France Vs Germany
Hold the line
An Early War game fought some time ago using the play test Army lists for Flames of War.
French Forces: CT 1500 pts
- Infantry Platoon (Full strength)
- Infantry Platoon (Full strength)
- HMG Platoon (1 Section)
- Char B1 Platoon (3 Tanks)
- 25mm Hotchkiss AT Platoon (2 Guns)
- 47mm AT Platoon (3 Guns)
- 75mm Artillery Platoon (4 Guns)
- 105mm Artillery Platoon (4 Guns)
- Sporadic Air support.
German Forces: CT 1950 Pts
- HQ (Pz IIID)
- 2ic (Pz I cmd) + Defence Platoon (2x Pz IIC)
- Light Platoon (2x Pz IIC + 2x Pz I)
- Light Platoon (2x Pz IIC + 2x Pz I)
- Light Platoon (3x Pz IIID)
- Heavy Platoon (3x Pz IVB)
- Armoured Infantry Platoon (Full Strength)
- 105mm Artillery Battery (4 Guns)
- Limited Air Support (JU87)
With The Chars deployed covering the German objective being supported by the 105s I knew that this would be hard work for the panzer's. The infantry platoon was deployed along with the HQ to cover the French Objective just inside the woods edge (6" Visibility). This was to come back and haunt the German forces latter. The 25mm Hotchkiss guns being held in ambush and in reserve another Infantry platoon, 47mm AT guns, HMGs and the 75mm Artillery.
The Germans surveyed the French and thought this is going to be tough. Pz IVs deployed against the Chars along with a PzII platoon and the 2IC to take that left objective, whilst the PzIIIs, a PzII platoon and the infantry to take the right objective, using the wood and farm as cover.
Those damn hedges are going to prove to be the bane of the German army.
The Luftwaffe arrived with 2 Stuka's targeting the French artillery. The PzIIIs, IIs and infantry flanked right using as predicted the wood as cover from the French observers. The rest of the army moved up to the hedges on the left flank.
The Stuka's hit the Artillery destroying a 105 and pinning it, whilst the artillery ranged in on the Char B's but failed to hit one.
The Artillery unpin and the Chars move to bring there guns to bear on the advancing Panzer's. The Artillery ranges in onto the German 105s but fail to hit the gun.
Stuka's find the French 105s.
Another 2 Stuka's arrive and target the Char Bs. The Panzers cross the first hedge But Bog 2 PzIVs and a PzIIC. The unbogged PzIV moves within 16 of a Char B. The rigt flank attack reaches the farm. The Combined Air, Artillery and tank shooting at the Char Bs proves one thing; that those tanks are tough, all but one shot bouncing harmlessly of the thick armour with the Stuka's bombs only bailing one Char B. The PzIV passes its Skill test and retreats out of 16" range of the Char Bs.
The Char B commander jumps straight back into his mobile bunker, the Artillery that was ranged in on the German artillery missed again.
No Luftwaffe this turn; they must be busy else where. One of the two PzIV unbogs and the Panzer's continue there advance towards the Char B's. Whilst the Right flank Panzer's use the hedges as cover cross without incident. The Artillery smoke the now bunched up Char B's to prevent them shooting at the Panzer's.
SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!! The 25mm's ambush the Panzer's from a small wood right in front of them. The Char B's attempt to move into a better position outside of the smoke. No re-enforcements this turn either. The ambushing 25's bail a PzIV and double bail a PzII (Bad FP rolls) but the PzII fails its motivation and quickly reverses of the battle field. The Artillery catch the 2 tank platoons near the farm in the field and bail a PzIII, PzII and destroys a Pz1. 3 hits out of 5 ain't too bad but my FP rolls let me down again. Should have gone for the Infantry transport though.
2 Stuka's this turn target the French artillery. With the Chars smoked the Panzer's concentrated their fire in the Hotchkiss 25mm's to no effect. The Pz IIIs hop the hedge. The infantry dismount and move towards the farm buildings.
Now back to those Stuka's...... Notice anything in the picture below?
I laughed when the French air force arrived to chase those Stuka's off (no mean feat when playing against your self). The Artillery spotters see the German infantry from their position on the hill and call down fire on them pinning the infantry. A Char fires at a PzIV but bounces. The 25mms bail another PzI and double bails another PzII which runs away again.
The HQ PzIII bogs down and stays that way for the rest of the game. The Infantry fail their motivation and stay pinned. Numerous PzIIs and Pz1s bog and un-bog to a annoying degree. A solitary Stuka arrives to annoy the French Artillery but goes home after missing. The Artillery Smokes the Char Bs again, The PzIIIs close in on the Infantry firing as they go, 15 MG shots, 10 hits results in 2 dead. One of the 25mm AT guns are destroyed pinning the platoon.
No reserves again. The 25mm's unpin along with the Infantry, A PzII is destroyed by the Char's which also bail a PzIV. All the Hotchkiss 25mm shots hit but bounce of the PzI and PzII (Nice throw of three sixes for armour save). The Artillery Pins the infantry again.
Not much movement this turn except that the PzIIIS move around the French Infantry to within 4" of the Objective behind the Infantry. German Infantry are still pinned. Again a solitary Stuka arrives and misses Again (must be the thought of the French Air Force turning up again). Finally the ambushing 25's are destroyed by a PzIVs machine guns. The Char's are Smoked again (Best tactic against these as they can not move and fire).
I must be getting complacent with the Germans as NOW two French reserves turn up; A Battery of 47mm AT and an Infantry platoon right behind the Flanking PzIII's. The 47s bail two of the PzIII's then the infantry assault loosing 2 stands to MG fire from the untouched tank, but getting 6 Hits, but the Tanks pass there armour save but when counter attacking fail their motivation and run away leaving the two bailed PzIII's for the French to evaluate. The Surviving PzIII passing its Motivation test with a Six...!!
The Reserves arrive much to my Panzer's disgust.
No Air support this turn or any other for that (That French plane must have scared them all off). The Infantry unpin and move closer to the French Infantry in the wood. A PzIV makes a brave move through the wood to shoot a Char in the side, but only bails it (FP rolls are not up to scratch). The other Chars get smoked as usual. A PzI and surviving PzIII machine gun the Infantry that assaulted and killed 2 stands.
How the Worm has turned. The HMG and 75mm Artillery platoon arrive to add insult to injury. The bailed Char gets back in and moves back away from the PzIV, whilst the others change possition to prevent the PzIV doing the same to them. The Artillery fires direct fire at the cheeky PzIV leaving a turret ring to land else where. The PzIVs pass their motivation on a Six! (One is already Bailed). The 47mm's claim the last PzIII with 2 long range hits, passing their FP for once.
Cheeky PzIV shot.
Remember that Infantry deployed in the wood just inside the edge so that it could only be seen at 6", well I forgot!!?! The German Infantry moved to within assault range supported by the Armoured transport and all surviving Panzer's that could move to within 16" to machine gun the Infantry. Shooting phase arrive and hey presto that 20 MG shots I was counting on did not happen because they could not see the Infantry..DOH! So I thought hey ho and continued the attack. The Transport fired their MGs at the French Artillery pinning it. Another PzIV gets a side shot on a Char and Bounces. The Infantry fail to pin the French Infantry and are cut down in the defensive fire phase (3 stands) and due to one stand lost to artillery fail their motivation test and RUN away!
MWAAAAAHHHHHHAAAAA!!!!!!!!! Victory is in sight. The Reserve Infantry dig in. The Chars Hit and Bail the last two PzIV's to which one fails a double bail and runs but the last PzIV passes its motivation on another SIX!!!
PzIV stays bailed, Artillery Misses and the only thing to happen is 2 PzI's Pin and kill a 105 before scuttling back behind a wood.
105's stay pinned, The Char's kill the last threatening BAILED PzIV and the 47s claim a PzI with 5 hits out of 6 needing 5's to hit passing 4 FP Tests throwing 4 fives.
German: 2 tank platoons (PzIII and PzIV) and 1 Mechanized Infantry Platoon.
French: 1 AT Platoon.
German movement with black dots showing deaths.