Wednesday, January 12, 2011

FOW report: 1000pts League game @ my place

After much mission haggling, Jason and I settled on the Roadblock mission for our epic league matchup  - Jason and I were both undefeated from four games. We played on my snow table, with the addition of Jason's roads.

Jason's take on the game is here:

The Village in the corner is not fully painted, but beginning to shape up. I have ten of the little houses now. This is enough to just use the bases to delineate a village, without the abstraction of treating it as 'area terrain' (though you can't shoot entirely over one of the house bases.) The table featured two large hills on either side, a couple of lower rises (though the longer one in the middle had a ridge line and could hide tanks), as well as some swampy ground and several patches of woods.

German forces (me) were: Grenadiers - HQ, Gren plt, KG Gren plt, KG Gren plt, Panzerwerfers x3, Brummbars x 3, Tiger I. Soviets were Rota Razvedki -HQ, Razvedki platoon in UCs, Razvedki platoon in halftracks, M-10s x 4, Decoy Panthers x 2, BA-64s x4.
I set up the table, then Jason chose his side. There is an objective on the road to the left and another in the village itself. As 'attacker', the Soviet forces had to have two platoons deployed in column on the road and Jason put his two Panthers in the open stretch of the road, while putting a Razvedki platoon and his HQs in the relative safety of the village. My Ambuscade was of course the Brummbars, and I deployed the Tiger and Panzerwerfers on the hill in my deployment area. The ambuscade easily eliminated two trained Panthers, but now the Brummbars had to hold off Soviet forces racing to reinforce the objectives from either side of the road.
His M-10s entered on the Brummbar side, but were unable to kill any due to range and concealment. He also sent the Razvedki through the wood, threatening my Panzerwerfers! In my turn, I got no reserves, and had few forces on the table to deal with the multiple problems presenting themselves. I dearly wanted to protect the Panzerwerfers (who would get not bombardment this turn due to LOS) but could not afford to ignore objectives - if Jason could begin any turn with none of my teams within 16" of either, I was done. So the Tiger left its happy campsite on the hill and began the march to provide a backup for the Brummbars. It did at least kill a Razvedki team and its UC transport. The Brumms were too far away to hit the M-10s, and dared not approach, since they needed to keep in the fight, or I would auto-lose.
Since I had cheekily positioned my Brumms to contest the objective on the open road, Jason was forced to move his own M-10s up. This had to be a full-move , so no shooting from them. However, worryingly, they got a platoon of Razvedki to back them up via reserve. Fearless infantry with a flamethrower could be problematic if used to shepherd me back from the objective. Perhaps Jason was thinking the same thing? He also decided to race the other Razvedki platoon back up through the forest and around to where they began, so as to send them into the fight on the objective. I just got my Brummbars back up on the long rise and raced - and stormtroopered - my Tiger up to support. Again there were no reserves for me, so it was just four lonely AFVs vs tank-destroyers and two platoons of infantry with flamethrowers. One ray of sunlight that turn (aside from continuing to not lose!) was that I managed to peg a M-10 with one of my brummbars and continued to whittle down the Razvedki in their UCs. Jason was sanguine about those Razvedki losses, but I suspected he wasn't taking into account the fact that each kill was doubly bad due to how the platoon morale rules functioned.
Turn three saw the remaining Soviet reserves: BA-64s to race up that road and, eventually, mg my infantry as they arrived. He was still unable to get my armour with his tank-destroyers, but now had two infantry platoons almost positioned to cordon off that objective. If he succeeded in pushing me away from the small rise and forest I was using as a base, it was all over. However, I finally got a reserve and began to move up a full Grenadier platoon - once I could put these guys together with the Tiger ('For the Fatherland' and 'Clever Hans') I was in business, as far as that little wood was concerned. I made ready to rain down death with my Panzerwerfer rocket artillery...
....even taking a cheeky photo of all the targets under the big template.
But how about I show you the ranging rolls instead? Sigh.
Turn four and Jason has his boys all in place now: BA-64s to race into my rear and interdict the infantry reserves, M-10s over watching my armour's approach on the objective, and two flamethrower platoons to sweep that armour back, causing me to either lose, or trade most of the tanks for the chance to hang on another turn. What fails him here is his shooting, some hits, but nothing penetrates. He begins to send in an infantry assault on my Tiger (carefully avoiding pulling in the Brummbars) but I kill a team in defensive fire - due to previous casualties, this actually forces a platoon morale check. In my turn, I get no more reserves but do at least have the one infantry platoon to bring in shooting range of one Razvedki platoon.They and the Tiger poured fire into the Soviets in the wood, killing a couple of stands. My Panzerwerfers did much better than last time, killing some more teams and forcing a morale test for that platoon, which they passed. I then sent my Tiger into the wood, assaulting and picking off another team, before the infantry failed motivation and withdrew.
Turn five saw my Grenadiers catching fire from the BA-64s, which had made their way through the woods. However, I had managed to find a point where my infantry were out of range of flamethrowers (one eliminated so far) but still in range of the objective. This involved my armour manfully hiding from M-10 fire. I was not able to hide my infantry from the rest of the Razvedki though, which fiercely assaulted and decimated my Grenadiers (which passed their two morale tests and made their way off the table). With my front beginning to stabilise, I got my other two infantry platoons from reserve. I sent one up the flank to threaten the other objective, while the other went to reinforce the armour, bereft of their covering infantry. Irritated by the presence of the BA-64 armoured cars, I sent three 150mm shells their way, overkill or what? Panzerwerfers again pounded their targets, and the Soviets ended up having to take checks for both Razvedki platoons, and the M-10s. All passed, this time...
Turn 6 and by now, I was feeling much more confident than initially. It had looked like I would either be forced back out of 16" or be left having to keep feeding in infantry teams (assuming I got reserves) and chipping away with Panzerwerfers. Jason wasn't able to lay much fire on my position, but did get at the reinforcing infantry using his BA-64s. However, he was just down too many teams. In my turn, I again inflicted casualties on his platoons, and broke all the Razvedki off the table. My Brummbars smashed the remaining BA-64s, leaving him with just the M-10s.
 He did pass company morale (3/4 of platoons gone) but we fell into discussing better ways for him to have approached the defense of the road, and he opted not to play to the death of the remaining two tank-destroyers. Why do I feel like I am going to hear another story about them escaping to gather thousands of their kind around them, return, and wreak bloody vengeance?

Thanks for the tense game Jason, it was good fun and I was relieved to pull out with a win after not daring to hope my armour could hold long enough to keep me in the game.

I found Roadblock to be a damned fun mission, it inverts the normal attacker/defender roles (though still gives the slower army an ambush) and forces the infantry player to be very aggressive or risk auto-loss. I think that if Jason had focused on victory conditions and not sent that Razvedki platoon through the wood, for a turn, to interdict my reserves, I would have struggled to hold out - heavy armour or no. We'll chalk that up to experience. It was the first time playing this (sad, I know - especially in my case) so we didn't have any sense for what the ordinary way to approach this would be. despite the fact that this mission doesn't seem to be much played, I'd definitely recommend it.


  1. Great report Jamie, thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Love the camo on the tiger and panzerwerfers


  2. Thanks Craig. Jason has promised a 'view from the other side of the hill' report as well. So I'll be interested to see what he thought of the mission balance.

    I made sure that I got a game in vs Pooch (so that I had played Andy, Jason, Chris W and Poochie) last night. Sadly for me, he took me down 4/3 in Breakthrough. I've got no photos of that but did manage to get the current league points off Stepehn S, so will post those up tonight.