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Monday, June 9, 2014

EW Fallshirmjaeger vs French Armor in No Retreat

Early War Report - FallschirmJager company with Luftlandensturm Support vs French Armor. 
By Dominic Rapini

This is my fun list, an all infantry list with an air landed platoon of Luftlandensturm Pioneers with a HMG team and a Flamethrower. I got together with my friend Mike Cunningham for a game at the Time Machine in Manchester, CT - a great way to pass a rainy April Saturday

Full List from Burning Empires - FallshirmJager 1,550 points Always attacks. 

HQ  Fearless Vets, 6 platoons.
AT Rifle 

Full FallShirmJager Platoon with 10 teams  - Rile/ MG
Short FallShirmJager platoon with 7 teams - Rifle/ MG
Luftlandensturm Platoon - 7 Pioneers with an HMG in 4 Gliders - one platoon is a FlameThrower

Pak 36 - 4 Gun teams with Motorcycle transport
Recoiless Rifle platoon (AT 9, FP 3+)
Heavy Mortars 

Force Review…. 

Full List from Blitzkrieg Book

Compagnie de Combat (Armor) - Confident Trained - 1,550 pts 

Compagnie de Combat HQ

Battle Tank Platoon (Char B)
Light Tank Platoon (Hotchkis H 35)
Deep Reconnaissance Platoon(Panhard)

Fusilers - Voltiqeurs Platoon 8 stands of infantry
Self Propelled 47MM AT Platoon - Laffy W15 TCC
Towed 105MM Artillery Battery 

Air Support - Interdiction

The scenario - No Retreat - The Always Attack FallschirmJager deployed on the left and center. Full platoon FJ on left flank, mixed in with Pak 36s. Recoiless rifles on left center, Heavy mortars behind them. Short JF platoon in the center facing the first row of buildings in the foreground of the first picture. The Luftlandensturm are circling overhead in gliders over the unsuspecting French. 

Deployed on defense was the French Infantry in and behind the church and behind in the Villa on the German left flank. Objectives were behind the church and behind the Villa. 105s deployed on the rear tree line and Char B’s in ambush. The Company Commander is positioned behind the villa on the German left flank. 

Infantry attacking tanks - YIKES 

Turn One the Luftlandensturm land on the objective with no crashes!  12 Glider MG guns shots had no effect. The FJ pass a tank terror test and lose one team to Defensive fire
and make it in to kill two 105 gun teams (one was captured), one French infantry team and they got a hit on the CIC who survived 
a Pioneer AT 4 attack. The French failed their morale and promptly retreated leaving the pioneers holding the objective and defending the landing zone. 

The rest of the FallShchirmJager advanced on a broad front and the Pak 36s doubled timed betting the French had more pressing targets in their turn. When fielding 
a Luftlandensturm platoon that platoon cannot own an objective until turn 6 so they must seize and hold until relieved. 

French turn one begins with the Ambush of the Char B’s 16’s away. The FJ glider platoon denied closer areas of ambush. The 105s 
and French Infantry unpin. The French return fire is fierce. The 105s kill on FJ team hitting with a breakthrough gun. The Char Bs and French 
infantry combine for 21 shots with the help of the CIC. 10 hits and 8 failed saves later and the Luftlandensturm platoon called it a day and yielded the 

No reserves for the French. 

Turn Two - the FJ continue a general, fearless advance and making numerous stormtrooper moves in both turns to advance 
swiftly upon the objective. Recoiless rifles come in behind stone walls and the Pak 36s move forward to deter the arrival of
Hotchkiss and Panhard platoons. The heavy mortars manage to pin the 105s which kept their heads down for three turns. 

French turn 2 sees the Hotchkiss platoon come in the center, clear of the Paks. The invincible Char Bs move up to take shots 
on both FJ platoons. The German full FJ platoon loses one team while the center platoon loses two of 8 stands (AT Rifle attached) 

FallShirmJager turn 4 - This turn results in further advancement in the center and the positioning of the Recoiless Rifles, Pak 36s and the full FJ platoon. 
Heavy Mortars drop smoke to limit return fire. 

French Turn 4 - results in accurate fire on the center platoon costing them 3 more teams and a morale test which they fearlessly pass. The Panhards come and move towards the center objective, 
beyond the reach of the Paks. 

FallshchirmJager - Turn 5 - FJs on the left flank move into assault position, careful to leave lanes for the Recoiless rifles. 

Smoke limits return fire while the Recoiless rifles score three hits on the Char B monsters killing one with the AT 9 weapon. 
The FJ assault, drawing in 7 shots but making it through losing one team. They hit the Char B but cannot dent the cheap paint on this 
monster. The French promptly fail their morale, even with the CIC reroll and the JF consolidate on the objective. 

French Turn 5 - Stirred up like a Bee’s nest. The French pour everything they have into the beleaguered FJ. Laffys from reserve, Hotckiss from the center, Char Bs contributing more MGs for over 36 shots. 
7 FJs are hit and fail their numerous save attempts leaving a platoon commander and one team withdrawing behind the objective backed up by one Pak 36 and the recoilless rifles. French infantry assault but 7 shots from the Recoiless rifles, and three infantry teams result in 5 hits and two kills throwing them back. 

The FJ pass their morale test and hold as do the French Infantry. 

The turns ends here with one Char B contesting the objective. 

FallschirmJager turn 6. The center FJ - three teams assault the church and wipe out the three Fr teams defending drawing in the Panhards
which promptly breakthrough and move to threaten the flank of the recoilless rifles. Heavy mortars drop in on the French infantry killing two teams while the FJ 
Infantry fire and kill the remainder. Meanwhile, the Pak 36s kill the Lorrie platoon with 5 hits, while the Char B is destroyed by a Recoiless rifle shot and the two Hotchkiss tanks are killed by the second Recoiless rifle team. 

The Hotchkiss fail their morale, taking the CIC with them. The remaining Char B  flees the field and the French infantry evaporate with too many losses. The Lorries were lost this turn resulting in 4 platoons in one turn and the CIC - this ends the camp with the French unable to make a company morale test. The FallSchirmJager are bloodied with 60%+ losses but only one full platoon for a 5-2 hard earned victory. 

Final Thoughts from Mike and the French

I deployed the infantry and guns in terrain near the center of the table hoping to protect both objectives and making it difficult for the Luftelandsturm to create major havoc on turn one. Unfortunately, there was enough open space for all four gliders to land, and the troops inside were able to take out two of the 105s, essentially negating their impact for the rest of the game. Since they were sitting on the objective even before I had my first turn, I had to focus all of my attention on the glider troops for two turns. 

Although I was eventually able to destroy the platoon with MG fire, it gave the FJ and, more importantly, the AT and recoil-less guns the time and space they needed to maneuver into position. I did manage to knock out most of the PaK36s, but being fearless they did not break. In the meantime, the recoil-less guns knocked out enough tanks to break my company. 

The lesson learned from this game is a very obvious one: when playing tanks, focus first on the opponent's AT assets. I usually do this, but I have been spoiled by the Char B's excellent armor and in this case was overconfident. I misjudged how effective the recoil-less guns were going to be and essentially ignored them until their first volley knocked out a Char B. Next time they will be priority number one!

Final Thoughts from Dominic and the FallshirmJager

Mike is a tough opponent and he understands the importance of concentrating fire instead on the objective! The goal with the Luftelandsturm is to get them on the objective and buy time for the rest of the leg infantry to reinforce. In this game they started off strong by not crashing any gliders! Even though they were lost, they succeeded in minimizing the 105s and driving the ambush 16inches away from the objective. Airlanded troops have the unique knack for drawing attention and fire! The presence of the Luftelandsturm gave four other platoons some breathing room to move quickly forward (with the help of stormtrooper). The pressure from fearless troops can be immense and they proved their worth withstanding withering fire from Mike’s Infantry and tanks each turn. The losses were heavy with the Pak 36s losing 4 of 5 teams, the center FJ platoon lost 5 of 8 teams, and the large FJ platoon of 10 teams lost 8 teams and was holding the objective with the CIC and 2CIC. 

In the end, Recoiless rifles won the day and were lucky enough to survive the advance long enough to kill two tank platoons. Well worth the 165pts for a three team platoon! In the end, it’s hard attacking an armor company with infantry but with a balanced, fearless force - and some luck - you always have a chance.  

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