding two objectives with 2 Grenadier platoons, and a platoon of PaK40s and Marders vs. a 1500 point list of Soviet Tankovy. The result is perhaps realistic but certainly doesn't lead to the most exciting/fun games.

      Luke said...

      I think Ena said it best. You have to play with the scenerio objectives in mind with every game. Is your objective to seize an objective to win>? If it is you need to go balls out to geton top of the objective or you lose. (period) If you are on defense and your condition for winning is that you hold an objective at any cost then you need to slow your opponent down long enough for those reserves to get in there and keep the objective. I know everything depends on opponents, terrain, mission etc, but those are really each individuals goal in every game. Sometimes going super aggressive on defense works and keeps your opponent off balance. In this case Sean played well and that didn't work. If it had worked we would not even be having this discussion about reserves :)

      Dirty Jon said...

      @SinSynn: Build you list to take Delayed Reserves into account if it is a possible tournament scenario. Now, I TOTALLY lost a tournament in V2 because I rolled 13 dice and never got a 5+.. which is a little fixed in V3 - and I am glad about it.

      The whole game is about dice, so losing because you can't roll a 5+ is common in many, many situations. Dozens of decisions lead to that 5+ die roll -- list construction, deployment, moving the units on the board, your opponent's decisions, etc. etc.

      Stormtrooper said...

      that was a good aar and i liked seeing trained Germans.
      @Steve who makes those 76mm shermans you where using, are the old battlefront ?

      Steven MacLauchlan said...

      They're Battlefront models- but as I note they aren't M4A3s. They're M4s with 76mm turrets on em :P

      TT said...

      "I have been screwed by bad reserve dice plenty of times, but I still like the reserve/delayed reserve rules."

      Haven't we all, if the games were a forgone conclusion would we turn up, i suppose it depends on how you see the game/gaming. I love flames because it is so well balanced (you've got to think about it, rather than right the best list), i play tourneys because i enjoy playing, having fun is the aim, winning is a bonus.

      Thumbs up to the new rule, but the old one was, so s**t happens :)

      Almost forgot again, cheers for the AAR WWPD.

      Choragi said...

      There are German Proxies too.

      Those Panthers are not Panther G :)

      Mike Reese said...

      I see no reason to deploy the ambush so early. I think that was the main reason for the loss. Also, you must try and ambush from a flank, not straight ahead, especially with AFV and M18 with no armor at all. With AT guns a battery of Pak 38 ambushing the flank of an armored attack is more effective than doing so from in front with a battery of Pak 40. M18 can also shoot and scoot, but didn't?
      On the German side the SGIII were used for recon by fire (from the US) so the Panthers had less chance to be taken in the flank? Normally I would have led with the Panthers which can take fire a lot better from the front and used the SGIII which don't have turrets behind them to shoot at anything engaging the Panthers.
      Last, the rules include HVAP for the US forces which is where the AT13 vs AT12 for the 76mm comes from - this ammunition was available but in limited quantities, especially to tankers - if the tanks had it historically there was a good chance they borrowed/traded/absconded with some from the M18 platoon (same gun) as the GMC were more issued it. After all, the GMC were supposed to be the tank killers not the Sherman tank (US Army TD and Tank Doctrine). So, I don't have the new book yet, is there a limit to the number of times you can use AT13 or a die roll where you run out (such as a "6" when you roll a hit) in the rules now?

      Steven MacLauchlan said...

      Yes, agreed that I was too aggressive. Although, I ambushed at that point because I knew if I could knock out the Stugs, my return fire would be mitigated. Still, I should've waited for reserves. Though getting a flank ambush would've been very difficult- keep in mind I had to deploy within range of their security section.

      M18s cannot shoot and scoot.

      He lead by the Stugs thanks to the deployment area being tight and not allowing his Panthers to fit such that they weren't in slow going. Sean decided racing for the objectives made sense thanks to my delayed reserve. Sure it cost him a unit, but I don't think it was a bad decision.

      No rules like that for HVAP- just AT 13 around.

      Danny B said...

      If only he had passed those firepower checks...damn.

      I use American Airborne exclusively and do well against any German list but going against these "horde" German lists do put the creepers on me a bit. Although saying that I am building a US tankers list now and can't wait to roll them out :-D

      Really just have to echo what the others have said. Kept the armour out of LOS until the last minute. Do a suicide run with your TD platoon at the right moment. I have done this a few times and it's so funny (and works!) I had my M20's well out of LOS and then just drove them straight through my opponents line. He carried on coming towards me and then bam - 4 M18s with flank shots. Sounds mental and stupid but now with the rule that your TD's just come on straight after your Security section dies you have given your opponent something to think about. Carry on forward for objective or go back for the TDs and then risk exposing flanks to AT guns/Armour back on your line.

      That's the thing with US Armour - it is won in the movement phase and you have to be aggressive at the right moment. All about springing the ambush and moving at the right times. We can't just sit back and shoot like the Germans can :-(

      Mike Reese said...

      M18 and M36 GMC as well as the M10 GMC can use Cautious Movement and Disengage rules (page 63 and pages 150-153 FOW v2)(Page 193 and 194 FOW v3). See page 240 of TURNING TIDE. It refers to US National Rules for Tank Destroyers and Self-propelled Anti-tank Platoons.

      Watched a British Cromwell/Challenger Armor Division Recon Coy vs. a balanced German Grenadier Company with Pak 40 battery and Panzer IVH platoon film on U-Tube. Germans really really deployed badly and from the discussion recorded during the game both the Brits/Germans may have forgotten the Challenger doesn't have HE.

      Steven MacLauchlan said...

      Right, and that rule specifically says you can't disengage when you've fired. My M18s had their barrels melting from firing! If they had tip & run though, man! They'd be ridiculously awesome.

      Mike Reese said...

      They changed it from version 2 in version3. Missed that. You do get gone to ground while moving.Lost the” addition...may disengage even if they fired in their own turn” page 157 v2 of the rules.

      Bryce Naughton said...

      God thats some great camouflage on the German tanks!

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