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Friday, October 18, 2013

AAR: Mid War US Armor vs. German Pioneers

by Jon Baber and Luke Melia

Jon had the chance to try out his accidental American armor list against my German Pioneers.  Truthfully, this game was pretty short and (spoiler alert) did not go well for Jon.  The mission was Fighting Withdrawal with the Germans as the defender.  The center of the table was very dense with terrain.

Here's Jon's list:
U.S. Armor from North Africa
CiC and 2iC Sherman M4
M31 TRV Recovery Vehicle
4 M4 Shermans
4 M4 Shermans
4 M5A1 Stuarts
Recon Platoon 3 Rifle teams, 1 Bazooka team, 2 Jeeps and 1 Halftrack
Points: 1490

Here's Luke's List:
Pioneers out of East Front
Command 1iC and 2iC with panzerknackers
2x Full Pioneer Rifle platoons with Flame throwers - 1 pioneer supply cart
1 Captured T-70
4 Panzerwerfers w/Pak 36
1 Tiger
4 Marder III's
Points: 1510

Puffs of smoke indicate Flamethrowers.

I put barbed wire in the gaps not covered by slow going or difficult terrain to make it harder for Jon to move around to the flanks and get side shots. My plan was to put the pioneers in the trees on either flank and deliberately left the center seemingly unprotected.  My hope is to draw Jon into the center thinking the center objective could be taken by routing the Werfers and I would then have him in a kill zone between the Tiger and the Marders.  My Pioneers on the left were just within 10 inches of the center woods so I always have them for additional support against his push.  I put my Tiger on the right flank, but closer to the center for support, and the T-70 snugly in the woods on the left. 

I placed barbed wire in every gap I could find. This will keep Jon from being able to use the movement of his Shermans, and especially his Stuarts, to out flank me and get side shots on the Tiger. 

                                                             Subtlety is not Jon's strong suit.

The Board.  We have to stop putting terrain all the way down the middle of the board, which effectively cuts the table in half.

Jon kills my observer turn one and gets aggressive with his recon.
He moved the rest of the tanks up and is not very cautious with their placement hoping to overwhelm me. A couple of smoke shots on my Tiger miss.

Shooting takes out the observer.
Out of ambush the Marders score some kills and bails along with the Tiger.  I FORGET TO FIRE MY ARTILLERY!  I have to learn to slow down.
The Marders appear from Ambush!

The Tiger has rapid fire so I am trying to make the most out of it even though I am shooting above 16".

This jumble provided me shots for two turns.  

Morale checks are hell when you roll a two. 

Jon moves up with his recon and tries to get around to the right of the Werfers.

Jon pushes forward with his tanks trying to take out the Marders.  Unfortunately for him he only bails two.  This puts him in a bad spot for my return fire. He does manage to smoke the Tiger, but since he is within 16" of me it really makes no difference.

  I remount both Marders and return with eight shots and the Tiger takes three as well.  I rolled really well here as you can see from the pictures below.

Turn three and Jon is feeling the strain.  He rushes up with the recon and attempts an assault.  He fails his tank terror so I have another turn to get ready to fend off the recon and put some MG shots into them. 

I MG the hell out the recon and drop an artillery on the halftrack and last of the Shermans.  Nothing really happens except I kill a couple recon stands.

Turn 4 sees the infamous "F it" move.  Jon runs up all the Shermans, except the one he bogs, and takes out two Marders.

Remember how I said that I measured my pioneers to help protect the center?  Well, here it is.  I assault and kill his bogged tank. The Shermans are killed in the center along with the last stand of the recon company.  It is not a pleasant day for the Americans.

The only model left in the US Company.  Ouch!
This was a tough fight for Jon.  Terrain played a big factor here as it limited his options for movement and strategy.  In addition, the placement of the barbed wire further limited Jon's mobility.  Mobility is life for American armor and when you take that away, especially when they are trained, things get ugly.  The game ended 6-1 Luke. 

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