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Friday, September 6, 2013

AAR: Tournament Prep USTDs vs. SS-Panzers

by Luke Melia

Jon and I got together to try out our lists for the Guns of August Flames of War tournament.  The tournament is 1500 points, Late War, and you must play either a tank or mechanized force.  We also wanted to try the new mission Seize the Flank Eric Lauterbach and the I-95 guys came up with.
The objective is set up on the far end of the table.  Both players start with half of their army on the table and have to race across the table to secure the objective that goes hot on turn 6.
Couple of side notes, I forgot to bring my artillery and towed TD's so I had to proxy 3" guns with 17 pounders.  Also I cheated Jon.  The AOP is not supposed to be in this list. 

Jon makes a hard line decision that he is going to try to force a company check.  He has a very aggressive strategy here and one that I was not expecting.

I set up a little more conservatively.  I had planned on rushing the towed TD's towards the objective while the self-propelled TD's would hang out and wait to sneak up on Jon's back side while the Priests rain in bombardments when he got packed in.

I go first and stick to my plan of rushing the towed TD's.  They double time and move over 30".  The rest of my force is hugging the woods.  Jon moves forward to cut off my two units that are left in my deployment area.


My reserves come in the table.  I carefully measured and realized with his normal movement he can not get into the woods in front of Priests and tank destroyers.  So I do not spring my TD ambush.  With that in mid I move both units of Tank Destroyer Security Sections right behind the woods.  I am thinking that on turn three I will spring both units of TD's and get sixteen shots on his one platoon, plus command tanks in a single turn.  I forgot about him getting close enough to assault the Priest command team thereby giving him the additional movement he needs to block me from springing the TD ambush.  I did get off an artillery bombardment and killed a single Panzer IV.

The best laid plans of mice and men...

Jon's machine guns killed the artillery CO and since he was in position to assault at the end of shooting, he now advances using the assaulting abandoned positions rule.  This blocks my ambush, which is critical.  He also manages to kill a single priest with a long distance shot.

Jon has never played against the new V3 tank destroyer rules.  He asks me how can he prevent the TD ambush and I unfortunately oblige my pointing out exactly where he needs to move. On his turn two, Jon's reserves, Marders and recon, come in. The recon moves toward the objective.  My towed TD platoon is in a pretty good deployment spot and ready to spring in turn three.

I am feeling like I am going to get some revenge now.

The towed TD's spring their ambush.  This pretty much decimates the advancing Panzers on Jon's right flank.

Marders looking for a shot while I unsuccessfully try to range in an artillery bombardment.

This is what it looks like when TD security sections are running for their life.  Jon is in hot pursuit. I have resigned that I am going to lose the priests and need to leave them to try to distract shots so the TD's can be saved.

My AA and recon, that came on in turn two, are again trying to be a distraction to soak off shots from the TD security sections.  They take some shots and fail to do any damage.

Jon takes a couple of shots and kills the .50 cal halftrack from my AA section.

He wipes out the Priest battery and kills an assortment of TD security section vehicles, however they are both still active.  One platoon is down to just one M-20 and it is bailed!

Just about everything in Jon's army is rolling in to kill the security sections.
Turn 4

I fail the roll to bail in the M-20.  Now I know for a fact I am losing that TD section.  Everything else is moving to get away and out of Jon's sights.  I move most of the recon away and leave an M-8 to take a few shots.  My OP Sherman moves up to try to hit the Marders with the .50 cals.  The towed TD's shoot but fail to do any damage.  Jon's advance is slowed a little by some bogging tanks.

Jon is advancing his recon and now is trying to get in position to contest the objective.  I am still trying to keep my platoons alive long enough to get to the objective.  I know I can not break his company so my only chance is to go for the objective win.  Jon knows he probably can't take the objective so is directing all fire to knock out platoons in the hopes of a company break.

Jon now realizes the clock is ticking and frantically moves his recon to get to the objective.  Meanwhile, my bazookas from my towed TD section move toward the objective.

I ran man SP AA to avoid losing another platoon, but with some good die rolling Jon takes it out.

My CiC and 2iC are attaching to my last security section to soak off shots.  These guys actually make it through Jon's shooting without taking a hit.

Bazooka teams move up to get close to the objective.

Secure the depot!

Safely hidden, the Td's can pop next turn.
Jon focuses everything he gets on my towed TD's and takes out three guns.  His recon uses their machine guns on my bazookas with no damage.

Turn 6

I am within four inches of the objective.  Jon is 4.25 inches away so the victory goes to me 4-3.  It was a very tough fight and he really had me running.  In retrospect, I should have deployed all three TD's on the table to start.  I really squeezed out a win here.  Jon took me off guard with his aggressiveness, because usually he is more a defensive player with a strong counter-punch.  The veteran rating of my M-10's kept me alive.  I would not have been able to get a victory without the veteran status.  I am looking forward to playing this list again.

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