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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

MW Panzer Company vs U.S. Infantry

By Luke Melia
The board before deployment. 

Andy and I wanted to get a practice game in before the tournament at the Williamsburg Muster so we decided to face off with our lists.  The tournament was 1500 points, in an open format.   Guess what I was playing?  That's right folks, Americans.  I know that comes as a shock to many of you, regardless despite my misgivings I made the sacrifice to play the old US of A.  Andy ran a Panzer Company out of North Africa.  The mission was Counterattack.  I used to absolutely hate this mission, but it is steadily growing on me the more I play and develop strategies for it.

My basic list is
2 Infantry Platoons
4 Lees
4 105mm Howitzers
4 155mm Howitzers
AA Platoon with 2 Bofors and 2 dismounted .50 cals
Recon Platoon
3 57mm AT Guns with 2 attached bazookas

Andy's List (please forgive me I am going off memory here so it may not be 100% accurate)

2 Command Stugs
3 Stugs
3 Panzer MKIV
1 Panzer Grenadier Platoon

I would like to put a small note here.  Andy is still in the process of collecting his Flames of War force.  He does not have a lot of the variety of painted models currently that would give him more flexibility in his lists, but I can assure you he is on his way.  I respect the fact that he did not want to proxy or put unpainted figures on the table for our game.  We have been playing on a regular basis and I feel confident that over the next few months you will see his lists expand as his collection does.

Andy deploys.  He said he was planning on putting a little pressure on my main force while he slid the Panzers on towards the objective. 

I keep the 57's in Ambush and put one infantry to move towards the objective.  I want to keep those Lee's hidden until I can draw him close.

Here he comes.  The wheat fields are slowing him down.

First artillery bombardment results in a big fat whiff.

Andy's Stugs knock out a 155,  This is the dread of a US player. 

The command Stugs spend several turns taking pot shots at observers.  In retrospect this turns out to be a mistake and they would have been more effective pressing fire on to the artillery.  I get a lucky kill on a MK IV.  Third attempt to range in and I roll a 6 to hit and a 6 on firepower.

Recon comes in from reserve and stays conveniently out of site of the MK IVs.

Ranged in again on the Stugs but no hits and no kills.  The infantry moves to hold the objective.

Andy is feeling the pressure and moves in to try to take out the Lees that have been cowering behind the buildings.  If he takes out the Lees he can silence the artillery.  At this point he as already killed two of the 155's.

Unfortunately he scores no hits.

The Lees move out and into he read of the Stugs.  The 57's come out of Ambush in the only place they could.

To make things worse the artillery ranges in on the Command Stugs on a 4 since they are moved into the open.

The race to the objective is on.  The remaining Panzer IV's open up on the infantry with their MG's and pin them.

The Lees, being freed from the Stugs move to take long range shots at the Panzer 4's.

Never underestimate the firepower of the Lees.  Even with just 4 of them you are taking 16 shots with main guns.  12 with the 37mm and 4 with the long barrel 57mm.

Below half and with no Commanders the game goes to the Americans 6-1.

Andy is a great opponent. We talked through what he could have done differently.  The command Stugs should have been with the regular Stug platoon or pushed further into my backfield off my left flank.  The other option would have been to move all the tanks through the wheat field and woods  on his end of the table then press hard on the open objective. If he had taken his infantry into the buildings to keep my observers from seeing his movement he could have cut the game down to my 4 Lees and infantry platoon versus 5 Stugs and3 MK IV's.  He still would have had to deal with my artillery, but he would not have had the all of the units to contend with at the same time. 

Again, Andy suffered from not having more of a variety to choose from.  Everyone knows the tanks he chose are extremely expensive and one does not get a lot of troops for the points spent.  We had a good time during this game and I am looking forward to playing many more.

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