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Friday, August 12, 2016

FoW Battle Report: HG Assault Guns vs British Infantry 4/5


Welcome to another part of the battlereport where I play my HG Assault Gun battery.

To be honest, after the grand whopping that I have taken during the previous game, I felt a bit uneasy handling this company. The main reason for this was that it turned out that in a scenario where I really have to go in and go in hard, the list is very vulnerable. I have learned the hard way that brutal, straightforward approach with the StuGs does not really work - they are too flimsy for a frontal assault.
Fortunately, with Fighting Withdrawal already out of the scenario pool, it was time for a Mobile Battle - Counterattack. It was a scenario, where I could take my time and cautiously work for a win.

My opponent's list:

Since my opponent played a mostly footslogging company, he managed to deploy most of his forces on the table and was largely unaffected by Mobile Reserves. 2 M10 tank destroyers went into Ambush, while a platoon of scout cars had to come on in later - on the opposite side of the table.

My plan for the game was pretty straightforward: place the objective as far as possible from the foot British troops, quickly occupy it with one recce platoon and pull up the StuGs. In the meantime, StuHs + Major Sandrock would stay pretty much stationary to eliminate whatever guns would target my tanks and pin down his attempts to race for the objective.

First turn started according to this plan: I did my recce + regular move for one of the PakPuma patrols to get behind a building right next to the far objective and pushed my StuGs double time in the same direction. At the same time, I spread out the StuHs and got the other recce patrol into a position, from which it could lift gtg from 6pdr guns next turn. With all this shuffling about, I completely missed the opportunity to shoot but at least got a very good placement, with each and every tank concealed from aircraft and spread out so thin that only one would fit under the template, wherever the plane would appear. This type of maneuvering happened throughout the whole game and made me loose just one tank to air/bombardments.

The first moves of my opponent were to pop the M10 Ambush and race for the objective (trying to eliminate the recon platoon at the same time). He also ordered an infantry platoon, supported by HMGs to follow the tank destroyers. Fortunately, my recon leader passed the skill check to avoid shots from M10s so I suffered no damage that turn.

In the next turn, the slow elimination process of the British forces began. The first victim was one of the tank destroyers, who was targetted by the PakPuma. I placed the armored car so that in case the tank was eliminated, the other one would not be able to respond with fire. At the same time, a shot from one of the StuGs bailed the other M10 and another one killed a 5.5" howitzer, rendering the unit pretty much useless.

On the other flank, with the recce failing to pass the skill check to lift gtg, no big harm was done to the British gunline, apart from one pack howitzer which vaporised due to a direct hit from a StuH.

Unfortunately for me, the M10s passed their morale check and the leader of the platoon, still intact, remounted his tank and continued to roll forward, changing his target to the incoming StuG unit.
This turn again brought no luck to the British however, and they failed to do any damage to the rampaging assault guns and their little, recce friends.

The real knockout blow came when forced to move, the British redeployed some of their 6pdrs, exposed their only remaining M10 and brought in their reserves. For the Hermann Goering troops it was a field day. The PakPuma, did the work of finishing off the tank destroyers, while the combined fire of StuGs and  StuHs took out the flimsy recce unit and the guns which were no longer gone to ground.

In two turns it was all over. In the meantime however, a succesful strafing run by a Tornado killed Major Sandrock's tank and he had to take over one of the StuHs. They in turn, were succesfuly assaulted by a foot unit and dropped below 50% strength. Unfortunately, their morale did not hold (and actually, the only time in the entire tournament where I have had a unit flee on me - gotta love the cheap re-roll upgrade!) :(

But even with this unit lost, I still managed to wipe out the remaining contesting teams and capture the objective.

2-1-1 to the StuGs!



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