Hello Everybody, here is another article by Sexy Sixes!
As promised earlier, today I will cover the battles I fought last weekend using HG Assault Gun Battery from Flames of War Digital. The tournament format was the standard 1420 Late War, so no big surprises here. We played 5 battles in total: 2x Mobile, 2x Defensive and 1x Fair Fight (determined randomly before each round + scenarios could only be played once). My list was:
Battle 1: Breakthrough vs US Tanks (9th armored - C/V from Bridge at Remagen)
Since we were both tank (and no Always Attack), we rolled for who would be the attacker and it turned out that this time, the StuG Battery would have to hold its ground against US onslaught. I was quite happy with how it turned out, since I was prepared exactly for this. With 4 platoons in total, I was able to put my PakPumas into reserves and field all 11 StuGs supported by a recovery vehicle. I chose my quarters so that I would get as much cover as possible to hide my vulnerable tanks and concentrated much of the force in one of them while only left the 2iC in the other - to try some sneaky side armor shots or to hunt the half-track mortars. In response to my deployment, Dimytry placed his Pershings and mortars on the table while the recon unit and the Sherman platoon were waiting in reserves to hit my flanks.
The battle began with not a lot of action going on: the US forces cautiously moved forward, while my main concentration of troops waited hidden behind some buildings and forests. In the meantime, my first platoon of PakPumas arrived on the table and joined the 2iC in his effort to harass the American flank (I even managed to fire a couple of shots to the side armor of the Jumbo, but he deflected the hit).
Everything started to change around turn 3 or 4 when US Sherman platoon arrived on the other side of the table and I was left in the uncomfortable situation of being attacked from 2 directions. Fortunately, the turn before, I diverted my StuGs towards the objectives already so that the arriving Shermans would be hitting my frontal armor and at the same time, my second reserve unit of recon arrived to assist the assault guns. Also, with a tricky move by the recovery vehicle, I managed to delay the only Pershing that could threaten my rear. Everything was ready for the American salvo...
What happened next was more or less like a miracle because all the shots from the US tanks either missed or bounced off! To be honest, when we counted up the number of dice and the scores needed to hit, I was pretty confident that I would at most loose 1 tank or 2 if there are a lot of hits and I get really unlucky with my saves.
From that point on, the tide rapidly started to turn in my favour. Even though my first volley only managed to kill one Sherman and bail another one, I also managed to limit the response of the Americans by covering the Jumbo with smoke so that I would only get two unobscured return shots from a regular 75mm.
On the other side of the table, my 2iC and a PakPuma patrol managed to chase off the mortars & assaulted their commander to death, but my attempts to hunt the Pershings failed miserably when the 1iC Jumbo rotated its turret and hitting on Sexy Sixes managed to get two hits and two kills on my recce platoon. Fortunately, this was not a crucial sector of the battlefield so I just shrugged and went on to wipe out the isolated Sherman platoon.
This took me just one more turn as I already had side shots on Dimitry's guys with my recce and with another two Shermans down, the remaining crews decided to call it a day. In the meantime, the Pershings finally managed to get into favourable positions and destroy my 1iC StuG.
With the Shermans dead, the mortar platoon led by the 76mm Jumbo and recce being quickly annihilated by an angry StuG mob, my opponent now raced for the objectives. He managed to get within 16" with his Pershings, but a quick response from the German tankers left him with only one operational tank, the Jumbo and the mortar half-tracks (and even these were now being threatened by my 2iC). In these circumstances he quickly assessed his options and decided to withdraw whatever he had left so that I would win the game by pushing the enemy more than 16" away from the objectives.
All in all, it was a very good game. The decisive moment happened even before the battle, when Dimitry pushed his Shermans into reserves. In all honesty, if he would put them down on the table, or been more aggressive with his remaining forces, he might have just pulled it off.
1-0 to the HG Assault Gun Battery! :)