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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Remagen AAR - Heavy Cats vs. Lucky 38th in Pincer

By Maurice Kent and Sean "Throckmorton" Sarah

Over the weekend Throck and Maurice decided to throw down in their own little Remagen battle. Throck, taking on the Germans and thus the role of defender, went with big cats while Maurice went with a lithe little recon company. Hilarity ensued:

Mission: Pincer, with the new rules

Points: 1650

Throck's List, Defending 
2. Kompanie 512 Schwere Panzerjager Abteilung (Reluctant Trained)
HQ: Otto Carius in a Jagdtiger (Reluctant Veteran) 270+85
Combat Platoon 1: 2x Jagdtiger (Ambush, one of these should really be the 2iC) 535
Support Platoon 1: 2x King Tiger (Reluctant Trained) 430
Support Platoon 2: Full Volkssturm with LMG (Reluctant Conscript) 100
Support Platoon 3: 6 man Volkssturm with LMG (Reluctant Conscript) 80
Support Platoon 4: 2x Wirbelwind (Reserve) 75
Support Platoon 5: 3x FlaK 43 (Reserve) 65
Points: 1640

Throck's List Thoughts: My thought here was to get as many of the big cats on the table as possible at the start of the game. Knowing I'm going to defend in nearly every mission means I get to figure out how I want to front load my list. It's cold comfort given the small model count, but at least it's comfort. As the Volkssturm must go on the table I know I want 6 platoons to get the cats on as well. So it's all about cheap and cheerful: Wirbelwind provide some utility and are a mobile asset that can either run and hide or chew up advancing infantry and light armor and... well... the FlaK 43's were cheap and I needed a 6th platoon. I am however thinking of switching them up for Rockets in future iterations. 

Maurice's List, Attacking
"Lucky" 38th Cavalry Squadron (Reluctant Veteran)
HQ: 2x Greyhounds 75
Combat Platoon 1: 2x Greyhounds, Recce Jeep, Mortar Jeep 115
Combat Platoon 1: 2x Greyhounds, Recce Jeep, Mortar Jeep 115
Weapons Platoon 1: 4x Chaffees 295
Support Platoon 1: Full Rangers + SMG (Fearless Vet, sub 2x Bazookas) 205
Support Platoon 2: Full Rangers + SMG (Fearless Vet, sub 2x Bazookas) 205
Support Platoon 3: 3x M4a3 Uparmored 76mm Sherman 420
Support Platoon 4: 3x Priests 220

Maurice's List Thoughts: 
R/V Cavalry with the old-school 2+2 platoon structure? Yes, please. Definitely attacking since we're playing Remagen? Even better. Rangers that went to the Aragorn School of Ranging? Now you're just teasing me. I love these lists. You've got good AT (could easily swap the M4A3s for M10s for more shots), great infantry for defending or attacking and a ton of Recce to protect them. In a defensive battle like this, I wanted to attack both objectives as aggressively as possible on turn one and then use my mobility to redirect most of my force toward one of them on turn two. Jagdtigers are tough, but we're fast, baby! Oh, and they've only got one MG.

Throck's Army
Proud remnants of the Wehrmacht. 

Ack Ack gets put in reserve because no AOP or other stuff coming from the skies. 
 The Table
Here's the table, German reinforcements will be coming in off the bottom left hand portion of the table thanks to the new Pincer rules. Those brown bases on the bottom are woods. 
 Maurice's Army
Tired veteran Ami's scouting ahead of the main armored thrust. 

JT's in Ambush, (one of these should really be in the 2iC spot and not a second member of the platoon!) [yes and no...they're so slow that getting two of them where you need them makes sense to me...-MK]

Ami's deployment, Rangers on the right, recce and Chaffees on the left. 

Maurice decides to drive right at Carius

Recce and light tanks move into the town

German deployment with blood bags Volkssturm on either objective, KT's in the middle and...

Otto on the far Right. 

Throck notes he really shouldn't put these things in trees [it'll be fine! - MK]
 Game On!
Yank recce moves out. 

And into over watch to remove GTG from the Volksstrum in future turns to ensure that 3+ to hit! 

Chaffees are careful to avoid the baleful gaze of the KT's as they scoot forward. 

As the Rangers and 1iC rocket forward, Rangers moving at the double. [We're veterans; what could go wrong? - MK]

Sherman 76s double time it as well to head off to the other flank. 

Maurice smokes the LMG so he can avoid the double tap. 

And opens up on the volkssturm on the left who fail both saves!

And .30 cals eat them up!

Throck expects to see many pin markers as the game wears on. 

The JTs spring the trap hoping to get 18 MG shots in on the rangers and protect the flank. 

Of course, that would require rolling something over a 2. Which Throck has no talent for. 

KTs move it out to secure the left flank. 

One is able to open up on some recce and scores the first German kill! [Excellent use of AT16 - MK][Bite me -SS]

One of the ranger platoons gets cut up on the way in, because of at the double, but the other is still strong and moves forward into the breach to carry out the assault. 

As the armor on the German left continues to sneak its way forward. 

Watching carefully to ensure no Volkssturm shenanigans. 

First Ranger platoon assaults!

And is driven back by JT machine gun fire! [5 of 6 at 4+. Rangers never disappoint at being disappointing - MK]

Strider disapproves

Second platoon assaults!

They do no damage, but in the German attempt to come back both Otto and the Command JT bog!! [Throck was on to something with that 'don't put JTs in trees thing - MK][It hurts us precious! - SS]

This of course leads to the unceremonious death of the JT. 

But Carius survives as the Volks are able to beat back the horde and Carius was lucky enough to be outside 4 inches. The assaulting Ranger platoon breaks from the casualties (and take the CiC with them!) 

Realizing his danger Otto moves out a bit in to open ground. [Carius' vet rating is really handy - MK]

And scores another recce vehicle from the same platoon. [I almost made that armor save! - MK][SRSLY, bite me - SS]

Recce platoon breaks and Maurice loses his second platoon!

Sneaky Chaffees continue their way around the flank of the KT's looking for a shot. 

Whilst the Rangers move in to try and take out the other bogged JT.

But these fearless fellows fail their tank terror test. 

Lucky reserves for Throck! He brings on his Wirbelwinds to start cutting up the Rangers. 

They cut the Rangers down to 3 teams (one lagged outside of assault range so not shown here), but they hold. 

One of the KTs moves up to take a shot at the oncoming Sherman 76s. Throck realizes he really should have stayed outside of 14 inches as he only manages to bail one. 

On stormtrooper the Wirbels take up defensive positions on either side of the JT to prevent the assault. 

The Chaffees come up behind the left Volksstrum and open up with their MG's. 

Sensing their danger the remaining 3 stands of Rangers seek their fortune elsewhere, moving away from the well supported JT. 

While the Priests begin to move out seeking targets for their breakthrough guns. 

Of course, one bogs down. 

One 76 moves for the flank of a KT

While the other two move to chew up the Volksstrum. 

Two hits and two epic saves! Now that's some well made Krupp steel. 

Fire pours into the Volks. 

And they simply can't stand up to it as they, unsurprisingly, fail their platoon morale check. 

Throck's other reserve platoon comes in to miss an open, albeit low probability shot, on the Chaffees. 

The Lead KT and Otto move to defend the objective. 

Whilst the perpetually bogged JT finally makes his way out and takes a shot on the 76s, to no avail. During Storm, the KT moves closer to his command putting his front armor facing the 76 while Otto moves to protect his flank via the woods and the other JT moves up in support. 

The Chaffees charge straight into the un-dug in [trained! -MK] FlaK guns. The 4th Chaffee, stays behind to contest the objective. 

And a swirling melee of light and heavy armor erupts as the two sides fight to control the objective or break the others company. 

The Chaffees cut down the FlaK guns. 

One of the 76s bails the Platoon Command KT

While the other suffers a double bail. 

But he lives!

The Flak 43 Commander flees the wrath of the Chaffees.
The Rangers seize the initiative, surprising the Wirbelwinds out of the woods!

The Rangers hit twice, Throck fails both his saves, and the Wirbelwinds are toast. Throck laments forgetting one of the critical armor rules at one of the most important points in the game. This could cost him!
The Rangers consolidate

The King Tigers bag another 76mm Sherman, but the Platoon Commander reluctantly holds steady

Chaffees charge forward, unsuccessfully gunning for Carius

The Rangers advance after wiping out two more Volkssturm teams.

The Volksturm break! This could be the game!

But Carius, sensing the Americans are about spent, inspires them to hold on a bit longer

The Jagdtiger shifts to get a shot on the Chaffees

Carius, too

They're rewarded with one Chaffee. Meanwhile, the Volkssturm LMG wipes out the Rangers!

And the King Tigers finish off the 76s. The U.S. are facing a Company test!

The 2iC (bravely hiding) holds on

The Chaffees see their chance and move to try to again break the Volkssturm
Shooting is ineffective, so they have to go in for the assault, with Carius licking his chops for defensive fire

He only gets one Chaffee (Sturm-fausts miss), and the remaining tank kills a stand and captures the LMG (the living Chaffee at the top is the straggler camping the objective)

The Volkssturm commander holds!

But fails his last-man-standing test

And Carius fails the Company test. 4-3 to the U.S.!

What a mess. Carius escapes again!

Throck's thoughts: WOW! What a fight! It really came down to it. I made two critical mistakes that I think really cost me the game. First, never expect JTs to make it through any sort of terrain, they'll bog and you'll cry. Second, putting my Wirbels within 4 inches of infantry in trees was a totally bush league mistake and when I lost them I knew I lost a solid maneuver platoon that could have scooted to safety while the JTs and KT's did the killing work without any worry of me making a company test. Blargh.

That being said, I think the Volkssturm, especially those guys on the right near the objective between the trees, really punched above their weight. Remember, despite being conscript all you've got to do is a roll a 3 and they live, because infantry save. There was also one turn where I completely whiffed on every shot by every tank taking on the 76s. Had those American big gunned tanks taken a harder hit there, things could have turned out differently. All that being said I had a huge blast holding on for dear life against fast moving American light armor and Maurice plays one hell of a game.

Maurice's Thoughts: Next time, Otto Gadget! That was a fun ride. We both made a reluctant company morale check. We each had some pretty poor luck and some pretty good luck. The Rangers pretty much embarrassed themselves. This game had everything. Throck is right. If he'd scored even 1 hit on the turn where he had 2 KTs and Carius shooting at my 76s (in the open!), he would've had it. As it was, I had to survive an assault into Carius and 2x Panzerfausts to pull it out. Flames at its best!

I don't have too many thoughts on the U.S. kit. Reluctant gives you the numbers to press extremely hard while still being vets. I should've advanced the Priests earlier and leveraged their breakthrough guns (conscripts are toast, even with moving-ROF 1). The German list is interesting. It's so nice to be assured of defending with your small hull count. I'm not sold on the Volkssturm in a Remagen-only environment. Cheap Recce + .50s = dead infantry. They're also so easily pinned that their Panzerfausts aren't as effective a deterrent. Carius is worth every last point.

Thanks to Throck for the well-played game and Team Gobel for hosting!

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