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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

AAR: US Tanks vs. German Tanks in Encounter

by Dirty Jon

Eric "Paw Paw" Turner and I got together for a game of Flames of War on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  Eric was in town to visit the family, so we squeezed in a short game.  I made both armies, as Eric didn't bring his stuff down on the trip.  I put together some small, Tanksgiving lists that would allow us to get to a decision on the game in short order.  These are NOT tournament lists -- just some fun for a quick game with a friend I had not seen in a while.

After heading out to Waffle House for breakfast, Eric flipped a coin and he got the Germans.  That left me with some interesting Americans.  I do not have a ton of stuff painted for the US, so I had to make what I had work.  I wanted to get accustomed to the list, so I threw in the Jumbos and the Easy 8s to see how they worked.

For the Germans, I was quite interested in the Fearless Trained King Tigers, so I went wild with those as well.  Two King Tigers at 1500 points seemed like an interesting choice, but with the cheap FT Panzer IVs, I decided to go for it.

We rolled randomly for the game and got Encounter.

Both armies fit in one tray.  There is a plane and some AAA to be added for the Germans.
Here are the lists:

Why do I let people set up the terrain?
So, I let Eric set up the terrain.  There are 14 different areas of woods and slow going.  To me, this is a heavy board.  Eric said he thought it favored the Americans -- which it might -- but it is still WAY too much terrain in my opinion.  Eric thought it was fine, and medium.  I asked him this:  "Where would you possibly put more terrain to make it heavy?"  He shrugged.  I am sure I will hear all about this in the forums. (Ed: I'm with you Jon, don't even get me started...)

House thingy used for objective.  Guarded by the CiC

Peiper and the other King Tiger overlooking the other objective (off camera to the lower right a bit)

"Shoot me -- Zero *(&@ given."

USTDs deploy.

Bunch formation with one platoon, CiC and 2iC.

USTD Security Section Recce move....that makes me a total cheater.
We totally forgot that Eric had Spearhead with this list....we remembered about turn 6.  D'oh.


So, I figure that I can shoot off toward the objective with just the KT and Peiper on it and maybe get it in short order.  I figured Eric would park the Pz IVs in the woods and just get Gone to Ground and shoot anything that comes up the middle.  I figured my best bet was to get on him quickly.  With two Jumbos and no good KT skills to face off against, I was feeling kinda frisky.

Americans break right and go for the objective with the King Tiger and Peiper.

Navigating through the town.

Ut oh.  Eric got his planes in, but they were ineffective.
Eric rolled his Pz IVs right out of the woods.  I couldn't really believe it.  Now, in hindsight, he did have have most of his stuff on the board, so he might as well go for it, I guess.  They really didn't do anything, so I was not sure what was going on.


I decide to turn the TDs loose on the Panzer IVs.  Right now, there are only two platoons on the board, so if I can get this one and the KT, I can win!  Well, first things first....
8 shots on Trained Pz IVs?  Yes, please.

Concentration of fire.  Maybe we can kill'm all?

Poor results.
So, I took 8 shots needing a 4 from the M10s.  I then took 8 more shots needing a 6 from the Shermans.  I got two kills when I was expecting three kills and a bail (is my math horrible, Eric Riha?).  This might get ugly with the super-King Tiger (Every Shot Counts and Rapid Fire).  


Peiper and the other King Tiger take aim.

"Oh yes!  Kill the Americans!"

The Pz IVs withdraw to cover.

So, Eric cannot roll dice.  he doesn't even force a platoon morale check for the M10s.  But, there's more!

Eric completely fans with the KT.  This is the re-roll!
Eric just sucks at rolling dice.  I am not sure what else to say.  I was probably pretty stupid to roll out there an go for it.  I mean, I have one good platoon still in reserve that can really help.  I should have probably been conservative and waited for backup.  Instead, I just went ahead and counted on Eric rolling like hell!  Woo hoo!

The Jet kills one and bails one.  Better than the King Tiger!

Pz IVs hide even more after Stormtrooper.


Now, I want to get as far away as I can from the King Tiger.  I got lucky once, but I figure that is over.  I also did not shoot up the Pz IVs like I wanted to, so my plan was a bit wrecked.  I decided to go for Peiper and their objective.  No reinforcements arrive.

Shermans roll through the town.

M10s re-mount and head for Peiper.  This was probably not smart.  I kill nothing.

Pz IVs shoot at whatever is remaining in their field of fire.
Eric sets about destroying my M10s and Shermans.  After the turn, only 1 M10 remains and he gets another Sherman.

Die M10s!

Ouch!  That's a Platoon Morale Check!

Bailed, now killed.
I have to make a Platoon Morale Check for the M10s and pass it.  Well, duh, I'm playing Eric!


The strategy now is force preservation.  I decide to swing really wide right - past the town - and threaten Peiper and the other King Tiger.  Also, my Jumbo CiC has been bailed the entire game so far -- nice!  Eric moves up a bit, but doesn't really have any shots.

USTDs took a beating, but the Commander is still there!

Pz IVs advance into cover.

Peiper and the KT turn to face the force threatening from the left.  They bail a Jumbo.

Eric got his Pumas.
Eric runs his Pumas up aggressively.  However, with all the cover around and long range, I really cannot do much about them.  


This turn, I decide to go for the company break.  I have the Pz IVs damaged, and the Pumas just ran out into view.  I also get both of my reserves -- nice!  I plan to use 5 Shermans to shoot at the Pz IVs, and pull some other assets around to either kill the Pumas or take the KT out.  

"We got you now, Fritz!"

Sneaking around the right flank.  CiC re-mounted!  Yay!  That's an Easy 8 up front there, behind the hill.

....and, whiff.  Not a single hit on the Trained Pz IVs.  8 shots needing a 5, and 2 shots needing a 4.  Really?

Smokin' Joe there doesn't remount.  Damn.
So... that didn't work out.  Eric pulls the Pz IVs back and takes a shot or two.  He does run his Pumas up.  Now, let me tell you about Eric and Stormtrooper.  We counted THREE turns where he missed EVERY roll.  This guy and his dice this game were just insanely crazy bad.


With stuff all out in the relative open again, I decide that it is time to go for the break again.  The Pz IVs have withdrawn, but still present a prime target.  I risk just about everything to try to get the kills to force a check.  Eric is Eric, and will miss the roll, even though he is Fearless, right?  RIGHT!?!

Shermans position to shoot at the Pz IVs, but not take return fire from the Bad Ass King Tiger.

Result: Two dead Pz IVs.
Smooth Ride helps take out the last Pz IV.

My 2iC, in a Sherman 76, rolls out to kill the last Pz IV (and misses...), but is himself double-dog killed by Mr. Bad Ass King Tiger.

Control.  This man controls the middle of the field.  With all his skills and Trained troops, I just cannot get anywhere near this guy.

Pumas pull back.


Having smoked the last of the Pz IVs, I need to figure out what to do.  Eric has pulled the Pumas back a bit, but I still have some shots.  He got in his 4th platoon, so now I need to kill two more platoons to force a check.  I think I can kill the Pumas and the KT this turn, so I go for it.

Shermans shoot the Pumas, needed a 4.  Whiff.

Going for it on the right flank.  I have 2 Jumbos, 1 M10 and 1 Easy 8 to kill a King Tiger from the side.

Jumbo tried to smoke Peiper -- whiff.  The Easy 8, however, shoots the King Tiger and.....

...blows'm up!  Yay!

In the spirit of going for it, the M10 tries to take out Peiper.  Dumb move, right?  He doesn't even count as a platoon!  Dumb, dumb move.

But Eric whiffs!  Silly me!  But, damn, the Pumas are gonna get me....

...or NOT!  Silly me, I should always count on Eric missing!

Eric hides his AAA platoon.  That 251 is a 10/5 (2cm) -- no, really.

The Pumas are only able to get back a little, but not out of short range of the M10.  Ut oh.


The Pumas are in the open, the KT is dead -- I only need to kill the Pumas to force a check.  It's Go For It time!

105s move up to smoke the Bad Ass King Tiger.  Shermans move up to shoot the Pumas and smoke.

I Smooth Ride the Easy 8 up to kill the Pumas -- taking no chances!

Pumas in trouble.
I am able to smoke the King Tiger -- this will help if I fail to kill the Pumas.
Pumas dead.  That 1 right there is Eric's Company Morale Check.  You knew that, didn't you?

Eric can't roll dice.  The End.

I think I was too aggressive in the beginning and was only saved though Eric's horrible die rolling.  I think he could have been a bit more conservative with his Trained Pz IVs and Pumas, but Eric has not played much FT Germans.  We had fun with this quick little game, and it was good to see an old friend again!

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