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Friday, August 26, 2016

FoW Battle Report: HG Assault Gun Battery vs SS Panzerbrigade Westfalen 5/5

Hey there,

Finally, time has come for the last battle report of the HG Assault Gun series. Up until that point of the tournament, I have already had my ups and downs with this company. However, when I saw my opponent's list, I was not so happy:

It seemed a good mix of cheap Panthers, a lot of veteran Pak40s with some backup from the 88s along with SS, panzerfaust-armed infantry (including tank hunters). I really did not look forward to play this company. The only positive was the scenario: Surrounded. It gave me at least some edge over the Panthers and a chance to spread out the defences of the SS Panzerbrigade Westfalen.

I completely took the chance by placing the Objectives as far from one another as possible and once I knew where the defenders were, I cut my forces in half and deployed the StuHs, one platoon of PakPumas with 1iC + 2iC on one side of the table and the rest on the other. With this kind of deployment, I was looking for a way to get some sideshots on the tanks and to force the Pak40s to move.

My first round was really an escape from the Panthers which came on in from Immediate Ambush and an aggressive move with the recce platoons to get into the firing range with the Pak40 cars. Unfortunately, right off the bat, my 2iC has been hit with a 7.5cm round of the big cat and went up in flames. Bright side of this was that there were no other casaulties reported (although he did shoot with some of his Pak40s).

My reaction to his moves was a quick dash with a PakPuma to the side of one of his tanks and a preparation for a shooting gallery against the guns. The result was quite good, as the Panther exploded and I managed to get rid of a couple of anti-tank guns. My company was in the thick of the fight and the next several rounds were to be decisive.

The Panthers, now reduced to only two operational tanks decided to back up and still take a few long range shots at the assault guns. At the same time, the 88s and Pak40s opened some furious fire.

Fortunately for me, the only shots that reached their targets bounced off the StuG armour. Return action was devastating. The PakPuma that already had killed a Panther managed to corner another one and the same unfortunate tank was also outflanked at long range by Major Sandrock and 3 other StuG assault guns. On the other side of the table, the StuHs were rolling forward, shooting at the Pak40s from concealed positions. With so many guns shooting at the lone Panther, it was bailed and then double bailed which was enough for the unfortunate crew who abandoned their intact vehicle. However, the platoon morale on a 5+ held. At the same time, an 88 was eliminated, but all shooting at the Pak40s whiffed.

Time was running out for the SS Westfalen. With their fire diminishing with every successful shot by the rampaging assault guns they seemed to have zero plan for a counterattack. A few more anti-tank shots was not enough to stop the disaster. Although another StuG burned to an 88 shell, the Pak40s now had to move not to get singled out. This made it possible for the pesky recce to hit the flanks of the guns but not before the last Panther became their prey.

Gradually, the snowball effect continued and as I eliminated the remaining guns one by one, the enemy morale was failing. Even an ambush of the panzerfaust trap teams did not cause any real damage and my subsequent fire and maneuver action enabled my forces to capture one of the objectives.

3-1-1 to the HG Assault Gun Battery and 10/34 overall

As a word of summary I have to say that HG Assault Guns are a very interesting list to play. While I really like the synergy between Major Sandrock, the assault guns and the PakPumas, there are certainly some areas for improvement. The main one is the inability of the list to take on anything with 8+ front armour. I already did some re-design activities to address the weakness and I think one of the best ways to do it would be to drop 2iC along with a PakPuma patrol to bring in a battery of trained 15cm artillery. Another option could be a platoon of panzerfaust Schutzen infantry but my fear is that they are only 7 bases and would not be able to keep up with the mobile assault guns.

In any case, I enjoyed my games with the HG boys (fun part is the games took me maybe an hour per game on average) and would play them again! :)



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