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Monday, August 25, 2014

1650 Westfalen vs 51st Highland Division

By Mitch Reed, Photos by Sean "Throckmorton" Sarah

After a summer in what seems like playing nothing but Mid-War Flames of War games, we dove back into Late-War in order to get ready for some upcoming tournaments. I have to say I missed playing Late-War and I was very eager to play a list from the new Remagen book. So Chris from team Gobel and I decided to throw down.

From the moment I got my hands on the Remagen book I really wanted to check out the Westfallen list. It's an Always Defend Fearless Trained list with the SS platoons getting the "Enjoy the War" morale check roll at 2+. I also wanted to see how the Volkssturm and the Panzerfaust Trap teams would do in a game.

My force: SS Panzerbrigade Westfallen Fearless Trained, 1650

170 pts  HQ Platoon 2 SMG Panzerfaust, 3 x Panzerfaust Trap Teams, 2 x  Panzerschreck Teams
200 pts  SS Erstaz Aufklarungs Plt (Full)
145 pts  SS Erstaz Aufklarungs Plt (2 Squads)
60   pts   SS Ersatz HMG Plt (2 x HMG)
105 pts   Panzer AA Plt (2 x Ostwind) Reluctant Veteran
600 pts   Schwere Jagdpanzer Plt (2 x Jagdtigers) Reluctant Trained
300 pts   SS Ersatz Panzer Plt (4 x Panzer III M)
70   pts   Volks Rocket Battery (3 x 15mm Nebelwefers) Reluctant Trained
100 pts   Volkssturm Plt (with 1 x MG-08-15) Reluctant Conscript

Chris's Force

That is a lot of artillery!  I think Chris still can't hear...

The board we played, Chris wanted to treat all the hedges as boccage, since I was Always Defend, I  agreed to it. (ed: ICK!!)

My Force ready for battle

Chris's Arty Party

We rolled up a scenario and got "Hold the Line". I could only deploy half my platoons, so I rolled my Panzerschreks and HMG platoon into my full strength SS-Ersatz Aufklarungs platoons (giving them 11 stands) which left me with 7 platoons. Since the Volkssturm always starts on the table I had to put 3 in reserve, 3 on the board, and one of those three could be held in ambush. So I deployed my beefed up SS Ersatz Aufklarungs, Panzer AA, and held my Jagdtigers in ambush along with my 3 trap teams.

Chris started with everything on the board.

My set up, Volkssturm on the left, SS on the right with my AA providing cover.

Chris set up ready to charge, he did not opt for a night attack in order to use that arty from the start

Scottish recce sneaking foward

AOP deploys, I hate that thing! Due to the terrain and how it dances around could not get a shot at it

First turn he hit me with a 33 rpm size of arty....(bonus points if you know that reference)

My average roll for saves, he knocked out two of my SS-Ersatz teams turn one!

The Scots move up

BOOM... another arty strike.  I rolled better saves on turn 2

I wanted to drop my trap teams, and after some talk and examining the rules we decided that this deployment was not allowed

Turn 3 arty strike... my Ostwind gets bailed out, at reluctant, they will stay this way for a while

Guns move forward

Now I get to drop my trap teams.....

.... and get two air balls.. ugh.

Did I mention I hated that AOP?  It danced around the table and I never got a shot on it!

Churchill's shoot back at my trap teams and kill one

Very effective arty, both my Ostwinds are bailed

Churchill's assault!

One bogs coming in, and I bailed one with defensive fire, he swings and misses

So I drop my JT ambush

and flame 2 tanks!

My rockets come in from reserves and blast his 6-pdrs, killing two

Chris makes his platoon morale check and his last tanks sticks around

the AOP sees its big target as the Scottish infantry moves up

My bad rolling for saves continues and his 5.5s kill a JT... did I mention I hate that AOP?

My PZIIIs come in from reserve!

My last JT finishes off the tanks!

Yet another arty strike

After my PZIIIs miss at his AT guns he bails 3, then pounds them with arty, I lose one

With so much arty Chris was able to hit multiple targets per turn

My last reserves arrive, they head to shore up my right flank

PZIIIs advance

and knock out another AT gun. Yet they pass the morale check to stay around...

Guns move up

Boom... Crash... Boom

Bang, boom...

in the next turn I get hit with a few more "stonks"

Result, one PZIII bailed and he whittles down my mega SS platoon even more!

PZIIIs move up to take out the AT guns


Nebs strike his other 6-pdr platoon

Killing two. But Chris gets another 6 on his platoon morale check

another volley... down to two tanks

He goes after my reserves, they survive but are pinned.

And he missed against my rockets

I move my tanks up and bail a recce vehicle

My JT hits his infantry, no save required

Arty strike, down to one tank in the PZIII platoon

And my reserve platoon loses one

And my mega platoon gets smaller, by this time they had to take a morale check... I love that "Enjoy the War", 2+ check on each stand and they all stick around!

My rockets claim another AT gun and they run after they fail their morale check

But his Arty takes out my last PZIII, tally so far, I am down one, and Chris is down three platoons

After what seems like the entire game bailed out my lone Ostwind takes out a recce platoon, he is down 4 now, no worries on his side, he has 9 platoons

As we come up on time, Chris tries to assault to get at least a 3-4 loss

But no luck, his arty does not hit and he fails his tank terror

So the game end due to time, with the Westfallen winning 5-2. Do you see that AOP?  Do I need to mention it again? 

Mitch's Comments
Chris took a list that was meant to defend, and with Westfallen being Always Defend he was faced with a situation that his list was not built for and the terrain did not help him too much. However the table did enable him to keep his AOP around which was a huge pain for me, his arty was responsible for almost all of his kills in this game. I cannot think of too many lists that I will face with this many guns. 

After playing this list for the first time I have to say I liked it. The Volkssturm only lost 2 stands all game and even rallied from being pinned down a few times.  The 2+ enjoy the war on the SS-Erstaz platoons is excellent and keeps your force around for a while. I felt I was too aggressive with my Panzer IIIs, but they could not hide from Chris's arty party, and for the shots they got off they were worth the 200 points. I think the trap teams are a real gem in this list. I felt Chris wanted to go after my Volkssturm with his infantry and tanks, and after dropping them near his tanks he had to rethink his this and the board did not allow him to move quickly to change his axis of attack. I also like how the mix of Jagdtigers and PZIIIs work together, JTs are for killing tanks and range, and the PZIIIs are for moving in quickly and taking out softer targets. Perhaps this list will make it to Guns of August in Williamsburg in a few weeks. 

Chris's Comments
I felt I was doing well in the beginning with my guns hitting so well.  However I did not push hard enough on the objectives when I had the defender outnumbered.  My list is a tough one to attack with and the terrain did not help me. 

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