Thursday, July 29, 2010
AAR - Nephew versus the 3rd Gv Mech Corps
D my nephew is in town for the next couple of weeks. He's been chomping at the bit to play FOW, going so far as texting me taunts for the past month. His FOW experience started last year when he last came to visit and was immediately hooked.
I rolled up Hold the Line, but D isn't really interested than any other mission that doesn't involve two sides facing off across an open table and blasting away at each other. Taking and holding objectives is unnecessary distraction to the desired festival of slaughter and carnage he wants to bestow on my forces. In short, he likes to blow things up.
D wanted to use his 5 Tigers from the Tigers Marsch box that he painted up. Plus, he bought 3 Stukas and wanted them to be in his force as well. Given that SS-Tigers in the box is nearly 1,300 points and the Stukas at least another 100+ points, he was set. I placed 17 Shermans (CO, 2 platoon of 8 Shermans), 3 ISU-122's and 3 BA-64's to round out my 1,500 points. Basically, I subtracted the IL-2's and Spetsnaz from my force. Sure, I was giving him some extra points, but he's my nephew.
The ISU-122's were deployed on a hill with two good lanes of fire to dominate the center table. The two Sherman platoons split up and took one side of the table for some flanking action. D kampfgrupped his CO and one Tiger and placed them in the center while the other 3 Tigers held his left flank behind the forest.
I took pics, but they more for D to take home with him rather than an extensive Battle Report. He posed with several of his tanks and Stukas to show his friends.
D's Tiger Ace skills are the anti-bogging one and ROF3.
The first game was Stuka heaven. I lost the 1st Platoon on Turn 1. I foolishly grouped them together. He took out 4 tanks, bailed 1 and it promptly failed morale. Sad face for me.
The ISU's destroyed 1 Tiger. They had another chance at killing another Tiger, in fact, I had 2 hits, but my FP roll is snake eyes!! Arrgh! Sad face for me again.
The Stukas showed up again and blew up one ISU. Eventually, they would come again and again and finally remove the only threat to his Tigers.
The Shermans had no chance. The game ended up with 2nd Platoon hiding in the forest. I forced D's Tigers to come get me. The Shermans did manage to get 2 penetrating side shots. Firepower check! One and one. Snake Eyes again! Arrggh! Sad face again!
I made a show of me repeatedly hitting my head on the table and D patting my back, saying "there, there".
2nd Platoon is reduced to smoking hulks. Game over. Only the Company Commander and the Platoon Leader survive the inform STAVKA to send heavier tanks to the sector!
The 2nd game, saw D putting 2 Tigers away and then adding 3 Jpz IV's, a Panther, 2 88's and 2 PaK40's. Again, D is all about getting to use the models he has built and painted. Historically accurate lists only get in the way. D gets Clever Hans again.
I kept my list the same.
This time, I spread out my Shermans. I stretched them to the limit of the 4" command radius. The image of those Stukas smoking a platoon on the first turn is still fresh in my mind. Still, I deployed in similar fashion, albeit with more space between the vehicles.
D put 3 Tigers on the left flank behind the forest. The Panther took the road and the 3 Jpz IV's held the middle behind a hill. The 88's were also in the middle and the PaK40's took the extreme right flank.
I won first turn, the ISU-122's took pot shots at the 88's, but missed. 1st Platoon on the left flank headed up and hid behind the trees. Ditto for 2nd Platoon, though 4 of the tanks turned their turrets to face the menace of the Jpz IV's and the 88's. Finally, I rushed the BA-64's to a bend in the road. My plan was to bait D into moving his Panther. I hoped if he advanced his Panther, 1st Platoon could eventually reach a position for flanking shots.
D pushed his Jpz's forward and blocked the LOS of the 88's! He didn't realize it until he wanted to shoot. The Panther moved up and blew up a BA-64's. The armored car patrol failed to disengage and watched their comrade BBQ inside his vehicle. The Jpz fire was ineffective against the ISU's. The Tigers moved into the trees, bogging one. No Stukas showed up on any of the 5 dice. Whew.
On my next turn, 1st Platoon pushed forward, some skirting around the trees, and 3 tanks going into the trees (no bogs this time, yay!). The platoon was positioned well to shoot at the PaK's and still hide from the Panther. The two BA-64's rushed past the Panther, again providing tempting targets and giving D a choice to shoot them or risk both cars rushing behind his AT guns (either 88's or PaK 40's). The ISU's blew up a Jpz IV. 2nd Platoon bailed another.
D reply was to blow another BA-64 away with his Panther and bails the other. The Tigers trundle on into the forest. The bogged Tiger remains bogged. His Jpz IV remounts and joints in getting 2 hits on the ISU's. They both bounce. The 88's get a clear shot at a Sherman and blow it away. Stukas fail to arrive.
The Jpz IV platoon evaporates under the combined fire of the ISU's and Shermans. So do the 2 PaK 40's, thanks to 4 tanks of 1st Platoon. The platoon leader and 2 other tanks risk bogging and exit the trees, and see the beautiful flank of the Panther. The Panther brews up. The sole surviving BA-64 rushes to flank the 88's. Part of 2nd Platoon reverses to pull away from the trees, anticipating the Tigers.
Stukas don't show up on 3 dice. D is getting frustrated, wondering if his guys are drinking too much Schnaps. Two Tigers get to the edge of the trees and they kill one Sherman. The 88's bail another.
1st Platoon, freed from the Panther threat, charge up the left flank and aim at the 88's. 2nd Platoon moves around the corner of the forest, away from the Tigers to concentrate on the 88's.
Game is pretty much set here. I'm trying to get D to fail Company morale, rather than destroy his Tigers. This happens in the next 2 turns. His Stukas do show up (2 dice), but he misses both shots. =(.
D's elation for the night is somewhat deflated because of his Stukas. I say it happens and airpower can be unpredictable. D says he spread his forces too wide. It's the good general who can recognize his mistakes after the game. I'm proud of him.
Good and fun games though.
D announced his German army is complete. He then bought himself a M4A1 Sherman, a Sherman 105 and an AOP Grasshopper. His next army is going to be American. =) D is happy again at the prospects of his next force.