Wednesday night game vs my friend Dennis, started with a phone call that ended up with Dennis saying "Ok then, Late war 1750 pts, you be Germans with your Panthers and I'll be Allies"...Click.
So, I recently got my copy of Earth and Steel and was very happy to see that the Beut Panzer company was included and I decided to Proxy it with my EW French (try before you buy) and sorted through the list. I knew at 1500 points the army did not have much left over, but at 1750 points I just squeezed in (Max points for this army may just about touch 2000 if you are lucky).
1st Company: 10 M4 Sherman's which included Dedov
2nd Company tank Rider Company attached to 1st Company
3rd Company: 10 M4 Sherman's
4th Company: 3 Panthers
5th Company: Carrier born SMG Company.
The 3 T34/85's in the top left of the tray turned out to be Panthers.
Well I was like, OMG I'm dead. We set up the terrain and then rolled for the mission which resulted in Hold the Line and I was then please,please don't let me be the attacker and luck had it, I got to be the defender.
So it was all tanks off table along with the 37's and every thing else on table with the Pak 40's in ambush. Dennis then pulled a sneaky move with his Panthers and infiltrated them along with the Dedovs' tank company just out side of 16 inches from my troops. A quick check of the special rules and a dice throw latter meant that I had not detected them.. Uh Oh!
This meant that Dennis could not in theory assault turn one so I was safe for a moment.
Russian Turn 1:
Both tank companies moved forward one on my right flank and one up the middle. The carrier born Infantry followed the right flank tanks and the Panthers waited engines idling in the centre, and come the shooting phase opened fire upon my Flak 88's killing 1 (Mistake No.1). Massed MG fire vs my dug in pioneer platoon on my Right Flank was ineffective.
German Turn 1:
I sprung my ambush as I needed to hit the infiltrated platoon hard. My artillery ranged in and decimated the bunched up tank company, bailing 2 and blowing up 3 more. The pak's and marder's now opened fire and killed another 4 and bailed the rest. This massed fire also effected the Tank rider company causing a few casualties and pinning them. The lone 88 missed with all 3 shots at the panthers, but then you can not have it all your way. the Russian tank company promptly passed its motivation test without Dedov who had been bailed.
German center where the Pak's ambushed from the wood.
Quick shot of the rest of the Russians.
Only one of the decimated company bailed tanks remounted and the tank rider company unpinned and dismounted and moved forward ready to assault my Pioneers supported by the tank.
The second Tank company moved forward using a church in the middle of the table as cover.
The Panthers fired at the 88's again causing a hit but it was shrugged off (continuation of mistake No.1). A Pak 40 was killed by tank fire from the 1st Company. The tank riders then poured fire into my pioneers pinning them then close assaulted them killing two teams. I decided that I would pull back the only team within 4" of the Russian infantry so that I would still contest the objective with a almost intact platoon. The Russian infantry then consolidated behind the hedge.
Russian Turn 2 just before the Assault phase.
Russian centre tank company after German turn 2.
German reserves arrive.
End of Russian assault phase. Dedov and 1 tank is all that is left of the first tank company.
German Turn 4:
Oops..Now I am in a right pickle.I have no troops able to contest the objective. The Chars can only move 8" and the objective was over 16" away...Uh Oh. My reserve roll gave me two more tank platoons but with a maximum move of 24" I still would fall short of contesting the objective.
Lucky for me I left the HQ where it was. Alone this could not contest the objective but sneakiness abounds.
Forward moves everything except the marders which provides support. My HQ move to within 4" of the infantry behind the hedge. This is it can I do it?
My artillery hit Dedov and blew up 2 of the carriers and bailed one also killing 2 infantry stands that fail their passenger saves. The Pak and marder's also open fire and kill one tank and double bail Dedov who passes all Motivation tests including his company morale test..DOH!.
The French (LoL I meant German) tanks open fire with a a hail of bullets and kill 2 infantry stands. Now the 88 plays its part, it nails one of the Panthers which turns out to be the Platoon commander which means that the Panthers can now not move to help contest the Objective and with no CIC or 2IC no one was left to appoint/lead them.
Now the real sneaky bit. My Company CIC now joins the 2IC who then joins the Char B's and together they carry out a shooting too sucessful move, my consolidation move now puts the Char B's within 4" of the objective..Phew!
End of French err... I mean, German turn.
Russian Turn 5:
The depleted carrier platoon now dismounts and Dedov mounts up. Dedov and the Panthers Blow up one of the mighty Char's. The carrier platoon hunker down not being able to tackle the Char's.
German Turn 5:
The Char's move to get ready to assault the remains of the infantry whilst the other two tank platoons race forwards just in case. Another reserve tank platoon arrives. The artillery range in on the Panthers but fail to hit them. the Marder's and the Pak at last kill Dedov. The MG fire from the tanks finally break the infantry and that was that.
German tanks race forward.
Russian turn 6:
The game ends as the Russians now had nothing in the German half of the table plus they auto fail their Battalion morale.
German Victory: 5-2
German final positions.
After game report:
This was going to be tough for both of us. I thought it would be over by turn 2. Its amazing what a 155mm battery and 6 paks can do. My deployment was a bit bodged with the 88's hunkered down unsupported on a hill on my left flank. I realised as my turn 1 came round that they should have been deployed in the wood in the middle. The pioneers were really lucky not to get squished and the lone Pak how it survived I don't know...An iron cross there I think.
Really this game was Null and Void due to mistake No.2 which really turned the game on its head.
Now for the mistakes:
Mistake No.1 was that Dennis was shooting at my 88's with his 3 Panthers for several turns, getting 2 hits the first turn killing one of the 88's. In reality only one panther was in range, I only realised this around turn 3.
Mistake No.2 was that my pioneer command SMG team fire full ROF whilst pinned. Neither of us could remember if they could do that and the extra hits it caused, pinned the assaulting Russian platoon who promptly ran away. Thinking about it it meant that the Pioneer platoon would have lost 2 stands during that assault and I still would have pulled them back towards the woods. The Russian platoon would have had to take a morale test due to casualties so would have possibly ran away in any case but it would have meant the pioneers would have taken a morale test..maybe they would have passed but maybe they would have failed.
Also pointed out on the FOW forum, the Russian list may not have been legal.
We both agreed to carry on and that's what friendly games are all about... give and take.