Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Monday, January 26, 2015

Italian Blind Domination: 26th Panzergrens vs US 1AD (Part 2 of 2)

by Randy Elliott

My last article was the first half of the batrep between my US 1st Armored Division Armored Rifle Company and my buddy, Mike Richard's, 26th Panzergrenadierkompanie.Without further ado, back to the War!

US Turn 5:  Hmmm...  It appears that in the excitement, I forgot to snap a pic at the end of US Turn 5, so the one below will have to serve for both sides' movements for the turn.  Good help is hard to get...

Anyway...  No air that turn.   I didn't like what I saw coming in from the ruins, towards my StuHs.  Mike had his recon with three MG teams, a command MG/PF team and they were joined by the 2iC, also a MG/PF team and the tank hunter team! That brush line gave me cover, but also would have allowed Mike to sneak up on my light tanks with all of that tank killing stuff.  I had to redeploy, so I swept around to the brush line on their right, towards the center of the table.  My intent was to push through the brush next turn and attempt to support the developing ARP push that I was mounting to seize the DP (Domination Point) in the woods.  As it was, they served to provide some fire opportunities against anything that might move onto the hilltops, like Mike's Bunkerflak! 

The ARP settled their LMGs and 60mm onto the edge of the hill in bulletproof cover with the task of screening that flank.  That combo would have really chewed up any German movement or assault to their front.  The remainder of the platoon moved the 'zooks out and forward.  Next turn, they would be close enough to assault the PzIVs.

The Chaffees moved forward, again with the intention of breaking out of the woods and grabbing that 2 DP OBJ on the 3-level hill in the center.  The Tail-End Charlie tank (Still bogged...) had set up a full blown BBQ by this time, and was intent on enjoying a light repast whilst his pards defeated the fascists without him!  The ARP supporting the Chaffees and ATGs moved to the wood's edge, intent on moving out along with the tanks.  The 'zooks were brought forward.  I positioned them to screen that open area between the wood, the hill and the field.

In my shooting phase, I failed to range in with the arty...  "Hope is not a plan." I hit three times on Mike's two forward P4s, but he saved all three hits!!!

German Turn 5:  On the left, Mike moved up his two infantry platoons.  That was shaping up to be a real problem for my immediate future.  He wisely backed off the PzIVs and tried to bring the 8-rads forward.  In the center, he moved the Bunkerflak onto the hill, out of LOS.  Next turn, he intended to move out and punish my center with blazin' 88 fire!  His PzIVs on my right bagged a second ATG!  His infantry over there continued to move forward.  Things were not looking good for me anywhere!

US:  3 DPs  Germans:  7 DPs

US Turn 6:  It was time to scramble some eggs!  On my far left, the weapons sections of the ARP go to ground, setting up an over-watch on the approaches to the hill.  I was unable to get off an assault as Mike Stormtroopered his PzIVs out of range, but I took the time to rearrange the 'zook coverage. I split them so that two covered the right and two covered the left.  In addition, on the right I drew in the StuHs. 

 If Mike went in, he'd be eating at least one tank's defensive fire and at AT 7, hitting on his flank, that's something that I was pretty sure he'd try to minimize. The CO was in supporting range of this ARP, just in case...  The Chaffees moved forward.  I got two onto the hills in such a fashion that I could bring both Bunkerflak under direct fire.  The third tank bogged, attempting to negotiate the first elevation. Tail-End-Charlie's BBQ was really smelling good... (...Still bogged...) He must have picked up that hog in the last village that we rolled through.  

I extended the nearby ARP forward to assist the Chaffees in the event of a counter move by Mike.  The 'zooks were in position to punish anything coming forward to help that Bunkerflak. The ATGs had taken enough and they limbered up and headed for the BBQ.

My shooting was pretty effective.  On my left, that ARP's 'Zook Grand Battery bailed a PzIV.  He may have been over 4", but not outside of 8"!  Whammo!!!  The Chaffees opted to fire with stabilizers and bagged the vehicle on the objective!  Score 2 domination points for Uncle Sam.  My arty whiffed - again...

Chaffee-style bunkerbustin'!

Ft. Benning's WWII Assault Column.  Flying arty on the flanks.  File closers in the rear.  Cav in support.

German Turn 6:  Mike had little choice but to go after my ARP which was moving to assault him.  He was damned if he did and damned if he didn't.  He had failed to unbog one of the 8-rads, so they weren't going to help any.  He bogged a PzIV moving into position to assault my column.  Two tanks versus the 'Zook Grand Battery.  Better him than me!  

In the ruins, his infantry moved forward and brought the weapons teams under fire.  His Bunkerflak trained its deadly gun on the Chaffees... Mother!!!...  The other platoon of PzIVs moved up to sweep the nearby ARP with MG fire.  It appeared that the LT, in his infinite wisdom, had left his august person out in the open...  All the line-doggies had enough sense to grab some cover...  

Mike realized that his infantry platoon, moving on my right, would probably never fire a shot in anger. So he then doubled them back towards the action in the center.  I think the real reason was because they had caught a whiff of that BBQ coming across the fields and needed a break from their standard Brats and Beer diet.

In his shooting phase, Mike's PzIVs in the woods blazed away with their MGs, but failed to pin the ARP...  He picked off a couple teams though.  His Bunkerflak unbelievably misses with both shots!!!  The other PzIVs hosed the errant LT, taking him and a bazooka team out and pinning the rest of the platoon.

In the assault phase, Mike gamely assaulted the ARP and took 3 'zook shots in the flanks of the two PzIVs...  Sometimes even schurzen can't save you when your dice are cold and the other guy's are hot.  He also took a hit from a Stuart. That was it for the PzIVs and his 8-rad was in range for the sneak attack through concealing terrain on my next turn...  I now had an additional 3 DPs, bringing us to 6 apiece.

US:  6 DPs  Germans:  6 DPs


US Turn 7:  Air arrived again and menaced the panzergren platoon moving across the fields towards the center. On my left, I sensed an opportunity.  I held my far ARP in place. It was going to spring the ambush in the assault phase and hit the two 8-rads with three 'zooks with no defensive fire!  I shifted the Stuarts up the hill mass, chancing double bog checks for the two elevation changes.  Two made it, two bogged.  I wanted to catch the last Bunkerflak in a crossfire that it couldn't possibly escape.  The Chaffee that was bogged at the base of the hill fails to unbog.  Tail-End-Charlie hears the escalating firefight and finally figured that they had better make an appearance.  Reluctantly, he abandoned his BBQ pit and headed off to the sound of the guns!  The ARP supporting the Chaffees failed to unpin, but did dig in to await the appointment of a new platoon leader. The ATG grabbed a few mess tins full of BBQ before the Chaffee crew departed and also returned to the brush line, catching the PzIVs unaware.  They dropped trail and pegged a PzIVs, which brewed up immediately.

My shooting saw the Bunkerflak going down to the combined Stuart and Chaffee fires!  The arty failed once again, to range in on anything.  The aircraft ranged in on the infantry moving in the open and hammered them. Mike lost five teams! They then failed their morale check and disappeared.  No BBQ for Hans today.  

That put Mike at the 50% mark.  One more platoon loss would see him making a Company morale check.

In the assault phase, the bushwhacking ARP went in with all 'zooks ablaze... 
Wham!  Wham!!  Wham!!!  Three hits!  

That was it, Mike couldn't save anything.

German Turn 7:  Mike passed the Company morale check!  He was not going down without a fight!!!  He moved his far infantry platoons out of the ruins and into assault range of my ARP.  He shifted his last two PzIVs to fire up at the ATG.

His shooting failed to pin my far ARP, but I didn't have enough stuff up there to repulse him...  The PzIVs hit the ATG, but I made a gun save and the round deflected harmlessly.

His panzergrens rolled into the assault, I failed to take even one team down with defensive fire. Mike then vaporized the three teams that were in contact...  I failed the morale check and then I failed the CO's reroll! 

Mike picked up a platoon and my CO!  I also lost a DP...

US:  5 DPs  Germans:  7 DPs

US Turn 8:  Despite my CO's demise and the crumbling left flank, I attempted to move my Stuarts to cover that flank.  The one failed to unbog and then another unbogs only to have a second one bog while maneuvering!  Two Stuarts for flank support would have to do. At least Mike was not in position to do to me what I just did to his 8-rads. 

I moved the Chaffees into the center.  I risked the double bogs to take the commanding summit and the corresponding flank shots on the PzIVs.  The ARP, along with its newly minted platoon leader unpinned and held station in their slit trenches. 

My firing saw the ATG whiff.  The arty, unbelievably, took down a P4!  Finally, the flanking Chaffees smashed the last P4.  Mike wasa down to two infantry platoons.

German Turn 8:  Mike fails the Company MC.  Game over.

We were looking for more of an infantry game this time around.  It was easy for me to really embrace that notion.  I had only light tanks in support, not mediums or 88s.  I had to lead with the infantry and attempt to exploit any openings that they could manage to create.  I'm satisfied with the way I was able to work this list.

Head on, Mike would have shredded me, but a careful husbanding of my platoons and a patient, but aggressive posture paid off for me.  At the outset, I had decided to surrender the 2 domination points and ruin objective to Mike, if he wanted it.  I would concentrate on the center and right of the table.  I knew that those ruins would eat up both of my ARPs if I let it.  There was no way that my armor could dominate Mike's, so I needed the infantry to function as my main AT asset.  My armor would look to take on his recon and infantry, both of which I felt confident of handling.  I saw my Chaffees as an Ace-in-the-Hole with its 75mm main gun, I could take down the PzIVs with carefully orchestrated ( as exploitation of a failed stormtrooper roll!...) shooting.

I saw the air and arty as potentially decisive and while they did little through most of the game, they did book end it with successes for me.  The air bagged 260pts worth of troops - twice its cost!

Overall, the game went as I'd hoped.

From Mike's perspective it started out okay.  He was able to pick up a bunch of points much faster than I did.  He had 8 platoons on the table compared to my 5.  That was a huge advantage in maneuver.  Lucky for me he relegated his infantry to the far wings, isolated from his armor support, while mine were concentrated, pushing the center with armor support.  It looked to me like Mike was looking to win through seizure of objectives, while I knew that my only hope was to break his company.

Mike was looking to bring the dismounted recon and panzegrens together with the 8-rads and a PzIV platoon for very strong combined arms, which would have then rolled my flank.  The problem was that I forced the issue and made him attack my ARP, which effectively gave me the game.  Mike was also hampered by not being able to get his Bunkerflak into the center in the way that he had wanted to.  This was to serve as a link between the left and right sides of his line.

We both just love this larger table!!!  The infantry can deploy and move without looking like a mass of Keystone Cops.  The Infantry Game on this table is much slower.  We played this in about 4+ hours.  Still, if you can swing it, I'd recommend that you try it out!  We also enjoyed our terrain modifications with the hills. The "Across the Volga" was wonderful.  I didn't have to look for someplace to establish my artillery parking lot...

Finally, how about that random list?!!!  Thanks for the fun toy, Nick!  It was really challenging to play.  I have to offer another recommendation that you guys try out Nick's random generator!!!  It'll make for some uniquely challenging situations!


Popular Posts In the last 30 Days

Copyright 2009-2012 WWPD LLC. Graphics and webdesign by Arran Slee-Smith. Original Template Designed by Magpress.